Did you know there are over 900 shades of white alone!? It is a common misconception that white is just white. There are so many factors to consider when selecting a paint color that will work well for your space such as the other fixed materials in your home (countertops, backsplash, flooring), non fixed materials (textiles, furniture, art), compared against the undertones in the paint color. On top of all of that the direction in which the sun hits the room is also a key component to consider when selecting a paint color.
With all of that being said, we have a few tried and true favorite white, greige and moody paint colors that we keep coming back to time and time again...because they just WORK! Take a look at our round up below.
Alabaster (SW 7008) by Sherwin Williams is our go to white paint color. It is a soft, warm and creamy color that works amazingly on walls, trim, cabinets or all of the above. In fact, I have Alabaster on all of my walls, casing and cabinets in our own home because I love it that much. The LRV (light reflecting value) is 82 meaning that it can lead slightly off white, versus a bright white. If you are looking for a crisp white, this isn't the color for you.
One tip when using Alabaster is not to not pair it with another white. Do not paint your walls Alabaster and your trim another white color as it will bring out the undertones in Alabaster and cause it to look dingy in comparison. Instead, paint your trim/casing/doors/cabinets in a semi gloss color and your walls in a satin or eggshell finish. This will give a slight contrast in finish, however leave the color looking absolutely stunning.
Alabaster is also another FABULOUS option as an exterior paint color. In fact, the exterior of our home is also Alabaster. The direct sunlight gives it a warm glow, versus a stark and cold looking exterior.
White Dove (OC - 17) by Benjamin Moore is similar to Alabaster but slightly less warm, so perfect for those who may have southern or eastern facing light (resulting in increased warm undertones). Even in a southern or eastern facing room White Dove is going to have a warm undertone and lean off white. So if you are looking for that warm glow, White Dove is the color for you. White Dove has an LRV of 85.
A tip for using White Dove and any other warm or off - white is to be mindful when pairing it with a stark white such as that in a white appliances, your countertop or even a porcelain toilet. The warmth of these colors will certainly come into play and be more noticeable in when paired with these fixed elements. In the contrary, when paired with elements with slightly softer tones, it is absolutely delicious together.
Do you see how the warm undertones of White Dove pair absolutely beautifully with the warm m and brass fixtures in this kitchen designed by McCroskey Interior? STUNNING.
As with Alabaster, I suggest painting your trim, walls and possibly cabinets (if doing white cabinetry) all in White Dove rather than pairing it with another white for trim.
For those of you who prefer a more crisp, clean and bright white Chantilly Lace (OC - 65) by Benjamin Moore is perfect for you. Chantilly Lace has an LRV of 92.2 which is the highest LRV I would suggest going as you want to avoid your space feeling cold and sterile, which can easily happen if you use a white that it TOO white. (I know, confusing, right!?)
If you have a northern facing room you may pick up just the slightest blue or gray cast, however Chantilly Lace has very little undertone meaning its going to act like a white and work in almost any scenario. If you are in a bind and need to quickly select a paint color without any other information (fixed elements, non fixed elements, room facing direction, etc.) go with Chantilly Lace, you just really can't go wrong.
Classic Gray (OC - 23) Benjamin Moore is an off white, soft gray. Since the LRV is 75 it means that Classic Gray is technically an off - white, however unlike Alabaster and White Dove, Classic Gray gives a gorgeous contrast to white. Meaning, you can absolutely use Classic Gray on your walls and a white listed above on your trim or cabinetry.
The undertones of Classic Gray are purple, however it is one of our favorite colors as it is really rare for this undertone to show through.
Edgecomb Gray (HC - 173) Benjamin Moore is a warm paint color that is right smack in the middle of gray and beige - making it the absolute perfect "greige". It is a very organic and versatile color and pairs well with many colors. The LRV is 63 making it a lot lighter than many of the other popular greige paint colors (listed below), however is not as light and bright as a white would be (or Classic Gray). If you have lots of natural light pouring in, this is the perfect color for you.
Edgecomb Gray has very mild pink undertones, that will become more present if you have warm lightbulbs, a lot of green in your non fixed elements (textiles, furniture, etc), or fixed materials (countertops, tile, etc), or if paired with a creamy white trim (think Alabaster or White Dove).
How stunning is Edgecomb Gray on this cabinetry?
Accessible Beige (SW 7036) by Sherwin Williams is considered a true beige color versus a greige, however it is certainly NOT that builder grade Tuscan style that you may think of when you hear the word beige. Accessible beige offers a more modern take on a traditional color. Accessible Beige has an LRV of 58 making it slightly darker than Edgecomb Gray, and the undertones are gray but not enough to put it into the greige category. However, that is what makes Accessible Beige so dang good! It has very minimal undertones and accommodates almost anything!
Revere Pewter (HC - 172) by Benjamin Moore is probably known as the most popular greige color and for good reason! Revere Pewter is a GORGEOUS, warm gray. However, it has some tricky undertones that you need to be aware of before using. The LRV of Revere Pewter is 55.77, which means it is the darkest greige color and won't reflect or absorb much light. It can be somewhat of a chameleon color in that it shifts its colors depending on the light in the room, fixed and non fixed elements as well as the artificial lighting. Without proper lighting and fixed elements in the room Revere Pewter can come off as "muddy" and in some spaces have a pretty apparent green undertone. Now, muddy certainly is not a bad thing if you are going for that earthy feel. If want an organic vibe, Revere Pewter is also a perfect choice if you have tons of natural light pouring in from a southern facing window. Glorious.
Revere Pewter is also a fabulous option for the exterior of your home!
You know we love a good moody color! Here are some of our favs.
We just used Naval in a recent project that we haven't had professionally photographed - but here are a few iPhone snaps I took on install day. These photos don't fully pull the deep rich tones of Naval. It looks absolutely stunning with deep wood tones.
Salamander is one of those colors to use if you feel like going ALLLL in!! I can't wait to use this color for a project. Also, if you have that honey oak trim in your home and don't want to paint it, this is one of those colors that just works with it! Check out this photo below - it speaks for itself.
However, I would personally suggest going full moody and painting everything in your room Salamander, including the walls, trim, baseboards and YES even the ceiling!! Trust :) Here is some more stunning Salamander inspo!
I had never actually heard of Caldwell Green until recently when we decided to use it in a client office project. We were going for a monochromatic look against their wallpaper accent wall and were looking for a color that was almost identical to the green in the wallpaper. Caldwell Green was the winner, and it ended up being so gorgeous and a color I would definitely specify again!
Looking for a charcoal that isn't too dark or that doesn't pull black with most lighting? Kendall Charcoal is the one. I love that is is a deep Charcoal, yet has a bit of warmth too it so your space doesn't feel too cold. Look how gorgeous it looks with the white contrast and the light wood tones - almost a French Country feel to this dining room and I'm loving it.
Looking for a black paint color!? Look no further than Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams. It is Sherwin Williams most popular black color and for good reason. It is timeless and classic. Tricorn Black has an LRV of 3 so is essentially a true black with no obvious undertones. Don't be afraid of black! It is can be a stunning accent color or even as a contrast trim or baseboard. Use a high gloss finish and use it on a vanity in a bathroom with an ornate gold mirror! Or even go all in and paint your walls and use molding to give the wall some depth.
Our tried and true paint colors - whether you need that perfect white or going full on moody we got you covered.