The Best LIGHT neutral paint colours that are EVERYTHING but beige
With trends leaning warmer and warmer, a lot of us are wondering how the HECK we’re going to step out of the gray world and into the beige end of things. However, there are those who are still traumatized by the builder beiges of the 90s and Tuscan-style beiges of the early 2000s – they aren’t going ANYWHERE near beige.
But just because a colour is WARM doesn’t mean it has to be BEIGE. That’s right, there’s a whole WORLD of colours out there that can give you warmth, without landing you back in the Tuscan era.
WARM GRAY PAINT COLOURS
To start with, let’s talk about warm gray paint colours. While these are technically WARM VERSIONS of gray, this doesn’t make them overly warm. And because I’ve written blog posts on a few of my faves, we’re taking things a bit warmer today.
While Colonnade Gray is a BEAUTIFUL warm gray – it didn’t make the cut as it’s NOT warm enough!
GREIGE & TAUPE PAINT COLOURS
Greige and taupe paint colours are hugging the worlds of gray and beige without 100% allegiance to either.
Greige paint colours tend to favour a green undertone. As greige leans further away from gray, it leans more into TAN, which is why greige and tan (or beige with a yellow-green undertone) often suit each other as they can share similar undertones.
While this fireplace below was screamin’ for some shade of beige, it’s happy and more updated with a transitional colour. Sometimes it’s about finding a happy place between you and your home!
Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray
Taupe paint colours tend to favour a violet-pink undertone. As taupe leans further away from gray, it leans more into BEIGE, which is why taupe and beige often suit each other as they can share similar undertones (pink, in particular).
Benjamin Moore London Fog
We’ll be focusing on the WARMER end of these colours today (don’t be scared, it won’t hurt). We might nod politely at beige or tan, but it will be like a Tinder date with beige vs a marriage.
Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige is one of my FAVE beiges that’s a hit amongst even NON-beige lovers!
CREAM PAINT COLOURS
It would be crazy to talk about warm paint colours without hitting cream. However, in an effort to stay MODERN, we’ll be looking at considerably muted shades of cream. Just remember, cream is ALWAYS a yellow hue colour – you can’t make cream without it!
Benjamin Moore Ballet White
A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER…
- For a colour to be WARM, it needs some form of beige, tan or cream/yellow in it – nature of the beast. The key is to make these shades more of a background feature than the main players.
- Don’t forget that a paint colour’s LRV is almost as important as its colour! If you’re not familiar with LRV, READ THIS, it will change how you choose paint colours FOREVER!
- Pay attention to your room’s exposure. The warmer your exposure is, the more you might lean into slightly grayer versions of warm neutrals. The cooler your exposure is, the warmer you might want to lean! READ MORE.
- If you find most of these options too warm or too beige/cream for you, then you really are looking for the warm gray end of things or the grayer side of greige and taupe.
1. SHERWIN WILLIAMS EGRET WHITE 7570
Egret White is a STUNNER. With its taupe base, Egret White makes a very slight nod towards a violet-pink undertone without slapping you upside the head with it.
2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS VERSATILE GRAY 6072
Versatile Gray is a light-medium depth TAUPE paint colour which means it has violet-pink undertones. And let me tell you, this is one DARN flexible warm neutral paint colour as it relates to coordinating with a wide range of interior finishes.
3. BENJAMIN MOORE BALLET WHITE OC-9
Ballet White is the OG of the warm neutral world (‘Original Gangster’ for those who aren’t as hip as me – wink wink).
Ballet White is a lighter neutral and a soft one at that. So, whereas some of the more traditional warm paint colours have more weight to them, Ballet White is soft and subtle. And while it IS a cream, it has a neutral base to calm it right the heck down.
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO BALLET WHITE TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
- Sherwin Williams White Duck is DEFINITELY similar to Ballet White, and you’ll be learning all about it next!
- Want a bit more warmth without going FULL YELLOW? Check out Benjamin Moore White Down
4. SHERWIN WILLIAMS WHITE DUCK 7010
If Ballet White is the OG of the warm neutral world, White Duck is its kissin’ cousin, which would be awkward, as I don’t expect gangsters are down with this type of relationship. But anyways.
White Duck is VERY SIMILAR to Ballet White. The main differences are that White Duck is a wee wink lighter and a touch less warm.
White Duck with a beautiful blue-green front door!
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO WHITE DUCK TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
- Sherwin Williams Shoji White is DEFINITELY similar to White Duck – read about it HERE to find out the difference!
5. BENJAMIN MOORE GRAY MIST OC-30
Because I rely 100% on my Online Paint Colour Consulting clients for photos, I don’t always have the shots. Some colours haven’t been used enough or the photos that I have are too blurry or not usable. And this IS the case with Gray Mist. It’s a beautiful shade, but with trends previously being cooler, Gray Mist has been ignored for quite some time.
