How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! {Home Decor Ideas}

You lovers of white decor and mostly white interior design want to know the best white paint colors to paint your walls, and today I am providing help to discover that elusive JUST RIGHT WHITE for your home decor! It’s the most frequent interior design question I am asked as a design and home decor blogger famous for BIG LOVE of inspiring white interior design on the web and in my own home“How do I choose the BEST white paint…What is the perfect white paint for my walls?” Lord, have mercy, I have brought home more cans of white paint than you can shake a paint stirring stick at!

French farmhouse bathroom with freestanding tub and walls painted Farrow & Ball Strong White. Vivi et Margot.
Vivi et Margot. Tour this French farmhouse in THIS STORY HERE.Wall paint color: FARROW & BALL Strong White. Trim paint color: FARROW & BALL French Gray.

There are hundreds of whites out there, and the white your friend used for her interiors may look all wrong in your space. Why? Your room’s: lighting, decor plan, furnishings, and geographical location all factor into the equation. Your keen eye and personal opinion come into play as well. But don’t despair. There is definitely a JUST RIGHT WHITE paint color for your walls, and I’m going to tenderly guide you through the process of finding it!

Affiliate links follow and when used may earn me a small commission.

Hello Lovely Studio. Shop my kitchen RIGHT HERE. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

Our search for a perfect white paint color will take into account: (1) my personal experience with flattering, beautiful white paint colors, (2) design wisdom concerning the process of choosing the best white paint color from smart design sites, and (3) guidance from talented designers and serial decorators we have come to trust.

Hello Lovely Studio. Find ideas for French Nordic decorating RIGHT HERE. Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

How to Choose the Best White Paint Color

1. White Paint Color Advice from my Experience.

I have decades of experience as a serial decorator for dozens of homes for myself and others and a trained eye for color as an artist. What I know for sure is the best white paint color for one particular space may be all wrong for another. For example, the light here in Northern Illinois is completely different than the light in the Southwest. So keep in mind you’ll need to narrow your search for the right white paint color to a handful of tones and then try samples of them on the walls.

In my own home which we have completely renovated ourselves, I tested about five white paint color contenders by painting large swaths on the walls and observing how each color changed throughout the day. All of the whites I chose had very subtle undertones, but a clear winner emerged. We painted all the walls Benjamin Moore “White” which imparts: a modern gallery-like feel, coolness with minimal undertones, crispness, and no yellow cast.

Can you believe the simplicity of the name of this white paint? Yes, it’s WHITE! There’s no chance of forgetting this one, and it was the only white I found which worked with the intense yellow natural light flooding our North-South exposure home. We painted ceilings with the same white color and also the trim (in satin). What a world of difference it made!

Romantic French Country bedroom with knotty alder door and shiplap wall #hellolovelystudio #romanticdecor #FrenchCountry
Hello Lovely Studio. My bedroom – Wall paint: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Mirror Paint: BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter
Rustic farmhouse style stool! #rusticdecor #stool #farmhouse
Rustic farmhouse stool: FIND HERE
Hello Lovely Studio's kitchen
Hello Lovely Studio. Paint color on walls: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Decor Inspiration: Ultimate Guide to Pick White Paint Colors.

Listen. There are paint color experts who will say to not look at photos online to choose a paint color and others who will say it’s the only way. Here’s my two cents: Reviewing photos online (where the white paint color used is given) is a great place to start and so much more helpful than a little swatch from the paint store! If you don’t already have a Pinterest board devoted to best whites, create a board and PIN THIS POST so you’ll have paint names at the ready when you head to the store to buy samples to try on your walls.

Here’s an infographic with a few more of my favorite white and neutral paint colors from Benjamin Moore (including Classic Gray which we just used for a new bathroom we added at the fixer upper!):

Ultimate Guide to Best White Paint Colors! #bestwhite #whitepaint #choosingwhite
Hello Lovely Studio. Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand.

