Neutral is defined as “matching well with many or most other colors or shades…not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy.” Isn’t that a relief? You wouldn’t want your wall color taking sides with your artwork and ganging up on the sofa. The point is that neutrals play well with others, which is a bonus when you’re using one as a backdrop to your décor. But before you pick a neutral shade at random and start slapping it on your walls, there are some important things to consider. Namely…


Image:  Sherwin-Williams (Raisin)

Just because you decide to go neutral doesn’t mean you have to go grey or beige or even greige. Many colors can act as neutrals, including pinks, blues and greens. They don’t necessarily have to be light colors, either. The neutral family includes darker shades, which can heighten the impact of your furnishings and decor. Check out this range of popular shades and ‘expert picks’ from Sherwin-Williams.


Image:  Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

This has nothing to do with how hot or cold it is in your house and everything to do with the color’s undertones:  is it warm or cool? The easiest way to tell is to hold your paint chip next to a piece of white paper or the purest white paint sample you can find. If your home is decorated in mostly warm colors, you’ll want your walls to complement rather than fight with that. Ditto for cool tones. 


Image:  Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay

The light in your room, that is. If you hold up a tiny little paint card one evening with the overhead light on and decide to go for it, you may be shocked at how that color looks in the light of day. Instead, get a big stick-on sample (available from many companies) or paint a piece of posterboard and look at it throughout the day. Move it around the room occasionally. Turn the lights on, then off. How does that affect the color? Observe your sample for a full day or longer and you’ll have a better idea of how your space will really feel in its new color.


Image:   Benjamin Moore

The level of shine makes a big difference in how a color looks in a room. The effect of a high-gloss finish is quite different from a flat one. That can work to your advantage, especially if you fall in love with a color. Boston designer DesireeBurns, quoted in Architectural Digest, often uses the same neutral throughout an entire home for consistency, using different finishes for contrast. “Try painting your molding and millwork in high gloss with eggshell walls,” she says, calling it “a divine combination.”

When you’re ready to go neutral—or bold, for that matter—request a consultation and we’ll make your color dreams a reality.

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