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The 8 Best ‘Whole Home’ WARM Neutral Paint Colours

Posted on March 5, 2021 by KylieMawdsley

Warm Neutral Paint Colours for EVERY Room in Your Home

You’d be surprised at HOW MANY of my E-design clients say, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t like greige or gray – I only like warm colours’. To which I say, ‘don’t be SORRY, it’s your home and YOU have to be comfortable in it! And besides, there are TONS of rooms that don’t like gray or greige either, preferring warm neutral colours to suit their specific finishings, furnishings, and exposures.

They’re not alone in loving warmth either, and in fact, might even be ahead of the curve as homeowners begin the migration away from gray to the warmer end of things – oh, it’s started (read more on that HERE).

Sherwin Williams Alabaster best warm white paint colour. Client waiting room. Beach coastal colour. Client photo. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consulting

The waiting room at Eddins Counselling – I could wait here all day (and lord knows I need the counselling…) 

Now, if you’re looking for a warm paint colour that’s suitable for your ENTIRE HOME, you’re going to need a DARN VERSATILE colour that can FLEX with the different needs of your spaces. And along with paying attention to undertones and exposures, you’ll also want to focus on the off-white to light-medium depths. Why?

When it comes to warm paint colours like cream, tan, and beige, once these types of colours get to a certain depth, they aren’t their original colour anymore, they’re closer to brown, and nobody wants their whole home painted brown. There’s also the OTHER end of the warm spectrum – warm whites, but I’ve already written great articles about the best white paint colours for your home. And even though I LOVE to hear myself talk (or type), I don’t want to be too long-winded.

Benjamin Moore Indian White is a warm cream paint colour with subtle undertones. Kylie M Interiors E-design, decor and online color consulting services. With beige sofa

The main undertones of warm neutral paint colours

One thing that always makes me giggle (other than people tripping and impromptu gas), is when my warm-lovin’ clients say, ‘I want a warm paint colour, but I don’t like yellow, orange, or red undertones’...insert awkward whistling here.

EVERY warm neutral will have a yellow, orange, or red (pink) undertone, and sometimes even a wink o’ green. True story. I can certainly offer you some warm neutrals that have REDUCED undertones, but you do have to pick your poison, which is usually the undertone that best suits the finishings in your home RATHER than your personal tastes.

The best neutral warm paint colours and undertones, Benjamin and Sherwin. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, Diy decorating ideas

BTW, you might be eyeing up a few of the above colours, but remember, you need to sample colours carefully to see how they look in your home. Exposures, furnishings, and finishes can drastically change how a colour looks and you might be surprised at how things shift from one room to another! (BTW, never lean samples – ALWAYS place them 100% vertical).

Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige. Accent Chair, south facing room. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour expert and consulting

And just like with ‘The Best Gray and Greige Paint Colours for Your WHOLE Home’, I have a few points for you to ponder…

The flexibility of warm neutral paint colours

Beige, tan, and cream can be flexible, which means that while they might FAVOUR a particular undertone (yellow, red, orange), they’ll have a secondary undertone, or, given the right circumstances (ie: exposure/reflection/interior lighting) can pick up the other undertones.

North, East, South, West – Which Paint Colour is the Best?

Benjamin Moore Palm Desert Tan. Guest bedroom. Kylie M INteriors E-design, before image. client design

The reality of warm neutral paint colours 

You might not be able to satisfy EVERY room, EVERY countertop, EVERY flooring in your home with one magical paint colour. Sometimes, you need a two or three colour palette to suit a variety of different finishes. Do you expect one type of wine to suit your steak dinner, chicken, and Frosted Flakes? No, you need to branch out a bit, and the same goes with paint colours. So, even with the best intentions, even my ‘whole home’ paint colour suggestions WILL shift on a room-to-room basis, for example:

WARM PAINT COLOURS IN NORTH-FACING ROOMS

If you have northern exposure, you can expect a warm paint colour to look less warm. Because north-facing light is a cool gray-blue light, more passive warm colours can lean just slightly into gray, without going full greige (happens more commonly with tans). Super warm colours can look a bit more toned-down, while still holding some decent warmth.

Read more: North, East, South, West: Which Paint Colours is the Best?

