Paint Color Home Tour: Nature-Inspired Neutrals

I think the most common question I am asked on the blog and social media is what paint color I used in any given space.  Actually, it’s the most common question I am asked in person, too (regarding interior design, that is).  Paint colors can be hard, and they obviously set the tone for the whole house.  So today I want to share a complete paint color home tour: warm and cool neutrals plus some nature-inspired greens and blues that all flow together beautifully.

A color scheme for a whole house! See paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals with touches of blues and greens | maisondepax.com

As you will quickly see, this is not our current home.  These are the colors used in our last house: our 1940 colonial in the city.  You can tour the complete before and after here if you are interested.  That post also includes links to the various projects and room makeovers, so be sure to go visit if you have questions.

Before I go through the colors, I want to make two observations:
First, this home’s original interior trim color was very creamy yellow.  It made it tricky to pick wall colors… So if you have a cream colored trim, this is an especially great resource for you.  However, all these colors look lovely with true white trim, too (I know because I have used some in my current home where the trim is white and because we did use true white in some of the rooms as we udpated the home).

Second, you may notice that most of my pictures look quite a bit lighter than the color swatch.  I think there are two reasons for that: first, the paint swatch color is taken from the paint manufacturer’s website (which in this case happens to be all Sherwin Williams).  It is the screen color they have assigned to their pigment, but it does not account for light reflecting off an actual paint swatch or painted wall.  Second, all colors take on variations as they are found in different lights, and since I usually take pictures with plenty of sunlight streaming in, you can expect the colors to be on the lighter side.

Ok, with all that administrative observation out of the way, here is a run down of our last home by paint colors.

The exterior was painted in Ellie Gray (SW 7650) by Sherwin Williams with Extra White trim and Tricorn Black accents.

Ellie Gray (SW 7650) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

Our entry, stairwell, hallway, living room, and dining room were painted in Barcelona Beige (SW 7530).  If you like warmer neutrals that are dark enough to provide contrast with trim but light enough to keep your space feeling bright, this is a great choice.

Barcelona Beige (SW 7530) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

The longer we lived in the house, though, the more I was drawn back to my natural inclination of cooler colors.  So I used Dorian Gray (SW 7017) in the library.

Dorian Gray (SW 7017) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

And for a touch of drama, we used Gauntlet Gray (SW 7019) in the upstairs office.

Gauntlet Gray (SW 7019) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

The kitchen, butler’s pantry, and laundry room received one of my favorite greiges, Colonnade Gray (SW 7641).

Colonnade Gray (SW 7641) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

My daughter’s nursery got a slightly lighter (and perhaps a touch warmer) neutral called Agreeable Gray (SW 7029).  I loved it so much that I used it as the main color in our new home.

Agreeable Gray (SW 7029) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

The downstairs playroom/sunroom and the master bedroom were both finished with Aesthetic White (SW 7035).  This color is quite the chameleon – it looked cool against our cream colored trim but gave the rooms a soft, warm glow overall.  I think it can be an excellent choice when you are working with tricky colored trim.  Bonus: I used lots of Dovetail (SW 7018) for accents (like the gray armoire in the sunroom and my interior window trim in the master bedroom).  It is one of my favorites!

 

Aesthetic White (SW 7035) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

We painted our master bath with Krypton (SW 6247).  I think I may need to use this one again… It’s one of my favorites, too.

Krypton (SW 6247) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

And the boys’ room and bathroom received Silvermist (SW 7621).

Silvermist (SW 7621) by Sherwin Williams: see paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals | maisondepax.com

And that’s it.  9 serene, nature-inspired neutrals for you that you can mix and match as you please.  Remember, for more details on any of these rooms (and links to many more pictures if you’d like to see more angles) can be found in the before and after tour of this home.

Happy painting!

A color scheme for a whole house! See paint colors in real spaces in this home tour full of lovely, nature-inspired neutrals with touches of blues and greens | maisondepax.com

Did you enjoy that?

