Tuesday, June 05, 2007

State of Neutrality

As of late, much of the design buzz has been about color. Fuchsia pinks, vivid blues, oranges, and reds are all the rage. While bright hues are great, we shouldn't forget about the perennial chicness of a neutral palette. It takes skill to create a neutral room that is warm and inviting rather than drab and boring. Mixing creams, taupes, beiges, and browns can be just as difficult as working with color. Adding to the versatility of this palette is the fact that a neutral color scheme is inviting to both sexes. Here are a few examples of neutral rooms done well.

The "Money Room" of Mrs. Vincent Astor (so named as this was the room where Brooke Astor oversaw her late husband's charitable foundation), designed by Parish Hadley.

Living Room in the home of decorator Alexa Hampton (House Beautiful, June '02)

Living Room in the home of Frette designer Cristina Azario (House Beautiful, Feb. '02)

Even swinging decorator David Hicks knew the value of a neutral room

Photo at top: Living Room of Mrs. Gilbert Miller, designed by Billy Baldwin


  1. Beautiful rooms! I love the window treatments in the Azario living room, although the rest of the rooms seems a bit of a hodge podge

  2. Thanks Linda! I really like all of these rooms too! Re: the Azario apartment, I guess with Manhattan apartments being the size that they are, perhaps she was trying to squeeze as much in as possible. Just a guess!

  3. Love the "money room!"

  4. Loving both the Astor room and Hampton's - it's so appealing to me when the room is a variation of tones then the details are like little presents.

  5. I agree! Even if you love color, starting with that neutral palette let's you add and subtract color as you change your mood!

  6. KC and Katie- Both excellent points!

  7. Anonymous1:57 PM

    I have so enjoyed your posts on color but it is also nice to see the amazing warmth, as you said, that is offered in these more neutral rooms. Alexa Hampton's living room is so inviting and chic, and is a great inspiration for how to coalesce texture, color, and a variety of interesting design elements in order to make a room come to life . Thanks POC!

  8. casapinka6:40 PM

    These rooms are so warm and inviting,in fact hiding the fact that they are "neutral."