Styling tips from Rebecca Kearns
How to decorate with neutrals
We have long admired the styling chops of Rebecca Kearns, who lives in North Carolina with her family. A home decorated in a neutral colour scheme is so versatile and classic, but can also be challenging to upkeep, or in some cases, boring and monotonous! Rebecca’s home is none of that; instead, it is both low-maintenance and beautifully styled in spite of a streamlined colour palette. We speak to her about her top tips on styling your home with classic neutrals.
1. Find the right white
“When deciding on the perfect shade of white for our home, we tested out dozens of swatches in various rooms and at varying times of the day. What we decided was to stick with a completely neutral white — meaning, it doesn’t pull cool or warm tones. Looking back, that was one of the most important decisions because it allowed us the flexibility to change our tonal preferences seamlessly over the years.
I initially decorated our home using cooler colours, accenting with olive green and subtle grey, but have since shifted to a creamier palette, with the truly neutral walls in our space allowing us to do this without any clashing. If you are just beginning to decorate your home in neutrals, I would recommend you consider which tone you prefer — cool and calm or warm and cosy, and go from there.”
2. Add visual interest through textures and layers
“It is much easier to make a neutral home feel inviting than you might think. And monotone does not always mean monotonous. I love to decorate in shades of tan, cream, and ivory.
Using an assortment of textures and adding layers is key! Adding soft rugs, woven throw blankets, and textured pillows can instantly change up a space by adding visual interest and movement.”
3. Stick to easily washable fabrics
“The biggest challenge for us in decorating our home in a neutral palette was figuring out ways to make our space look and feel liveable for our family of four. My young boys are only 3 and 5, so we are constantly finding dirt smudges and sticky fingerprints throughout our home — that’s life!
I tend to stick with fabrics that are kid-friendly and easily washable, giving me the freedom to choose whites and off-whites without worrying too much about stains. We use non-toxic cleaning products and source fabrics that can easily be washed right at home to combat grime build-up.”
4. Incorporate bold colours slowly
“Bold, saturated accent colours really pop in an otherwise neutral space, and this is most easily done with the addition of textiles. I recommend you slowly incorporate accent colours over time, and start by pairing a pillow showcasing a subtle pattern with a more subdued collection of pillows, or even switch out your area rug for a muted option with colour woven throughout.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and switch out the items that just don’t work. Your home design and preferred aesthetic will constantly evolve, so have fun with it!”
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