Neutral Colors: Enhanced by Art

Although neutral, this small kitchen is filled with warmth because of many unifying details.
Alice Welsh Doyle

Neutral should never equal cold, and this kitchen is a prime example. While the basic palette is khaki, many details keep it from feeling stark or bland.

Homeowners Loryn and Doug Brazier favor a neutral scheme because it allows their art collection to take center stage. As an artist and gallery owner in Richmond, Loryn makes art a vital part of her decor. "The artwork, mostly landscapes, really stands out against the neutral walls; it adds splashes of color and pattern to the space," she explains.

The scheme also makes the room feel restful and warm. The backsplash stretches up to the molding and contributes to this effect. "The accent tiles add a touch of color without taking away from the neutral feel," notes interior designer Jo Anne Hale.

 

Painting the room khaki makes it feel larger than it is. In fact, continuing the wall color on the ceiling and trim helps to expand a small space visually. To reinforce the room's palette, the cabinets are also a similar color.

Sleek black granite, used for the countertops, enhances the neutral color scheme without competing with it. "Black is so important as an accent color," says Jo Anne. It offers a nice contrast.

By applying the techniques you see here, you can make neutrals work in a kitchen to create an atmosphere that's interesting and inviting.