In our prior French Country style home, Benjamin Moore “White Sand” was my favorite shade of white paint for walls, and Benjamin Moore “Dove Wing” went on all the doors and trim. Benjamin Moore “White Dove” was used for painting my family piano and some furniture.

Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore for a beautiful #whitepaint color for trim
BENJAMIN MOORE Dove Wing. Decor Ideas: Best White Paint Colors.
Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. I often recommend Benjamin Moore Pale Oak to my clients. It goes perfectly with Benjamin Moore White Dove trim as we can see here. Benjamin Moore Pale Oak #BenjaminMoorePaleOak Kate Abt Design
Walls: BENJAMIN MOORE Pale Oak/Trim: BM White Dove. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Curvy white chaise with sexy modern floor lamp in elegant room with glossy white floor. Bom-chicka-wah-wah!
Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Choose Best White Paint Colors! BENJAMIN MOORE White Dove.

2. White Paint Color Advice from More Experts.

I turned to Country Living to discover the white paint colors Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines tends to favor and use in her projects. Her go-to white? Sherwin Williams Alabaster, which she used on the walls in her own home as well as many of the homes she and Chip renovated on the show.

Shiplap walls in white farmhouse kitchen of #JoannaGaines
Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper farmhouse – wall paint: SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster…How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Joanna's five favorite Fixer Upper paint colors - #paint #bestwhitepaint #whitepaint
SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster: Joanna Gaines’ Favorite White.

For a soothing grey paint color, Joanna likes Wedding Band from Kilz.

Gray walls in Fixer Upper bathroom by #JoannaGaines
Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines Loves this Gray for Spa-like baths: KILZ Wedding Band. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Kilz Wedding Band paint color
KILZ Wedding Band…Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Pick Best White Paint Colors!

Is it any wonder, another white paint favorite of Joanna’s is known as “Shiplap?”

The wall color (not the wood shiplap) is KILZ Shiplap and one of Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines’ favorite wall paint colors
Kilz Shiplap paint
KILZ Shiplap. Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Choose Best White Paint Colors!
View of hall in country cottage with Benjamin Moore White walls and European inspired farmhouse style interiors by Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. How to Choose the Right White Paint Color Every Time! Hello Lovely Studio.

Remodelista‘s thoroughly researched article on choosing the best white paint colors offered this advice:

1. Understand the different nuances of white (is it cool, warm, bluish, pinkish?). 2. Determine if objects in the room are cool (choose a cool white) or warm (choose a warm white). 3. Assess whether the room gets a lot of natural light (go with a pure white) or little light (go with a more pigmented white). 4.Choose a few whites and test large swatches on the walls. 5. If still stuck, turn to interior designers’ top picks.

Based on the number of emails I receive about white paint, I am guessing plenty of home decorators get stuck, so I turned to some of my design pals from Belgium to Buckhead and asked about their favorite white paint colors.

3. Favorite White Paint Colors Used by Designers.

Greet of Belgian Pearls

Farrow and Ball "Pointing"

“It is hard to name a favorite white as using the right color of white is dependent upon the room that has to be painted. Is it a small or a large room? Is there a lot of light coming in or not? Another factor….fabrics to be used in the room for curtains and upholstery. But I often turn to Farrow & Ball Pointing White or White Tie.”

POINTING…Farrow & Ball. This fresh and uncomplicated white is named after the colour of lime pointing used in traditional brickwork. One of our Red Based Neutrals, Pointing has a warm undertone to it which creates the prettiest of spaces when used on walls and always softens the feel of a room alongside strong, traditional colours.

Panelling in Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball and wall in Pointing
Wall paint: FARROW & BALL Pointing. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color.
Farrow and Ball White Tie

WHITE TIE…Farrow & Ball. Our prettiest white is named after the old, pre-brightened, starched cotton used for white tie jackets. One of our Yellow Based Neutrals, White Tie brings a gentle warmth to any room and is deepened with a touch of black pigment. Combine with Matchstick, String and New White for a delicate scheme with reassuringly creamy undertones.

