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10 white paint ideas for your next project

The seemingly simple color is more complex than you thought

The dining room in the Minneapolis home of stylist and designer David Anger
The dining room in the Minneapolis home of stylist and designer David Anger
Photo by Wing Ta

When it comes to wall color selection, you would think white was the simple choice; You would be wrong. Anyone who has held a paint deck knows that there are countless variations of the colorless color. We turned to the subjects of our House Calls column to garner ideas for choosing the right white.

1. Jewel White, Porter Paints

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For her Victorian home in St. Charles, Missouri, photographer Carmen Troesser chose Jewel White for many walls and all of the trim. "It’s not too white, not too off white," she says. "It’s the very least saturated end of a green series, but not obviously detectable as such. Given my love of all things green it's not surprising that it's a comforting white for me, on an almost subliminal level."

2. Linen White, Benjamin Moore

A bright dining table with wooden dining table, wishbone chairs, and a pink and yellow print in the background. A white orb light hangs from the ceiling. Wing Ta

For his suburban Minneapolis condo, pro stylist David Anger selected Linen White as a backdrop for his graphic art collection. "It’s a soft, yet fresh background for art and objects," he says. "A quiet white that isn't static, as it’s more creamy in the evening and cooler months and bright in daylight and summertime."

3. Midcentury pottery, custom mix

When choosing a white, there’s no need to be limited to a fan deck. When Miles McDermott furnished his Phoenix, Arizona apartment in an authentic midcentury style, he looked to his pottery collection for wall inspiration. "The one thing about this stuff is that you'll rarely find it in bright white," he says. "These ceramics (when handmade) are commonly made with B-Mix clay, which is a sort of warm, sort of dark off-white. I've brought that color to the walls of my home. Home Depot will 'scan' anything you bring in to get a custom mixed can of paint that is pretty dang close to the color. I've discovered that a glaring, true white is much too sterile for a cozy abode such as my own."

4. Wind’s Breath, Benjamin Moore

For a serene look in his Brooklyn apartment, lifestyle guru Carlo Geraci chose a shade that’s somewhere between bright white and off white.

5. Extra White, Sherwin Williams

Spoonflower president Allison Polish wanted a white that would contrast nicely with the citrus hues in her Chapel Hill, North Carolina home. "I was looking for a true, crisp white that wasn’t too stark or verging on yellow. I wanted to choose a white that provided a clean contrast from the strong yellows and not something that was muddied with yellow undertones," she says.

6. Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore

Jamie and Derek Bryant selected this white for the interior of their Fayette, Missouri barn. "Chantilly Lace is somewhat of a warmer white and and has an aged or vintage feel that is perfect for our barn," say Jamie. "Plus I just love the name!"

7. Patriotic White, Benjamin Moore

For their kitchen, the Bryants went with a white with a hint of blue. "It looks very pretty on walls and really brightens up the room," says Jamie. "We love it so much we actually used it in our bathroom as well."

8. Cotton Balls, Benjamin Moore

Architect EJ Meade of Arch11 chose this paint for the Boulder, Colorado home he designed for Chris and Denise Hess. "It’s awesome," says Denise. "It’s not too warm or too cool."

9. Atrium White, Benjamin Moore

Photographer Hallie Burton calls this color in her New York City apartment unusual. "It's white with a slight magenta tint rather than the usual white with a black tint, and it changes through the day," she says. "It's my white!"

10. Decorator’s White, Benjamin Moore

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Furniture designer Ben Erickson has a go-to shade of white, and this is what he used in his New Jersey cabin. The soft, off white goes with the modern, rustic nature of the home.