WARM PAINT COLOURS IN SOUTH-FACING ROOMS

In a room with southern exposure, warm colours will look EVEN WARMER as they start playing with that yellow-toned southern sunshine – things could get a bit toasty. This is why you have to be CAREFUL to choose the right type of warm paint colour for your south-facing room, so things don’t visually overheat.

WARM PAINT COLOURS IN EAST-FACING ROOMS

In eastern morning light, warm colours can look more or less as expected, nothing shockingly different. In the afternoon, the right warm paint colour can help to balance out the flat light, adding a bit of warmth and life.

WARM PAINT COLOURS IN WEST-FACING ROOMS

Warm colours can sit nicely in the flat morning light of a west-facing room but will look considerably warmer in the afternoon, particularly later on.

No-Fail Neutrals: Why They Don’t Exist

Black painted wine cabinets, kids art gallery wall. Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream. Kylie M Interiors

Enough chitter-chatter, let’s get at ‘er!

The best warm neutral paint colours when you want to paint your whole home for staging or living. Beige, tan, cream. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice

For this first batch, I’m going to keep things as simple and subtle as possible…

1. Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan SW 7567

Canvas Tan is a beauty. In the world of tans, it’s one of my faves because it doesn’t go overly golden but ALSO doesn’t flatten out. It’s soft, warm, and simple with VERY little undertone. It also has an almost creamy looking backdrop (that won’t flash pink – a common worry). Once in a BLUE moon (or a green one might be more the point), it can pick up a wink of green, but MORE often when it’s up against finishes with a pink undertone.

Canvas Tan has an LRV 65, so it has a bit more meat on its bones compared to some of the lighter colours we’ll be looking at. However, it still sits higher than my MAGICAL LRV number. Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.

Best beige neutral paint color.Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan in living room with oak flooring and beige green sectional. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant

Looking at the photos above and below, you’d think they were different tans. Remember, lighting, exposure, and interior finishes make ALL the difference!

Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan in open layout living and dining with vaulted ceilings and fireplace. Kylie m Interiors paint colour

A bit more about Canvas Tan

  • Canvas Tan is a great happy medium between the yellow-warmth of typical cream paint colours and the more subdued, subtle approach of many tans.
  • Canvas Tan doesn’t have the stronger golden (orange-yellow or orange-pink) warmth that you’ll find in many popular beige colours.

FULL COLOUR REVIEW of Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan

2. Benjamin Moore Ballet White OC-9

I’ve had mad love for Ballet White for many many moons (don’t worry Mom, these are ‘pants-up’ moons, unlike the alternative, a favourite past-time of mine). Ballet White is a magical blend of cream, beige, and greige. There’s warmth there, but it’s cut back by a neutral base that slows things right down.

This next photo makes me ALL kinds of happy (but so does a nap, so I am relatively easy to please)…

Best cream, beige neutral paint colours. Living room and kitchen, Benjamin Moore Ballet White and Gray Cashmere with White Dove trim and fireplace. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting and advice blog

Ballet White has an LRV of 73, so it’s right on the cusp of off-white, which you can see via the photo above. Generally, it acts like a ‘light’ depth colour, as shown below. Again, I’m keeping the undertones as passive as humanly possible for you, while trying to show how a colour can look DRASTICALLY different depending on its environment.

Now, if you’re someone who likes cream, but doesn’t like yellow undertones, well, that’s tough tamales, because cream IS yellow (with a neutral base added). However, Ballet White is a great way to get a creamy LOOK without going overkill on the yellow.

Ballet White best warm cream neutral paint colour. Living room, cottage coastal style, builtins. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice blog

A bit more about Ballet White

  • Ballet White is a great way to get a nod towards a cream paint colour, without committing to too much yellow.
  • Ballet White is one of the more popular warm, passive neutrals and generally, will have more mass appeal for resale than a standard, more yellow-based cream.

FULL PAINT COLOUR REVIEW: Benjamin Moore Ballet White

Want to learn how to pick paint colours for your own home or even become a COLOUR CONSULTANT? Take a paint colour course from the comfort of your OWN HOME! 

Online virtual paint colour consultant course. Kylie M Interiors using Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint colors. Certificate (1)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AVAILABLE ONLINE PAINT COLOUR COURSES

3. Sherwin Williams Creamy SW 7012

Creamy is the lightest of the bunch, coming in with an LRV of 81, meaning it’s tucked nicely in the off-white range.

