Color is powerful. It can be commanding, soothing, or energizing; therapeutic and mood-altering; and perhaps beyond all else, it can make (and leave) a solid impression. With such influence at your fingertips, deciding on a color palette for your home can feel daunting—deciphering the nuances, knowing when to go bold—but these tried-and-true shades never go out of style.
Black and White
Nantucket, Massachusetts | Craig Hawkins & Bernadette Meyer, Maury People Sotheby’s International Realty
Has there ever been a more classic color combination? Checkered floors will always be a kitchen favorite, but the fresh way to use this combo is to lean further into white and employ black in the elegant contrasting details, as seen at this beautifully designed Nantucket home. The pairing offsets the more casual aspects of the home, including an outdoor pool and family game room.
Taupe and Coffee
Montecito, California | Suzanne Perkins, Sotheby’s International Realty – Montecito – Coast Village Road Brokerage
Typically, Balinese-style beach houses in tropical destinations are outfitted with bright accents to offset the wealth of wood running throughout, but this Montecito stunner breaks the mold with shades of taupe and coffee. The mostly monochrome walls and furniture take a refined and relaxed backseat so the setting—particularly the sunset views from the infinity pool—can really shine.
Southampton, New York | Harald Grant & Bruce Grant, Sotheby’s International Realty – Southampton Brokerage
From a cloud-like softness to steely strength, gray has substantial versatility, especially when it comes to modernizing traditional estate designs. Upstate at a Southampton summer-house, an airy main living space is accented in slate and smoky metals, adding depth to an otherwise creamy palette. Punch up neutral rooms with this moody hue and bask in the calming power of a good gray.
New York, New York | Randall Gianopulos & Christian Emanuel, Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage
Dusty blue curtains, porcelain objets d’art, and a beautiful coat of blue paint all pair perfectly with antique, historical furniture, crafts-style woodworking, and a heavy dose of patterned fabrics. Blue’s tranquil feel has the ability to anchor beloved treasures, as seen at this Upper East Side mansion in New York.
Yellow and Gold
San Francisco, California | Bernadette Lamothe, Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage
There is a particular richness to yellow tones, be they featured on textured mustard walls, sunshine-bright seating, or rippled gold frames. Not only does this sunny shade complement almost any kind of lighting design masterfully, but it instantly illuminates vintage chandeliers and antiques. Pass it from chair to patterned wall to French door to feel as though you’ve stepped into Versailles, as executed at this palatial Pacific Heights apartment in San Francisco.
While there is much to be said for passing trends, as long as you stick to a classic color palette, your home will always stay in fashion.