A Neutral Party.
Color- a bright splash here and there is good for the soul. However, when it comes to color on the walls, my heart is with the neutrals. Wait, did I just admit that??
Here’s my explanation… When I’m helping a client create a palette of colors for the entire home, I like to begin by choosing a neutral, as the anchor of sorts. Believe it or not, this is usually the most difficult to get just right. It sets the tone for the entire home. We take into consideration woodwork, lighting, decor style, possible accent colors, etc.
Undertones are a HUGE factor when it comes to neutrals. Unfortunately, they are tricky to see and understand (blog post waiting to happen). If you can’t detect undertones, call me! :) A good example would be the tan/gray/greens. Have you ever used a color such as this only to find that it looks green during the day and tan at night? There is no perfect solution to this problem really, though I encourage you to test a healthy batch of color options and be patient. Wait for the right one, it will just work.
There is much debate over the qualities of a neutral color. I like to think of neutrals as earth tones. Really, any muted version of a color falls into this category. The purpose of a neutral is to work as a subtle backdrop that gives you versatility. I find myself using certain neutrals over and over simply because they always look good! I will share some of my favorites;
Photo 1- How I love Benjamin Moore powell buff. It’s just plain sunny. A light tan with yellow undertones, this one is a winner. It’s just enough color and sells itself to clients looking for a warm palette.
Photo 2- Benjamin Moore edgecomb gray. A designer favorite. A light, warm gray. Looks amazing with splashes of white. Fresh, young, contemporary. Open your mind to gray, it’s very soothing!
Photo 3- Benjamin Moore grant beige. Another thumbs-up, designer favorite gray. This one will trick you, it appears beige on the swatch but looks gray on the walls. This is actually what I look for, so the gray keeps its warmth on the walls. The grays of the 2000’s lean towards tan/brown.
Photo 4- Benjamin Moore muslin. Light and airy. Actually an off-white shade, it has a touch of undertone-free tan in it. I love it with white trim in a bedroom or powder room. Very clean.
Photo 5- Benjamin Moore stonington gray. Notice all the gray shades? Very popular these days. Fans of blue, this one’s for you. Just a gentle touch of light blue, tempered by gray. Relaxing…ahhhhh.
Photo 6- Benjamin Moore providence olive. The unexpected neutral. My mother-in-law, who must get credit for always having a beautiful home, has found her happy place in this shade. It’s a subtle olive green that looks slightly sun-worn. A natural beauty.
What is your favorite neutral?
(thank you kellybernierdesigns.com, Blossom Residential Design, Flickriver, Apartment Therapy, and Decor Pad for the photos)