The Chic, New Neutral Color Backdrop

Kimberton_Living Room

Photo credit: Jeff Kaufmann, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating,

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Move over, beige. Shades of whites and grays are becoming the trendy wall color choice nowadays.

For contemporary, sophisticated walls, stagers are reaching for the whites and grays. In some cases, the colors are even merged as a smoky white.

Fifty-eight percent of designers predict gray to be the fastest growing color scheme this year for kitchens and baths – while the popularity of beige and bone colors continues to wane, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2014 trend forecast. The Paint Quality Institute has called gray “the hot new neutral” of 2014.

Gray is a “great neutral color that adds style and also allows buyers to easily envision moving in their own furniture,” says stager Patti Stern with PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating in Cheshire, Conn., whose firm recently chose gray walls when staging a Toll Brothers model home and then used accents in raspberry, yellow, and green for added color.

Stark white walls are also gaining popularity. “Stark white walls create a very clean look that can expand the space and work in any style of home, from traditional and colonial to the very contemporary,” says stager and real estate pro Barb Schwarz, founder of and the International Association of Home Staging Professionals.


Photo credit: Laura Arnold,


Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. I couldn’t be more in favor of grey. I love for my own home and office. You tend to wear and paint what you look best in. For me it’s been grey. I think people really respond well to the clean and modern feel without it being empty or obvious.

  2. love the tips

  3. The lamps in the first picture elongate the room which is great. We are seeing more green use, even if it’s fake, to make the rooms more livable. Usually if we are arranging a showing we will spend the $20 for fresh flowers, limes, apples, ect. The second bed looks really familiar.

  4. Neutral colors are an excellent option, as they allow you to add different accessories such as lamps, or picture frames, with bright contrasting colors, while maintaining a contemporary look.