Color Psychology: The Neutrals

Black, grey, white, and browns are all neutral colors. Neutrals are great for balancing out a room. These four colors come in many shades and are used quite frequently in interior design. Learn more about the color psychology of the neutral color palettes.


black and white painting

Black is the darkest color on the color wheel, and it holds a significant amount of energy and attention. The color black is made is by mixing all three primary colors together (red, yellow and blue). When people think of black, they think of one color: pure black. In all actuality, black comes in many colors and shades. When you mix a shade of blue to black you get a Midnight black. Ebony black has a mix of red and green or brown, and mars black is a neutral black that is slightly magnetic.

                                Pure Black – bold, empowering, and classic

                                Midnight Black mysterious, strong, and magical

                                Ebony Black modern, serious, and elegant

                                Blue Black – sophisticated, heavy and eccentric


black grey and white abstract painting

Black and white make grey and many, many shades of grey. There’s charcoal, slate, silver, and many more. Light greys are very calming and peaceful, and dark greys are more sophisticated and bold. Greys are used to balance; however, too much grey can be dull and depressive.

                                Dark Grey – bold, depressive, and strong

                                Charcoal – warm, security, and solid

                                Neutral Grey – balancing, moody, and formal

                                Light Grey – calming, neutralizer, and clean

                                Silver – modern, classy, and sleek


White comes in multiple shades. Bone white, ivory, cream, champagne, ex Cetera. White is a pure color that resembles new beginnings, harmony, and innocence. The downside of white is that it can become too stale if it arranges too much in the room. 

                                White – clean, pure, and fresh

                                Ivory – warm, natural, and bridal

                                Cream – soft, comforting, and subtle

                                Champagne – classy, rich, and sophisticated


Brown is a very warm color and is basically everywhere in nature. Brown literally surrounds us, just like the green on the trees, and we see it year round. Brown has a bold and earthy feel. Dark brown makes us feel grounded and stable. Light browns give off peaceful, friendly vibes. However, decorating with too much brown can make a room feel stagnant and boring.

                                Terra Cotta – welcoming, warm, and earthy

                                Tan/Light Brown – rustic, woodsy and neutral

                                Chocolate – rich, robust and bold

                                Dark brown – strong, sheltering, and grounding.

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