By CATHI AYCOCK

Paint is the bane of my existance and the joy of my budget-minded decor plans.

Paint befuddles me (is this white a pinky white or a yellow white?) and those tiny chip samples never, ever look the same on the great big wall.

But for a bang for your buck design tool, nothing beats a fresh coat of paint.

Instead of dithering about colors, I head to the design experts at Maxi B Home and basically copycat what the professionals love. Below are some tried and true paint colors that will make your paint color decision miles easier and no-fail beautiful.

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams
The little paint card says this color is in the green family. But, like all little paint cards, it lies. It is actually a perfect shade of soft blue with a hint of gray. It works for a living room (imagine it paired with deep, beautiful navy blue accents) but it really makes a master bedroom and/or bath feel very serene, soothing and spa-like.

Often dubbed the chameleon blue-gray, Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams works in nearly any room. Image from Pinterest.

 

Watery by Sherwin Williams
From the Coastal Cool collection, this blue is still soft, but more clear and decisive. Perfect for a powder room or accent, this color is a perfect companion to gray. It reads as a soft green blue, so if you have golden oak floors, it works well.

A blue gray that feels peaceful, Watery by Sherwin Williams is a perfect pick for a bedroom or powder room. Image from Pinterest.

Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams
Speaking of gray….everyone in the design world is. Gray is the neutral that keeps on giving. It pairs with deep bottle green or soft blush (both huge accent colors for 2017). Mindful Gray is a beautiful gray that feels timeless. It is the sort of color that doesn’t scream “color trend of the moment” but quietly envelopes a room in a sort of disciplined way. Not over the top, it still makes a statement.

Mindful Gray is a restrained neutral that is timeless and elegant according to the design team at Maxi B. Home. Image from Pinterest.

Porcelain by Sherwin Williams
The perfect white trim for all of these watery blue and gray paint colors, porcelain doesn’t have any yellow undertone, but also isn’t harsh. In fact, it is part of the Softer Side paint collection, meant to evoke soothing, cloud like color. If you need to paint a room white for resell or just because you love the basic white look, this paint is beautiful in morning and evening sunlight.

Cosmetic Blush
Although more of an accent color, this pale hue is my secret wish for my bedroom. (Which may make my hubs move into the man cave pronto.) Describing this as a dirty pink, it has just enough gray and brown undertone to keep it from reading youthful. Instead, it feels sophisticated.

This greige-pink color reads sophisticated–not sweet. Cosmetic Pink by Sherwin Williams.