The Minimalist Neutral Aesthetic Is Out—Here’s What’s Replacing It In Home Decor

Move over, shabby beige and boring gray – color is back in a big way! Maximalism is trending, and we’re here for it.

By Evie Solheim3 min read
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Just as the phrase “sad beige” is entering the modern lexicon, the trend seems to be on its way out. Thanks to Barbiecore, maximalism, and countless memes making fun of millennials’ love of neutrals, we might be seeing a return to color in both fashion and home decor.

As the clothing trend cycle has gotten more compressed, so has the home decor trend cycle. Ultimately, you (and your wallet) will be happier if you learn to decorate with what you truly love rather than what’s trendy. 

Neutral decor has undoubtedly been huge for the past several years. White walls, minimalist art, and beige sofas were the name of the game – partially thanks to Kim Kardashian, who invited viewers into her monochromatic “greige” home on her TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians

But if you feel like leaning into “sad beige” in your home is playing it safe, it may be time to rebel and choose color. You won’t be alone. For example, a Facebook group called “Maximalist Design and Decor” has grown in popularity to one million members. Many women are taking to social media to share how they’ve brought color back into their homes and, with it, a sense of joy.

“Lately, we're witnessing more individuals distancing themselves from the sad beige trend, instead favoring the vibrant energy of maximalist designs, a style known for its bold use of color, pattern, texture, and varied elements,” says Artem Kropovinsky, founder of interior design studio Arsight.

“The maximalist design brings vitality, expressiveness, and warmth to a home, encapsulating the homeowner's unique persona and interests,” Kropovinsky tells Evie Magazine.

Maximalism – sounds expensive, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. It makes sense that decor would become more colorful and eclectic as more and more people are thrifting and buying secondhand. You can find unique art, furniture, and more for pennies on the dollar. 

Without further ado, here are five ways to incorporate more color into your home if you’re sick of the minimalist neutral aesthetic.

Learn What Colors Make You Happy 

If beige and neutrals make you happy, more power to you. But if you enjoy color and just haven’t figured out how to incorporate it into your decor, keep reading.

There’s a simple shortcut for figuring out what colors to experiment with in your home – look in your closet! Most of us gravitate toward the same colors, whether we find them in clothes or home decor. I wear a lot of earthy tones, so guess what colors you’ll find in my home? I have a lot of clay red, natural green, and dark wood. I even prefer gold jewelry, so it’s no surprise that I also prefer gold in home accents like gilded mirrors. 

Paint Your Walls

This tip is simple, but it cannot be overlooked. There’s a reason that every new home’s interior is wall-to-wall “builder’s beige.” The color doesn’t offend, but it certainly doesn’t inspire. 

“If you're ready to make a bigger change, consider painting a wall or two in a bold color. Deep blues, vibrant greens, or even rich blacks can create a captivating backdrop for your decor,” interior designer Yama Jason of Parlun Building tells Evie Magazine

Wondering what colors to consider? Sage green, dusty red, and warm yellow are popular this year, according to Southern Living. But, of course, the choices are endless. You can even use an app like Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer to test out paint colors before you narrow down which colors to swatch. 

If you really want to get fancy with your wall color, your local Lowe’s may not cut it. Many interior decorators swear by specialty brands like Farrow & Ball. For instance, interior design influencer Elle Hervin is a big fan of Farrow & Ball and frequently shares the exact paint color featured in her photos.

Accent with Wallpaper

This isn’t your grandma’s wallpaper, okay? But honestly, we’d be fine if it was. Wallpaper is definitely having a moment, and there’s so much you can do with it. 

Wall-to-wall wallpaper can be a bit overwhelming, but using it sparingly on an accent wall can be just right. Match the rest of the walls in the room to one of the colors in the pattern of the wallpaper. 

When it comes to wallpaper, the world is your oyster. There’s a plethora of paisleys and florals and stripes to choose from. And if you’re wondering where to buy wallpaper, check out websites like Serena & Lily, Lulu and Georgia, and Ballard Designs, according to HGTV.

And if you’re feeling especially daring, you can copy influencer Shelby of Pretty in the Pines and go for an accent ceiling. 

“Often overlooked, the 'fifth wall' can be a fantastic place to add a bold color. Whether painted or wallpapered, a statement ceiling can add depth and interest to any room,” Jason tells Evie Magazine.

Don’t Be Afraid to DIY

One of the fastest ways to transform a blah piece of furniture is to paint it. I’m partial to Country Chic Paint myself. You can start small with a side table or chair or go big with a coffee table, dresser, or cabinetry. 

Even though you’ll have to buy primer and paint, this can be a very affordable option – thrift stores are overflowing with dinged-up wood furniture that could use a coat of paint or two. 

Go for a Statement Rug

“Instead of buying the first flashy couch you come across for your living room, why not start with a statement vintage rug?” says Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a stylist and contributor to Margo Paige.

“Analyze the colors in that rug. Think about the hues you're most drawn to and how you can make them pop,” she tells Evie Magazine. “Accessorize your space with cushions, throws, candles, and art. Consider mirroring the same effect in your drapes, and don't forget to bring in different textures like velvet and leather.”

This is the method I used in my own living room. My husband found an Oriental-style area rug in a deep red that ended up inspiring the space’s color palette. We found a chair and blankets to complement the colors in the rug, and it came together better than I could have imagined!

Go Forth and Be Colorful!

If you’re reading this and starting to look at your beige walls differently, use these five tips to begin incorporating more color into your home. But don’t let that be the end of it! There’s an entire rainbow out there waiting for you.

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