Room We Love: Palette Perfection

Interior designer Phoebe Howard created a casual yet sophisticated sitting room by incorporating a warm, neutral color palette
Designer Phoebe Howard uses a neutral color palette to create a calming, beautiful space

NEUTRAL PALETTE Before installing a neutral color palette, designer Phoebe Howard warns, make sure you know if you’re someone who wants color in the home, too. “If you’re not, this look won’t work for you. It’s not for everyone,” says Howard, adding “it’s really difficult to work with neutrals because there’s nothing to hide behind, so look at the fabrics in bright light to make sure they are complementary with one another.”


COLOR Consider a dose of color in a monochromatic, neutral room. Though the homeowners wanted a neutral color palette, Howard included a delicate hint of blue by adding this pillow to the already airy and bright room.


END TABLE  Keep it (almost) even when it comes to the height of side tables in a room, otherwise a space can look unbalanced. “Make sure end tables are within two inches of each other height-wise if the lamps are matching on the tables,” Howard says.


NATURAL FIBERS As a trend, natural fiber rugs like this seagrass rug have staying power—and for good reason. “It has a great look and a great price,” Howard says. “And it works in just about any color situation.”


SOFA Give your furniture some air. In lieu of a more traditional sectional, Howard opted for three separate pieces, which left a casual space between each. “I could’ve used a sofa and a love seat, but I thought the silhouette of the one-arm chaise would be prettier in front of the window,” she says. “You have to carefully balance the arms, the furniture, the legs—all of the proportions for [using three separate pieces] to look right.”


FABRIC Vary the texture of upholstery and pillow fabrics to add interest to a space that presents a neutral, monochromatic color palette—otherwise the room can feel flat, Howard says. “If you want to use neutrals and you have a young family, make sure you put fabric protection on the fabrics. Or use outdoor fabrics, which are easier to clean.”

Categories: Dwell, Home (migrated to spaces), Spaces