Choosing a wall color doesn't have to scare the living daylights out of you. 
 Just remember a couple of things.   
1.  You are creating a background for your design.   
2.  Backgrounds are best created with neutrals.  
3.  Neutrals are just grayed down colors.  
They are beautiful.  
They don't have to be boring.

This room has a neutral background and a neutral palette, but is anything but boring

This room has a similar neutral background, but a much more colorful palette

a very neutral background in beautiful grays
with warm woods and soft colors

more neutrals in a beautiful room
dark woods, high contrasts

with a neutral background, your room can be whatever you want to make it
neutral or vibrant, soft or high in contrast and drama
don't be afraid of the sanitarium - think beyond the background


Hi, Claudine-
I hope you can help me. I have put off messaging you, because I know how busy you are, but after 2 and a half months of trying to choose paint colors for our new home, I can't take it anymore! We have to make a decision within the next three weeks or so. I am nearly set on SW Mindful or Dorian Gray for the majority of the house (open floor plan),but wanted a contrasting color in the beige family for the bathrooms and laundry room. I'm thinking Kilim Beige. Do you think that would look strange in the master bedroom where the two colors (Mindful or Dorian Gray, Kilim) will be closer together? Our cabinets are white throughout downstairs, and tile is nearly white as well. We're somewhat regretting our tile decision, as we fear our home may end up looking like a "sanitarium," and want to warm it up a bit. Our furniture is mostly vintage, antique and rustic in either natural wood, or antique white finish.
Sorry for the "earful," and I hope you can help when you have time. This is truly making me crazy!!
Michelle Dickson

Hi Michelle,

Bear in mind that you are creating a background for your decorating.  It's okay for a background to be more neutral.  The accessories and fabrics you choose will keep your home from feeling like a Sanitarium.

 with a neutral background, your home can be as bright or as neutral as you wish - just as these two rooms have different palettes but similar neutral backgrounds.

The colors you have chosen look fine together.  (Kilim Beige/Mindful Gray or Dorian Gray).  Even close, and especially with the white woodwork.  Your other wood tones will help warm your space as well.  In addition you can bring in baskets and other naturals to warm it up,

and if necessary, a well placed rug will warm up the tile if it feels too cool.   In more ways than one.


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