White paint doesn't always get the respect it deserves. Too often it's considered a default, or a color for people who can't pick a color.
But white is consistently voted the 'most popular' and 'most likely to succeed' member of the color spectrum. And in so many cases, it's white that allows other colors to pop. As Maxwell says, "A good white wall is like a nice formal dress shirt – it's the perfect foundation. It holds the space of the room while directing attention to the art and the furnishings." Here are five beautiful rooms that show that white paint is the hero we've been waiting for.
1. Color as an accent.
When you want to make a color stand out, use white as your foundation. Start with a neutral base (hardwood floors, natural furniture, creamy white walls), then your flame-colored trim or accent wall becomes the high-drama moment you intended. We love how the room at the top of the post uses red trim on the windows instead of the usual white. So fresh!
2. Castle on a cloud.
Looking at this room is the visual equivalent of wearing cashmere. Tone-on-tone creamy neutrals in a range of textures make for a sense of simple luxury. Simply White (Benjamin Moore's Color of 2016) lends depth to a matte wall, contrasting with a reflective semigloss trim. Linen upholstery, marble accents and a cozy knit throw play off one another, while a dark floor and blackened shelving help to ground this airy, open space.
3. High contrast, hi perfection.
To create contrast, use dark accents – try black trim, paint an architectural feature (like a fireplace) or stain your floors in a dark finish. The trick to keeping things light? Play with pattern, whether black-and-white tiles, mod textiles, a striped rug or a pop-art pillow. Several cords of firewood can't hurt.
4. Good morning, starshine.
It's hard to beat the effortless appeal of sunlight streaming into a white room. White reflects the color of whatever's outside, so it's important to test shades on a wall and experience how paint reacts to light at different times of day. For a simple, sophisticated look, use matte white on the walls, semigloss trim and accessorize with collections of all-white objects.
5. Wood beams and leather.
White can keep 'rustic' and 'clubby' from feeling like a renovation "before." In this amazing space, the white frame keeps the spotlight on the distressed, rustic wood beams while keeping the room feeling clean and modern. For a rustic modern look, decorate a white room with raw wood pieces, saddle leather accents, woven seagrass baskets and soft sheepskins. If you swoon, we recommend falling directly onto the sheepskin.
For more ideas on how to work with white, check out Benjamin Moore's 2016 color trend report.