HomeHome Updates: Tips & IdeasHome Update IdeasThe 20 Best NEUTRAL Paint Colors To Go With Oak or Wood (PART 4)

The 20 Best NEUTRAL Paint Colors To Go With Oak or Wood (PART 4)

Posted on January 2, 2024 by KylieMawdsley
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The TOP 20 Paint Colors to Update Wood Cabinets, Trims, & More

When it comes to updating a room with wood cabinets, trim, or flooring, it can be hard to know which colors coordinate best. With a wide range of neutral colors, vibrant shades, and undertones, how do you know which will be good with your wood?

You start by asking yourself these questions…

1. Do you want to ENHANCE the beauty of your wood and make it come to life? In other words, do you want to CONTRAST with it?

2. Would you rather soften or camouflage the strength of your wood stain and its undertones?

3. Do you lean into colors that are lighter and more subtle (knowing that they’re often a bit more high contrast with the average wood finish)?

4. Do you like colors with a bit more depth and body to them? These can be high or low-contrast, depending on the color or neutral you choose.

Whatever it is you’re looking for – I bet I’ve got it (except for sanity, that’s in short supply around here).

The idea behind this blog post is that you don’t want to paint your wood cabinets or lovely wood trim. You want to keep them, enjoy them, and find the best paint colors to go with them – sounds good to me.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, you need to decide whether you want to accent your wood or whether you want to blend or camouflage it…

THE BEST PAINT COLORS TO GO WITH CONTRAST WOOD STAINS, OAK, MAPLE, CHERRY, PINE, COOL PAINT TONES. KYLIE M

  • Warm or cool paint colors that are considerably lighter or darker than the wood tone will accent it more than colors with the same depth. Why? Because not only will you have contrast in color temperature, but in color DEPTH!
  • Even if you THINK you want to blend in your wood cabinets, you might be surprised at how awesome a well-chosen cool color can look.

However, if you want to downplay a strong wood stain, you’ll want to avoid cool tones and lean into warmer shades…

THE BEST WARM NEUTRAL. PAINT COLORS TO GO WITH WOOD STAINS, CABINETS, TRIMS, KYLIE M

  • Keeping the paint color a similar depth to your wood is a great way to keep things seamless. However, it can look pretty boring if you choose a warm color. As it relates to warm colors, while it will increase the contrast between your walls and your wood finish, it’s better to go a bit lighter (OR darker) than your wood’s depth or shift into a slightly cooler (but not COLD) shade. This will add a bit of thoughtful layering without overexposing your wood. (There are so many jokes I could make…)
  • When it comes to cream, beige, and brown, find ones with similar undertones to the ones in your wood. This helps to keep things muted and subtle and prevents clashing undertones.
  • Some cream, beige, and brown paint colors can pick up a wink of green, which can look a weeeee bit murky against many warmer woods (especially, red or pink tones commonly found in cherry).

 

YELLOW-TONED WOOD STAINS

Yellow-stained wood finishes were especially popular in the 90s and fell a bit out of favor in the early 2000s. As for undertones, yellow-toned woods are often committed to yellow but can slide slightly into yellow-orange or, more rarely, yellow-pink or yellow-green.

 

WHAT COLORS TONE DOWN YELLOW WOOD STAINS?

If you want to make your yellow stain look LESS yellow, you might need to lean into it a bit with the following colors…

  • Cream paint colors with similar undertone profiles, i.e., if your wood is yellow-orange, you’ll pick a shade of cream that blends yellow-orange (like Benjamin Moore Navajo White.) The idea is that if you go with it a bit, rather than directly contrasting it with a totally different color, it can soften its effect.
  • Subtle tan paint colors. Whereas beiges lean more on orange, tan paint colors lean on a yellow undertone (most often, yellow-green). A color like Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan or Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan can look pretty, just make sure it doesn’t clash if your wood happens to have a bit of pink or orange mixed in (and sometimes you just don’t know until you compare the samples to your wood stain).
  • Some greiges look great with yellow stains. While there could be a minor degree of accenting, depending on the greige you choose, many greiges (with their green-yellow) undertone, are beautiful partners. Of the options listed below, they’re the LEAST likely to blend out the wood tone, but also won’t OVERreact (depending on the greige).

I don’t have many photos showing yellow-toned wood as orange and red are far more common. And while this wood floor below is a bit more orange-pink, the muted cream of the cabinets keeps the palette low-contrast…

Cream painted kitchen cabinets, warm granite countertop, cream walls, wood floor. Kylie M Interiors online consulting, client photo

The staircase in this next photo has a wood stain with yellow-orange undertones, Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray is on the walls…

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray paint colour. Stairwell, yellow toned wood stairs. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, virtual online paint colour consultant

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Not only does the blue-green undertone of Stonington Gray contrast with this wood, but the DEPTH of it does as well. Notice the degree of contrast between the depth of the walls and the stairs/railings.

 

WHAT PAINT COLORS GO WITH & ‘ACCENT’ YELLOW WOODS?

These colors will make your wood pop a bit (pun intended…wink wink – I can’t help myself). This means that if you love your wood stain and want to contrast and accent it, these are the colors you’ll want to explore (you’ll see references to SPECIFIC colors shortly).

  • Warm gray with a violet undertone (not AS great with yellow-green stains). Although, of the cooler tones, this is a more subtle, passive approach.

As shown in this next photo, colors that are cooler than your wood will help highlight it…

Benjamin Moore Light Pewter warm gray paint colour, staircase with gray carpet, wood handrailing, black metal spindles. Kylie M Edesign

Benjamin Moore Light Pewter

 

ORANGE-TONED WOOD STAINS

Orange wood stains are super common as it relates to oak cabinets. However, you can find orange on almost any wood species, as the STAIN that’s applied to the wood can have orange in it!

