Posts

2022-color-of-the-year-announced

Meet the 2022 Paint Colors of the Year!

In the last quarter of each year, paint and design companies forecast color trends for the year ahead, and many pick out a color of the year that represents aspirations and moods for the next 365 days to come.

Three of the most popular paint companies—Behr, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore—have all announced their 2022 Colors of the Year. We were quite interested to discover that they’re all fairly similar shades of light, earthy greens. But they do have subtle differences!

Swatches of the 2022 paint colors of the year—Evergreen Fog, Breezeway, and October Mist

The 2022 Paint Colors of the Year are…

  • Evergreen Fog, Sherwin Williams
  • Breezeway, Behr
  • October Mist, Benjamin Moore

There was much more color variety in the 2021 colors of the year. But after 20 months of living in a very stressful, uncertain reality, we wondered if there’s a reason that all three of these companies landed on similar colors. All three of the shades of green that were selected are rooted in a sense of calmness and earthiness. We find that these three colors all tap into the same idea, and in their similarities there’s a sense of validation about what the collective consciousness is craving: peace, calm, grounding, inspiration. So, it actually makes sense that they’re pretty similar.

Since they’re all more earthy neutrals, with tones that are inspired by nature, there’s also a connection to the trending concept of biophilic interior design. The color of the year choices are reflective of more people using organic colors and natural elements within their homes to feel more connected to nature.

To further explore the similarities and differences between these three colors, we had one of our designers, Katherine, try these colors on for size. She used the colors of the year as the paint color of a room, then played with how each one interacted with furniture, decor, and other colors within a room. She brought each of these colors to life in ways that feel fresh and different.

Read on to learn more about the 2022 colors of the year and explore how you can design around these trending colors.

Costal living room with a white sofa and walls painted Breezeway, Behr's 2022 color of the year

Shop This Look

The Behr 2022 Color of the Year: Breezeway

Breezeway is a peaceful silvery-green that is inspired by the color of sea glass, which can be found on sandy ocean beaches. Behr says that this cool green tone represents a desire to move forward and discover newfound passions. There is something uplifting and inspiring about this color, isn’t there?

This color is part of Behr’s Color Trends 2022 Palette. Behr says this 20-color collection is intended to “inspire us to enter the new year on a hopeful note, while still centering the home as an ultimate oasis.”

Here’s how Modsy Designer, Katherine, brought Breezeway to life…

What are your thoughts on the Behr 2022 color of the year?

“This color feels very serene, comforting, and hopeful to me. It’s a mix of blue and green but it’s not heavy—in fact, it’s quite light and airy. I think it’s a beautiful color and adds a lot of exuberance to any space.”

What about the color inspired your design?

“I took inspiration from my many trips to Charleston, SC, where this tone of blue-green is quite common in the southern coastal homes. I wanted to create a sophisticated yet cozy coastal-inspired living room that feels very welcoming.”

Who would you recommend this color to?

“This color is perfect for anyone who wants to lighten up a space without foregoing color. It has a sea glass quality and works beautifully with natural materials like linen, jute, and natural greenery.”

 

Struggling to design your room?

Let our experts show you ideas in your exact room.

Start Your Project

Dining room design with a rustic wood table, white dining chairs, and walls painted Evergreen Fag, Sherwin Williams' 2022 color of the year

Shop This Look

The Sherwin-Williams 2022 Color of the Year: Evergreen Fog

Evergreen Fog is an organic gray-green (with hints of blue undertones) that was inspired by the quiet calm of a forest and the sense of renewal that can be found outdoors. Versatile and calming, it brings subtle color to a room while offering an edge of sophistication.

Sherwin-Williams calls it “the color of new beginnings” and says it’s a soothing and “restorative shade that breathes freshness” into a space. That’s definitely something we can get behind!

Here’s how Modsy Designer, Katherine, brought Evergreen Fog to life…

What are your thoughts on the Sherwin-Williams 2022 color of the year?

“This color feels earthy and serene to me. It’s a very muted gray-green, which almost feels like a neutral. I think this is a huge win, because it’s versatile and would look amazing with many color palettes and in various styles and types of spaces.”

What about the color inspired your design?

“I was inspired by the calming and organic feel of this color. To me, it feels like early autumn! I wanted to accent it with other earthy materials and colors, like natural wood, deeper greens, and rusty reds, then juxtapose all those tones with crisp whites for a fresh touch.”

Who would you recommend this color to?

