Screen-Shot-2013-12-29-at-11.53.16-AMSuggesting that someone paint a room white is like telling someone going to the Oscars to wear a dress. It doens’t acknowledge the multitude of options. Anyone who has ever tried to buy white paint knows that it can be more than a little overwhelming. Here are a few thoughts on how to narrow the daunting task down.

DSC01952What is comforting is that if you look for information from decor blogs, decorators and magazines, there are a few whites that constantly make the list, so you can use this to narrow down the choices. In terms of brands, I use Benjamin Moore. It is a great paint, and every painter I’ve ever used asks for it. Unless you are wanting to upgrade to Farrow & Ball or Donald Kaufman, where the cost almost doubles (though admittedly the paint is truly richer due to how it’s made) I say Benjamin Moore is your best bet, so that’s whose colors I am talking about here.

DECORATOR’S WHITE is one of my favorite whites. It’s crisp and sleek and a little cool (due to the slight silvery-blue undertone). Although, on a funny side note: This was my color choice for a high-rise apartment with killer views I was working on as I assumed it would give the clean chic look I was going for, but putting a sample up on the wall quickly proved a poor match. The lighting just made this sleek white look too harsh.  Painting swatches of the color around the room before you pick your color is highly recommended.

I feel similarly about PURE WHITE, which is great and clean and is, as the name suggests, as void of nuance as you can get with a white. But it is a stark color, and works best with a stark environment.

SNOW WHITE (top)is a big one on decorator’s lists, but I prefer WINTER SNOW (bottom). There is a warmth to it, and while it is still crisp enough to use when you want a bright white, the warmth of the hue is very appealing.

WHITE DOVE. Okay, so this has been such a popular white for so long, it has fallen off some lists, but I sill swear by it. It is a bit deceiving at first as it reads extremely yellowy beige in the can (just look at it against the white background here). But every time I’ve used it-EVERY TIME- it dries to the most beautiful, warm white possible. Its result is like a room being lit by candles.

Although I am often determined to use a more “fashion forward” white like Decorators White, this is what I fall back on every time, as it gives such a sophisticated and welcoming feel. The gut reno I did (the pic above) was done with White Dove throughout, the apartment I’m doing now, which is going to have a stylish, but cozy and classic vibe will be trimmed out in White Dove, and I just redid our bedroom in it.  I really can’t recommend this white enough.

Anyone have a go-to white they’d like to share? Xo.

Bedroom photo: DecorPad

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