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Bring on the color--What are we painting our walls?

Let’s have a color conversation. I’ve had so many people asking me about color recently, particularly when it comes to wall color. There are so many wonderful new neutrals popping up, and it’s making me rethink what really is a neutral. So...what makes a color a neutral? A neutral is not a blah color that just sits on your walls. It is not a color that just goes with everything and doesn’t enhance the look of the room. And it is not the color you see all over Pinterest and choose just to fit with the hot trends.

A neutral is a color that allows you to mix and introduce colors and patterns without causing the room to fall apart. A neutral can be a color that is soft and enhances the feel of the space. I recently saw a great color from BEHR called Dayflower. It’s a soft pale blue gray with a touch of silver. This is a great color for a kitchen, bath or living room. With this color the walls provide the color and the furniture is more neutral. I love this look.

Gray seems to be falling off the trend trail and taupe is popping up around the edges, but soft color seems to be pushing ahead in popularity. I love the use of pale gray blue, or pale blush or even a sheer yellow. These colors are wonderful to introduce to your palette to make a room pop and create that wow effect.

If you have trouble seeing colors, bring in an expert to help you make your choices. I recently met a great gal who truly needed color therapy to help select the colors for her master bedroom suite. The issue was the lighting. The room did not have any overhead lights, the lamps were too short and had dark shades on them, and the room faces south with a lot of tree cover. All the colors she was looking at were tan or gray neutrals which fought with the carpet that had a red undertone. I know I am speaking Greek at the moment, but that’s why a color person can be a huge help. We aren’t looking at a color from a paint store, we’re looking at what the color from the paint store will do when we put it in a room that has a lot of issues. And those issues are usually lighting.

Color and especially paint colors affect how you feel, your thoughts and your moods. Look at options on HOUZZ and Instagram to see rooms that have a lot of color or just a small amount. It’s like trying on shoes in a shoe store. One thing I do not recommend is to paint a bunch of small swatches on the walls all around the room. The color will not be true and often misleads you in the direction of what the end result will be. If you are painting a light color over a dark, you will have color bleed-through, so the color will not be true.

Take the time to explore other options than just a tan, taupe gray or beige neutral. Some of the best neutrals are the ones that are unexpected and make the most of a simple space.



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