Choosing the Right White

Choosing the Right White


Let’s face it, in Australia we tend to paint white or off-white more than any other colour. And why is that? Are we afraid of colour, or do we just love that clean & airy look. Either way, there’s no denying that our palette is wrapped around dove, cloud, stucco & mother of pearl. So with all these choices… how do you pick the right white?

The first thing to think about is the room to be painted. Does this room have much natural light? Is it on the South side of the house? What other colours will be in the room?

Once you answer these questions, you are well on your way to the perfect white.

Whites Sampleswhite frame chips


Think about the room…

Let’s say you have a room that is North facing with loads of natural light & timber floors. This allows you to head in almost any direction you choose. If you want a greyed tone this will look great & warm, but if you want a cream or neutral white, consider that it will look warmer in that space, possibly highlighting the yellow undertones making a cream rather than a white. Being that this room has tonnes of light, you could even go darker for the main wall colour (like the fourth or fifth rows down on the attached colour chart) & have a contrast from a white skirting / trim colour.

bristol white colour card

However, if you had a smaller room on the South side of the house with a shaded window, then any grey tone will look dark & drab, & possibly like a jail cell. For this type of room, a lighter & warmer tone would be ideal to counteract the grey look. You may need to keep your furniture in this room light & minimal as well to help promote light & space.









Make it match!

Another very important aspect to consider is the surrounding finishes. Unfortunately I have seen beautiful off-white homes with the wall colour throwing pink shades, the kitchen cabinetry an off-white yellow tone, the bench top a white with green undertones & stark white splashback tile. At a glance it looks lovely & modern but a second look shows the horror of mismatching your whites. Don’t be afraid to ask your paint store or cabinetmaker of what undertones are in these whites. This might save you a massive & costly mistake! But make sure that you get samples of your colours & place them against your fixed features of the house, like your flooring, bathroom tiles or the curtains or blinds. This way you would have checked to ensure that the colours do blend well together. Of course, if you are still having trouble trying to select the right white, then you can hire a Colour Consultant to come out & take a look, or invite some friends over (just talk about the colours before you grab the wine out!). Just don’t be afraid to ask as whites can be the scariest choice of all, even though most people see them as being safe!


Test a pot for perfection

And finally, once you have chosen a white or two that you like, get a sample pot & paint a section of the wall. This the step that most people miss, but it is the most important of all. The way the paint colours look are determined by many factors such as the lighting, what colours are surrounding it & its vastness. A white may look lovely on a small chip, but over a whole wall it may look imposing, drab, dirty or way too stark. Many times people have said to me that it was the same colour as the paint chip but looks so different on the wall. You need to know what you’re in for, so paint a large section with at least two coats. It is best if you can paint it next to a fixed feature of the house, like the flooring or the kitchen cabinetry, & also in multiple areas. This will show you how the light changes in your home throughout the day & also how the colour will work with the finishes of the home that you aren’t renovating. Your interior walls may look like a patchwork quilt for a few weeks but it is the best way to ensure you are making the right choice!

So whether its Antique White, Platinum or Snow Drift, using the right white paint can give you that ‘white on white’ designer look without the expense of a full makeover.upstairs

Let’s get our whites right!

haymes interior white















Images thanks to:

Bristol Paints Albury

and Mysteree Designs

Get all the information you need with these free Interior Design posts –

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Budget Kitchen Makeover –

Lighting your Home –

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