Best Wall Color for Light, Neutral Furnishings

Neutral furnishings are my favorite. I love the fresh look and the calm feeling of white and light decor. Our latest move is the perfect example of the impact that wall colors can have on your furniture! If your white or light sofas and furnishings are looking a little dingy, read on for the best paint colors to choose to make them bright and fresh again!

before and after; beige to gray

It's been a month since we moved into our new home. Most of the boxes are unpacked and we are getting settled. This week our oldest son will fly down for Thanksgiving from University of Memphis. It will be his first time in Texas...and we will welcome him with open arms! I'm so happy that our little family of 5 will be together again, and look forward to making new memories in our new home!

We were fortunate to find a home that had been almost entirely updated. We looked at several "fixer uppers", but by the time we factored in repairs, updates and the sheer time involved, we really didn't have time or energy to tackle a project of that magnitude. We're trying to get established in a new state, make friends and feel at home here; a fixer upper would have added too much stress to the situation.

Back to our home; I needed to change the wall color. There's nothing wrong with the paint color; it's the color of sand and we all know how much I love the beach! But my neutral furnishings looked downright dingy against the warm colored walls!

I spent a few days painting this past week...and what a difference a coat of paint makes in the overall feel of a room! I shared my newly painted kitchen with you last week, and here are the other spaces that received fresh paint.

Here's the before of my dining room with sand colored walls. 

beige walls

And the after...

gray painted walls

Everything looks brighter with gray painted walls as the background. Whites look crisper, and neutrals pop rather than blending into the background!

beige to gray

Colors look brighter too, and 'cleaner'.

fall leaves

The large dining room wall was the idea location for this massive yard sale painted frame that Mr DIY and I turned into a chalkboard many years ago! It's a huge statement piece and I love changing it up for the seasons!

black, white and gray in the dining room

I had Mr DIY switch out the ceiling fixture to this simple one that complements my modern farmhouse style. You can see the original fixture here.

dining room gray walls

As happy as I am with how the dining room and kitchen look, the new paint in the sitting room might be my favorite! 

With the original, beige walls my furniture looked yellowish, and my robin's egg blue painted cabinet just looked dirty. Everything looked off and bland.


New paint transformed it.

My old furnishings look fresh, and the contrast between the walls and floor is pleasing to the eye.
neutral furnishings and gray walls
Adding in just that one red pillow makes a much bigger impact! Believe it or not, nearly everything goes with gray!

gray painted walls

This room has become my favorite spot to hang out and read!

Here's my best tip for choosing a gray that will be the right shade for your walls. Look at the darkest color on the paint swatch...if it looks a little green or blue or purple, that is the color that it's pulling. If you're leery of purple walls, pick a swatch that doesn't have a purple hue in the darkest shade.

I chose a very light gray for these walls because our home is shaded with large trees and can be a little dark. 

We used Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray in the main living room of our former home; it's considered "greige". That simply means it's a delightful combination of gray and beige, and can look either one depending on the light and time of day. The best thing about greige is the impact these neutral paint colors have on light furnishings! If you're wanting to paint a room gray, Sherwin-Williams has a great swatch book filled with greige colors; ask about it at the service desk!

If you're struggling with your rooms, maybe all you need is to go gray!

Do you have neutral furnishings? If so, what color have you found that looks the best?

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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Disclosure: The paint in this post was provided by Sherwin-Williams; all opinions
are my own.


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  1. Thank you for this! We are beginning to build our new house and choosing paint is so hard! I'll save this to my notes. :)

    1. You're welcome Stacey! Good luck with your new home and all the fun decisions you'll get to make :)

  2. I love your home as well as your beautiful decorative style.

  3. I've recently acquired a home with a low-natural light living room. Can you confirm the colors you used in your sitting room and dining area. I need something light and fresh as most of the furnishings are charcoal in color. Thank you in advance!


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