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

Made.com (opens in new tab) 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.

Made.com 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 (opens in new tab) 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

(Image credit: Made.com)

So the experts at Made.com have spoken to Tash Bradley, Lead Colour Expert at Lick Home (opens in new tab), 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: Made.com)

Made.com 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 Made.com 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,' Made.com adds.

white table with plant pot

(Image credit: Made.com)

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
Millie Hurst

Millie Hurst is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home. She first joined the team at the start of 2021. Previously, she worked in women’s lifestyle and homes news, writing about everything from budget kitchen makeovers and gardening tips to homeware dupes and cleaning hacks. Millie can often be found looking up trending terms, spotting news stories our readers need to know about and finding ways to decorate her rented flat.