A fresh coat of paint offers a simple and inexpensive way to transform a home, but that doesn’t mean selecting the perfect palette is easy. At Martha O’Hara Interiors, one of our most common requests from clients (and on social media) is how to choose the perfect hue. When there’s thousands of shades of white alone, it’s no wonder that selecting a home’s color scheme can trigger instant panic for homeowners. To ease your fears, our designers hand-picked a few of their go-to colors that never disappoint, and shared their favorite color trends in new construction and remodeling.


    Warm grays and bright whites are a classic canvas that creates the perfect neutral backdrop where colorful furnishings, artwork and accessories can shine. With so many shades to choose from, we recommend starting with a palette of warm grays. “The taupe undertone of a gray like Benjamin Moore’s (BM) Light Pewter, for instance, will add a lot of warmth to a space,” suggests Lead Interior Designer Emily Anderson. “Plus, it’s an effortless choice when paired with white millwork and trim.”

Bright Entry

    Bright whites are an appealing alternative, and a choice that looks especially attractive with white cabinetry. Emily suggests “painting your walls the exact same white shade as the cabinetry and trim for a bright composition.” For clients that fear a pairing that’s too stark and sterile, our designers always suggest selecting warmer tones that foster feelings of hospitality. “A favorite of ours is BM White Dove because it’s bright and lustrous without feeling like a hospital room,” says Emily.

Painted Kitchen Buffet

    While white cabinets remain a popular kitchen selection, “our clients are more willing to push the boundaries when it comes to kitchen islands and custom cabinetry in mudrooms, pantries, laundry rooms and bathrooms,” says Interior Designer Tasha Schultz. While she’d personally go for a kitchen in a deep shade of emerald green, custom navy cabinetry is a close second for her, and is a natural favorite among homeowners for select pieces like the kitchen hutch, buffet, or in a butler’s pantry or walkway. Tasha says “homeowners can’t go wrong with Hale Navy, a rich and classic blue by Benjamin Moore.”

Blue Bathroom

    Speaking of blues … this calming shade tops our list when it comes to new construction. “Aside from your classic white and gray neutrals, blue tones are common selections that can serve as another neutral-inspired alternative. “BM Gentle Gray 1626 is a misty blue hue that goes with everything,” says Tasha. The fact that it has gray in its name says it all. “Pearly blues with gray undertones elicit a calm and peaceful environment that our clients love.”