White rooms are always in style. They are the same for your home as a little black dress for your wardrobe. But anyone who tried painting room white knows that it can be tricky. The paint swatches look all the same in the store until you try them on your walls. There are hundreds of white paint tones.
And then there are some confusing names for white paint, like Grand Teton White, Snow on the Mountain or Deep in Thought….
If white rooms are what you crave for simplicity and newness in your life and your home, there is a way to get there with confidence. And it does not necessarily mean grabbing a five-gallon-basic-white.
Here is what you do:
Step 1. Collect up to ten different white tone paint swatches and leave the store.
Step 2. Go home.
Step 3. Look around your room (or rooms).
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you are looking around the room:
- Does it have the architecture that you want to show off?
- Do you want to go contemporary or traditional?
- Do you want to use a mix of historical periods or styles?
- Do you want a romantic retreat?
- Do you want a luxurious, formal buttoned up look?
- How about a futuristic fantasy?
- Is it an old house and you want to make it crispy bright?
- What mood or style do you want?
Then you want to explore what works for white rooms that had success with many people and designers alike.
Many people are concerned as to not make all white room look institutional. But with careful planning and understanding you can create a variety of spaces from futuristic and ultra contemporary to romantic, classic and glamorous.
1. Architectural Clarity
Go for just one paint for a room that has defined and established architectural features. Let architecture take center stage for all white room. Vaulted ceilings, elegant moldings that have roots in history do not require embellishments. Then infuse the space with soulful objects. Paint: Benjamin Moore White Dove OC 17 or Sherwin Williams 7005 Pure White
2. Romantic Retreat
Introduce soft whites and off-whites for a romantic hide-away bedroom with organic bedding. Curves and carvings of the furniture and accessories will add pretty, understated glamor. Paint walls and ceiling the same paint for a small room. Paint: Benjamin Moore Ivory White 925
3. Nostalgic Simplicity
Use several tones of white for a cottage beach bathroom with vintage objects, organic towels and off-white paneled walls. Paint: White Dove OC 17 Benjamin Moore Ivory White 925 or Atrium White
4. Classic and Elegant Mix of Styles
Select crisp white for trim and doors to create an elegant, classic feel and intermix several decorating styles, such as Art Deco and Traditional. To make the room softer, introduce creamy white. In the foyer above, the creamy white wall color allows for mingling of the two decorating styles as it ties them together. Paint: Benjamin Moore Ivory White 925 for the walls and Super White
5. Crisp and Clear Backdrop
Decide on crispy white walls and ceiling to display your colorful possessions and fun objects. Pair them for unity and rhythm. Add flowers and plants to make the space alive. Paint: Sherwin Williams 7005 Pure White
6. Contemporary Glamor
Mix different textures and forms within one or two white colors to create contemporary glamour look. Tactile qualities of the room elements will contribute to luxurious and comfortable feel of the room. Paint: Benjamin More Simply White 2143-70
7. Intersection of Styles
Select pure white for the walls and then emphasize the intersection of elements. Show off their co-existence within one architectural plane. Don’t be afraid to use different elements, such as organic, natural elements with glossy reflective surfaces. Use black for visual focus. Paint: Porter Paints 7153-1 Cloud White
Now think about accessories. Remember the little black dress? You need just as much black in accents as white jewelry for a black dress. Also, shape matters. If you are small framed you might choose a tighter dress with not so many accessories. On the contrary, if you are larger, go more free form with your black dress.
The same is true for your interiors, just in reverse. Think about your room shape first. For a larger room you need more accessories and black accents. For a smaller room try not to overdo with too many embellishments.
Have fun painting and don’t forget to share with us in your comments!