Maiden Home: Custom, handcrafted sofas for a fraction of the showroom price. #whitelivingroom #minimaldecor
Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Best White Paint Colors!

Lauren DeLoach of Lauren Deloach Interiors:

Joanna's five favorite Fixer Upper paint colors - #paint #bestwhitepaint #whitepaint

ALABASTER…Sherwin Williams. Sherwin Williams named this the 2016 Color of the Year. Alabaster creates an atmosphere of ease and contentment for many spaces.


Megan Pflug of Megan Pflug Designs:

 “My favorite “white” wall color is Farrow and ball Ammonite. It is a fantastic changeable color. It looks more like a stone material than a flat wall color. Its a great alternative to a standard white.”
Farrow & Ball Ammonite
AMMONITE…Farrow & Ball. Ammonite is named after the treasured fossils often found on the Dorset coast. It has a fantastically understated quality, and sits effortlessly with our Easy Neutrals. Neither too warm nor too cool, its subtle grey tone creates a hushed and calming feel in homes both old and new. Try pairing with All White to accent its light grey feel.
Sustainable Kitchens - Bright Open Plan Family Kitchen in London. Oak shaker style cabinetry painted in Farrow & Ball Ammonite with built in spice racks on both sides of the Smeg range cooker. The worktop is Bianco Fantasia.
Cabinetry paint: FARROW & BALL Ammonite. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color!
Lisa Furey Interiors. Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.
Trim Color for both bathrooms (including shelving, baseboards, doors and door trim) for both bathrooms Benjamin Moore White Dove - Trim

Is anyone surprised at all that WHITE DOVE still reigns!?!

Sherry Hart of Design Indulgence, Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips and Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home —>WHITE DOVE…Benjamin Moore. Unerring style defines this classic, softly shaded white. Light and luminous, it is a favorite choice for moldings and trim.

Lisa Furey Interiors. Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.
Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Crisp, clean, but not too stark a white. No surprise undertones.
Amy of Maison Decor —-> SIMPLY WHITE…Benjamin Moore. Fresh as the first snowfall, this clean, crisp, multi-purpose white is  a perennial favorite for trim, ceilings, and walls.
Avina End Table
End Table, Wayfair
Knotty alder door in serene white bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio #whitewalls #BenjaminMoore
Hello Lovely Studio. Walls: BENJAMIN MOORE White. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color.

I hope this helps you choose the best white paint color for your interior, and I’d love to hear your pick for your favorite go-to white paint color!

So many white paint colors! Let's find out what's the right white for you. Help for choosing the perfect white paint color for your walls from design experts on Hello Lovely Studio
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Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. February 15, 2018 / 4:59 am

    Hello – my name is Joan and I am a Hello Lovely Studio Pin-aholic. I have no plans to cure this affliction as this post sent me over the edge with white paint and room design inspiration as I create my photographic art for such spaces. Beautifully shared Michele – thank you.

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 9:34 am

      I am thankful for pin-aholics like you, making the world more beautiful, one white backdrop at a time. xox

  2. February 15, 2018 / 6:44 am

    Man….let’s hope this will solve all the problems of the world….well at least one of them:) I will be sharing this so everyone can start living in a “white world”….hee hee!

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 9:33 am

      If the world would just let us be in charge, Sherry…Thanks for playing along and being instrumental in the revolution of right white paints for all!!! xox

  3. February 15, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    This is such a great post — I just had my interiors painted and spent hours choosing just the right white — painting swatches and seeing how they looked throughout the day. Great ideas and recommendations here.

