Just when you thought choosing white to paint your space would be an easy selection… You go to the paint store and realize there are hundreds of shades of white. So which shade do you choose? You don’t want your space to look like a sterile laboratory but you also don’t want it to look like an old vanilla biscuit.
The key is to select a color that looks best in YOUR surroundings.
There are different variations of white that fall into separate categories. Do you want warm undertones or a cool hue that matches silver fixtures and furniture? We’ve broken down the categories of white to help you choose which shade will work best in your space.
Cool shades of white have a blue base, which makes this color perfect for spaces that get plenty of light. The cool color acts a as a neutral party to absorb the bright light. Cool whites also compliment a modern home with a minimalist design scheme. Colors such as Chantilly Lace (Shown above) is a cool, bright white with a balance of very slight warm undertones. This depth avoids a sterile look and looks great in modern, contemporary spaces.
Pro-tip: If you use a cool white in a space with little natural light it can end up looking gray and dingy.
Cool White Colors:
Rarified Air by Sherwin Williams is a dreamy beach shade with a costal blue undertone
Winter Orchard by Benjamin Moore is a designer favorite, with a subtle tinge of gray it goes well with any color
Paper White by Benjamin Moore (in the chart above) is great for kitchens and bathrooms, matching Carrerra marble and contrasting against stark white of sinks and toilets
Warm shades of white have a yellowish, red, or brown base creating a soft, cozy atmosphere. If you have a room that gets little sunlight use a warm white, it will looks crisp even though it appears creamy on the paint pallet. If you have earthy toned furniture a warm tone will also work well, melding with the natural, warm hues.
Colors such as China White is a delicate shade of off white with its warm undertones. Even though it appears off white, when painted in a room with little natural sunlight it has a true white appearance. This is a go-to color for designer Eric Cohler.
Pro-tip: The other colors in your room will pull out undertones in the white paint you choose. Test your paint before purchasing it. Put your curtains next to the white patches you’re testing to see how these colors affect the appearance of the whites you’re deciding between.
Warm White Colors:
Lily of the Valley by Benjamin Moore is a warm color that works well in rooms that get a lot of sunlight and also those that lack it
White Dove by Benjamin Moore has a creamy tone, perfect for urban settings with a gray overcast coming into the space, also a favorite choice for moldings and trim
Slipper Satin by Farrow and Ball is a calming serene shade that dresses up more traditional rooms and looks great against dark woodwork
White is the most pure and perfect color. Associated with light, purity and softness it contains an equal balance of every color in the spectrum. Spaces painted white are known for their restful abilities to clear the mind and create a calm sanctuary. Slowing down and becoming more mindful increases your focus and productivity. Not to mention, white walls also provide a clean backdrop to display art and bring some color and texture to your furnishings. Feel the benefits of white and paint your space the perfect shade!
Get your design on.