This Portland Pad Aces the Neutral Look

A neutral color palette can be soothing and sophisticated. But, if being totally honest, when not done well, it's just plain boring. This Portland home by Bright Designlab shows how to do neutrals the right way. The firm designed the house in Portland's Beaumont-Wilshire area for a young family who asked them to balance its masculine architecture with softness and warmth. A palette of whites and grays was used throughout the home, accented by warm woods, brass, and touches of feminine blush. Rich shades of black were used to create a feeling of depth and drama, like in the bold yet understated master bedroom.

To keep the color palette from feeling flat, the designers brought in tons of texture, from Moroccan rugs and woven pillows to rich velvet upholstery and sheepskin throws. They also incorporated plenty of vintage furniture to make the space feel collected and organic. From the living room to the attic lounge, there's not a dull spot in sight.

bohemian neutral living room
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credit: Bright Designlab

The living room is infused with midcentury style, from the Ole Wanscher daybed to the Hans J. Wegner rocking chair. The vintage Moroccan rug from Kat + Maouche and woven side table add texture to the space.

eames chair
credit: Bright Designlab

To keep the leather Eames lounger from feeling too masculine, the designers topped it with sheepskin and a fringed pillow. The black Bestlite floor lamp and gray oak sideboard by Punt break up the white walls and create contrast.

midcentury white dining room
credit: Bright Designlab

One of the owners' fathers is an artist, so art played an important role in the design. Here in the dining room, a gallery wall of black-and-white photos was arranged above an Egg Collective sideboard. Bright Designlab chose an Apparatus light fixture to hang above the Saarinen table.

attic lounge
credit: Bright Designlab

The firm turned the attic into a comfortable and casual lounge area. The sharp angles of the ceiling are balanced by curves of the Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin table and Muuto sofa.

modern lounge
credit: Bright Designlab

A West Elm rug and Anthropologie Moroccan wedding blanket pouf help create a cozy vibe in one corner of the attic lounge.

black bedroom
credit: Bright Designlab

Walls painted in Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron and gleaming brass elements help set the mood in the master bedroom. Bright Designlab designed the custom walnut dresser.

blue bedroom
credit: Bright Designlab

This Ben & Aja Blanc mirror brings in the perfect mix of modern and bohemian.

pink bedroom
credit: Bright Designlab

Pink accent walls frame the bed in one of the guest rooms. The pop of feminine color gives the room a warm glow, especially when the Lambert & Fils sconces are illuminated.

neutral guest room
credit: Bright Designlab

A drawing of a Highland cow adds personality in another guest room. A brass side table serves as nightstand next to the Design Within Reach bed.


Elizabeth Stamp

Elizabeth Stamp

Elizabeth Stamp is a freelance writer splitting her time between New York and Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and CNN Style.