Have my best tips on home decor, DIY, and life delivered directly to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the color run down !! We’re about 2 weeks out from closing on our house and greiges are seriously heavy contenders ! I’m definitely putting some of these in our new home !

  2. Love these colors, I just had a color consultant come to our house and help me with paint choices and Gauntlet Gray is on the list!!!! Christine from Little Brags

    • Brittany says:

      Hey … where did you find a color consultant? I’m a few weeks away from closing and these colors have me super overwhelmed. :)

  3. Rachel,

    This was a wonderful post! I think it’s great to not only suggest colors you’ve used, but also for people to see them in real spaces. And in more than one, that’s even better! I really like a few of these colors and may be looking for a neutral for my downstairs powder room so I might have to go get some samples!

    Sheila
    http://www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

  4. This helps a lot. I love the grays and we will be painting this summer.

  5. We used the Krypton to paint our bathroom today. LOVE it! Thank you so much for your help!

  6. Sheri Kurtz says:

    Hi Rachel,
    We are a year away from retirement and are downsizing and purchasing my mom’s house. I would like to design a “little black dress” house. Meaning I only want to paint the whole house once more! I love the neutrals but am wondering if the grays are too trendy and if I should stick with the beige scale? I will be redoing all the windows, flooring and paint so I have a clean pallet. What do you think?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      What a great question, Sheri!! We would all save a lot of money and effort if we really tried to “little black dress” things in life, wouldn’t we? :) I grew up with grays. My mom painted almost every room in the house gray or blue, even when those colors were not in style… When she built a new home about 5 years ago, I tried to encourage her to consider some warmer beiges. She gave in on one room and once it was on the walls, she had them repaint it; she just doesn’t like beige. Now her house is perfectly “in style” though. Ha! My point is that you’ve got to know what you love because the trends will come around again eventually. If you are unsure, you can always go with a warm gray. I love the Agreeable Gray I have in most of my home now, and it can read gray or beige depending on the lighting and the accessories. I hope this helps in some way!

  7. We just painted several rooms colonnade gray and it is warmer in person. Love this color! The painter we hired has the same color in his home

  8. I am wanting to repaint the interior of my home and I adore these colors. I like more natural subtle colors. I do however have dark walnut trim that I do not plan on painting. Do you think any of these would work with wood trim? If not do you have any suggestions?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Great question, Carma! I’ve never owned a home with walnut trim, but I imagine it is gorgeous! I don’t see any reason why these colors wouldn’t work with darker trim, but you might want to consider going slightly lighter to provide a greater contrast between your trim and the walls and to brighten the space. If you go to Sherwin Williams, you can find most of these colors on cards that have gradations of lighter and darker colors, start there and see if something slightly lighter might work. Or you can always have them mix a color at 50% for a more subtle tone of the exact same color. I hope this helps!

    • Hi Carma!
      We used Colonnade Gray with our wood trim (oak, not as dark as yours probably) and it’s a really nice contrast! Rachel, my question for you is: we have a 2 story foyer on the north side, lots of natural, but not direct light. Would you go with something darker than the Colonnade Gray, or lighter? There’s so much wall i don’t want to have to repaint if i decide the wrong way! 😂

      • Rachel Paxton says:

        Great question, Jessi! I’d encourage you to check out the foyer in my new house (tour the house here). It is also a two story space with tons of natural light… We used Agreeable Gray in here, which is a couple of shades lighter than Colonnade. As you can tell, lots of natural light will wash out the color some and make it a bit warmer usually, so you’ll just have to decide whether you’re ok with it washing out to almost white or whether you want to keep that darker gray look. I hope this helps!

        • Thank you! I was thinking about the Agreeable gray! I might get a sample of the Ellie Gray too just to see how each plays off our wood trim. Thank you for the inspiration! PS – I am in love with your wood floors!

          • Rachel Paxton says:

            Sounds like a great plan, Jessi, and you are so welcome! And I confess, I’m kind of in love with my wood floors, too. 😉 Good luck with the painting!

