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12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls

by Lauren Chorpening

I’ve mentioned a few times before that I’m drawn to neutrals over bold colors in my home. It’s nothing against colorful rooms. I’m easily overstimulated by my environment if it’s too messy, too sterile, or too colorful so I find it way easier to build a room with neutral walls, furniture and plants and then add interesting objects and artwork that incorporate color (which I can add to and subtract from).

While I love a good bright-and-light room, a white-walled space can get boring quickly. There are so many neutral wall options that can find a good balance between interest and subtlety if you’re like me and prefer to keep the color to rugs, blankets and pillows more than on the wall. Neutral doesn’t have to mean “safe” either: onyx or deep evergreen walls can make a sophisticated impact without overpowering a room with color. These 12 neutral rooms from past Sneak Peeks show us how to keep the color palette minimal without defaulting to white walls. –Lauren

12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
The mauve-meets-tan tone on Lucie and Philip's bedroom walls gives the room a depth that white paint couldn't. Try Benjamin Moore 1241 Morristown Cream
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Soft grey paint in Kelly Knapp's Rhode Island home brings out her unique collections without competing. Try BEHR N460-2 Planetary Silver
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Anna Potter's living room had enough natural light to bring in a dark grey wall color with a green undertone. "The dark grey also acts as a nice backdrop to ALL the children’s toys that find their way in here!" she shares. Try Sherwin Williams Rockwood Shutter Green SW 2809
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Lindy's dark-walled sewing room creates balance with a Washington home full of white walls. Try Farrow & Ball No. 31 Railings
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Jewelry designer Elma Blint has curated a home full of beautiful tones and textures. Her son's room has a light beige color on the walls for a serene look when mixed with whites and pops of color. Try Valspar Delicate Bliss 7001-8
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
The almost-black paint color in Eva and Ian's Los Angeles bedroom allows Eva to sleep more soundly and for their space to be distinctly different while in-stride with the rest of the home. Try Benjamin Moore Black Knight 2136-10
Tan walls in Heath and Bobby's bedroom set off their collections, textiles and style. Try BEHR Eiffel For You MQ2-37
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Nicolette Johnson's light colored walls are a combination of light grey, cream trim and a bit of white. The look is soft and modern. Try Benjamin Moore Misty Gray 2124-60
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Forest green limestone tiles surround the tub and walls in Jenny and Duncan's East London bathroom.
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Instead of plaster or drywall, this room belonging to Marte Marie Forsberg uses the neutral, natural tones of wood boards.
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
Celia's breakfast nook in San Francisco mixes ivory, cream, grey, tan and black pieces set off by a deep charcoal wall. Try Farrow & Ball No. 26 Down Pipe
12 Nicely Neutral Rooms without White Walls | Design*Sponge
A subtle light grey wall with a brown undertone gives Leigh and Joshua Savage's space an earthy, homey feel. Try Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray SW 6183

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  • I like neutral colors and I think they are always great solution for your rooms. It takes minimum effort to combine with appropriate color for furniture and fabrics. Aside from the fact they are not demanding natural colors bring coziness and warmth at home. So yes, thumbs up!

  • Some great colors ! The color depth yet using neutrals works really well. But…. no color info ? I love the color info on the grey / brown in the last photo.
    thanks for these pics tho.

    • Great point! Thanks for asking, we are working on paint color information and will update the story with those details soon :)

  • Modern Gray by Sherwin Williams (a dupe for Wheatbread by Behr) is among my favorite greige wall colors. Love it. Just wanted to share for anyone looking for a lovely, light, warm grey.

  • I tend to also gravitate towards neutral decor. I loved the gray office which I had to pin to my Pinterest board that’s totally dedicated to neutral decor (https://www.pinterest.com/RBR_LLC/color-my-world-neutral-decor/). In fact I’m wrapping up a project where the client chose a warm gray (Benjamin Moore – Whale Gray) that’s a nice contrast to the white wainscotting and new built-ins. The high contrast between a darker gray and white is a nice way to add visual interest to neutral decor among other design techniques to keep a room from looking boring.

  • Suggest Pratt & Lambert Rubidoux, a warm brown-grey that is easy to live without ever becoming tiresome.

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