How to Choose the Right Neutral Colours

Neutrals are classic and unlikely to go out of style. These colours have staying power and are all about invoking elegance and versatility. We will explore the most popular neutral color paints from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

The Neutral Palette

Neutral colors are typically muted, understated tones that don’t strongly lean towards warm or cool tones. They serve as a backdrop, allowing other elements in the room to shine. Common neutral colors include whites, greys, beiges, and blacks. Here are some of the popular neutral colours from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams:

Colour Benjamin Moore Sherwin-Williams
  • Chantilly Lace (neutral)
  • Simply White (warm)
  • Cloud White (warmer)
  • Decorator’s White (cool)
  • Oxford White (cooler)
  • Extra White (neutral)
  • Divine white (warm)
  • Pure White (warm)
  • Alabaster (neutral)
  • Snowbound (cool)
  • Revere Pewter (neutral)
  • Balboa Mist (warm)
  • Edgecomb Grey (warm)
  • Accessible Beige (warm)
  • Natural Linen (warm)
  • Classic Grey (warm)
  • Metropolitan (cool)
  • Grey Owl (cool with green undertones)
  • Agreeable Grey (warm)
  • Repose Grey (warm)
  • Light French Grey (neutral)
  • Wrought Iron (charcoal with brown undertones)
  • Onyx (true black)
  • Tricorn Black (true black)
  • Iron Ore (cool charcoal)
  • Peppercorn (neutral charcoal)

How Undertones Create Different Moods

Neutral colors can have either a warm, cool, or balanced undertone that can influence how a paint color appears in a room. Warmer undertones have colors like yellow and red, while cooler undertones have colors on the opposite side of the color wheel like blue, green and purple. Some colors also have a neutral or balanced undertone which is not evidently warm or cool. You can use a white paper as a reference to help identify whether a paint color has a warm or cool undertone.

It is important to consider the vibe or mood you intend for that space. Warm, cozy, inviting, and comforting spaces might benefit from warmer tones, while cool, crisp, and sophisticated spaces could use cooler tones.

Warm neutrals, such as beige and cream, often evoke a sense of coziness and comfort. They can create a welcoming atmosphere and pair well with natural materials like wood. Cool neutrals, like greys and soft blues, tend to offer a more contemporary and calming vibe. Finally, if you really want to amp up the drama and contrast of a space, consider taking the bold step of using black paint.

Lighting Matters

Neutrals are highly influenced by light and different lighting conditions (natural light, artificial light, overcast days) can make a color look entirely different. Natural light brings out the subtleties of neutral colors, while artificial lighting can create different moods in the room. You can try painting different corners of a room and observing them throughout the day to gauge how lighting affects the color.

Styling a Neutral Colored Space

One of the key strengths of neutrals is their versatility. Neutrals can serve as a foundation for any aesthetic, from minimalist and contemporary to traditional and rustic. To create a sleek, cohesive look, consider matching the paint color’s undertones to the fixed elements in the space such as the floor, countertops, and cabinets. Once you have chosen a neutral color for your space, here are some of the ways that you can style it:

Go monochromatic: Neutrals are excellent for layering and creating depth in a room. You can create a monochromatic color scheme using different shades of the same neutral color which can result in a serene and elegant look.

Show your art: Neutrals provide an excellent backdrop for showcasing art, furniture, and decor pieces. They allow these elements to stand out without competing for attention. This is an opportunity to display cherished artwork you’ve been keeping hidden or invest in a bold new statement piece.

Play with texture: When using neutral colors, textures like linen, wool, wood, and metal become more prominent. Mixing textures can add visual interest and depth to the space. Consider painting exposed brick or wood-paneled walls to create juxtaposition and intrigue.

Still Struggling With Colour?

Hemlock Painting offers colour consultation as part of our services. We specialize in Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams premium paints and we can assist in providing you expert advice.

Contact us today at (604) 330-7609 to book a consultation.

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