The Top 5 Mushroom Paint Colours: The Kissin’ Cousins of Greige
Mushroom paint colours have been a hot topic lately as grays take a very slight backseat to softer neutrals such as greige, taupe and you guessed it – mushroom!
Really, there isn’t a HUGE difference between these colours, it’s more about me being anal. However, the subtle differences are tricky to explain, so you better get your
drinkin’ thinkin’ cap on (or both if you like).
If you’ve read my blog post titled: Greige & Taupe: What’s the Big Difference? you’ll know the basic in’s and out’s. Regardless, let’s do a quick recap:
What is a taupe paint colour?
Generally speaking, taupes are brown-gray blends that can have a slight purple undertone and a pretty warmth (sometimes purple-pink as well). Usually, the brown takes precedence over the gray.
What is a greige paint colour?
Greiges are gray-brown blends that can have a subtle bit of taupe in them, but can also flash a bit green – there are very few greiges that DON’T have these undertones. Greiges can be well-balanced between gray and beige or lean slightly more gray.
What is the DIFFERENCE between taupe and greige?
- Undertones. Taupe is more likely to grab a purple or purple-pink undertone, whereas greige varies between a purple or a green undertone
- Temperature. Taupe is often a bit warmer, more brown-gray. Greige is often slightly cooler, more gray-brown.
So, where does mushroom fit in? Let’s take a peek…
What is a mushroom paint colour?
Mushroom is a brown or beige, with gray in it – meaning that the brown-beige is the dominant colour – the gray is there to step it down. Another way to put it is that mushroom paint colours are warmer than greige colours because they have more brown in them and less purple than taupe. The thing is, a lot of colours AREN’T mushroom, but given the right exposure and environment – they will look like one.
Mushroom paint colours are browns and beiges with some gray in them – the brown-beige remains the slightly dominant factor. If you add MORE gray, you’ll get greige
Now, brown and beige paint colours often have a warmer, more golden look to them – we’re not talking about those ones. We’re talking about the muted, subdued ones, the ones that can’t quite commit to being ‘warm’, yet don’t look totally greige. However, mushroom-inspired paint colours are still slightly warmer looking than typical greige colours and have less undertone than most taupe colours.
This means that while mushroom-inspired paint colours are closer to taupe in their temperature, they usually grab less undertone than greige OR taupe and are often more ‘neutral’ looking.
The TRICKY thing about mushroom…
If you get the wrong mushroom, you’ll hallucinate that Ryan Reynolds is painting your home in teal socks and a g-string (hallucinate/fantasize, whatever). If you get the RIGHT one, you’ll end up with a paint colour that is the PERFECT soft neutral and a fabulous backdrop for MANY rooms.
However, the tricky thing is that MANY colours don’t START OUT as mushroom, so let’s take a look at that…
- Some greige paint colours can look mushroom toned (warmer) in a south-facing room because the natural light will warm them up
- Some beige paint colours can look more mushroom in a north-facing room as the cool light can gray them out
- Mushroom really only look mushroom when it’s light-medium – medium toned. Any lighter and it’s more like a tan colour. Any darker and it can look brown.
Confusing, I know – but that’s why you’ve got me in your back pocket (and I do pinch…). Now let’s expand on those thoughts just a bit…
Mushroom paint colours in south-facing rooms
South-facing rooms have a warmer light coming in and mushroom paint colours generally do well in these spaces. Yes, they will warm up, but you’ll find that they generally still hold a ‘basic mushroom’ look, particularly if you choose a mushroom that has a wink more gray in it.
However, some greige paint colours can LOOK like a mushroom colour in a south-facing room (or west-facing in the afternoon). South-facing light is a warm light, so it will take that gray-beige blend and try to lean it more to the beige-brown side, making it look more like mushroom.
JUST REMEMBER, once the sun goes down in the evening, you won’t have that natural light to moderate things, so make sure you like your paint colour all day!