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      Thank you! You are a kindred soul then! Thrilled to have you here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mary
    February 15, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    I read this perfectly timed, gorgeous post the first time at four thirty a.m. I was wide awake, too wired from all of the chocolate eaten during Valentine’s Day. I am getting ready to paint my entire downstairs, and have landed on BM Ivory White. Maybe. Oddly, the front of the house gets a brutal, western, afternoon sun, which can fade fabrics etc, whereas, the back of the house is in deep, eastern shade by afternoon. Any suggestions on the correct white to bridge the gap from front to back where the main rooms are positioned? Natural light is crucial in selecting and I need a high light value in the paint. This is a challenge which is why your post today was a perfect Valentine’s gift! Thank you, Michele.

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      You’re delightful, Mary! I feel your pain since it sounds like you want to choose just one color. Two exposures and one color. Yep. A couple of questions come to mind. Which exposure will take priority? The answer will be influenced by where you will spend the most time or what time of day you will spend in the spaces. I would also ask yourself what part of the color wheel you are drawn to–cooler or warmer? BM Ivory White could read beautifully balanced in the east and perhaps too yellow in the west. If you want to counter the yellowness of the Western exposure, perhaps you’ll want a white without warm undertones. But I get it. You don’t want the color to read too cool in the east. Nothing solves it like big ol’ swaths of the color on different walls before painting everything! Hope this helps. xox

  5. Dawn Michelle Windham
    February 18, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    Hey! Been looking at BM for our house interior. I searched for “White” and found “White OC151” and “White PM-2”. I have yet to find just “white”. Did your white have a number after it?

    • michele
      February 18, 2018 / 11:40 pm

      Hi Dawn! I am out of town but I do think the number may be OC-151. I’ll circle back here if that’s not right. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sue
    February 20, 2018 / 9:24 am

    Great article! Perfect timing for our construction! Is there a “rule of thumb” when you are planning white kitchen cabinets/island and white walls? Should they be the same white or contrasting?

    • michele
      February 20, 2018 / 10:02 pm

      Hi Sue! I’m so glad this helped. I don’t care for rules in kitchen design…do you? Think first about the vibe you want to create in the kitchen with your white cabinets. Any color on the walls will work, but the combination will create a mood. To choose the correct white, as I said in this post, take into consideration the natural light in the room and what part of the color wheel you are drawn to – cool or warm. Try a handful of samples on the wall. I’m in Florida right now doing a kitchen makeover where the modern cabinets are a bone white and we want them to fade into the background so we’re keeping the walls in a similar hue and then bringing some caramel and grey interest to the backsplash. As for countertop choice, you’ll likely want it to be a different color than the floor. When we bought our AZ house, the floor matched the counters, and it was all wrong. I’ll try to create a post on this topic as soon as I can! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. February 28, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Oh dear lord, thank you! I have fought with white for years. So interesting that white is different depending on where in the country you live… i mean i get that the amount of light in the room affects it, but didn’t get that location on earth did! This is the best article about white ever!


    • michele
      March 1, 2018 / 10:43 am

      I’m so glad this helped! We all fight with the right white, and it’s so gratifying when you win a battle. p.s. I am loving seeing your painting on a new wall in my house! Makes me so happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Connie
    March 11, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    I too am currently in the market for the ‘perfect white’ for my LR. The tall vaulted ceiling room opens into the upper level of kitchen, dining and hallway space. (Kind of an unusual ’60’s design. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Anyway…. we have a gorgeous west facing, super large picture window that allows beautiful afternoon light into the room. I’m thinking I’d like a bit warmer white but know if I go with too much yellow undertones, it’ll read yellow in the bright afternoon sunlight. (Not my desire).

    Our former home had wood tone trim and in order for it not to stand out too much, I usually used a yellow-undertoned white. Here, it took me a bit of time to get used to the different light (especially in the LR and master BR both west facing) compared to our former north -facing LR. A much cleaner, brighter white is necessary.

