Column: Neutral colors make bold statements

IO 1124 Randy Sorrell
Neutral colors are safe and timeless and complement textures. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Randy Sorrell and Bill Bernard

In the remodeling world, the use of neutral colors is a staple of the design palette. Chip and Joanna Gaines from the “Fixer Upper” TV show have built an impressive empire using grays, beiges and whites. Neutral colors are often characterized as being safe and timeless. Many designers, when they’re feeling especially avant-garde, may dare to use greige (gray with a little beige mixed in). Neutral colors can be appealing if used properly and paired with appropriate accent colors and textures that complement and enhance one another to help bring spaces to life. Neutral colors can play an important role in helping your eye move throughout spaces and pause at various focal points.

Stop and think of how many kitchens you’ve seen where the perimeter cabinets are a quiet shade of white and the island becomes a focal point either because the countertop is a different color or the island cabinets are a unique relatively bold color. A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar where the guest designer encouraged using color as a neutral. Suggesting any color, if properly repeated throughout a space, can be considered a neutral. So, while technically not neutral colors, the repeated use of any color can function in much the same way as traditional neutrals.

Because neutrals are relatively easy on the eyes, they tend to encourage relaxation and harmony. The use of neutral colors can impart generally positive connotations from simplicity to sophistication.

So, don’t forget to embrace the Greige.

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