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There seems to be a current design trend towards neutrals, two of the most popular being monochromatic grays and Scandinavia-inspired white walls and minimalistic furniture. These neutral spaces are lovely, relaxing, cozy, and inspirational. For me, our bedroom is the most relaxing place in our house. While it’s a small room, the walls are a light shade of white, with open and bright windows, easy furniture and not too much clutter. It feels like a breath of fresh air, and not at all boring.

Here is a list of a few simple ways to keep your neutral space interesting and a comfortable place to dwell.

1. Family Pictures – Warm up a living room with some great pictures of your family. Whether this family is a traditional family or your closest friends, showing a loving space gives people a small window into what’s most important in your life. It gives you an opportunity to share a moment, or tell a story. It also keeps you warm reminding you of all the most important things in your life. You can arrange these pictures neatly or staggered on a mantle or create a gallery wall with different size frames, family pictures, places, and even throw in a monogram or something special to you. Pinterest has tons of gorgeous ideas for gallery walls.

2. Metallics – Oh, gold, how I love thee… Gold f rames, gold small statues, gold etched in decor pieces. Gold. Another very popular look right now is brass. Brass trunks from mid-century vintage shops is a great piece to accessorize in your home. 

3. Texture – Bringing texture into your room is really the best way to keep it interesting. Small accessories like a bird covered in paper mache, rope textures, sticks, weaved baskets, solid wood carvings, solid wood furnishings.

Various Sticks in Store

4. Patterns – Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns. Polka dots, triangles, stripes, chevron, ombre on pillows, curtains, vases add something to spark the interest of guests in your room.

5. Remember the 7 Layers of Design – Do you remember Christopher Lowell from the nineties and early millennium? He wrote a book called “7 Layers of Design” to help us all put together a room. Paint & Architecture, Flooring, Lighting & Greens, Upholstery, non-upholstered pieces, Window coverings, and finally, Accessories. When you put these pieces together it can create a gorgeous, full room. I don’t know if you necessarily need to include all of these items with the current Scandinavian design appeal, however, it’s helpful when designing your room to be conscious of your choices. Do you want a gorgeous ceiling to floor velvet curtain or leave your windows open and bright?

6. Statement pieces – In some of these spaces, the goal is to achieve the “Less is More” look. Including a large, single statement piece can definitely help achieve this. A large dining table with clean lines, a great coffee table or large sofa can be great statement pieces to fill up a room. A statement piece doesn’t necessarily have to be large in scale either; but possibly larger than life through design, adding some sort of pop to your room, or a piece that has a story to tell.  

7. Inspiration Piece – My favorite way to design a room is to find something I love, absolutely love and just design around it. I have these gold picture frames with photos of my family that I adore, a small bird covered in paper from an old book and an old yellow rotary phone that are inspiring my living room designs. They help me create a neutral space with mid-century and vintage pieces that warm me and warm my home. 

You can combine categories, leave something out, do it all on a small scale, do one piece on a grand scale and through it all create great conversation pieces, share stories about your pieces or pictures and entertain those gathering in your home.


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