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How to Match Your Wall Color and Your Floors: 10 Best Hardwood Floor and Wall Color Combinations

We cover a lot of big-ticket design dilemmas on this blog—from how to choose a sofa to what rug size is best for a queen bed and clever ways to disguise your TV. But sometimes the hardest design challenges are the most subtle. Exhibit A: picking a paint to go with your wood floors.

It may seem easy enough—but paint colors, and how they interact with the undertones in your wood floors, can actually have a huge impact on your space. And it can be super difficult to visualize how everything will look once it’s done.

That’s why today, we’re breaking down this topic and giving you tips on how to pick a paint based on the color and tone of your wood floors. We’ll show you what not to do and share our favorite combos and design ideas for rooms with wood floors. So, whether you have solid hardwood floors, engineered hardwood, or laminate, this guide will help you land on the right paint color for your space!

How do you match wood floors to walls?

When choosing a paint color to match your wood floors, paint your wall in the opposite undertone. What does this mean? If your wood floors have warm undertones, pick a paint with cool undertones. And if your wood floors have cool undertones? Go for a warmer paint color! This will create contrast and help your room feel more balanced. Avoid picking a paint that has the same undertone as your floors, as it will make your room feel repetitive and flat.

You might also be wondering how to figure out what tones of wood furniture will look good with your wood flooring. Our guide on how to mix wood tones will walk you through the decision-making process!

How can I tell the undertone of my hardwood floors?

For those not in the design industry, it might feel challenging to determine the undertone of your wood floors. But here’s an easy way to figure it out. Warm undertones will look more red, orange, or yellow while cool undertones look more blue or purple. You can figure this out by comparing your wood with differently colored items and see which it most closely resembles. For example, you could hold a blue pillow or a red sweater up to your wood floors and see which color is a closer match.

Should floors be darker or lighter than walls?

The question of whether your floors should be a darker or lighter color than your walls all depends on your style and the mood you want to create in the space! It also depends on the color of your floors. A general rule of thumb to follow is to go for whichever combo has the most contrast. If your floors are dark, try a lighter paint to keep the room from feeling too heavy. Have lighter floors? Go darker to add more contrast and depth to your space.

Ready for some specific tips? Read on for tips on how to match wall color with wood flooring.

Best Paint Colors for Light Wood Floors

Light hardwood floors are very popular—in fact, this is probably the most widely used wood floor color. It offers a very timeless look, and we see it a lot in modern or Scandinavian-style homes. You might not know this, but light wood is a great choice for homes with kids and pets, as it won’t show scuffs or scratches as easily as other colors. It’s also an easier wood tone to pair paint with. It’s difficult to go wrong when matching paint colors to light wood floors—but there are definitely some hues you want to steer clear of. Read on for some do’s and don’ts.

neutral living room with light wood floors and cool white walls

Do: Cool White

Even though a lighter-toned wood gives off “cooler” vibes than a darker finish, they still do have warm undertones. Because of that, a cooler toned wall color is best. If you’re looking to create a bright, crisp, and cheery space, try a cool white, which will play nicely with the warmth of the flooring. If white isn’t your vibe, gray or light blue are also great options. Need help narrowing in on the right tone? Check out our guide on neutral paint colors, which is full of tips and features some of our favorites!

transitional living room design with light wood floors and dark charcoal gray walls

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Do: Charcoal Gray

If you want something a bit bolder (ok, a lot bolder!), try a charcoal gray. Despite its saturation, this color is still in the ”cool” camp, but the boldness of the color will really make your space pop! This is a great way to add visual interest to a space if you want a more minimalist look and don’t want to add a lot of extra decor. The dark tone helps add depth while still complimenting the light hardwood floors. This is also a great choice for an accent wall color! Go for cool white on three walls and add just a pop of saturation with a charcoal gray on an accent wall!

an image of a living room showing that a warm cream wall color does not go with light wood floors

Don’t: Warm Neutrals

Since the wood floors are a warm neutral, you want to stay away from warm neutrals on your walls. A tan or creamy paint color that’s too similar to the flooring hue simply doesn’t work well with light hardwood floors; as you can see above, the result is a visually flat space. And the slightly yellow undertones, though subtle, will alter the vibe of the space and could make it feel dated.

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Best Paint Colors for Gray Wood Floors

Gray wood floors pose quite the challenge, as gray has cool undertones, which can make a room feel cold. However, this is currently a popular design choice in a lot of new builds due to the popularity of modern farmhouse style. For what it’s worth, gray floors are definitely more trendy and less timeless—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means you have to be a bit more thoughtful in your paint choices!

