When I was in college I took an acting class as one of my electives. I did a little bit of theater in high school. I infamously played the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz which drew a standing ovation upon entrance. So for me, an acting class was a chance to hone in on those acting skills and relive my glory days. For our final project we were assigned a three man scene from a play about a character who buys a very expensive painting that is painted in no other colors but white with subtle textural variation. The other two characters were his friends, one of which who thought that the painting and the price were ridiculous and the other (me) who was open to the idea but mostly just supportive of the idea that one should be able to buy whatever they want or what they are moved by.
I ended up painting a prop painting for the scene and later hung it up in my bathroom. I have to say the more time I spent with my white painting as bathroom wall art, the more I began to appreciate the color.
I have had clients on both sides of the coin. Some who crave the life of a colorful room and detest the plainness, while others love the clean, open, elegance that white provides; not to mention its versatility. I say white is versatle because it is the supernal neutral. In a way it gives itself no impression. It hardly detracts from the colors it accentuates and yet there are SO many options.
When selecting the proper white for your home the most important consideration is lighting. Lighting changes not only from room to room but from wall to wall. And as such, what is the best option for one room may not be the best for another room. That's why it's imperative to take your color sample into other rooms to make sure it has the same qualities you loved in the previous room. Or you may need to adjust the color a little to suit the lighting effects of each room.
We had this very design challenge in this beautiful Renwick home in Bloomington, IN.
The large open windows and vaulted ceilings provides tons of natural light into the space and the subtle off-white palette keeps the openness alive. The color here is Glacier White OC-37, a bit of a misnomer to this warmer in temperature hue.
A breakfast dinnette with near floor to ceiling windows lets the sun light in and wakes you up to yet another wonderful day.
The light from the dinnette travels through the kitchen all the way to the formal dining room. The earth tone granite countertops and rich wood cabinetry promote calmness and peace when trimed with soft white walls and trim. The cream island connects the walls together makIng this white more intentional than default. The eye is drawn to pops of blue ceramics.
Keeping with the neutral scheme, the formal dining room was painted in a light grey called Greenwich Gate CSP-170. Being on the north west entrance with the sun setting in the view is the perfect place for an evening dining room with more open windows. Greenwich Gate is a warm-toned grey. The warmth turns the formal feel into a cozy formal. You don't feel like you can't touch anything or crack a joke. It's elegant but it's not cold. I feel like a young couple could announce their engagement to family here.
Now comes the grand entrance. Everything about this entrance is grand. However, comparitively, the window only allows for a limited amount of light. This changes things. We can't just use glacier white in here and expect it to do the same as in the well lit rooms.
The color here is Winds Breath OC-24. The goal here wasn't to match the glacier white but rather to find an appropriate white for the space. The lighting of this room, with less natural light and more warm lighting caused the glacier white to take on a green tint. However, Winds Breath maintains the warms while keeping the room light. Which was the primary goal. Lightness.
Up the stairs we can see into the living room with this stunning chandelier and intricate railing.
Again in the bathrooms we chose different shades of white to account for the change in lighting. In this half bath we used Stoneware CSP-245. All of these colors can be found in Benjamin Moore fan decks.
And below we have a Jack and Jill bathroom with entrances coming from two guest bedrooms painted in Ice Fog CSP-575.
Finally in the grandkids' bedroom we've brought back Glacier White in keeping with this simple but elegant neutral white palette.