Designer Details that Add Interest to a Neutral Room

In anticipation of the 2013 DC Design House, I was perusing photos of last year's show house, and rediscovered the room of a favorite DC designer, Marika Meyer. Meyer is a master at creating soothing, neutral rooms that are anything but boring. While designers are often accused of going over the top to show off an array of tricks and trends, Meyer's rooms always remind me of the role "designer details" can play in subtly elevating a room.

A few details that brought life to her limited neutral color palette:


  • Unexpected contrast details like adding patterned fabric to the back of a chair or the back of a bookcase, or a band of trim to the bottom of the upholstery (as on the wing chair) highlights sculptural shapes and breaks up solids without calling too much attention.

  • Mix patterns in the same color family. The subtle patterns on the drapes and rugs, in tones that pick up the wall color, give the eye something to grasp without overpowering the room.

  • Layering a patterned rug over a solid one creates warmth and adds texture.

  • Mix furniture styles and shapes. While each piece of furniture could be described as curvy, the variety creates a conversation between the pieces which helps to keep the room from feeling flat.

  • Carry the accent color. The pops of deep blue move the eye around the room, infusing the greige with a sophisticated pop in every corner.

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To learn more about Marika Meyer, visit her website.

(Images: Leah Moss)

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