White paint can create the most versatile canvas for any room in your home. But there are other neutral colors that can work just as well.
In fact, there’s a veritable rainbow of muted and moody shades that play well with other colors and recede into the background whether they’re in the living room, bedroom, or elsewhere. You’ll know you’ve found the perfect neutral hue if it lets the other details in your room — the decorative lighting, furniture, and wall art — shine.
Here are our favorite neutral colors to consider for your next paint job.
1. Neutral Colors for the Bedroom
Gray paint can create a wonderfully cozy effect that’s perfect for the bedroom. In this San Antonio, TX, guest room, which was renovated for under $200, the gray paint draws attention to the shiplap for a chic farmhouse feel. It also plays well with the rose gold bed frame.
Neutrals reign in this bedroom designed by Collecting Home. But there’s nothing boring about the space. The cream-colored feature wall has DIY paneling that anyone who’s a little handy can attempt. And the dark dresser and nightstand give the zen space some contrast.
2. Neutral Colors for the Bathroom
The DIY accent wall in this gray bathroom cost just $20. And we love how it adds tons of visual interest on a budget. It’s the paint color, though, that allows the other bathroom details, like the crisp white cabinets and striking light fixture, to stand out.
Pink bathrooms don’t always feel neutral, that’s for sure. But if you go for a dusty rose shade instead of a Pepto Bismal one, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Calamine, by Farrow & Ball, is perfect because it has hints of gray. In this bathroom, the color plays beautifully with the vintage elements and penny tile.
3. Neutral Colors for the Kitchen
Stark white kitchens can feel, well, stark. So in minimalist kitchens that don’t have many unnecessary accents, you can use color to create visual interest. Here, the London-based Kelling Designs firm uses a bluish-gray neutral paint to make the kitchen cabinets stand out.
4. Neutral Colors for the Living Room
Greige is one of the best colors to use in a neutral living room. It’s subtle, and it makes all kinds of wall art-pop. And in an especially large or modern living room, a greige hue can create warmth and a calming effect.
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Neutrals don’t have to be super light. They can swing the other way with a lot of success. Just take this uber-charming New Orleans Airbnb for example. The rich black living room creates a neutral backdrop for decorative storage and is a dramatic departure from the rest of the house’s pale walls.
5. Neutral Colors for the Dining Room
Simply White is one of designer Kate Lester’s favorite shades of white paint. And she used the shade throughout this Spanish-style home in Southern California. “This fresh coat of white is timeless and bright while still allowing the details to shine through and without sacrificing any wow-factor,” Lester shared. “It is the perfect blank canvas for a minimalist space with some accent details.”
A stone gray color will feel elegant and refined in any dining room. We especially like Farrow & Ball’s Purbeck Stone because it’s not too warm and not too cool. The shade offers an understated backdrop for this refined, almost minimalist eating space.
6. Neutral Colors for a Child’s Room
A gentle green color like this one works in nurseries, kids’ rooms, teen spaces, and even adult bedrooms. That’s because this particular shade of sage is both sophisticated and gender-neutral.
This room is definitely well-suited for a little girl, but it can transition into a more mature space as well. The soft pink will work as a warm neutral color. All you need to do is swap out the flowers and butterflies and keep the storage space as the year’s progress.