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Are ‘Neutral’ Colors Really All That Neutral?

Beige, gray, taupe, black, white – we call these colors “neutral,” but it hardly seems fair to lump so many colors into such a safe, boring category.

Ah, to be neutral! To ride the proverbial fence, and declare oneself Switzerland! It may be the safe bet, but is it very trend forward in the world of interior design? If you could pick any color you wanted, like you can if you win our #50STATESOFPAINTCONTEST, would pick a neutral one? 

What is “neutral,” anyway?

A color is said to be neutral when it is devoid of any strong characteristics. More specifically, though, it’s a hue that is not a derivative of a single primary color.

For example, you can’t have a “neutral red,” because whatever the shade or tint may be it is still a shade or tint of red. But, you can mix primary colors to get a neutral color (e.g., orange + blue = brown). And, you can mix neutral colors together to get other neutral colors.

So, what does this have to do with how we perceive neutral colors? It demonstrates that …

… neutral can indeed be bold.

Everybody talks about adding a “pop” of color. “Oooh, just add a pop of color!” Well, you could, but what if you didn’t?

Consider a mod, monochromatic kitchen in all black and white like the one above; white cabinets, black countertops, a spotless white floor and not a stitch of color in sight. Pretty striking, yes?

As you can imagine with the above example, flexing the muscles of neutral color is great in itself, but it’s also a great way to establish a base for your interior design. Think of your neutral tones as the gesso on a new canvas you're about to paint, and then …

… add that pop of color!   

If you really want to get the most bang for your buck in your pop of color, you first have to create a space for it to pop. In this way, neutrals also have power – as orchestral support for a flashy color solo.

In so many ways, neutral colors are not neutral at all. You can use them to establish a color palette or enhance one.

So, don’t let the name “neutral” get in the way of style that’s anything but, and make sure you enter our #50STATESOFPAINTCONTEST for your chance to win a room painted in the color of your dreams! 

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