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Paint Shades to Reach for When You're Craving Real Colour

Paint Shades to Reach for When You're Craving Real Colour

Don't get us wrong — White walls will always be our number one. But sometimes, you need a colour with a little more oomph, and going greige doesn't always cut it.

Whether you're hunting for a shade to cocoon the walls of a bedroom or study, or for an accent trim or cabinet colour to punctuate a room, even soft colours can make a big impact. When it comes to choosing paint colours that offer more, well, colour than the staple whites and neutrals, think about the mood you're aiming to set in your space. Are you going for bright and airy? Uplifting and energizing? Warm and cozy?

The colours that are trending now run the spectrum of these moods, with a common thread of feeling plucked from nature. Here, we've broken down a selection of 2021's trending shades into three groupings of different colour families, each with a distinct personality.


AIRY & CALMING: Warm Blues + Muted Teals

Like a classic pair of jeans, blue is such a staple for us that we practically consider it a neutral. The shades that feel freshest now lean towards airy and aquatic hues with warm undertones. Muted or pale teals that pull in a hint of green or gray offer a soothing feel, perfect for bedrooms and living spaces. Case in point: Benjamin Moore's Silent Ripple is like applying a coat of instant serenity to your walls, while the shade Silver Marlin has a dusty tone that makes it relaxing and easy to live with.

Brighter sky blues, like Benjamin Moore's Sunrise, add a sunny touch to kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Or, for a rich and refined take, Farrow and Ball's De Nimes is a saturated yet slightly muted teal that is guaranteed to be timeless. Complement it with brass hardware and lighting for a polished finish.


When adding colour to a room with paint, don't forget look up!Your ceilings are an all-too-often overlooked area that can be just the place for some unexpected colour.

While you'll never go wrong with the default white ceiling, consider using paint to highlight the architecture of a coffered or tray ceiling — or even a basic flat ceiling. It will draw the eye up and add instant interest to a room.

LIVELY & NATURAL: Fresh + Herbal Greens

For an energizing hit, you can't go wrong with fresh green. Verdant, herbal shades — think mint, sage, and rosemary — are instantly revitalizing in the same way as a hike in nature. One thing that makes green special is how well it layers: There's no need to be precious or careful about mixing and matching multiple greens together. Have you ever seen a forest where all the shades of green in the trees and plants match? We rest our case. The more greens you mix together, the more naturally harmonious your space will feel.

In living, dining and bedrooms, bright pastels such as Appalacian Green by Benjamin Moore or Cavan by Behr pair beautifully with clean or creamy white trim for a classic, preppy look. Or, opt for the grassy Hillside Grove from Behr for a bit more punch; we love this shade as a backdrop for a collection of blue & white accents.

For a rich and cozy take, try Sherwin Williams' Rosemary on an accent wall or kitchen cabinets. Lean further into the earthy vibes with shades of olive or bronze, like Sherwin Williams' Urbane Bronze.

EARTHY & EXOTIC: Clay, Maroon, and Hints of Pink

You know what you're thinking, and no, this isn't just a rehash of millennial pink— It's an evolution. The shy, soft blush has grown into sophisticated shades of putty, plaster, and rosé. Inspired by exotic locations like Bahamian pink sand beaches (Benjamin Moore's Pink Beach), or Jaipur's pink stone palaces (Sherwin Williams' Jaipur Pink), these hues have warm beige or clay undertones that add liveable depth.

For a subtle pink cast reminiscent of a summer sunrise, try Farrow and Ball's putty-coloured Setting Plaster on the ceiling of a white-walled room. It's sure to cast a pretty and unexpected glow. Or, for a major statement, turn down the brightness and pump up the saturation with deep maroon and eggplant shades, like Farrow and Ball's Brinjal. We love it in a powder room or on a painted vintage accent table. And, who can resist the charm of a pink front door? Not us, that's for sure.

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