“If you are drawn to earth tones, or even neutral colors, but want to dip your toe into a color with a bit more saturation, Evergreen Fog is a perfect transition. I think this color would shine the most in spaces with abundant natural light!”

Boho bedroom design with wood furniture, October Mist walls, and black trim

Shop This Look

The Benjamin Moore 2022 Color of the Year: October Mist

October Mist is a gentle shade of sage that evokes the silver-green stem of a flower. As a wall color, it quietly anchors a room, creating a canvas over which you can layer other colors. The versatility of October Mist is intended to encourage creativity and individual expression, so you can bring it to life in whatever way speaks to you.

This color is part of Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2022 palette, a collection of 14 hues that Benjamin Moore says is “harmonious yet diverse, reliable yet whimsical, and meditative yet eclectic.”

Read Next: The 13 Most Popular Benjamin Moore Paint Colors

Here’s how Modsy Designer, Katherine, brought October Mist to life…

What are your thoughts on the Benjamin Moore 2022 color of the year?

“This color is similar to the other two colors of the year, but it feels more muted than the others. I like to think of it like a pastel olive green! It could almost get away with being a neutral color in the right setting.”

What about the color inspired your design?

“I was inspired by the muted earthy tone of this hue. I wanted to play up the contrast that would make this color pop, so I used crisp whites and deep satin blacks to make this olivey-green really sing. It feels understated, so adding natural elements and going for a bit of a boho chic look really spoke to me.”

Who would you recommend this color to?

“If you are looking for hints of green but don’t want it to overpower the space, this is a lovely color. It can sway gray or green, depending on what you put in the space, so it’s actually very versatile. It’s a great paint choice for someone who likes to regularly switch up accent colors and decor within a space.”

Want to explore more popular paint colors? Check out our post on how to choose a color palette, plus the top 10 bedroom paint colors and the best living room paint colors.

Want to try on the 2022 Colors of the Year in your own home?

Start Your Project

image4tips_for_painting_a_room4

How to Paint Rooms Like a Pro: 10 Do’s and Don’ts From Modsy’s Expert Designers

Painting your walls can be pretty intimidating. It’s not a home update that’s permanent—but the time and financial investment definitely raise the stakes. So, choosing a paint color is not something many people take lightly!

And beyond paint color, there’s a whole slew of other decisions to make and tasks to tackle. What sheen do you choose? Should you paint your ceiling and trim as well? Can you skip the primer? It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

However, as experts in interior design, we’re well-acquainted with the process of picking paint colors and putting in the work to paint a room. With this experience (and the many mistakes we’ve made along the way) we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts to help you out when choosing a paint color and painting your walls. Read on for our tips for painting a room and some guidelines to help you choose the right paint color for your space.

blue wall mcm living room with fireplace

Shop This Look

Paint Color: Symphony Blue, Benjamin Moore

How Do You Choose A Paint Color?

Whether you’re painting an accent wall, choosing a trim color, or painting an entire room, the basic principles for choosing a paint color remain. Start by narrowing down your color options. Once you land on a high-level color, hone in on the shade and undertone you prefer.

But how do you choose the right color and shade?? Maybe you know you want to go with white paint on your walls. Well, do you want a bright white or something softer? Something with blue undertones or yellow? You quickly realize that white is not one color but one hundred. And, frankly, the same goes with most other colors as well!

 

Try on new paint in your exact room!

Let our experts show you ideas in your exact room.

Start Your Project

If you’re wondering how to even begin choosing a color palette and narrowing down what colors to consider out of the thousands of paint colors on the market, our Modsy designers can help. When you start a design project, you not only get your room designed in life-like 3D, but you also get to try on paint colors so you can see how the color will look with your furniture and decor!

And if you’re looking for some specific color tips, check out our posts on the best Benjamin Moore paint colors, the best bedroom paint colors, and the 2021 colors of the year from Pantone, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore.

black walls modern glam office

Shop This Look

Paint Color: Cheating Heart, Benjamin Moore

Painting a Room: The Do’s & Don’ts

However, there are also some high-level do’s and don’ts that can help you narrow in on the right shade for your space. These tips will help you as you narrow down your color options.

Do: Paint a Swatch and See How it Looks

One of our favorite designer hacks to hone in on the right wall color is to get a sample can of paint and paint a 3×3-foot swatch on your wall of the color you’re considering, and observe it for a week. (Ideally somewhere obvious, like behind your sofa or above your bed, so it’s front and center throughout the day.)

