White is white…right? Wrong! While it may seem strange, choosing a white paint for your home continually proves to be a rather difficult task because there is a seemingly endless array of options. The color white is typically associated with innocence, purity, honesty, cleanliness, and newness. White is produced by combining all other colors in the visible light spectrum, so it stands to reason that there would be many, many variations of it.
This simple guide will serve as a quick reference to help you differentiate between these variations:
These whites are excellent at brightening a space, but also maintaining a cozy and comfortable space. If you are looking to paint your kitchen cabinetry, these are great options because they give the look of pure white, as well as preventing a cold or stark appearance.
This group of whites is cool in nature and emits very clean, pure feelings. Cooler whites are particularly suited to contemporary or modern styled homes, but can be made to work in virtually any space. Choose a cool white to balance a room that has darker accents such as granite counter tops in a kitchen, or darker wood furniture.
Antique whites are very warm and welcoming and it will add a lot of dimension to your walls. They work quite well in traditionally designed spaces or if you want to preserve the aesthetic of a historic home, as this tone tends to give off a quaint “lived-in” feeling.
This grouping is particularly well suited for brightening trim or ceilings, as almost any other color (including other whites) will still be in contrast with these bright whites. If you’re looking to bring a lot of light into a room, consider one of these whites for your walls and have your trim painted in a semi-gloss finish of the same shade.
The more neutral whites are shades that are not overly bright and that straddle the line between warm and cool. The colors in this group are soft and quiet and will give feelings of tranquility to your space. They are naturally very easy to pair other colors with, given their neutrality.