Choosing Paint Color: Candice Olson’s Favorite Neutrals

Choosing Paint Color. Paint color can make such a big impact when designing a room. Because of this, selecting the right paint color often becomes a difficult process. There are so many colors to choose from; where do you start? A great place to begin is with the favorite colors of top designers. From their experience, they know what colors work the best and most likely have a list of “go-to” colors. Last Monday, I did a post on designer Sabrina Soto’s favorite paint colors. It received such a positive response that I thought I’d use Mondays to introduce more designer color picks.  Today I’m focusing on another extremely talented interior designer, Candice Olson. Candice is the host of HGTV‘s shows Divine Design and Candice Tells All. In Canada, they air on the W Network.

Candice prefers Benjamin Moore paints and has teamed up with them to develop a fan deck of her favorite BM colors. It’s aptly called Candice Olson Designer Picks.  Here are her top five neutral color picks.

Choosing Paint Color

Choosing Paint Color: Candice Olson's Favorite Neutrals

Keep in mind that colors may render slightly different on different monitors, so I suggest stopping by a Benjamin Moore store to check out the color chips and buy some samples. Before making a final decision, it’s always a good idea to put some paint up in the room to see how it looks at different times of the day.

What’s your favorite neutral paint color?


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  1. 9


    Candice Olsen is my favorite designer (well, besides myself :). These are great pics, but I like Behr. My favorite neutral from them is Innocence. It’s a pinky cream that has yellow undertones. It’s a very light color that goes with most color schemes.

    The Decor Chronicles

  2. 11

    Fiona says

    We painted a boys room Nimbus Gray – it looks really, really nice; definitely I would recommend this color. Niveous we used in the guest room, a nice color for those that like soft yellow.

    For a little girl that loves pink, what color would you recommend for the walls? We ended up painting her small bedroom BM -sweet taffy to avoid the pale pastel look, still a little unsure about this decision. Your thoughts -thanks

    • 12

      Peggy Pardo says

      Hi Fiona! It’s always great to hear further recommendations from those that have used specific colors in their home. Thank you so much for sharing. For your daughters room, have you considered going with a neutral color on the walls such as a cream or off white? You can then add as much pink as you’d like through furniture, window treatments, fabrics and accessories. 🙂

  3. 13

    Ms. Nancy Lucky says

    Is the cloud white a white white or is it more of a warm white. I like to paint my baseboards and crown moulding a nice clean white, what color would you suggest. Like Whitney I am a huge Behr fan I love their primer and paint in one the flat enamel which is around 30.00 a gallon. It is the best paint I have ever used and rated number one on Consumers Reports. I tried Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams and did not think they were woth the money nor as good as Behr but I use a lot of their colors. You can just take the card in and they have all the colors already in there. Thanks

    • 14

      Peggy Pardo says

      Hi Nancy! I would recommend going to the Benjamin Moore store to pick up a color card and possibly a sample jar. Then you will be able to tell if it’s what you’re looking for. You can always have it color matched if there is another brand you prefer. I haven’t used Cloud White before, so I don’t want to steer you the wrong way based on how it looks on my monitor. 🙂

  4. 15

    L. Dillman says

    remodeling and LOVE Candice Olson design and color. My favorite kitchen was the one she designed for her Mom. I want a ‘Hamptons’ feel about my kitchen/dining and plan on using linen white cabinets/stainless steel pulls/wainscoting. I currently have Benjamin Moore Pale Oak painted throughout the open Living/Kitchen/Dining. Is Pale Oak too soft for this beachy/Hampton look or should the walls be a deeper Gray Mirage?

    • 16

      Peggy Pardo says

      I think Pale Oak will work great with what you are planning to do. It’s a nice tranquil neutral that lends itself beautifully to the look you’re wanting. Would love to see pics when you are done. 🙂

  5. 17

    martha bernt says

    Painted my large, formerly beige, living room/kitchen area Behr Sweet Maple. Was looking for a sedate, library look, but this ended up too yellow! We call it Cantina Gold! I had put up swatches, tried out a sample jar, etc. Thought I had done my homework but still ended up making a mistake. Any suggestions for a new color? Thank you!

    • 18

      Peggy Pardo says

      Even when we do our “homework”, decorators and designers can still get it wrong. Once it’s up on the walls, you have a chance to see how it looks when it’s affected by light and the surroundings. The color you chose does have a lot of yellow in it. Are you wanting something in the gold shades or do you want something more neutral?

      • 19

        Martha Bernt says

        Looking for something more neutral—a lot less yellow, but not beige-y. We have navy drapes and sofa, maroon leather chairs, some olive green accents, oil rubbed bronze fixtures. Looking for something calm. Thanks for your input!

        • 20

          Peggy Pardo says

          Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter is a nice transitional color. And it would look great with your color scheme. 🙂

          • 21

            martha bernt says

            Should have given you more info. Original post-construction color is Hirshfields Beach Grass, a sort of pinkishy beige. some of this must stay. other nearby walls are Behr Shortgrass Prairie and soft chamois. was looking for sort of a tea stained parchment, old library look. Thanks for your suggestions!

  6. 23

    Marti Bernt says

    Thank you for your speedy reply. In looking at the Revere Pewter (lovely) I realize I needed to give you add’l info. Some of the nearby walls are Behr Shortgrass Prairie and Soft Chamois. Original post construction colors, all rooms are Hirshfield’s Beach Grass #775w 1690, a pinkishy beige, some of which must stay. was looking for a sort of tea-stained parchment, old library look. Thanks again for your suggestions!

  7. 26

    Kathy Song says

    I just put in gray laminate flooring and my stairs is a taupe carpeting… My house doesn’t get much light, is there a color you could recommend? I am leaning towards Edgecomb gray… All the designs I have seen with gray flooring have white walls( which I don’t want) or gray wall colors( which I think is too dark for my small and dark house…

    Please help! Thank you!!


    • 27

      Peggy Pardo says

      Lighter walls would work better in a space that doesn’t get much light, Kathy. And they don’t have to be white. Edgecomb Gray is a nice neutral color; you could even go a shade lighter. When choosing a color, keep in mind the undertones of your flooring. If the gray flooring has blue undertones, then go with a soft neutral that also has cooler undertones. 🙂

      • 28

        Kathy says

        Thank you, Peggy, for your speedy reply! : ) I really like the way Edgecomb Gray looks in my room that gets a lot of sunlight, but not so much in my downstairs room where it is darker… When you say go a shade lighter do you mean a lighter shade of the edgecomb gray (what % lighter?) or a different color?

        • 29

          Peggy Pardo says

          You’re welcome, Kathy. In the downstairs area, you could go a shade lighter than the Edgecomb Gray. To make it easier, I’d suggest finding a different color that looks good with it but is a bit lighter. 🙂

  8. 30

    Debbie kennedy says

    Hi Peggy! My husband and I are in the process of purchasing a home. The kitchen cabinets are a med brown color but I plan on painting them antique white. I love the cottage style. The counters are granite with browns and golds. I would love to paint the walls so the cabinets stand out. I really love aqua’s but how will that look with the neutral counters?

    • 31

      Peggy Pardo says

      Aqua goes with almost any color. I think it will look great with your countertops. I say go for it! 🙂