See how the color feels in the space throughout the day. How does it look in morning light versus afternoon? What does it look like after the sun is set and your room is only lit by lamps? And how does the color interact with your furniture, decor, and finishings? The tones of a wall color will shift throughout the day, depending on the lighting and the surrounding environment—so it’s important to make sure you like your wall color at all times of the day.

And if you have colored decor in the room you’re going to paint—whether it’s bold throw pillows, bedding, or a rug—make sure to hold those items up to the painted patch to see how the colors interact.

Don’t: Ignore the View Outside Your Window

Did you know that the colors occurring outside of your home—your neighbor’s house, the building across the street, a wooded backyard—will impact how a color looks in your space? If your neighbor has a yellow house, your wall color will reflect more yellow tones back at you. That beautiful wooded backyard? You’ll likely get some green tones in your space. All the more reason to test out some color swatches before you commit!

Do: Consider the Colors and Tones of Your Flooring and Furniture

It’s not just the colors outside of your home that will impact how paint will look in your space. You’ll also want to consider the hues of your furniture and decor, as well as the colors and tones in your flooring. The color of your floor will reflect and cast hues on your walls in the same way that your neighbor’s house will. (So, that blue carpet or those red terracotta tiles will visually impact how a paint color looks in your room!)

And, in terms of furniture, you’ll want to make sure wood tones and upholstery colors interact well with the paint color you choose. You aren’t dealing with color reflection with these pieces as much—but you want to create a bit of contrast. So, if you have a light grey sofa, you probably don’t want to choose a light grey paint color. Maybe go for something a bit more bold on the walls? And if you have large pieces of wood furniture, or even wood flooring, consider offsetting the wood’s tone with the color you choose—aka use a cooler tone on your walls to offset warm wood tones in your floorboards or furniture, and vice versa. Have more than one wood tone to contend with? Check out our guide to mixing wood tones.

black and yellow walls modern living room

​​Shop This Look

Paint Colors: Illuminating, Pantone

Kendall Charcoal, Benjamin Moore

Don’t: Be Afraid of Bolder Colors

Bold-colored rooms are fun and can add a vibrant touch to your space. But a bold wall color can feel intimidating, especially if you currently have neutral walls! Just take time to find the bold hue that suits your space, design style, and decor! One of our favorite ways to bring a bold wall color to life? The Jewel Box room—one of our 2021 trend predictions! Don’t want your whole room to be full of bold colors? Dip your toe in by just painting an inlet (pictured above) or try an accent wall of a bold color, with a neutral tone on the other walls!

pink boho bedroom

Shop This Look

Paint Color: In The Pink, Sherwin-Williams

Don’t: Pick a Trendy Color if You Don’t Love It

However, even if everyone else is painting their walls a certain color, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you (remember the Millennial Pink craze of the late 2010’s?)! While you don’t have to stick with a paint color forever, you do want to make sure the color you choose is one that makes sense for your style and your home. So, don’t choose a color just because it’s trendy!

Do: Pick the Right Sheen for Your Space

Interior paint comes in several different sheens. There’s glossy, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, and flat, to name a few. So, how do you know which sheen to choose? Well, the sheen you choose actually does matter, since different sheens are good for different looks and purposes.

An eggshell is the most popular sheen for interior walls. However, flat paint is matte and creates a more modern vibe, while semi-gloss and satin are great for walls and trim. Just consider this when choosing the right sheen for your space: the lower the sheen, the harder it is to clean. This is an especially important consideration in homes with kids and pets, where you’ll likely need to wipe down the walls more often! But it’s also a good consideration in kitchens, where splashes and spills happen when cooking, and wiping down the walls is required.

White walls contemporary room

Shop This Look

Paint Color: Alabaster, Sherwin-Williams

Tips for Painting a Room

Ok, so you’ve landed on a paint color. That’s great! With the thousands of paint colors out there, that’s no small feat. But now you actually need to do the work and put paint to walls. And that can be quite the daunting task! Here are some of our designers’ top tips for painting a room to help you get the best possible outcome!

Do: Paint in the Warmer Months

Spring and summer are good times of year to paint a room, since you can open windows for ventilation and get a breeze going. (You don’t want to fumigate yourself just to paint a wall!) Just make sure it’s not a super humid day, as paint won’t fully cure in hot and humid weather. And avoid rainy days too. Paining a room might seem like the perfect rainy summer day activity, but open windows, rain, and fresh paint don’t mix! Plus, with extra moisture in the air, like on a humid day, your paint will take longer to cure.