While yellow-toned woods are usually pretty darned yellow, orange-toned woods easily lean into yellow or red, but the dominant undertone is still orange.

 

WHAT COLORS TONE DOWN ORANGE WOOD STAINS?

If you’re considering using cool colors on your walls, think again. Sure, they can look GORGEOUS, but they will highlight the warmth and color of your wood finish, whether its cabinets, floors, trims, or furniture. To downplay an orange-inspired wood stain, check out…

  • Muted beige blends, preferably in the off-white to light depths (specific colors are coming up shortly).
  • Some greige/taupe colors can be quite pretty for a moderately balanced approach. However, beige is your BEST bet.

Entryway or foyer with solid fir door and reclaimed wood flooring, board and batten walls. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, edecor and online paint color consulting blog

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl contrasts with the wood door.

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray with golden oak trim, fireplace and wood flooring. Kylie M INteriors Edesign

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray still contrasts, but it’s not as warm-cool as Gray Owl.

 

WHAT COLORS GO WITH & ‘ACCENT’ ORANGE WOODS?

If you’re a bit of an exhibitionist and want to show off your wood, these colors will do the trick! You’ll see references to SPECIFIC colors shortly.

  • Warm gray with a violet undertone can be particularly striking without being OVERLY contrasting.

Wood trim, wood floors and doors, Benjamin MOore Edgecomb Gray paint color on walls, entryway or foyer. slightly darker. Kylie M Interiors edesig

 

RED, PINK, OR CHERRY WOOD STAINS

Red or cherry-toned woods are often the strongest of the bunch, adding depth and color to a room. Red-toned woods can also look slightly pinkish (pink being the light version of red) or can give off a subtle purple cast, depending on the combination of wood and stain choice.

While sometimes it’s hard to tell what undertone a wood stain has, there’s one hiding in there. This next wood finish has a slight pink undertone…

Benjamin Moore Cloud White trim and Edgecomb Gray paint color on walls with striped carpet stair runner and natural wood hand railing. Kylie M Interiors

 

WHAT COLORS TONE DOWN RED OR PINK WOOD STAINS?

While leaning into red (pink) can be scary, it’s often the best way to mute the STRENGTH of your red-stained wood…

  • Some beige paint colors lean into orange-pink, but it depends on the exact wood stain/strength.

The burnt-red hue of the walls in this next kitchen isn’t favoring the gorgeous orange-red cabinets; this is a case of WAY too much of a good thing…

Benjamin Moore California Redwood rust red paint colour, orange wood cabinets, yellow stain wood floor. black granite. Kylie M.

 

WHAT COLORS GO WITH & ‘ACCENT’ RED OR PINK WOODS?

Red or pink-toned woods can be super fun to play with as they respond SO well to cool colors. So, if you’re a bit of an exhibitionist and want to show off your wood, these colors will do the trick! You’ll see references to SPECIFIC colors shortly.

  • Warm gray with a violet undertone can be a more modest approach (it’s one of my favorite choices with red stains).

In this next photo, Sherwin Williams Jogging Path provides a nice subtle highlight to the red furniture stain and red oak flooring…

Sherwin Williams Jogging Path with red oak flooring, cherry wood furniture, white wainscoting. Kylie m

Now that you’ve done your homework, it’s time to look at REAL COLORS! Remember…

MANY wood finishes will pick up more than one undertone.

This means that not ALL of these paint colors will look good with ALL wood stains, but they should get you pointed in the right direction!

 

1. BENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY OC-23

For a soft, subtle look, Classic Gray is a nice, slightly warm gray. This gentle shade of off-white has vague violet-pink undertones that suit MANY wood finishes. Its passive approach won’t blend with your cabinets but also won’t highlight or accent them.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, bathroom, maple cabinets, beige tile floor, black granite. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online paint color consulting, ecolor

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

While Classic Gray is more or less a warm shade of gray, in some rooms it can lean a bit more into its warmth; looking a bit more taupe. If Classic Gray is CLOSE, but not hitting the mark, Sherwin Williams Egret White has a similar approach, as does Benjamin Moore Silver Satin.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH CLASSIC GRAY

Classic Gray doesn’t work well with yellow-green stains but tends to humor a range of yellow, orange, and red wood stains.

 

2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS REPOSE GRAY SW 7015

Repose Gray is a warm gray paint color that’s SUPER unpredictable. While it can pick up a slight touch of green, it can just as easily wink at violet or even a touch of blue! Make sure you sample Repose Gray CAREFULLY and read its FULL COLOR REVIEW.

Sherwin Williams best warm gray paint colour for walls, Repose Gray. LIght wood floor and dresser. Kylie M.

The 10 Best Sherwin Williams Gray and Greige Paint Colors

Repose Gray is often used as a ‘whole home’ paint color. This is because its unpredictability has it looking a bit different depending on a room’s exposures/finishes/etc… Some people LOVE this flexibility, whereas others want to know a bit more about the color/undertone they’ll likely get.

Colors that are similar to Repose Gray, but with slightly different intentions include Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray and Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH REPOSE GRAY

It’s always hard to say with Repose Gray. With its slightly dirty undertones, Repose Gray is especially pretty with more ‘brown’ wood tones – ones without dominant yellow, orange, or red (pink) undertones. In other words, it can handle a ‘bit’ of undertone, as long as it’s not overpowering or overly noticeable.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

 

3. SHERWIN WILLIAMS KILIM BEIGE SW 6106

Kilim Beige is a soft, subtle, and versatile shade of beige. While Kilim Beige has a main orange undertone, it can entertain various finishes and wood tones.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige, best warm neutral paint colour on stair wall with red oak cherry toned wood flooring.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige is a soft complement to the wood floor, stairs, and railings

How to Mix and Match Wood Stains & Finishes

However, thanks to the Tuscan and beige-on-beige homes built in the early 2000s, colors like Kilim Beige have got a bad rap. And I’ll admit, some of them are pretty dated looking, however, there are some FABULOUS, modern shades of beige available these days.

