The Queer Eye guru has gained Emmy recognition for his expertise – and his most recent advice is amongst his most helpful to date. So, what are Bobby Berk’s tips for using neutrals? In an exclusive interview with H&G, Bobby shared neutral living room ideas – including how to create a refreshingly balanced palette – and how to give your room an organic feel.  Below, he shares his interior design tips – and everything else you need to know for a beautiful scheme. 

Bobby Berk’s tips for using neutrals 

‘Even a room that’s lacking in color can still be bursting with visual appeal. In fact, I love working with a neutral color palette because it can really translate into any design style. But the key to doing it successfully is to embrace a variety of elements that will add interest,’ Bobby says. But how do you add interest? 

1. Layer statement neutrals  

‘Think about pieces that draw your eye, like sculptural vases, patterned pillows, or a graphic rug. Layering these items will make a room come to life, even when using only neutral shades,’ he explains.  The designer continues, explaining how to mix patterns in a room in a way that adds instant interest to your room. ‘These pieces can also bring in an array of tones and patterns that will make the space feel much more dynamic, too.’  Bobby also suggests interrupting a neutral scheme with artwork, which, he says, is another ‘excellent way to add interest. ‘Consider using a mix of different media, scale, and framing styles,’ he adds. 

2. Combine contrasting materials  

‘You’ll want to combine materials and textures, which will create contrast and a sense of dimension. A room without a lot of color can tend to look really flat when you stick with similar materials,’ Bobby explains. So, which textures does he recommend using?  ‘That’s why I like to bring in warm wood tones, stone, and textured accessories that will create a sense of depth.’

3. Create a varied scheme with upholstered furniture 

‘Upholstered furniture is another way of varying a scheme, by pairing smoother fabrics (like velvet or leather) with chunkier, woven knits,’ Bobby suggests. He recommends adding natural accessories such as woven baskets, plants, and a dried branches for an organic aesthetic.  

Where to shop for neutrals 

I love Zara Home’s (opens in new tab) bedding and linens – as there are always lots of lovely textures and materials in simple shades. Room 365 (opens in new tab) is great for ceramics, trays, candles, and other accessories that will ensure plenty of interest in an understated room.  As the power of neutrals shows no signs of wavering, we expect Bobby’s neutral home ideas will save our schemes for seasons to come.