Can Neutrals Be Edgy? This Room Proves They Can Be

A multipurpose room's playful mix of colors, patterns and organic textures prove neutrals can be both practical and edgy.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Soothing Multipurpose Bedroom + Office

Ultra-white, black-brown and sand tones transform a multipurpose room into a tranquil space that doubles as an at-home office and a cozy spot for guests to sleep. Accented by a muted tonal mix, the room's organic textures add visual depth.

Woven Rattan Chairs

When decorating rooms with neutrals, a wide mix of textures keeps the space feeling layered and tactile. In addition to adding a sculptural element, this pair of hanging chairs introduces rough, woven rattan to contrast against the bright, white walls.

Ebony-Stained Millwork

Interior designers often choose black-brown wood tones for floors, ceilings and custom cabinetry. The darkness evokes a sense of glamor and high-end appeal and also adds high contrast when paired with sand tones or white. Ebony is a super-dark shade of brown that appears black, but if you look at it closely, it’s actually a few shades lighter.

Mix of Light + Dark Tones

Overall, this neutral space is a play on contrast. The walls and ceiling are covered in bright white paint to keep the room feeling open and airy, and the built-in storage wall introduces contrast with modern cabinetry finished in an ebony tone.

Contrasting Black-Brown + White Pattern

If you're looking for a neutral-toned pattern that's graphic and packed with contrast, stick with white and black-brown prints. Chocolate brown, which has a touch of red in its coloring, can become washed out when paired with a light color; however, the "almost black" character of black-brown maintains its contrast regardless of available natural light.

White-Painted Brick Walls

Indoor brick walls add industrial, historic and rustic charm; however, the brownish red tone of the brick drastically limits the possible color palettes a homeowner can use. To keep the brick pattern and the rich texture, paint the brick bright white in a flat finish. The white brick will make a room seem much brighter and allow virtually any color scheme to work well.

Sculptural Wood

Natural wood accents introduce rich texture and organic shape to a space. Keep driftwood or burl in its natural state by adding a clear sealant. This will allow the walnut tones of the wood to read naturally and also keep the material authentic.

Charcoal + Taupe

The most commonly used neutral is beige; however, this color can be considered boring, cold and even contractor-grade. Two excellent alternatives are charcoal and taupe. Taupe has slightly more white undertones that keep it from reading yellow as beige tends to do. Charcoal is a great alternative for homeowners who are interested in dark colors but afraid to use black.

Wall-to-Wall Sisal

Wall-to-wall carpet often gets a bad rep from design enthusiasts who associate it with the cut pile carpet popularly used in the 70s and 80s. Seagrass and sisal are both excellent options for homeowners interested in introducing pattern and texture in a way that feels organic. Available in a wide range of colors and weaves, sisal can make a room feel more relaxed or tailored, depending on how it's applied. Because this is a high-traffic room, a sand-tone sisal was used to help mask spills and general wear and tear.

Upholstered Closet Doors

To add a touch of high design, ready-made bifold closet doors were given an update with fabric and batting. For a not-too-overwhelming pattern, a transitional geometric with shades of charcoal, greige and brown was used.

Black Iron Detail

Nail-head detail is commonly used by designers and decorators to add layers of interest to furniture. While nickel, chrome and brass are the most popular metallics, iron and bronze are less expected and can add a more masculine vibe.

Receding Details

Dark neutrals such as black, brown and charcoal can be a design trick for making things recede. Here, the closet was given more depth thanks to the black-brown millwork used for its interior.

Aged Brown Leather

The trick to using leather correctly is to stick with tones that don't read overly rich, sexy or gaudy. Here, the room's main door was given an update with leather upholstery in an aged brown tone that's slightly faded and worn, resulting in more of a vintage look. In addition to a mix of tones, the room was outfitted with organic textures that add visual depth.