So, if Kilim Beige is close, but you need a color with slightly different undertones or depth (or that’s a bit more modern looking), check out Sherwin Williams Natural Linen and Benjamin Moore Muslin.

The 14 Best MODERN Beige & Tan Paint Colors

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH KILIM BEIGE

Kilim Beige doesn’t look as good with red-stained woods that lean red-violet or have a decent degree of yellow. However, it’s especially nice with orange woods or those with a mild red stain (like the stain on the stairs in the above photo).

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige

 

4. BENJAMIN MOORE ABALONE 2108-60

Abalone is a mix between gray, brown, and purple. The purple is subtle but adds a decent dose of color to get things out of the gray range. Abalone is also light enough to help offset a bit of the visual weight of darker cherry cabinets while still contrasting with white trim. I love how the purple taps into the wood tones without being ‘obvious’ about it (shown below).

Benjamin Moore Abalone, gray, warm greige paint colour with purple undertones. HOme staging tips and ideas

The 9 Best Purple Paint Colors

While Abalone is perfect for many rooms, if you need a shade with a similar, but slightly different approach, check out Benjamin Moore Collingwood, Barren Plain, and Balboa Mist. A few of these have a bit less violet than Abalone. There are some other beauties HERE too.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH ABALONE

Abalone is SO stinkin’ pretty with red hue woods, especially red-violet ones (above). However, it also suits some yellow woods, as long as they aren’t yellow-green and many orange stains.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Abalone

 

5. BENJAMIN MOORE COLLINGWOOD OC 28

Collingwood is a beautiful warm gray with a subtle purple undertone. The undertone is quite passive, so this is a ‘gray-centric’ color. It can look wicked pretty with red or violet-toned wood finishes. Most grays can lean into ANY of the three cool gray undertones with the right lighting or exposure, but Collingwood usually holds pretty steady with its commitment to violet.

E-design and online colour consultation by color expert and blogger Kylie M INteriors. Benjamin Moore Collingwood in a hallway with dark wood flooring and black metal railing

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood

Benjamin Moore Collingwood warm gray paint colour in dining room with Pure White wainscoting, beige tile floor and transitional style home decor.

While Collingwood is the perfect warm gray for many spaces (and one of the most popular), your wood might need something a bit different. Check out Benjamin Moore Nimbus, Balboa Mist, and Sherwin Williams Alpaca.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH COLLINGWOOD

Collingwood is flexible toward MOST wood tones, depending on your intentions. It can be a bit fussy with some yellow stains (yellow-green) as it prefers more legit yellow, orange, or pink undertones. My FAVE combo is Collingwood with red-stained woods.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood

 

6. BENJAMIN MOORE GENTLE CREAM OC 96

Gentle Cream (also known as Barely Beige) is a great way to create a warm and inviting room without it looking overly golden. With its almost ‘butterscotch’ undertones, this color will sit pretty neutral with oak and other woods without camouflaging them or accenting them.

Living room with south west facing exposure and rock fireplace with mantle. Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream. Kylie M E-design

Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream colour review by Kylie M Interiors. In guest bedroom wtih blue accents

The 5 Best Cream Paint Colors

If you’d like to sample a color that’s similar to Gentle Cream, check out Benjamin Moore Navajo White and Sherwin Williams Casa Blanca.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH GENTLE CREAM

Gentle Cream can be a gorgeous partner to yellow and orange hue woods but can be fussy with red tones, depending on the exact blend.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream

 

7. SHERWIN WILLIAMS CANVAS TAN SW 7531

Canvas Tan is a relatively neutral tan paint color that doesn’t fall too flat or greige toned for orange-toned woods NOR too golden warm, making it flexible for various wood stains, as shown below…

Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan with light maple wood flooring and stairs. Kylie M Interiors Online Color Consulting and e-decor and design

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

And while Canvas Tan is one of the more popular warm neutrals, check out Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground, Natural Tan, and Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan as well.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH CANVAS TAN

Canvas Tan is a bit fussier than some of the others and doesn’t love closer partnership with overly red stains (the dining set above is as close as you want to get). It’s also hit-and-miss with some orange-hued woods. It BEST suits yellow woods, especially ones that might lean a weee tiny wink into green.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan

 

SAMPLIZE offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are made with REAL PAINT and are less expensive than traditional sampling methods! 

And they show up on your doorstep the NEXT DAY

Benjamin Moore Collingwood SAMPLIZE peel and stick sample

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE

 

8. BENJAMIN MOORE STONINGTON GRAY HC 170

Stonington Gray is a stormy gray with a soft blue-green undertone; it’s a beauty if you want a subtle accent to your wood tones. While gray is falling out of fashion, some classic shades will have more of a lifetime, including grays like Stonington Gray and Benjamin Moore Collingwood.

Farmhouse wood diy dining table, gray upholstered chairs, Stonington Gray paint color and round chandelier. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant

Contemporary mix traditional dining room. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, wainscoting, chandelier, dark wood floor, coffered ceilings. KYlie M interiors E-design

Stonington gray and Gray Owl. colour review undertones. Kylie M Interiors Edesign online

What’s the Difference Between Stonington Gray and Gray Owl?

If you’re looking for a shade that’s similar to Stonington Gray, check out Sherwin Williams Tinsmith, Silverplate, and Big Chill.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH STONINGTON GRAY

There’s not much Stonington Gray can’t do if you want to highlight your wood (without going over the top). Stonington Gray is friendly to MOST wood stains, including oaks, maples, and cherry stains.

Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

 

9. BENJAMIN MOORE WHITE DOVE OC-17

While not everyone thinks of white when it comes to their wood finishes, it can be a great way to offset wood cabinets, floors, and trims – it’s all about choosing the RIGHT white. Lucky for you, you have a lil’ Ginger in your back pocket to let you know that White Dove is a great place to start.

White Dove is a soft warm white, so it’s not stark or cold. However, it’s also not so warm and creamy that it’s OVERLY yellow (that could be open to perception, but it’s generally pretty popular).

Open concept living room, kitchen, dining room, raised 10 foot ceiling, oak wood floor and open railing, blue accents. BEnjamin Moore White Dove walls, cabinets, trims, Kylie M Interiors

In the above photo, notice how the flooring, oar art, stair railings, and rattan pendants all have a chance to shine thanks to the simple foundation that the White Dove walls offer. In particular, White Dove looks gorgeous with natural woods that are similar in depth/approach to the above finishes.

If White Dove is right up your alley, compare it to Sherwin Williams Alabaster, and Benjamin Moore Simply White and Chantilly Lace to see which one sits best with your particular wood stain.

Or even BETTER, check out this curated bundle of my FAVORITE white paint colors for the average home! Hands down, these are the best shades of white to sample and compare – don’t both with any others!

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore White Dove

 

10. SHERWIN WILLIAMS NATURAL LINEN SW 9109

With trends leaning warmer, Natural Linen is bound to be a popular shade. With a light-depth, more modern approach to beige, Natural Linen’s warm, flexible undertones are a soft and subtle partner to many types of wood stains, including most oaks.

Sherwin Williams Natural LInen in room with wood furniture, beige taupe carpet. Kylie M Edesign

Natural Linen is DARN pretty, but if you need a color with a bit more this or that, check out the similar approach of Sherwin Williams Rivers Edge, Kilim Beige, and Benjamin Moore Muslin.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT LOOK DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH NATURAL LINEN

Natural Linen is a versatile warm neutral that suits a wide range of wood stains, especially those with orange (orange-yellow, yellow-orange) undertones. It can be a bit fussy with overly red wood stains and cherry wood.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Natural Linen

 

11. BENJAMIN MOORE JOCKEY HOLLOW GRAY HC 108

Jockey Hollow Gray is a gorgeous shade of greige with a decent green undertone. While it WILL accent the warmth of your cabinets, the neutral base keeps things a bit more in check.

Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray in entryway with orange toned oak floor and fir front door. Best paint colours for wood. Kylie M Interiors E-design and Online Color consultant

best paint colours for a stairwell with a light or yellow toned oak railing and risers. benjamin moore Sandy Hook Gray and Gettysburg Gray

 

WOOD STAINS THAT LOOK DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH JOCKEY HOLLOW GRAY

Jockey Hollow Gray is a heavier approach than the others and is a beautiful complement to yellow and orange stains. I’m not as BIG of a fan of red hues, but that’s a personal opinion, as some will love it.

The 12 Best Paint COLORS to Go With Wood Stains

 

12. SHERWIN WILLIAMS SILVERPLATE SW 7649

Silverplate is a slightly stormy gray with a vague blue (blue-green) undertone. While it CAN look cool, Silverplate isn’t traditionally cold. On the other hand, it’s not very warm but has a stormy softness.

The subtle undertones of Silverplate will slightly enhance any wood tone, but it’s a great way to create a more modern look with your yellow-toned wood (shown below).

Sherwin Williams Silverplate in dining room with oak floor and dark wood furniture. Kylie M Interiors e-decor, e-design and online colour services

And don’t forget about LRV when choosing a paint color! How to Use LRV to Pick a Paint Color

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH SILVERPLATE

Silverplate isn’t BAD with many wood stains and humors most. As shown above, I love how Silverplate plays with a yellow-orange stain. And while it certainly suits red well enough, it’s not my PERSONAL fave.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Silverplate

 

13. BENJAMIN MOORE GRAY CASHMERE 2138-60

Gray Cashmere is a soft gray with a strong blue-green undertone, making it almost whimsical with its fresh feeling (it usually favors blue over green). Gray Cashmere is similar to Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, but has more gray in it, leaving a whisper of color without being too powerful. This color will accent wood tones, not soften them.

Country farmhouse style kitchen with Cloud Whtie cabinets, black granite, butcher block island. Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert blog

Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere in kitchen eating nook with built in bench, cushions and round farmhouse style table. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour blog and consulting

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH GRAY CASHMERE

Gray Cashmere isn’t SUPER fussy about its wood tones, although I’m not a huge fan of it with DARK espresso finishes. Gray Cashmere is especially pretty with most yellow hue woods, offering a soft contrast.

 

14. SHERWIN WILLIAMS HERON PLUME SW 6070

Heron Plume is an interesting off-white – stuck between gray and taupe. Because of this, it can shift a lot depending on the exposure of your room. While its undertones aren’t overpowering, they can flash through depending on the finishes you partner it with.

Sherwin Williams Heron Plume kitchen with granite, wood cabinets, blue island, southwestern style. Kylie M E-design, online paint expert. Before photo

Thanks to its undertones, Heron Plume can be particularly stunning with some mahogany wood finishes, as well as those with a bit more of a red-violet wood. However, some find Heron Plume a bit too violet or too subtle for their particular stain. Do some comparing to see which works best for you – Heron Plume, Sherwin Williams City Loft, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, and Sherwin Williams Egret White.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT LOOK DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH HERON PLUME

Heron Plume can be STUNNING with wood stains that are red-inspired, as its subtle violet undertones suit many red hues. It’s also pretty with orange-toned woods but can be a bit fussy with some yellow woods.

