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The Feeling Doesn't Have to Be Neutral

June 27, 1992| From Associated Press

White walls, a white sofa and a neutral floor offer an outstanding decorating backdrop because they don't fight a room's accents for attention. Let neutrals ride solo, however, and they can leave a room a little cold.

Thaw out a white scheme with just the right accessories. You may want to put the following tips to good advantage:

* Sprinkle on color. Rather than weighing down an airy scheme, small doses of color spread excitement throughout it. Drape quilts, blankets, or even scarves on the sofa and end tables. Slip a rug such as a dhurrie under a seating group and repeat its hues on cushions and colorful lamps.

* Pay attention to lighting. Remember, light is the most obvious brightener.

Accessories such as wall scones can highlight art. Spotlight special features with can, track, and clip-on lights. Rather than drawing attention to the light itself as one overhead fixture can, many lamps scattered about a room draw attention to the furnishings.

* Vary textures. A glass coffee-table top contrasts with rough baskets, soft textiles, and a woven rug. Look around a room to see which textures it lacks.

Add a looped or Berger rug. Fluffy throws and pillows soften a space. Wicker or a prickly plant bring in a rough element. Add glossy ceramics and sleek fabrics for smooth surfaces.

* Add personality. Family photos, collected quilts, and pillows as works of art say something about the people who live in a room.

* Mix things up. An old fireplace mantel can get a jolt of excitement from contemporary wall scones.

Bring unlikely styles together by pairing pieces with classic lines, a similar mood, or shared colors.

Spice up a neutral space with unmatched lamps. Scoot a pine table next to a glass-and-iron one.

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