There is a new trend in neutral color—gone is the boring beige! Image Source: Jules Art Of Living

There is a new trend making an appearance on the interior design horizon—stylish new shades of neutral.  It’s akin to the fall fashion runways, where there is always a new, hot color trend—think, white is the new black.

Homeowners and interior designers alike have hopped whole-heartedly onto the neutral color bandwagon, realizing that there is nothing negative about decorating with neutral colors.

We are not talking about boring beige, rather the new neutrals are bright, welcoming and go with any style of decor.  As the  Behr paint company aptly points out…neutral colors are livable, flexible and classic.  While this article will focus on two very popular neutral colors, it is important to know that every color can be a neutral. Yes, every color has a shade in the color spectrum that, when used properly, can become a beautiful neutral backdrop.

Let’s look at some of the A-list neutrals that seem to be topping this trend and how to use them in your home.

Neutral colors can literally be any color on the color wheel, as long as the right shade is chosen. Image Source: RS Myers Company

Grey is Taking on a Bright New Horizon

At first, we may think of the color grey as a stormy, dark, dreary grey day—this is not the kind of decor we want in our homes! Rather, the new grey that is showing up everywhere is modern, clean and actually seems to lighten-up a room, like the sky clears after a storm.

Grey has become the new go-to neutral that every designer wants to experiment with.  Here is the problem— grey can be a difficult color to choose.  As some of you may have already discovered, choosing the wrong shade of grey can result in a dreary, dark room.

In order to choose the perfect shade of grey you need to consider many factors such as natural lighting, furnishings and trim. Read below to find out how to pick the perfect shade of grey and make it work in your home.

Even a darker shade of grey can become a neutral with the right lighting. Image Source: Heather Garrett

Grey Mixed With White Trim

There is nothing better than grey walls mingled with fresh white trim, and white paneling.  If you feel that grey will be too stark for your home, than this is the style you should aim for.

If your walls have panelling or wainscoting from the floor up to the chair-rail, then consider painting the bottom panelling a bright white and opting for a deep grey tone on the walls above. The result— a warm, welcoming style that looks subtly modern.

If you prefer a more contemporary style, then consider covering all the walls with grey paint and then accenting it with broad white trim and moldings. Either way, grey and white mix together in a magnificent manner!

Grey looks fresh and modern with lots of white trim and molding. Image Source: Board and Vellum

How to Choose From the Many Shades of Grey

As we mentioned above, it can be tricky to choose the proper grey for your home. There are a lot of variables to take into consideration in order to pick the perfect paint.

Obviously, it is always smart to paint some large samples on your walls, observing the color over a couple days to see how it looks in different lighting and different times of day. You want to choose a shade that brings brightness to your home; one that makes the darkest room come alive.

Anna Moseley of Ask Anna, says that many people find the grey that looked perfect in the store ends up looking blue or purple once on the wall. Moseley notes that the trick to finding the perfect grey color is to look for a grey that has a tan base, it may even appear tan at first, but when you get it on the wall, you have the perfect grey!

This cool, light grey shade works well thanks to the large window and natural lighting. Image Source: Winn Wittman

The New Green

We are not talking about a dark, hunter green mixed with that awful deep burgundy that we all saw in the 80’s, or the lime green that was so popular in the 70’s. The new green trend that has everyone ‘green with envy’ is soft, and adds a pop of unexpected color—yet manages to remain neutral.

This new neutral green goes with every decor from shabby chic to modern minimalist. The new green comes in many shades—it can appear as a cool, green-grey tone or more of a blue-green that hints toward a warmer, more turquoise appearance.  The blue-green shade is best used in traditional, country or shabby chic interiors, while the cooler grey-green is best for modern interiors.

Like the grey color trend, this new green is also a tricky color to choose and use properly. The last thing we want are sewer-green walls or hospital-green walls. Let’s look a little further into how to choose the perfect green for your home.

When done properly, even the boldest shade of green can act as a neutral. Image Source: Wilson Fuqua

 We Don’t Want Hospital-Green On Our Walls

Shades of green have always been popular because they are a color found in nature—and nature never picks the wrong shade. Greens can be calming or energizing, depending on their shade.

However, green is a hard color to choose, and none of us want to feel like we are living in a hospital ward. In order to avoid the cold appearance, we suggest you avoid using green in north-facing rooms, or opt for a green with a warmer yellow undertone in these rooms.

Green can also be livened-up by adding room accents in brightly colored hues such as red and yellow. As with grey, green also looks great with bold white trim and molding. It is very hard to know what is right unless you paint some swatches on your walls. The rooms lighting, flooring, and furniture all affect how a color will look in the home.

There are many shades of green to match your style, whether it be traditional or modern. Image Source: Crisp Architects

As you can see, you can never go wrong with neutral colors—they are a classic! Green and grey are both hot neutral colors right now, but they are both also hard colors to get right.

Go ahead and paint some swatches on your walls and live with them for a few days, observing how the color changes throughout the day. Ultimately choose the neutral shade that opens up your space, allowing your furnishings and the rest of your decor to come alive.

What is your favorite neutral color?