Think neutrals can only be white, grey or beige? Not so! It turns out that lots of you are using unexpected shades—like muted pinks, oranges, yellows, and even greens—as stage-setting neutrals in your spaces. Which inspired us to investigate further. In today's edition of our
Melina, founder of 5th Floor Walkup, lives in a small studio. It was cozy to begin with, but we saw an opportunity to add even more charm. Her south-facing studio might be tiny, but it receives enough natural light to free up some options for non-white neutrals. In other words, we knew going with a darker color wouldn't make it feel too claustrophobic.
EXPERT TIP: Whether you should go with warmer or cooler colors is a totally personal preference. But, you need to start somewhere. Identify your "unchangeables"—larger or more expensive furniture pieces, architectural details (wood molding, exposed brick)—and use them to navigate towards the warmer or cooler end of the spectrum.
Painting Melina's bedroom with the warm yet subdued Seaside Villa from the Behr Premium Plus® Interior Collection was a great way to differentiate her sleeping area from the living area in a small studio. It warmed up the space, accentuated the abundant natural light, and ultimately gave the entire apartment a better sense of depth.
Melina wasn't sold right away. She worried that a strong pink color would be too bold, and that it would clash with the other colors in her space. But subtler, "dustier" shades like Seaside Villa are desaturated enough to serve as a true neutral rather than demand a room's attention—and the pale pink tone actually complemented the blue and warm yellows around the room. Melina warmed up to this surprising neutral, which glows in the natural light the bedroom gets.
To get the same look, choose a small room or alcove that's already delineated by an architectural feature. In Melina's case, this was her alcove bedroom, which is separated from the rest of the living space by the entryway and an archway. Use a warm neutral like Seaside Villa—try a few to find the right one for your light—to help differentiate the space without causing too stark a contrast or color confusion.
See other new ways to use neutrals and find your perfect palette in our New Neutrals Project.
This post is sponsored by Behr and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio.
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