12 Colors Interior Designers Say Are Their Favorite to Work With
It’s undeniable: Color is at the core of every room design — even when you leave your walls white. And even though our go-to designers promise they can make any palette work in a space (yes, even if they don’t personally care for a shade), we had to know which hues make their hearts skip a beat
While Annette English of Annette English & Associates says she likes most shades of green, olive is one of her favorites. “I think greens work with most palettes and can bring balance and interest to any room,” she says. “It’s a great color to use and build upon in a space, too.”
If you immediately picture a neon traffic cone when you think about orange, you’re missing out. Cecilie Starin, a San Francisco-based interior designer, adores this rustic, burnt shade. “It adds a real warmth to rooms, while also adding a great pop to a space,” she says.
If you’re looking for a classic color that’s not boring, Starin says this is your hue. “Shades of purple are so pretty, yet they really stand out as different,” she says. We have to agree that this color is undoubtably stylish.
Or white! Julie Ransopher Baker of Julie & Company says she uses one or the other as a secondary color in just about every design. “Using a bit of either elevates the room and appoints everything around it to a special hierarchy on which to stand,” she says
If you’ve shied away from this bold hue in the past, Baker is about to convince you to change your ways. “This color works beautifully with all shades of white and gold, lending an exotic touch to a place,” she says. Pro tip: Try using a lacquered teal on walls or cabinets.
According to Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home, you can’t go wrong with a muted green: “It’s the perfect touch of color that adds life to a room, while also allowing other design elements stand out.” She always grabs Farrow & Ball’s Pale Powder No. 204 at the hardware store.
“I believe every space needs to set a mood and bringing in darker tones helps achieve this,” says interior designer Francesco Bilotto. While deep navy is at the top of his list, he says black and dark brown can also add a little mystery and intrigue to a space. You can even try it on your trim.
If you want a dark and dramatic wall (that’s still inviting), go with this dark shade. “I’ve used Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal a couple times,” says Joe Human of Designs by Human. “It’s dark, but has a mixture of grays and browns that makes it a neutral tone.” Here’s how to pick the right shade for you.
Perhaps a slightly less intimidating approach is a lighter version of this neutral. Designer Dominique DeLaney says Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray is one of her go-tos. “It’s a warm gray that’s crisp and bright and just looks beautiful anywhere.” We’re sold.
Not only is yellow energizing and uplifting, but interior designer and creator of the Renovation Roadmap, Mina Fies, says it can brighten your day, too. “When yellow is used in halls, entries and small spaces, it can feel expansive and welcoming.” Plus, it’s making a huge comeback.
For interior paint, Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design recommends going with a crisp, bright color like Decorator’s White CC-20. “It allows for endless versatility and always feels fresh,” she says. Then you can layer in more vibrant shades on top or keep everything white for a surprisingly dramatic look.