There’s no one size fits all for paint- so many variables come into play. What are your existing hard and soft furnishings? Do you have warm or cool undertones in your space? How much natural light does the room get? And if you want to get really technical, which DIRECTION does the light come from?
On top of that, major retailers sell over 3500+ paint colours and Benjamin Moore offers 140 variations of white alone. Have I scared you yet? Well, there are a few very basic rules you can follow to start you off on your journey.
- Consider LRV. LRV means “light reflectance value”. In plain English this is a scale of 0 to 100 which 0 being the blackest black and 100 being the whitest white. The closer a colour is to 100, the lighter it is going to appear on your walls.
- Paint your trim & ceiling the same colour. There’s no need to choose different whites for your trim and your ceiling- just different sheens. Go with flat on the ceiling and semi-gloss on the trim.
- Compare, compare, compare. Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace is the closest you are going to get to a “true white”. If you are considering a neutral, hold it up to Chantilly Lace and it will help bring out the true undertones of the colour. Something might look white when its next to your brown sofa, but when held up to a Chantilly Lace all the pesky yellow undertones jump out. Better yet, buy some small paint cans and actually sample it on your walls!
- A few designers favourites. Consider Benjamin Moore’s Oxford White for a crisp modern white. Lean into Benjamin Moore’s White Dove for a soft & inviting off-white. And looking for a neutral? Check out Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray, (warm gray that is so light it almost looks white) Ballet White (a light earthy tone that’s beautiful in low-light rooms) and Pale Oak (a go-to taupe that chameleons to just about any space).
As an interior stylist, paint is one of my favourite things to choose for a space. It can set a mood, make a statement or help create the perfect backdrop for everything else. Plus, when talking in terms of designing a room, it is relatively inexpensive! So remember- when in doubt, just give us a call.