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These 4 Colors Are the New Neutrals

By: Sarah Beaumont

October 3, 2017

Image via Architectural Digest

Neutrals are a necessary part of any home’s color palette. Not only do they keep our spaces feeling grounded and cozy, but they add a level of elegance that bright, saturated hues just don’t. But however essential they are, basic beiges and flat greys can feel a bit stuffy, which is why we’re turning to a warmer palette. Introducing the new neutrals. From heated rust to earthy olive tones, these rich hues have the capacity to color your space with a fresh dose of style.


The key to making this subdued shade of green work as a neutral is keeping it muted. Dark olive tones with hints of grey work best for wall colors and those with a more plant-like, natural base are ideal for furniture. This deep hue looks extra luxe when paired with gold accents and takes on a more rustic vibe when complemented by wood textures and creamy shades of ivory. Though we mostly see mossy, olive green used in rooms with a lot of other neutrals, the color can provide a solid base for bolder accents like aqua, salmon, and honeysuckle.

Because it has depth-enhancing abilities, this color shows up in a lot of smaller spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.


Though blush or “rose quartz” was the Color of the Year for 2016, it seems to have proved its staying power by remaining one of the highest search terms on Pinterest. Dubbed a new neutral by many folks in the design world, this light and delicate hue plays well with others — both bright, saturated colors like green and cerulean as well as common neutrals like grey. If blush colored walls or cabinets are too much of a commitment for you, incorporate the mega-popular shade through smaller pieces like pillows, planters, velvet chairs and soft, linen bedding.


“Oatmeal” might just look like another beige to the untrained eye, but the blends we’re seeing lately have a sandier appearance. (Sometimes they even come¬†close to mimicking their neutral counterpart, blush.) Like grey, oatmeal is a great option for a minimalist space, but rather than taking on a cool tone as grey does, it adds more warmth to interiors. Try it tone-on-tone for a modern take on taupe.

Not quite ready to give up on grey? Couple your cooler hues with oatmeal for a laidback and minimal, Scandinavian look.


In the same vein as the terracotta trend comes “rust”, making its way into spaces through red, brick tones that have just a little bit of brown to them. This neutral is ideal for those that want to add some warm vibrant tones to their spaces, like mustard yellow, salmon pink, and fiery orange. Depending on how you style it, rust can act as both a neutral and a statement color. We like it in a desert-style context, paired with sandy hues and lots of lush greenery.

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