Typically made up of beige tones, shades of white, brown, grey and black, the result of a neutral scheme is pared back and serene in the absence of primary pops of color that can often overwhelm a space. 'I leaned into a neutral color scheme throughout this apartment, focusing on sandy creams, whites and pops of dusty pink,' explains Tiffany. 'I think a lot of people do coastal design in a rather literal sense, but I wanted the palette to be a bit more subdued inside so that the outside, looking at the ocean, was like a framed art piece.
In this home, designed by Kimberley Peck Architect (opens in new tab), the aim was a complete facelift of a quintessential SoHo loft.
The design left these loft features and made a statement piece out of the bones of the building. Mainly, the space was opened and the central timber beam and cast iron columns were exposed, all paint was removed and the materiality emphasized.
Reclaimed wood in a similar color was used as baseboards, casings and window sills throughout the space. 'Given this was a large loft, the use of a neutral palette throughout was selected in order to unify and make the entire space cohesive,' says Kimberley Peck.
'The lofts structural timbers and original brick were exposed and then emphasized by adding details such as baseboards and door casings in a matching neutral wood. Overall, the materials make for a soothing palette which works to add cohesion in this large open space. Salutogenic principles are the simple aim to build structures that make people healthier. On the walls, custom-matched Grafclean shade by Graphenstone (opens in new tab) is ecological and free from VOC emissions.
At the center of the room, a curved sofa, sculpture and light fixture are united in white. Underfoot, the Armadillo x House of Grey Perilune rug in Quartz has a pearlescent sheen thanks to wool spun with silk.
They can be used in a neutral scheme to anchor a room in the form of furnishings, an accent wall, a rug, sofa, or in this case, a painted ceiling.
The use of dark neutrals works to frame and highlight the main aspect of this room, the view. 'In this white living room, we paired Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab) Baby Fawn with Rocky Road as an accent with a similar drape color to achieve a sense of calm and add some understated architectural interest,' says creative director and founder, Fanny Abbes from the NYC-based design firm, The New Design Project (opens in new tab). 'When working on a neutral scheme, you need to add depth and objects of character to bring life to the room.'
In this instance, the custom brass plinth coffee table, the darker shade drapes, and the print add luxury, depth and asymmetrical interest to the room and break up the white. Ellen Hamilton (opens in new tab) is a designer who deals intimately with color, studying theory and the wheel to arrive at the perfect balance of tone in her interior. 'If you look at our Philly Horse Farm design, that's about as neutral as it gets in terms of the colors used being taupe and ivory.
'The selection of natural stone tones conceives this property to be perceived as a retreat experience.' In this design, by Maddux Creative (opens in new tab), the scheme of the home was overwhelmingly neutral. Rooms are light cream and dusky pink, designed so that a dramatic use of color can take center stage.
'The envelope was deliberately kept neutral to allow for the introduction of new pieces of art and objects, keeping it flexible for a rotating collection. Neutral in colour, but strong in texture, character and interest,' says Jo le Gleud of Maddux Creative. 'I would say neutrals are relaxing, so would use in bedrooms or adjacent to somewhere with a busy scheme,' says Jo le Gleud at Maddux Creative.