Susan Taylor
home style tips

neutral vs. bold paint colors

Our paint consultation giveaway for Instagram followers ends Tuesday, so I thought I’d dig into a spectrum of favorites at Black-eyed Susan. Neutrals and bold paint choices are both clear winners! When is the most interesting neutral color perfect? One of the most perfect places to use a neutral colors (in this case, Sherwin Williams 7044 Amazing Gray) is the master bedroom. When choosing a gray, choose one from the warmer spectrum for an end result that gives warmth and creates a cozy retreat. SW Amazing Gray is in my top picks to achieve this. Walls and ceilings accent the beauty of crown molding and wraps the room in a cocoon of color. Crisp white trim and fabric choices are important for this neutral palette. Tone on tone colors of taupe, chocolate and gray are classic and enduring.


When is a bright color a good choice for a bedroom? In this case, a young adult enjoys this bold room when taking a break from boarding school (which is more sedate than this, I am sure!) While the ceiling is not shown in this photo, I assure you it is painted as well. A career-long choice for me, the importance of painting a ceiling in this bold selection (SW 6605 Charisma) keeps the eye from an abrupt stop and completes the room with drama and interest. The formula of white plus one color is exemplified here and clearly personal.


How do I use bright? Try a guest room for a cheerful palette, SW 6401 Independent Gold. The guest room is the perfect location for such boldness, as most guests will seldom have time to tire of such a statement! An #ohsosusan signature, the ceiling is painted in the same color (no half strengths for me). Again, the room is wrapped in color rather than an abrupt stop for the eye with a white ceiling. You can imagine my delight when I sourced this perfect flat weave rug to perfectly define my palette. If you peek into the adjoining guest bath, you can see the ombre vertical stripes selected from colors pairing with SW Independent Gold. Painted stripes is a great way to use paint to define an accent space, whether it’s a bath, accent wall, or ceiling. The strong contrast of navy and white complete this story and make it a personal favorite!


Two #ohsosusan paint signatures are used in this room. One of the main showrooms of my retail store boasts the deep intensity of SW 6244 Naval in a high gloss finish. This lacquer-like finish can be seen in all national design publications and has been a personal favorite for me for years! This finish requires expert prep and painting alike, and really delivers the wow factor! Seen here, the “white + one color” formula works, but pair it with hot pink or chartreuse for bold drama if you dare! Navy is the best of all worlds for classic, style and drama. It allows for almost instant direction change with simple updates to art, accessories or pillows.


Black??! Susan says black?? Oh. Yes. A tried and true career favorite, SW 6258 Tricorn Black sets the stage for classic and timeless white as shown here, but leaves all shades of pink, yellow, or green open to you too. This striking contrast is successful and defining in projects of mine, ranging from dining rooms to foyers to small powder rooms! Once the home store reopens following COVID-19 regulations, stop by to drink it in for yourself. Another favorite “near black” is SW 7069 Iron Ore. Never overlook this strong contrast statement as an option.