6 Beautiful Whites that Cover all the Bases

  |  October 6, 2015

Amy Krane Color – All White

White is like any paint color. There is no best one. It’s all about context and your design goals. What is it best for?

White is considered the ultimate neutral. Predominantly without hue, some think that makes it easy to choose. It’s not. Neutral whites without pronounced undertones are few and not necessarily the best choice for every application.

What do you want your white to do? Brighten and lighten? Its success is based on how much natural light is in the room. White walls in an area with no natural light can look dingy. It’s not the best color choice. But as a neutral backdrop for your color-filled artwork, furniture and textiles? Sure, what colors are they? Add contrast to a room? How saturated are the other colors? See what I mean?

The answers to these questions will help guide which white to choose. And of course the same white will look totally different in a different room. The white above is Farrow & Ball’s, All White. This is a very pure, neutral white which doesn’t appear to skew warm or cool. This type of white is often chosen for modern environments but doesn’t have to be. Because the room above has a pink-lilac ceiling, a very clear, neutral white was the best choice as the ceiling color reflects all over the walls. As the designer, I didn’t want to muddy the effect of the lilac with visible undertones in the wall color.


Amy Krane Color – All White

The same All White is used in this room. Note all of the honey colored woods and golden tones. Their overall feeling is very warm. The easy solution would be a white with yellow undertones but the home owner prized the neutrality of All White. His home utilizes passive solar and the room has a wall of windows facing south. This helps heat the room all season round so the lack of warmth in the white has cooling effects in the summer.

Most of the popular whites do have warm undertones. To the degree these yellow or red undertones are visible influences whether the take-away is ivory, off white or white. One of the most popular is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. It has long eclipsed other choices as a go-to for trim and wall color when a slightly warm white is called for.


Cary Bernstein Architecture – White Dove

Though not as neutral as All White, Benjamin Moore’s Simply White is a lovely white whose warmth is barely noticeable at all. It feels almost neutral.


Tom Newman Architect- Simply White

When a slightly more creamy white is called for there are a host of great choices. One special choice is C2’s  America’s Cup.


Peter Cohen – America’s Cup

If your space requires a cooler white try White Heron from Benjamin Moore. It mixes with black, blue, green and cool grey really well.


Jared Medley Design – White Heron

Another choice which is solidly neutral is Sherwin Williams’ Extra White. It has a clear, icy feel.


Rethink Design Studio – Extra White

There are many, many more excellent choices but these 6 really stand out.

Check out Amy Krane Color for more great design tips!

About Amy Krane

Amy Krane is an Architectural Color Consultant and founder of Amy Krane Color where she creates customized color plans, advising residential and commercial property owners on paint colors. She is also a Realtor at Anderson Agency Real Estate in Kinderhook, NY. Transplanted from New York City to Columbia County, Amy is trained by the International Association of Color Consultant/Designers. Her expertise goes well beyond design aesthetics to integrate the science and art of applying color to space. Amy Krane Color services clients nationally with virtual consultations and locally in NYC, Dutchess, Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Litchfield, Berkshire, Rensselaer and Albany Counties.

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