All About White

All About White

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WHITE, BENJAMIN MOORE’S COLOUR OF THE YEAR

Apr 16, 2016 | ROZ MORGAN

When Benjamin Moore announced their colour of the year. There was a collective gasp. Simply White had not been expected. Many people in the colour world do not even regard white as a colour. Others were dismayed because so many North Americans defer to white as a safe colour and would say it is the most over-used and mis-used colour. It is constantly an uphill battle to get clients to choose actual colour. I did hear one designer declare that maybe it was an opportunity to clear the slate and start fresh after being inundated with grey.

Benjamin Moore | colour of the year

I immediately went to the website to see the complete colour palette for 2016 and was very surprised, but happy, to find this in the top row of their colour palette.

Five whites. Yes FIVE

I immediately knew this was the perfect opportunity to talk about white. To get white right is hard. It is a colour affected by temperature(warm and cool)undertones and light natural or artificial. If you pick the wrong white it will make your room wrong! If you read Part 1 and Part 2 of Colour theory you will know what I am talking about.

About a month ago I attended a talk sponsored by Benjamin Moore where they talked about why they chose white. They pointed to the rest of the palette which is full of bright beautiful colour this year and asked the question, “what better colour to have on our walls to show off all this beautiful colour than white?” And if you were going to be bold and paint your walls a beautiful bold colour then you would need the right white to go on the trim or into the accents.

Benjamin Moore

All these colours need a certain white to make them look good.  And when you look at all the whites in a Benjamin Moore fan deck there are no shortage of choices. In fact it is enough to make us feel totally overwhelmed.   But if you understand these five whites then you can pretty well put the fan deck away. I will give you the secret to using them like a pro.

Benjamin Moore

What you see when you look at all these whites are undertones.  Most whites have an undertone. And they are mostly cool or warm.  So creams, and off whites are likely to have undertones of reds and yellows.  Teeny tiny amounts but when compared to another white are discernible.  The cooler whites will have blue or black making them appear a pale gray.  The only exception to this is greige and it can go warm or cool depending on what it is paired with.

So just a little reminder

colour wheel

What you see when you look at all these whites are undertones.  Most whites have an undertone. And they are mostly cool or warm.  So creams, and off whites are likely to have undertones of reds and yellows.  Teeny tiny amounts but when compared to another white are discernible.  The cooler whites will have blue or black making them appear a pale gray.  The only exception to this is greige and it can go warm or cool depending on what it is paired with.

So just a little reminder

Here is how and when to best use these colours.

Ice Mist: This is as pure a white as you can probably get. This is the white you use for your cabinets if you have a bathroom or a kitchen with Carrera marble counter tops. It is a cool white and goes well with cool neutrals or cool colours. This colour works on walls that have lots of natural light. If you use it in a room that doesn’t have good light it will turn gray and you room will be full of shadows and feel cold. Chantilly Lace is another pure white that you may recognize from Benjamin Moore. This is the white to use with black. It is also great with clean bold colours!

Paper White: This is a cool white but with a tiny bit of black to make it ever so slightly pale gray. If you want a slightly gray wall this could be a colour to consider. Ice mist as a trim would work well with this white.

Marscapone:This is a beautiful warm creamy white. It usually appears to have a little yellow. Again it is a colour that is beautiful with warm colours. This is the trim colour that would make your warm colour walls sing. If you actually put it on the wall of a room with less light it would probably brighten the room as opposed to a pure white making a room feel cold and gray.

Ballet White: This is a white that some would call greige. It is a beige/gray/white. It will read cool or warm depending on what colours you put it with and the lighting in the room. Greige whites are beautiful on the walls of a room without a lot of light. It looks beautiful with Simply White or Marscapone as a trim. And there you have it. Five whites to help you choose the right white that works for your room. There is no one universal white that works in every situation. It doesn’t exist. To have given just one white would have been misleading and I salute Benjamin Moore for adding four extra whites to help you make the right choice.

There is so much more to talk about when it comes to white and I will be doing a blog on just white to give you guidelines as to how to choose the right white.  Until then……

 

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