  9. beth Tappan says:

    Hi: Maybe I missed it, but where are these colors from? What brand? Thanks!!

  10. My brother in-law wants me to do his great room over and he wants a “gray” color. He has a lot of natural wood for trim and doors and does not want them touched. How would a gray look against this trim?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I don’t see any reason why these colors wouldn’t work with darker trim, but you might want to consider going slightly lighter to provide a greater contrast between your trim and the walls and to brighten the space. If you go to Sherwin Williams, you can find most of these colors on cards that have gradations of lighter and darker colors, start there and see if something slightly lighter might work. Or you can always have them mix a color at 50% for a more subtle tone of the exact same color. Another reader commented that they used Colonnade gray with wood trim and loved it… So I think you’re probably safe! :)

  11. Hi,

    Our new house is under construction and we expect to move in by end of this year. We are so excited and already thinking about paint. We picked Colonnade gray as the default on all walls and plan to paint darker tones as a highlight in each room. Can you suggest some dark paint colors that complement well with Colonnade gray?

    Thanks.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      How exciting! I’m not sure how dark you want to go, but I loved our office in Gauntlet Gray – very dramatic. I used Behr Secret Society in my husband’s current office, and it’s lovely, too. For more medium tones, Dorian Gray, Dovetail, and Ellie Gray are all nice complements to Colonnade. I hope this helps and congratulations on your new home!

      • Thanks for the suggestions.

        In the blue tones, we are currently contemplating between Hague Blue (Farrow & Ball) and In the Navy (SW 9178). So, Secret Society is in the same realm. I am looking for similar options in the red and brown tones to complement with Colonnade Gray.

  12. Help!!!!! I’m painting my family room/ dining room Dorian Gray. It’s really a true gray in the room. My big question is: do I go stark white with the crown & trim , or a creamier color such as BM White Dove or SW Snowbound Trim? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Great question, Wendy! Honestly, I’ve used Dorian Gray against both creamier trim and crisp white trim… I tend to prefer bright white trim, personally, but our last house had all antique white and it wasn’t worth the expense to change it. The best part is, I don’t think you can go wrong! The creamier trim will have a softer feel, but the bright white will make the gray feel warm and cozy. I’d go for what you have in the rest of the house or prefer generally. I hope this helps!

  13. Just painted my entryway, living room and kitchen Colonnade gray and love it! Now, trying to decide which color to paint dining room. Has anyone tried SW jogging path? And also thinking Ellie Grey. Thanks for posting pictures of the paint colors, its very helpful!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      That’s great! My parents actually used Colonnade gray throughout the main areas of their home and then jogging path in my father’s office. It coordinates well with the Colonnade gray (in fact, it’s so close, I’m not sure some people even notice the difference), but it is definitely warmer. He had several pieces that we felt would complement a warmer backdrop, though, so the jogging path seemed like a good choice in there. The Ellie gray will probably read more similar to the Colonnade as far as warm/cool but a bit darker… I hope this helps!

  14. Hi! I just had to get my siding and roof done due to product failure and age. I was thinking Ellie Grey for my exterior but my Owens Corning roof in Quarry Grey seems once installed to have a blue tinge/cast I wasn’t expecting. The company says the roof color should settle down with sun/UVA exposure? I thought the roof was going to be a combination of lighter and darker grey colors. I know nothing about home projects and have to pick a color right away. Is Ellie Grey a warm or cool color? I tried samples of greys that really had a bluish tint like SW Morning Fog, Dustblue, and Steely Grey and I didn’t like them. Could I do a yellow exterior like SW Banana Cream with this roof. Help I’m so confused! Thanks!

    • If it makes any difference I live in the Pacific Northwest.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      It’s a very tough thing to make color decisions without seeing all the elements, Kathy, but I find Ellie Gray to be a barely warm gray. It’s almost truly not warm or cool, though, just neutral… I’m not sure how this will work with your roof, though. I can tell you that yellow/orange and blue are complementary colors on the color wheel, and as such, there are many yellows that complement blues very well. If you like yellow homes, you could probably find a yellow that would look nice with a blue/gray roof. Yellow is far cry from gray, though, so if you really wanted a gray house, make sure you are really sure for such a change! :) I hope this helps in some way.