Don’t: Skip the Prep Work

Prep work makes all the difference when painting a room. It’s the difference between a sloppy or professional end result. Take the time to cover or move any furniture in the room you’re painting, tape your edges, and don’t forget to prime your walls. Priming is especially important when going from a darker to lighter paint color—but even if you’re sticking with neutral paint colors but opting for a different hue, priming will guarantee you get the exact color outcome you want rather than having weird undertones.

green ceiling and wainscoting with wallpaper grand millennial

Shop This Look

Paint Color: Lounge Green, Sherwin-Williams

Don’t: Ignore the Ceiling

The ceiling is part of the room too—so don’t forget to freshen it up alongside your painted walls! A fresh coat of white paint can make your new wall color pop. But you could also go bold and try the trend of painting your walls a more neutral color and going bold on your ceiling color!

Do: Freshen Up the Trim

A fresh coat of paint on your walls can truly transform a room. But don’t neglect the trim around your doors and windows! If your wall is fresh and nice but your trim is scuffed and dirty, your room simply won’t look as nice or finished.

Need help choosing the perfect paint color for your space?

Start Your Project

image4-334

Trying on the 13 Most Popular Benjamin Moore Paint Colors in 3D

Looking to paint a room in your house? With thousands of wall colors out there, picking out a paint color and choosing a color palette can be pretty overwhelming—whether you’re looking to paint an entire wall or just an accent wall or trim. So, we find that it always helps to have some help narrowing in on color options

We’ve been fans of Benjamin Moore paint colors for a long time, so we decided to round up the 13 most popular paint colors by Benjamin Moore. And, we’re not just showing you paint swatches here—we’ll also show you what these best-selling paint colors look like in different rooms so you can see how the hues interact with different furniture and decor.

Did you know? With our 3D design technology, you can try on any paint color in your room. All you have to do is start a design project and our designer will guide you through the color-selection process. (Plus, they’ll help you with layout, furniture selection, and more!)

Read on for our top picks of Benjamin Moore popular colors—and get ready for some major color inspiration.

modern living room gray orange color scheme

Shop This Look

entryway big round mirror big plant

Shop This Look

rustic bedroom tall bedframe blue pillows

Shop This Look

beige paint

1. Edgecomb Gray

Edgecomb Gray is one of our go-to shades of gray. A timeless color with a modern edge, this earthy, organic neutral is visually soft and has a stylish bent. The timeless nature of Edgecomb Gray means it works well in any room—but we especially love it in entryways and hallways if you’re looking for a versatile neutral color.

This hue works well with other warm colors and materials, like leather and warm wood tones. Edgecomb Gray looks best when used as a full room color—and it’s neutral enough that it can be used even in very large spaces.

blue comfy modern living room

Shop This Look

blue wall dining room with fireplace

Shop This Look

blue living room white couch

Shop This Look

gray paint

2. Hale Navy

This is one classy shade of blue. Hale Navy is a deeply saturated shade of navy blue that gives off some major nautical vibes. It’s a timeless classic if ever there was one. But depending on what it’s paired with, it can actually take on a pretty trendy vibe since it’s such a bold color. But since this is such a bold color, it’s best to keep other colors in the space more neutral and opt for a simple color palette so nothing else in the room is majorly competing with the wall color.

It’s a great color for almost anywhere in your home that you want a soothing but bold pop of color—but we especially love to see it in living rooms and blue bedroom designs. It’s also a great color for molding or an accent wall vs an entire room! Hale Navy works particularly well in transitional, modern rustic, and traditional spaces.

Struggling to design your room?

Let our experts show you ideas in your exact room.

Start Your Project

pink rug glam dining room

Shop This Look

yellow mid century living room

Shop This Look

attic yellow nursery

Shop This Look

pastel yellow paint

3. Hawthorne Yellow

Looking for a cheery yellow? Hawthorne Yellow is just the thing. This soft and bright shade of yellow is like a perpetual ray of sunshine in your home. With a slight gray undertone, it’s a universally appealing shade of soft yellow which we especially love to see in nurseries, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Hawthorne Yellow is soft enough to be used in a whole room if you use yellow sparingly elsewhere in the space. But it’s also a fun, poppy color for an accent wall if you’re going for a colorful, eclectic space. This color goes really well with transitional, eclectic, and coastal design styles.
bright minimalist bedroom gray white

Shop This Look

mid century coastal living room orange couch

Shop This Look

home office gray desk coastal chair

Shop This Look

being paint

4. Revere Pewter

Revere Pewter is a light gray with warm undertones. This classic shade offers a restorative sense of calm to any room. (In fact, we named this color the best cozy neutral in our Benjamin Moore neutral paint colors round-up!) We love this color in open floor plans, where it can span from one space to the next. This versatile color looks good in almost any space.

