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City Loft by Sherwin Williams (SW 7631) is the perfect light-toned, soft hue color that feels very warm and cozy!

This is a light interior paint color in the Sherwin Williams White and pastel collection.

On first glance, you would never know it is in a pastel collection. Its pretty pink-violet-greige undertones make it the perfect color in the right lighting.

sherwin williams city loft paint swatch

Let’s see if this popular color is the ideal paint for your home!

What Color is City Loft?

City Loft is what we would call a chameleon color. Meaning surroundings and lighting play a huge role in how the color will play out in your space.

Changing the natural lighting (depending on the time of day) will affect how the color will look.

Sherwin Williams City Loft is a beautiful soft, neutral greige paint color. This means it has both a gray and beige undertone.

A bedroom painted with Sherwin Williams City Loft featuring a bed with gray bedding, white lamps on nightstands, and a large abstract wall art piece.

For me, City Loft’s allure lies in its complexity. It’s a warm gray that subtly shifts between a gray color and a warmer beige hue, depending on the light.

In south-facing rooms with plenty of natural light, it adopts a lighter shade, almost dancing into the off-white range. Yet, in less illuminated spaces, its warm undertones come to the forefront, offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

What is The LRV?

Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is an indicator of the amount of light that is reflected by a color when it is illuminated by a light source.

A higher value (closer to 100) means that a color will reflect more light back at you and a lower value (closer to 0) means that a color will appear darker, or absorb more light. This paint color has an LRV of 70 meaning City Loft falls on the lighter end of the scale, pretty close to being an off-white paint color, but still just on the higher end of being a light paint color.

A spacious living room painted with Sherwin Williams City Loft, featuring tall windows, a white sectional sofa, dark framed art, and a modern coffee table.

Is it a Warm or Cool Color?

Because of its strong beige undertones, Sherwin Williams City Loft is a warm paint color, but it does have enough gray to stop it from being too warm. This balance makes it a perfect candidate for creating a warm yet modern look.

What Are City Loft’s Undertones?

City Loft has undertones that are gray, beige, and taupe. Taupe means that is has a soft pink/purple undertone, which is very common in greige paint colors. Don’t let that scare you!

This is true of many greige paint colors, such as Repose Gray, Sherwin Williams Alpaca, and Eider White, so it’s always important to test them in your space before committing. I like to compare my Samplize paint swatches against a bright white surface and that really helps me to see the underlying colors.

Again lighting will play a huge role in how this color will look in your space. So it is important to try a paint sample in the space at different times of the day to see what undertones come through.

City Loft can get washed out in really bright rooms, and can look a little dull and dingy if you’re dealing with a dark room.

I’ve found that light bulbs can dramatically affect the perception of the color, especially in artificial lighting where its green undertones might become more pronounced.

Real Room Examples

City Loft is one of those soft neutral paint colors that really will work well in any space, provided it has the right lighting conditions.

It works great in a room that is full of neutral tones and bright whites to really make it pop. This color works great with both light and dark floors, which makes it easy to place in almost any space. It truly will cozy up any of your spaces.

Looking for paint colors for light wood floors? City Loft is stunning!

In the real room examples below, pay attention to how the paint color will change depending on where the light and shadows fall.

Dining Room

Here is when that chameleon color we referred to really shines through.

This room is getting nice bright light coming in from the left, which is really lifting the paint color. However, the dark accent pieces (photo frames and ceiling light) help pull out some of the warmer tones.

dining room with farmed photo gallery wall wood table grey covered dining chairs and metal industrial lighting above table
Dining Room in City Loft via DIY Playbook

The trim paint color is a bright crisp white, which helps showcase the color on the walls. Using a softer, creamier white on the trim would not help to make the wall color pop.

Living Room

In this living room, you can see how City Loft can pull considerably more gray when the light coming into the room is north facing.

It still has just enough warmth to keep it a warm gray, but it definitely loses some of that real warmth that we can see when artificial light or warmer southern light is introduced.

city loft painted on living room walls
City Loft on living room walls via Daniela Pluviati

Kitchen Cabinets

All of this natural light washes most of the color out of City Loft in this space. The cabinets look more of a soft white than a warm gray in this space. You’ll have to look carefully where the cabinets meet the ceiling to see the differentiation in color.

Kitchen cabinets in SW its Loft modern farmhouse builtin kitchen farmhouse sink and free standing wood island with drawers
Kitchen Cabinets Painted with SW City Loft via Kate Marker Interior Designs

However, I absolutely love City Loft as a kitchen cabinet color in this space, and I think if you have a similarly well lit kitchen and want a really soft warm off-white, then it would be a wonderful choice.


City Loft in this bedroom reads as a soft pastel, especially with yellow tones added by artificial light. You can see the difference in color between the lighted areas and the shadows.

Master Bedroom painted with City Loft SW neutral bedding bedside table and lamps
Master Bedroom Painted with SW City Loft via Stylish Revamp

Again, pay attention to where the crown moulding and ceiling meet the walls.

Here is where you can really tell how warm City Loft can get when the lighting conditions are darker and that yellow-toned artificial light is brought in.

When you glance above the bed it looks like a warm gray, yet the lighted areas it comes across very beige, because of the lamps on either side.


What a gorgeous statement are these shutters painted with SW City Loft?

They look amazing against the creamy white exterior of the home without making too much of a bold statement.

This type of tone-on-tone looks has become very popular recently. It also works really well if you’re looking to paint your interior walls white and add a contrasting color to the trim. City Loft would make for a stunning trim color!

exterior of white home with grey rood and beige shutters green lawn
Exterior of Home Shutters Painted with City Loft via Telich Homes

How Does Lighting Affect This Paint Color?

