Home & Garden

February 8, 2014

Winter white comes in many shades

How to pick the right white paint for your home.

When it comes to wall color and décor, winter white takes on new meaning.

Americans love white walls. We’re fond of white carpet, cabinets, woodwork and furnishings, too. White also is our favorite accent color.

According to home improvement expert Lou Manfredini, 50 percent of all paint sold in the United States is white. Another 25 percent is a version of white, such as a very very pale shade of beige.

Paint manufacturers are mixing up more shades of white to fit any room. But which is right for you?

Benjamin Moore color and design expert Andrea Magno has her favorite shades of white, including White Dove, Simply White, Mascarpone, Cloud White, Frostine, Linen White, Patriotic White and Chantilly Lace. She also likes Classic Gray and Distant Gray, which despite their names are actually off-white.

In fact, Benjamin Moore makes 140 shades in its “Off-White Collection” plus several more whites in other collections such as Affinity (which features harmonious palettes) and Historic (which are classic colors).

Magno offered this advice for sorting whites:

• First, what kind of white are you looking for? What are the other elements you’ll consider while selecting the “right white”? For example, do you want a white that feels warm or cool? Should it have a warm pink or peach undertone or is something with a tinge of green or blue more in keeping with the other materials in the room? Look at the other hues in your color scheme (a “cool” green chair or “warm” red accent rug) to come up with a cool or warm distinction.

• Using multiple whites in one space with differences in finish can create an elegant and layered look – making white anything but boring, Magno said. Think about using a high-gloss white on trim, millwork and doors offset by a matte or eggshell finish on the walls. Or achieve a subtle glow with a stain finish; it enhances reflective light from both artificial and natural light.

• Take your home’s exterior into consideration when selecting the right white for a room, she said. For example, are there lots of trees and vegetation outside large windows? Will their green color reflect onto the white of your walls? If so, select a white that works well with green tones.

For more tips and a peek at those white shades, click on www.benjaminmoore.com.

– Debbie Arrington

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