Master Bedroom Series: Neutral Mood Board and How to Combine Patterns

When my husband and I got married, I was so excited to start decorating our bedroom, however it also posed some new challenges. I wanted our bedroom to feel light, airy, and a bit feminine, BUT I also had to get my husband on board with this decorating scheme, so anything too girly was out of the question. Fortunately, my husband is pretty accommodating, so as long as my color scheme didn’t scream pink, I knew it would probably be ok. So, I settled on a light neutral palette, and I also incorporated black wood tones to add an element of contrast and lend a heavier more “masculine” touch to the room.

One of the keys to working with an all neutral color palette is to add a lot of visual interest through patterns and textures. I absolutely love layering patterns so this was a fun challenge for me. Here is a mood board of some of the different textures and patterns that I incorporated into the room:

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It can be tricky to combine neutral patterns together without some of them clashing or the whole room becoming too busy. Here are some tips I’ve learned from working on our bedroom:

1) Stick with neutrals in the same color family. This might sound funny because we’re talking about neutrals, not colors, right?? But every neutral has a color undertone, and your room will look much more cohesive if you keep those undertones more or less consistent. For instance, in my mood board above, you can see that while my neutrals range from ivory, to beige, taupe, or even a pinky blush, they all have generally warm undertones. I have avoided any stark cool whites or any neutrals that dip too close to gray. Keeping the undertones consistent allows the various patterns and textures to blend together harmoniously.

2) Choose a primary pattern, complimented by other supporting patterns. Your primary pattern is the pattern which occupies the most visual space in the room. In my bedroom, the primary pattern is a quilted floral bedspread (displayed above the glass box in my mood board). Because this pattern has a lot of visual interest and it takes up a lot of visual space, I kept my secondary patterns, such as my ivory shag rug (pictured far right in the mood board) fairly quiet. Small accent pieces like throw pillows (shown at the far left in my mood board) can be a good way to incorporate more complex and detailed supporting patterns without making the whole room feel too busy.

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3) Consider incorporating a stripe. Especially if you are working with a lot of floral or paisley patterns, incorporating a striped pattern can really help to break up all of the swirls and other decorative elements. Striped patterns are strong and clean, and they can provide a good visual anchor for a room. And although stripes can often be bold, they don’t have to be; I chose a very soft light brown stripe with a natural base as the upholstery fabric for our bedroom chair. It adds an important element of contrast while still remaining cohesive with the rest of the room’s decorating scheme.

4) Add visual interest through different textures. One potential concern in choosing an all neutral color palette is the danger of it becoming bland and boring. Incorporating a wide variety of textures, both through fabrics as well as other elements in the room, is a great way to add visual interest and increase the sense of “dimension” in a space. I had so much fun seeing how many different textures I could combine in our bedroom! You can get a sense of the wide variety of textures from my mood board: the plush shag rug, embossed velvet throw pillow, embroidered and beaded throw pillow, carved wooden tray, glass and metal box, and pearl jewelry. All these elements combine to create a visual feast for the eyes!

I hope you find these tips helpful and enjoyed seeing this sneak-peak of our master bedroom. I’ll be sharing more about the rest of the room in future posts, so please stay tuned. Thanks for reading!