Kelli's Black Book of Favorite Neutral Paints

May 13, 2018

If you are a person that likes constant change or a person that is looking to create a serene and soothing home, fresh neutral walls will offer you unlimited potential.

Neutral walls in your home will create continuity throughout your home and will often make your space seem larger and more cohesive. Neutral walls, especially shades of white stand up well to bold art and pops of color. And on the other side of the spectrum, they are a calm and quiet background when paired with great texture and softer shades of a neutral palette.

The shades of white and neutral paint options are plentiful.


So, how do you choose?

This is actually one of the most asked questions that Kelli gets here at the home store. What paint color should I choose? What do you suggest for wood trim color?


So today, I am going to share Kelli’s favorite paint colors for trim, cabinets and walls!  The first thing that Kelli considers with her favorite paint colors is the undertone of each color. When it comes to color (any color) what it is underneath it is what counts!



Every paint color has a secret. It could be green, red, blue, or brown (and many others) and while it might not look present, the color tends to present itself under different lighting conditions or when other colors and wood tones surround it.  So what might seem like a fabulous white will suddenly have a purple hue once it hits your bedroom room wall. While that may be beautiful… perhaps it was not what you wanted.


Pebble Beach by Benjamin Moore. Via House and Home

The good news is that I am going to share Kelli’s tried and true favorite neutral and white paints. Whether you want a calming room that isn’t technically ‘white’, a moodier gray space, or a warmer beige home…we have something that we know you will love and we trust.  Let’s start with her top picks for white’s that work well for your trim (and walls too.)




For your trim, we recommend that you use a semi-gloss paint. In a perfect world, nothing beats oil-based paints for your trim which create a pearly rich luster. They take forever to dry and painters often prefer latex based paints because it is easier to work with. Never fear, both work well!


Benjamin Moore’s WHITE DOVE

This is a classic, softly shaded white that is light and luminous and a favorite for moldings and trim. It’s not too bright or too creamy.



Benjamin Moore’s SUPER WHITE

It is really hard to find a white that doesn’t have revealing undertones. This white shows its purity and goes with any color in a complimentary way. 


Benjamin Moore’s SIMPLY WHITE

This white has been described as ‘fresh as the first snowfall.’ It is clean and crisp. Use this for trim, ceilings and walls!  It looks great with a warm or cool palette.


Benjamin Moore’s DECORATOR WHITE

This cool, crisp, clean white is great for trim and doors but also works great for walls a contemporary home. It also happens to be a favorite paint color of not only Kelli but Nate Berkus!




Now onto Kelli’s favorite white’s for painting built-ins and cabinets…  

Generally, Kelli likes a crisp yet soft white for kitchens and bathroom cabinets to give them a bright and clean look.


Sherwin-Williams ALABASTER

Alabaster is neither stark or overly warm. It is an understated and alluring white. Named as Sherwin-Williams 2016 Color of the Year, this white gives you a true but soft white.


Sherwin-Williams PURE WHITE

Its name says it all! If you are looking for a white that will complement any of your existing woodwork or decor, then this might be a perfect choice. 


Benjamin Moore WHITE DOVE

This might be Kelli’s favorite white go-to and we believe you can’t go wrong with this option. You saw it before as a trim and molding recommendation but it is also great for cabinet and built-ins. It is a soft warm white with a teensy touch of gray.





Now let’s move on to wall color. Some of us have a number of paint colors already going on in our homes. These existing colors are going to impact the way your neutral walls will look. One of the easiest ways to make a big impact on your home is to reduce the number of different wall colors throughout your home. 

Your home will seem more spacious and serene by sticking to no more than three different shades or wall colors. Promise! So what wall colors will you hear Kelli recommend?


This is a basic light beige that is very versatile. It is warm, fresh and clean looking. Depending on the lighting and the wood tones in your home, it can appear light beige one moment and light grey in another.


Benjamin Moore PALE OAK

This is a beautiful soft neutral that just happens to be one of interior designer Candice Olson’s favorite shade of warm gray. In the above picture, the kitchen is painted Pale Oak, the cabinets Alabaster and the trim and ceiling is White Dove. Beautiful!


Benjamin Moore NAVAJO WHITE

This is a creamy more ivory white which is a timeless shade of white.


Sherwin-Williams ALPACA

Looking for a lighter cool grey? Alpaca might just be the tone you are looking for. You can actually see this shade on some of the interior walls in our home store.

Sherwin-Williams REQUISITE GRAY

This is a lovely medium tone grey. It has a nice mix of warm and cool undertones that make this a choice that will work well in almost any home.


Sherwin-Williams AGREEABLE GRAY

If you are feeling as though gray may be too cool for your space we recommend Agreeable Gray as it is a soft grey with Beige Undertones.  You can also see this color on the walls and in person at our home store and clothing store.

Neutrals and whites are cleansing and fresh! They give your home the backdrop to showcase your personal style through your art, furniture, textiles, and accessories.

If you are thinking about painting your home, don’t hesitate to come in and talk to our home stylists. They can show you many of these colors already existing in our showroom space and pictures of others! And need a painter? I am sure they have a recommendation or two for that as well!


Other blogs you might be interested in today:



Living Life Beautifully,


and the K. Renee Style Team




In case you didn't know, K. Renee also offers complimentary

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