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Paint Color Selection: White Paint Myths

By Seattle Staged to Sell | Real Estate, Home Staging | Seattle, WA | on Jul 13, 2012

White paint!  It seems that many people have a love - hate relationship with white paint.  Frequently, when I meet with my interior design clients OR home sellers, I hear comments like those listed below over and over. So I thought it would be helpful to discuss some of these issues related to white paint.

tips on choosing white paint for your home.
Is white paint a right choice for your home or not?
  • "I have lived with white walls because I am afraid of choosing the wrong colors."  This is a common comment that we hear from of our clients. If you are afraid of choosing a color, that doesn't mean that you have to stick with white.  You should live with white walls only because this is something that you love to live with and white walls in the right homes can be stunning. You can overcome this problem by either finding a professional who can provide color consultations (and this is small investment with big impact) or purchasing small paint samples yourself and paint 2'x2' white boards and pin them on your wall. This way you can live with the colors that are considering for awhile and see how it changes with the natural light throughout day. This is a very effective exercise. 
  • "I hate white! It's boring and makes the rooms feel cold."   Not all white colors are created equally.  I think the generic contractor white is to blame for this misunderstanding. There are so many beautiful shades of white to choose from and it works well in any style of home. Many different elements like wood, texture, and accessories can be brought into an all white room to make it inviting and cozy.
 How to choose white paint for your home. White walls in a modern and country style home. Source: Elle Decor & Sweet Savannah Rooms.
  • "This room needs to be painted in white since it is small and I want to make it look bigger."   This is another myth and it doesn't hold true all the time. Some of the smaller rooms look more inviting and energized with the help of some BOLD  color like this powder room that belonged to a house that we staged for one of our clients. 
    tips on choosing bold colors for small rooms This bold orange powder room is stunning.
  • "Ceilings always have to be white."  Again, not always. You should think of your ceiling as your fifth wall. Elements of fun, elegance and surprise can be brought into to a room by being creative with the ceiling colors or patterns.
  • tips on Painting the ceilings of your rooms
    Remember your ceiling is your FIFTH wall. Source: House Beautiful and
  • "White is the best color when it comes to selling homes."   Again, this is a myth. Warm neutral colors are the best choices for homes for sale and not all neutrals are white.  In addition, some rooms look lovely with bold colors. If you read this previous blog you will see that I said YES to all different colors for this home for sale since it was done tastefully and thoughtfully.  Whereas the sellers of this home for sale   should have had followed our advice and painted the walls in Jute by Benjamin Moore, which is a warm neutral.
  • "All white paints are the same."   Another myth busted.  There are many many white colors both in warm and cool tones. If you just look at a fan deck, you will see all sorts of white colors. "White walls will showcase my art pieces better."    It is true that most museums and art galleries use white walls to showcase their pieces. But this is because they rotate many many pieces around all the time and white walls are easier to deal with.  However, when it comes to your own home, you can use different wall colors not only to showcase your art pieces, but even to enhance a feature about them that you love. How to choose paint color for your walls
  • Colors on walls can actually showcase your wall art in a stronger way. Source: Decorati

    Don't be afraid to experiment. This is the only way for you to find out what is it that your really love and want.  Go Ahead  and start painting! 

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