There’s room for pops of colour in your space, but there are a lot of good reasons to stick with a neutral colour scheme for the interior of your home. Used correctly, neutral paint colours are aesthetically pleasing. A calm, neutral backdrop allows you to bring bold elements into the rest of your design. Bold isn’t always better. Neutral walls don’t have to be boring. 

What are neutral colours? Neutral shades (beige, taupe, gray, cream, brown, black, white) have underlying hues that change with different lighting. They’re complex tones. These hues complement primary colours (red, white, blue) and secondary colours (green, orange, purple). Some neutrals are warm (hints of yellow, red, orange) while others are cool (touches of blue, green, purple).  

The neutral colour palette:

The basic neutral colour palette is comprised of black, white, brown, and gray, with varying shades between.

  • Pure neutrals include black, white, brown and gray; all pure colours (fully saturated and with no underlying tones). By mixing different pure neutrals and primary colours, you can influence the resulting colour’s saturation and vibrancy.

  • Near-neutrals are achieved by mixing a primary colour with a pure neutral colour. They have lower saturation than pure neutrals. For example, tan (a near-neutral) is made by mixing the primary colour yellow with the pure neutral brown.

  • Warm and cool neutrals result from mixing different pure neutral colours with primary colours. Warm neutrals have yellow, orange, or red undertones (beige, tan, gold) while cool neutrals have blue, purple, or green undertones (gray, taupe, ivory).

What are the benefits of using neutral tones on your interior walls?

  • Freedom of design: Neutral colours create a blank canvas, working well with any style. Neutral walls allow you to change the overall style of a room without the need for repainting. Grey walls pair well with black furniture and red accents. Tired of this look? Change to light brown furniture and add maroon accents. No need to repaint. Customize every room to match your style,  showing off all your cool design choices and personal style. Change whenever you wish.
  • Showcase furnishings and textures: Neutral walls mix well with warm textures; rough-hewn wooden elements, shiny tiles, nubby linens, brushed velvets, glossy silks. Feature pieces come to the forefront and create an overall room design. Neutral hues allow you to create a warm, welcoming space while bold walls make textural elements disappear into the backdrop.
  • Increase the resale value: When selling your home, you’ll find that prospective buyers prefer neutral tones which allow them to envision themselves and their belongings in the space. Neutrals also highlight details, crown molding, wainscoting, baseboards, chair rails, beams. Bright tones distract buyers. 
  • Allow for accent walls: Neutral colours provide a complementary palette for colourful accent walls. 
  • They’re timeless: Most people don’t grow tired of neutral colours. They’re a classic choice. If you have the itch to re-decorate, quickly and inexpensively liven up your space with bright throw pillows, flowers and/or area rugs. Think of a neutral colour scheme as an investment, ensuring an interior design that will never grow old.
  • Focused design: A room with bright walls and bold accent pieces feels chaotic. Too many elements are vying for center stage. A well-designed room needs a clear focus. You can achieve this with neutral walls mixed with warm textures (wood, metal, velvet).
  • Add warmth: Neutral colours create a welcoming, warm space. They increase room size while making the room feel comfortable, a place where friends and family can gather. 
  • Have a calming effect: Neutral walls are calm and gentle on the eye. These hues provide a steady, quiet and soothing atmosphere. They flow seamlessly from one tone to the next, shaping a living area into a relaxing, natural space. 

Tips for using neutral colours

When working with a neutral colour scheme, find ways to add texture and colour for versatility.

  • Use different tints: Incorporate different tints in your neutrals to create a lively and engaging space. Consider pairing sage green with a gray and white room to add a hint of colour. A pop of pink pairs well with warm neutrals such as gold or beige.
  • Pay attention to the lighting: Lighting influences how your eyes read colour. Artificial lighting has a yellow hue, intensifying warm neutrals. Consider the season, time of day, the sun’s position, and the room’s location when choosing your colour schemes. Natural light from the north creates a blue tint, making neutrals appear darker and less saturated. Eastern or western light creates a warmer hue. 
  • Add colour with accessories: Incorporate bold colour in the accessories in your room (throw pillows, artwork, curtains). Choosing accessories with colour makes it easy to change the room’s style and décor to match changing seasons and/or moods
  • Choose the right colour: Different near-neutral and pure neutral colours have varying effects on a room. Dark, cool colours create a cozy feel, while lighter neutrals make a room appear larger. Choose a room colour that matches the design and feel you want for your space.

Take a toned-down approach. Make your interior walls a neutral colour. These hues create a balanced, elegant atmosphere and provide the background you need to change colour trends at will. Neutral tones are the ideal choice for any style and you’ll never grow tired of your choice. Neutral is anything but boring!

Need help choosing neutral tones for your home’s interior walls? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 917-0579. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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