 

15. BENJAMIN MOORE EDGECOMB GRAY HC 173

Edgecomb Gray is one of the most popular colors, sitting nicely between gray and beige, with no obvious preference for either. Its undertones are also passive, catering to neither greige (green) nor taupe (violet-pink). Edgecomb Gray won’t really highlight nor blend in with most woods unless you have DARK wood, which would be highlighted via the degree of contrast, not the color. 

Open layout living room, vaulted ceilings, wood beams, wood trim and floors. Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray walls, sectional, home decor. Kylie M

V1 Real Estate Photography with Kylie M.

Edgecomb Gray is also JUST as pretty lightened 25% and 50%. While technically this makes a ‘new color’, you’ll find the roots of Edgecomb Gray running through them.

If you want to look at similar colors, but a bit more ‘this or that’, check out Sherwin Williams Modern Gray and Egret White.

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH EDGECOMB GRAY

Edgecomb Gray can handle wood stains with muted OR strong undertones, making it super versatile. However, be careful when partnering it with gray-wash woods, which can have a bit too much violet undertone for Edgecomb Gray.

Dining room in rustic mountain style home, wood trim, wood floors and table. Benjamin MOore Edgecomb Gray paint colour on walls. Kylie M Edesign

Remember to pay attention to your room’s exposure too!

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray

 

16. SHERWIN WILLIAMS COLONNADE GRAY SW 7641

Colonnade Gray is a soft, light-medium warm gray, borderline greige. Because of this, it favors a very slight green undertone but can easily flash into the others depending on your exposure/interior finishes.

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray with golden oak trim and wood fireplace surround. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

 

WOOD STAINS THAT DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH COLONNADE GRAY

Colonnade Gray looks gorgeous with many yellow and orange-hue woods and more muted brown stains. It can also work with red ones but can enhance the red, so watch for that.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray

Kylie M Interiors Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray in home with gray brown wood floors

 

17. BENJAMIN MOORE CHELSEA GRAY HC-168

While I could’ve chosen from a wide range of dark charcoal grays that look amazeballs with wood stains, Chelsea Gray was the first to pop in my lil Ginger brain.

Benjamin Moore Linen White painted kitchen cabinets, cream cabinets, Chelsea Gray painted island, speckled white granite countertop, wood oak flooring

While Chelsea Gray doesn’t look as green as it does on the above island, it does have green undertones that can show up at the party (often, uninvited). And of course, you’ll want a few comparables, so be sure to include Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray, Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray, and Grizzle Gray.

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray

 

I rely 100% on photos from my Online Color Consulting clients – thank you to everyone for sending them in! 

 

18. SHERWIN WILLIAMS AESTHETIC WHITE SW 7035

While it’s harder to get a read on Aesthetic White with wood trim, it’s a WICKED pretty, and modern approach to beige…

Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White paint color on walls, wood trim, wood floor, URbane Bronze painted inside of front door

Aesthetic White is an off-white beige that’s more trendy than traditional shades of beige because of its depth and the touch of gray it harbors.

As shown with wood trim in the above photo, as well as this next photo, Aesthetic White is a great partner to orange-red-toned woods but can accommodate other stains as well (as long as they aren’t overly pink-red).

Dark hallway with beige carpet and dark wood trim and doors. Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White off white beige paint color on walls. Kylie M interiors Edesign

When comparing other colors with Aesthetic White, I often land on Sherwin Williams White Duck, Shoji White, Accessible Beige, and Natural Tan.

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White

 

19. SHERWIN WILLIAMS WHITE HERON 7627

White Heron might tiptoe in on its little webbed feet, but it sure does make an impact in the right space. And impact doesn’t need to be all about ‘wow’ factor, sometimes it’s just about…

The right color in the right space.

Sherwin Williams White Heron off white paint colour with yellow oak wood flooring, white trim like Pure Whiter

But don’t assume that you know what you’re getting with White Heron! While it can nod politely to a touch of pink or taupe, it can also lean into cream, making it HUGELY versatile with a wide range of wood finishes and stains.

And of course, you should never pick a color without comparing it to similar shades. I also recommend exploring Sherwin Williams Heron Plume, Egret White, White Duck, and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. Notice the ebb and flow between undertones and depths to see which one your particular wood responds to (we all know what Tim’s wood responds to…ME – wink wink).

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams White Heron

 

20. BENJAMIN MOORE COVENTRY GRAY HC 169

Coventry Gray is a stormy, subtle shade of gray with a whisper of green-blue undertones. This cool approach contrasts so nicely with warm-toned woods.

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray, popular grey paint colour, bedroom with gray blue linens, wood headboard. Kylie M Interiors client photos

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray

WHAT WOOD STAINS DO & DON’T LOOK GOOD WITH GRAYS LIKE COVENTRY GRAY?

While woods with a strong red undertone look okay with a color like Coventry Gray, it hits its stride with orange-stained woods or those with a muted yellow.

Want more?

5 Ideas to Update Oak Cabinets – (PART 1 in series)

MORE Ideas to Update Your Wood Cabinets – WITHOUT a Drop of Paint! (PART 2)

The Best Hardware to Update Wood Cabinets (PART 3)

The Best Paint COLORS to Update Wood Cabinets & Trim (PART 5)

How to Coordinate Different Wood Stains and Finishes

Should You Paint Your Cabinets – A Questionnaire

 

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WRITTEN IN 2020, UPDATED IN 2023 JUST FOR YOU!



