24 No-Fail Paint Colors, Picked by Interior Designers

neutral living room
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From subtle to bold, these designer-approved hues are guaranteed to look good.

If you've ever stood baffled in front of a display of thousands of paint chips, you know this: Choosing paint colors is hard! Yes, you could buy dozens of samples and spend hours testing them on your walls to see how they'll look at every time of day. But why not make it easier and just ask the experts instead? That's why we reached out to interior designers all over the country to share their tried-and-true colors for every room in your home. From striking, dramatic hues to easy, versatile neutrals, check them out below.

Bedroom

bedroom with grey walls

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farrow and ball elephant's breath paint

Farrow and Ball Elephant's Breath No. 229

“For a more muted space, I love a mauve-gray. It goes well with other grays, peach and pale pinks. Then I like to use the same color in a glossier finish for trim around doors, baseboards and crown molding." —Annie Napoliello, Brontosaurus Inc., Brooklyn, NY


Behr Black Black 8341 paint

Behr Black Black 8341

“Some people think I'm crazy, but I swear by matte black walls in a bedroom! It works surprisingly well, whether you have lots of light or not—in daylight, it lightens up to a warm charcoal, and at night, it makes lamplight glow. Whether it contrasts against ivory linen or wood furnishings, it's an excellent way to create a cozy space with interest and depth." —Lind


Sherwin-Williams Incredible White SW 7028

“I tested about 50 colors for my new master suite to find the perfect pale beige with a touch of gray—nothing too warm or too cool. Incredible White was the solid winner. It's totally neutral and soothing, with just enough contrast against white trim." —Erin Gates, Erin Gates Design, Boston, MA


Sherwin-Williams Icy SW 6534

“I love Sherwin-Williams Icy; it's a soft pale blue with light gray undertones. It's beautiful paired with cream, tan or gray bedding and fabrics, and gives a calming, serene feel to any bedroom while looking chic." —Langdon


Living Room

living room with blue sofa

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Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt

Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt SW 6204

“A gorgeous green-gray is a livable neutral that acts like a chameleon, taking on different tones as the sun travels over the sky. Sea Salt is a breezy, beautiful color that puts you at ease." —Phoebe Schuh, PS and Daughters, Philadelphia, PA


Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172

“I like to stay neutral in living rooms; our daily lives can be crazy and colorful enough that we don't want to be overwhelmed with walls in the latest color trend! A warm but subtle 'greige' is the perfect soothing neutral for any scheme—and then you can let your family life and accents provide the color pops." —Allison Lind, Allison Lind Interiors, Seattle, WA



Sherwin-Williams Watery SW 6478

“A paler shade of teal can work well in a home that doesn't have a lot of bright colors. Watery feels young and fresh and fun. It can liven up a room, but is enough of a neutral for a person who's afraid of color." —Schuh



Sherwin-Williams Universal Khaki SW 6150

“I love Sherwin-Williams Universal Khaki. It's a warm neutral that's not too gold, so it works well in a transitional or modern room. Tan paint gets a bad rap, but it's a livable hue that's easy to change up with accessories. Plus, it's a great connector color if you have a hallway that continues up stairs or leads to bedrooms in different shades." —Libby Langdon, Libby Langdon Interiors, New York, NY


Kitchen

ktichen with light blue walls and open shelving

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Benjamin Moore Fire Dance 2171-20

Benjamin Moore Fire Dance 2171-20

“Often in kitchens, I like to keep the walls bright white, then paint just the island or lower cabinets in a striking color, like a playful poppy reddish-orange if you're feeling bold." —Lind


Behr Ultra Pure White 1850

Behr Ultra Pure White 1850

“For a simple kitchen, my go-to is a crisp, bright white. It never fails!" —Napoliello


 Glidden Funky Frog


Glidden Funky Frog

“I love bright lime green in a kitchen, it looks fantastic with white cabinetry or even black cabinets. Since kitchens often have minimal wall space behind the cabinets and backsplash, it gives you license to take a chance with a cool, fun color." —Langdon


Benjamin Moore Cable Knit Sweater CSP-650

Benjamin Moore Cable Knit Sweater CSP-650

“Colorful cabinets are a fun way to brighten up a space! I love to use a dusty blue. It's a happy color and somehow both classic and modern, depending how it's used." —Michala Monroe, M Monroe Design, New York, NY


Dining Room

dining room

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Behr Evening Storm PPF-48

Behr Evening Storm PPF-48

“Believe it or not, navy is a great neutral. I love a matte-finish navy with gray undertones in a dining room. It's quite stunning with bright white trim." —Lind


Sherwin-Williams Light French Gray SW 0055

“Sherwin-Williams Light French Gray is a newer favorite of ours. It's the perfect middle ground between cool and warm gray, and is beautiful paired with marble accents. It has such a rich tone that's striking in a formal dining room. " —Valentina Pollard and Rhiannon Fowler, Collective Charm Co., Austin, TX, and Brooklyn, NY


Dunn Edwards Encore Teal DEA182

Dunn Edwards Encore Teal DEA182

“I love a rich teal in a dining room. It looks fantastic with blond wood, pale gray and gold accents." —Langdon


Magnolia Home Brave and Bold

Magnolia Home Brave and Bold

“Reds can have an orange or blue undertone, and I love the blue in this one—it pairs well with wicker furniture and cream accents. When it's thoughtfully worked into a room, it's very dramatic and sexy." —Napoliello


Bathroom or Powder Room

bathroom with bright green vanity

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Sherwin-Williams Eider White SW 7014

“In my bathroom, I was looking for a lovely light gray that was also subtle and not too blue. Eider White is that color and one we've used multiple times since in whole homes, kitchens and bedrooms." —Gates


Glidden Sailor's Coat

Glidden Sailor's Coat

“For a powder room or small bedroom, I like to go bold and sexy sometimes, with a dark, yummy blue with green undertones." —Napoliello


Farrow and Ball Brinjal No. 222

Farrow and Ball Brinjal No. 222

“I love a rich maroon or chocolate brown in a powder room. This is the perfect place to think outside the box and try the color pop you wouldn't try anywhere else." —Langdon


Dunn Edwards Wild Forest DEA127

Dunn Edwards Wild Forest DEA127

“Powder baths are the best place to go absolutely bonkers. Find that one crazy shade you're too timid to do elsewhere, like a bold emerald green. A slightly safer application is the ceiling pop: Wallpaper the walls in a simple pattern, then put the colorful drama on the ceiling." —Lind


Pop of Color

work area with yellow wall

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Sherwin-Williams Tanager Red SW 6601

“Something about the painter in me loves a pop in every room—a strong hue gives you a better read on the other colors. Sherwin-Williams Tanager Red is a sexy shade that makes you think of a boho, dreamy Moroccan hotel. I love it as an accent wall." —Schuh


Glidden Flirtatious

Glidden Flirtatious

“I love painting the inside of a front door a bright yellow. It looks fantastic with eclectic décor, and almost acts like a piece of art." —Langdon


Dunn Edwards Glenwood Green DE5668

Dunn Edwards Glenwood Green DE5668

“Furniture is where I'll go most trendy with color! This minty green looks amazing on furniture pieces in a high-lacquer finish. It's playful and out of the box, but very versatile." —Schuh


Sherwin-Williams Intimate White SW 6322

“Don't let the name fool you—this is not white! This pale pink is equally crisp and romantic on walls, furniture or the ceiling. It's subtle, ageless and happy—the perfect mix of ballet shoes and cotton candy." —Pollard and Fowler