    I’m thinking my perfect color is going to be Valspar White (right out of the can) that we used on walls in the kitchen/dining area and hallway. It has a little of a gray-ish undertone to it making it stand out just slightly from Valspar’s Ultra White 7006-24 that we used on all the trim in the house. Sometime simple is best ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I adore all white rooms! I have off white furniture in my French-inspired LR (several pieces have been painted to look aged–not distressed). Currently there is a pale gray on the walls that can, in bright sunlight, appear nearly white. But I long to have my all white room , and hence the desire to paint over the pale gray done by the former home owners. ๐Ÿ™‚

    To the answer of “Can you actually live in an all white room, especially with kids or pets?” my answer is yes! We have 3 dogs. Slipcovers make clean up easy. And above all, my mantra is “With white, I see the dirt, I clean the dirt.” Sure maybe darker colors will hide dirt, but I’d rather know it needs cleaning than to fool myself into thinking because the dirt isn’t as visible, it’s clean. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    White lovers unite and be happy! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • michele
      March 11, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      My hands are in the air, and I’m shouting HALLELUJAH on this Sunday afternoon as I read your passion for white and your thoughtfulness as you consider color, nuance, light, and mood. Thank you so much for adding to the beauty with your discussion and analysis here — so grateful you are with us, Connie, making a persuasive argument for living with white and loving it! xox

  9. June 8, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    Great piece of information over here.
    I think that color is the phenomenon of light, the amount of natural and artificial light in the room impacts the tone of the walls. A pure white looks best with a lot of natural light.

    • michele
      June 9, 2018 / 12:26 am

      So true! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading.

  10. July 19, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    this is the most beautiful and informative blog ever, thanks for sharing these kind of information with us.

    • michele
      July 19, 2018 / 2:07 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement.

  11. July 25, 2018 / 2:47 am

    thanks for sharing great info for white color lovers like me

  12. Debra Venus Winston
    September 15, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Just in time! I have a Tudor home with lots of OAK flooring and trim. I want to bring in a little light and airy feeling to my dining room. My husband loves the oakโ€ฆ so it stays. The oak on the floor is light the trim is warmer and darker. My chair are ivory and the inset rug is called Rattan, it’s a berber. I’m thinking of something warm. What do you think?

    • michele
      September 15, 2018 / 10:28 pm

      Let me give it some thought, and I’ll circle back here soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • michele
      September 16, 2018 / 7:30 am

      Definitely read through this post to better grasp what factors to keep in mind for choosing a white. My favorite warm white/neutral to use is Benjamin Moore White Sand which we used throughout our prior French country home. If you want something lighter or have limited natural light in the dining room, Benjamin Moore Ballet White may work. Farrow & Ball has gorgeous warm white options, and everyone should own one of their swatch brochures for reference. We used Valspar Salute (a creamy white with green undertones) throughout our vacation home in Arizona – it was beautiful with the strong sunlight there. If you’re after a light white that won’t change much throughout the day in different lighting conditions, Benjamin Moore White Dove is a designer favorite. Hope this helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Liz
    January 12, 2019 / 7:30 pm

    What color did you use for the trim to go with BM White walls??

    • michele
      January 12, 2019 / 9:05 pm

      also BM White in satin. Thanks for reading!

  14. Maureen Forbes
    April 3, 2019 / 8:01 pm

    Hi Michele,
    It was just pure destiny that I read this amazing analysis on white! We are in process of deciding color for our master bedroom- room goes north to south, doesnโ€™t get a lot of natural light- large room, and I want to lighten it up, but not make it look too white, too sterile. My designer has suggested โ€˜Marshmallowโ€™ on walls with trim done with a shade lighter than โ€˜Pavilion Beigeโ€™- the tones of these paints go beautifully with the grass cloth looking wallpaper we have also picked out for one of our walls- do you have any thoughts about this? Any other suggestions?
    Ps- our trim everywhere else in the house is White Dove by BM, and Colonnade Grey by SW- gorgeous with all the light that comes into the rest of our house!
    Thanks so very, very much!!!!
    Peace to YOU, too!:) wherever you are- love that!

