I am often asked whether to use gray or brown as the neutral in decor, and the answer to that is relative.  There are a few things to consider when making that decision, and you may not have to decide at all!  Enticed?  Good.  Watch and read on.


Here are four questions you should ask yourself:

#1 Do I like warm tones or cool tones in my decor?

Warm tones – the oranges, yellows, browns, reds, burgundies– think fall. Or cool tones like grays, blues, pinks, purples. Can you see which way you’re leaning?  I’ll wait right here. You can see where this is going, right?

#2 Do I want to stay on trend with my design?

Are you the kind of person who sets your décor and you never change it? You’re totally comfortable keeping it the same for ten years. You could choose a wall color or arrange your furniture a certain way, then, set it and forget it.

Or are you the kind of person who gets bored easily? Colorful, trendy things strike your fancy? Or do you want to switch decor with the change of seasons or the holidays? If this is you, and you are going to change décor often, neutral walls are a good idea so you can change color just in your accessories. This goes back to my previous post about going classic on your bigger furniture pieces.

#3 What colors do I currently have in my home?

As a designer, I want to help you make the most of your budget. What do you already gravitate toward? Let’s try to work with what you have. If your current taste trends warm, that may lead us to browns, cooler to grays.

#4 Do I want a colorful or monotone space?

If I were going to advise a client who really wants a colorful space that’s bright and eclectic, putting a bold color on your walls limits what you can do in the rest of room and dictates everything else.  So I say in a case like that choose a gray and use whatever colorful palettes that you want to in your accessories.

Brown? Gray? Still don’t know?

If that’s really a tough decision for you and you’re still not sure, I’m going to suggest we go straight down the middle with GREIGE – don’t let it scare you, it’s simply a mix of gray and beige.  Now you don’t have to choose gray or brown for your decor.  You’re welcome!

Dunn-Edwards is my “go to” paint because they are great quality and the prices are reasonable.

If you look at them fanned out together you can see the variations in color, some more blue and some more beige. The beauty of a Greige is that it allows you to do anything in that room. When was the last time you were allowed to do anything?

Neutral walls allow you to make whatever choices you want to in the rest of your decor. You can switch it up – because who wants to paint every couple of years? I know I don’t.

For the rest of your color palette aside from the walls, lean toward gray and greige. Brown tones look dated – brown on brown on beige on taupe is out of style. You’ve seen it – multi brown with beige walls, brown accessories. Let me save you here. Don’t. Do. It.

Find colors that inspire your decor

If you’re afraid of color and you want to go neutral, one way to do it is a really beautiful monotone, but if you go this way make sure it’s light, bright and airy. If you want to dare to try a saturated, deep, jewel-toned color, you can pull it off with dark tones, but you may want to consult a designer (like me!) since that is more advanced.

For all of the details, be sure that you watch the video.  It’s under 6 minutes, I promise!  And if you want a take away cheat sheet, CLICK HERE to download.


marilyn taylor, interior designer, consultant, los angeles, neutral paint, dunn edwards, top 6, tan paint, brown paint, beige paint, colors, gray, grey, greige, marilynn taylor

Questions? I can do a consult with you anywhere in the world via video conferencing.  You would be amazed at what we can get accomplished in an hour and how much money I can save you…it’s like a free coaching call!  Seriously.  I saved one client $7,000 in the first hour.  I’d say that’s a pretty great return on investment!

If you aren’t ready to commit to a paid coaching session yet, head over to my facebook page and be sure to click “follow” and post your questions to me there or tag me (@marilynntaylor) in your instagram photos if you want my input!  I’ll see you around!

Marilyn Taylor, signature






P.S. There is lots of great daily content over on Facebook or Instagram so be sure to follow me!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This