Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

Kevin Brown

Are White Walls Right for You? A Helpful Hints Guide

Despite what we see in photographs, white wall paint does not always make a room feel bigger and brighter. Photos can make a space look bathed in natural light, which is more attractive. However, the photo might not tell the whole story.

Here are some rules to consider before painting your walls white, so you have a beautiful space in reality, not just a replica of a photograph.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

(Note: The photographs provided in this article are examples of white walls done right, even when paired with a paragraph of White Wall Don’ts.)

Need a light? Avoid white.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

If your room requires artificial light during the day, it is not suitable for white walls. This is an initial indicator of whether you should consider white walls in your space.

No natural light? Avoid white.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

If the room lacks natural light, painting the walls will make it appear flat and lifeless. Avoid white walls in these spaces, regardless of personal preference. Natural light is essential for vibrant white.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

In spaces with architectural flaws or distracting idiosyncrasies, white walls are not the best option. White tends to emphasize, rather than hide, imperfections.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

White walls are often said to make spaces appear brighter and larger, but this is only partially true. They appear bright when the room already has ample natural light. Small, dark spaces should not be painted white. A medium-toned neutral color works better in small, dark spaces to add energy and oomph. Darker colors may be used if you want the space to feel smaller and cozier.

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However, a small space with natural light can thrive with white walls.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

White walls are ideal for bright rooms with abundant natural light.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

If your room faces away from midday sunlight, use clear white paint. White walls will enhance the greyish-blue natural light and maintain balance.

Choose warm white if your site faces north.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

If your room has north-facing windows, white walls with warm tones will look best. For a focal point, choose a white background.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

Painting white walls can serve as a “background” for an accent wall, but only if the room has ample natural light. Emphasize interesting silhouettes with the use of white.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

White walls can be a great choice for displaying sculptural and textural elements in your home. They provide a versatile backdrop that works well in modern, rustic, or industrial spaces. In fact, white walls can beautifully showcase artistic pieces like the eco-modern David Nash collection.

If you want to create a soft, natural look in your space, complement it with white.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

White walls complement a beautiful natural view like the ocean, rather than distract from it. However, in the case of a stark and harsh ocean view, like during the New England winter, white walls could exacerbate the harshness.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

Rooms with multiple design elements may benefit from white walls as a neutral base. The effectiveness of white walls in these cases depends on the amount of natural light the room receives.

Are White Walls Right for You A Helpful Hints Guide

If you choose white walls, make sure you pick the right shade for your space. There are numerous shades of white to choose from.

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