LRV, light reflectance value in stairwell. Kylie M E-designs, Ken Kirkby artwork. Sherwin Williams Creamy

Notice how the colour washes out on the well-lit UPPER walls in the above photo (nature of the beast). However, you can see the proper contrast of it down by the baseboard (Benjamin Moore Cloud White). This wall has northern light on it, so you’ll see how the yellow base of Creamy looks more muted.

Best neutral paint colour. Sherwin Williams Alabaster cream paint colour. Pure White trim. Blue furniture and accents. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint consultant, diy decorating

The above photo is a bit blurry, but it shows the pretty softness and warmth of Creamy.

BTW, I rely 100% on my E-design clients after photos, so thank you to everyone who sends them in – you make my colourful lil world go round!

The 5 Best Cream Paint Colours

A bit more about Creamy

  • If your rooms are VERY well-lit, you may want to look at a paint colour with more depth as off-whites will wash out. Or, in your most well-lit rooms, do a different colour and keep this one to the more moderately lit spaces

FULL PAINT COLOUR REVIEW of Sherwin Williams Creamy

The best beige, tan, neutral paint colors for your room. Online paint colour services. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decorating and ideas blogger.market

Click HERE or on the above images to see available packages!

Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…

Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…

  • Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
  • At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing for traditional paint sampling
  • If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE

4. Benjamin Moore Navajo White OC-96

Navajo White has been kickin’ some serious butt in the colour world for a loooong time – for good reason!

Best cream paint colour, Benjamin Moore Navajo White with beige tile and lime green and orange accents. Kylie M Edesign, online paint color advice

Navajo White is a beautiful warm cream paint colour. It has just enough depth to contrast with white trim, without weighing down darker hallways or basement rooms.

On WELL-lit walls, Navajo White will wash out, as shown in this next photo – but this will happen with any light colour. To avoid this, you need MORE depth, even a shift to the slightly darker Gentle Cream could help a bit.

moore navajo white with entryway decor ideas including large overside metal clock and black armoire for storage

If you LIKE cream and are cool with a BIT of yellow – this could be your colour.

A bit more about Navajo White

  • Navajo White has an LRV of ALMOST 80, so it’s right up there with Sherwin Williams Creamy!
  • Navajo White has a soft yellow backdrop with a touch of orange to balance it but isn’t remotely pinkish or green

5. Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige SW 7036

Shifting gears a bit, let’s look at Accessible Beige. Unlike the above colours which have a creamier vibe, Accessible Beige is a bit moodier (especially at its time of the month – HOLA!). It’s a light depth beige but is VERY abnormal as it leans slightly into gray. And while it could be encouraged OHHH so slightly green, it’s so vague that I’m just being anal – ignore me.

Best beige paint, Accessible Beige by Sherwin. Living room, coffered ceilings, wood floor. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decor. client photo

With an LRV of 58, Accessible Beige carries a bit more visual weight than the average ‘light’ depth paint colour, but HOT DAMN does it suit a lot of homes and finishes!

Best beige paint colour with warm oak railing and floor. Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert

FULL PAINT COLOUR REVIEW of Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige

6. Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige SW 7037

Balanced Beige is just one tone down on the same colour strip as Accessible Beige. And just like Accessible, it leans a touch into gray, and can look ALMOST greige in a north-facing room. It can also pick up a tiny wink o’ green (with encouragement) – a touch being an overstatement.

Best paint colours with dark wood trim, Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige and Warm Stone. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

Balanced Beige has an LRV of 46, making it a solid light-medium depth paint colour. If you have a home with great natural light, you might like the fact that it has a bit more body to it and can stand up to intense natural light – better than an off-white or light depth paint colour. However, make sure you still find it appealing in darker rooms or hallways.

If you love more traditional golden beiges, you may find Balanced Beige a bit too greige-taupe looking as it doesn’t cast that typical golden glow.

Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige. Accent Chair, south facing room. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour expert and consulting

And just LOOK at how it warms up with some beautiful interior lighting in this next photo!

Mountain contemporary style bedroom. Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige neutral. Kylie M Interiors E-design, wood furniture, (2)

Again, I know the photo quality isn’t GREAT, but I do appreciate these after photos, as they give you a REAL-life (unedited) look at things!