Comments

  1. Hi,
    We moved into a 1992 4 level split home a year ago. The walls were all originally painted pink!? and the last owners painted white over this, which bled through and gave all the walls a muted pink color. This really clashed with all the light oak that is throughout the home. I was perplexed to what color would go with the oak, and found your website! My husband hated the pink everywhere to say the least!
    THANKYOU! you were able to give us good ideas as to the color to choose. BTW, there are millions of colors out there, and can be so daunting as to which color and shade to pick. I stressed all last weekend, looking at colors and samples, and chips and spending hours and hours researching colors of paint.
    (We have oak throughout the home, so changing the color of the oak was out of the question.)
    I was very brave! and i choose Benjamin Moore Sharkskin. Scariest thing, worse than buying a house! Not for the faint of heart for sure! I was on pins and needles all day, and when i went home, i didnt know whether to cry or just say WOW!!! The color just pops with all our white baseboards and trim!
    It turned out wonderful! It matches the oak beautifully, and we have bold walls, just like a new house! With all my dark brown/beige accents, it looks incredible!
    I am a true fan and believer of your webpage !!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
    I tell everyone about your site now! Finally someone who actually knows what they are talking about and is willing to share it too!
    thank you! thank you! thank you!
    Sincerely,
    A Kylie M Interiors Fan!

  2. Hi Kylie,
    I am absolutely LOVING all the helpful information you are sharing on your blog!!! THANK-YOU!!!! I am currently deciding between SW Repose Gray or BM Edgecomb Gray to paint the majority of my bedrooms, entryway, and hallway. Which one do you prefer? Can I use them both in different areas?

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      Well if it were me I would lean toward Edgecomb as it’s softer and warmer, more of a greige, whereas REpose Gray is a warm gray, so it’s cooler toned…And you can use them in different areas, I wouldn’t say they are totally magical together, but they aren’t bad.
      If you want any insights where I can actually see your home, you can check out my E-design, it’s affordable and fun and I can spend some quality time with your home (via photos) and with you (via the questionnaire) to come up with solutions that work!
      If that interests you at all, here’s the link… https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/

      Take care!
      ~Kylie

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      Hi Leah! I haven’t done one specifically for that, but within this post I did refer to warmer neutrals being a better way of not highlighting oak whereas greens/blues and cool tones can accent the oak. But i SHOULD do one quite specifically for it, shouldn’t I!

  3. HI Kylie, I am so confused. My house was built in 1989. I have a great room, kitchen, dining and family room. All Medium Oak ( not sure if orange or brown) cabinets and trim. I have dark teal (more green than blue) countertops and have always painted the walls beige or taupe. Beige ceramic tile on the floor. Boring! I want a drastic change. Changing the woodwork is out of the question. I would like to put in a grey barn wood floor, not sure if I can. I also want my house to pop! Please help me to decide what I need to do to change my boring decor.

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      Hi Diana! Wellll, the gray barnwood look makes me nervous. I think it could look a bit too busy and mismatched…and keep in mind that the gray barnwood is GORGEOUS, but also VERY trendy. It would be ideal if you could find a wood floor with a bit more of the warmth in it, the same warmth that you would find in your existing woodwork…

  4. Hi Kylie! I love your website! What do you think about BM Revere Pewter with blond/orange parquet floors and wood work? Its a large room facing west with lots of windows.

    Thanks!

    Kelly

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  5. Hi Kylie,
    I recently ran across your video on accessible beige by SW. I have a bedroom, pretty good size that has some light ( plantation shutters sun never shines directly in facing north) therefore paint I have chose in the past appears dark green when in actuality it is a lighter taupe or tan.
    I have recently purchased a tuffed linen headboard and want to lighten up the room with new paint. What are your thoughts in me choosing accessible beige? The rest of my home has warm earth tones with a rustic look.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Susan

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  6. Feel lucky to have found this. Your advice to the other readers has been wonderful. My problem is having a mixture of woods. I have a teak parquet floor, and a beautiful 1920s vanity in a similar color of wood. The rest of the furniture in the room is Golden Oak. An addition there are window shutters and closet doors made of yellow pine. Is there any way to pull this room together?

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      Hi Catherine, I BELIEVE that was BM Sea Haze 🙂 It was someone else’s image, which I’ve since taken off. I hope that helps!

  7. Loving your web site!!!! Painting my combo kitchen family room and learned a ton about paint colors from your site. We painted our orange trim decorators white but my Maple kitchen cabinets still have the orangish/yellow color. The room has windows on the north and west sides with the bigger windows being in the west. According to everything I have read colonnade gray seems perfect but wondering if it will look good against the cabinets. Im trying to minimize the orangeness of the cabinets. Would love your thoughts!! ~Robyn

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  8. Would Balanced beige with a white dove trim go with dark oak stained doors in a open floor plan ? If not what would suggest?

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  9. Hi Kylie,
    First, I really enjoy your posts! So much good information.
    What do you think about painting kitchen cabinets the same color as the walls? I have vaulted ceilings and semi open concept home; I’m contemplating painting both the walls and cabinets wool skein. Floors are medium oak.
    Marty, Cincinnati

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      Hi Marty, yes it can look good! Because you will be changing sheen from walls/cabinets/ceiling, that can provide a subtle shift that can really play nicely with a colour!
      ~Kylie

  10. Hi Kylie! Loving all of your posts – so much more than simple inspiration. You really help someone to understand how color works! I’ve been loving cream shades for my open kitchen-dining room (was painted a horrible dark green by previous owners and is North-facing), but I love the Kilim Beige above! Wondering how it will look in a room with northern light. I really want to brighten and warm it up, which shouldn’t be too difficult as I have cherry cabinets, cherry flooring and a large bay window. It looks great in the above photo, with high light, but I see that it has a lower LRV than the others I’ve been sampling. Do you think it will flatten too much in Northern light? I want to avoid a bland brown-beige kitchen and may go with Gentle Cream instead!

    Also – I have several ideas of paint colors I love (most of which I discovered on your blog) and would like throughout the house, but I’m not sure how to make it flow as I like a few different decorating styles (romantic, french country, traditional). Which e-design package would be best if I already have several colors I’m considering?