If you like the look, go for it; but if you want something that will always be in style, consider skipping gray and going for a more timeless dark or natural oak finish for your hardwood floors.

But back to the paint. With gray wood floors, a good guideline to follow is to stick to warm paint tones to balance out the coolness of the gray. Here are two do’s and one don’t for gray wood floors.

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Do: Warm Colors, Like Dusty Rose

Warm tones will offset the cool tones found in gray wood flooring, making your space feel more inviting and cheery. We love a color like dusty rose, pictured above, which bridges the gap between a neutral and a color and really warms up the room.

a living room with cool gray hardwood floors and dark purple walls

Do: Dark Contrast, Like Plum

If you want more contrast and a more saturated color, opt for a deep, bold color with a warm tone—like plum! This shade of purple balances out the steeliness of the floors. And since purple has red undertones in it, it inherently adds a bit of warmth to the space.

an image of a living room showing what paint not to pair with light gray floors

Don’t: Matching Tones, Like Gray

When it comes to gray flooring, steer clear of a monochrome look. (We don’t want to see any interior design equivalents of the #groufit, people!) Matching the cool gray of the floors in your wall color will result in a space that feels cold and sterile. Not only that, but the overall design falls flat and feels rather one-note.

 

Best Paint Colors for Medium Wood Floors

Medium wood floors are a very common color for homes with hardwood floors. This was the color of choice in many mid-century ramblers across the country. With medium-toned wood floors, you can take a very similar approach as you would with light wood floors. However, medium wood is slightly trickier with color-matching, as it is darker so there is more room for error. Since medium wood floors have a warm undertone, the best approach is to opt for paint colors with cool undertones. Here are two paint colors to try—and one to avoid.

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Do: Dark Contrast, Like an Emerald Green

Green sits opposite red on the color wheel, so it’s a great paint color for rooms with warm wood floors. A deep, saturated emerald green looks especially nice against medium-toned hardwood floors. It offers the perfect balance of warmth and coolness in the space—plus a pop of boldness. We love this color choice in a room like the one pictured above, where you have neutral colors (in the chairs and wainscotting) which add lightness and balance out the bold walls.

dining room design with warm wood floors and aqua blue walls

Do: Cool Blues

If dark, bold colors aren’t your thing, try a lighter shade of blue instead! Light, cool blues offer the same effect as an emerald green, balancing out the warmth in your floors, without feeling as bold. And if you simply prefer neutral tones over colors, go for a cool gray or white (like the color pictured above, on the wainscotting.

an example of what color walls not to pair with warm wood floors. Dining room with warm wood floors and clashing orange walls

Don’t: Warm Tones

Colors with warm undertones, like tan or clay, will feel too similar to the color of medium hardwood floors and make for a space that visually feels too warm.

Best Paint Colors for Dark Wood Floors

Dark wood floors are another popular flooring for new builds—and in very old homes, as well. They tend to be cooler in color, so it’s important to bring in warmth with your paint colors. A word to the wise: real hardwood can scratch, and scratches are especially noticeable on dark floors—so this isn’t a great option for homes with kids and pets. However, if you like the look you can definitely find laminate options that look like real wood but without the sensitivity and maintenance! Below are a couple color options to try, and one to skip.

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Do: Warm Whites or Neutrals

Light, warm neutrals are a great way to bring contrast to your dark hardwood floors. Since the flooring is so dark, you wouldn’t want to add any more darkness to the space by choosing a dark, bold wall color. Warm whites and creams look especially great against dark wood floors, as their warm undertones balance out the coolness of the flooring.

living room design with dark wood floors and olive green walls

Do: Olive Green

If you prefer a more saturated color in your home, consider going for a sage or olive green. These are calming hues that definitely add color but won’t suck out more light from the space. Earthy greens like this are great because they plays nicely with the coolness of dark hardwood floors while adding warmth, especially since olive greens have more yellow undertones than other shades of green.

iving room design showing not to pair dark wood floors with dark blue walls

Don’t: Cool, Dark Gray

Shades of dark gray will bring out the gray tones in your flooring, and your room will appear drab. Not only that, but the dark-on-dark tones will make your room feel heavy, dark, and cold.

Best Paint Colors for Cherry Wood Floors

Cherry hardwood floors are perhaps the most difficult hardwood floor tone to decorate around. Cherry wood is distinctly red, and some cherry flooring even has an almost purple hue to it, making it even more difficult to decorate around. Some people dislike cherry finishes so much that they rip them out. But there are ways that you can happily live with them! It’s all about your paint and decor choices. The key is to lean into the use of cool colors, since adding coolness to your space will balance out the warm red tones in your floors. Check out a few do’s and don’ts, below.

