Potentially My Best Talent...
Ok, so I'm not sure if you can count choosing paint colors as a talent, but its my blog, and I'm going with it ;)
Now, I realize that many people think picking out a paint color is "easy" and just as many people find it completely daunting, so hopefully I can provide some new options for the first set, and some ground rules and direction for the second. At the very least, know that these colors are pretty much "fool-proof" and it's only paint...if you hate something, you can always change it, for a relatively low cost and short time commitment...
So to not sound overly dramatic, I won't say that the overall color of a home or room is EVERYTHING....but I will say that it does affect everything else from a design and aesthetic perspective. Color truly can create moods and feelings (ever walk into a neon green kid's room and feel relaxed?), and also inspiration/direction if you're not sure what your next move is when designing a room.
I, personally, like to stick to more neutral wall colors, as in the undertone is neutral, not that I only choose white or grey (heaven forbid) paint for every project.
Therefore, I will be outlining and providing examples of my three favorite "color families" so as to point you in the right direction for choosing paints for your next project, but know that we love all colors at DZDH, as long as the tone and shade are chosen correctly :)
First and Foremost, the WHITES:
I almost always prefer a creamy white to a stark white, unless we are talking about ceilings and trim, in which case a bright white is always crisp and clean.
For walls though, here are my favorites, in no particular order:
Benjamin Moore : Swiss Coffee
This is the color I chose to use on most of the walls in our latest flip project in New Richmond. It is a timeless, warm white that looked amazing next our flooring and trim choices. I used the same color in our townhouse as well, and it looks great in almost all lighting scenarios.
Benjamin Moore: China White
This will be the next white color that I overutilize in my projects (making that prediction now). China White is technically more of a greige color (another favorite color family), but since most people would call it a white/off-white...I'll leave it here for comparison sake. Overall, it pulls more "grey" than "golden/cream", so it can be a great contrast to warmer wood tones and fabrics.
Benjamin Moore: White Dove
Simply put, this is a great neutral/warm/bright white....It pulls slightly more green/grey than Swiss Coffee, and is slightly warmer than a "true white" such as Decorator's or Chantilly Lace, but still looks bright and clean in most homes.
Now for my two "darkest" whites: Benjamin Moore Natural Cream and Strand of Pearls. They are both bordering on the greige family, but I still would put them in the off-white grouping. They definitely both read more as cream than white, but are a great compliment to your true white colors.
Strand of Pearls:
Okay, let's mix it up and go with a "color" for the next favorite...although, I truly consider blue/green to be a neutral at this point. In fact, most of these colors will actually be housed in the "grey" family, but they definitely pull more green or blue, depending on the lighting and location of use.
Benjamin Moore: Desert Twilight
This color is what I used in our recent Flip project. The upstairs office and kitchen cabinets got a shot at this beautiful grey/green paint, and surprisingly, it pulled slightly different in both. The bedroom/office appears more green and slightly darker than the cabinets, but nevertheless, this is a timeless, calming "green" that I would happily use again.
Farrow & Ball: Pigeon
In the same wheelhouse, but standing true to it's name and pulling slightly more blue-green-grey is Pigeon. Depending on the lighting, this can look more blue or more green, so I would definitely recommend getting a sample to test in your specific environment :)
Benjamin Moore: Duxbury Gray
As it states in the name, this is part of the grey family, but it yields more blue than gray in my opinion. A very soothing color that could work great in a bathroom, as an accent wall/trim, or even as a moody exterior on a home!
Benjamin Moore: Gettysburg Grey
A grey/tan/almost olive green color that I absolutely adore! It is more of a natural tone that is warm and cozy, without being too deep. I absolutely love this paired with a pale oak floor, natural brick tones, and brushed brass accents!
And for those of you who haven't been bored silly, let me introduce my newest favorite color GREIGE ;). No, but really, this is about as good as it gets. Warm, yet neutral, yet timeless, all while still being modern and on trend. Can we really ask for more?
Let's start off with the most popular grey/beige color, that you have likely seen before, but for good reason. It literally goes with any and everything...
Benjamin Moore: Revere Pewter
Trim, bedrooms, kitchens, cabinets - you name it, RP has been used, and used well. I don't foresee this color ever being labeled as out of style, because it is just so dang neutral.
A very similar color, that I personally prefer:
Sherwin Williams: Accessible Beige
Could we come up with a more basic/boring name for this color? But really, it is pretty hard to go wrong when using this creamy beige tone. It is slightly warmer/pinker than revere pewter, but gives the same vibe. I especially love it on trim and cabinets :)
And, some honorable mentions in this color family,
BM: Hampshire Taupe
SW: Anew Gray
SW: Agreeable Gray (common theme with these titles?)
Farrow & Ball: Mouse's Back (slightly darker, and what I may or may not be using on some future cabinets)
And really, truly, finally:
California Paints: Langdon Dove (a perfect neutral grey-beige that has a creamy quality to it, I just can't explain!)
Hopefully that rundown helped point someone in the right direction towards a great neutral paint! Take it all with a grain of salt though, as your preferences may differ from mine, and there are WAY more colors out there that I love just as equally as some of these. I think the biggest takeaway from this "lesson on paint" is to find tones that lean more gray or beige than you think you want. Light and surrounding colors have a very significant impact on how paint colors will read, and most people tend to veer too far towards "primary" color when sometimes "boring" is best ;).
Let me know if you have any other favorites I missed!