Once upon a time we all thought neutral paint colours consisted of a bright white, a grey and a magnolia (that yellowy cream colour that every Tom, Dick and Harry were painting their walls with in the 80s). This is the belief until you find yourself surrounded by 14 open testers and your wall is starting to look less like plain white and more like a piece of abstract art.
Now if you say you want a white wall the response is 'do you want All White? Bright White? Off-White? New White? James White?' And you might think 'why is that white new and who is James?'
You might know the colours of the rainbow, thanks Richard of York, but do you know your Eating Room Reds from your Book Room Reds? You're suddenly so lost you have ended up in Card Room Green.
We understand that the paint aisle can feel like a minefield and a colour swatch leaflet can be a little overwhelming, so we thought we would try and make your life that little bit easier by sticking to just a couple of brands, (because who doesn't love Farrow & Ball and Little Greene?) and sharing with you interior designers' top picks for paint colours.
A warm easy white/mid-grey
Joanna by Little Greene is a beautifully versatile white. There is an earthiness to the colour that gives a neutral, calm feeling to a room. This versatile colour has the capacity to look warm or with cooler lighting, can almost be slightly lilac in certain rooms.
"A common misconception with grey or neutral paint colours is that they make a room feel cold and stony. However, as proven by Joanna, grey can be warm and comforting. I love this shade; it can also be a great complementary paint colour for skirtings and trims." - Claire, Interior Designer at My Bespoke Room.
Sulking Room Pink
A romantic and muted rose
Blush is everywhere right now, and rightly so. It's a gorgeous, delicate colour that has just enough pink to be pretty but not too much that it's sickly. Pair with brass accents in the room and you're on to a winner.
"Sulking Room Pink is one of Farrow & Ball's new colours, and it's the blush that we've all been waiting for. It's warm and comforting without being too 'sugary.' It's also incredibly versatile: mustard yellow, deep emerald green, royal navy as well as a simple monochrome scheme all complement Sulking Room Pink beautifully. " - Rosie, Interior Designer at My Bespoke Room
An understated grey
Look up versatile in the interior design dictionary and you'll find Cornforth White. It's a designer's go-to for a mid-tone grey. It can simultaneously brighten and add depth to a room. Understated, calming and beautiful.
A deep & dark blue
If you like blue, and feature walls are your thing, then you will LOVE Hague Blue. It's dark and dramatic and therefore makes the ultimate statement. Top tip: It's great as the backdrop of a gallery wall to make your artwork pop.
A soft black with blue undertones
Another go-to colour for feature walls. In some lights the blue tones are less visible and can sometimes look like an extremely dark grey, however, the colour is more blue than black. This colour can completely revamp a space by adding depth and that WOW-factor!
"Railings is great for those wanting to make a statement, but don't want to commit to a blue colour scheme. Unlike Hague Blue, Railings doesn't bind you to blue hues. You can use it with pinks, greens, blues, reds and so many more colours and shades. We have Railings in our open plan kitchen." - Lucy, Senior Designer at My Bespoke Room
Soft white with a hint of grey
Shadow White looks great in any home with any style interior. It's brilliant for both walls and woodwork, brightening a room with only the slightest hint of grey. It's warm without yellow tones and, therefore, brilliant if you want to introduce grey to your colour scheme but don't want the room to feel too cold.
A strong blue grey
We know that pigeon's don't tend to be everyone's favourite bird, or anyone's (but we could be wrong), nevertheless, next time you shoo away the scavengers on your lunch break, pause to take a look at their beautifully coloured feathers. Pigeon by Farrow & Ball have admired the beauty of the every day and taken the cosy and nostalgic blue grey from the colour of the bird and made this gorgeous paint colour. It's soft and can look slightly green in certain rooms and lights.
"Pigeon is a sophisticated way to add colour as it has a dusky grey undertone that is versatile and complements so many schemes. The colour naturally suits country homes but we have found that it's a great accent in a contemporary, monochrome bathroom which is a hot trend right now." - Claire, Interior Designer at My Bespoke Room
A romantic grey pink
Who said romance was dead? Whether it's a traditional or contemporary interior, Peignoir brings an enchanting depth to your home. It blends a gentle and elegant pink with a soft grey - a dreamy combination.
"I love Peignoir as it's not like any paint colour I have seen before. When it comes to interiors I'm a self-confessed grey addict, so this colour allows me to add colour whilst sticking to my strict, grey colour scheme. This is the colour in my daughter's room and the interior is pretty in pink without being sickly, and she won't grow out of it any time soon!" - Laura, Co-Founder at My Bespoke Room
A muted mid-teal
Pleat by Little Greene is an haute couture colour inspired by the catwalk runways of Paris, Milan and London - so you're getting a designer look without splurging £1000s. This paint is perfect if you're looking to add some colour to your home without being too bold. Dark wood tones, brass and green, navy, mustard or blush accents give you an ultra luxe and warm finish. Alternatively, pair this colour with a cool white and some chrome accents and you will have yourself the ultimate calming retreat!