Neutral Walls: Like a Blank Canvas

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If painting is on the schedule for a room in your house, don't rule out neutrals. More and more people are trying brighter, bolder colors on the wall, but even if you choose to go neutral, your room can still look dynamic and interesting: it's all about seeing your neutral walls as a blank canvas and playing off of them with textures, patterns, and strong decorating.

Here are a look at the popular neutral wall color choices and some ideas about decorating with them:

White tends to give off two feelings: tranquil or cold. To keep it tranquil, go with a light and airy feel in the room. Soft elements, natural details, a strong color used as an accent (green or blue for a calmer room, yellow or orange for a more lively room), and natural light will give it an open, light feeling. On the other hand, you can go for a little more modern edge by heavily accenting a dark color like black or gray to contrast with the white walls.

Gray can actually be an extremely elegant color for a room, and if you play other colors off of it, can look beautiful and welcoming. To go for a more luxurious look, play off the gray with white and add some shine: fabrics with sheen, subtle metallic details, and strong lighting will make the room look rich. For a softer room, introduce a blue, green, or light yellow to the room—but keep the strong lighting! 

Brown can be used in any room with almost any combination of colors, it's that versatile. Keep the tones natural with rich chocolates, tans, and creams for a earthy feel, elevate it to a crisper room with white, or play off of its natural hue with bright orange, dark red, or sunshine yellow as accent colors.

Black is a dramatic color—there's no way to make it not dramatic, and that's okay! If you're ready to add in black, be careful not to make the whole room dark. Bounce off the black walls with white and black for a classic look, add some edge with silvers and reds, or soften it with lighter blues, greens, and purples. Either way, a black room is going to command attention.

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