White paint is the go to shade that many designers pick for their interiors. White decorating doesn’t have to have the stark and one dimensional appearance many people imagine in their minds. Decorating around the white tones often includes colors of beige, gray, brown and black. These serene shades can bring out the best in your antiques and furniture while giving your home a feeling of serenity and peace. White is a classic choice, and we show you one fool proof trick to pulling off a sensational room decorated around these colors.
Cool or Warm? Which One Is Your Shade?
Knowing the difference between a warm color and a cool color can help you determine the direction of your home when decorating around white. White isn’t simply one color, but hundreds of shades in each color family. Red, blue and green all have their shades of white, giving you endless selections to choose from.
The first starting point is to determine which color family you are most attracted to. White can be warm, soft and romantic, while cool whites can present a clean appearance. Cool tones also give rooms a larger appearance, while warm can give the feeling of intimacy. Colors with hues of red, yellow and green tend to appear warm, while cooler greens, and shades of blue and violet tend to fall into the cooler category.
One misconception about decorating around the cool colors, is that your home can appear to be colder and brisk in the winter, which is actually not the case. My home is decorated in the cool tones, and appears and feels just as warm as my basement which is decorated in the warm creamy shades of white.
Expert Tips From Seattle Staged To Sell
–“This room needs to be painted in white since it is small and I want to make it look bigger.” This is another myth and it doesn’t hold true all the time. Some of the smaller rooms look more inviting and energized with the help of some BOLD color like this powder room that belonged to a house that we staged for one of our clients.
–White is the best color when it comes to selling homes.” Again, this is a myth. Warm neutral colors are the best choices for homes for sale and not all neutrals are white.
–“I hate white! It’s boring and makes the rooms feel cold.” Not all white colors are created equally. I think the generic contractor white is to blame for this misunderstanding. There are so many beautiful shades of white to choose from and it works well in any style of home. Many different elements like wood, texture, and accessories can be brought into an all white room to make it inviting and cozy.
Expert Tips From Elle Decor
– Leatrice Eiseman, a color consultant and director of the Pantone Color Institute, cautions against mixing the two color tones (warm and cool) in the same room. “The warmer white will start to look dingy,” she says. To distinguish them, compare paint chips under natural light; the underlying colors will be apparent. When combining several shades of white in a single room, it’s best to vary textures and sheens, so light is reflected differently throughout the room.
-White can expand a space says designer Darryl Carter who is known for creating pale rooms in which furniture stands out almost like sculpture. He finds using white on all surfaces, even floors, can be effective. “With so much white around you, you’re not so conscious of walls and boundaries. A room that might otherwise seem small feels a lot bigger and more modern,” he says.
-Don’t confine white to the walls says designer Ron Leal and his partner, Joseph Montebello, are advocates of white-painted floors. They don’t seem like too much of one color, Montebello says, since a single can of paint can produce countless shades of white, depending on how light hits the paint throughout the day. And all it takes to keep the painted white floors clean, they point out, is a quick mopping with some Murphy’s Oil Soap.
“When using colors other than white, I gravitate toward chalky shades of pale,” says Washington, D.C., designer Darryl Carter. “Gray is a challenging color, as it so strongly informs the mood of a space. When I think of gray, I am visualizing the more neutral, cement tones.” -Darryl Carter
Renowned colorist, Jamie Drake suggests “Benjamin Moore’s Mayonnaise is the perfect neutral,” he states. Other whites can look crisp and cold, but this hue’s creamy yellow base makes it truly versatile. For layered complexity, weave together several tones—from the walls and furniture to the lampshades, pillows, and accessories.
Sarah Richardson, host of HGTV’s Sarah’s House, paints the ceiling of rooms to create depth. “It works especially well if you have a sizable crown molding that can be painted in pure white to create a clear definition between the colors on the walls and ceiling,” she says. As for her shades of choice, “it varies, but I tend to stay away from super-saturated hues in favor of ones like this pale lavender that look a bit faded.”