Because of its calm and serene essence, Revere Pewter looks especially great in homes with rustic and transitional styles—but it can truly work with almost all design styles. It looks great with crisper white trim and can jive with all hardware finishes, from brass and bronze to silver and pewter!

Want a slightly lighter shade? Pale Oak is super similar to Revere Pewter, but just a touch lighter.green wall mid century modern dining room

Shop This Look

eclectic rustic bedroom green wall wood accents

Shop This Look

green walls purple couch green rug

Shop This Look

green paint

5. Hunter Green

Hunter Green is having a major moment in the trend spotlight. Currently considered a “new neutral,” this shade of green can enliven almost any style or space. This color pairs beautifully with wood tones in traditional and modern rustic spaces—but it’s just at home in a glam space, paired with jewel tones and metallic finishes. It layers well with other colors for an eclectic vibe, but when paired with neutrals, Hunter Green becomes the star of the show.

A bold color, it can be used more sparingly as an accent color—either as a painted accent wall or to highlight architectural elements like a fireplace. But if you want a really bold-colored room, go all out and paint all four walls in this striking and decadent shade of green.

cherry blossom artwork pastel natural textures

Shop This Look

bright home office with red rug

Shop This Look

blue ottomans beige couch living room

Shop This Look

white paint

6. Swiss Coffee

Swiss Coffee is part of Benjamin Moore’s Off-White Color Collection—a collection of sophisticated and versatile shades of white that create tranquil and serene environments. A universally appealing shade of warm off-white, this is one of our favorite colors that goes well with almost any space. Swiss Coffee is a soothing and warm color, so it’s especially great for a bedroom, nursery, or home office.

This color goes well with other warm tones—like brass and gold accents, and other colors like peach and sandy brown. The versatile nature of Swiss Coffee means it doesn’t have to only be relegated to walls, but it can also be used on trim and ceilings. This is a great color for almost any style, but it works especially well in boho, eclectic, and contemporary spaces.

dark gray nursery with butterfly artwork

Shop This Look

modern home office with gray green walls

Shop This Look

living room with ladder shelves wooden ceiling

Shop This Look

dark gray paint

7. Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron is part of Benjamin Moore’s Color Preview, a color collection of bold, saturated colors that help enliven your space. And this color does just that. A beautiful charcoal gray, Wrought Iron is a bold color that is perfect for creating cozy and modern spaces—like a living room where you watch TV or even as an accent wall for a trendy nursery color scheme!

We like pairing this neutral color with other neutrals—bright whites look amazing with Wrought Iron, and black brings out the depth of this color. Pairing it with black and white is a fun way to create a gray room color scheme. But we also love layering it with natural woven textures and brighter colors, which pop against this color. Whether you’re using this in a whole room or just as an accent wall, we love the look of a bookcase or shelves layered in front of this wall color.wooden dining room beige

Shop This Look

rustic dining room dark fireplace

Shop This Look

home office japanese bookshelves

Shop This Look

beige paint

8. Manchester Tan

If khaki pants were a paint color, it would be Manchester Tan. This color was derived from the sandstone facade and sculptural details of the historic Manchester Town Hall in England. A classic and elegant shade, it’s a true tan that’s great for any space. But it works especially well in a room where you want to add visual warmth—like a bedroom, dining room, or family room.

Manchester Tan really pops against white and warm wood tones—whether those are in furniture or finishes. It’s a perfect color for transitional, rustic, and minimalist spaces.mint wall blue nursery three frames

Shop This Look

bright rustic eclectic dining room

Shop This Look

mint wall home office

Shop This Look

light blue paint

9. Palladian Blue

Palladian Blue almost rides the line between blue and green. This soft, airy hue evokes the feeling of where the sky meets the sea, with a tint that Benjamin Moore says is a touch of mother of pearl. If you’re into pastel colors, this is definitely a color worth trying on.

