Understated neutrals: 10 ways to use them

Neutrals are often associated with being "safe" and "boring". But I love how they can create an impact without being too loud. Here are 10 ways to use them on your projects. :)

Quick and easy burlap bags
1. Mix your textures.

Play up the contrast of textures like I did here with the rough burlap against the soft feminine lace and pretty bloom.

My first love is altered art

2. Try a little gold and bling.

Mix different shades and textures of gold on your elements to create interest but maintain colour harmony. And bling makes everything better. :)

Afternoon tea
3. Add black.

The contrast of black against the browns, beiges and whites really draws your eye to the focal point.

When elements appear to be unrelated
4. Add interesting elements in similar tones.

Take out all your neutral toned embellishments and put them in a pleasing cluster.

White lace makes everything pretty. Nothing more to say...*winks*

The embellished white wood monogram
6. Make something classy and timeless.

See 5. 

The top portion of the canvas was a mish mash of leftover white lace which were coloured with a gold Faber Castell Gelato. I then dab white gesso to bring out the lace details. The patterned paper was toned down with watered-down gesso so as now to compete with the blooms.

Handmade invitations
8. Go for a fun vintage vibe.

A little distressing on the edges, random splashes of tea stain and a cluster of vintage-inspired embellishments and these cards scream fun!:)

Will you be nicer to me Paris?
9.  Give the brown, white and gold combo a go.

Mix up the textures for an old world charm feel.

Vintage-inspired mixed media canvas
What do you collect?
10. Glam it up!

Play with gold and silver on walnut-ink stained vintage paper. Add a velvet bow and glam hardware for vintage glam! :)

There you have it. 10 ways to play with understated neutrals. Do you have a fave?


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Lynn said...

It was hard to narrow down my choice but I favor 2, 3 and 9. I rarely do anything with neutrals but you've proven that they do look great in a layout. Hey, could you take my photos and make some cool canvases? I love your work!

Lizzy Hill said...

If you MADE me pick, it would be #2....that cracked bg & those jewels....yum! You make neutrals absolutely this collection. I don't think I'm really a neutral girl...but I might just have to challenge myself now;)!!!

SD pooja said...

I rarely work with neutrals,I am very much amazed how you have made it look glamorous and all of the projects ,my fav ? recent postcards !

Suman Pandit said...

I love neutrals, I find them very elegant, but you really make them look glamourous !! love the first, burlap and lace !!

Lizzyc said...

Wow love each of these, but do love the addition of lace! And pearls! And flowers! Gorgeous creating!

Shylaashree said...


Hussena said...

Ohh I love each and everyone of them ..What a fabulous post ...Thank you so much for sharing these tips and tricks ..Totally agree with you on the white lace things definitely glams up any project :)

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

You ROCK everything you touch!!!!!!!!!!

Linda Breedlove said...

Love the ideas, Yvonne... neutrals are my life, LOL!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Audrey Pettit said...

I personally adore neutrals, so I'm super excited that you've addressed them here! You always have such fabulous tips, my friend! And your projects are stunning and completely inspirational!

dstandard said...

These are all just gorgeous!!! Each one is a total delight!

Lisa said...

It is just impossible to pick a fav - they are all amazing!! If forced, I'd have to say 9 because I love all of the details, the textures and the layers!! But everything you create is stunning my friend!! Have a great day :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

Cindy deRosier said...

My favorite is the monogram. I love neutrals. They focus the attention right where it should be and let the main elements sing.

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Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it. Have an awesome day!:)

Cheers, Yvonne.

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