Paint: Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

There’s a lot to be said for using neutral paint colours around the home. They do not shout for attention, they are calming, and they provide a great basis for introducing colours through furnishings, textiles and accessories. They are also the sensible option if you think you may be selling soon, as they will not put off potential buyers. But it’s often thought that they are boring, unadventurous and dull. Not so. These lovely images from The Paint and Paper Library show us exactly how we can use neutral colours to be anything but bland.

As Marketing Director Ruth Mottershead explains: “Customers should never feel that using neutrals and whites is unadventurous! In fact, working with the architectural ‘families’ and their subtle colour variations can actually create a highly sophisticated scheme. With the new imagery, we wanted to demonstrate how versatile the palette could be: the colours can be used to produce the subtle variations that would normally be achieved by light, and we also wanted to show how effortlessly they provide a natural base to layer up or, alternatively, frame bolder colours.”

Add Wallpaper

The elegant grey hues in this room have been enlivened by the wallpaper glimpsed through the door opening. Keep it simple and sophisticated by using a darker shade of the paint colours and most important of all, use wallpaper sparingly.

Paint Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

CEILING: COTTON V. WALLS: COTTON II. WOODWORK: COTTON I. FAR WALL: ALOE WALK – PERSE GREY

Contrast Neutrals with a Bold Colour

The neutral shades in this smart hallway have been complemented but a bold blue that has bee picked up from the traditional floor tiles. The hall is the perfect place to use a bold colour in an otherwise neutral home as you only pass through it. It also gives a stunning first impression to guests.

Paint: Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

WALL: BLUE’S BLUE. DOOR: SALT III. CEILING, ARCH AND SKIRTING: SALT I.

Add Highlights of Bolder Tones

Layering small highlights of bolder tones on top of the neutrals can be used to add detail and interest to a room. It’s most effective when used in unexpected places as demonstrated by this gorgeous ochre ceiling. Using the same colour from an adjoining space creates a seamless and natural-looking transition from room to room.

Paint: Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

CEILING: MUGA. WALL: PAPER III. LOWER WALL: PAPER V. DOOR ARCHITRAVE: PAPER III. FAR ROOM: MORNING ROOM, PAPER I.

Use Paint in Creative Ways

Using the same colour families in combination can add a subtle depth to a room and it can trick the eye into thinking all the colours are the same shade, which in turn can expand the sense of space and make low ceilings appear higher than they actually are. Alternatively, layering small highlights of bolder tones as demonstrated by this ‘faux’ dado, on top of the neutrals can be used to add detail and interest to a room.

Paint: Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

CEILING: STONE I. UPPER WALL: STONE II. SHUTTER: STONE II. STRIPE: MOLESKIN. LOWER WALL AND SKIRTING – STONE V.

Add Stencils

Stencils add pattern and interest in a much subtler way than wallpaper. They also add a more artisan look to a room contrasting with the period details and more neutral colours.

Paint: Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

ABOVE DADO: WILLOW II. WINDOW SHUTTERS: WILLOW V. LOWER WALL: WILLOW V. CABINETS: STABLE GREEN. FLOOR: WATTLE I. WALL: LIGHTHOUSE.

Be Adventurous With Use of Colour

A perfect example of neutral not being bland is this beautiful dining room. The period details and high ceilings are respected but the two-tone effect is very on-trend now. It also has the effect of creating a more intimate atmosphere for dining, which is turn is also helped by hanging the pendant lights low over the table.

Paint: Neutral Does Not Have to Mean Bland

UPPER WALL: STEEL V. LOWER WALL: STEEL II.

About The New Architectural Palette of Colours
  • Paint & Paper Library’s ‘Architectural Colours’ palette is a sophisticated yet user-friendly, colour-by-number system, designed to provide simple alternatives to pure white.
  • In a choice of 95 graduated shades, the palette includes easy-on-the-eye light tones and restful neutrals. Using different strengths of the same pigments produces subtle nuances of shade: used in conjunction, these gradations of tone empower both experienced professionals and aspiring homeowners to achieve a subtle and harmonious interior scheme.
  • Arranged chromatically in 19 groups of five gradual shades, numbered I, II, III, IV and V and ranging from light to dark and warm to cool, each tone can be used, either individually or in effortless combination, on ceilings, cornices, walls and woodwork. Additionally five tones of refreshing whites complete the collection.
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