Is White a Neutral Color?

Neutral shades are often thought of as the beiges of the color world, but actually, there’s a lot more to neutral colors than just cream and ivory. Here we look at where white fits into the neutral category and how to effectively use white in home decor.

White can sometimes be seen as a stark and clinical color, which may seem at odds with neutral shades, which are typically subtle and easy on the eye. However, white is actually considered to be a true neutral shade because it lacks the presence of any other color at all.

White as a Neutral

White is one of the easiest neutral colors to incorporate into interior design because it is seen as not actually being a color, and so it will be guaranteed to work with any color scheme.

Although white is not thought of as a very interesting or exciting color, it is actually the most popular color of paint used in home decor.

If you think about ceilings, interior doors, trim, and molding, they are, for the vast majority of homes, considered to be the standard color for these areas. White is also a color that is frequently used as a wall color, though oftentimes, it will be mixed with another color to give it a softer appearance.

As a pure neutral, white does not have undertones of any other color; however, there are variations of off-white which are not pure neutrals, but they are still considered to be within the neutral range.

Off-whites can have a few drops of any color mixed into them to achieve a more subtle neutral color. The color to be added will be chosen depending on what style you are trying to create in a room.

Adding a warm color such as orange or yellow to white will result in a creamy color that is soft and inviting. The addition of a cool color such as green or blue will give the off-white neutral a more fresh and revitalizing feel.

White in Home Decor

White Background Color

White Background Colors

White works well as a background color when you want to incorporate more vivid, bright, or intense colors into your palette. These can be done by using a white wall, white ceiling. White can make bolder colors pop and ensure that attention is brought to those parts of the room.

White Furniture
White Furniture

White can also work well as furniture or in accessories to help break up darker spots. For example, a white picture frame will look contrasting against a navy blue wall, or white furniture will provide balance in a room that has a lot of other intense colors in it.

White is a neutral that can be used to make a space feel more open and airy because it has the ability to reflect light and therefore creates the illusion of more space even in small rooms.

White is a neutral shade that is guaranteed to go with any other color you want to use, so it’s a safe choice for trim or furniture if you’re uncertain about color pairings.