    • Michele
      April 3, 2019 / 9:28 pm

      I recommend painting a large sample of the colors up for consideration to see how they make you feel both in the morning and at night. The same white will look different depending on so many factors, and you’ll be able to decide if you like the undertones in the white coming through. The plan sounds so beautiful! So happy that you found me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. April 23, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful information! I have taken a page of notes. I normally lean toward warm colors (we are painting over a yellowish gold parchment color in our kitchen which only has south facing windows. My question is where does walnut stained trim figure in the white selection?
    Thank you in advance for your consideration!

    • Michele
      April 23, 2019 / 10:53 pm

      With the southern exposure and the contrast you’ll have with the wood trim, I would consider greyish whites. I would still pick a handful of contenders, buy sample pots, and try them on the wall next to the trim. I think a stark white can read too cold with certain wood tones. In the bathroom we added in our lower level, we went with a darker flooring, and the light grey we chose for walls (Benjamin Moore Classic Gray) reads as white even though it’s a pale grey. What do you think?

  16. Alisa Kelley
    May 6, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Any ideas for an Arizona white interior? I want to bring out the desert colors as accents on a white background and I am not sure where to start

    • Michele
      May 6, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      Check out Sherwin Williams Greek Villa and Valspar Salute. They are similar, and I used Salute throughout our Arizona home and loved it. It has green undertones, and I love the idea of accenting with greens and blues. You might start with a piece of art or fabric where you love the palette. You could also start with an image of a room that makes you feel relaxed and as if you want to curl up in the picture. Spend lots of time digging in my archives on the blog and get your pinterest boards ready for each room so you can organize your inspiration. Pinning away from Hello Lovely is a smart start, and keep in touch with your questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Ginny Moseley
    May 15, 2019 / 11:46 am

    Hello, I am a big fan and would so appreciate some help !! Iโ€™ve got two large projects coming up . One, trying to choose an interior white paint color for our lake house pairing with sherwin Williams bright white already on all the trim and cabinets in the house . Big windows floor to ceiling in the center of the house , yet all windows framing featuring the lake , but the house still seems a tad dark at times.
    And lastly searching for the perfect white for a beautiful old home built in 1917 . Featuring huge tall accordion design pillars & front porch with brick colored slate style floor . The beautiful trim work surrounding the original tall windows that go to the floor , and stunning staircase that welcomes in the Large foyerto with French doors to the left and right . What color white can I paint the house while letting all the beautiful trim stand out using another coordinating white paint color . It would be such a shame for it to get lost in a all white palet , yet not stand out like a sore thumb !?! This may be TMI , I just donโ€™t know where to begin . I have even considered a pale pink being it will be an Antigua and gift shop . I would love some ideas , if you would Please help ?!?
    Thank you

    • Michele
      May 16, 2019 / 12:58 pm

      It’s wonderful to hear from you, and I love the creative energy you have flowing for these projects. Let me give it some thought and circle back here. I’ll probably email you separately – I love to do color consultations! Best to you in the mean time, and thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Lauren
    June 2, 2019 / 6:29 pm

    Hi Michele. Really enjoy your color insights. Your opinion if you don’t mind. We’re renovating a kitchen in a condo prior to move in so I don’t have the opportunity to be around throughout the day to see the different lighting scenarios. It’s a large, open galley style kitchen bordering a north facing window and also influenced by a west exposure in the living room in front. I veer to the warm side of things so am going with BM Ballet White on the cupboards. What would you suggest on the walls, staying with the lighter neutral motif? Up a shade to BM White Sand? Contrast with one of the tans? Also thinking Cloud White trim, doors and ceiling. Many thanks, in advance.