FULL COLOUR REVIEW of Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige

7. Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige SW 6106

I’m not going to say that Kilim Beige is popular because people love it – I’d be lying. Just like I lie when I tell Tim that I don’t KNOW what Amazon just dropped off, I wasn’t even expecting anything! (wink wink). It’s popular because it works. Oh, it doesn’t work in every home, but if you have a home with a whole lot of beige tiles, carpets, and countertops, it’s definitely worth sampling.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige, best beige paint colour, river rock stone fireplace. Hunting deer heads. Kylie M Interiors edesign

While I might change the green rug, Kilim Beige is FABULOUS with the stone and sofa

Why? Well, in the 1990s and early 2000s, a lot of the products used in new construction (or renovation) had pink undertones. And there’s no use fighting them, so you may as well embrace them with a beautiful paint colour! Don’t worry, the pink is subtle, I’m just being anal again.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige in a bathroom with beige toned tile and soaker tub with dark wood surround. Kylie M Interiors E-design

Kilim Beige is a light depth (on the heavy side of light) warm golden beige that makes a polite lil’ nod towards pink. NOT MUCH, but JUST enough to humour those slightly pink-toned products, without having SUPER obvious undertones.

A bit more about Kilim Beige

  • If you have any products with green undertones, don’t use Kilim Beige; these opposing undertones will only highlight each other.

FULL COLOUR REVIEW of Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige

Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams China Doll

8. Benjamin Moore Grant Beige HC-83

I couldn’t end this article without talking about a real legit tan – specifically, Grant Beige (which should rightfully be called Grant Tan).

Best beige paint colour, Benjamin Moore Grant Beige. Staircase, wood and white. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color advice blog

Grant Beige is a light-medium depth tan and doesn’t have even a WINK of a golden warm undertone. Oh, it’s got warmth, but it’s not golden (no yellow-orange). It’s more of a yellow-based warmth, tempered by a neutral base and a weeee wink ‘o the Irish – that’s right, green.

FULL COLOUR REVIEW of Benjamin Moore Grant Beige

READ MORE

The 9 Best WHOLE HOME Gray and Greige Paint Colours

The 12 MOST POPULAR Beige and Tan Paint Colours

The 9 Best WHOLE HOME Gray and Greige Paint Colours

The 8 Best White Paint Colours from Benjamin Moore

Can’t find the right paint colour? I CAN HELP!

Check out my Online Colour Consulting packages

The best white paint colors for your room. Benjamin or Sherwin. Edesign, online paint colour services. Diy home decorating ideas blogger.market

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2020, AWESOMELY UPDATED IN 2021



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Comments

  1. Great post! I’m glad to see that warmer colors are coming back around, especially for those of us who can’t use grays because of the lighting in our home or that they simply don’t appeal to us. As you know I recently used Manchester Tan when Canvas Tan went too gray in our north facing room, and I have been thrilled with it! Just wanted to mention that in case any of your readers are struggling with the same problem.☺️

  2. Hi Kylie, great post!! Could you tell the difference in undertones of SW Kilim Beige and Sand Beach? They seem so close, I can’t decide which I should use. Thank you!

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      Author

      Oooo, Kilim Beige can be a tough one, as it does have a wink of pink in it. Of the 2, I would lean more into Sand Beach, but of course it can depend on the interior finishes in your home and which paint colour connects with them the best!

  3. Please save our marriage Kylie! I HAVE to pick a paint color once and for all! I currently have SW Restrained Gold and I am so over it!
    My favorite sample on white board has been BM Windsbreath but it is a sad grayish whitish color in my home. My other was SW neutral ground but looking neonish white in my LR.
    Just wanting one color for all rooms….med wood trim, offwhite kitchen cabinets, brown/black/creme quartz.
    I have read all of your wonderful reviews..just too overwhelmed! Thanks!!!!

    1. Post
      Author
  4. Hi Kylie! Thank you so much for sharing all of your great expertise! Do you think SW Aesthetic White would also be considered a good warm whole home color? Thanks 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      YES YES YES! I love Aesthetic, as long as you know it’s not a TRADITIONAL warm colour as it’s more muted and toned-down 🙂

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