Colour Masterclass: Warm Neutrals

Colour Masterclass: Warm Neutrals

Comforting, calm and sophisticated – not to mention timeless, elegant and versatile – it looks like warm neutrals are here to stay. We spoke to some of the interior world's top colour experts to find out how to use them in our homes…

Stony Plaster, Atelier Ellis, £31/L

Cassandra Ellis, Founder

“Stony Plaster is a warm soft neutral to use in all types of rooms. It sometimes reads pink, sometimes soft stone, sometimes grey. Grounded with Umber pigment, it never feels cold. It suits both modern, clean spaces as well as classical Georgian architecture. It is an excellent neutral alternative to greys, whites or taupes. Paired with our perfect Warm White and Quiet Grey, it creates an easy-to-live-with palette for all type of rooms. By mixing with our more complex and darker shades such as Clay Slip, Aged Black or Smoked Green-Blue, you can create incredibly interesting and quietly saturated rooms.”

Available here

Chalk Paint in Old Ochre, £21.95

Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, Paint and Colour Expert

“Ochre is a natural pigment, dug directly from the ground and present in every culture and civilisation. I don’t know if this ubiquity is what makes it feel such a warm, almost-neutral, or if those qualities achieved the ubiquity in the first place; I think rather a bit of both. Traditional and earthy, with an ancient pedigree, ochre creates a safe and anchored feeling. Ochre can range in depth, from light creams to full-blown mustardy shades and rich, deep yellows. It’s a very positive colour and pairs beautifully with other natural textures and finishes, from warm woods to rough linens. For a calm feel, try Chalk Paint™ in Old Ochre; it’s the faded darkened cream colour seen on old French painted furniture, woodwork and door exteriors. Apply Dark Chalk Paint™ Wax to make the colour more intense or keep it clean as a neutral foil to other shades.”

Available here

Crown East Village Matte Emulsion, £10.32/2.5L

Crown Judy Smith, Crown Colour Consultant

“Warm neutrals are ideal when it comes to making a room feel soft, cosy and inviting without looking overpowering. Perfectly muted and versatile, East Village is an earthy tone that is incredibly uplifting and enveloping. It thrives with natural sunlight – for this reason it works particularly well in rooms with a sunny aspect. Warm tones like sand or taupe combine brilliantly with all sorts of woods - from bleached and rough-hewn to dark and polished. They also make a great background for ceramics and terracotta pots – the more imperfect the better. Being a colour of nature, East Village really lends itself to the natural and the handmade.”

Available here

Graham & Brown, Custard Cream Paint Emulsion, £38/L

Paula Taylor, Colour & Trends Specialist

“The buttery tones of Custard Cream really bring living rooms and communal spaces to life. As we make our way into spring and summer, the soft shade offers a refreshing atmosphere in the morning, and dims to create the perfect haven to relax and unwind in the evening. To add more warmth to north facing rooms, pair with light yellow, gold and cream accessories, adding pops of bright colour to really make a statement.”

Available here

Earthborn Paints, Ecopaint in Marbles, £18.86/0.75L

Cathryn Helsby, Marketing Manager

“Marbles is a more subtle white reminiscent of vintage lace deriving its colour exclusively from white clays. With an almost antique-y feel, Marbles is a great alternative to white especially on ceilings and paired with bold colours. The off-white is the perfect tone for south facing rooms as it enhances the feeling of warmth in your home.” 

Available here

Little Greene, Portland Stone Pale, From £21/L

Ruth Mottershead, Marketing Manager

“Portland Stone originates from the stone of which it derives its name. Soft and pleasing on the eye, it was used to paint the facades of Victorian houses, replicating the mellow appeal of the genuine article. Not only does it work well for exterior stone work, it is a charming, beguiling tone, with enough warmth in it for use in bedrooms as well as bringing a more homely touch to offices and studies. For a bolder statement, combine with Lamp Black to create a contemporary, impactful scheme.”

Available here

Paint and Paper, Leather II Paint, From £50/2.5L

Andy Greenall, Head of Design

“Leather II looks stylish on walls, especially teamed with one or more of the Leather tones. It is also particularly effective when used on ceilings: try using it instead of white with brownish-pink shades, such as Temple or Desert Rose in a living room or dining room.”

Available here

Benjamin Moore, Century Paint in Mica Z2, £125/3.78L

Helen Shaw, UK Director

“Over the last few seasons, we've gradually seen neutrals with pink and red undertones take over from traditionally cooler greys - perfect for calming down busy and bold schemes, while enhancing minimal and contemporary looks. Embracing a neutral paint colour such as Century Collection Mica is a fantastic way of creating a minimalist base that can act as a versatile foundation for eclectic, colourful accessories and furniture to be added to. When combined with monochromatic furnishings, simple shades work perfectly to create a minimalist, contemporary decorating aesthetic.”

Available here

Dulux, Matt Emulsion in Timeless, £16/2.5L

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director

“Just saying the words ‘warm neutrals’ conjures a cosy feeling of belonging that absolutely captures what these colours do on the walls of our homes. Timeless is visually ‘temperate’, and creates interiors that feel instantly welcoming and comfortable. Layering is the key to making the most out of warm neutrals and combining different tones as well as shades across every surface unlocks the full potential of this beautiful soothing organic.”

Available here

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