    • Michele
      June 2, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      Hi Lauren. So happy to offer feedback. I love both BM Ballet White and White Sand. Not sure if you know I used White Sand throughout our entire prior home–it’s a favorite. I would probably gone a little lighter tone on the walls from the cabinets. Would it work to use White Sand on cupboards and Ballet White on walls? Cloud White is a beautiful off white. White Dove is one of my favs for trim. Not sure if you already check out my recent post with warm white paint ideas:

  19. Cheryl Vozzella
    September 17, 2019 / 12:31 pm

    Hello Lauren,
    I am struggling choosing a white for my entire 1st floor. I have cherry kitchen cabinets and dark espresso PB dining room set. I have white oak hardwood floors. My 1st floor is dark and I want to brighten it up with a warm white color without any pink or purple. I have white dove for my trim. Do you think Pale Oak would work?
    Thanks for your advice.

    • Cheryl Vozzella
      September 17, 2019 / 12:48 pm

      Meant to say Michelle not Lauren! See how stressed I am ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Michele
        September 17, 2019 / 9:14 pm

        No prob at all, Cheryl. Wishing you peace – it’s all going to work out beautifully. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Michele
      September 17, 2019 / 9:14 pm

      Hi Cheryl. I do like Pale Oak but haven’t used it. Two warm whites I have experience with (and they have no pink/purple undertones) are Ballet White and White Sand. Ballet White is a lighter version of White Sand and both work beautifully with White Dove for trim. White Sand is what I used in our former home throughout. See what you think. Hope this helps!

  20. Lin
    September 29, 2019 / 12:02 pm

    Great blog!

    South Florida large condo (western exposure) with Sherwin-Williams Pure White Cabinets & trim. Want white on white look but with shade of white on the walls that is slightly darker to provide contrast with trim. Tile floors are greige. Please, please, please help me with the wall paint color using Sherwin-Williams

    • Michele
      September 29, 2019 / 12:20 pm

      Hi Lin – thanks for reading. For a warm Sherwin Williams white, like a lot of interior designers including Joanna Gaines, I love Alabaster. Would that hue work?

  21. Laura Ingemansson
    October 5, 2019 / 9:43 am

    Hi! We are considering installing the LG Minuet quartz in our kitchen and your photos have been incredibly helpful! Do you think classic taupe/beige color walls would work with the Minuet? We have white cabinets (Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee) and bright white subway tile, and am not sure how it will look. I am also hesitant about the Minuet (second choice is Silestone Calacatta Gold) because we have more brown/beige/cream colors in the house and Iโ€™m hoping the Minuet is not too grey. Appreciate your advice!

    • Michele
      October 5, 2019 / 10:39 am

      Hi Laura. I totally understand your concern, and since I did a kitchen in our Arizona house not long after this one with the Minuet, I think I understand. We used Viatera’s Soprano in the Arizona kitchen because it was a creamy, warm white with those warm caramel tones mixed with grey. Here’s the thing, the paint decision is the easiest thing to change. Minuet definitely has crisp grey and no warm taupey tones. It would be perfect with bright white subway tiles and white cabinets, but it’s not going to have taupe or warmth if you’re looking for warmth from the veining. There’s a significant difference in veining from Minuet and Silestone Et Calacatta Gold as well…Minuet has much more busy, delicate all over veining while the Silestone’s is a different scale with grander veining. I’ll try my best to get more photos uploaded so you can have an idea of the grey – but you may be more comfortable with a choice that has more variation in color since you favor those taupey-grays.

  22. Laura
    October 6, 2019 / 9:19 am

    Thank you! Iโ€™m wondering if a wall color like BM ballet white or white sand as suggested above might work with the Minuet and still work with our dark brown couch? I guess weโ€™ll have to play around with paint colors but like you said, paint is the easiest thing to change! Thank you!

    • Michele
      October 6, 2019 / 6:03 pm

      So smart to try a few paint samples. I think those benjamin moore colors (ballet white or white sand) could work with the Minuet – I personally love white with cream and white with linen whether it’s wardrobe or decor!

