Which white’s right?

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Take the guesswork out of choosing the right white for your home

If your head’s spinning with the huge range of whites available at the paint store, you’re not alone. Deciding to go for a contemporary, calming minimalist white is just the first step – are you after a moody white? Or a cool and crisp Scandi vibe? Or antiquey white with a touch of maturity about it?

Regardless of the subtlety of the tone, there’s no doubt white’s a great option – it will always be classic – and if you’re planning on painting the entire house you’re less likely to grow tired of it. With a seemingly endless amount of whites to choose from, the hardest part is choosing the right white. To take away some of the guess work, we’ve put together expert design advice to help narrow your selection and tips for choosing your final paint colour.

Which white is right?
What works for one home may not work for another, so simply copying a friend’s scheme or even one from a magazine or Pinterest can leave you disappointed, as there are many factors to consider.

According to Sydney-based Inspirations paint colour consultant and Interior Designer Alex Ace, “when selecting a white or neutral wall colour, you need to take into account your flooring type, your furniture, the style you want to create, as well as both the natural and artificial lighting you have throughout your home. Once all these factors have been considered and weighed up, you can then decide which white to choose.”

Importance of lighting
“It’s important not to underestimate the impact of both natural sunlight and artificial lighting in a room,” says Alex. “The appearance of the same colour throughout the whole house can change dramatically from room to room just because the room faces a different orientation or one room has a cool light bulb, whilst another may have a warm one.”

This might mean selecting a different colour for your living areas to your bedrooms, depending on where they’re located in the home, or changing your light bulbs to create the look you want.

Warm vs cool whites
There are two types of whites – warm and cool and these work differently according to the lighting in your room. Alex says that “warm whites normally have either a yellow, brown or red undertone and work well in rooms that have a cool southern light as they impart a warmth and softness into a cooler room to create a cosy atmosphere”. Try Dulux Antique White U.S.A., Dulux Natural White or Berger Paper Stock if that sounds like your space.

Alex’s favourite white right now is Dulux Natural White as “it suits an extensive range of architectural styles from traditional through to contemporary, and although it’s technically a warm white, it’s adaptable to many colour palettes, even the modern cooler greys which are popular at the moment.” Cool whites tone down the warmth in rooms with lots of northern light. According to Alex “the black or blue tint in these cool whites help neutralise that bright Australian northern light.” Try Dulux Lexicon Half, Dulux White on White or Berger Rhythm and Soul.

Selecting your final paint colour
Before committing to one colour, Merrill Bruce who’s the owner and manager at Inspirations Paint Hornsby recommends collecting paint chips in colours that work with your lighting and décor. Once the options have been narrowed, use large hand painted colour samples, called Brush-Out Boards, to assist with final colour selection.

Merrill says: “Brush-Out Boards allow you to move the board around and view the paint colour under different lighting conditions to get a feel for the best shade before committing to a big paint project.” Inspirations Paint is all about giving personal attention to your project to achieve a great result. Visit Hornsby, Shop 3, 320 Pacific Highway or Dural, Unit 14, 829 Old Northern Rd or go to www.InspirationsPaint.com.au for more store locations or to book a Colour Consultant.

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