Contrary to the preferences of many interior designers, we have noticed a tremendous resurgence in client demand for white homes, or at least towards more white décor. After conducting nearly a year of research when preparing to write our second book Life In Color (Chronicle, 2008), we have been called upon for many projects relating to color and how it makes one feel.
It can be argued that white is technically not a color, but depending on which color theory you follow, if you believe that color is light, then white truly is a color. Under this same theory, black would not be, as it’s the absence of light. We believe that as the world has become more and more instant and let’s face it, more hectic, white is in demand because it has a calming effect on the senses and provides us with the most light and thus, the most happiness.
If you are feeling that you might be in need of a white room or even an entire white home, ahead you’ll find tips for finding the right white along with a few great examples of how we like to see white used in home décor.
1. Choose the Right White
We love Benjamin Moore’s whites better than any other brand of paint. For a slightly warm creamy white, try White Dove (OC-17). For a very warm white try Linen White, for slightly warm and bright go for Chantilly Lace. Many designers have different white paints mixed to create their dream color. For example, if you do half Linen White with half Decorator’s White, you will get a very bright white with a tinge of warmth. For a cool white, we like Decorator’s White or Bright White, or a mix of the two.
2. Test the Color in Your Room
Every home and even every room has different light patterns and color is essentially light. Just because you like a color at the store doesn’t mean you will like it in your home. Try at least three small quarts before you make your choice. Paint a 12-16 inch section of at least two of the walls in the room and see how it looks at night, during the day, when it’s sunny, and when it’s cloudy. This way you’ll be more fully equipped to make the right decision.
3. Beauty is in the Finish
I prefer the look of flat or matte paint, but it’s not easy to keep clean and cannot be used in kitchens, bathrooms or hallways. If you want to be a bit more cautious go with an eggshell, it’s still mostly flat but a little easier to clean. The third option is a satin finish but you will find it has more shine and tends to highlight any imperfections you may have on your walls.
In kitchens and bathrooms or other high traffic areas, we recommend a satin finish. On doors and trim that are not perfect to begin with, go with a semi gloss. If trim and doors are new, we adore the look of a glossy finish.