Why Is Picking A White Paint So Tricky? Maybe because there are so many white paint colors to choose from. Did you know that Benjamin Moore & Co has 372 colors with white in its name? Of course, I knew that there are many different white paint colors. However, until a client was trying to remember a “white” she had in her old home, I had never checked to see how many. It is no wonder why picking a white paint is not an easy task for most people.
I stood there at the consultation with my paint deck asking, “was it cloud white, white Christmas, oxford white” until she said, “I don’t remember and they all are looking so similar.”
With there being 372 whites, it is no wonder picking a white paint color is so difficult for many people. White paint is not just white. More importantly, you can make a mistake by picking the wrong white.
It is helpful to understand some color theory basics to explain the difference between the many different white paints available. This will also help you when picking colors for your home.
Warm and Cool Colors
First, all colors can be categorized as either warm or cool. Warm colors have an underlying color of either orange, red or yellow. Warm colors advance towards you. This means they can make large rooms seem smaller. Logically, this tells us that warm colors can help us create cozy rooms. On the other hand, cool colors have an underlying color of either blue, green or purple in them. Cool colors are known to recede. Painting a small room in a cool color can make a small room seem larger. Additionally, using a cool color on a ceiling can make the ceiling seem higher. Cool colors can help create a feeling of calmness and tranquility in a room.
When critically looking at a color, you will see its underlying color. This is sometimes called an undertone. If this is a new concept to you, the best way to discover this is with the color white. Many people think white is white. As I said above, it is never just white.
Some are warm whites, and some are cool whites. Looking at each white separately, it may appear to just be white. When you compare them to each other, you will be able to identify their underlying tones. Some have cool underlying colors like blue or purple. Others have warm underlying colors such as yellow or red.
These are the nuances that can cause you to pick a color that ends up not being what you thought once you put it on your walls. If something is not quite right, it is probably the underlying color that needs to be tweaked.
Don’t make this white paint mistake
A client of mine painted her walls off white to create a monochromatic look with her off-white pickled oak cabinets. Sounds simple enough—what can go wrong? The “off-white” cabinets had a pink undertone to them. The “off-white” paint she chose had a yellow undertone to it. Guess what? They clashed! She could not figure out what she was unhappy about until she called me in to help.
A blue undertone would have brought coolness and balance to the room. A red undertone would have continued the warm cozy feeling the cabinets had. Any other undertone then the yellow one she picked would have been a better choice.
When you pick a paint color, blue, pink., white or any other color, be aware of whether it is a warm or cool color. Next, know it’s underlying color tone to make sure you selected a color that will work in your home.
If you are starting a decorating project and need to pick paint colors, you may find Decorating with Colors Inspired by Nature helpful. Another great resource is Personality Types and Colors. If you need to plaster your walls before you paint https://happydiyhome.com/how-much-to-plaster-a-room/ is another great resource for information.
You can learn to dress a dinner table like a pro and impress your guests. Having a table all decked out can add festive ambiance and get your guests in a partying mood. Here are some tips for creating a stunning dinner table, just in time for the holiday season, but they can be applied… Read more
The home office has become an essential part of the home with many companies choosing to keep their workers remote. Whether you have a whole room designated as your office or just a small area in another room to incorporate a desk, it is important to make it a space that you want to spend… Read more
Do you ever get so overwhelmed with the notion of a decorating project that you don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are afraid to start? Or maybe you find yourself wheel spinning and just not able to make any progress. When a novelist can’t put words on paper, we all know it is… Read more
I just had to share these ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding with you because I was blown away by a few of them. Please leave me a comment and let me know if any of these sheet and bedding facts surprised you. #1 Sheets and bedding should not be washed in hot water! The… Read more
The color forecast by The Sherwin-Williams Company, known in the industry as the Colormix® Forecast, is an event I look forward to attending every year. This year the event was virtual, but it was still spectacular! Staying current on trends is integral to an interior designer and it is always so interesting to me to… Read more
Since January, I have been focusing on lighting to “brighten things up” since the world’s news had been so gloomy. My first post on lighting, “Let’s talk about lighting,” discussed the importance of good lighting as a design element and was meant to open your eyes to the possibilities lighting offers aesthetically. My second lighting… Read more
Figuring out the best placement of recessed lighting is the trickiest part of developing a lighting plan. I take professional development lighting classes every opportunity I get because there is so much to know, and products are continuously advancing. It can get quite complicated with math formulas to figure out lumens needed, the rooms reflectance… Read more
Did you know that lighting can affect your mood? Studies have shown that lighting is not solely a visual component. It also has biological and psychological effects that can impact our well-being. With that said, let’s discuss the basics. Ambient, task, and accent lighting are terms you should know. Why? Simply put, you should have… Read more
Tricks to select the correct size chandelier In last week’s blog, “Let’s talk about lighting,” I promised more mini-posts covering this all-important topic expressing it was my attempt at lighting up your life. Today I am focussing on chandelier size because this is an area where I see many design blunders. Over the years, I… Read more
All the news is dark and gloomy these days, so I think it is a great time to talk about lighting. This post is the first of a series of mini-posts about lighting, my literal attempt to light up your life. Have you been to a lighting galley recently or even just browsed online? If… Read more