Mushroom paint colours in north-facing rooms
THIS can be a tough sell. Because north-facing light is a slightly gray-blue light, it will ADD gray to a mushroom paint colour – pulling it closer to greige. And this can be okay if you like greige, however, if you prefer the slightly warmer side of things, you might find that a mushroom paint colour in a north-facing room loses the warmth that you were hoping for.
Shown next, SW Anew Gray is likely in a north-facing room as you can see how it falls considerably more to the gray side of things. Again, this is okay if you like gray, but if you are wanting the subtle warmth that mushroom offers, you’ll want to avoid this type of colour in a room with northern exposure.
If you are struggling to find a mushroom that stays warm enough for you in a north-facing room, you may need to bump things up more to the subdued beige range, something like SW Barcelona Beige, as shown in this north-facing room, or Balanced Beige (which we’ll talk about below). But remember, it will go back to its regular warmth once the sun goes down.
Mushroom Paint Colours in East and West Facing Rooms
East and west-facing rooms are a bit trickier as the light changes SO much throughout the day. Generally speaking, I probably wouldn’t enjoy a mushroom in an east-facing room as it wouldn’t warm up enough and look like it should. A west-facing room, on the other hand, might be flat looking in the morning but will warm up and come to life a bit more in the afternoon.
Read more: East and West Facing Rooms
Now, I bet you’re ready to see some beautiful mushroom-inspired paint colours, so let’s get this party started! And let me say that many parties have started with mushrooms and ended up with a whole bunch of people talking to dogs and running naked down the street (story of my life and I don’t do mushrooms), so let’s keep it PG here people.
The 5 Best Mushroom and Taupe Paint Colours
1. SW Balanced Beige 7037
Balanced Beige is a beautiful example of a mushroom paint colour. However, as we talked about earlier, if you put a mushroom colour in a south-facing (warm) room, it could look a bit too brown-warm. However, put it in a north or east-facing room and BAM, you might have your perfect mushroom paint colour!
Just LOOK at the fungi-inspired colour of these walls – the EPITOME of mushroom, I’m bustin’ out the garlic butter and pepper!
If we move up to Accessible Beige, Balanced Beige’s lighter version, it’s too light to give a mushroom look, regardless of your exposure.
2. Benjamin Moore Pashmina
Pashmina is gorgeous. It’s a soft, medium-toned neutral that WILL lean a bit more gray in a north-facing room, but in a south-facing room can look like the PERFECT mushroom paint colour!
While Pashmina CAN pick up a very (very) vague green undertone, it’s a great mediator between the beige and gray world.
Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages
3. SW Loggia 7506
And I rely 100% on photos from my E-Design clients, so while I don’t always have JUST the photo I need, I do the best I can with what I have while still getting you the info you need!
4. BM Plymouth Rock 1543
Oooo, this is a close one. Plymouth Rock has a weeee willy wink of taupe in it, but also borders on mushroom.
5. Sherwin Williams Anew Gray SW 7030
Anew Gray is a light-medium greige that IS a greige and is a stretch when it comes to mushroom. However, in a south-facing room or a west-facing room in the afternoon, it does lean that bit warmer and starts nodding towards a mushroom-inspired look! I also love the slightly darker, Mega Greige.
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
Are there a few other close contenders…
Here are a few popular ones to consider that aren’t quite mushroom, but are great to consider…
BM Rockport Gray
Rockport Gray is a greige that leans into gray and can pick up both purple or green undertones.
SW Amazing Gray
This is one of my fave greiges. Amazing Gray leans slightly into gray and can pick up a very soft, subtle, green undertone.
SW Keystone Gray
If you have a well-lit room, Keystone Gray will act more mushroom, if not, it will darken up and look browner.
BM Edgecomb Gray
CLOSE, but a bit too light to be a mushroom. I suppose you COULD call it a light mushroom if you really really wanted, but it’s more like a soft greige. Edgecomb Gray is one of my top greige paint colours.
Check out my E-Design – affordable and fun!
Kylie M Interiors Virtual Online Paint Colour Consultant, E-Design Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams colour expert