Beige is back, baby!
Neutral home décor may be nothing new, but the rise of warm (or “new”) neutrals has us falling in love with the trend all over again. While varying shades of cool whites and grays have reigned for more than a decade, in a post-pandemic world, the trend has warmed to comforting neutral shades and subtle earth tones.
“The warm neutrals create a type of ambience that you can bring within your home … to create a type of calmness,” says Plymouth resident Whitney Gonzenbach, owner of Curated Boutique in Medina. “There’s so much going on in the outside world, that when you come home, you want to feel calm.”
The hallmark of the new neutral style is muted colors found in nature that have warm undertones, such as cream, beige and clay—as opposed to cool neutral colors like stark white and slate gray that lean more pink or blue.
Gonzenbach has used neutrals to curate a sense of tranquility in her shop, which opened its doors in July 2022. At Curated, the minimalist white walls, shelves and tables are layered with neutral, small-batch homewares, giftables and baby items, with notes of sage, burgundy, terracotta, mauve and blush.
“I’m more of a black, white, gray, beige kind of a gal. I’ve always been that way … but I don’t mind a pop of color here and there, as long as it’s a bit more muted. That’s what I gravitate toward,” Gonzenbach says.
The universal nature of neutrals also makes for great gifts, with all items within Curated fitting within the same style. Gonzenbach has even started to offer full-service gift boxing; client-curated items can be placed in a gift box and made instantly ready to give with a finishing touch of twine and dried florals. “Because I choose all warm neutrals, and we have a warm modern aesthetic, each piece works together,” Gonzenbach says. “ … When you come into the store, you really can’t go wrong.”
Gonzenbach has made it her mission to create an ever changing assortment of goods (introducing new wares every three weeks) with distinct staples, including driftwood décor and a collection of vases handmade in Portugal.
Another neutral design tip? “We like to mix in textures, as well, with our neutrals,” Gonzenbach says. Wooden chain links, marble elements and dried florals are some customer favorites.
With the décor world at your fingertips, it’s easy to do too much. Gonzenbach explains that the best design approach is often simplicity.
“When I’m doing my displays and my visual merchandising, I try to make sure to keep it a little bit more minimal. I think that a lot of people … try to add so many things and sometimes all you need to do is just take one thing away,” she says. “Sometimes, that’s the best design of all.”