“I love the look of white walls, it’s so clean and bright but everyone keeps telling me that my home will look sterile and cold if I paint my walls white. Any advise or suggestions?”
Paint can really transform a room – it can make it bright and bold, dark and sultry or light and airy….we love what paint can do for a room. sometimes picking the right colour can be a BIG challenge. The under tones of paint can really shine through depending on the light, time of day, and surrounding finishes.
So we never recommend falling in love with a paint colour in a store – you really need to see it in the space and over the course of a day. We are huge fans of testing out swatches on a wall and not just looking at a small chip. Some paint companies do offer large (like 8×11) chips that you can tape to the wall – this is a great option to explore! Use the small chips to narrow down your choices but get the samples or large hips to really see what the colour will look like.
When it comes to white – the choices are plentiful! You have warm whites, cool whites, blue whites, pink whites, grey whites etc…..Every white looks different in every space. All white walls is a very clean look. It can look sterile if you aren’t careful.
Here are points to consider when it comes to painting your walls white:
1. Consider the natural light source.
Before painting a room white, identify its orientation. Rooms that face away from the noonday sun receive gray-blue light, which is great for a summer bedroom, a gym or a studio where you want constancy. A clear white paint will optimize the light of these spaces while keeping things cool.
The same white color, though, would not work in a north-facing family room in a cool, snowy climate. White’s visual relationship to the snow and ice outside the windows would be visually chilling. Instead, try tinting
your white with red, yellow or orange or selecting a color from Benjamin Moore’s Off-White Collection for rooms where you plan to eat, socialize and linger.
2. What’s outside affects what’s inside.
Rooms with a view of the ocean can be spectacular. For a summer residence, white walls can enhance the benefits of living by the sea, opening the house up and bringing the cool water view closer.
If you have already decided to paint your walls white and your home has a breathtaking view, consider painting the trim to match. Eliminating the delineation between the walls and woodwork with white paint will allow the landscape to remain frameless, expanding the view’s presence in your home. This strategy (painting both walls and trim the same), used to drop out the architecture obstructing the view, can be used with any color, but it is most effective with white because of its reflectivity.
3. Reconsider the gallery look.
There’s a reason galleries paint their walls and trim the same bright, white paint color. It drops out the architectural details and focuses attention on the artwork. The same method works for homes, too.
Remember white does show off imperfections – scuffs, nail pops and more…so be prepared for regular maintenance. This is not the best option for families with young children and the pure and crisp colour is not very forgiving.
4. Pay attention to history.
White is classic, formal, refined and restrained in style. For your Greek revival or federal interiors, white will be expected on trim and on walls in the kitchen and third-floor bedrooms. Make the mistake of painting everything white, and your home will look like a builder’s “flip.”
5. Use white to expand spaces.
Rooms painted white appear larger due to the amplification of light. Shadows and edges also diminish in white spaces. When creating a palette for your home, try to keep in mind that cool white drops back in space and can be used to enlarge and open your smaller spaces.
We recommend making selections that you love – you should be surrounded by the looks and styles that you love. To keep white walls from looking sterile we suggest: keeping some art, wall decor or photos on the walls – they will pop off the walls. Stick with a white that has a satin or semi-gloss finish so you have a reflective finish (a flat or eggshell finish in white never looks rich). Take the time to pick the right white. We also love to mix white walls with texture – so look at floors, window dressings, plants, decor accessories even fireplace mantles to add some texture and character in the space.
White walls is a great look and perfect for anyone with a great view, great art pieces and lots of texture in their space.
White is so clean and crisp and we love how the shades vary. There’s a white tone for every home and every style!