Did you know using a whole house paint color will help you create a cohesive flow throughout your entire home? Learn more about my favorite neutral colors as well as tips on how to select the right color the first time!
Does picking the right interior paint color for the whole house really matter? Absolutely! Picking the right paint matters 100%. It’s the base layer and backdrop for everything in the home.
Every single design and decor decision will need to compliment the color you paint on the walls. So not to scare you – but selecting a whole house paint color is a process of careful consideration.
I know choosing one or two specific colors for your home can seem rather overwhelming. After all, painting is an easy change but it’s work!
And no one wants to be driving to the paint store every day and repainting walls over and over.
So you want to pick the right colors the first time, and enjoy a whole house color scheme for years to come. That’s where I come in, to help you do just that!
What Color Is Best For The Entire House?
Great question! But before we can get to the answer, we have to ask a couple more questions.
How do you want to feel when you’re in the room? Paint can greatly affect the way a person experiences a space. Meaning it can feel so right or so wrong! So do you want the room to be cozy? Or peaceful? Or full of vibrance?
What colors make you truly happy? Not sure. Go take a quick peek at your clothes closet. What colors do you see? Most often we dress in colors that make us feel most comfortable. Take those same happy colors and use them as the main colors throughout the home and take risks in maybe rooms that are less traveled.
Now that you know the feeling for the room and your comfort colors, let’s talk more about how to choose your homes perfect paint color.
How To Nail Your Paint Choice Every Time
So let’s break the process of selecting our whole house color palette into steps so that nothing is overlooked. Starting with the rooms natural lighting.
How Much Natural Light Does The Room Get?
You need to be aware of how much light affects the room throughout the day. Where does the sun rise and set? Does it get a lot of morning sun but no sun midday?
Consider The Surroundings
Take a look at both inside and outside the room. You want to look at your flooring, counters, cabinets and fixtures in the room. Then look out the window.
Do you see lots of greenery with plants and trees or is it more a city view of buildings? These items outside can reflect their color in against your paint selection. So it’s important to know what different shades will be in the room!
Are There Neighboring Rooms?
This is an important tip as well! If you can see multiple rooms from one view (like a living room that’s open into the kitchen, dining, and family room) be sure to select colors with that in mind.
You don’t want your paint colors to be so close they appear weirdly ‘off’. And you don’t want too much drastic change because then your house starts to look like an amusement park!
So I suggest picking one whole house color for all the main, open rooms and then a coordinating color pallet for bathrooms and bedrooms.
Know The Undertone Of Your Paint
You can not pick the perfect paint color without knowing about undertones. For example, take white paint. There are a million whites and no two are the same.
Each brand has it’s own formula for creating paint. And each color has it’s own unique undertone.
Common Terms To Know On Paint Tone
- Mass or Overall Tone is the general color you see and identify immediately. So if you see a blue wall, you would describe the mass tone as blue.
- Undertone is the base tone of the color. For example, “It’s a very yellow white.” That statement is talking about how the color has been mixed with tints to create a variation of the color.
- Warm Undertones come from warmer colors like red, orange and yellow. They create a warmer feel.
- Cool Undertones come from cooler colors like blue, green and magenta. And these cool undertones produce a colder-feeling.
So is there a perfect color tone to keep your home from being too cold or too warm? Not necessarily but I have a couple suggestions to help you decide.
If the room you will be painting has more dark, earthier pieces (like wood flooring and brown neutrals throughout) go with a light warmer undertone. Going for a more fresh and brighter feel, try a slightly cool undertone paint color.
Also when it come to rooms with more natural light, I would stick to warmer, more neutral tones. By choosing a warmer tone, the room will feel naturally brighter when the sun shines directly in the space.
Popular Whole House Paint Colors
So now let’s talk about some of my favorite paint colors often selected by interior designers.
I’m breaking down my main wall colors into five different categories: neutral, white, gray, beige and greige.
All of these picks are considered neutral colors and that’s why I think they are a best for achieving a cohesive looking home.
Neutral Paint Colors That Are Great Choices
1 | Benjamin Moore Simply White
This is a very versatile and true neutral white color. It’s great for most rooms, especially ones with less natural light.
It’s one of those colors that looks warm when paired with warm tones and cool when paired with cool tones. It’s basically the classic white!
2 | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
This color was named after the crisp, clean white lace you may have inherited from your grandmother.
It’s is a cool-toned white with hints of green and gray. And it’s great for easily brightening up a dark room.
