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The shift away from 'gray' looks like it is here to stay. And the new neutral darling on the scene is rich and creamy "butter". Warming up everything from interiors to fashion and everything in between, butter is making quite the comeback. The soft shade exudes a sense of comfort and elegance making it a popular choice for those seeking an approachable sophistication.

It seems every few years there is a different color designated the "new beige". From the white ages, to the gray era which later morphed into greige; butter has now taken center stage. Embodying the warmth and richness associated with freshly churned butter, the pale yellow with cream undertones ranges from pastel to golden and allows for a wide spectrum of application in design.

The history of the color dates back to the mid-19th century following the discovery of the first aniline dye in 1856. Derived from aniline, a compound found in coal tar, the dyes were cheap to produce durning the booming coal industry era. One of the most vibrant dyes “Aniline Yellow” became popular in inks, textiles and most notably the food industry where it was the colorant for margarine leading to the official name of “Butter Yellow”.

In color psychology, butter yellow is often connected to freshness and newness. As the lightest hue of the spectrum, it signifies optimism, idealism, hope, imagination and friendship.

Butter is considered to be an approachable color favored for creating welcoming and open environments. It evokes a certain sense of "simplicity" associated with the comforting notion of fresh butter on the kitchen counter.

Similar to other shades of yellow, butter is linked with the color of mind activation and signifies the divine light. It is revered for it's mood boosting qualities and a tone that replicates the soft morning light.

On the fashion runways, butter was a prominent fixture in recent collections with designers embracing the feminine side of yellow. The chic shade works no matter the season and is a restrained yet luxurious color that is universally flattering.

For those who tend to gravitate toward neutral shades of clothing, butter is a refreshing choice that remains just as impartial as white, beige, or gray. Since the pale tone closely resembles cream, styling options are surprisingly easy.

In interiors, the color carries a dated reputation and conjures up images of yellow walls paired with traditional heavy wood furniture and red fabric.  But by combining the warming effect of butter in contrast to a more contemporary design, you can create spaces that feel fresh and inviting. Balancing out decor that is more transitional in style gives off a refined effect.

Glidden paint recently announced a shade of butter, 'Limitless', as their 2024 Color of the Year.

“This modern neutral is as adaptable as its name implies and is taking the place of cool neutral tones that are so last year,” said Ashley McCollum, PPG Marketing Manager. “With the selection of Limitless, gray is officially canceled. What can we say—warm neutrals just hit different.”

Glidden color stylists call the color a “boujee beige” and see it as an opportunity for customers to get more creative with their home decor style.

The versatile shade can be paired with a wide range of colors to create moody atmospheres and aesthetics. I love the sophisticated contrast of warm butter against cool charcoal gray. It feels very Parisian and creates a rich visual effect. For a more feminine take, pairing butter with off-white is a gentle and clean approach. Alternatively, butter coupled with olive green or chocolate brown delivers a luxe look.

When decorating with butter, I prefer it balanced out with other neutrals in multiple textures to build up layers of interest. Lighting fixtures that are clean in silhouette help to round it all out.

Kitchens cabinets provide a great application for the color. The warmth of butter looks amazing with veined marble stone, unlacquered brass hardware and natural wood floors. As long as the design and fixtures remain contemporary, the overall effect really brings a kitchen to life.

Butter is also great as a bedroom accent color and I prefer it in a drapery or upholstery application. Lush butter fabrics offset with crisp white bedding and deep charcoal gray walls add depth and drama.

Weave in accents of dusty rose or warm apricot for a tasteful touch that really lends itself to a cozy yet elevated bedroom atmosphere.

Whether butter-hued decor, creamy chic accessories, or maybe even an entire room; here are some of my favorite finds to bring the look home.

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A perfectly pale turtleneck dress to wear anywhere

These earrings make the subtlest of statements

A freshly hued bucket bag to contrast winter dressing

Such a chic hair clip

The best butter colored paint if you are feeling bold

Inspired by lattice work in Savannah, this pretty patterned fabric is quickly becoming a favorite

One of my favorite shaped bedroom benches in a butter version

A special candle to give or perhaps keep

My favorite new table lamp

A buttery side table that could tuck into any corner

The sweetest scalloped sweater that is a must for Spring

A truly elegant flask


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