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Our Interior Designers’ Favorite Neutral Paint Colors

As we mentioned in our previous blog, neutrals are the most tricky colors to pick. Indeed, you might think “but there is just one white or neutral color, no!?”. But the truth is… There are infinite different kinds of neutrals when referring to paint colors. All colors, even neutrals, have many variations!

Our professional interior designers select neutral paint colors every day. Our DKORistas do have their favorites. Continue reading and in this blog post, you will discover amongst other tips, their three go-to neutral paint colors.

Go-To Neutrals Paint Colors

We recommend using these three neutral paint colors based on our past experiences. They will help you reduce your options, and you can’t go wrong with them!

Interior Designers' Favorite Neutral Paint Colors
WHITE: Snowbound SW 7004


Interior Designers' Favorite Neutral Paint Colors
TAUPE: Perfect Greige SW 6073


GREY: Gray Owl OC-52


Neutral Paint Colors Tips



Residential Projects - Neutral Paint Colors

Do not forget to check these, and similar options in your actual space. Remember to do a sample of two to three similar shades of the color you prefer on a wall. It is particularly important if you have a lot of natural light coming into the space. Or on the contrary, if you have mainly artificial lighting in your space.

Artificial lighting can come either cold or warm. This is called the light temperature (measured in Kelvin). A warm light (=3000 Kelvin or less) has a more yellow-ish tint, while a cool light (=4000 Kelvin or more) will have a blue-ish tint to it.

Based on your lighting, the paint applied on your walls will look different than in the store, on the little paint sample you held in your hand. This is especially true for neutral paint colors (whites and greys especially) the lighting affects them a great deal. Let us give you a specific example.


Residential Projects - Neutral Paint Colors


Our interior designers selected, in our DKOR studio, great white colors for the exterior of a beautiful Mediterranean style, waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale. They sampled it out with the client on-site and were surprised by how the water reflection on the house affected the whites they picked. All the whites turned blue-green and felt very cold!

They had to return a day later, to try out other white paint options. They found out that whites that had a very subtle undertone of red were the best options. It worked perfectly to compensate for the water’s blue-greenish reflection on the home! So, if you have a pool, or live close to water, this may affect the white paint color you plan to use. Watch out for this!


Residential Projects - Neutral Paint Colors

In our residential projects, you can notice how our professional designers often select neutral for the common areas. They tend to gravitate to use monochromatic color palettes consisting of neutrals to create a soothing and peaceful ambiance in these areas.

Do not be afraid to go with off-white or light taupe colors instead of a true white for your common areas though. Try to remember that a neutral color palette does not mean that everything has to be white.

Stepping away from all-white walls will help the spaces look more elegant and slightly more formal. Of course, paint is only the first layer… then you can affect the mood of a space with the other layers (furnishings and accessories).

White is the go-to color for ceilings as having a darker color can affect the overall space quite a lot. Our interior designers actually use darker tones on ceilings to make the spaces feel cozier. A nice white paint ceiling will open up the space, make it feel fresh and light.


Residential Projects - Neutral Paint Colors


Talking about ceilings, there is a trick our designers want to share with you if you have low ceilings. Pick a glossy or semi-glossy paint finish for your ceiling, in a neutral and light color. Preferably white our designers say… Paint your ceilings with it, and notice how it adds depth and a feeling of height in your space.

Playing with paint finishes is always a great way to add interest to a room. But do not go crazy with this and plan well where you will use what finish. Our designers reveal to us that they typically specify mate or satin finish paint for their projects. They do like to keep it simple and timeless.

Using Neutral Colors in Interior Design

Residential Projects - Neutral Paint Colors


Let us revisit the points we mentioned above and recall why we love our neutrals:

  • Light neutrals make spaces look larger
  • White paint is actually the best tool to enlarge a room
  • Neutrals give a clean and modern look
  • They warm up a space, without having to commit to a stronger color
  • They provide a neutral backdrop for the rest of the design and selections
  • Neutral paint colors are happy and fresh tones
  • The spaces will feel timeless

Now, let us look on the other side, and be certain not to forget about the cons of using neutrals:

  • Having light neutrals paint color can get messy, especially if you are using mate finish (handprints and marks)
  • The right finish has to be considered carefully (not to use on playrooms for example)
  • Maybe you have to consider other colors on the trims to make sure it is easier to clean.
  • Be careful with the undertones
  • Light neutrals could have a different feel in different rooms in the same house if there is different lighting

Our Miami designers use neutrals paint colors quite a lot and we have to say, we all love how it brightens and opens up spaces. Even if you have a house that is not on the water, or close to Miami where the sun shines most of the year, try a light neutral color palette in your home and see how the mood instantly changes.

We believe that neutral colors will make interiors last through the years and through the different design styles. That being said, we do love a nice pop of color to shake things up. But really, isn’t the neutral setting that makes the pop of color actually work?

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