Calm and collected, though not necessarily cool, neutral bedroom ideas are your ticket to a restful night’s sleep. But to which tones are interior designers referring when they speak of neutrals? And how to create a palette using several without it falling flat? Read on for our guide on creating a neutral bedroom that’s anything but vanilla.
As with any of the rooms in a person’s home, there’s a wealth of surfaces crying out for attention. Colour can be applied to them all, in varying degrees and guises.
Image Credit: Capital
Begin by thinking feet first. Fitted carpets with a soft, comforting pile in cream and off-white provide a boudoir with elegant foundations, or for something more textured and Modern Country that’s still within the neutral camp, consider a natural fibre carpet like sisal, seagrass or jute whose easygoing sandy shades will fit right in. Not everybody wants carpet in their homes though, which, in a neutral scheme poses no problem as wooden floorboards are in-keeping with this understated collection of tones. Temper them further by painting them white and/or overlaying a large rug in the centre of the room in similarly low-key colours.
From here, gradually work upwards through the room, contemplating walls and architectural features like skirting, architraves and cornicing as well as what colour to paint the ceiling – remember, that it too should be thought of as a wall rather than accidentally left white. Ponder whether the scheme will use wallpaper or paint and how many neutral shades to include in any decision-making.
Furniture and accessories aren’t to be overlooked either. This is the area where deep exploration of the multitude of materials and finishes available should take place. It is these differences in texture that inject an interior with richness and visual interest. Imagine silky sateen against plush velvet and luxurious mohair on any textiles and upholstered bedroom furniture, alongside mirrored bedside tables and white oak storage pieces decorated with faux snakeskin and shagreen trinket boxes and accessories all in a creamy, soothing selection of shades.
Neutrals are plentiful, ranging from shades of white to tones of tan and taupe. The term essentially means without colour, but other muted, mellow hues are frequently part of neutral palettes, such as blush pink and brushed metallics that have lost their gleam.
Equally, many of the classic neutrals aren’t as devoid of colour as people assume. Most have undertones that classify them as either a warm or a cool neutral. For example, a yellow-based cream such as the one seen in The Rug Company cream scheme is a warm neutral, whereas the Katharine Pooley bedroom features a blue-based grey which is firmly in the cool neutral group.
So, when browsing neutral bedroom colour options, be sure to take into account whether you wish your setting to bask in a warming neutral glow or to remain somewhere more shaded.
Image Credit: Katharine Pooley
In order to define which colours are strictly neutrals, look not to the colour wheel – they’re never shown on here – but instead recall that they’re the result of mixing two complimentary colours or adding white, black or grey to a pure colour. Some colourists maintain that neutrals can be split into pure neutrals (variants of black, white and grey) and near-neutrals, such as shades of brown, like tan and mocha. Either way, grey is always counted as an example of a neutral, and it’s grey bedroom ideas that are amongst the most popular.
Image Credit: Brady Williams
Even more celebrated than grey, white bedroom ideas are used far and wide. Crisp and contemporary on one hand or soothing and familiar on the other, it’s immensely versatile and forms a blank canvas for you to experiment with other colours or to keep things pure and simple as Brady Williams has done in this serene scheme.
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
Once regarded as bland, beige bedroom ideas have been cropping up more and more in recent years, helped by the surge of interest in the hue on the catwalks. With more depth than white and cream, but not quite entering into the realm of brown tones, beige is a halfway house that blends with other colours very gladly indeed.
It suits metallics, it acts as foil against white, it’s harmonious with blush pink and it is the perfect backdrop against pops like raspberry because of beige’s natural pink base. This bedroom by Helen Green Design is proof that beige is by no means boring.
Image Credit: The Rug Company
Cream is undoubtedly back on the scene. Like beige, it’s received lots of bad press because of its supposedly dated reputation, which it has finally shaken off. In fact, cream has the calibre to create a strikingly simple room design that’s at once minimal and rich in contemporary character, which The Rug Company can evidence in its pared-back bedroom pictured.
A colour often misjudged and misdescribed, taupe in its purest sense is an intermediate shade between dark brown and grey. Occasionally it’s described as putty, and mistaken for tan, which alludes to the fact it is not a single shade but rather a description for a collection of tones within that bracket. An incredibly versatile colour, taupe bedroom ideas might include one central piece of furniture such as a taupe textile on a headboard, or it could be spread across curtains, cushions and even artwork.
Image Credit: Sophie Paterson
If you’re struggling to find a white that’s quite right and not satisfying the level of warmth you’re seeking, an ivory bedroom is an idea to consider. This neutral has a more generous dose of yellow in its undertone, naturally lending itself to more traditional decor.
Welcoming and helping a room to feel instantly at ease, ivory is also a good bedfellow for all other neutrals, so is a helpful shade if you wish to create a colour palette of multiple neutral tones. It brings lightness and brightness to a bedroom, but benefits from the occasional point of contrast such as dark wood furniture.
Neutrals don’t need to be the overriding theme of a room. Perhaps having neutrals as an accent to a brighter scheme is more fitting to your style. Any neutral shade has the potential to fulfil this duty, but metallic neutrals work especially well in smaller bursts.
Alternatively, unleash the soft sheen of a toned-down metallic and use it en masse as Elicyon has in this final shimmering bedroom. Alternate between styles of iridescent neutral as they have on the contrasting wall treatments while picking up on those tones in core pieces of furniture, such as taupe on the bench and cream on the throw at the foot of the bed so the entire scheme speaks the same neutral language.