See How Neutral Paint Colors Transformed Our Idea House

2019 Idea House Kitchen
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

There's a reason we love neutral paint colors. Actually, there are quite a few reasons. These colors are totally versatile—a neutral is a neutral because it can work in any space. Neutrals lend you the freedom to mix and layer, not to mention the freedom to change things up whenever you'd like. They also bring a winning combination of warmth and airiness to a room, no matter the location, size, or configuration. In a phrase? Neutral paint colors are timeless. That's why there's a roster of all-star neutrals in our 2019 Idea House located in Amelia Island, Florida. The designer of the house, Heather Chadduck Hillegas, curated an impeccable selection of neutrals from our friends at Sherwin-Williams and used them to perfection in the space. The result is a breezy and inviting coastal home that's a master class in how to make the most of neutral and neutral-adjacent paint colors. Read on to learn how to incorporate neutral walls in your home and take a tour through our best idea house yet. It couldn't be more inviting, so welcome in—we're happy you're here.

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Exterior Paint Colors

Front Exterior Resource Guide for 2019 Idea House in Crane Island, Florida
Laurey W. Glenn

The exterior of the 2019 Southern Living Idea House sets an inviting coastal scene. The home's big porches and misty color scheme—with pops of cheery blue—say, "Come on in and stay awhile."

Exterior Body, French Doors, and Bi-Fold Doors: Sherwin-Williams (9166) Drift of Mist
Front Entry Door and Porch Entry Door: Sherwin-Williams (9140) Blustery Sky
Shutters and Garage Doors: Sherwin-Williams (9139) Debonair
Porch Ceilings: Sherwin-Williams (6232) Misty

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Main Hallway

2019 Idea House Foyer Front Entry
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

When visitors open the front door and enter the house, they're greeted with an elegant, blue-and-white color palette, which echoes the paint colors used on the exterior. Neutral Sherwin-Williams shades lend the entry a sophisticated style.

Trim, Ceiling, and Columns: Sherwin-Williams (7008) Alabaster
Front Door: Sherwin-Williams (9140) Blustery Sky

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Living Room

Sherwin-Williams Classic Light Buff (SW 0050)
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

The design of the inviting living area leans on clean-lined walls painted in gorgeous white and off-white hues. The paints create a neutral palette upon which color and pattern are layered—the striped rug, the blue chairs, the patterned sofas, and the blue-and-white accessories, to name just a few elements.

Walls, Trim, and Bookcases: Sherwin-Williams (0050) Classic Light Buff
Interior Back Walls of Bookcases: Sherwin-Williams (9138) Stardew
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (7005) Pure White

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2019 Idea House Kitchen
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

The neutral paint colors chosen for the kitchen evoke the ocean at dusk. The shade chosen for the walls, trim, and cabinets envelops the room. It's a calming hue that has hints of blue and grey. It also complements the wallpaper behind the range and bar, which is (SY 300) New World by Gracie Studio.

Walls, Trim, and Cabinets: Sherwin-Williams (7657) Tinsmith
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (7005) Pure White

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Indoor Dining

2019 Idea House Dining Room
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

The neutral paint colors used for the walls, ceiling, and trim in this room are echoed on the floors, which are hand-painted using all three of the Sherwin-Williams shades found elsewhere in the room. This continuity creates cohesion in the room and keeps the space looking bright.

Walls and Trim: Sherwin-Williams (7626) Zurich White
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (6232) Misty
Windows (moving parts): Sherwin-Williams (7542) Naturel
Floors are painted with all three colors.

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Upper Hallway and Upper Front Porch

2019 Idea House Upper Hallway
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

The upper hallway, which leads to the second-floor porch, is painted in a warm white shade. The neutral wall paint allows for layering with the addition of a patterned rug, floral window treatments, bold lighting pieces, and eye-catching artwork. Pairing the warm white walls with a serene, lilac-leaning neutral blue on the ceiling (a shade aptly named "Lullaby") helps ensure the space feels inviting rather than stark.

Walls, Trim, and Beams: Sherwin-Williams (7566) Westhighland White
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (9136) Lullaby
Porch Entry Door: Sherwin-Williams (9140) Blustery Sky

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Twin Bedroom

Sherwin-Williams Alabaster (SW 7008)
Laurey W. Glenn

The designer brings her inspired take on mixing neutrals to the twin bedroom, where the warm alabaster walls are set off by a soft peach-painted ceiling. Because the shades are in the same beige-toned family, they work together to deepen and enhance the color palette. The effect wraps the room in a soothing neutral warmth.

Walls and Crown: Sherwin-Williams (7008) Alabaster
Trim and Windows: Sherwin-Williams (6148) Wool Skein
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (6336) Nearly Peach

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Bunk Room

2019 Idea House Bunk Room
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

A small room gets a spacious upgrade when painted head-to-toe in a neutral white shade. Wrapping the room, bunks and all, in a single hue creates cohesion. The designer added visual interest at elevation with the addition of a coordinating wallpaper, Schumacher's Santa Barbara Ikat/Neutral (5009222), on the ceiling. The same pattern can be found on the curtain fabric (Schumacher's Santa Barbara Ikat/Neutral (74222)).

Walls, Trim, and Bunks: Sherwin-Williams (7757) High Reflective White

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2019 Idea House Mudroom with Golden Retriever Dog
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

Several neutral hues were used in the mudroom of the 2019 Idea House. Buff, white, and ivory shades painted in close proximity create the subtlest of tonal effects. The shades used on the walls, trim, and bench are echoed on the hand-painted floors as well.

Wall and Trim: Sherwin-Williams (0050) Classic Light Buff
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (7005) Pure White
Bench: Sherwin-Williams (7541) Grecian Ivory
Window (moving parts): Sherwin-Williams (6202) Cast Iron
Floor paint: Sherwin-Williams (7541) Grecian Ivory and Sherwin-Williams (0050) Classic Light Buff

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Laundry and Back Hall

Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory (SW 7541)
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

While the wallpaper in the laundry room adds a touch of eye-catching pattern—it's Sister Parish's Desmond Espresso (SPW-1600-10)—the ceiling, walls, and cabinets are painted in neutral white and ivory tones to maintain balance.

Trim and Cabinets: Sherwin-Williams (7541) Grecian Ivory
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (7005) Pure White
Window (moving parts): Sherwin-Williams (6202) Cast Iron

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Queen Bedroom

2019 Idea House Queen Guest Bedroom
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

Using neutrals to create contrast and as a background for color and pattern is an effective strategy in this room, which pairs an alabaster wall with a misty gray ceiling. This palette adds depth and presents a neutral base for the striking, blue-toned accent paint color used on the room's windows and trim.

Walls and Crown: Sherwin-Williams (7008) Alabaster
Window Trim: Sherwin-Williams (9133) Jasper Stone
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams (6204) Sea Salt

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Guest Bedroom

2019 Idea House Mother-in-Law Suite Guest Bedroom
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

The soft neutrals of the guest bedroom create a soothing oasis. The designer keeps things from looking flat by papering the ceiling in a pattern that incorporates coordinating colors. The paper is Meg Braff Designs, LLC's Southwind, White on Powder. The bed, aBirch Lane Berkey Canopy Bed, is painted in a white hue echoed elsewhere in the house.

Walls: Sherwin-Williams (9136) Lullaby
Trim: Sherwin-Williams (7757) High Reflective White
Bed: Sherwin-Williams (7005) Pure White

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