In the name of modern minimalism, for a love of neutrals, or a cost effective “thrifted” aesthetic; white walls are being seen anywhere and everywhere.
Now this trend is nothing new to us. Throughout history and within many cultures, white walls have held a significance around the world and have truly dominated a spot in modern design for the last several years. It has surpassed the connotation of being clean or soulless, and is now a regular hot commodity.
Though widely present, they are not easily accomplished. With an array of finishes, undertones, price, and personal preference – “The World of White,” is a crazy conundrum.
To help set you in the right direction, here are some things to keep in mind:
See the space as a cohesive whole.
What other paint, hardware, wood finishes, and fabrics are being used? Are they cool or warm? Does the space have natural or indirect light? Is the space predominantly used during the day or evening?
The perfect white paint color for one space may be completely wrong for another. Besides taking into consideration your décor, furnishings, and artificial lighting – one of the true elements to be mindful of is your geographical location. Light in Cleveland is completely different than light in Miami, and keep in mind how that light reflects and changes throughout the day.
Depending on the items in your space, it will determine where you lean on the cool to warm spectrum, and due to your light situation, it will range from a pure white for natural light or a pigmented white for indirect lighting.
Trying to understand the different nuances of white paint can be a little difficult to wrap your head around. White paint can range from bluish, yellowish, greenish, and even reddish due to the undertones.
To help you recognize the different undertones – hold up different paint swatches up to a white piece of copy paper and you will be amazed by the range this color family holds.
Once you have determined the key factors of palette and lighting, it is now time to choose several options you like and put them to the test.
Swatch them on your wall and see how they are in your space, light, and how the rest of the palette makes you perceive them. A shade can look beautiful in the daylight and look all kinds of wrong once it’s in artificial light. Make sure you swatch on more than one wall, as they’ll look different next to a window verses across the room on a different wall.
If you’re still struggling, try and find a neutral white that can be cool and warm to you.
Here at three paints that our Interior Designers recommend:
1. Warm - Benjamin Moore Dove White OC-17
2. Neutral - Benjamin Moore Simply White 2143-70
3. Cool - Sherwin Williams Extra White SW7006