Which White is Right?

FullSizeRenderI went to the store to buy white paint.  This was a much more complex errand than I imagined, because there are actually many shades of “white”.  Turns out the subtle undertone in the white is very important for how the room will look.

White Paints5
Image from Studio McGee
  • Blue undertones will look bright white but may come across as harsh and icy.  Choose them for areas that get lots of sunlight, or for eye-popping trim.
  • Gray undertones are neutral, just be sure there is enough color elsewhere so it doesn’t feel dingy and drab.
  • Yellow undertones are good for counteracting the cool lighting from north-facing windows and are perfect for a relaxed country feel.
  • Red undertones provide lots of warmth and coordinate with dark woods.

Getting White Right.  Most off-white paint swatches will look plain white until you hold them up to something that’s truly white (like printer paper).  Then you’ll see the undertone.  As pictured above, we used a cream color for the back wall.  It reminds me of french vanilla!  Our ceiling is “White Dove” by Benjamin Moore.  It’s a versatile white with a slight yellow-gray undertone for warmth.

The exterior trim snow house 2is close to a “true” white with a hint of gray.  It works great with the black siding to create a bold contrast.  Bright whites shine in monochromatic color schemes; if we used a yellowish white, it would look dingy and dull against the black.

In other news, we got some new toys! (I mean, tools).  The brad nailer is the perfect size for Jana and it came in handy for attaching our delicate cherry planks to the walls.FullSizeRender-1









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