Here’s Why This HGTV Expert Says You Should Avoid Painting Your Walls White

published May 19, 2021
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When it comes to picking a paint color for the interior of a home, many gravitate toward one of the many shades of white. After all, white is neutral, can work with any design aesthetic, and is an easy, foolproof way to brighten up any space… well, according to one design expert, maybe not always the latter.

In a recent Instagram post, designer and host of HGTV’s “Build Me Up” Orlando Soria revealed that painting a room white can actually make a space feel darker, and a moodier color can bring that desired brightness out. If you need to see it to believe it, Soria provided photographic evidence to back up his word.

“Hot Tip! Sometimes instinct tells you to paint a dark room white to make it look brighter. THAT INSTINCT IS WRONG!!!” he wrote in the caption, sharing a truly mind-blowing before-and-after photo to prove his point.

In the before photo, the living room was painted white, featuring dark window treatments and a grey brick fireplace with a wood mantle. But after he worked his magic by giving the walls a moodier update and brightening up the fireplace and window treatments, the room really popped with life.

“Painting a dark, sexy space white makes it look dingy and depressing. LEAN IN and paint it a sultry, saturated color,” he suggested, revealing that he used Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue for the walls. “This will give your space an intentionally romantic vibe.” 

He added that using touches of ivory, warm woods, woven textures, and soothing neutrals helps “brighten up” the room. Other easy ways you can do this: add light fixtures or lamps, invest in some strategically placed mirrors, and hang large scale artwork. Some designers also suggest ditching drapes altogether, giving your windows as much chance as possible to let the light in.