    Thanks so much!
    Mandy

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      Hi Mandy! Hmmmm, Kilim might make me nervous and I do worry that it will flatten out a bit as well. On another note, I DOOOO love Gentle Cream. Now depending on ‘how cherry’ your cabinets are, it might just have a bit too much warmth on the golden/yellow end, but that being said, the northern light will slow it down. I hope that helps! If not, yes, I do have my E-design and it does depend on how many rooms you’ll be doing. You’ll just need to count up the rooms that will be different colours from each other and choose the 2-5 room I would think! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/product-category/interior-paint-palettes/
      ~Kylie

  11. Is there ever a deep red/wine color that could be paired with a darker orange toned wood trim? The previous color was a green color, however I tend to lean toward the darker, richer colors.

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  12. Hi! I have red oak cabinets in my kitchen with browns/ blacks/tans in quartz counter. What color would go good with those colors and would another color trim look good? I want to change and update my trim in my house. I have a bay window in my living room and have the oak trim throughout my house. What would you suggest colorwise?

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      Hi Elisha, thank you for asking! I actually have an e-design business just for questions like yours – otherwise, I’m guessing as to what your home REALLY looks like, furnishings, floorings, exposures, etc… I do try to give as much complimentary, helpful info on my blog as possible, and if that doesn’t work, it just might be time for me to take a look! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
      ~Kylie

  13. Totally on the struggle bus. We moved and all my previous furniture and wall colors seem to clash in the new northern lighting of the house! Your site has been so helpful! Based on this article would you say that a taupe (to be exact SW Taupe Tone) will tone down deep cherry/mahogany furniture? Or is that just too much?

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      Oh Brittney, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! We just moeved 2 months ago and our house is 100% north facing and DAMN it’s a cool gray/blue light. I knew that before we bought it, but arghh – I miss my southern light! And yes, getting into the taupe end of things, those with a slightly stronger red in them (or slightly pink/purple) can help to tone things down a bit, whereas if you did blue/green, it would enhance the cherry furniture…I might like to see a touch more of those undertones than Taupe Tone has, but it’s a good place to start!

      1. Well after many samples and many trials and MANY errors… we decided on SW Perfect Greige. It makes the cherry wood look a little more chocolaty… I guess we’re going for cozy instead of fresh and bright lol I mean unless you have a suggestion. I think I’ve purchased half the paint ever made at this point. Your site is hands down the best educational site for paint! Thank you!! #50shadesofgray #50shadesfreed

  14. I am finally removing the wallpaper from my kitchen! I planned to paint it SW Ivoire – the color on my family room which is open into the kitchen. Wow! It looks awful next to the medium oak cabinets!! Both rooms /one long room face south. Do you think SW Buff or BM Windham cream would work? I love a hint of yellow…
    Thank you for any words of decorating wisdom you can pass along!

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  15. Thanks again for the helpful advice! Is there a Sherwin Williams color that is close to Classic Gray? I’d love to use it since our cabinets are similar, but Sherwin Williams is more convenient for me. Thanks!

  16. Hi Kylie!
    Thank you so much for this article, it reassures us in our choice of Classic Gray for our MCM home. I’m torn on a ceiling color any suggestions? Chantilly Lace, White Dove or Simply White???
    Thank you,
    Katie

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! I can see now why I could never get things just right in my living room. Amber colored trim & pink beige carpet. In a 9 year old house. Oy!!! The builder was either drinking too much, or needed more to drink! Anyway, we are planning to replace the carpet with wood floors, but leave the painting dilemma to the future owners. However, I’d like put on it a fresh coat of neutral paint. I’m partial to the grays that have green undertones – like Stone Harbor & I love Sedate Gray, but from what I’ve read, green is not a favorite undertone of most people. It does make the trim look nice (as nice as orange trim can get!) but will green be a total turn off? I love Gentle Cream, too, but I’m afraid it’s too light & will make the trim pop to much. The nice thing is I have 3 living spaces worth of furniture to choose from to put in the living room, so I can decorate around almost any wall color. I don’t want to over think this – okay, it’s too late for that. We’re moving & I just don’t want the walls & trim to be an eye sore. Can I pull off a miracle here?

  18. You are a genius!!! Thank you!!! To lighten our house, we took out 75% of a wall between a dining room and kitchen. Only a small pony room remained. Well, along with honey maple cabinets and black granite and beige fake marble tile floor in the kitchen the prior homeowner installed 10 years ago, and 1960s white oak in the dinning room, along with gray and white marble backsplash we added 1 year ago, .

    We followed your advice for YELLOW wood! BM Collingwood! At 25% lighter, it was still too dark for the space we were working to brighten! At 50% lighter it’s breathtaking! And it’s upgraded the look to a modern Greige!

    THANK YOU!

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      It is okay, it can sometimes flash a bit cool, so it depends on your exposure. I might prefer it more with southern light and orange wood over northern light. 🙂

  19. Hello,
    This might sound stupid but I have a tendency to overthink things a bit…Thanks to your blog I choose a color and I painted my laundry room, that faces south, BM White Dove..it’s gorgeous. Washer and dryer are white.. tan tile..my problem..picking out a shelf color…for the walls..why do I struggle with this?
    Well…I could do white..or a wood…but which one, home depot had like 6 different types of wood..I wanted to cry. I freeze up and can’t make a decision..Is this normal? Anyway..white might be nice..but boring.. I do like a calm, serene look..is dark to much contrast? .Any suggestions are helpful.

  20. Fabulous post Miss Kylie! Can you tell me the color of the kitchen walls in the first picture? It’s gorgeous! Much thanks!