This color is soft and doesn’t overwhelm a space, so it looks beautiful all over, popped against crisp white trim. Since it’s such a light shade of blue, it can be paired with dark blue accents for contrast. Palladian Blue is perfect for nurseries and sunrooms, or any space in your home that is bright and cheery. It suits many design styles, including coastal, eclectic, and even traditional.

minimalist home office gallery wall

Shop This Look

rustic nursery light color palette

Shop This Look

pink boho bedroom with velvet trunk

Shop This Look

white paint

10. White Dove

White Dove is a classic white and a fan favorite of many Instagram influencers and bloggers. This classic, softly shaded white is light and luminous. While white walls are particularly popular in modern and minimalist homes, this soft shade of white goes well with any style. We especially love White Dove as a calming shade for bedrooms and nurseries.

Many people love this shade for ceilings, moldings, trim, and doors—but it also looks beautiful on walls and can be used as a lovely neutral backdrop.

Looking for a shade of white that’s just a little cooler? Check out Chantilly Lace.

Read Next: How to Decorate a White Room

blue batton and board gray bedframe yellow pillow

Shop This Look

blue walls natural textures coastal bedroom

Shop This Look

blue walls spunky black red chairs gold mirror

Shop This Look

blue paint

11. Van Deusen Blue

Van Deusen Blue is part of Benjamin Moore’s Historic Color Collection—a collection of 191 time-honored hues comprising their most popular palette, inspired by America’s historic landmarks. This is a refined and elegant shade of blue that definitely leans traditional. It looks great when used as the main wall color in a space—especially if the room has molding or classical architectural details.

But it’s not just for the traditional and classical spaces; Van Deusen Blue can also come to life in contemporary spaces and modern rustic style. We love this color in bedrooms, as it’s a muted but punchy color that has a very soothing vibe.

khaki walls natural texture bedframe

Shop This Look

earth tones living room

Shop This Look

mint green home office orange chair

Shop This Look

khaki paint

12. Saybrook Sage

Saybrook Sage is also part of the Historic Color Collection. This soothing, elegant shade of green works well in bright spaces, like an open living room, a sunroom, or a nursery. (Though it also made our list of best Benjamin Moore bedroom paint colors.) Natural materials and wood tones complement soothing earth tones like this.

We love using this color as an accent for a cool, fresh space, or painting an entire room this color to give the whole space a serene vibe. Saybrook Sage works well in transitional, minimal, and coastal spaces because of the bright, fresh nature of this color.red walls beige dining room set

Shop This Look

red blue living room

Shop This Look

red paint white bed colorful pillows

Shop This Look

red paint

13. Caliente

Ready to up the ante? Caliente is a vibrant and charismatic shade of red that brings some serious energy to your space. A very bold hue, red room color schemes can feel difficult to pull off, but this color looks great in kitchens and dining rooms. But if you feel so inclined to use it in your bedroom, stick to an accent wall—otherwise such a bold red will overwhelm your space.

Caliente goes well with modern styles, but it can also hang with traditional design elements. We recommend balancing this spicy color with neutrals, like black and white, and metallic touches, like brass or silver.

Want to explore even more Benjamin Moore colors? Check out the Benjamin Moore 2021 Color of the Year. Or start a Modsy project and try on any of these popular paint colors in a 3D model of your exact room! You’ll work one-on-one with an interior designer who can help you pick the perfect paint color for your space.

Want to try on these paint colors in your own space?

Start Your Project

image1-54

Designing With Neutral Paint Colors

A lot of people want to paint their home in neutral colors. And understandably so—neutral paint colors give you a blank canvas, a backdrop against which you can decorate the rest of your home with color!

Decorating with neutral colors—especially when it comes to paint color—is a popular interior design idea, because a neutral color palette goes with everything. Neutral paint colors provide an easy base to any room, allowing you to truly personalize your space. They’re chameleon colors that take on the tones and personality of the rest of your space.

But deciding what neutral to go with is where many people get stuck. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming! How do you know which shade of neutral is right for your space? Do you go for more of a beige, white, or gray paint? Or something more bold?? Blue or yellow undertones? Warm or cool shades? What will the color look like in the morning light versus the afternoon?

When it comes to paint colors, there are hundreds of shades of neutrals to choose from. And when looking at paint swatches, you may find your eyes start to cross as you try to notice the subtle, nuanced difference between each shade of white paint. Don’t be intimidated. We’re here to help.

What Are Neutral Paint Colors?

A lot of people assume “neutral” means white or beige. But neutral paint colors are actually much more diverse! They can also include grays, blues, greens, browns, and even some very light pinks. Essentially, a neutral is any color that doesn’t add its own personality to the space. It’s a color that doesn’t command the space but supports it, creating a good backdrop.

