Interior Paints & Finishes

7 Classic Colors We Love to Live With

When it comes to the color schemes that decorate our homes, it turns out that there's a fairly consistent palette we turn to again and again over the decades. These classic colors are impossible to confine to a particular era, and for good reason: They're endlessly versatile. The most popular colors work in most rooms, large or small, playful or traditional. Looking for inspiration for your next paint update? Consider one of these 7 colors guaranteed to please without looking dated—they've already stood the test of time.

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Perhaps the most universally loved color, blue calls to mind calming images of sea and sky. Ranging from powder blue to deep navy, the variety of shades gives homeowners endless ways to interpret the look. White woodwork, blue-and-white textiles, and honey-toned woods are favorite pairing combinations.


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One of red’s best qualities is its ability to skew dramatic or delicate. Compare a fire-engine red accent wall, for example, with dainty red-and-white gingham curtains. Whether you use red as a room’s main source of color or simply in accessories, choose a shade that most closely matches other furnishings in the room.

Related: What’s the Best Color for Living Rooms? The Experts Weigh In


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People have long appreciated white’s ability to soothe, which is probably why it stars in color themes for spas. Try it at home by starting with a white backdrop and then layering bright colors on top. Feeling bold? Whitewash a room for maximum effect by matching furniture and accessories to snow-white walls.

Related:  Going Bold – 10 Kitchens That Pop with Color


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Cheerful yellow creates interior spaces where homeowners and guests love to gather, from welcoming country kitchens to historically inspired living rooms. For the most timeless appearance, avoid the more intense shades of yellow and opt instead for pale lemon, ocher, or straw.

Related:  Beyond White – 11 Alternative Hues to Color Your Bath

Soft White

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This almost-white, almost beige shade sometimes gets a bad rap in the decorating world—too predictable, some might complain—but it’s endured for centuries for a reason. This flexible neutral works with many designs, allowing homeowners to style a traditional or modern interior. Energize the shade with pure white woodwork or a playful mix of colorful fabrics.


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The color of nature, green is a perennial favorite in home design. Its restorative mood can be captured all across the spectrum, from lighter spring greens to darker shades like hunter green. This hue looks especially pretty when paired with crisp white accents.

Related:  8 Colors for an Inviting Dining Room


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While gray has been buzz-worthy in recent years as the neutral of the moment, it’s been a popular decorating choice for decades. From palest fog to deepest charcoal, gray’s many moods pose a challenge to homeowners looking for the best shade, so try out a few samples before making a final decision on a room’s color.

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For more about color, consider:

The Most Taboo Color Infiltrates Home Design

See the Most Highly Anticipated Colors for 2015

9 Calming Colors for a Serene Home