The starting point of any home decor scheme is the palette. Because colors immediately set the mood of a space, a color scheme can tell you whether a room is supposed to be fun, cozy—or something else entirely. And the rest of the furniture will either confirm—or more occasionally, refute—that expectation.
Because color can play such a major role in your space, it’s pretty important to get it right. Not only do you want to select a color that sets the tone you’re looking for, but you also want to pick a shade you love looking at. (No one wants to put in the time and effort to paint their walls—only to hate the final result.)
Given all this, committing to a color scheme can get a little stressful. There are tons of shades to sift through, and it can be tough to tell which one is right for you. Thankfully, interior designers have gone through this process time and time again. And they’ve emerged with a few favorite interior paint colors they can rely on any time they’re sprucing up a palette.
Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
“I love Revere Pewter, because it is a great balance of grey and beige,” Angela Hall, Owner and Interior Designer of Friar Tuck Design Company, says. “It's incredibly versatile and blends beautifully into many design styles and color palettes.”
Hall says you can use Revere Pewter in any room of your home, but it looks particularly great in the living room. “It has a nice warmth to it that makes the space feel inviting,” she says. And because the shade is so versatile, you can pair it with just about anything. “I love using it with coastal designs that incorporate different shades of blue,” Hall says. “I also love bringing it into more modern farmhouse designs, where it blends seamlessly with a neutral color palette of black, white, and gray.”
Benjamin Moore Greenhow Blue
Susann Goerg, Interior Designer and Creative Director at Happy Homes, calls Greenhow Blue her “breath of fresh air.” She says the serene shade reminds her of the ocean and the sky—and that it doesn’t come across as juvenile, like some other light blues. “Inspired by historic French and English wallpapers, it’s a classic misty pale blue that doesn’t read baby blue or kids room right away,” she says.
Goerg recommends pairing the color with a deep purple (like Benjamin Moore’s Carter Plum), a bright yellow (like Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Roses), or a fresh green (like Benjamin Moore’s Mayo Teal). She also says it pairs magnificently with white sinks, dark-toned woods, and chrome or brass hardware.
Farrow & Ball Arsenic
“Arsenic is mysterious and never boring,” Lauren Stern, Designer at Lauren Stern Design, says. “It's also a fun switch-up from the white tones that have been so popular in the last few years.” But don’t worry about growing tired of the bold shade—Stern says it’s the kind of color you’ll “love for years to come.”
Stern loves using the smoky green shade in historical homes, as it pairs beautifully with antique accents. And she’s currently using the color to paint the walls and trim in a home office. “It'll serve as an exciting and lively backdrop for classic furnishings, like an antique mahogany desk,” she says.
Benjamin Moore Cloud White
Maryana Grinshpun, Founder and Creative Director of Mammoth Projects, calls Cloud White the “best shade of white.” “[It] adds warmth and intimacy to any space,” she says. “[And] in the matte finish, it really does have a softness that exudes being inside a cloud.”
Grinshpun says she loves using it for walls—particularly in living rooms, offices, and bedrooms. And she creates contrast by pairing it with an even crisper, brighter white. “Our clients are always looking for modern, but not cold—and this does the trick,” she says.
Benjamin Moore Rosy Peach
“Rosy Peach checks off the box for the unexpected flair I love to create in a room,” Robbie Maynard, Interior Designer at Robbie Interiors, says. Maynard describes Rosy Peach as whimsical—and a little bit tropical. And she says the surprising color pairs well with an array of other shades.
If you want to go all in on fun, consider pairing the shade with Benjamin Moore’s Chestertown Buff or Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal. Or mellow it out with a couple warm neutrals. “I love color—it's a simple way to make a big impact or statement,” Maynard says. And if a statement is what you’re looking for, Rosy Peach is sure to deliver it.
Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze
Urbane Bronze is neither a gray nor a brown—and that’s exactly what Juliana Oliveira, Principal Designer and Owner of Beyond Interior Design, loves about it. Because the color is such a rich and versatile neutral, Olvieira says it makes a great addition to “both warm and cool palettes.”
“We primarily use Urbane Bronze on the exterior—more so as an accent color,” Oliveira says. “But [we] aren’t shy to use it in the interior to cover an entire entertainment room or set a mood [with] an accent wall.”
Behr Nocturne Blue
“Behr’s Nocturne Blue is one of my favorites,” Ted Roberts, Interior Style and Design Chief for Schlage, says. “[It] is a rich, complex color with a lot of character.”
Roberts notes that because Nocturne Blue is so bold, it won’t be a fit for every space. “I envision it best in more private spaces, such as bedrooms and studies,” he says—noting that the color could also be a daring choice in a living room. He suggests pairing it with beiges, whites, and ochres. And he recommends keeping your palette pared down to just two colors: Nocturne Blue and your accent of choice.
Sherwin-Williams Sashay Sand
Michelle Harrison-McAllister, Owner and Founder of Michelle Harrison Design, says she loves how “easy on the eye” Sashay Sand is. “This color brings a calm and relaxed vibe to any room,” she says. “[And it] will make any décor style blush.”
Harrison-McAllister notes that the light pink plays well with earthy tones, cool blues, and dark steel grays, too. And it’s sure to complement any wood furniture you have on hand. Consider using the color with crisp whites in your bathroom, or cozy grays in your bedroom. “This universal color gets along with all rooms in the house.”
Benjamin Moore Sage Tint
“We love Benjamin Moore’s Sage Tint—a soft seafoam green,” Laura Flam and Carrie Dessertine, Principals of REUNION Goods and Services, say. “It’s so compatible with other colors that it is practically a neutral.” The designers say they particularly love how much the shade can freshen up a space.
Flam and Dessertine recently used Sage Tint in the guest rooms at a Rhode Island Hotel. “[We wanted] to freshen the spaces and bring as much light into the rooms as possible,” they designers say. “The intent was always for the rooms to feel intimate, residential, and comfortable—as if you were staying with friends or at a summer house.”
Benjamin Moore Delray Gray
“My favorite warm gray is Delray Gray,” Carolynne Kollar, Interior Designer at Mojo Stumer, says. “It keeps the room from feeling too cold, but it’s still a real gray.” And she specifically recommends using the color in a living room or a study
Kollar says her goal when crafting a palette is to start with a color that complements its surroundings. “Normally, we get our creative touches through architectural elements and artwork,” she says. “This requires a good basic color that completes the space, but doesn’t fight the natural woods, metals, and artwork.” Delray Gray fits this bill, and promises to make a versatile addition to just about any space.
Sherwin-Williams Naples Yellow
Lisa M. Cini, President and CEO of Mosaic Design Studio, says she loves how incredibly warm and homey Naples Yellow feels. “It takes me back to a snowy day when I was very young, and I found a spot of sunshine that gave me a sense of safety and warmth,” she says.
Cini says Naples Yellow is “perfect in so many situations.” You can pair it with reds, blues, greens, or neutrals. (Her favorite is Sherwin-Williams’s Serious Gray.) And you can put it just about anywhere. “Depending on what the adjacent rooms look like, this color can look regal [or] happy,” she says. Sometimes, she notes, it can even come across as rustic.
Sherwin-Williams Black Magic
Susannah Watts, Owner and Lead Designer at Swatts & Co Design Studio, says she loves Black Magic because it’s a “true soft black.” “It isn’t gray, it isn’t navy—just black,” she adds. “But [it’s] not as harsh as some true blacks.”
Watts says she’s used the color on walls, ceilings—and even exteriors. And she’s paired it with everything from lime greens and bright yellows to crisp whites and cool blues. “This color works in rooms that lean maximalist, and also works in a minimal mid-century house too,” she says. “It can literally be used anywhere—black being the new black and all.”