The art of selecting the right white

As each variation of white can have a striking effect on your decor, so it's important you choose the best shade to suit your interior design. Here are four quick tips to help you choose the ideal shade for each room in your home.

Know the mood
There is a fine line between introducing a white into the bedroom that conjures up an atmosphere of rest and relaxation or painting your walls a sterile and bright shade.

Deciding what the room will be used for is perhaps the most important aspect of choosing the right shade of white. Depending on where you are painting, your white needs to reflect the purpose of the area. In bedrooms, for instance, a warmer, creamy hue may be best.

Selecting a white with yellow, brown or red undertones will project a cosy atmosphere and can be complemented with ivory-coloured bedding or contrasted against darker hues. On the other hand, the cooler tones of blue-, grey- and green-based whites are better suited for areas where you and your family will be wide awake and active.

Accessorise well

Whites and off-whites pick up on other elements in the room. If you have lots of greenery out the window, expect your walls to take on a green look. Use a strong blue rug or furniture, and your walls will pick up on that.

Complement the ceiling

If going for a white-based decor, don't forget the ceiling. When your walls are painted in a neutral tone, the ceiling can become an integral part of the overall look and feel of a room.

An off-white used on the ceiling will look much darker than the same colour on a wall because there is less light reflected. Use a half strength of your wall colour on your ceiling for balance. The Resene “The Range Whites & Neutrals” collection has up to six strength variations of Resene’s most popular whites and off-whites so you can easily choose variations of the same colour.

Try, try, try again

It can be tricky to get colouring right the first time. Try a few Resene testpots on a large piece of A2 card leaving a border around the edge and then move from wall to wall at different times of the day and night to see what works best.

View the large A4 swatches of the paint colours at your local ColorShop. Slip a piece of printer paper in between the samples – it will help you to see the underlying tone of each colour.

If you're finding all your choices are clashing with your existing paintwork and it's tricky to imagine going lighter, it can be a good idea to paint one coat of white over the entire surface. This will give you a clean slate so you can choose your new colour without the old colour distracting you.

Here is a link to Resene's most popular whites and neutual colors.

Shannon CorbettComment