Choosing the Right Shade of White
Choosing the right shade of white for your home interiors can be a challenging task. While white is a classic and timeless colour and it might seem like white is white, if you’ve tried selecting the perfect shade for your home you know there are many different shades to choose from and that each shade can create a different mood and atmosphere in your home. It can be a tough choice. However, I’m here to let you know that the perfect white for your home DOES exist, but it won’t be the one white for all projects. In this article we’ll explore some tips on how to choose the right shade of white for your space.
A Word on Colour Temperature
Before we explore Dig Design’s tips on choosing the right shade of white for your project, a word on colour temperature. You will hear and read a lot of things about cool and warm whites, but what does that mean? Colour temperature in this instance refers to our perception of how the colour feels, as opposed to the measurement of colour temperature (used in lighting) which is the reverse. Of the twelve primary, secondary + tertiary colours of the colour wheel, six are considered warm while six are considered cool.
The warm colours are: yellow and red (primary), orange (secondary), yellow-orange, red-orange and red-violet (tertiary). When we look at these colours, we feel warm and cosy.
The cool colours are: blue (primary), violet and green (secondary), blue-violet, blue-green and yellow-green (tertiary). When we look at these colours, we feel cool and fresh.
Consider the Natural Light
Natural light plays a significant role in the overall appearance of your home’s interiors. The amount of natural light that enters your home can vary depending on the orientation and location of your property. It is important to consider the direction your room faces and the amount of natural light it receives when choosing the right shade of white.
If you have a north facing room with loads of natural light, you may consider choosing a cool white such as Dulux ‘Lexicon’, as it will soften the brightness an abundance of natural light brings.
If you have a south facing room that feels a bit more insular, you might choose a warmer white such as Dulux ‘Snowy Mountains Half’ which will make a space feel calm and inviting.
Railway Crescent, Dulux Vivid White.
Consider the Undertone
Undertones are the underlying colours that are present in a shade of white, for example a yellowish white (warm) or a blueish white (cool) and sometimes you can have a very strong feeling about an undertone. Warm whites typically have yellow or red undertones, like Dulux ‘Whisper White’. Whilst cool whites typically have blue or grey undertones, like Dulux ‘White on White’. It’s important to remember that there are many tints and shades available to choose from in both warm and cool whites, that a warm white doesn’t have to remind of butter on toast!
Agnes Street, Dulux Whisper White.
Consider Your Other Finishes and Colours
The overall palette of finishes and colours in the space have a role to play in choosing the right shade of white for your home. You want to make sure that the shade of white you choose complements and enhances the other finishes in your home rather than clash with them. If you have a lot of warm earthy tones, brown or red timbers, leathers or brass your space will probably be best suited to a warm white. If you have lots of black or blue, polished concrete, stainless steel or stone you it would likely be a cool white that you require. Cool whites also work well with lots of bright colours as the colours tend to neutralise the white.
Consider the Mood You Want to Create
Different shades of white can evoke different emotions and create different atmospheres. If you want to create calm and relaxing spaces, a warm white like Dulux ‘Whisper White’ or Porters Paints ‘Popcorn’ can create peaceful, cosy environments. If you want to create a crisp, fresh and open space, a cool white like Dulux ‘White on White’ or Porters Paints ‘Talc’ can create a sophisticated look.
Consider the Style of Your Home
The style of your home can play a significant role in choosing the right shade of white. Cool whites, like the Dulux ‘Lexicon’ family (full, half and quarter strength) are ideal for contemporary architectural spaces creating crisp and sophisticated interiors. If you have a heritage style home with more insular spaces and less natural light, warm whites will likely be a better choice. Colours like Dulux ‘Natural White’ will create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
Consider the Sheen of Your Paint
The sheen of your paint will affect how it appears on your walls. Sheen refers to the level of reflection from the painted surface. A matte paint will absorb light and appear darker, where a gloss paint will reflect light and appear lighter as a result. Walls are generally painted in low sheen paint.
When specifying white paint at Dig Design we generally like to use the same colour on all surfaces, but different levels of sheen or concentration. So on the walls we will use low sheen paint in Colour A, the trim (skirtings and architraves) also Colour A but in either gloss or semi gloss, and the ceiling half or quarter strength Colour A in a flat finish, although sometimes Ceiling White is a good choice too.
When choosing the right shade of white without input from your designer, or looking to confirm your designer’s choices, we recommend you paint samples patches on your walls at least 50 x 50 centimetres in size. You should paint these in an area to captures different light and view them in morning, noon, afternoon and evening. Make sure you do at least two coats and write the name of the paint underneath (in pencil). If you are painting over some heavy colours or getting distracted by the surrounding colour, try covering it with copy paper.
Verdon Street, Lexicon Half
In summary, choosing the right shade of white for your home interiors involves considering the natural light in your home, the undertones of the white, the other finishes in your home, the mood you are looking to create and the style of your home. Dulux, Taubmans, Porters Paints, amongst others, all offer a range of white shades to suit different preferences and styles. By considering these factors and exploring the available options, you can choose the perfect shade of white for your home.
Keep scrolling for Dig Design’s favourite whites!
Dig Design’s Favourite Whites
There are 100s, in fact probably 1000s, of white you can choose from and this in itself can be a little overwhelming. If you are looking for a head start, here is a short list of some of our favourite whites:
Dulux, Lexicon Half
Dulux, Vivid White
Dulux, Casper White Quarter
Porters Paint, Talc
Taubmans, Crisp White
Dulux, Whisper White
Dulux, Natural White
Dulux, Snowy Mountains Half
Porters Paint, Popcorn
Taubmans, Milk Cloud
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