I have a HUGE design related pet peeve: people that think neutral colors means beige, and only beige. This misconception has run so rampant that I feel like I rant to my clients when we discuss neutral colors. I would love to create an infomercial for all the speculative real estate investors (flippers) out there because while they tend to create beautiful homes, they more times than not also create boring homes. Even individual home sellers tend towards all beige, all over to attract home buyers. I think we need to clear things up so boring homes become a thing of the past.
Beige is not the only neutral color, though probably the most common. And I have nothing against beige. In fact, I love a creamy, dreamy cappuccino-inspired hue. But it, by itself, does nothing for me. To use a neutral color is to create a base for your palette. The beauty of a neutral color is that even if the accent color in your palette is royal purple, beige doesn’t have to be the base. Neutral colors tend of have a strong beige or gray undertone to them, allowing them to play the role as a neutral while still having color. That royal purple would look great with a neutral green. Looks like a beige a little, right? That’s what’s supposed to happen. But in person it’s definitely a green with a beige undertone. Still don’t believe me? Head to your nearest Sherwin-Williams store and pick up the color card for 6163 Grassland.
Neutrals get a bit tricky when trying to sell a home but the issue can be easily tackled. While it makes sense to paint the majority of the home in a white, ivory, beige or gray, there are still many opportunities to inject other neutral colors. Accent walls and non-beige carpet don’t have to be foregone so the buyer isn’t put off by using a neutral color. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been scoping out properties online with kitchens and bathrooms tiled in all beige, even the accent tiles. Those accent tiles are again, the chance to inject color. Do it using a neutral and you’re set!
If you are flipper or home seller who is not quite ready to take a leap and use other neutral colors, you can do a few things to make sure there is still interest in the room. One way is to use different shades of beiges, whites, ivories, etc. Instead on one beige, throughout, using two, three, even four different shades will look great. Another way is to use different textures throughout. Using different types of tiles on a backsplash, mixing a smooth flooring with a carpet, etc. while keeping the shade of the neutral color throughout with provide some interest as well.
You might be wondering how you know if a color is a neutral or not. Many are very easy to spot. However, should it not come right to you, Sherwin-Williams has a specific neutral line. I’m sure that many, if not all, of the other manufacturers do as well. And should you still be having trouble, Fuchsia can guide you to all sorts of neutral colors that aren’t beige and will look great in any situation.