If you’ve ever walked into a paint store and asked for a white wall paint you know that it’s often not as simple as grabbing a paint can off the shelf and walking out the door. Whites are actually one of the hardest shades to get right. There are so many undertones – from warm to cool and everything in between – and picking that perfect one can be tricky so I’ve put together a list of my top five. Read on and don’t forget to scroll through some of my favourite white spaces below.
BENJAMIN MOORE SIMPLY WHITE OC-117: This was last year’s Benjamin Moore Color Of The Year (you can read more about it here) but it’s on my top five list because it’s cheerful and warm with a hint of cream but not too yellow. Use it on both the walls and ceiling in small rooms to make them feel open and bright or as an inviting all over colour for the entire home. It’s also beautiful on woodwork or kitchen cabinets if you’re looking for a soft glow.
TIP: If you choose the same white for both walls and woodwork experiment with paint sheen. For example – matte walls and semigloss trim. It will give your room dimension and add visual interest.
BENJAMIN MOORE CLOUD WHITE OC-130: Still on the creamy side but with just a drop of grey, Benjamin Moore Cloud White is great if you’re looking for bit more colour and a contrast to bright white molding, doors, and trim. It still feels sunny and warm – perfect for any room in house and a great colour if you’re looking for that country cottage feel. Here are some of my favourite spaces!
BENJAMIN MOORE WHITE DOVE OC-17: We’re getting darker! Out of the last three, Benjamin Moore White Dove definitely has the most colour. It’s still on the creamy side and again with a hint of grey so it doesn’t feel too yellow. Pair it with light woods like pine, maple, or oak for a dreamy space like this one.
BENJAMIN MOORE PAPER WHITE OC-55. Okay, I had to sneak a grey in there somewhere but for a cool white I love Benjamin Moore Paper White. It doesn’t feel too blue and won’t make small spaces feel dark. We used it in two of our lower apartment bedrooms and even though they get very little natural light the spaces feel crisp and fresh. Pair with other cool tones like blues, violets and greys, with blush pink for a girlie touch or with bright white for contrast.
TIP: Experiment with cool wall colours and warm metals. Add an antique gold mirror, light fixture or accent to give your room dimension.
BENJAMIN MOORE DECORATOR’S WHITE PM-3: It even has “decorator” in the name! Seriously though, Decorator’s White is pretty perfect because it has a HINT of grey in it so it’s contemporary and clean without being so bright that you need your sunglasses. Perfect for creating modern spaces, use it on both walls and ceilings. It also makes the idea background for colourful artwork, your favourite photos or other wall accessories. If you’re looking for drama pair it with black for a high contrast space.
Remember that light has a huge impact on how we see colour so before you make your final decision (and invest in that five gallon drum of paint) try a sample in your home to see which shade works best in your space.
Also, just like that crisp white shirt, white walls are great until they get dirty and start to look dingy. In high traffic areas like foyers, kitchens and hallways use a premium paint in a matte or eggshell finish for easy maintenance.
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