Muscling out Magnolia


Once upon a time, magnolia was the go-to shade for paint. It could be found in any room of the home and did a perfect job of letting walls slip into the background. It is about as unassuming, yet perfectly complimentary as you can get. If you live in a rented flat or home then chances are high that some, if not all, of your walls, are this colour.

While there is no denying that magnolia is a powerhouse of the paint world, it does tend to get a little bit drab after a while. So if you are looking for a neutral colour that has a little bit more oomph but won’t overpower a room what are your options? Here are few directions to lean in, with some shades you may never have thought of before.


Greys are taking the home decor world by storm and are slowly but surely becoming a go-to alternative. Taking inspiration from the popularity of anthracite, light greys are an excellent modern interpretation of Magnolia. Looking crisp and clean, off-greys are light enough to not darken a space but give it a more on-trend look than can be expected from the creamier side of the colour palette.

Another selling point from this area of the colour wheel is that it can stand alone as a feature or act as an excellent background to more vivid colours or wallpaper. Give this look a try with the Rock Salt range available from The Paint Shed.


It might seem like colour to stay away from when you are looking for a general-purpose colour when in actual fact, it can be the ideal option. Banish any thoughts of hot pink or sickly baby girl pink and instead choose a muted, almost rosy tone.

For rooms with high ceilings or large expanses of wall, this warm tone will create a more intimate and cosy feel. If your room has wooden trim or features, whether it is a light pine or a heavily stained dark wood, pink offers excellent contrast.


In a similar vein to the grey spectrum of colours, blues will provide you with a fresh and clean look while keeping a neutral air. Similar to pink, you will want to avoid vibrant hues or overly cartoonish gradients. If you want some blue inspiration think of what the watercolour versions of a particular tone of blue would be. This will keep it light enough to prevent it from veering into cold, rather than clean territory.

On that cold note, however, this colour definitely works best in rooms that get a large amount of bright natural light. If used in rooms that are predominantly in the shade or have small windows you may find that even the lightest of blues become dark and chilly seeming,

There you have it. Just three options that you can use to banish magnolia from your home but keep the same benefits. These three are not your only options either. Consider greens and terracottas if you want to explore more colours. If you want to keep things a little more traditional there are a whole wealth of cream and beige options to consider.

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