4 Designers Share Tips on Creating Stunning Neutral Rooms

Neutrals are timeless and a wonderful option as the foundation of a room. Learn to layer monochromatic textures or introduce pops of color like a pro with these exclusive tips from top interior designers.


Designed by Matthew Patrick Smyth, this awkward space under a stairway became a special sitting area. The rich aubergine color on the chairs, moldings and banister ties this area together.

Matthew’s Tip: “ Visually light furniture was used to keep the space full but uncluttered.  This creates a cozy nook without the usual built in feel.”

#1 Matthew Patrick Smyth

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Campion Platt layered this study in many neutral textures. The unique wall treatment creates depth to the room and the marble coffee tables add a sleek streamlined look. The dense fringe on the cushions also enriches this room.

Campion’s Tip: “I like camel light tones that are rich in texture but neutral in color to help bridge other contrasting elements of a room to ease the eye from one vignette to the next.”

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#3A Ellie Cullman

Ellie’s Tip:  “When using neutrals, such as camel, we like to layer textures and introduce a range of materials to give a neutral room depth.  In this “party barn” game room in Colorado, natural wood beams, a sandstone mantle and whitewashed wood paneled walls create a warm and inviting environment.  We kept many of the fabrics and materials neutral, using a cozy beige chenille on the club chairs, embroidered pillows in a camel cashmere, and a neutral brown leather on the ottomans. But, we always feel that it is important that neutrals are not boring- so we livened things up with pops of red in the large scale plaid on the sofas and red leather banquettes to make the space feel more dynamic and exciting.”

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Photo by: Ron Rosenzweig Architectural Photography

A strong pattern is the focal point for Lisa Erdmann’s balanced living room. Surrounded by neutrals and brightly colored throw pillows everything is planned to support the dominant ikat rug.

Lisa Erdmann’s Tip: “Tips for working with a color scheme are to start with a lead fabric and pattern that the clients loves. It becomes the dominant voice in the room and the other items need to support and add to it.”

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One thought on “4 Designers Share Tips on Creating Stunning Neutral Rooms

  1. Patrick Smyth’s space under the staircase was visually appealing and practical. Everyone has a place to set a drink before dinner…or just a few appetizers and conversation. Quite cozy.

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