These 10 Neutral Paint Colors Work Wonders for Any Room, According to Designers

Living room with warm white paint

artbyaleisha / Instagram

When it comes to finding the right neutral color, you might think the options are pretty much only white and beige. But in reality, many neutral tones allow you to personalize your space while still maintaining a minimalist feel. You can dabble with some brown, dark green, and peach-toned neutrals to inject a little color or undertones without going full bore into committing to a color family.

Neutral room colors make sense if you prefer to bring color to a room with an accent wall, accessories, and furniture choices instead of wall colors. Some people like to simplify their life and choose one color for the entire home's interior. A good neutral can carry through a whole house but take on new life when paired with accents, different trims, or flooring. Neutral color choices also work in a pinch when two family members can't agree on a color direction for a room.

  • Color Family: Neutral
  • Complementary Colors: Most colors complement neutrals; if you have a neutral with warm red or pink hues, complement those undertones with a greenish accent; likewise, neutrals with cool, blue undertones could be complemented by gold or orange accessories
  • Pairs Well With: Neutrals can work with all trims, wood flooring choices, and textures
  • Mood: Darker neutrals can dampen the spirit of a room while lighter neutrals breathe life or give a room a lighter air; some neutral walls can feel lifeless or bland, but a room quickly transforms with meaningful color accents
  • Where to Use: Neutrals can work well everywhere inside and outside a home, from living rooms to closets and house exteriors to garages

Here are the picks for the best neutral paint color ideas, according to designers.

  • 01 of 10

    Best White: Benjamin Moore Simply White

    Simply White OC-117 paint swatch from Benjamin Moore

    The Spruce

    When you think of neutral paint, you probably think of white. Which makes sense: White paint is an excellent canvas for a neutral home. It's crisp, clean, and allows the rest of your decor to take center stage. We love Benjamin Moore Simply White because it's slightly warm without being too yellow. It works in almost every room of the house and is also perfect for the trim throughout a neutral-based home.

  • 02 of 10

    Best Light Gray: Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

    Stonington Gray HC-170 paint swatch from Benjamin Moore

    The Spruce

    Another great choice for a neutral palette is a simple gray like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. This soft gray has slightly bluish undertones that give it a little bit of depth and pairs easily with nearly any cool white shade. Gray works wonders as a wall color, and it's an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets when you want to stray from white without overwhelming your space.

    Tip

    A sheen—flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, or high-gloss—is just as important as the color you choose. Glossy sheens reflect light, while flatter sheens can absorb or dampen. A flat works best on ceilings, while glossy or acrylic eggshell sheens can work in bathrooms in kitchens, standing up to humidity, and are easily wipeable.

  • 03 of 10

    Best Taupe: The Spruce Best Home Woodsy

    Woodsy SPR-22 paint swatch from The Spruce Best Home

    The Spruce

    Taupe straddles a fine line between gray and brown and is a lovely choice if you want to add a little bit of dimension to your living space while maintaining the understated charm of a neutral home. The Spruce Best Home Woodsy is a medium taupe that is perfect for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

  • 04 of 10

    Best Griege: Sherwin-Williams Dorian Gray

    Dorian Gray SW 7017 paint swatch from Sherwin-Williams

    The Spruce

    Another color to consider in your neutral home is greige—a mix between gray and beige. A shade like Sherwin-Williams Dorian Gray is perfect for adding a bit of warmth to any space. Pair this shade with lighter grays or darker browns for a sophisticated monochrome look while feeling homey.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Best Blue: Farrow & Ball Pale Powder

    Pale Powder No.204 paint swatch from Farrow & Ball

    The Spruce

    Who says blue can't be a neutral color? A shade like Farrow & Ball Pale Powder is perfect for a neutral home. In certain light, it looks gray. Technically a very light aqua, this pale blue shade is the ideal way to add a hint of color to your otherwise gray or white room. It adds a weightless, airy feel to any space, and it's a perfect choice for bedrooms and bathrooms.

  • 06 of 10

    Best Green: Magnolia Silverado Sage

    Silverado Sage paint swatch from Magnolia

    The Spruce

    Consider a shade like Magnolia Silverado Sage for dens, offices, or larger living spaces that could use an earthy shade to keep it grounded. This medium pale green has gray undertones, and in some settings, looks almost dark gray. A sage green shade is modern and chic while feeling approachable and calming. Think of pairing it with natural wood tones to warm up the room or cool down the room with bright white trim.

  • 07 of 10

    Best Tan: The Spruce Best Home Sandbar

    Sandbar SPR-04 paint swatch from The Spruce Best Home

    The Spruce

    One of the benefits of a neutral color palette is the comfort you can get from a warm room or the soothing feeling you can get for a cool palette. The Spruce Best Home Sandbar is a medium tan that looks sandy shoreline. It's a warm hue that's gorgeous in living rooms or bedrooms. It's a simple color that will allow your guests to focus on the rest of your decor, and it isn't boring. Pair it with deeper warm tones in the brown or tan family to maintain a harmonious look throughout the space.

    Tip

    Don't overlook the little details when painting your own home. Remove outlet covers, and tape off trim, windows, around doors, and the ceiling from the wall. Get dropcloths to protect furniture and flooring from accidental paint drips or spills.

  • 08 of 10

    Best Off-White: Behr Gravelstone

    Gravelstone MQ2-50 paint swatch from Behr

    The Spruce

    If you're looking for a whitish hue that isn't overly crisp or stark, consider a shade like Behr Gravelstone. This paint reads like a lighter tan in smaller rooms but feels almost white in large, light spaces. It's a warm shade that is tranquil and welcoming. We love it as a backdrop to white and black palettes to add a little depth and contrast.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Best Purple: Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray

    Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

    Sherwin Williams

    Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray is a champion chameleon of colors. It's one of those colors that you can paint in every home in your house and make each room look uniquely different based on the undertones you draw out from the paint. It's a gray color with a taupe-brown base; however, you can see distinctive purple, green, and greige undertones depending on the room's lighting.

  • 10 of 10

    Best Yellow: Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque

    Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque

    Benjamin Moore

    A warm beige or ecru color with a subtle yellow undertone like Benjamin Moore's Monroe Bisque looks great with white trim and moldings. If you have artwork with yellows, this wall color will make it stand out. Wall colors with yellow undertones can sometimes be tough to work with and might not be the best choice for every room in the house, but this hue can be the base color for most bedrooms, hallways, and living rooms. Warm, overhead lighting can also warm the tone of the walls, bringing out its yellowish hue. Beware of introducing orange or pinks accents; this wall color can sometimes clash with them.