Experts reveal why you should never paint your home office grey

Earthy tones could make you more productive

When it came to decorating our home offices last year, many opted for a faithful shade of pale grey. However, experts say that our favourite, cool and neutral tones may not be the best colour for a home office.

Related: Colours that go with grey – from blush pink to navy blue and ochre has conducted a trends study which reveals that the colour of home offices during the work from home revolution of 2020 was specifically iron grey. It's safe, it's neutral and you're highly unlikely to go off it - but it turns out it's not ideal for our mood when working. analysed the colour of hundreds of working from home images from Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. And while there were various neutral shades, a bluish grey (unsurprisingly) came out on top. But a study carried out by the University of Texas found that bland grey, beige, and white offices induced feelings of sadness and depression.

office room with table and grey lamp

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So the experts at have spoken to Tash Bradley, Lead Colour Expert at Lick Home, to help advise on which tones work best for a productive - and hopefully happier - work environment.

The best colour for a home office 2021

'Spending most or all of your time at home might lead to a significant drop of energy and lack of motivation,' Tash says. 'That’s why you need to surround yourself with uplifting energy, and you can easily get that from earthy shades that bring the outside in.'

office room with table and pine green chair

(Image credit: have officially chosen Pine Green as the best colour to have in home offices in 2021. It's a great colour for keeping long-term concentration and clarity - something we all need. It also helps us feel more positive. 'Green is one of the most restful colours for your eyes and is known to make you feel optimistic and refreshed, contrasting the strain from screens,' say experts.

'This vibrant deep green brings in the elements of the energetic, thriving greenery from nature while remaining sophisticated, allowing for a working space you are happy to be in, without compromising on style,' adds.

white table with plant pot

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While we won't be banishing the grey entirely, we're leaning towards more comforting shades. Dulux's choice of a light taupe, Brave Ground, for its Colour of the Year 2021 certainly reflects a shift away from cool neutrals to earthier colours.

If you don't want to commit to green paint yet, you could accessorise a neutral palette with a green rug and artwork. Or even liven up the walls with a row of matching green files.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.