When the Color White is Just Right

As a Boston area Color Consultant I am obviously someone who LOVES color; so when I tell a client that White is the best choice for their room they always look at me surprised. There are situations though where I do believe White is just right.

#1.   A contemporary space with large windows and lots of natural light.

In spaces with lots of natural light the color White will bring the room to life. I know it seems backwards because you may think it is better to use White in a dark space but just the opposite is  true. Color master Donald Kaufman puts it like this.

“A light color will never come to life in a dark room but a rich, deep color can make a dim, somber space feel warm and luminous – even though it receives no natural light.”


White highlights the architecture and the light streaming in through the windows is an ever changing art show.

#2.    Kitchen Cabinets

There is just something about a white kitchen. White kitchens convey cleanliness and freshness.

White kitchen cabinets are timeless and by simply changing out the accessories you can update your kitchen for a lot less money than it will cost to replace dated Oak, Orange Cherry wood, Espresso, Pickled, Bleached or whatever color wood you originally chose.

#3     Beach houses

There is nothing more beautiful than a coastal view so why distract from it? Paint the walls white and let the view take center stage. Also White is unfussy and simple, usually just the look and feel you want in a beach house.

#4        when surrounded by bright pops of color 

The color trend today finds lots of bright color in furnishings, fabrics and accessories so White walls can be the perfect neutral to give the eye a place to rest.

The general rule to follow is the brighter the brights then the more White you need to support them.

White walls are the perfect compliment to all the different pops of color around the table.

The most important thing to remember about painting your walls White is that you absolutely must have lots of light in the room. Otherwise, white will just look flat, gray and cold.

So what do you think about white? Would you ever consider white walls in your home?

11 Responses to When the Color White is Just Right
  1. Barbara @DIY Home Staging Tips Reply

    Yes, I am considering it for a flip. I was considering a pale grey for walls, but rethinking. Enjoyed your helpful poet. Food for thought!

  2. Sheila @sZinteriors Reply

    I really like white with with pops of colour, but my favorite is white with a view. There’s nothing more beautiful than bringing the outside in, and as you said, allowing it to take center stage! Really great tips, Linda!

  3. Michelle Raymond Reply

    From a Feng Shui perspective, white is the first choice in a kitchen. Love the article, the info is so on target. Thanks!

  4. Susan Kanoff Reply

    Linda, I can vouch for how fabulous a white kitchen is and for how valuable your services are!! Thank you for all of your help in designing my kitchen. I LOVE it and I’m so happy that we decided on white…the color makes the space look bright, cheerful and open.
    For anyone who needs design help, Linda is the best!!
    Susan Kanoff

  5. Kelly Reply

    Perfect descriptions on where white is the right color for the space. And that is true I find- the brighter the brights, the more you need white to support. Great post Linda!

  6. Reflections Interior Designs Reply

    what a great article Linda – I love the photos and now… I’m thinking of painting my living room white! 🙂

  7. Elizabeth Jones Reply

    Will you tell me what is your favorite white for a room with a south facing window? Please use commercially available names by Benjamin Moore, etc….

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Elizabeth in a South facing room with lots of bright light a clean bright white looks best. Check out Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace or Benjamin Moore Decorators White.Both should look great.

  8. Mariko Reply

    Wonderful post. I love white kitchens too! I am learning from your blog posts, thank you.
    I love white or off-white walls almost anywhere unfortunately.
    I have a West facing large Master Bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and tropical style furniture in dark reddish brown. I adore white and/or light walls, preferring the color to come from elsewhere. No color I look at pleases me in this room except whites/off-white, but you say that it looks flat and grey if the room doesn’t get a lot of light. But I don’t like other colors on the walls, so what’s a white fan supposed to do?!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Mariko just use plenty of internal light with table lamps or floor lamps to make up for the lack of natural light. That way the white walls will not look flat or gray.

  9. Mariko Reply

    Thanks Linda. I’m very glad to hear from a designer more wonderful ideas about using whites.

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