Design Recipes: Dos and don’ts for using neutrals


There was a time when white on white décor was all the rage. But it was mostly for social areas such as living and sitting rooms that were not meant to be “touched” just merely admired and used as a gathering space for the occasional guest who popped in for “afternoon coffee or tea.”

Fast forward to today, when neutral décor and white on white is more popular than ever and an integral part of how those looking for a modern, clean look wish to have their space feel and still be functional. Love the look of neutrals and white on white décor? Here are some tips on how to integrate this timeless color palette into your home décor.


1. Do use art as a way to springboard a white on white color palette into your space.

2. Do use white and neutral colored pieces for main upholstery such as sofas and chairs.

3. Do blend different shades of white and cream in the same space, as long as they are the same temperature such as cool white with other cool tones and warm shades with other warm tones.

4. Do pair metals such as brass with white on white décor.

5. Do add mirrors in spaces that are white on white. Keep in mind, white surfaces help to “bounce” light and further reflect.


1. Don’t be afraid to purchase white leather furniture. Nervous? Consider alternatives such as Naugahyde.

2. Don’t ignore the opportunity to bring in a sense of contrast using elements such as black, chocolate brown and charcoal gray.

3. Don’t use shades of white that are overly yellow or gray as they can often read “dirty or stained”.

4. Don’t just use white on white in social areas, consider them for rooms in which you desire a soothing, calm color palette such as bedrooms.

5. Don’t forget the opportunity for “portable” design elements in white such as pillows, throws and ceramics.

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