Neutral paint colorsHow Do You Decorate With Neutral Colors?

When it comes to decorating with neutral colors, you can go a couple different directions. You can go for an all-neutral color palette, where not only your walls are painted a neutral tone, but your furniture and decor are also shades of neutral. The key to this approach is to vary the shades of neutrals (but in complementary tones) so that you have a dynamic space that doesn’t look flat.

You can also do neutrals with added contrast. Think: a black and white color palette. Or even a neutral in a deep, saturated tone like a navy or charcoal gray. These are still neutrals, since they go with just about anything and create a good backdrop—but their saturated tones create a more dramatic, high-contrast look.

A third, and popular, approach to decorating with neutrals is to use neutral paint colors as a backdrop, then add pops of color in the furniture and decor. This is a great approach to design, as it allows you to pick bold furniture colors or switch out colors and decor seasonally to give your space new life, without having to re-paint your space. It’s also a way to have a timeless look while still adding moments of color and personality.

Neutral paint colorsWarm Neutrals Vs. Cool Neutrals

Here’s something you may not have realized: all colors, including neutrals, have a cool or warm tint to them. And neutral colors are no different—they all have warm or cool undertones.

Curious about the difference between warm and cool tones and how to spot it? Neutrals with cool undertones skew more blue or green (this includes most grays). Meanwhile, warm neutrals have more red or yellow undertones (which includes tans and browns). Warm colors have a stimulating effect, whereas cool colors tend to have more calming and relaxing vibes.

With that in mind, it’s also important to consider the other colors in your space—from your furniture to your rug, art, and decor. This can help you determine if you want to go for a neutral with a warm or cool undertone. You should also consider your light sources—both natural and artificial. And remember, lighting changes throughout the day. So, you may even want to test a few swatches and see the subtle ways that they change throughout the day as the light shifts.

But, overall, if you want a cozier feel to your space, go for a neutral with warm undertones. And if you want to give your space a more open, airy vibe, go for a neutral with cool undertones.

Neutral paint colorsChoosing Your Neutral

Instead of testing a million different shades of neutrals in your space, we’re going to do some of the leg work for you. We’ve rounded up six of the best neutral paint colors and what styles and types of spaces they’re best for. You’ll be able to see each paint color in the same space so you can see the subtle difference between each shade.

Neutral paint colorsBest Cozy Neutral: Revere Pewter, Benjamin Moore

This light gray paint color has warm undertones and has very calming, cozy vibes. It’s the kind of neutral paint color that you’d want for the walls of a cottage—making it great for rustic spaces. And, with its warm gray undertones, it’s more forgiving of scuffs and smudges.

In the room above, you’ll notice that the paint color complements the neutral furniture and the warmth of the wood tones. It would also look great with saturated earth tones. It’s a good neutral paint color for balancing out darker wood—but it’s not an ideal shade for spaces with lighter woods. We also wouldn’t recommend this shade for spaces with colorful furniture; the undertones of this wall color work better with other neutrals.

Neutral paint colorsBest All-Around Neutral: Agreeable Gray, Sherwin-Williams

Agreeable Gray is on the cooler end of the color spectrum, with slight green undertones. Since it’s a cool neutral, it can be a good backdrop for warmer neutrals—and you’ll notice that it goes really well with the furniture in this space. We think that this paint color, of all the ones featured in this post, works best for this specific room.

Our designers feel this is the all-around best neutral paint color of the bunch. It doesn’t assert itself too much, but it holds up against neutrals and pops of color alike—making it versatile and a perfect backdrop for any interior design style.

Neutral paint colors

Best Bright White: Pure White, Sherwin-Williams

This is definitely the starkest neutral of the bunch—but in a good way. It’s a shade that has become famous from its use by bloggers across the internet, heralded as one of the best neutral paint colors if you’re looking for a bright, pure white. It’s a great choice if you like color, as it makes colors of all kinds pop. In fact, you almost need pops of color or contrast with this shade of white paint. While it goes well with neutrals, it falls flat without pops of color. In the room above, putting a plant in the corner would add some of that needed color contrast, making the space feel less sterile and really come alive!

It has slightly warm undertones and works well with all types of wood tones. However, it’s better in areas with less movement near the walls—like a living room or dining room—as it’s not as forgiving of smudges and scuffs.

