Mood Board Making: A Neutral Living Room With Citrus Accents

It feels like years since I made my last mood board (you can see over 125 of them here). What the heck is up with that? So I’m breaking the dry spell with this just-for-fun creation that I tossed together with some cheerful and sunny summer color. I wanted to pick some fun accessories that anyone with a neutral toned sofa and neutral colored walls could use as a springboard for pulling together a room with a warm, happy, and inviting vibe:

1. The color palette for the room is full of warm tones like sunny orange and yellow along with some rich dark wood tones, some basic neutrals like mocha and tan, and glossy white trim. As for the exact wall color, since I cobbled this board together with the intention that these items would seamlessly slip into an already neutral room, I added that strip of warm cream paint along the top of the board to represent the wall color (like Water Chestnut by Glidden), but really any warm-ish neutral on the wall should work.

2. I actually thought a bunch of these fun plates with a pop of citrus-y orange from Crate & Barrel could look awesome hanging on the wall in a little cluster above a mantel or over the sofa to add interest and dimension. They’re only $3.95 a pop (on clearance) so you could grab ten of them for around $30 and just mount them on the wall in a big cloud-like cluster using plate hangers from the craft store.

3. This is the pillow that started it all. I love it so much, and thought it would be fun to build an imaginary room around it. So it got dragged into my little photoshop doc first (yup, I use photoshop to make these, but I’ve heard great things about and – which are both free). Anyway, ain’t she a beaut? Two of these on the mocha sofa along with one solid pillow in one of the colors of the patterned pillow (like orange or yellow or even pink) should do the trick.

4. Since I was making this imaginary board for someone with creamy neutral walls and a tan/mocha sofa, I figured they’d already have some standard wood end tables. So instead of a matchy-matchy wood coffee table I thought it might refresh the room if they switched out the coffee table for these nested little texture-filled woven tables. They could be casually placed in front of the sofa and work along with the basic wood end tables they already own. Just to bring in another tone/texture/finish instead of more wood. Oh and I bet they’re DIYable for anyone with the patience to make them out of hardware store wood and wrap them with rope for the same effect.

5. These Ikea curtains are elegant yet playful – kind of like fancy little coffee bean sketches dancing up the wall. The cool thing about them is that they’re super neutral so they’ll layer into the room so easily (while adding a bit more texture thanks to the geometric detail). And they’re just $15 a panel even though they’re extra long. Ikea for the win.

6. These great sculptural lamps will add even more interest to the room while allowing the pillows, wall plates, and rug to be the happy little punches of color among other classic and neutral touches. Oh yeah and they’re just $49 each (down from $100 a pop!).

7. This handmade Thom Filicia rug from had me at hello. First of all, it’s really well priced (just $143 for a 5 x 8). And second of all, while some folks would be scared to bring in color with a rug, sometimes it’s just what a room with neutral walls and a neutral sofa needs! Take our old living room which sported a cheerful yellow rug with a cream sofa and tan walls for example.

8. This is just a mocha sofa that I threw in to “complete” the picture (even though I was assuming that folks might already have one). If you don’t have a sofa this color (say it’s cream or soft sage or white or something else) just bring in the accessories that you like and see how it goes. It could totally work. You can always go for a slipcover if you think the sofa color is the only thing throwing the room off (they sell them pretty affordably at places like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target- although I’m not sure how well they’ll fit your individual sofa, but you can always try them and return them if it doesn’t look right). And if slipcovers don’t do it for you (or your current sofa is shot), this guy is only $699 thanks to a big JC Penney sale (he was originally $1200!).

So there you have it. My little imaginary neutral room mood board. If you end up getting some of the items and pulling them into your house I’d love to see pics over on our Facebook page! Do you have any favorite things? I’m kind of in love with the rug and of course that pillow had me at hello. Ah pillows, you make me happy. Have you guys been making any mood boards these days? Do tell.

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.

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