The white paints designers use (and recommend!) again and again
Take it from us—you don't know how much you love (or loathe) a paint until you see it on your walls, and the most popular wall color—white—is no exception. We polled some of our favorite designers on their go-to shades of white. Spoiler alert: Sampling is key, whatever hue you opt for! Heed their advice, then shop our selects to find a look you'll love.
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"A beautiful shade of white is always a good neutral to consider," says designer Anne Duterme. "It is fascinating how many options and nuances there are once you start looking at them!"
Take the difference between cool and warm tones, for one: "Cooler tonality can come off as bright and energizing as well as clean. Warmer variances can evoke calmer feelings of comfort and tranquility and even heritage." Her current recommendations? Check out Benjamin Moore Cloud White and Simply White.
It's key to sample first, then observe, and then paint, to avoid color disasters. Designer Rachel Cannon points out, "You may think you're choosing a white, but when you look at that darkest color [on a traditional fan deck] it's maroon or emerald green—and that's going to show up in your white. Your kitchen will look pink or pistachio, and you'll always wonder why."
Sample using large-scale swatches in multiple hues and view them in various lights and during times of the day before selecting your final color. Rachel's preferred white, for the record, is Sherwin-Williams High Reflective White.
Still need more suggestions? Sample Snowbound by Sherwin-Williams (a fave of Traci Connell) Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore (Barry Goralnick's pick) and Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams, a favorite of both Kirsten Grove of We Three Design (she names it as "one of my favorite taupe-y whites. It's not too stark and it's not too creamy") and designer Molly Ballard of Emily Castle Design, who says the shade "is our firm’s go-to trim color when contrasting trim to the wall color."