But will Gray Mist ever be the most POPULAR warm neutral paint colour? No.
Gray Mist has a green undertone. Is it subtle? Yes. Does this undertone make it a bit finicky with a lot of today’s finishes? You bet your booty it does. But this doesn’t mean YOUR home doesn’t suit a warmer green undertone, so check it out if it tickles your fancy.
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO GRAY MIST TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
- Sherwin Williams Fog Mist is similar to Gray Mist, but with a bit more depth (lower LRV)
6. SHERWIN WILLIAMS MODERN GRAY 7632
Modern Gray certainly IS a modern gray.
You ask a lot of questions – I like that about you, and you have a great smile too. As trends lean warmer and warmer, we’re leaving gray behind, meaning that a more MODERN take on gray will have a whole lot more WARMTH to it. Modern Gray is a lovely shade of taupe, but is VERY subtle in its approach, often flashing little to no undertone. Unlike myself who flashes as much as possible whenever possible.
This next photo is as gray as Modern Gray EVER looks…
BTW, if you’re getting paint samples, you should 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
- they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed 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
7. BENJAMIN MOORE EDGECOMB GRAY OC-173
You had to see this one coming from a mile away (or a kilometre for all of us Canadians, eh?)
I’m sure I’ll be talking about Edgecomb Gray for the rest of my life. Why? Well, when trends are COLD, Edgecomb Gray seems to be the happy medium for warm lovers. As trends lean WARMER, Edgecomb Gray is going to be a great happy medium for the COOL lovers (I know you’re reading this, Elsa).
Edgecomb Gray is the PERFECT balance between gray and beige with NO commitment to either. It also has minimal undertones, making it a neutral shade to be reckoned with.
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO EDGECOMB GRAY TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
8. SHERWIN WILLIAMS CREAMY 7012
Creamy is one DREAMY cream paint colour. While many cream paint colours offer a bit too much yellow for the average homeowner (including myself), Creamy gives yellow a very polite nod, without tipping the scales. It’s also the LIGHTEST and brightest shade in this blog post, without hitting the warm white end of things.
However, with its HIGH LRV, you can expect Creamy to wash out CONSIDERABLY in an overly well-lit space like this foyer below…
This living room below also has an abundance of natural light, making Creamy look more like a soft warm white…
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO CREAMY TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
- Benjamin Moore White Down is similar to Creamy but has a bit more body to it
COLOURS THAT REALLY STRADDLE THE LINE…
While the above colours should hit the spot, there are some colours that sit on the border between taupe/greige and beige. This means that in some rooms, they might not lean into beige due to their surrounding finishes and the exposure of the room. However, in other rooms, you might see a BIT more beige than you bargained for.
Just keep in mind that these are still VERY SUBTLE and often very FLEXIBLE shades that can be great options without getting remotely close to the traditional ends of the beige and tan worlds.
9. BENJAMIN MOORE WINDS BREATH OC-24
Benjamin Moore Winds Breath is one of my NEW FAVES! However, it’s been watching way too many Jackie Chan movies as it’s quite the ninja.
Winds Breath does have a taupe base, but of all of the options on this page, it’s one of the few that’s slightly more likely to nod at beige WITHOUT 100% commitment. I have MAD love for this colour and expect to see more of it with the shifting trends.
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO WINDS BREATH TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
- Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White is similar to Winds Breath but is a bit cooler/grayer
10. BENJAMIN MOORE STONE HEARTH 984
I know I’m pushing my luck with this bad boy. The thing is, if you have NORTH-facing light, Stone Hearth is a warm neutral that could sit perfectly for you. However, if you have SOUTH-facing or warm afternoon sunshine, you might get a wee bit twitchy as it will lean more beige.
Kylie M E-Designs / Rick Pharaoh Photography
COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO STONE HEARTH TO COMPARE & SAMPLE
- Benjamin Moore Cedar Key is along similar lines to Stone Hearth, just lighter
- Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige, which really does throw my WHOLE THEORY that Stone Hearth will look neutral enough for you. Both are just such ATYPICAL BEIGES as they’re not traditionally golden warm – try them, they might surprise you!
11. SHERWIN WILLIAMS AESTHETIC WHITE 7035
I am thoroughly and completely obsessed with
wine funnels and Ryan Reynolds in a Speedo Aesthetic White.
Aesthetic White is a fabulous off-white paint colour that DOES have a beige base, but hot damn does it EVER LEAN INTO GRAY! Seriously – mad love.
CHECK OUT MY ONLINE PAINT COLOUR CONSULTING!