skip to Main Content

Complex Neutrals Create Soft, Flexible Look

A growing number of decorators are using complex neutral shades to create a look that they say is not too bold and not too loud, but just right.

Running the gamut from the grays, khakis and beiges that most people associate with neutrals, to some surprisingly deep and rich colors–such as pinot noir purple or cappuccino brown–they are softer colors that whisper quietly and blend seamlessly into a space.

Complex neutrals are created by adding gray tint to the paint, resulting in hues that are veiled, misty and chameleonlike. They react to other colors present in a room and can vary in appearance based on the lighting conditions. This flexibility helps neutrals to blend seamlessly with the variety of fabrics, flooring, furniture and colors that are already in a space.

Only Use White If You Mean It

Oftentimes, homeowners are looking for a neutral to create the perfect atmosphere but end up defaulting to white. According to color expert Dee Schlotter from PPG Pittsburgh Paints, The Voice of Color, “White should only be intentional.” Schlotter says that when the use of white is not intentional, it can make a room look unfinished. “Instead of using white or being overwhelmed by selecting a bold, bright color, homeowners should try a complex neutral,” says Schlotter.

Additional Tips On Color

Homeowners can consider the following tips when choosing a color:

• Pick paint color last–Select paint color based on everything that is in a room: furniture, floors, tiles, curtains, etc. Selecting the wrong paint color is easy to correct–just paint over it–while the wrong granite countertop, carpet or furniture is more difficult to change.

• To make a room and space cohesive, use colors at least twice. This will help to merge the walls, furniture, accessories and flooring.

• Our response to color is subjective and comes from our life experiences and emotional associations, so select the colors that are personal to create the right atmosphere.

To find your color personality, try the online color tools at

–Imperial Valley News, Palm Springs, California (NAPSI)

Facebook Twitter Email