Neutral paint colorsBest Versatile White: Decorator’s White, Benjamin Moore

This shade of white paint, while similar to the one above, goes in a cooler direction. With that, it has more of a formal vibe, creating a serene and tranquil space. It goes with neutrals and pops of color, alike, making it a very versatile shade of white.

Unlike Pure White, Decorator’s White is more forgiving, as it has more gradation when you look at it from far away. This makes it a better choice for high-traffic areas like entryways.

Best For Colorful Spaces: Slipper Satin, Farrow & Ball

Slipper Satin is a creamier version of Decorator’s White. It has pink undertones and asserts itself in the room more than other neutral paint colors, which reflects on the other neutrals in the room. Because of that, this shade is best for when you don’t have a lot of neutrals in the room, as you don’t want them taking on a pink tone. So, choose this shade in a room with colorful furniture and a colorful rug.

This is also a good shade for a gender-neutral nursery. It’s not grey, which is a typical shade for a gender-neutral nursery, but it’s still soft and cozy. With it’s pink undertones, it would also be a nice compliment to pink furniture or bedding, but it’s so subtle that you wouldn’t have to re-do it when your kid grows out of their pink phase!

Neutral paint colorsBest For Homes With Kids: Amazing Gray, Sherwin-Williams

If you want a “greige” (aka a gray-ish beige) this is the color for you. Even though it has slightly green undertones, it has a feeling of warmth. It’s definitely the most gray of the bunch, and it complements neutrals and cool colors well. A blue sofa would look great against this wall color!

This is a great choice if you want neutral walls but in a more forgiving shade. (Parents know what we’re talking about!) It has a layered look, with more depth, which helps camouflage smudges that inevitably end up on the walls when you have kids.

Need help finding the right neutral paint colors for your space?

Start Your Project

633873_d9_neutralcolor_rushingriver_cam1

5 Neutral Wall Colors We Love (That Aren’t Boring Beige)

Neutral wall colors are a great way to add sophistication and style to a room while creating a serene, calming environment. Neutral paints also help ensure your walls won’t clash with new decor if you switch things up a few years down the line. But if you think “neutral” means boring beige, think again. To prove it, we’re showing off 5 of our favorite neutral paint colors that are anything but snooze-worthy.

Neutral wall color ideasFresh Cedar

Who ever said pink can’t be neutral? For a super warm, earthy vibe, try this shade of Fresh Cedar from Behr. This hue works well in eclectic spaces with lots of texture – that way your furniture and decor won’t be overshadowed.

For example, textured pieces like the Dilan Safari Chair from Safavieh and the Edge Brown rug from Loloi, perfectly harmonize with this warm share pink. For a neutral color, it certainly adds cheer to a space and doesn’t skimp on personality!

Shop This Look

Neutral wall color ideasAttitude Gray

Into cool neutrals? Then this Attitude Gray wall color from Sherwin Williams might be perfect for you. It’s an awesome backdrop for dark metals and warm leathers like the Owen Armchair from Pottery Barn and the Coast to Coast Bis Swivel Barstool used as a side table here. It’s a great neutral paint for industrial style decor because it mixes well with reclaimed woods, exposed beams, and brick walls.

Shop This Look

Neutral wall color ideasCachet Cream

Feeling peachy? Your living space sure will be when you add Cachet Cream by Sherwin Williams as your backdrop. This creamy neutral is is anything but drab and is perfect for balancing brightly-colored furniture pieces like this Effie Tripod Chair from Anthropologie.

One note of caution: if you have mostly white furniture, this hue might look too yellow. But, with dark wood floors or bold velvet statement items, it hits just the right notes.

Shop This Look

Rushing River

Okay, this one is kind of beige. But it’s a slightly darker, cooler take, unlike some of those drab, dull beiges. Rushing River by Sherwin Williams makes a sophisticated backdrop and also adds contrast/depth to a white living room. It’s the perfect wall color to emphasize texture and we love how it pairs with the gorgeous Carved Lovella Daybed and the round jute rug from Crate & Barrel.

Shop This Look

Tavern Taupe

Sherwin Williams’s Tavern Taupe offers a darker, warm neutral that makes a lovely compliment to blue accents like the Ashby Home Nassau Table Lamp and the Pottery Barn Azure Patchwork wall art. (P.S. this neutral/blue combo is our most-requested color palette.) A rich neutral wall color like this is never boring and adds warm, cozy vibes to any space.

Shop This Look

Try on a Neutral Wall Color Idea in Your Space

Start Your Project