Monday, March 25, 2013

50 shades of white

We just finished painting the girl's room in our latest kidsroom project.  Four people, two days, six hours each day was the manpower it took to take this large room from lilac, green and yellow to a soothing all white (with a few surprise pops of color hidden in special places).  A newly painted white ceiling can be such a thing of beauty.

And fresh white walls can be so soothing.

But they are controversial, too.  Some say it's boring and thoughtless.  Some thing it's too clinical.  I say white, when done right, is a beautiful thing.  Hence why galleries use it to showcase their treasures.  But finding the right white can be such a headache.

[Speaking of headaches, quick diet update:  We are six days in on our liquid diet and there were quite a few times over the weekend when doing labor that I had to sit from the dizziness and lightheadedness.  Not to worry, we are under the strict supervision of doctors and following the program to a tee, but 800 calories a day is no joke.  And for the first week, while we shock our bodies into lower caloric intake, I felt as though I was operating at a higher altitude.  While we will be exercising in the future, their instructions not to burn too many calories in the first week proved to be sage. We can't wait to go to weigh-in on Tuesday to see what the first week yields.]

I read the most helpful quote a while back by the editor-in-chief of Southern Living, Lindsay Bierman, who said "When you just want a room to be "warm white, meaning not too yellow or too peachy or too anything else, then go with Benjamin Moore Ivory White. Don't overthink this—I've already done enough agonizing for everyone and can say for sure that it works pretty much anywhere..."

Brilliant, really.

Looks so fresh in these photos below:

My personal favorite white that I've used throughout my own home is Benjamin Moore's Dove Wing.  

It has the perfect hint of grey and isn't too cool or too warm.  It's on my bedroom walls, here:

[photo by Dancer Burns]

Dove Wing featured in Domino Home years ago:

In this particular project we are working on, we are using pops of an orchid color so it was imperative that our white was warm so as to avoid bringing the fuchsia to the purple side of the scale. We also needed it to be warm to counteract the purple in the closets.  If it was too cool, it would look much more blue than it does.  So we went with White Dove by Benjamin Moore.  It looks super crisp with white (BM Blanco) trim and a white ceiling!  Here's an iPhone pic:

The closet doors are painted with the trim paint, but if you look to the left, you'll see that the wall color is warmer than the trim.  I loved it, in all different lights! But I believe I feel about White Dove how Lindsay Bierman feels about Ivory White.

Here's White Dove in some other rooms:

[posed as a warm neutral white here]

I've also heard that Decorator's White (BM) is a great cool white.  I tend to stay away from cool whites, because I decorate with so much blue and green and it can get a bit too sterile.

As seen here:



Paint colors can be a thing of mystery.  I find that I'm especially anal about undertones and what the colors pick up based on colors near it.  Other people don't tend to over-think it too much.  And that's why a quick correction to a wall color can do wonders for the direction of a space.

What's your favorite white?  Do you tend to veer towards warm or cool whites?


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  1. I love love love white walls! Warm or cool. I tend to like a bit of a warm greige but nothing too peaches or cream.

  2. I am loving all shades of white. I can't wait to paint the rest of my home with it.

  3. There is just nothing more beautiful than white walls. It just showcases everything better!
    Please be careful with that diet! Keep us posted.
    Happy Monday.

  4. btw, I just basically pinned this entire post!

  5. I hate to say but I am not a fan of white walls. I think it is because I've always seen people (in real life not blogland) with unimaginative homes use it in place of color, kind of as a cop out or they just don't care what their house looks like.

  6. White Dove is what I used in my girls room too! I couldn't help but sing 'White Winged Dove' the whole time. :)

  7. Totally pinning this for future use! So helpful. Thanks!!

  8. Oh the fuschia closet looks so pretty!! I like a bit of both warm and cool whites. I always love the trim to have a bit of contrast to the wall color. I used White Dove in my house on all the trim and it's creamy but not too much so. Decorator's White is also great for trim - crisp and clean.

  9. I don't but based on what you have here, I'm loving dove wing. Great tips for an update I'll be working on this summer. Yup White walls, for my kitchen. BTW, is there any white paints that are best for certain rooms? just curious. Thanks!

  10. There is nothing like a well decorated white room! I love that you found so many examples of rooms in these shades of white!

  11. so hard to believe there are so many shades of every color. when I match, I always pay attention to the colors that are used to create it...that lets you be able to tell which way the color will go

  12. I'm a very new member of the white walls club. In fact, I plan to post about why I went white in the next few weeks. I went with Ben Moore's Moonlight White. It's warm but not yellow. I love it! I have used White Dove over and over again on trim too!

  13. I love white and how you can pair it with pretty much anything.

  14. I believe the photo where you captioned "looks a bit more grey here" is actually BM Titanium and not White Dove...thats why it looks gray.

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