Kelly Wearstler Shares How She Uses Neutrals in Home Decor

Famous for her dramatic contemporary plans – often designed with bold pops of color – and, of course, her collaboration with Farrow & Ball, LA-based interior designer Kelly Wearstler is also a big lover of neutral interiors.

“An entirely neutral piece can still be inspiring and have depth,” she says, speaking exclusively to H&G. Below, Kelly reveals how she uses neutrals in her interior design projects. So if you’re looking for neutral room ideas – or just advice on decorating with neutrals – heeding these expert tips will ensure you have a professional level of success.

1. Think texture first

Living room by interior designer Kelly Wearstler

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

Whether you’re looking for neutral living room ideas or inspiration in transitional spaces, “it’s really important that you consider texture, whether it’s a pattern, like a jacquard weave in a fabric, or by mixing textures, like a matte wall but a very glossy paint on the ceiling,” says Kelly Wearstler.

“These elements help create an interest that will make the monochromatic neutral room sing.”

2. Add a splash of energy for impact

Dining room in Kelly Wearstler's house

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

“If someone wants a very soothing piece, I would say stay completely in the neutral world with a more monochromatic look,” says Kelly.

“However, if you want a splash of energy, add an amazing piece of art or a colorful rug to create interest and personality.”

3. Make sure the lighting is perfect

Pink/red dining room by interior designer Kelly Wearstler

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

“Lighting is really important when choosing your neutrals,” advises Kelly Wearstler.

“If a space gets a lot of natural light, I tend to choose lighter neutral shades and take advantage of the beautiful shade that will appear throughout the day, creating another layer of texture.

“In rooms with limited natural light, it’s naturally more moody, so darker neutrals can be really effective.”

4. Bring neutrals into the bathroom

Black bathroom with patterned floor and plants

(Image credit: Future/Colin Poole)

“Many rooms suit the neutral look, but since neutrals are so relaxing, I especially like a neutral monochromatic design for a master bathroom. It will be very fresh, clean and balanced,” Kelly advises.

5. Know where to buy neutrals

Living room in Kelly Wearstler's house

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler/The Ingalls)

Below, Kelly shares her sources:

Betty K. Park