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?

3 Tips For Choosing The Perfect White

They say the Eskimos have over 100 words for SNOW.  Well not to be outdone, paint companies have hundreds and hundreds of words for the color WHITE. This fact was recently pointed out to a good friend of mine. She and her family are less than one week away from moving to Montreal CA from Boston MA (in a too good to pass up job opportunity for her husband). Since they will only be there for 3 years they are keeping their current home and are renting an apartment in Canada. She told me she loves their new apartment but every room is painted a different color from the crayon box so the landlord has offered to have the whole place repainted.

Now choosing paint color can be a daunting task even in the best of circumstances; but choosing color from another country for a home you have only seen once without knowing what your furniture, carpets or fabrics will be, is nearly impossible. For that reason my friend emailed the painter to “just paint the whole place white”.  Sounds simple, right?  Well my poor friend called me in a complete panic because the painter emailed her back (smart painter) and asked, “of the more than 200 whites available which one do you want me to use?”




Choosing white is not any easier than choosing any other color. Like other neutrals, most whites have undertones and you want to choose the right undertone in order to get the look and feel you want.  Whites can be a pure white or have either a Yellow, Red (pink) or Blue (Green, Purple) undertone.

So if you decide to “just paint it white” here are 3 Tips for choosing the “right” white.

#1. Determine the look and feel you want for the room.

If you want a warm and cozy feeling in your room then soft creamy whites (yellow undertone) work best. Creamy whites work great in more traditional homes that have other neutrals and earth tones in the fabrics  and carpet.


If a super bright and clean contemporary look is what you want then a pure white or a white with a blue undertone will work best.



#2. It is important to think about how much light the room gets.

Contrary to popular belief, white does not brighten up a dark space. White just goes gray and dull without plenty of light. If your room is flooded with bright natural light then a pure white or a cool white (blue undertone)  looks great.



If the room is bright but lacking a lot of natural light then choosing a white with pink or red undertones can warm up the space.




#3. Look at what other Colors are in the room.

A bright, clean or cool white looks best with other bright clean colors.

While creamy whites look best with Earth Tones, other neutrals and dark wood furniture.


As for my stressed out friend?  She couldn’t answer any of my 3  questions so I did what she asked and “just picked a white”….hope she likes it !! 🙂


What do you think of white?


If you need help choosing the right white or any other color, give me a call.







A Few Fun Color Facts About Red, White, and Blue

In light of the upcoming 4th of July holiday, I thought it would be fun to share some quick, fun facts about the colors Red, White, and Blue.


Red: is the color with the longest wave length and is always the highest arc of the rainbow.


*RED increases respiration rate, raises blood pressure and stimulates us to take immediate action.

*RED is reportedly the very first color a newborn can see.

*Early RED dyes were made by crushing the dried bodies of the Cochineal insect. Seventy thousand insects had to be harvested, dried and              crushed just to produce one pound of red dye.

*Indians of the Amazon colored their lips with RED hot chili peppers for a little added sex appeal.

*If  RED is your favorite color you are extroverted, exciting, energetic and a natural born leader. You bring excitement to the world.  On the flip side,     Red lovers can also be moody, bossy, restless and opinionated.



*The ancient Greeks started the tradition of wearing white wedding dresses but it did not become popular in the US until the 1800’s. Before that brides wore pastel colors.

*Medical professionals started wearing white in the early 1900’s so dirt and grime, which was feared to cause infection, would show better.

*In our culture, white means purity but in many African cultures, white symbolizes death.

*In China, white is the color of mourning and therefore worn to funerals.

*If white is your favorite color you like cleanliness and order. Your home and clothes are immaculate. You tend to be a cautious buyer and a shrewd trader. The negative is that you can be critical and fussy.



*Blue has a calming effect on our bodies and has been shown to slow down our metabolism and heart rate.

* Native Americans in the South West paint the front doors of their adobe houses bright blue to keep the evil spirits away.

*Clairvoyants and Mystics believe that blue light possesses healing qualities.

* Universally, blue is chosen as the favorite color.

*Early use of  Blue paint was so highly prized that laws existed as to what artists were allowed to paint blue…Jesus and Mary’s robes were usually the only accepted uses of the precious color.

*Blue paint was so expensive because it was produced by crushing up the jewel Lapis Lazuli which is primarily found deep in the mountains of Afghanistan.

*If Blue is your favorite color you are trustworthy, responsible and sensitive to the needs of others. You are generally conservative and aspire to harmony, serenity and peace in your day to day life. Because Blue lovers have a highly developed sense of responsibility, they can have issues with perfectionism.

Hope this adds a little knowledge to all the Red, White, and Blue you will be seeing over the next few weeks.

If you want to learn more interesting facts about color I highly recommend the book Colors For Your Every Mood by Leatrice Eiseman. All these fun facts came from her book.

I am off to the Country (north country) and wish you all a happy and safe holiday!


Happy 4th of July!!!



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 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.

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