A top greige paint color, a timeless neutral, and one of the best warm colors that consolidate the sense of home when used both indoors and outdoors.

LRV 51

We follow new paint color trends every season and get inspired for future design projects. Interestingly, we have seen a limited number of timeless paint colors entering trends repeatedly. As you might have guessed, Shiitake is one of them. The mushroom neutral tone from our endeared Sherwin-Williams is a true pearl, even among evergreen paint colors. Crème de la crème, as the French say, or “the best of the best”. What’s interesting, SW 9173 is indeed creamy, a mushroom-gray shade with earthy undertones. 

There are so many interpretations of this paint color and even more features that make it a perfect trendy neutral in interior and exterior design. Discover the secret behind the everlasting Shiitake with us!

Shiitake Paint Color Features

You may recognize the name. Shiitake is an edible Asian mushroom. We instantly see where this paint color gets its name from – a mid-tone creamy gray with earthy beige traces. You may see it as stone gray, greige, tan, or taupe, and you’ll be right in all these cases, all due to lighting (later on this). 

Shiitake is part of several color collections at SW, including the natural color selection Biome (2023 Colormix Forecast) and Naturalist (2019 Colormix Forecast). Moreover, we deal with an expert-pick paint color since Shiitake was the color of the month September 2019. It has quite a history to share, and that’s what makes paint colors timeless.  

Colorists claim that Shiitake was created out of the minimalist concept of less is more and became today a highly-rated neutral paint color ready to conquer new lands in the world of design, looking beyond simple and bringing the craved amount of comfort and well-being. What’s more, experts claim that painting your interior or exterior with this color will enhance the sense of home and your desire to return home. 

Shiitake: Is It Warm or Cold?

Let’s see what colorists from SW say. Shiitake is “a warm stone gray.” We tend to believe professionals, but we need proof. On the SW’s website, you can see the displayed RGB values of paint colors, showing how much Red, Green, and Blue they have. SW 9173 reveals a prevailing amount of red, followed by green, and only after this, blue. Undoubtedly, Shiitake is a warm paint color. 

How Does Lighting Affect Shiitake?

Say, you’ve decided to paint your south-facing bedroom, constantly bathed in warm sunlight, with Shiitake. What should you expect? A considerably warmer greige, giving off a subtle purplish vibe due to the mix of gray and beige under the supervision of warm natural light. Pairing it with wood or other warm materials can enhance the taupe effect. 

Let’s take a look at a north-facing kitchen, for instance. The cold natural light will resurface a rather tan paint color. A soft powdery greige with less warm undertones, yet still preserving the creamy surface, will add comfort to a room with northern exposure. 

Lighting is essential in how this color appears, yet experts also emphasize the need to ensure appropriate natural light in a space painted with Shiitake. How come? Find out below!

Shiitake LRV

For newbies, the Light Reflectance Value is a figure given to a paint color that shows in percentages how much light it reflects, determining how light or dark this or that shade is. Shiitake has an LRV of 51, almost the perfect golden mean, neither dark nor light. Although SW 9173 looks pretty light for such a medium LRV, it still requires ideal natural light conditions to show its soft and neutral side, as seen in the sample. 

Shiitake Undertones

Generally, this mushroom paint color is a creamy gray shade with either beige or brown undertones that may lean slightly purple. It is definitely not an orange-biased greige. Yellow sounds better. But again, lighting has a lot to say here.

Similar Colors

Despite how timeless and classy some paint colors are, a good expert will always find you perfect alternatives that can effortlessly replace a color if needed. Take, for instance, Shiitake. Both SW and other trustworthy brands put a comprehensive list of options at our disposal:

  • Minimalist SW 9611 by Sherwin-Williams – a surprisingly similar mushroom neutral, you can safely use it instead of Shiitake, and you won’t notice a single difference besides the theoretical fact that it has a slightly higher LRV;
  • Sandbar SW 7547 by Sherwin-Williams – again, an excellent alternative, slightly lighter and warmer, yet very close to Shiitake;
  • Hazelwood 1005 by Benjamin Moore – a 100% purple-biased taupe, less creamy and more formal;
  • Stonington 416-4 by PPG Paints – one of the best substitutes for Shiitake; the same combination of gray and beige, the same LRV, and even the same color temperature;
  • Legendary PPG1019-3 by PPG Paints – a more subtle and less mushroom greige that feels less heavy on a space.

