1. Step Outside the Grays


Sand and Sisal

One of the biggest myths when it comes to neutral paint colors is that “neutral” means bland gray, tan, or shades of white. The truth is a neutral can be an actual color as long as it balances and grounds a room and serves as a nice foundation for the other hues within the space.

A quick tip for choosing a grounding neutral that has a little more color is to opt for one that has gray in the undertone. You can easily find these colors at the paint store by looking at the paint color cards surrounding the grays. For instance, if you want a neutral green, focus on the green paint color cards just as they are about to transition to grays. These neutral greens contain enough gray to make them grounding neutrals.

Wall Color: Sherwin-Williams Comfort Gray

2. Choose a Transitional ColorHeather Scott Home & Design Photography: Michael Hunter


Another easy way to select a neutral with a little more color is to use a transitional color. A transitional color has a nearly 50-50 mix of warm and cool undertones, which enables the color to act as a neutral and complement any other colors in the room. A transitional color could be a bold blue-green as long as the blue-green is a nearly 50-50 mix of warm and cool undertones. When shopping for these colors at the paint store, look at the bolder colors that border the gray color cards.

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Sea Pines


3. Go DarkerLife on Virginia Street


Add some drama to a traditional neutral choice by picking a darker shade. Neutrals don’t have to be light colors; the darkest shade of a traditional neutral provides the same balancing and grounding benefits as a lighter version while adding more color and drama.

Wall Color: Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze

4. Lighten UpBHG


If you’re not ready to take the plunge with a dark neutral, do the opposite. Choose a neutral that has a little more color than a traditional neutral by opting for the top, lightest color on the paint color card. For example, if you’re looking for a neutral green, choose your favorite shade of green and then try a sample of the color at the top of the paint color card, or even go up just a couple shades. The lighter the color, the more white in the mix that helps balance and ground the color.

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green

5. Color PicksThe Creativity Exchange

To help you choose your perfect neutral, we’ve pulled together a palette of beautiful neutral and transitional paint colors that can add a little more color and drama to a room than a traditional neutral. These hues balance and ground a space, like a traditional neutral, yet also complement a variety of other colors and tones.

By Cyndy Aldred of The Creativity Exchange