11 Barely-There Paint Colors Designers Swear By

Benjamin Moore, Edgecomb Gray pink color window treatments dining room rug
Photo: Dustin Peck

Don't assume a soft palette of off-white, cream, blush, and taupe is just for your makeup bag. These subtle, neutral shades are reminiscent of a fresh-faced, no-makeup look that works for your interior, too. Blending quiet, nuanced tones (like your favorite concealer, shadow, and lip-to-cheek rouge) is perennially stylish.

Designer Shannon Eddings of Austin's Shannon Eddings Interiors thinks so, too. Her favorite shade is Benjamin Moore's Basking Ridge Beige, which she deems a warm pink. "We often contrast it with a shade darker, like Deer Field, on doors and trim," she says.

For Suzanne Duin of Houston's Maison Maison Design, Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan is a reliable go-to. "When I want to bring an 'established' look to a space, this color never disappoints." For a flattering shade of blush, Caron Woolsey, founder of CW Interiors, says Tissue Pink "casts a calm glow that is both becoming and elegant."

Looking to refresh your home with a soft paint color? You're in luck. We've asked Southern designers for their favorite barely-there shades. Read on for their recommendations.

01 of 11

Sherwin Williams, Alabaster

sherwin williams alabaster paint color marble kitchen pendant lamp
Nathan Schroder Photography

Mary Beth Wagner of Mary Beth Wagner Interiors recommends Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. "Since it's not a stark white, it changes slightly depending on the amount of natural light in the room and complements almost all color palettes," she says.

02 of 11

Benjamin Moore, China White

benjamin moore china white, green velvet dining chairs, dining room rug
Brain Bieder

"China White by Benjamin Moore is my current go-to," says Maggie Griffin, founder of Maggie Griffin Design. "With subtle undertones of greige and brown, it's a warmer white with a ton of depth. Complimentary to other warm tones like olive green, dusty coral, and soft taupes, we gravitate to this color for both interior and exterior surfaces."

03 of 11

Clare Paint, Greige

Clare Paint, Greige grey kitchen cabinets white tile backsplash open shelves
Madeline Harper Photography

Anastasia Casey of The Identité Collective loves the color she used on her kitchen's lower cabinetry. "We used Clare Paint's Greige, and it is a gray but has a super subtle green to it," she says. "Depending on the time of day, the color definitely changes for the perfect barely-there hue."

04 of 11

Benjamin Moore, Sheer Pink

Benjamin Moore, Sheer Pink bedroom monogramed pillows colorful bedroom
Emery Davis Photography

Nicole Groth of Lindley Arthur Interiors used Sheer Pink on the walls for a recent bedroom project. "The biggest benefit of using this 'barely-there' paint color is that it allows my client's daughter to grow in her space without having to completely redesign when she moves into her teen years," she says.

05 of 11

Benjamin Moore, Paper White

Benjamin Moore, Paper White statement mirror, blue ombre lamp
Werner Straube

"When it comes to subtle paint color, we love Benjamin Moore's Paper White," says designer Brynn Olson. "Don't let the name mislead you—the color shouldn't be confused with an actual white as it has the most perfect, barely-there hint of gray. It's crisp and clean and looks good in any room."

06 of 11

Benjamin Moore, Simply White

Benjamin Moore, Simply White bedroom neutral
Julie Soefer

"Benjamin Moore's Simply White serves as the perfect neutral backdrop for a calm and serene space," says Marie Flanigan of Marie Flanigan Interiors. "Whether it's in a living room, bedroom, kitchen, or bath, it's sure to immediately brighten up your space."

07 of 11

Benjamin Moore, Athena

Benjamin Moore, Athena neutral living room, statement lamp, window treatments
Julie Soefer

Flanigan also trusts Benjamin Moore's Athena, a softer white option. "If a bright white gives you pause, there are several warmer options that still provide a neutral background," she says. "We adore Athena for its more saturated color and how it mimics natural light. Further, it might just be the perfect light greige."

08 of 11

Benjamin Moore, White Dove & Chantilly Lace

Benjamin Moore, White Dove & Chantilly Lace floral couch statement pillows window treatments
Michael Hunter

Looking to combine two barely-there shades? Designer Kara Adam of Dallas firm Kara Adam Interiors says her go-to combination is White Dove on the walls with Chantilly Lace trim. "It's a sure thing pairing," Adam says. "There is not a contemporary or traditional setting in which it doesn't work. It's also an amazing backdrop for art— not too cool or gray. I've never had it go wrong."

09 of 11

Benjamin Moore, White Dove

Benjamin Moore, White Dove window treatments bathoom tile
Madeline Harper Photography

Brooke McGuyer of Brooke McGuyer Interiors trusts White Dove, too. "White Dove is one of the most versatile barely-there paint colors," she says. "Not only is it the perfect neutral backdrop on interior walls, but it looks stunning on cabinetry and even a home's exterior."

10 of 11

Sherwin-Wiliams, Eider White

Sherwin-Wiliams, Eider White colorful window treatments sofa bedroom
Caroline Sharpnack

Designers for the Tennessee-based firm WellxDesign used Sherwin-Wiliams' Eider White on the walls of this guest suite. "It falls on the warm side, so it can be great for brightening up rooms with limited natural light without looking too stark or cold," they say. "The undertones can be tricky, though, depending on the space and lighting, so always try it out first in your own space."

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Benjamin Moore, Edgecomb Gray

Benjamin Moore, Edgecomb Gray pink color window treatments dining room rug
Dustin Peck

Ashley DeLapp, Founder of Charlotte's Ashley DeLapp Interior Design, loves the versatility of Edgecomb Gray. "It's a perfect neutral greige paint color, so it works in many interiors and has a brightening effect in most spaces," she says. "This color is perfect for adding a touch of warmth while keeping a room light and airy."

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