The Best Not-White Neutral Paint Colors

As the major paint brands are offering their takes on the Color of the Year, one shade is noticeably missing: White. After several years as the shining star of paint colors, and a frequent topic of conversation on this blog (here are my favorite white paint colors in 2021), there is a definite shift happening away from all-white interiors and toward more color. And as I’m planning the paint scheme for the Austin Tudor, I’m taking advantage of the more-closed-off floor plan to make way for more not-white neutral paint colors. That’s not to say it will look like a crayon box, but I’m definitely sampling some dark and moody shades and some subtle neutrals to play on the cozy, European-inspired vibe we have going in our new (to us) home.

Design by The Brownstone Boys

Beige and Dark White Neutrals

I know, I know, dark white doesn’t sound like a “not-white neutral,” but it’s hard to be the nuanced versatility of a dark white or the perfect beige. And if you aren’t quite ready to dive into dark, moody shades, this is a good stepping stone. This shades are great when paired with brighter whites either on paneling or cabinetry for a subtle tone-on-tone look.

Try These Shades:

Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore

Beigeing by Clare Paint

Seapearl by Benjamin Moore

Shadow White by Farrow & Ball

Styling by Kendra Surface | Photo by Chris Edwards

Design by Keith Wing

Gray-Green Neutrals

For slightly more color, chose a chameleon color that changes throughout the day. These shades are one of the toughest to get just right, so our picks are good places to start but should always be sampled on multiple walls in different lighting situations. However, when these gray-green tones work, they offer an versatility and an earthy sophistication. I especially love these colors when they are used on both the trim and the walls in a room, or used as a contrast trim color.

Try These Shades:

Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore

Light Grey by Farrow & Ball

Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams

Sea Haze by Benjamin Moore

Design by Lilly Taylor Interiors | Photo by Paige Rumore

Design by Light & Dwell | Photo by Amy Bartlam

Pale Gray Neutrals

Gray may be officially on its way out (I’ve already laid out my case for the return of brown interiors), but the truth is, sometimes it just works. It’s especially pretty when paired with natural stones, as they often feature different shades of gray. To keep it current, stick to shades with warm undertones and steer clear of cool grays that lean blue. And be sure your room has plenty of other colors and textures in it.

Try These Shades:

Seize the Gray by Clare Paint

Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams

Nimbus by Benjamin Moore

Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams

Design by Emily Wunder | Photo by Valerie Wilcox

Design by Nina Blair | Photo by David A. Land

Dark Neutrals

Can dark colors be neutral? I say a resounding yes. Earthy colors like blues, greens, and browns are especially versatile, and are well-suited to a variety of styles. For the best results, choose shades that have brown or green undertones, and if it is too dark, you can have it mixed with a lower percentage of the color added in, offering a more subtle version of the same shade.

Try These Shades:

Deep Dive by Clare Paint

Morning Coffee by Benjamin Moore

Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball

 

 

BY: ANASTASIA CASEY

PREVIOUS POST >

  • Home Tours
  • Product Roundups
  • Entertaining
  • Podcasts
hidden

An Eclectic Tudor Home Filled With Modern Charm

hidden

From Builders Grade Basic to Custom California Casa

hidden

Inside an English-Inspired Vermont Ski Cottage

hidden

How a 90s Family Home Got a European-Inspired Refresh

hidden

A 1980s French Tudor Turned Chic Entertaining Space

hidden

A New Build Rooted In 19th Century History

See All in Home Tours
hidden

Hues of Comfort: Sourcing Colored Bedding

hidden

Shop Vintage in These Design Categories

hidden

A Gift Guide for the Travel Lover

hidden

A Gift Guide for the Chef

hidden

A Gift Guide for the Homebody

hidden

A Gift Guide for the Style Conscious

See All in Product Roundups
hidden

Celebrating with Caesarstone

hidden

A Timeless Tudor Holiday Home Tour

hidden

Organic and Neutral Holiday Home Tour

hidden

A Cozy Lake House Holiday Home Tour

hidden

A Room-By-Room Guide to Holiday Decorating

hidden

Get the Look: Natural Moss Table Runner

See All in Trends
hidden

The Future of PR for Interior Designers

hidden

Construction Documentation

hidden

The Logistics of Construction Oversight

hidden

Business Operations at a Boutique Studio

hidden

Growing a Design Studio While Maintaining a Small Team

hidden

Elevating Kids Spaces with Color and Pattern

See All in Podcasts
hidden

Shop