If you have ever tried to choose a white paint colours, you will agree that choosing white colours are probably the hardest! There are just so many types of shades and tones, it ends up giving you a headache and just feels like an endless rabbit hole.
No two whites are the same when you start comparing the tones and shades. Understanding the difference between the types of whites will make your colour journey SO much easier once you understand what the colours do to the look and feel of the space.
So, in this guide I am going to show you the best 9 whites you should consider to use to paint the interior of your home. And in order to get rid of the overwhelming feeling, I’m going to give you a fool proof way of looking at how to choose paint colours.
2 Types Of White: WARM Whites VS COOL Whites
Warm whites and cool whites are very different from one another and go in completely different directions. These different directions will change the look of the space, so understanding which side of the white you are going to use is really important. Certain items go with certain colours, it’s just a fact of interior design. You cannot have marble floors with cream walls!
Not only do the white tones you choose play a big part of your overall style but also the fixtures and fittings the house have will also impact the look of the space.
Understanding The Colour Direction
All colour start off as untinted white. It means that not colour has been added, pure white. Depending on which direction you are going in such as warm whites or cool whites, different tints ( colours ) are applied to the pure white to change the colour. Now this is where choosing colours comes to a cross road which also makes life easier…
So before we can add any colour to the Pure White paint, we need to decided if we will add;
- Blacks or blues, or;
- Yellows, browns or umbers
Blacks and blues make cool colours; yellows, browns and umbers make warm colours. It’s your job to choose which look and which end of the spectrum you are going to be on.
The cool tone of whites has more black and blue tints incorporated into them. It starts out the be 1 or 2 drops of black or blue which makes the cool tone. As more is added, it turns from white to blue or grey tones. This look leads more towards modern and crisp looks which work very well with the following items;
- Black or dark colour thick pile carpets
- Marble or stone floors & bench tops
- Light Beech timber furniture with dark tones for cushions and coverings
- Modern fixtures such as lights, switches, doors etc
- Stainless steel, exposed metals
The above things can still work on older style of homes. However, what you will generally find is that the home has been renovated and completely upgraded with all the above items which makes the cool colour tones work. The cool whites are merely a canvas for the other fixtures to work around and because the cool white tone complements the darker grey / black tones it tends to look really modern and expensive.
Key Tips When Using Cool Whites
- All ceilings, walls & trims should be the same colour
- Use lower sheen levels to make better impressions such as satin on trims, and matt on walls as it will defuse the light and have an elegant “matt” look
- Use grey tones on flooring as blacks tend to be too heavy in large spaces
- Ensure your painter uses an Aqua enamel over a regular oil based enamel as all the trim items will evenly turn yellow over time and wreck your colour scheme.
Warm whites start in the same way as cool whites, basic untinted white. From there, yellows, umbers and brown tones are added to create a warmer white. If too much yellow or umber is added, you will end up with a cream of some sort; same applies to brown.
So this look of warm whites leads more towards two different trends
- Full Colonial Style
- Modern Yet Inviting Style
Colonial style is limited to a very unique style of home. These homes typically have very unique features such as original timber floors (not laminated), claw feet baths, high ceilings, chair rails etc. It’s because of these unique features, the Colonial style warm creamy whites work very well, as they work around the natural profiles along with tying into the natural dark tones of the floor boards and heritage types reds and greens tones.
These warm whites tend to be a lot more creamy and have more earthy tones which are very unique to this particular style of house.
Modern Yet Inviting Style
This style is a blend of lower tone warm whites, meaning very little yellow, browns and umbers. These tones vary quite a bit. However, it tends to feel more homely and inviting with an array of current fixtures and fittings. This style tends to allow the home owner to work with a lot of their current furniture and fixtures to create a space that is neutral and warm yet still modern which will increase the liveability and value of the home by not polarising the style.
Unlike cool whites, it’s best the have multiple colours in your colour scheme to break up the darkness of the wall colour. Use lower warm tones than the wall colour to brighten up the space and create a pop between walls, trims, and ceilings.
Key Tips When Using Warm Whites
- Earthy tones on floor coverings are key to balance out wall colour
- Lower warm white tones work best for more modern style homes
- If the home has unique colonial fixtures and you are not completely renovating, a darker tone colonial colour approach will benefit the home’s current fixtures
- Lower warm tones work with all furniture types
- Break up the warmness of large wall spaces with lower warm tones
- And the warm tones move into a colonial, homely feel. Various elements such as the amount of natural light your home receives and the colours of the flooring, furniture and blinds will affect the shade and depth of the white colour chosen.
5 Of The Best Warm Whites To Paint Your Interior!
DULUX NATURAL WHITE
Natural White is a warm white and its versatility spans across new and old properties, contemporary homes, as well as traditional. It is an excellent choice if you are giving your home a facelift before sale as it is easy to work with when styling with fresh plants and light coloured furniture
DULUX WHISPER WHITE
Whisper White is warm, welcoming and has substance, and period properties – Victorian and Edwardian homes – benefit from this white given its depth. In a space that doesn’t get much bright sunlight, Dulux Whisper White can really lift the room.
DULUX ANTIQUE WHITE USA
Antique White U.S.A. is a hero of all whites as it is fresh and crisp without being clinical, and tends to work in most spaces despite varied conditions. A total all-rounder that never disappoints. Given its warmth with homely tones Dulux natural white works really well with natural stones without the space feeling like a hospital.
DULUX HOG BRISTLE QUARTER
Hog Bristle Quarter is a beautiful warm white that has the slightest ‘biscuit’ undertone – it has always been our go to colour when creating warm cozy spaces. This colour work beautifully well in Queenslander style homes with VJ panels and heigh ceilings. This colour also works really well with accent trims in a lighter warm white to make the trims & doors pop out from the walls
DULUX SNOWY MOUNTAINS QUARTER
Snowy mountains quarter works extremely well on ceilings, doors and trims. It has a very warm yet white tone which isn’t too ‘clinical’ like when using a cool white.
Snowy Mountains Quarter works fantastic on its own to brighten up a space yet still makes it feel warm and homely but without the “cream” or “brown” tones.
4 Of The Best Cool Whites To Paint Your Interior!
DULUX VIVID WHITE
If you are looking for absolute pure white, then Dulux vivid white is the colour for you. This white is pure white without any blues, blacks, yellows, umbers or brown tints added. It is great for brightening up darker areas where you need the light to really reflect.
DULUX WHITE ON WHITE
White on White™ is a cooler-toned white that is clean and energising, suited to modern homes with timber or concrete flooring, as well as hard surface areas like the kitchen and bathroom. It has a touch of bluey grey and is a cooler toned white that isn’t as polarising and clinical as the lexicons and vivid whites.
“Lexicon® is a bold white and pairs brilliantly with timber flooring, exposed brick and polished concrete. It is a perfect shade for displaying your artwork collection or bouncing around lots of natural sunlight.”
DULUX LEXICON QUARTER
“Lexicon® Quarter is a versatile white that has a slightly blueish undertone – it is crisp, clean and bright and works beautifully in modern spaces, as well as a backdrop for colourful and eclectic art, furnishings and homewares.”