Awhile back when I posted an Open Letter to All Paint Companies, I outlined how they should all distinguish their colours by undertone to make it easier for the consumer to choose the right colour. And soon after this press release from Beauti-tone (a Canadian paint company) landed in my in-box.
Here it is below:
“When it comes to paint colour, a great neutral is like a movie’s musical score – you don’t necessarily realize it’s there, but it heightens the experience of whatever it is you are seeing. Home Hardware Stores Limited, through its Beauti-Tone Paint Division, is
paying tribute to the power of neutrals with 14 beautiful shades that will make your décor sing.
‘A great neutral is your BFF for home décor,’ says Bev Bell, Creative Director, Beauti-Tone Paint and Home Products Division, Home Hardware Stores Limited. ‘They are incredibly versatile, inspiring looks that are luxe and sophisticated, or casual and cozy.’
A neutral colour scheme can paint a harmonious atmosphere in your home and perhaps even make it appear more spacious. ‘The challenge in choosing the perfect neutral is that they have complex personalities,’ notes Bell. ‘Selecting the correct neutral colour family is important. Understanding undertones is the answer to this challenge. If the undertones are in conflict, the colours in the room will appear to clash, even if they are in the same colour group.’
Almost all colours, other than those that are pure, have an undertone. Olive green, for instance, is green with a yellow undertone. What makes turquoise a beautiful shade of blue is its green undertone. But, those are easy. Neutrals, on the other hand, like to disguise their undertones. A taupe can go pink or purple, but you may not notice it until it’s on your walls. A grey can be warm, cool, blue, green, or red influenced. Browns that look similar on the surface can have yellow, red or green undertones. Beige can tend towards
yellow, green, pink and occasionally orange undertones.
So, how can you make sure you end up choosing the right shade? Once you have selected the colour family you want, the secret to choosing the perfect neutral shade is to compare it, side-by-side to another neutral in the same colour family. This helps you to see the subtle undertones which you may not have noticed in a single colour swatch. For whites, the best way to bring out a near invisible undertone is to compare the paint chip to the whitest white. Why worry about undertones with whites? Rooms that are ‘white on white’ really work if the whites have similar undertones. You will likely be disappointed, if you combine warm whites that have a hint of a yellow undertone, with cool whites that have a hint of blue, in the same space.
Choosing a Warm or Cool Undertone
When decorating a room that feels cold and uninviting, you would normally balance it by using colours from the warm side of the spectrum. But what if you love cool colours because they make you feel relaxed? The easy solution is to choose a green with yellow undertones or a blue with red undertones and your cool hues have warming characteristics. On the flip side, cool down hot colours by adding cool undertones. ‘Just don’t try this with orange. That’s the one colour that will always fight back with its warm and outgoing personality,’ Bell notes.
Of course, the very best way to know a neutral’s undertone is to have someone figure it out for you! Here are 14 beautiful Beauti-Tone neutrals for your home, including their undertones – music to your ears:
White Smile SC080, From the Simon Chang Colour Collection
This is a white that brings out your home’s best features. It works for Simon Chang, famous Canadian fashion designer, who partnered with Home Hardware to create a paint collection celebrating Canada. Simon features White Smile on the walls of all of his signature stores. Besides the stunning fashions, it just may be the reason everything you try on makes you look slim and gorgeous. Undertone: this colour does have a touch of warm comfort value thanks to a whisper of yellow
Tennis Whites FD018
A warm white, perfect where sunshine washes the space. This is an excellent choice for trim and ceiling when using colours from the warm side of the spectrum. Undertone: yellow
Hotel Ware FD046
White has never been so cool. Excellent with hues from the cool side of the spectrum. Undertone: grey
Nickel Black SC075
An updated classic, softened to temper the harsh reality of pure, intense black. Undertone: This is a pure black
softened by grey
Thunder Grey SC072
This stately, saturated true grey commands respect. A great shade for people who love grey but don’t like the cool feeling often associated with the colour. Undertone: Warm, leaning toward red
This very cool shade is a mid-tone grey. Undertone: blue
A grey you don’t have to call Mr., it’s distinguished with a
warm cuddly side. Undertone: yellow
Natural Beauti SC081:
This tried and true taupe is perfectly balanced between grey and brown. This is a Beauti-Tone all-star – in the top ten colours most chosen. Undertone: this is a pure colour
Set the Mood SC076:
A classy colour that looks so great you might be tempted to paint your whole home with it. Undertone: yellow
Rich, dark and decadent, without the calories. Undertone: made richer with black influences
Still Life ND040:
A mid-tone beige with warm undertones, this is a great shade to warm up rooms that face north or tend to be a bit on the chilly side. Undertone: green
The antidote for builder’s beige. A light, well balanced beige that you could live with forever. Undertone: green
Other nature inspired neutrals
Neutrals are not necessarily tints, tones or shades of black, white or brown. Nature-inspired hues can also offer
the most beautiful and peaceful design benefits.
Field of Dreams SC080:
A delicate shade of sunlight that basks the walls in optimism. We don’t want to promise beautiful dreams but just maybe… Undertone: green
A subtle moss green. Now and Zen, this is on-trend stylish. Undertone: grey
There are a lot of great things in life that are neutral. Water’s neutral. Lego is a great gender-neutral toy. Switzerland has long been considered neutral and it really is quite spectacularly beautiful. Now, we can add these 14 beautiful Beauti-Tone shades to that list. ‘We’ve done the homework in terms of undertones for these colours, but remember, most color schemes work best when the undertone is carried throughout the space,’ says Bell. ‘Consider the undertones of whatever else you place in the room and you will end up with the most beautiful results.’
Manufactured in Canada by Home Hardware, Beauti-Tone paints are available exclusively at Home Hardware, Home Building Centre and Home Hardware Building Centre locations across Canada. For great ideas and information on Beauti-Tone paint drop in to your local Home Hardware store. Home Hardware Dealers are Canada’s Paint Experts and provide expert advice to help Canadians with their painting projects. Beauti-Tone has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional colours, top quality, innovation, and great value to Canadians for more than 30 years.”
Congratulations to Beauti-tone for being the first to make life easier for the consumer!
P.S. I use many fan-decks when I consult with clients on colours all around the world, but to give them the correct neutral in the fan-deck I’m using, I first compare to the colours in my system. That’s how I know I’ve chosen the correct colour. And it makes my system of Understanding Undertones completely transferrable to any fan deck in the world.
If you have not purchased my eBook How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones, you can download it here and use it to make the right decisions when choosing colours from Beauti-Tone’s colour collection.
*All images from Beauti-Tone.