Does limited color mean limited style? Not in this home. See how easy it can be to create a welcoming environment.
Neutral Colors: Subtle Statement (promo image)
Credit: John O'Hagan

Don't you wish there were a formula to use when it comes to designing a room? Well, there is. The living room of Vickie and Tommy Baker is a perfect example of neutral elements coming together to create a relaxed yet elegant space.

"One key when working with a neutral palette is layering texture throughout a room," says designer Carolyn Griffith of Charleston, South Carolina. She accomplishes this by combining fabrics and furniture. Linen is used on all upholstered pieces in the living room. Needlepoint pillows are scattered throughout the room, adding texture and color.

The creamy walls form the foundation. A few shades darker than the trim, the color envelops the space in warmth. Lighter tones work well because smaller areas will appear more spacious and darker rooms will seem brighter.

A sea grass rug anchors the seating arrangement. This natural material allows the various wood furnishings in the room to stand out. Here, the room and views, not the individual pieces, are the focal points.

A blend of different wood finishes makes up another layer. "The beautiful patina of the antique mahogany furniture lends warmth," says Carolyn. Likewise, the teak coffee table brings in a lighter shade of wood, without adding a contrasting color that would disrupt the harmony.

This home proves that by combining texture in your fabrics and floor covering, subtle wall and trim colors, different woods, and colorful art and accessories, you can make a big statement with a neutral color scheme.