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Designers “Neutral” Advice T I M E L E S S


By Lesley Harris Colvett, photography from

It is no doubt that a neutral room provides a nice foundation for great design...a backdrop to then seamlessly add color, accessories, and art to create character and interest. Four Memphis interior designers share their expertise and take on “the neutral room” while incorporating color to the palette.

Cindy McCord Each project and client is unique, so when determining whether to use colorful or neutral tones depends on the client’s preferences, location of the project, and existing items to be used (if requested) must be taken into account. Neutrals are just as important as color in the overall scheme due to the fact that they play off each other depending on the direction of the project. If someone prefers a more monochromatic palette, splashes of color can be used for accent or interest. This can be done through a fun pillow fabric, artwork or accessories. If a client prefers more color, mixing it with neutrals can be effective and gives you the opportunity in the future to change the colors without having to redo the entire space. Cindy McCord Design 1289 South DuBray Place Collierville, TN 38017 901.610.3907

Warner Moore Every designer has a multitude of means at their fingertips to create visual interest. I generally use neutral tones and soft colors to create

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a flattering backdrop for beautiful furniture, interesting textures, and wonderful objects and art. I have found that tranquil palettes allow for flexibility when it comes to changing the elements of a room, as we all inevitably do over time. And perhaps since we spend our days immersed in pattern and color, we like to give our eyes a rest when we come home. In today’s frenetic world many people want a peaceful haven to come home to. A background palette of neutral tones throughout a house allows for color and contrast in accessories, artwork and flowers. It is also more versatile over time. I approach the color palette differently depending on the room’s function and the client’s color preference, since people are naturally drawn to certain colors. I like to create quieter backgrounds in more heavily used spaces. This is not to say that bold hues are never used. Color evokes emotion, so I save the effects of strong color for the rooms that are less heavily trafficked - like a formal dining room or powder room. When using bold color, I am extremely selective with a tendency to stay at the warm end of the spectrum. I like to create these bolder effects in

powder rooms, dining room and guest bedrooms. Since these rooms are used less frequently, they can benefit from an extra punch of color and pattern. Ultimately, a neutral background creates a canvas for layering the beautiful objects that you love, the art and furnishings that you respond to, and the accessories and accent colors that make the room work for you striking the balance of sophisticated elegance and comfort. Warner Moore Interior Design 475 North Highland, #12 A Memphis, Tennessee 38122 901.848.9832

Steve Nabers “The state of color has never been more restless,” according to the well-known paint company Sherwin-Williams, and I tend to agree. After the past few years of neutral palettes, we are seeing more and more color being presented at furniture markets, interior design publications, and industry offerings.  My personal design philosophy is not to follow trends per se.  However, if you don’t subscribe to the general industry direction for

4Memphis | August 2017  

Cool, Crafted Cocktails // Top Stylist Picks // Interior Designer Advice // Norbert Putnam // Go Red for Women // Project Green For...

4Memphis | August 2017  

Cool, Crafted Cocktails // Top Stylist Picks // Interior Designer Advice // Norbert Putnam // Go Red for Women // Project Green For...