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How to Find the Perfect Neutral

How to Find the Perfect Neutral

When faced with a stack of colour cards, homemakers can be overwhelmed with choice. It might take time to reach the final decision on colour, but it doesn't have to be complicated.

Neutrals in particular, are a broad territory. They're easy to use, so are the most popular choice for homeowners, but with so many subtly different shades, it's often difficult for customers to be sure which will bring out the best in their homes.

Dulux Trade has a number of colour tools to help you assist your customer's decision-making process.

Choosing a neutral colour family

Not all neutrals are alike; the term neutral can include a broad range of shades, from creams and beiges to whites and greys. But what they have in common is that they're easy to live with and can be dressed up or down to suit individual tastes or different looks.

So the first step is to ask your customer if they already have a particular type of neutral in mind. Then discuss if they have an idea of the effect they wish to create; if they want a cosy, inviting atmosphere, point them towards warmer neutrals - those with hints of gold and pink. These shades can also add warmth to north-facing spaces where the natural light is more watery. Cool neutrals help to create rooms with a calm and contemporary feel. These are generally neutrals with a touch of green or blue to them and can also add a cooling touch to a south-facing space where the natural light can sometimes be very strong and bright.

All Dulux Trade colour cards offer a good range of neutrals, presented in columns of similar hues, meaning that it's easy to compare cool and warm options.

The new Heritage card has a stunning range of sophisticated neutrals to select from. Not only that, the card is arranged in columns of colours of similar hue, each with a specially selected white picked by a colour expert to coordinate with the shades above, saving clients much time and deliberation.

Choosing a depth of colour

Once they've decided on the colour family, it's time to narrow down the depth of colour in that family. If they want to make their home look more spacious and brighter, make sure they look at shades in the Light + Space colour range. The paint's Lumitec formula will bounce light around the space and keep it feeling airy. For customers who want to create a dramatic, cocooning or rich feel, a darker, more saturated shade will help spaces to feel cosier and enveloping.

Start by showing them the Neutrals, Creams & Off Whites and Greys sections of the Dulux Trade Paint Expert for Professional Decorators app and try out the different colour families on the wall with the real-time visualizer tool. Download and save visualisations so that they can compare and see the difference.

Leave colour cards with your customer and encourage them to buy tester pots of their favoured shades.

All colours (except Light + Space) can be purchased as 250ml samplers from local colour mixing stores, and many colours can even be ordered by customers direct from the website if they prefer.

One tip to share with clients who are considering colours is that the impact they have when covering a very small area can be quite different from the full wall, so be sure to use the full extent of the sampler when testing a colour. Suggest they use the testers in a different location within the space (near a natural light source, in corners, etc) so they can see first-hand how their chosen shades appear in different degrees of light.

Choosing coordinating colours

The Dulux Trade Paint Expert for Professional Decorators app has an array of readymade colour schemes for every shade, so once your customer has chosen the shade they like, they can easily find coordinating colours for accessories, trim and other woodwork.

With all of this professional knowledge at their fingertips, your clients should feel happier and more confident in their colour choices, whether it's Magnolia or Polished Pebble.

Download the Dulux Trade Paint Expert for Professional Decorators app for free.

Brush up on your colour skills with Dulux Academy's Colour Confidence courses from January 2017. Designed to help professionals develop both existing and new skills and to demonstrate colour theory, the day-long courses will give you the confidence to help your customers with specifying colour [Find out more here(