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Do: Cool Light Blue

Crisp, light blue paint is a soothing balm to balance out the sometimes-aggressive nature of cherry hardwood floors. Light blues help visually diffuse the red tones in your flooring and lighten up the room.

living room with cherry wood floors and cool white walls

Do: Cool Gray

If you prefer neutrals to colors, go for a gray or white paint that has a cool undertone. This is a more subtle choice than the blue paint, but it will still help to balance out the red floors. A tip? With cherry floors, stick primarily with neutral and cool in your decor as well!

​​design showing not to pair cherry wood floors with warm wall colors like orange or red

Don’t: Warm Tones That Accentuate the Cherry Tones

Steer clear of any and all warm-tone paints in rooms with cherry hardwood floors. Colors with warm undertones will play up the warmth of the floors and make your room feel very intense.

Looking for more painting tips and recommendations? Check out our round-up of the most popular Benjamin Moore paint colors, the Best living room paint colors, the Best bedroom paint colors, as well as our designers’ tips for painting a room!

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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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Transform Any Space With These Paint Color Ideas

Paint Color Ideas

Maybe you’ve finally figured out your furniture or just landed on the best layout for your space, but somehow your room still feels a bit lackluster and even empty. Chances are you’re in need of a little wall color to help brighten and warm up your space.

Consider painting your walls, which will not only set the mood of your space but also provide you with a unique backdrop that enhances the look and feel of your furnishings. It may seem like a big commitment, but painting your walls is a simple update that’s guaranteed to be well worth your time in the long run.

We’re looking to rooms painted in cozy fall tones for a little inspiration. Read on to learn how a simple wall color change can totally transform the look and feel of any space.

 

The Mood: Cool & Calming

Paint Color: Wolf Gray

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Why the Color Works:

If you’re not quite ready to make a bold color commitment with your walls, try painting them a cool grey tone.

This shade, while a far cry from your standard white – which can appear too crisp or stark – still acts like a neutral tone that lays a calm foundation for the space.

Walls painted a cool gray help foster up a soothing and inviting atmosphere and provide you with a neutral backdrop blends seamlessly with a wide range of furnishings and materials.

 

 

The Mood: Elegant & Formal

Paint Color: Sharkskin

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Why the Color Works:

A deep green with grey undertones, this color creates an elevated look and an enveloping feeling in a room.

Because it’s a little more vivid, this deep hue works nicely with warmer wood tones and dark leathers, but also brings attention to the lighter tones, such as the sofa and neutral rug in this living room scenario.

If you’re looking for a wall color that’s just dark enough but still easy on the eyes, try a green that skews slightly grey in your space.

 

The Mood: Classic & Cozy

Paint Color: Incense Stick

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Why the Color Works:

For a room that feels polished and cozy, try painting your walls in rich taupe.

With purple and gray undertones, taupe walls are a great way to make both neutral-hued furnishings as well as darker pieces stand out in the room.

It’s a somewhat bold color choice if you’re not used to more saturated palettes, but taupe has the power to give your space a classic and refined look that will still feel fresh years later.

If you’re after a room that highlights traditional comforts, this wall color might be the one for you.

 

The Mood: Bright & Warm

Paint Color: Golden Retriever

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Why the Color Works:

If you’re looking to warm up and energize a space, consider painting your walls a bright color, like this deep beige-tinged gold.

Yellow, in any shade, is certain to enliven and invigorate a living space, and all your furnishings will pop against walls painted in a saturated yellow shade like this one.

Specifically, any accents or furnishings with touches of gray will help to balance out yellow walls as the two make for a naturally stylish color pairing, as in this living space.

If a deep yellow is too bold, try a softer, buttery yellow for a more neutral effect.

 

The Mood: Earthy & Welcoming

Paint Color: Deep Poinsettia

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Why the Color Works:

Earthy colors, such as this burnished red, can create a richly warming atmosphere when used on the walls in a room.

Hearty reds like this one have the ability to add impact as well as warmth, and it can draw focus to the natural materials in a space, as in the light and dark woods and the woven pieces here.

The effect can also be a room with rustic appeal. If it’s bold and eclectic comfort you’re going for, this strong color choice will surely help you achieve it.

 

Want to try out some wall colors in your home? At Modsy, our designers can show you how different paint colors will look in your room, so you can see your space transformed, before you make the commitment.

 

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