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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Standard midday light.
Early morning with the bright warm morning sun.
A north facing window’s cooler light.
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