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Dare to Choose a More Colorful Neutral

Understanding Shades of Hue Helps You Go Beyond Gray, White and Beige

When a lot people hear the word neutral, they think immediately of brown and beige color schemes. While it’s true that browns and beiges can be a good place to start, there’s a lot more to neutrals.

Before we get to that though, it’ll help to define some terms. Individual colors are described as having hue, value, chroma, shade, tone and tint. Put simply, hue is artist-speak for the actual color. Value is a description of how light or dark a color is. Chroma is how bright a color is. Shade describes the addition of black, tone describes the addition of gray and tint describes the addition of white.

Black, gray and white are true neutrals. Brown, tan and their derivatives are called near-neutrals. Adding darker pigments to a primary color like blue or a secondary color like green is another way to add the feel of a color without adding the weight of a color.

Dare to choose a more colorful neutral here.

Near-neutrals can make the color phobic a little more comfortable with color and they’re a great way for anybody to add complementary color to a home.

So now that I’ve run through some examples of near-neutral colors, are you ready to paint your house in sage greens and dusty blues?   (Anater)

Anater, P. (n.d.). Dare to Choose a More Colorful Neutral. Retrieved from


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