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Interior Designers Always Use These Neutral Paint Colors

Words by Sacha Strebe.

There’s no denying that the most transformative consideration for any room is paint. Swathe a space in bright tones for an energizing impact or coat your walls in warm hues to soothe the soul—your desired mood is attainable at the flick of a brush. Its metamorphic nature, however, does increase the pressure to find that perfect shade to set the foundation of your home but also complement every other aspect from the lighting to the décorative direction. If you’ve ever been down this path before, then you’ll know how many paint samples and swatches on walls it can take before you finally land on “the one.” So, we thought to give you a head start by asking interior designers to share the neutral paint colors they always use. Because we know that finding the right shade of white is anything but easy.

So, read on to discover the nine neutral paint colors interior designers have already vetted in other people’s homes (including their own!) so you don’t have to. We guarantee you’ll find the ultimate calming hue for you!

Interior Designers Always Use These Neutral Paint Colors
Interior Designers Always Use These Neutral Paint Colors

Athena Calderone, Interior Designer and Founder, EyeSwoon

farrow & ball wevet paint

Athena used this color throughout her Brooklyn home including all the doors, baseboard, trim, walls, and millwork of her living room, dining room, parlor floor, and hallways, in addition to the lower wainscotting in her bedroom.

Farrow & Ball All White paint

For the ceilings throughout her Brooklyn home, Calderone favored Farrow & Ball’s All White paint. While this subtle contrast is mostly undetected by the eye, it can be felt in the open expanse it creates in each room.

Benjamin Moore Fossil paint

When Calderone embarked on her Amagansett refresh, she replaced her crisp white walls with the warmer hues of Benjamin Moore’s Fossil in plaster which was applied by Kamp Studios to incorporate textural contrast. The end result is a room that envelops you in its comfort like a warm hug.

Farrow & Ball Ash Grey paint

After installing Semihandmade doors to her IKEA cabinets in the Amagansett kitchen, Calderone painted them in the Farrow and Ball’s Ash Grey—the perfect shade of soft green to match the veining in the Calcutta Monet marble. She also called upon long-term collaborators Kamp Studios to masterfully clad the island in custom fluted plaster in the same hue.

Leanne Ford, Interior Designer and Co-Host of HGTV's Home Again With the Fords

Behr Crisp Linen paint

There was one transformative tool Leanne Ford employed when reimagining her 1900 Pennsylvania attic: paint! A veritable master of white on white layering, Ford used her favorite hue, ​​Behr Crisp Linen on the floors, ceiling, trim, walls, cabinets, steps—basically every surface. “That’s why it feels so vast,” she shares. “Everybody has this misconception that the trim has to be a different color, and I actually love the opposite. It creates one beautiful light box.”

Vanessa Alexander, Founder, Alexander Design

Farrow & Ball Ammonite paint

"Ammonite is a super creamy light gray with a warm undertone and a matte finish. It reads almost white unless it’s next to white so we love it as a call me neutral in bedrooms and bathrooms or all over the house."

portola limewash in runaway

"I adore all the Portola lime washes because we’re obsessed with plaster and this is the next best thing. I love this Runaway color which is a very sexy "call me" taupe-y beige with just the right amount of brown. We use this in bedrooms also graded media rooms or accent walls.

Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of Studio/Lifestyle

Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray

"When clients want to opt-out of the all-white kitchen, this is a great option to add another color while keeping it neutral and warm. We find this shade works best for kitchen cabinetry or bathroom millwork."

Tali Roth, Tali Roth Interior Design

Farrow & Ball skimming stone paint

"I like to have a warm greige I can use aside from my whites that immediately create warmth and contrast without feeling too intense. I like to have something with a warm undertone instead of a cooler gray that throws blues. I mostly use this shade in bedrooms."

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