How to choose the perfect white paint

A guide to picking the right shade of white for your home.

What’s the natural light like in your room?

North-facing rooms generally have weak, cool natural light, so you’ll need to compensate for this by choosing a warm white.

On the other hand, south-facing rooms usually have plenty of strong light from sunshine, so you may find it helpful to choose a cool white that balances glare.

Use this guide to help you choose:

In the living room

Good natural daylight: If you’re looking to create a lively atmosphere, choose a cool white with a hint of orange or gold. If you want to evoke a relaxing ambience, then add a little bit of calm green, such as sage, into your white.

Poor natural daylight: Warm shades of yellow and gold compensate for cool light. So to make your living room feel cosy and welcoming, try using honey white or primrose white.

In the bedroom

Good natural daylight: Calm greens and blues are perfect for encouraging a good night’s sleep. If this is your priority, choose a white with a hint of teal or moss. But for a revitalising lift to get you out of bed in the morning, pick a white with a touch of gold, such as light caramel.

Poor natural daylight: Warm mauve and lilacs are also wonderful relaxing colours. If you’re dreaming of a tranquil bedroom, choose a hue like violet white or blueberry white. But if you’d prefer a warm, sunny look throughout the day, then pick a white with tones of cream and peach.

In the bathroom

Good natural daylight: To make the most of a small space, it’s best to choose a cool white such as pearl or almond. Or for an understated, contemporary look, pick one with a touch of green or blue, such as cool duck egg.

Poor natural daylight: If you want your room to appear larger, then choose a white that tends towards a warm blue, perhaps with a hint of purple.

In the kitchen

Good natural daylight: To create a calming effect in a busy family kitchen, it’s best to use a white with a touch of fresh pastel green or blue. But to soothe a stressed cook, add a hint of a chalky green, such as olive, to your white.

Poor natural daylight: Lavender and mauve are contemporary and soothing at the same time. If you’re after a modern, calm look, try adding a touch of amethyst to your white.

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