Skip to main content

The World of White

September 30, 2022

If you look at a paint deck, you would see the vast variety of whites.  Whatever colors have popularity at a given time, white is always in the mix, either as a subtle support or in contrast.  In the photograph there are a number of whites layering with each other, punctuating near black in high contrast.

Many whites

White could be considered a colorless color.  In print it is the absence of color and in lighting it holds all colors.  White is maximum lightness and on a wall reflects the most light.  Starting with paper white, paint manufacturers mix in various other colors from the color wheel, ranging from  warm to cool.  The intensity of light in a space determines how warm or cool it is.  For instance, cool whites are better suited to sunny spaces while warmer whites are suited to spaces with less light.  A rule of thumb is to change the white with the light in the space.  Always test a paint color on the wall before painting.

White bedroom

Whatever the tone of the white, it will expand the sense of space.  If you have a small bedroom, layering various whites in a whisper of vanilla, cream, oyster, parchment, light celadon and ice pink to make the space look larger, cleaner and more inviting.  Add to this mix a number of textures and you will build in complexity and create a very sophisticated space.  Texture is critical to showing off the palette to its best advantage.  The more subtle the colors, the more texture is needed to create interest and dimension in a space.  Combine textiles such as chenille, velvet, dupioni silk and taffeta silk with marble and white wood finishes and watch the light play on these various textures and see the space come alive.

Pitched ceiling

Vary the light opacity in the fabrics you choose for windows.  A sheer transparent layer of drapery allows light in but also provides privacy.  Adding a second track of drapery with less transparency in the same white or slight contrast will give more light control and dimensional appearance.