Simple trick for determining the undertone of white

I think for many people the most difficult color to choose is white. So often you think you are picking a “clean white”  and you get it up on the wall and it looks green or pink or blue. Well here is my super easy trick for determining the undertone of white.

Take a look at these three different whites.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

When you bring home sample chips from the paint store and you look at them on your wall, can you tell what the undertone is?  Can you tell which one is “whiter? Probably not. However, ask the store if you can take a look at the fan deck and simply look down the strip and you will easily see the undertone.

Linda Holt Photo

Now I’m not saying that these whites will go on the wall and look blue or green or orangey/gold (but they could) but notice that the first two are cool whites and the one on the right is a warm white. The bottom line is that most whites have undertones so it’s better to find out before you get it up on your walls and it turns blue or green or yellow.

If you are still uncertain and struggling to find the “perfect white” give me a call!

How about you? How do you choose the perfect white?

 

For the love of WHITE

Ever since I can remember, I have loved color. I mean I really love color. Show me a sassy RED, a cool TURQUOISE or a happy YELLOW and my heart starts racing. There is just something though about a pure, clean white that makes me stop and take pause.

I think these rooms are both so beautiful….

 

AHH……can’t you just imagine relaxing in this room?  I LOVE IT…….. for about 10 minutes……after that, I would be throwing bright colorful pillows on the sofa, flipping through my color fan deck  and  swapping out that white rug out with something maybe like this.

 

 

Matt Camron rug

Matt Camron Rug

Kristie Barnett AKA  The Decorologist recently blogged about this beauty from West Elm which ironically I had just brought home about 2 weeks ago for my own house but just couldn’t seem to find a spot for it. Wouldn’t this look fabulous in one of these rooms as well?

West Elm Bull's Eye Rug

 

So maybe an all white room isn’t for me but one thing I can never get enough of are bright white accessories. For whatever reason, I am drawn to white accessories like a moth to the light. I absolutely love them and they fit into almost any decor.  Since bright white accessories are SO popular right now I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

For on line shopping, Z Gallerie has a huge selection of fabulous white accessories and Jonathon Adler is my all time favorite designer for white animal pottery.

Ram's head Jonathon Adler

Here are a few other fun items I want to share.

 

Isn’t this umbrella stand from Two’s Company so cute?

 

 

And I think  these would  look great on a mantel against a dark wall.

Kokoware Joss and Main

West Elm also has a nice  selection of white accessories. I have seen this owl lamp used by HGTV’s  David Bromstad at least twice.

West Elm Owl Lamp

West Elm also has a fabulous collection of white vases in lots of different shapes and sizes.

West Elm

And for those of you totally in love with all white everything, this is the room for you!

So to all you color lovers out there…I would love to hear how you feel about white.

Starting From White….how to choose color for an empty white box

My dear friend Barbara is starting over. For the past 24 years she has lived in the most beautiful 100 year old Craftsman style home. It is meticulously decorated with rich warm colors and it is such a warm and welcoming home. She has filled it with a lifetime of family memories, travel memorabilia, collectibles, and art work.

Her soon to be built new home is an open concept, contemporary penthouse condo just minutes from downtown Boston…completely different from what she currently owns. She is ready for a fresh start, a new look, and is bringing practically nothing from her current home.

She recently asked me to help her pick colors since her contractor is almost ready to paint.

Barbara in her new condo which is currently a white box

Barbara is in the medical profession and has a highly stressful job. She spends her days in white, sterile, operating rooms and does NOT want bright white walls in her new home. She DOES want the same warm and inviting feeling that she has in her current home but she likes the light, open and airy feel of her new home….so, where to begin choosing color?

She is planning to purchase mostly all new furniture and decor for her new home so I didn’t have the usual “go to” items I would usually use for color inspiration such as existing carpet,  fabric or art work.

The kitchen is where color maven Maria Killam advises people to start with color direction in new construction ( look at the counter tops) but Barbara has chosen white cabinetry with white quartz counter tops…okay, not much help here.

A BUNCH more questions and Barbara picks some color inspiration words...Asian inspired, light neutral colors, warm,  pops of red, maybe an accent wall….okay, now we are getting somewhere. Barbara finds an inspiration fabric to work off of….BINGO!     She  has decided to bring two chairs from her current home and have them reupholstered in this beautiful cream and red Asian inspired print. Now I have a starting point.

 

 

 

cream and red Asian inspired fabric

 

Using the creamy background of the fabric as our jumping off point we choose a few soft neutrals as possibilities for the main walls. We also discuss using the warm red of the flowers as a possible accent wall color.

 

 

fabric with color possibilities

 

In the living room there is a free standing wall on the left ( with all the blond wood leaning against it) where we discussed  having some sort of accent or focal wall. The sofa will go against this wall and the two reupholstered chairs will face it. We considered  painting the wall completely red or possibly  having a decorative painter do something creative using the red flower blossoms in the fabric as her inspiration.

location of possible focal or accent wall on left

The next step is to paint up some large sample boards of our chosen colors and see how they look at different times of the day in her condo. My friend is so excited to have a color direction and she can now start to visualize what will soon be a spectacular new home.

 

Next up..the bedrooms!

 



 

 

Subscribe to my blog

Browse by Category

Remodeling and Home Design



NYC Blog Tour