The new grey! How to use the hottest paint colour trend in our homes

Colour expert shares top tips for using the new neutrals to full potential

There's a new colour trend standing out from all the rest for 2021. Identified by leading paint experts Crown as 'Natural Light', it's a colour palette of new neutrals.

As seen on our core paint trends report, decorating our homes in natural paint shades is growing in popularity and will continue to do so well into next year.

Related: Farrow & Ball reveal the on-trend colours for decorating our homes in 2021

The new neutrals are warmer for 2021 – less grey, more beige. With earthy tones, soft hues and warm clay colours becoming more prevalent in decorating schemes over the next 12 months.

Crown's expert colour consultant Judy Smith explains how to get the look right in our own homes.

How to use neutral paint shades

neutral living room with crown sweet dreams paint chair and floor lamp

(Image credit: Crown)

1. Coordinate warming hues

‘When working with neutrals, it’s a good idea to combine colours in your interior scheme to keep the space from looking cold' Judy advises.

2. Layer tones to add depth

'Tones of grey, for example, work particularly well with chalky pinks and lavender' She explains. 'Combining different depths of tone is also very effective, like bright coral or
deep terracotta with a soft and pale blue.'

3. Compliment with accent accessories

'After you’ve finished decorating, bring the scheme together using coloured accessories like pillows and throws, or even painted furniture and ceramics' she suggests.

grey dining room with dining table and chairs

(Image credit: Crown)

Invoking feelings of calm and serenity, neutral toned shades aid a sense of wellness within the home. Whether in a shared family space such as a living room or in a more
intimate area like a reading nook or home office these colours work well in all areas of the home.

crown antidote soft grey suede textured matt emulsion

(Image credit: Crown)

Muted neutral paint colours are easily paired with darker, metallic or natural accessories. Giving the scheme a freedom that can be transformed to suit a variety of decor styles.

Ideas for walls: Wallpaper trends 2021 – the designs setting the scene for the year ahead

Will your home be a welcoming neutral haven in 2021?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.