Decor Disputes: Should We REALLY Never Buy These 4 Things in Neutral?

Decor Disputes: Should We REALLY Never Buy These 4 Things in Neutral?

A line has been drawn in the sand. With the help of this month's issue of Domino Magazine, the experts at Refinery29 identify 4 things we should 'NEVER' buy in a neutral color. Never? NEVER?? Kind of a strong word (and in all caps, no less) for something

  so subjective as interior design. Ultimately, only we can decide if these opinions should be rules. Read on and I'll tell you why or why not I subscribe to them.

Rule #1: No-neutral rule applies to pillows. I agree with this one. I don't have to tell you how expensive upholstered furniture is, so I prefer to add color and pattern with pillows to those pieces. Of course, when my color palette preferences change, I can just swap out the (relatively inexpensive) pillows.

The pillows in this picture will be much less expensive to replace that that pink sofa.

Rule # 2: Wallpaper. I've said it before and I'll say it a hundred times more: Wallpaper should be outlawed. It's not that I don't actually dislike it as a design choice. (I think it can look gorgeous.) No, my hatred of the stuff comes from having scraped it off one too many walls. (And, honestly, one wall is enough.) Refinery29 does suggest that we experiment with colorful, strong patterns in smaller spaces, like powder rooms and hallways. I find that interesting because it suggests we might not like it. And if we don't like it? We have to remove it! So, I'd like to tweak their rule and replace 'wallpaper' with 'paint color' and sum up Domino's example like this: Hallways, powder rooms, and entries are the perfect places to start experimenting with vibrant [paint colors].

A little color goes a long way in this entry:

Of course, if you'd rather not bust out the brushes, you could always add accessories to introduce color to those small spaces:

Rule #3: Art. I'm on the fence on this one. To be sure, vibrant-colored art brings rooms alive, but I also think black and white photography can add sophistication to a gas station restroom. Then again, maybe b & w isn't neutral to Refinery29. 

What this room lacks in color, it makes up for in B & W drama. 

And finally, rule #4: Runners (as in the rug variety). Again, I'm sitting on the fence for this one. I agree with Domino when they say that some color in stairways and hallways turn "utilitarian spaces into standout statements." However, like upholstered furniture, runners can be expensive to replace, especially if they're of good-quality or if they're on the stairs and have to be professionally installed. Perhaps a better way to bring color to these spaces is using Rule #3 or my amended Rule #2 . . . 

and paint on the runner.

Or to really blow your/my mind, how about wallpapering the risers?! (I give. I'd totally use wallpaper this way. So, maybe it shouldn't be outlawed.)


Now it's your turn to chime in. Do you agree with any of these 'rules?' Or should we just dispense with the rule-talk altogether?? Vive la individualisme!

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Courtney on Mar 05, 2014:

Honestly, I don't think ANY of those rules are valid.  I have seen rooms done in all neutral (adding variety with texture), and they were beautiful with a subdued, restful vibe.  Every single one of these is dependent on personal preference.  Shouty all caps "NEVER DO XYZ!!!" articles are nothing but click-bait.

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