Nate Berkus room design

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6. Take a Second Look at the Sneaky Shade That Ages Your Home
The neutral colors in a home are often overlooked—they go with anything, so why change them, right? But even they can get dated, particularly when the shade is tied to a specific trend. The Shabby Chic era was all about off-white (er, eggshell), the mainstream arrival of Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn brought us the taupe years, and now, people are starting to gravitate toward shades of gray—and no, not because of the book series. It's been quietly growing in popularity over the past two years, Jordan says, most likely due to the ubiquity of stainless steel appliances and increased interest in streamlined Scandinavian design (think white, light grays and warm wood).

If you're looking for a safe way to update your walls, Jordan suggests three shades: gray with a hint of aqua, such as Sherwin-Williams' Sea Salt (a designer favorite); a warmer shade for rooms that feature reds, oranges and other bright colors (try Amazing Gray); and pale gray with cool undertones for those who prefer blues, greens and purples (Requisite Gray could be a good match).

Next: The fail-safe guide to the perfect paint job

Photo: Roger Davies/The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus
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