White is a surprisingly complex color. When you first think of painting a room white, you don’t think there’s much to it. White paint, after all, has to be the most simple wall paint you could invest in. It’s the easiest choice and makes any room easy to decorate as you lean mostly on the contents of the room, rather than the colors of the walls and curtains. But white is actually much less straightforward than you’d initially think. There’s hues in whites and and suggestions of hues in different samplings of whites that can change the entire appearance of a room and make a huge difference in how the room feels and what furniture seems to fit or won’t fit in the room. This can make a huge difference in how comfortable you feel in your own home as well as increasing the house’s value when you try to sell it. The simplicity of white can only be properly enjoyed when you coordinate the hues and make sure to find an appealing balance between the two with the right level of saturation and the right paint sheen and quality. Let’s take a look at how to do this, because as uncomplicated as white seems is actually exactly as complicated as picking out the proper white will be.
The Categories Of Whites
Just like any primary shade of color, there are obviously a whole slew of sub-hues that go under its umbrella of colors. There’s a selection of whites, but for our purpose we’ll categorize them under a couple of main types: creamy white, cool white, warm white, soft white, antique white, gray white, snow white. All of these white tones create a completely different feeling when you’re in the room, and allows for different decor opportunities.
You’d probably see this white paired with embedded overhead lights and accent lights in an uber modern, nearly Star Trek inspired type of room. That doesn’t mean that this white isn’t capable of making a room comforting, it’s just generally speaking much more rigid and has a more defined use than some of the other white hues. You can make this white feel less overbearing and bright with billowy curtains and darker, warmer hues that can make the climate of the room a little more welcoming. It’s a great white if you’re trying to approach an all-white look without adding cracked wood and dubbing the space “antique.” If you’d like, you can add contrast, but if you choose not to, this white will pair well with other white hues and you can create an easy feeling of contemporary styling without too many metal accents.
Cream whites are known for their undeniable warmth. They’re at home in any southern house because of their savory and relaxing range. They pair well with dark colder hues and warm lighter hues and is more prone to needing more of a matching color scheme than other, less choosey whites. As far as color coordinating a variety of colors with a creamy white, we mainly recommend gray. Pale, like dove or steel, colors and even mid-level greys will produce a calming effect. This combination is perfect for kitchen areas and guest bedrooms that don’t have a need to be overly colorful or anything. It’s an exceptionally attractive color combination when paired with spa-like bathrooms and minimalist design options. If you ever feel like you’re missing a pop of color in the room, you can always try a spot of a warmer bolder color with the furniture. Essentially, pairing it with natural hues will create a down to earth, easy going feeling in the room which is perfect for a kitchen or bathroom area. While it may seem contradictory, these color combinations won’t always go well in a living room as living rooms tend to lack any visually interesting natural components in the room and therefore need something like a unique couch or beautiful shelving to balance it out, so a warm white might make the room feel boring instead of welcoming.
While super in style, these can actually be pretty hard to balance. They’re actually perfect in traditional spaces or areas that have hints of older architecture in them. For example, if you have gorgeous crown molding in the entryway, it might be good to paint that a shiny satin finished color and offset it with a warming antique white that ties the look together with finesse. Many describe this color as being closer to a “Vanilla” as it’s a delicious color and pairs well with other subdued colors that look closer to neutrals themselves as well as it does with darker, warm colors like rich browns and savory looking blacks. Dining rooms, bedrooms and any room with a piece of yesteryear architecture could really benefit from a beautiful antique white look.
Soft whites are the kind of white hues that don’t burn your eyes when you’re entering a room. They’re clean and precise, but they’re not obnoxious. In fact, they pair perfectly with contrasting colors that can create more visual interest and leave plenty of room for creating a vibe that’s all your own with accessories. You can lighten up on the contrast of white and a darker color with the softer shade and tone down something that could be a bit overwhelming to the eye at first. Any color you feature within this color scheme will totally pop and adds a beautiful look to any room. It keeps it simple and make architectural accents look even more impressive because of the delicate shade of white highlights them without masking them in pure white light.
Ivory keeps everything from looks wintery and chilly. It’s still a beautiful shade of white, but it incorporates light undertones of pinks and yellows that make it look more like a sunset tinted cloud than a bank of stark white snow. It’s perfect for painting a room white without leeching all of the color from the room.
It’s the total opposite of ivory white because it’s glossy and totally pure in it’s coloring and brings to mind simple white dresses and clean white counters rather than the warmth of an Italian villa or British kitchen. Use snow whites to create harmonious looks on accents around the house without making it too overpowering.
Reach out to us for a free color consultation and quote for your home in Lexington. We’re here to help you find the perfect coloring options using the pallets and picture examples that you like so well. Reach out to us to start your home renovation process today.