The Best Neutral Paint Color....?

The Best Neutral Paint Color....?

Several years ago I had the displeasure of babysitting model homes. You know the drill. ‘Welcome to (insert name of development here). This is the (insert name of the home plan here).’ After six hour days of the same spiel over and over and over, I started to lose it. I had to find ways to entertain myself, so I began keeping a running total in my head as to how many people had complementary remarks about the furniture, the cabinetry, the flooring, etcetera. Out of my tally came some interesting facts. Namely, above everything else, most people commented on the wall color. This particular builder, like most, painted the entire interior of the house with the same color, so the fact that people liked it was imperative.

After a dozen or so positive comments like ‘It’s neutral but it’s color’, I decided I needed to do a bit of investigating. During a lull in traffic, I searched the only place where I knew I might find the answer to this mystery. To the basement! Painters almost always leave behind leftovers from the job. This crew was no different. The color which appealed to the masses was none other than Benjamin Moore’s Bennington Gray. (The paint chip pictured below doesn’t do the color justice. It’s darker and more of a Café Aulait rather than gray.)

Bennington Gray likes to be paired up with rich colors. I’ve seen it work wonderfully with tomato red to pomegranate, pine to olive, navy to dark teal, ochre to saffron, juicy purples to eggplant and maroon.  Although, if you want to keep it tranquil, hook Bennington Gray up with white or off-white for a relaxing-as-a-spa effect.

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Bridget on Aug 13, 2014:

If you're asking what is the best neutral color, I have a suggestion - Glazed Pears by Pittsburgh Paints. We've used it in our house, our rentals, and friends have used it with great success in their homes. It never fails!

StylishSongbird on Apr 12, 2012:

Thanks for this post!  I added Bennington gray to the long list of neutrals to try out in our family room.  Although it is not the color I have decided on, it is a great color and would love to use it in our guest bath.  I went with something just a little lighter, as that suited my space better.  Check it out, if you like, at http://www.stylishsongbird.com!

tammie on Feb 07, 2012:

Im also using kelly moore, any other suggestions for best neutral colors, I really would hate to mess this up. I would love to see pictures of rooms.  my daughter likes khaki, but I dont know who makes it to compair it to my KM color charts

tammie on Feb 07, 2012:

I was thinking about swiss coffee, I would love to see it in full room view.  I have to pick from kelly moore paints so if anyone has any other suggestions on a great neutral all over color I would love to hear it.

locamama on Aug 09, 2007:

I love toasted coconut from Laura Ashley.  I think I just love the name though. 

DIY Maven on Aug 09, 2007:

That combination with white is really lovely!

cindyAtStaged4more on Aug 08, 2007:

oh how silly of me, i should include what it looks like! here is link in one of the houses that i staged where they use swiss coffee & white trims. very simple but it just pops. here is the link: http://www.staged4more.com/135-madrone-san-francisco-staged-vacant-home-and-redesign.html

 (the after photos... on the right side of the page)

DIY Maven on Aug 08, 2007:

Swiss coffee....mmmm....sounds delicious!

cindyAtStaged4more on Aug 07, 2007:

very cool post! i am a stager so i love interesting tidbits like these. i think one of the main reasons why people always comment on the paint color is because they know the furniture is going to be gone and paint color is really something they have to actually spend money and time to change so they do pay more attention to it.

swiss coffee from kelly moore is another great color as well.



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