I’ve heard that you can hold this color up to any other shade of white, to identify the undertones of that shade. So that means, this shade of white is pretty pure.
White Paint Colors That Are A Great Option
1 | Benjamin Moore White Dove
Known for reflecting light beautifully, White Dove by Benjamin Moore is a favorite for its luminescent finish and creamy beige undertones.
While not a true white, it still has a soft, calming effect without looking yellow. This is a great white shade to use in spaces with lots of natural light.
2 | Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
Warm, welcoming, and smooth are some words often used to describe Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore. It’s a great option for more traditional spaces and plays well with other creamy tone.
I recently gave our master bedroom a makeover with this color and I have no regrets!
3 | Sherwin Williams Alabaster
This color is a warm, creamy white paint with yellow-beige undertones. I would call this color an off-white because Alabaster can range from crisp and light, to slightly yellow next to stark whites.
One word of caution when it comes to this color. If your rooms get intense western sunlight, you may want to reconsider because the bright sunshine can intensify the yellow undertones and make Alabaster too warm, too yellow.
Gray Paint Colors For Main Colors
1 | Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
This is my absolute favorite neutral shade of gray! I painted it throughout the main areas of my entire current home.
This gray is a warm gray paint color with a slight violet undertone and a tiny dab of green undertones as well. But don’t let the violet scare you – hints of this undertone can soften a color, stopping it from looking flat and boring.
To me, it’s the perfect neutral backdrop for our home decor. It’s warm enough to feel soft and cozy without any ‘cold’ vibes!
2 | Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
I love classic gray because it’s an ultra-light shade of gray that can also function as an off-white. It’s like the best of both words!
It is considered a warm gray because of it’s light green undertones. But because the undertones are so subtle, this paint color can pair really well with both warm and cool paint colors.
3 | Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
This popular paint color is described as a use-anywhere light gray with a cool, crisp cast. Gray Owl has green and blue undertones.
Gray Owl is a best-selling color for Benjamin Moore and I can totally see why. If you want to pick one color to paint your entire house and be done – this is the color for you!
It’s such a beautiful, light color of gray what will go with any decor.
Beige Paint Colors
1 | Sherwin Williams Natural Linen
Natural Linen is a beige paint color with an orange undertone. Now, don’t let the orange scare you! Orange has been know to bring out more yellows or pinks but this beige doesn’t really cater to either color.
So that makes it a super flexible beige for a wide range of interior rooms. Especially if you have light wood tones throughout your home.
This color is very similar to Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige – which happens to be my next color choice!
2 | Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
One of Sherwin Williams Top 50 colors, Accessible Beige is an excellent choice for a whole house color. It’s more muted than most beige colors but it’s not really gray either.
It’s a fantastic warm color that will keep your home feeling light and bright. Even in a home with moderate light, this color can still shine!
It give the bathroom pictured above a rich depth. So pretty!
3 | Sherwin Williams Shoji White
Don’t lead the word ‘white’ in the name mislead you. Shoji White is a fantastic blend between warm, creamy white and beige.
If you have a room with very tall ceilings (like in the picture above) and lots of natural light, this color may appear a little washed out. But don’t fear! Once the sun shines in you will get that gorgeous neutral color back.
If you are a lover of Wordly Gray, this color is very similar.
Greige Paint Colors
1 | Benjamin Moore Natural Cream
Don’t let the name ‘cream’ fool you. Natural Cream is a light griege at heart!
It’s a soft, warm neutral color that can offer a lot of contrast between a warmer or cooler white paint color. And I love that it’s a rich, creamy color without a ton of yellow undertones!
2 | Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Agreeable Gray is an iconic warm gray. It’s undertones are green, which are barley visible. But it makes for a beautiful greige that is still very popular today!
If you prefer to step out of the ‘white house’ box, this warmer more friendly color is a great pick for your home.
3 | Benjamin Moore Pale Oak
Pale Oak is another best seller that tends to lean slightly more gray under most lighting conditions. However, with pink-purple undertones, it can also fall into the ‘taupe’ category.
This griege makes a great neutral background color to compliment almost any home decor.
What Is The Best Way To Test Paint Samples?
Once you have narrowed down your paint choices, test the paint by painting large samples (at least 24×24 inches) on your walls. Don’t just rely on a paint chip!
You could also paint a few sample boards as well and scatter them around a room. Make sure to place a sample on every wall.
Then live with those samples for a few days and notice the color changes throughout the day – and even at night. This will help see how the paint color will change as light shifts from morning to evening.