Emily Henderson

My 10 Go-To Paint Colors

Favourite Neutral Paints

I feel like in the last 4 years I’ve painted walls hundreds of different colors, often liking, sometimes loving them and often, well, not liking them at all. WHOOPS. Paint colors are EXTREMELY tricky and act differently depending on the time of the day, the furniture that is in the space, the light, the tone of the wood, the traffic outside (kidding or maybe not), etc . So while I still try, every single job, to embrace new colors there are some that I know I can rely on; that no matter what won’t fail me.

Here they are:

1. Half Moon Crest – Benjamin Moore

emily foyer
Photo by Tessa Neustadt

I think this might be my favorite gray right now.  It’s really warm and yet feels just a really good true gray. It doesn’t feel too blue or too brown. It’s like a big warm hug.

To see more of my foyer head over HERE

2. Teresa’s Green – Farrow & Ball.

Photo by Mike Kelley

For a ‘mint’ it is really easy on the eyes. I’ve done many aquas and some of them I’ve liked and some of them I’ve wished they were more muted. But this green is super soft and yet not sag-ey at all. It doesn’t hurt that there is a ton of natural light in this space, but I just love it.

To check out this room in all its glory click HERE

3. Oystershell – Benjamin Moore

Boys Room lake house
Photo by Bjorn Wallander

This was in my old bedroom and office as well as the lake house twins room. It’s really light but has a lot of blue and green in it so its subtle and quiet but has a nice tone.  To see more of the lake house I did for the Harner’s click HERE.

4. Hague Blue – Farrow and Ball

scotts office
Photo by Tessa Neustadt

Its hands down the best navy blue on the planet. It has the most perfect amount of green in it so it’s not purple-y. I’ve used it three or four times now and love it every time. It can be really dark if there is no light on it and much lighter if there is. It’s just deep and intense and modern and yet totally classic.

To get more info on these DIY wall organizers click HERE.

5. Quartz Stone – Benjamin Moore

loreys kids room
Photo by David Tsay

This aqua is crazy happy. I’ve used it twice now, both in kids rooms, and it works if you have a lot of light and if you have a playful spirit. It’s not a sophisticated color, but it is bright, young and soft enough on your eyes.

To see more of this room click HERE, and to see the full tour of the house head over HERE.

6. Aloof Gray – Sherwin Williams

Curbly Living Room
Photo by Melissa Oholendt

Aloof gray has a teeny tiny more green in it, so its slightly cooler but I really loved how it turned out in their house. Also I miss that family.

To see more of the Curbly’s House head over HERE

7. Benjamin Moore white Diamond

Emily's Commonwealth Living Room
Photo by Zeke Ruelas

You can’t really tell but this white (white diamond) is really cool. I loved it because generally I’m more attracted to cool tones rather than warm tones. If you put it up to a true white it looked CRAZY blue, but in person it just looked really white.

To see more of my old house, click HERE.

8. Gray Owl, Benjamin moore.

lake house bathroom - grey owl
Photo by Bjorn Wallander

This is still one of my favorite grays although its slightly more brown than Half Moon Crest, which makes it warmer, but also in certain lights more like taupe than gray. But it’s so warm and pretty. And its the prefect medium tone – not too light but not too dark.

To see more of the Lake House click HERE

9. November Rain, Benjamin Moore.

Emily's Old Living Room
Photo by Teri Lyn Fisher

Now this color (November Rain – Benjamin Moore) is very tricky. I love it because it changes a lot – sometimes its blue, sometimes its green, often its beige, often its taupe, but it’s really really pretty and sophisticated. Scott also painted his brooklyn apartment that color (excuse the small links .. MAN I hate linking to old posts if the pictures aren’t resized).

10. Benjamin Moore, Super bright white.

Emily's Dining Room
Photo by Tessa Neustadt

So right now I’m rocking this BM super bright white color. Its just white. So simple, clean, serene, bright and basically has no tone to it. Now I need to fill those walls with a TON of art.

To see some of the progress of my current house, click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!

Those are my go-to’s. But its time for me to explore and start adding to my favorite list. So what are your favorite go-to paint colors?

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  1. Hey Emily! Reading your article and showing the picture I just say’s you the one word… it’s really very good. Specially combination of the color is really very fantastic.

    1. Can you recommend a color(s) for a basement room that gets almost no natural light? (1 small window in one area and the remaking part of the space gets no light.
      Thank you