Mushroom Paint Colours: The Kissin’ Cousin of Greige and Taupe
Mushroom paint colours have been a hot topic lately as grays are taking a very slight backseat to softer neutrals such as greige, taupe and you guessed it – mushroom!
Now really, there isn’t a HUGE difference between these colours and this is more about me being anal…but the subtle differences are tricky to explain, so you better get your
drinkin’ thinkin’ cap on (you can wear 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. However, let’s do a quick recap:
What is taupe? Generally speaking, taupes are gray/brown blends that can have a slight purple undertone and warmth (sometimes purple/pink as well)
What is greige? 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.
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 just step it down. Another way to put it is that mushroom paint colours are warmer than greige/taupe colours because they have more brown in them.
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 or taupe
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 quite become greige. However, mushroom paint colours are still slightly warmer looking than typical greige and taupe colours.
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 types of 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
- Mushrooms really only look mushroom when they are light/medium – medium toned. Any lighter and they are more like a tan. Any darker and they 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.
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
Now, THIS can be a tough sell. Because north facing light is a slightly gray/gray-blue light, this 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 in a north facing room loses the warmth that you were looking 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
These 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 to 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
And now I bet you want to see some beautiful mushrooms, so let’s get this party started! And let me see 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 Best Mushroom and CLOSE to Mushroom Paint Colours
SW Mega Greige 7031 and Anew Gray 7030
Anew Gray and Mega Greige are on the same colour strip. Anew Gray is a light/medium, Mega is slightly darker. Some people would call these greige, others mushroom – either way, they’re gorgeous neutrals. NOW, compare them to Perfect Greige and see how PG looks a bit (ahem) feminine next to Anew Gray and Mega Greige. YES, that’s because PG has that subtle purple/pink that I was talking about that OFTEN pops up in taupes. And just because it’s CALLED Perfect ‘Greige’, don’t let the name fool you – it’s taupe.
What does this mean? It means that if you like greige and mushroom colours, but are sensitive to taupe undertones (purple/pink), then Anew Gray and Mega Greige could work for you – IF you have the right exposure. (read above info on north facing/south facing rooms).
Now, if we move up the paint strip to Agreeable Gray, one of the lighter versions, you might say, ‘sweet, so that means Agreeable Gray is mushroom too as it’s on the same strip!‘. Hard no. The thing is, as colours lighten/darken, the undertones shift. So, as this whole chip darkens it gets warmer/more brown looking and as it lightens it leans more into the gray – no mushroom in sight!
Am I talking too much? Probably. But the more you know, the better chance you have of picking YOUR perfect neutral!
SW Balanced Beige 7037
So, like we talked about above, mushrooms are sensitive to exposure. Balanced Beige is a beautiful example of a mushroom type of colour. However, if you put it in a south (warm) room, it could be 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!
And again, if we move up to Accessible Beige, its lighter version, it’s too light to give a mushroom look, regardless of your exposure.
SW Loggia 7506
Another one just like Balanced Beige – Loggia acts great for a north/east facing room but might be just a weeee wink too warm for a south or strong west facing room. It needs that slightly gray light coming in to calm it down – but DAMN it’s close!
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.
BM Pashmina AF100
Ooooo mushroom me up baby! This can be called greige, it can be called mushroom – it can be called friggin’ awesome. Pashmina is a beautiful light/medium (close to medium) greige that leans slightly more into brown than gray – making it more like a mushroom paint colour! It also works well in almost ANY exposure, as long as you have adequate lighting!
Are there a few other colours that are on your radar and you’re wondering if they are greige, taupe or mushroom?
Here are a few popular ones 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 slighlty into gray and can pick up a very soft, subtle, green undertone.
SW Keystone Gray – the lovely, slightly darker version of Mega Greige, but at this depth it ALMOST becomes brown. If you have a well-lit room, Keystone Gray will act more mushroom, if not, it will darken up and look more brown.
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.
So there you have it! Want to learn more?
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