  23. Jennifer
    October 17, 2019 / 7:54 pm

    Any input on pairing whites with different wood floors/cabinets? Iโ€™m choosing new lvp โ€œwoodโ€ floors along with new paint and Iโ€™m afraid to get it wrong. Our cabinets are currently honey oak which will stay that way for awhile, the floors Iโ€™m leaning towards are a warm medium amber oak color (Lifeproof Trail Oak specifically). Is a yellow white like Alabaster going to complement those wood tones or should I choose a cooler white?

    • Michele
      October 17, 2019 / 10:39 pm

      Take the time to buy different samples – at least 3 – and that way you’ll be able to notice how they work differently with the oak. If you must paint before the floors go down, take a good sized sample of the floor in the space where it will be installed to see it with the sample painted on the wall. Notice how it looks in daylight and at night. Alabaster would be just fine with a warm medium oak, and it’s going to give you a more traditional look. But cooler whites would work too – they are simply going to impart a more modern contemporary mood. This very moment, my husband is painting our yellow-white basement walls Benjamin Moore Classic Gray – which is a very light gray/white. The carpet in there is a warm taupe, and I love the combination of cool grey with warm golds because I want the space to feel more updated and modern. Hope this helps, and feel free to post more questions or discussion.

  24. Brian
    November 17, 2019 / 6:13 am

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for this article. Iโ€™m one of many first time renovators struggling with white. I ordered kitchen cabinets- Schuler ( Medallion) in white icing which I now see has a more yellow cast..I am finding it hard to pair with white paints. I wish I had just a plain white as I think it would be easier. I wanted to go with the same white in the entire condo ( lives in Paris for years and love all white) . What white wall paint would work to help the cabinets look more white and less yellow? White oak hardwood floors ( golden) and want blackish counters ( polished or honed?) galley kitchen.

    Thank you!

    • Michele
      November 17, 2019 / 5:12 pm

      Hmmmmm. I have White Icing Shaker style cabinets with no yellow in the white at all. Is this a mistake where they gave you Divinity or was a glaze applied? If not, could there be an issue with your lighting casting a yellow tint – the types of bulbs for instance or the quality of natural light? We don’t get a ton of natural light, but there is no yellow cast from the cabinets at all. I can imagine your disappointment and challenge to get a more pure white effect. I used Benjamin Moore White Sand on the walls of our last kitchen which had more antique white glazed cabinetry, and it was beautiful. A more muted version of that color is BM Ballet White. Maybe going with a warm neutral will create some contrast to help the white appear more white. Let me know what you think.

  25. Sara
    January 9, 2020 / 9:43 am

    Hi Michelle,

    We are in the middle of building our home. We live in Northern Maine and the painting will start soon. Picking the shade of white I want is difficult. We have light gray cabinets. We have 9โ€™ foot ceilings except fir the great room has at least 25โ€™ vaulted ceilings. It will also be shiplap on the vaulted ceilings. We also have Benjamin Moore paint to choose from. Any suggestions? And my main question is when you are painting white do you paint everything the same color? Walks, ceiling, trim?

    • Michele
      January 9, 2020 / 11:00 am

      Thank you so much for sharing this background info. Choosing the best white is an important consideration – let’s start with the identity you want to create for the home. If you are after clean, bright, modern farmhouse whites – you’ll want to avoid those Benjamin Moore options with yellow, green, and brown undertones. Here’s where I would start: get samples of BM Decorator’s White, Chantilly Lace, White Dove, and Simply White (and make sure it is White Dove and not Dove Wing!!! Our former painter made that mistake, and it cost us dearly!). Try them on the walls and watch them through the day in order to choose your favorite. I’m confident one of two will emerge as the winners. It’s all up to you if you want to keep it simple and paint ceilings and trim the same color. I personally like pure white ceilings and don’t want anything yellowy so for our home, it was just one white in flat for ceilings and walls, in semigloss for trim. I would try samples of the whites I mentioned on trim as well – you might find for example that you love a more subdued white like White Dove for trim with the brightness of Decorator’s White on walls. Let me know what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

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