Getting white right
White walls can bring out the best in you home decor, but choosing the right mix for your dwelling can be tricky. JULIET LOVE has some tips to help make it a little easier
WHITE walls are a timeless and popular choice in decorating as they provide a blank canvas for endless styling possibilities.
Arguably the hardest shade to choose for your home, white walls take planning and consideration to get spot on. Even the professionals struggle with white every now and again, as varying light conditions in differing interior environments make an enormous difference to the end look.
Standing in front of a paint chart with hundreds of white shades doesn’t help. Whites range from cool hues, usually with blue or grey undertones, to warm whites, with creamy yellow undertones. But how do you know what to use where?
You need to start by assessing the orientation of your room. If it receives lots of natural light, you’re going to want to choose a mid-range white, and have the option of using a cool white as the sun will throw yellow onto the walls to balance things out. If your room doesn’t receive much natural light, you’ll want to avoid those cool tones, and go for a warmer white with yellow, brown or red undertones. This will add the warmth you need to make your room inviting and cosy, rather than cold and sterile. If you chose a warm white in a room with lots of warm light, the walls would look too yellow. If you chose a cool white, in a room with little natural light, the room would seem frosty.
You should also consider your furniture when choosing your white. If your furniture is mostly timber, a warm white will work best. If you have more industrial style furniture with metal accents, then a mid-white or cooler white will work best.
Currently, creamy whites are out, and more natural whites with a balance of both warm and cool tones are in.
I recommend you select three to five favourites and paint them onto a large piece of cardboard. If you use a large enough piece (at least 1m x 1m, but the bigger the better) you’ll get a good idea of what the paint will look like. You can then move that piece of card around the room and view it in fluctuating light conditions, rather than having to paint directly onto the wall. If you are having trouble deciding, a good tip is to hold a separate piece of plain white A4 sized paper up against the colours you are choosing between to help make the undertones obvious.
Painting trims & doors in a gloss or high gloss white enamel paint will create interest in your room and highlight architectural features. Usually a crisp, vivid white is best for this application.