White Delights, But Which One is Right?

A popular Springtime project is painting. It's a less expensive way to freshen and update any space. One of the best selling colors of paint currently is...you've got it - white.  However, have you ever gone to a paint store to purchase white paint only to realize there are as many shades of white paint as there are of any other color?  Benjamin Moore offers over 250 shades of white!! Choosing the right white can be confusing and tricky! Included in Benjamin Moore's top palette of 23 top paint colors dubbed the Color Trends of 2016, are five shades of white. Their 2016 color of the year...Simply White OC-117.  Sherwin Williams 2016 Color of the Year is Alabaster SW7008.  According to Sherwin Williams, Alabaster is considered neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring white.

White: It's a popular choice this season.

Everyone is looking for a white that works with everything and is never going to fail you. According to Benjamin Moore, Simply White  was chosen because it works well in any environment, from kitchens, walls, the ceiling, trim and even exteriors. It looks striking against the dark wood above.

I like how soothing Benjamin Moore's Simply White is due to its warm color pigments - it's not a stark white and it remains true under any source of light.

Many people love the simplicity of white so here are a few tips to consider that I hope will help you feel more confident about picking the right white:

Tip #1:  Keep a record or your paint colors.   I have to admit that I don't have a white room in my home. However, I've had first-hand experience with the challenges of selecting white paint on several occasions. Most recently, we are replacing the moldings throughout our home as part of a major Spring update and I wanted to match the paint color for the baseboards to other trim. Once you have decided on paint colors, keep a record of your paint selections for future use. I keep a binder filled with transparent plastic covers so I can easily slip receipts, photos, warranties, and other records into the plastic covers. Otherwise, it can be a real challenge matching paint colors.

Tip #2 Determine the style.  Remember, there are many different shades of white. If you are wanting a bolder, modern feeling, consider leaning towards the brighter whites. These will create sharp contrasts when placed next to colorful or neutral fabrics. If you want a more mellow feeling, lean towards warmer whites. Warm tones create an artificial glow that warms up a space as seen below.

Tip #3: Layer tones. This creamy white bedroom is a very relaxing haven.  For best results, use a few different tones of white and layer them in the space.  In this bedroom, creamy white walls are combined with crisp white curtains and ivory colored bedding. This type of variation will prevent your space from look too stark.

Tip #4 Add warmth with other elements. Many people like the look of white cabinetry in the kitchen, but they don't want the space to appear too cold. In this case, look for a white that has a light ivory undertone, such as Atrium White by Benjamin Moore. Then, add warmth with other elements such as with wood flooring, cabinet pulls with warm tones, and by using clear halogen lighting.

Tip #5 Consider the natural light. Does your room get a lot of natural light? It might wind up looking warmer than you desire so you can compensate by choosing a slightly cooler shade. There is an abundance of natural light pouring into this Farmhouse kitchen nook. You need to plan accordingly based on the natural light pouring into your space. HOUSE AND GARDEN MAGAZINE shares some excellent tips to consider with regard to working with natural light.

Tip #6 Test it out. Before deciding on what shade to stick with, it's very important to test several shades at home. I recommend trying at least three in different areas of the room: the brightest spot, darkest corner, and ceiling. Then view them during different times of the day and evening hours. Lighting and environment have an enormous impact on the perception of color - you'll be amazed at how a white that looks yellow on a paint chart appears to be totally different when placed on your wall.

Tip #7 Ask a consultant. White has a variety of undertones and tints that always pop up in different lighting situations, making the selection process somewhat tricky. So, ask a consultant. They can help you navigate through the process, especially when it comes to identifying undertones and tints.

I hope these tips help you feel more confident about choosing the white paint that works best for you. Let me know what you think! What helpful tips do you have for choosing the right white?

1 - Shea McGee Design - Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
2 - Donald Lococo Architects - Walls: Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
3 - Donald Lococo Architects - Cabinets: Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
4 - Brooks and Falotico Associates, Inc. - Cabinets, trim, ceiling: Simply White OC-117; Walls: Revere Pewter, both Benjamin Moore.
6 - Shea McGee Design - white paint color unknown
7 - Wayzata General Contractors - Stonewood, LLC - Cabinets: Atrium White by Benjamin Moore
8-12 - Shea McGee Design - white paint color unknown


Jeff Henriques said...

Well, in different seasons, we have found different designs and themes in our home as well as in our office also. It helps to boost our mood and productivity. Home interior should be attractive as well as unique, so homeowners are looking to change their interior design and colors as according to the season. I completely appreciate the efforts of this while delights design home, it looks amazing and especially the wooden flooring is adorable.

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