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The Case for Neutral Colors in Furnishing

Should You Ever Use Beige?


Carson Sofa, Thomasville

Carson Sofa, Thomasville

Photo (c) Thomasville

There is a case for using neutral colors in furnishing a home, but I am not advocating sticking to neutrals all the way through as that can be very boring. However, beige can be liberating. Read on to find out the reason.

First of all, before we go any further, let's define neutral colors. Beige is not the only one. Neutral colors are neutral because they are unsaturated or have very little saturation. Black. white, beige, brown and gray are all neutral colors. Even these neutral colors can navigate away from strict neutrality, because a beige could have pink or yellow undertones, or a gray could lean towards blue. Conversely, grayed blues or greens can appear to be neutral.

Here are some attributes for neutral colors:

  • Restful

    Neutral colors are temperate and lack too much warmth or coolness, so they can give a room a restful effect. Since they don't fight for attention, your eye can move from one point to the other without being drawn to just one color.

  • Safe

    Unless you are very adept at combining colors, there is an advantage to using neutral colors as opposed to bold, saturated ones. But the trick is to move beyond the neutrals with your accent pieces, rugs, walls, etc.
  • Mix Easily

    Neutral colors can be easily mixed with other colors without fighting them for attention. They can provide a good background, and help you design a multi-layered look letting you build up a room in a more nuanced way.

    They are also good for building bridges between warring colors.

  • Stay in Style

    Neutral colors never go completely out of style, so your furniture purchases don't have to be replaced quickly with every changing whim.

    Use neutral colors for the large pieces such as sofas or sectionals that you do not replace very often. Dress up the neutrals with bold and trendy accent colors and pieces. You can also select texture to make up for neutral colors.

  • Boring

    Despite all of the above, neutral colors can be boring and bland if you don't dress them up. That can not be said enough. Use them wisely and strategically, but never out of timidity.

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