How a White Palette Makes it Easier to Add Color to Your Home
Learning how to Add color to your home is so much easier with a neutral color palette. I can’t wait to share how I “neutralized” our home so I could add in More color.
Before I started transforming the decor in my home to a farmhouse style, I had a lot of color in my house. My living room was tan with highlights of aqua and my family room was gray, dark red, and green. Our master bedroom was themed in yellow with orange highlights. Oh heavens, now that I am writing this I realize how awful it sounds! What was I thinking? Today I am going to share what you need to do to your home before you add color.
Having lots of color in your home looks nice (ok, maybe not always) but it really makes it difficult to decorate for the seasons and holidays. Trust me, I tried and it was really hard.
So what’s the secret?
You need to neutralize your home first. Huh?
If you can make some changes and use more neutral colors, then it will be a lot easier to add color to your home.
Let me show you what I mean.
Here are a few photos of my former (aka BEFORE) attempts to decorate with color. Notice my “Christmas” decorations with the aqua and green holiday balls? My holiday Christmas wrapping paper was all in turquoise and white. It was a pretty holiday theme except it just didn’t look and feel like Christmas.
Having a neutral palette in your home is more calming and easy to work with. Once I realized this, I had the couches in our living room slipcovered in off-white. The chairs were also slipcovered and sent up to the master bedroom. The drapes came down (the sun had ruined them) as did some of the artwork.
Now don’t panic. Our living room is neutral but I never intended for it to always be neutral.
You have already seen how our master bedroom is gray and white.
And it used to look like this. I know you are laughing about now. I know I am.
Our dining room looks like this. It’s neutral but has a very fun color on the walls.
And it used to look like this.
With a neutral palette, it is so easy to change pillow covers and add fresh flowers and accessories to add a seasonal theme to a room. When I decorate our home for the holidays, it is so much easier than I imagined! You don’t have to take things away when your room is decorated in neutral colors. Instead, all you have to do is add color.
How to Add Color to Your Home
The Dining Room
You just saw a neutral photo of our dining room. Look how I transformed it for Christmas.
And here it is for fall.
This is what it looked like in the spring.
The Master Bedroom
Our master bedroom had a wonderful holiday feel with minimal decor but fun pops of color.
The Living Room
Adding a little bit of color to our living room can make a huge difference.
I seem to love adding orange/coral/peach to our living room. This was for spring.
The Family Room
Our family room has a very limited palette. I love the comfy, chippy, and comfortable look.
This is how I just styled it for fall this year. Even a bit of color makes a huge difference.
Here is my family room decked out for the holidays. I absolutely love this!
I added a little spring decor last Easter to warm up the room.
I hope these photos show how simple it was to add color to our neutral decor. First I neutralized some of the rooms in our home. Then I just added some colorful accents.
I should address how I keep my white furniture looking clean. All of my couches have slipcovers so they can be washed or dry cleaned. Here is a blog post I wrote about how to wash your slipcovers. Also, in our family room, our couches are typically covered with white vintage quilts. We (and our dog Sport) spend a lot of time in our family room and this helps keep the slipcovers clean. It helps so much.
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It all looks beautiful! I, for one, love the look without curtains/drapes. Your simple, but gorgeous touches look perfect and not overly done. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you so much, Michelle, I am glad you enjoyed.
Love the before and after pictures but since most of us can’t afford to replace that many items or the cost of custom slip covers what do suggest as the priority that will make biggest impact?
Adding neutral decor to our home didn’t happen overnight, I promise. The first thing I did was paint. I lightened the walls and painted them more neutral. Next, I started with the slipcovers. I covered the living room couches. I went to a local upholsterer and he was much cheaper than other options I researched. I also shopped flea markets and vintage sales and found some great pieces for next to nothing. It takes time and patience. It has been a fun journey.
We did find that having slipcovers made was much more affordable than we realized, we used a local upholstery guy. If not, you could start with the pillows or blankets on the couch to add white!
I love the neutral palette. Also Love your lamps and chandeliers. I do need a smaller size chandelier. Where did you purchase all of your yours? Thanks and heading over to IG.
Pam, if you head to my blog and click the link “shop my home” you will find lots of items there that will lead you to the links for certain items!
I’m working on neutral colors, love it. You’re exactly right, easy change for seasons. I like to change decor with the seasons. Fantastic ideas.
Thank you, Millie. I am glad that you enjoyed!
I love neutrals, but they’ve never worked for me. I’m envious of those who can, though! Yours are great.
See my ‘House and Grounds’ link on my website for my very strong colors.
Thank you, Shoo!
I love the neutrals and bare windows, my remodel is similar…In my bedroom though Ive accented with a light aqua seafoam green but I’m looking for wall art above my bed, did you paint the trio of pictures to the right of your fireplace (in greens and whites?) something like those would be perfect!
I meant left of the fireplace!!
I LOVE your style the rooms are all beautiful not plain at all!! Thank you for the lesson it’s a good one
What color paint did you use on all of the walls? Love the look!
Oh yes I too would love to know what color you used on all you walls, dining room, living room
At last, a clear, simple explanation of why neutral is best. Thank you. You’ve saved me from decor disaster.
You are right about it being hard to decorate for all the seasons if you have colorful furniture!
It is limiting and it takes a lot of time and thought to pull it off.
Thank you for sharing with us
Thank you Linda for reaching out to me. I appreciate the feedback!
Your home is beautiful, and I love hearing and seeing your transformations. I have a question about the ‘windows’ on the wall in your Family Room. I love the look, and wondered if that was something you bought, or something you made. I would love to see a head on photo of it.
Hi Carole – I bought the windows at a couple of different flea markets and then assembled the “window wall”. You can search the blog for “window wall” (https://my100yearoldhome.com/creating-a-window-wall-with-old-windows/) and find the post that describes how I created it as well as pictures of it head on. Let me know if you make one and how yours turns out!
You are a natural, but for people like myself who has different choosing colors can you give me the name of the paint colors you used?
Very good suggestion made to get the slipcover made. I had not thought of that.
Absolutely, if you go to my blog and click on Home Tour you can click on any room and the wall paint color will be listed at the top.
How do I click on your blog? I would to know what colors you use in your home. Thank you
Head to my100yearoldhome.com and click on Home Tour and then click on whatever room you are looking for and it will tell you the paint color right at the top!
Could you please tell me where you purchased the darling lights over the table (the table behind the sofa)? Thank you! I love all of your lighting!