Designing your home with neutral colours

Neutral colours are very on-trend for interiors at the moment, but how do you design cool, calm spaces that don’t feel cold and clinical? Interior designer Shelley Ferguson is here to help. She’ll show you the power of using texture to bring those neutral interior spaces to life – and when you master it, you can create cosy inviting spaces even with pale tonal colours. 



When you’re choosing furniture don’t just think about the colour and style – think about texture. Have you ever sat down on a couch and you just don’t like the feel of it? Texture is important, especially for pieces you will sit on all the time, so take the time to look at all of the different textures and weaves available when you’re buying furniture.


When playing with neutrals, lighting is important. Adding the right lighting can take a room from cold and clinical to warm and cosy, so think about lighting as a texture in all the different levels of your room. Consider what lighting you’ll need – maybe spotlights, down-lights, pendants up at the ceiling level, or floor lamps to give you that beautiful light over your shoulder. Then you can add things like candles or table lamps at a lower level on side tables. This will create a really beautiful atmosphere - simply using light.

“When choosing lightbulbs from the store, make sure you go with warm white over cool white – it will take you room from cold and clinical, to warm and cosy.”


Plants are a really fun way to add texture in the home, and it’s a good way to bring some of your own interior aesthetic into a neutral room as well. Shelley suggests playing with scale, so have a couple of pot plants on smaller side tables, and then have a large plant in the corner of the room that reaches way up high. This will help bring the texture up through the room, as well as down low.


Soft furnishings

Adding curtains that reach the entire height of the room really helps to bring in texture. Think nice soft layers that help bring that cosy texture to your room. For cushions and throws, try and mix up your texture. Use different shapes of cushions, so mix a square with an oblong, with a circle, and try different textures and colours for all of them. Think about a neutral colour palette that still has some points of difference - a really pale white, right through to a soft smoky grey is beautiful, and adds some colour and texture while still sticking to the theme. 

So take some time to get to know textures - feel them, touch them, see which ones you love, and try putting them together in different combinations to see what suits the look of your place.

Discover more interior design inspiration - follow us on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with all the latest content from Shelley, or check out her latest articles below.

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