favorite neutral paint colours
Design & Decor Ideas Design Tips & Tricks

12 Favorite Neutral Paint Colours

Looking through paint samples can but fun…and overwhelming!  Between all the major paint manufacturers there are literally thousands of colours to choose from.  One of my paint favourites is Sherwin Williams and they alone have over 1500 paint colours!  So to make things a little easier, this week I have put together a list of 12 of my favourite neutral paint colours that you can use in your home.

favorite neutral paint colours

Neutral Paint Colours

I think generally neutrals get a bad wrap.  People think they’re bland and boring, but neutrals are in truth exceptionally complex colours.   Neutral paint colours used to mean beige, taupes and vanilla…and don’t get me wrong, those can still be great options.  More recently, however, there has been a significant trend towards grey as the neutral of choice.

favorite neutral paint colours
Balanced Beige SW7037
favorite neutral paint colours
Agreeable Grey SW7029 via Home Bunch

All colours have roots in certain colour families and keep some of their originating hue in the undertones.  This can actually make choosing a neutral, one of the most challenging colour groups to work from.  Take your time to compare and recognize the undertones so you don’t miss them.  Look at the range of shades related to your neutral paint colours to find what colour family it belongs to.  You want to avoid the unpleasant surprise of a purple or blue undertone, if that’s not what you were going for.  Often a darker hue of a particular colour can help to emphasis tones and make them more noticeable.

favorite neutral paint colours
via Home Trends

Then there is Greige.  For anyone that is tired of beige but can’t quite commit to grey, the perfect solution has arrived…Greige!  This new category of neutral paint colours is a hot alternative for many.  It allows homeowners to move towards a greyer palette without the fear of turning their the room into a cold and uninviting space.

favorite neutral paint colours
Anew Gray SW7030 via Honey We’re Home

For those of us who love grey, it also comes in a multitude of shades.  Grey offers both warm and cool tone variations to fit your space and preference.  The move towards greige and gray is especially popular in transitional design.

favorite neutral paint colours
Repose Gray SW7015 via The Creativity Exchange

Lighting your neutrals

When you’re picking your paint colour, one of the most important things to remember is lighting.  What’s interesting is that the complexity of neutrals means that their perception is easily manipulated and influenced by your lighting.  Different sources of lighting, natural vs artificial or cool vs warm, will affect how the neutrals appear.

Behr has a great example that really shows the influence lighting can have on a room’s overall colour.

favorite neutral paint colours

Standard midday light.

favorite neutral paint colours

Early morning with the bright warm morning sun.

favorite neutral paint colours

A north facing window’s cooler light.

For more great colour and decor ideas, follow me on Pinterest!

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4 Comment

  1. My dilemma is: our newly installed cabinets are thermofoil white but seem to have a bluish/grayish cast. It would like to know what paint color I can use on my walls,backsplash and ceiling to make lessen the bluish/grayish cash they seem to give off now. The cabinets have a little sheen, not flat but they are thermofoil not wood painted. Right now the paint color is a shade called Sierra sand which is a golden tone. The counters. Are a black granite with shade of brown and gold interspersed called ubatuba. We are now using one industrial fluorescent light on the cathedral ceiling, this may? Be some of the problem and would like to know what kind of lighting would help our situation. We have led undercounted lighting and the fan above range has led lights. The ceiling also needs painted. It has not been painted for 10+ years . Our appliances are stainless. What shades of whites or other paint colors can I use to diminish the gay cast on the cabinets . Are there certain rules I should follow when picking wall and ceiling colors for our situation. Also the kitchen is in the middle of our living area so does not receive direct light . It is open to the breakfast room and great room Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Bette. Lighting can definitely make a huge difference. Check out my post on Light Colour Teperature (http://oneplustwodesignco.com/2018/01/23/light-colour-temperature/). As a first step I would try warming up your lighting. You may find your are in a “Daylight” or 5000K temperature. I would try a 3000K light or “Bright White” and see if that helps.

      As far as your paint etc goes, the more yellow undertones, the more you will likely notice the blues in the cabinets. Although yellow and blue are not total opposites on the colour wheel, they are close. This creates more contrast between them rather than blending them together. You may want to try a subtle green undertone in a taupe colour (like Sherwin Williams Taupe Tone SW7633) to blend your blues and golds together. For your ceiling colour I would try to stick with a true white. Again stay away from yellow or blue undertones. Gather several samples together and hold them against your cabinets to see what stands out. Hope that helps!

  2. I have a warm yellow kitchen. I want to paint the two rooms adjoining it – dining room and family room – and love grays and grieges. Can you offer any guidance as to tones that coordinate well with warm yellow?

    1. Hi Erin,
      Something like Taupe Tone (SW7633) could be really pretty depending on the depth on your yellows. Accent with a steely blue like Retreat (SW6207) would really pop nicely! Hope that helps!

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