Introducing white to your interior walls creates an immediate ambience of sophistication, freshness and timeless style. However, as any former home renovator knows, the choices of shades of white are endless and to make matters more complicated, often the shade of white selected can appear to look different when painted on the wall itself.
For guidance on nailing the white wall, we chatted to Henley Design’s Colour and Design Consultant Heidi Schwieters on how to select the right shade for your home.
Keep it cool
Cool whites, which are perfect for more contemporary and open plan settings, have a hint of grey, blue, blue-pink, green or even black undertones.
“When neutralising bright light, cool whites can work extremely well in rooms that have big windows and receive a lot of sun coming through,” says Heidi. “Timber and concrete floors are well suited to cool whites and can create the feeling of more energy within the room.”
Consider: Dulux Vivid White TM, Dulux White on White, Dulux Lexicon Quarter and Dulux Lexicon.
With yellow, brown or red undertones, warm whites are used to inject a cosy feel in a room and complement furniture and fixtures which have warmer hues including timbers.
“Warm whites tend to suit more traditional homes and are perfect for smaller rooms with less natural light such as bedrooms,” says Heidi. “Avoid cooler whites in these smaller rooms as it tends to make the room feel a little cold.”
Consider: Dulux Natural White, Dulux Snowy Mountains, Dulux Whisper White and Dulux Grand Piano Quarter.
Getting the lowdown on the undertone
The undertone is the subtle colour appearing through the main mass colour. It can often be quite distinguishable, however in whites, the undertone is often subtle. Sometimes until it is paired with other colours or in certain lighting, it is not apparent.
The undertone is how we separate cool or warm colour tones and is the secret to creating an effective and harmonious colour scheme. Comparing whites with other whites is the easiest way to distinguish undertones.
Test out a patch
Heidi’s top tip for determining your preference of cool white or warm whites is to trial a test patch on a decent part of the wall or to paint a narrowed down selection of chosen paint colours on a piece of board to compare whites. Give it time to dry well before you decide and ensure you have done two good coats. You will find the shade of white appears to change depending on the time of day, the amount of natural light coming in and with surrounding colour such as floors, furniture and accessories.
The expert team at Henley Design can guide you through the array of white hues on offer for your interior walls. Head on over to the Henley Design page for more inspiration and to make an appointment with the Henley Design interior experts.
I consulted a professional and was told to not use the white wall paint and white floors tiles I had my heart set on. Despite her disapproval I went ahead and frankly it is gorgeous. Even my designer was surprised. Go with you gut, it’s just paint.