Design Dilemma: Banish the Neutrals! | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Banish the Neutrals!

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For some reason home decorators have embraced beige. And white. And mixtures of the two. It seems we have become afraid of using color. Perhaps because we move frequently and don’t want to turn off potential buyers, or perhaps we don’t quite trust our own taste. We are often afraid to make mistakes, and so we opt for what we see so often in staged homes and interior design magazines.

Whatever reason for our reliance on neutrals, it is safe to say it has become very boring. A life without color is a life unlived. So this post is dedicated to all of those out there who yearn to see more vibrant color.

1) Color in the kitchen. Have you noticed how an all-white kitchen seems practically de rigueur these days? What I love about the kitchen below is that it boldly takes an entirely fresh approach. Walls and the kitchen island are painted a chartreuse and turquoise, two colors the homeowner loves. But smartly, countertops and cabinets (which are more difficult to change) are left in natural materials and neutral colors that will mix nicely with almost any bright bold color the owner should choose.

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And some people have even taken the more radical step of splashing vibrant color on more expensive kitchen components that can’t easily be changed. For example, the kitchen below makes use of a fabulous lime on its countertops. The lime plays off a sunny yellow on the walls. Wood and white cabinets help offer balance to the rest of the color in the room.

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2) Colorful exteriors. How many of us opt for a muted beige or a safe gray when considering what color to paint our home exteriors? What a missed opportunity. Why should every house out there look just like the other? A unique color choice will set your home apart and lift your spirits, every time you see it.  For example, the yellow- green of the home below is fun, light-hearted and still tasteful, all at the same time.

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And here is yet another example of a home exterior that takes a few risks by stepping out of the beigey-gray zone. Okay, so there is a touch of gray, but the forest green and the dark red trim take this home to a whole new visual level.

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3) Colorful Living Rooms. For some reason, living rooms, dens and family rooms often end up one continuous ocean of beige. Beige walls. Beige couches. Beige rugs. Well take a look at this living room below. Red walls, an orange couch, a yellow ochre chaise and a green carpet provide a vibrant, vivid and fun atmosphere.

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An equally colorful approach is taken in the living room below, which manages to walk a line between bold and soothing at the same time. There is one gray couch, but we won’t hold it against this decorator. Magenta chairs, lime green curtains, a sea green carpet are all totally unexpected choices that work perfectly together.

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Sometimes, it’s not so much about banishing neutrals altogether as it is about using unexpected neutrals. Instead of the predictable taupe, beige or tan, the owners of the den below have opted for cream and a dark charcoal gray that reads almost as black. Cream and charcoal both work as neutrals, but appear far fresher than beige because they contrast against one another and provide drama. More pops of color provide surprise in the pillows, chair and oriental rug.

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Yes, it takes guts, but give it a try. Walls can always be repainted, so break out of the beige box!

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