Light tends to make a paint color look brighter and lighter. 

Sherwin Williams City Loft will tend to look lighter in a room with a ton of natural light, reducing some of the warmth and washing it out a little.

In a room with less natural light this color will not look dull or dark, but the warmth in the color will become much more apparent.

So even though you do not need a ton of natural light to make this color work, lighting does play a huge role in whether you will like this paint color once in your space.

SW City Loft Coordinating Colors

SW City Loft is the perfect color to pair with other neutrals like cream, bright white, brown, wood tones, or beige. it is also versatile enough to be paired with bolder colors like black, dark gray, or even navy.

It can work in a transitional color scheme with neutral shades, or even as part of a coastal/beachy color scheme with cooler colors like SW Sea Salt.

Here are a few examples of coordinating colors:

sherwin williams city loft coordinating colors

Room Exposure: City Loft Under Different Lights

Understanding how room exposure affects the appearance of City Loft is crucial in predicting how it will look in your home. The direction your room faces can significantly influence how this warm paint color presents itself.

North-Facing Rooms

In north-facing rooms, natural light tends to be cooler and somewhat harsher. This type of light can bring out the cooler gray aspects of City Loft, subduing its warm beige undertones. In my experience, City Loft in a north-facing room maintains a more consistent color throughout the day, but it tends to appear as a more muted, soft gray rather than a warm greige. If you prefer warmer tones, you might want to amplify the room with warm artificial lighting or accent colors.

East-Facing Rooms

East-facing rooms are unique in that they get a burst of warm, yellow light in the morning, which then fades into cooler light for the rest of the day. In the morning, City Loft will likely appear warmer and lighter, accentuating its beige and warm gray hues. As the day progresses and the natural light becomes cooler, the color might shift to show more of its gray personality. This chameleon-like behavior makes City Loft an intriguing choice for east-facing rooms, offering a dynamic color experience throughout the day.

South-Facing Rooms

South-facing rooms are a dream for warmer colors like City Loft. They receive a substantial amount of natural light throughout the day, and this light tends to be warmer, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. In these rooms, City Loft will show its warmer side, enhancing the beige and warm undertones and making the space feel cozy and inviting. The color will appear lighter and more vibrant, possibly leaning towards the off-white range, especially if the room has a high LRV.

West-Facing Rooms

West-facing rooms can be quite dramatic for colors like City Loft. They get a moderate amount of light in the morning but are bathed in warm, intense light in the afternoon and evening. During the morning, City Loft may appear as a gentle, muted color, but as the sun sets, it can transform into a warm, glowing hue. This can be particularly striking and makes City Loft a great choice for spaces used more frequently in the afternoons or evenings.

Considerations for Artificial Lighting

It’s not just natural light that affects City Loft’s appearance; artificial lighting plays a significant role too. Light bulbs with a cooler temperature can enhance the gray aspects, while warmer bulbs will bring out the beige and warm tones. It’s a good idea to test City Loft under your home’s artificial lighting to see how it interacts, especially in rooms used mainly at night.

Sherwin Williams City Loft vs SW Agreeable Gray

city loft vs agreeable gray paint swatch

When you compare the LRV of the Sherwin Williams City Loft with Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray both colors have strong beige and gray undertones.

When placed next to each other you can see they are both warmer colors. Agreeable Gray does come across more gray when side by side. However, City Loft gives a much lighter and brighter feeling than Agreeable Gray, since it has an LRV of 70, compared to Agreeable Gray’s LRV of 60/which can come off as quite dark and heavy in darker rooms.

Sherwin Williams City Loft vs SW Drift of Mist

City Loft and Drift of Mist are both light, warm grays that lean toward the off-white end of the spectrum due to their higher LRVs. The key difference is in their undertones: City Loft has a subtle violet-pink undertone, adding warmth, while Drift of Mist tends toward a faint green, giving it a cooler edge.

City Loft’s pinkish undertone tends to be more versatile, blending well with a wide range of interior finishes. In contrast, Drift of Mist’s slight green can be more challenging to match, unless your decor or finishes share similar undertones. My best tip? Test out samples of both in your space to truly see how they interact with your unique environment and lighting. It’s the most reliable way to make the right choice!

Frequently Asked Questions

When you compare Sherwin Williams City Loft to a beige, it looks gray. But, when you compare it to a gray, it looks much more beige or even taupe. The surroundings and lighting will determine the color that will come across in your space.

For trim Sherwin Williams Pure White is always a safe bet. It’s a bright white with just a smidge of warmth so it never looks cold. It looks great with all wall colors, but it’s especially the correct choice if the color is warm.

For a really bright, crisp white you could also pair this color with SW High Reflective White, which would really make the City Loft pop. Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace would also be a great choice.

On the other hand, I would avoid pairing City Loft with yellow-based whites like SW Alabaster.

Final Thoughts

Remember this is a chameleon color and if you are thinking about using Sherwin Williams City Loft, it is very important to make sure you get a sample of it first.

Observing the color at different times of the day in various rooms, whether north-facing with subtle light or east-facing with bright morning rays, can help you decide if it’s the right fit for your space.

Whether you’re an interior designer looking for a versatile hue or a homeowner seeking a warm, inviting atmosphere, City Loft offers possibilities worth exploring. So grab a peel and stick sample, test it out, and let the color speak to you. Who knows? It might just be the perfect shade you’ve been looking for.

Don’t Forget…

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides real paint samples that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

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Looking for more? Follow me on social media for lots more home decor & DIY content!

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