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      Hi Cindy! If it’s literally the first picture, the colour is SW Pure White (you can find the full blog post on my home page!). If it’s the first ‘kitchen’ photo, that’s SW Mindful Gray :).

  21. Your design majesty, please help!

    I know the post is dated, but really struggling here mama

    Kitchen is early 2000s builders brown as far as the eye can see….and facing North. Brown foor, granite, cupboards.

    Learned from your other posts I was leaning towards warmer Cloud White to offset the North, but now back to square 1 because it’s not a cool color to contrast the wood. *cries. Pale Oak was possibly planned for other rooms

    I plan on utilizing your multi-room design services, but am waiting until I got this darn kitchen paint out of the way

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      Hi Stacy! I think Cloud White sounds good! I mean, a cool colour would contrast the wood and make it ‘pop’ as it would be warm against cool. HOWEVER, contrast, as in ‘lighter vs darker’ is also a great way to do things – from what I’m reading there, I don’t see a problem at all!

  22. Hi Kylie,
    I love this post.My home is all oak floors and trim,it leans toward being orangey.How do you feel about Benjamin Moore Sonnett? I’m looking for a neutral.

  23. Hi Kylie
    I’m hoping you can PLEASE help me. We just move into a house with stained pine wood ceilings and walls in an orange brown. The kitchen cabinets which are all part of the same room are the same color along with the wood furniture. The room is pretty open to another room that we painted BM polished slate. I know more dark. The room faces south east with not much natural light coming in so pretty dark most of the time. I’d like to paint the walls in a warm off white but leave the ceiling and trim as is. I’m worried about picking a color that would be too warm with all the warmth in the ceiling and cabinets and with the green ajoining room I really don’t want anything that comes off as yellow. I think I’ve read ALL your blogs and I’m looking at all your favorite off whites. I’m leaning towards colors like Navajo White, White Down or maybe something with a little more color like bone white. I’m thinking Gentle Cream may pull too warm with all the other wood and warmth of the polished slate in the next room. White Down, with the grey could tone down the warmth some or not compliment the wood enough? I’m also afraid of going too light if that may reflect the orange in the ceiling. I want the feeling of warmth and light and fresh but not too stark or too dark with all the other dark colors. So I’m stressing out as my husband is priming the walls now. I also have medium grey sofas and a lighter beige carpet if that makes a difference. I’d really appreciate any advice you can give me!

  24. Hi Kylie
    There’s a picture on your website where tou changed fro dark to light in your family room. Bedtime your gray couch is a couch (or pub-like table with gray chairs. I have looked at every piece of furniture online, virtually (no pun intended!) EVERYWHERE links would take me— which is how I found you! I’m kinda wishing you were my BF or next door neighbor right about now!
    Anyway, can you point me to a piece like that? ? Looking for that wood and metal, but there’s a lot going on in my (previously owned) home with open floor plan. Where can I (or you) find that piece? Thanks

  25. Goodmorning Kylie,

    I previously sent a message, but 3fir the life of me I cannot find it 🌝.

    I’m in a pickle, and hoping you’ll ease up some of these difficult decisions im enduring.

    My master bedroom is in the back of my home, North and west, with one window on the West and one on the North. I’m in a colonial on 2nd floor. The window on the West oversees my neighbor’s house and roof, house being a light beigh, and roof like a beighy-orange. The North just overlooks a wooded lot, but is a ways from my window and backyard. My furniture is a dark oak, orangy-red, and i think I see some hues of yellow. Oh, my room right now is a very dark olive, and it just has to go. 🌝

    I’ve re-read several of your blogs so many times and just overwhelmed between the direction of the windows and/or furniture color, and what could possibly be a great color for walls, trim and ceiling.

    I do already have dover white on trim, and some added to ceiling paint throughout my home, Nomadic Desert and Dover in South living room, but future advice moving forward is greatly appreciated if you wouldn’t mind.

    I read you like matte on walls, and satin on trim and have never done that. I usually do satin on wall, and semi-gloss on trim. Is changing up for bedroom okay to try in bedroom.

    Again, thank you, and hope and the fsmily are well dyuring this difficult time we’re in.

    Kelly

  26. Hello Colour Guru!

    Your site is the Best! After reading blogs and reviews for a few weeks I just found this one which suits my situation, re orange toned trim, floor and furniture in a well lit northern exposure.

    But…..I want to go white. (Hay….I heard you gasp!!).
    Re….my target being Scandinavian Farmhouse.
    I’ve read all the info on choosing whites, and exposures and I’ve narrowed it down to BM Simply White or White Dove. Leaning more to Simply White but will know more once the Samplize order arrives. Current colour is BM Vellum so really don’t want to go into yellows again.

    Any other suggestions, Neighbour?

    TIA,
    Karen in Nanaimo

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      Hey Karen!!!

      Okay, so I’m a sucker for White Dove and its subtle softness. Simply White is beautiful, I just wouldn’t want its yellow to pop up in any awkward way against your orange-hues. Have you checked out SW Alabaster as well??? I mean, ALL of these have a yellow undertone, that’s what makes them warm, but we can get it quite muted :).

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      I’ve found Balboa Mist to be quite pretty with some woods that have some yellow to them. Sometimes it’s more about the surrounding finishes like the countertop/backsplash, more so than the cabinets themselves!

  27. Hi there,
    What paint would you suggest for a little girl’s room? Oak trim throughout with a light gray carpet. I would love a pale shade of pink.

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  28. This was a lovely article. Thank you. I do have a question. I am thinking of updating my kitchen. My floors do not need any work. They are stained with a vibrant orange undertone (Wood stain is Minwax Colonial Maple). If I want to “accent” my orange wood floor and trims in my kitchen (and adjoining family room that gets lots of light), what colors would you recommend I look at for the KITCHEN Cabinetry, backsplash and walls?
    Thank you in advance!

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