Neutrals You’ll Notice | Subtle Paint Shades to Make Your Home Stand Out
One of the best things you can do when putting your home on the market is to update the paint. Over time, your home’s walls inevitably start to show the effects of daily life, and a fresh coat of paint goes a long way toward making a space feel bright, refreshed and well-maintained.
When choosing new paint for an interior or exterior house painting project, neutral colors are often your best bet. A neutral shade will keep the focus on your home’s features and allow prospective buyers to visualize their own furnishings in the space. If your home has noticeably different paint colors in every room, updating to neutral tones (at least in the main living areas) can help enhance the flow of your home’s layout, and solidify its overall impression.
Color fads come and go, and what was all the rage a decade ago may not translate as well in today’s market. To a lesser extent, that holds true even for neutrals. Over the past few years, shades of gray have been increasingly popular as an option to beige, and finding the perfect shade of white has become a bit of a design obsession for some. Unless you’re a design expert, it can be hard to know what shades will work best in your home, but a good real estate agent should be able to offer tips and help you select paint that will show your home to its best advantage. We’ve asked some of the area’s top real estate agents for their paint picks to help get you started.
Blickenstaff & Company, Realtors
- BM Pale Oak
- BM Revere Pewter
- BM Quiet Moments
- SW Silver Strand
As a Realtor, paint is my friend. It makes a huge difference in the overall appeal of a home. Clients often say that they don’t want to get rid of old wallpaper or do any painting because they don’t know what color a new buyer may want. Bad idea. Everyone can see themselves in a fresh, neutral space, and my response is that I know the colors. One of my “go-to” colors is Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. It’s a soft neutral color that is a blend of gray and beige, and it usually works well with existing trim colors. Another favorite is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, which is still neutral but has a little more color if you want to make the woodwork really pop. Picking colors for new construction is a little different. I usually keep the main spaces neutral but will put some color in bedrooms. Some of my favorites for the master are Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments and Sherwin Williams Silver Strand. Both colors complement most bathroom tile. I like to use semigloss on the trim, and either flat or eggshell paint on the walls. Flat hides imperfections and can be touched up, but eggshell is easier to scrub.
Lauren Bell Real Estate
• SW Repose Gray
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray is my favorite neutral color right now. It’s a light gray with a beige undertone.
Karen W. Hall,
John Stewart Walker, Inc.
- BM Collingwood
- BM Balboa Mist
- BM Revere Pewter
- BM Palladian Blue
- BM Guilford Green
Neutrals are definitely the way to go with updating decor, because you can easily personalize to your taste with furnishings such as pillows, rugs and window coverings. Also, rich woods stand out more with these colors. Neutrals rule in today’s housing market in terms of making your home more appealing and selling it faster. Buyers don’t want to do the updating—they would rather move in and continue their lifestyle. Benjamin Moore Collingwood and Balboa Mist are great with white trim accents. They are more of a “greige” color—a blend of gray and beige that is lighter than the taupe that was popular several years ago. Revere Pewter, also a Benjamin Moore color, is another no-fail shade. For a little color, BM Palladian Blue and Guilford Green are both light but have just enough color to provide warmth in a room.
RE/MAX 1st Olympic
• SW Dorian Gray
My buyers are definitely drawn to the sophisticated hues of grays that are all the rage right now, especially younger buyers. Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray is appealing to me. It’s a warm shade of gray, yet sophisticated, and it really makes white trim pop. It’s subtle, not too bold. Also, dusty blues and pale greens are very comforting.
Flint Property Group
• BM Simply White
A decorator friend of mine recommends Benjamin Moore Simply White. It allows the home’s architectural details to take center stage.
Dawson Ford Garbee & Co, Realtors
- SW Dapper Tan
- SW Rice Grain
- SW Otter
- SW Basket Beige
- SW Lakeshore
- SW Jetstream
I used several Sherwin Williams colors in my own home renovation last year. Most of the shades I prefer are a bit darker than beige or tan, because I think they make the rooms warmer, stronger, and give a feeling of home, but still go with everything. I also used a couple of blues on my ceilings. I’ve used Sherwin Williams paints since the ‘90s, because I feel the quality is there and you get what you pay for.
Reddy Real Estate, Inc
• BM Decorator White
I like Benjamin Moore Decorator White because it has a hint of gray, which keeps it from feeling like a cold white. It has a clean, warm palette for you to work with. You can use pastels against it, or introduce bold splashes of primary shades as accent colors.