Coordinating Colors

The best complementary color families for Shiitake are greens and blues. Still, the monochromatic color palette offers a wide range of close grays, off-whites, and beiges to pair with our creamy mushroom shade. These are the no-fail paint colors from SW to combine Shiitake with:

  • Aesthetic White SW 7035 – a high-class off-white regarded as the lightest greige tone with an aesthetically pleasing soft character;
  • City Loft SW 7631 – a pretty intense off-white paint with balanced greige undertones giving off a strong industrial vibe;
  • Snowbound SW 7004 – a highly-demanded white paint with neither warm nor cold undertones, perfect to pair with darker colors;
  • Cold Foam SW 9504 – an off-white tone with perceivably warm undertones and a shadowy blue trace;
  • Passive SW 7064 – one of the best-rated neutrals, a cool light gray with soothing blue notes;
  • Loggia SW 7506 – a slightly darker mushroom gray with creamy notes that perfectly pairs with Shiitake on monochromatic color schemes;
  • Foothills SW 7514 – a stark shade of dark brown-gray, aka taupe, to use for accents on a background painted with Shiitake;
  • Urban Jungle SW 9117 – a medium-to-dark taupe with warm concrete notes as if witnessed in the middle of urban hustle;
  • Dark Clove SW 9183 – a midnight-dark brown with earthy red undertones that instantly becomes the main highlight;
  • Bosporus SW 6503 – a relatively dark yet astonishingly vibrant blue reading slightly teal; a fairly remote cousin of navy blue.

Use of Shiitake in Interior Design

Working with classy paint colors is the easiest, especially neutral ones. Shiitake is a versatile greige that designers recommend for an exhaustive list of design styles for both sides, crave for simplicity and taking on new challenges. Overall, Shiitake provides comfort and care that you won’t be able to experience with another greige shade. Our list of top interior design ideas with SW 9173 is as follows.

Mushroom Gray and Wood

Despite being warm on its own, Shiitake is a great partner for richly textured wood surfaces. As if completing each other, those two know everything about comfort at home and share it with the homeowners. Light wood is preferred. The result is a cozy and soft ambiance polished with pastel colors that help you enjoy the moment.

Interior design styles to consider: Farmhouse, Rustic, Country, Mediterranean, Provence, Mid-Century Modern.

Nurturing Bedroom Color

Look no further if you’ve been searching long enough for a suitable paint color for your dream pastel bedroom. Shiitake will take care of you and your design project. Paint walls with this incredible gray paint and preserve the color palette monochromatic or add a few earthy brown or green accents. The recipe is easy: plenty of natural light, decluttered horizontal surfaces, and soft textiles to feel the color.

Kitchen and Dining Room

You may notice a subtle sepia upper surface on Shiitake if you look carefully. It means it is a favorite in Rustic, Traditional, and Country kitchens. Especially when bathed in direct sunlight, this paint color used on cabinets evokes a consolidated feel of joy. 

On the other hand, if you haven’t yet found a perfect neutral to balance and entertain for the dining room, Shiitake is your safest resort. You won’t meet a more generous and flexible neutral tone.

Home Office

It’s no surprise Shiitake is one of the first paint colors designers think of when asked how to paint a home office. Besides suiting most design styles and color palettes, experts find SW 9173 an exceptionally calm color that helps you concentrate on the moment. You’ll become more efficient and relaxed surrounded by Shiitake if you work remotely.


Out of tens of design ideas for the bathroom, professionals mostly stop at this one: Shiitake paint over wood wall panels. Pair it with accent hardware, such as black-colored or gold-polished. Think additionally of marble countertops and an overall traditional style with added wooden texture, carved details, and beautiful accessories on furniture and bathroom fixtures. 

Use of Shiitake for House Exterior

Shiitake proves again it is a highly versatile paint color. Just take a look at how impressively it fits both traditional and modern exteriors. Although this stone mushroom color reads slightly softer and lighter when directly interacting with natural light, it manages to stay true to its indisputable charismatic character that invites guests and welcomes the homeowners.

Sherwin-Williams’ Shiitake SW 9173 paint color is a one-in-a-lifetime neutral tone. You’ll never see a more inviting, adjustable, and accurately balanced color like this that can smoothly switch from greige to taupe, tan, gray, or beige.

online interior design service
Give a new look to your room with our professional online interior design service