Not All Whites Are White

16 May 2016

You’ve finally decided on a clean white backdrop for your interior design, only to be faced with hundreds of options, ranging from stark whites to creamy beiges. How do you determine which white is right for you?

Paal’s colour consultant Narelle Jarman says it comes down to what you’re trying to achieve.

“Whites range from the stark base-coat white to more beige or grey depending on the undertones of yellow, blue or grey,” she says. “That’s why whites are often described as warmer or cooler whites.”

The Whole Picture

When choosing whites, consider the space as a whole.

“Light plays a huge factor in how a white will appear and feel in your home. In a dark hallway, you’ll want a warmer white, otherwise you’re going to create a cold, sterile environment.”

Other elements such as flooring should be considered, for example the fact that timber floorboards can add warmth to a cooler white option.

“Look at the room overall. It’s like a puzzle, and the pieces fit together to give you the look and feel you’re after,” she says.

Try It Out

If you’re unsure of a tone, Narelle recommends painting it on a piece of cardboard.

“I wouldn’t do it on the wall because it builds a layer of paint and when the light hits the wall, you can sometimes see a fine outline. I suggest moving the cardboard from room to room, looking at it in different lights from morning to evening.”

Ceiling Whites

Traditionally ceilings have always been painted in a stark white. However this has become less popular.

“We’ve really gone away from that in the last few years,” says Narelle. “The trend now is to tint the ceiling colour. This mellows it down a little bit and creates a more harmonious feel.”

Finding A Style

The style of your house can also affect your choice. Cooler whites may suit more contemporary homes, while rich creamier whites offer a more traditional finish. However, what you have outdoors doesn’t necessarily have to continue inside.

“The interior need not reflect the exterior. If you have a traditional exterior, you can still go contemporary inside.”

In the end, it comes down to your preference of paint brand and the availability of product. Narelle’s favourite is Wattyl Astor White, which she uses in all Paal display homes on the ceilings.

“If you would like to carry it to your walls, it will work just as well. There’s a hint of warmth, but it goes with everything. A nice neutral white.”

If you are a Paal buyer, you can contact Narelle for a free colour and design consultation.