SHADES OF WHITE: HOW TO PICK PAINT COLOUR

There are so many shades of white. Even on this white rose the subtleties in colour and tone vary from petal to petal. The responsibility to pick the right colours for all the rooms in our house feels like no small task. So, how do you go about deciding what colours are the best shades for the walls in your home?

There are so many shades of white. Even on this white rose the subtleties in colour and tone vary from petal to petal. Of course how the light hits the colour alters our perception of what we see; more shadow and contrast, or more highlights. The responsibility to pick the right colours for all the rooms in our house feels like no small task. So, how do you go about deciding what colours are the best shades for the walls in your home?

Before living in this house, it’s not something I really thought about. I guess there is something different about owning a property though, especially one that you really want to put roots down in. I have a real desire to create a simple family home, and suddenly details that weren’t so important before now are. Plus, I want to make good choices for us, the building and the environment. I therefore have been reading up on how to select paint colour and have come across some useful tips.

Our simple kitchen so far…

For those of you that have been keeping up with our DIY escapades over on Instagram stories you’ll have seen little snippets of the kitchen. For those that haven’t, it’s a pretty small space, and we have to get quite a bit into the room. Previously there was a lot for the eye to look at, cream coloured walls were accented with peach doors, woodwork and half a wall. I have always fancied the idea of having an unfitted kitchen and this suits this space perfectly. There were already long shelves in the room, and we have kept these as they are great for storage. You can catch up with the first post about our plans for A Simple Kitchen here.

We thought it best to paint everything a nice soft, warm white, including all the wood work (apart from the doors that we had dipped, to take the peach coloured paint off, and are now sanded and have a clear wax on). By using the same colour on the walls and woodwork I’m hoping it will create a clean simple look. Even though we have picked soft shades of white, I think certain tones of white can look a bit clinical and cold and not very inviting, so we are adding lots of texture to the space with wood and some linen fabric to make sure we avoid this. Also, there will be darker accents of wood (on a cupboard and plate rack) which will offer contrast to the white walls too.

Choosing to paint any given room white isn’t opting for the easy choice. The sheer selection of different shades of white can be overwhelming, from New White, to Wimborne White, from Absolute White to White Cotton. In some ways I think it’s even harder, as the differences are more subtle so you have to look more closely to see the distinctions.

Obviously the position of your room, and the sort of light that it receives has a big impact on what the colour will look like in the space, so it’s really important to take your time. Remember to observe the light at different times of the day, the light you get in the space in the morning will be different to the midday light, and different again to the last light of the day.

Here are six tips on how to pick the best shades of white for your room…

  1. Firstly, notice which way your room faces, north, south, east, west.
  2. Take into account how much light floods the room, and the positioning of the windows.
  3. Think about what atmosphere and mood you want the room to have.
  4. See what shades you are naturally drawn to.
  5. Be aware that north facing rooms, generally have less light and tend to feel colder than south facing rooms. Therefore you might want to warm up north facing rooms with warmer shades, and you might want to experiment with the cooler tones in south facing rooms.
  6. Try a tester pot and paint the colour on to an A4 piece of plain paper, that way you can move the piece of paper around the space to see how it looks on different walls, at different times of the day.

Another good tip, if you are trying to make your room feel bigger (as we are), is to paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls, that way the eye dosen’t see where the walls end and the ceiling starts, and the room appears taller.

We are using Valspar paint from B&Q on the walls and on the wood work. The shade we picked was ‘All White’ from Farrow & Ball, which we had colour matched. I have loved using the Valspar paint and found it goes on very easily and the coverage is really even. We still have some woodwork to paint, and the last job will be painting the floor – but more on that later.

I will share a little update on stories today for those that haven’t seen the space so far. Plus, I will keep adding stories as things gets finished. At the end of this week we should have the worktop fitted around the Belfast sink, plus plumbed in taps! Although, I am little reticent to write this, incase something goes wrong. It’s hard to imagine having taps that are fitted properly, as we have lived with gaffer-taped ones for so long. Wish us luck, I am feeling a little anxious about this next stage.

 

This post is in collaboration with B&Q, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the blog posts that make this space possible.