Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Right White...



I've had loads of email questions lately asking me about white - specifically how does one go about choosing the 'right white' and why I tend to use Dulux 'White On White' so much - and so I thought I'd answer these questions here, just in case there are more of you out there struggling with choosing the right white for your own home.
I just love using white as a backdrop in a house - particularly if it's a pure and crisp white - one that has very little in the way of undertone (such as yellow/pink/beige). The reason why I go for such a crisp white is that I tend to use a lot of colour in my decorating and as such I love the walls to merely be a backdrop to the space - not another colour. Whites that consist of an undertone can tend to compete for attention.
What I also find in my work is that my clients often live in spaces with a fair amount of natural light and pure whites work well in these environments. If a client's home lacks natural light then I'll choose a warmer white, just to kick a little heat in the space.

These are the aspects that you need to think about when choosing a white for your own home. Ask yourself how much light your space receives in the day and how that light moves from morning to evening. If you receive a lot of light then you could think about a pure white or a cool/blue white - one which tones down the heat. Think also that white can bounce light around the room, and you don't want to spend your days squinting - so if you ask going to use a very bright white then it's a good idea to have a light control system in place - whether it be curtaining, UV blinds or shutters.

The other issue to think about is the choice of colour palette in your decorating/furnishings and remember that the white on the walls will need to blend in perfectly with the colours that you are layering over the top. A pure white tends not to compete in any way - it's a like a neutral third party. However, a white that throws beige/blue/yellow/red will work like another colour in your palette and as such will need to blend in perfectly with the rest of your scheme.

Most importantly of all, sample your whites on the wall in which it is intended - and take your time to muse your reactions to them. Be calm. Enjoy the process. And then, go for it. It's such a fun process after all...


pic from taverne

3 comments:

lily-g said...

Great advice on choosing a white its amazing how different a white can change from room to room.

Jenny said...

Thanks for this - tips like this are invaluable.

Michelle said...

A perfectly timed post as we're in process of painting. Thank you for your thoughttful and practical advice.