  15. Cheryl Van Gieson says:

    Thanks for a great site and I love that you respond to all questions/comments. Here’s mine: we’re buying a newly built home which is really a cottage but the living room, kitchen and dining area are open concept with eleven foot ceilings and they all face south or southwest. I’ve tested Colonnade Gray which seemed dark on some walls, Repose which felt warm and pleasant, but a bit bland, and now I’m testing cooler SW shades: Sea Salt, Lattitude and Palladian Blue by BM. The Sea Salt has an interesting way of changing with the light and can look gray, bluish or greenish. Lattitude is, well, gray, and Palladian I think too intensely green. Trim will all be white. With a good deal of light in the afternoon, I’m torn over going warm or cool. Floors are a driftwood type color as are cabinets. And should I keep ceiling white or go with a color? I tried Tame Teal and it was intense. And should I carry same color throughout? Bedrooms are quite small and I have two and a half baths and a laundry room. Really need some guidance! Thank you so much.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      New homes come with so many decisions! I always love a white ceiling, but that’s just my preference. If Colonnade seemed dark, you might try Agreeable Gray. I have it throughout the main areas of my new home, and I love it. It reads cool in some lights and warm in others – it might go with those driftwood floors really well. It sounds like Sea Salt would be really lovely, too, if you want something with more color, but if I were you I would not carry something like that throughout the house. If you go with a white or gray, you could carry it into any room and still have room to use accents for different color schemes. Paint colors are so much a personal preference… but I hope these ideas help in some way! Congratulations on your new home!

  16. Cheryl Van Gieson says:

    Sorry, that came out wrong: my cabinets are white, not driftwood. Which might be interesting!

  17. Cheryl Van Gieson says:

    Thank you for such a quick reply, Rachel, and for the congrats! I do like Agreeable Gray quite a bit. I erred in the direction of the house; it faces West! So that front open room will be bathed in afternoon sunlight. I spent hours today trying to put together a whole house palette. My challenge is I’m allowed only three colors per the builder. I can use more of course, but pay extra. But, do I need more? I’d love for your readers to weigh in. I have the open kitchen, living room, dining room at the front, then I have a half bath, laundry room, Jack and Jill bedrooms with bath, and master with bath. Thoughts? All feedback is welcome. Floors are grayish brown and woodwork to be white. Help!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      You’re welcome! I think three colors is probably enough… You can always paint a single bedroom or bathroom another color for a change later, of course. :) My current home has just four, and it’s got 5 bedrooms. I’m using Agreeable gray downstairs (great room, dining room, and kitchen), Cameo White by Bher in 3 of the upstairs bedrooms and the laundry room, and then a light blue and a dark blue in the other two bedrooms. I think the tough one will be finding the right color for the main living area since, as you said, it’s the most space and it gets lots of afternoon light. Definitely try samples and look at them at different times of day!

  18. This is so helpful! I’m closing on a new house in a couple of weeks and painting the entire thing before I move in. I want to do gray downstairs but there are so many! I like several here. Would you say Krypton leans a little blue? I don’t want the gray I choose to look “institutional”.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Congratulations! Krypton definitely leans blue. In fact, I always considered it “blue” rather than “gray,” though I have been surprised by how many readers have commented on my “gray” bathroom… I guess it is a bit chameleon.

  19. Hi Rachel!
    We must be sisters in another life or something because your color choices couldn’t be any closer than those near and dear to me! Your decorating style is beautiful! I have always had a difficult time trying to describe my style preference. Farmhouse Chic sounds right to me! I am so thrilled to have found your site. Thank you!
    Cindy from PA

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      What a sweet thing to say, Cindy! I’m so glad you found me, too, and I hope you continue to be inspired! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *