There's a fine line between a white palette in the home that's fresh and relaxing and one that feels sterile and cold. Ultimately, your surroundings will determine what the best shade of white is for you. Besides cool and warm whites, there are also deeper neutrals to consider, such as biscuits and greys, that can bring depth and atmosphere to a room.
To inject softness into a south-facing room, choose a warm white. Warm whites have yellow, brown, or red undertones and ‘project’ into a room, creating a cosy atmosphere. They also work well with earthy, organic shades, so if your furnishings are of natural and warm hues, your paint probably should be, too.
Cool whites have a blue or black base and work well in rooms that get a lot of sun, as they tend to neutralise bright light. There is also a crispness to these white that suits a home with modern lines and minimal schemes.
Biscuits are both warm and cool neutrals that are deeper than whites, being closer to natural stone hues. These paint colours add depth to interiors yet contain a harmonious presence of their own. However, to prevent a dated feel, avoid biscuit-coloured paints with heavy yellow or pink bases.
A rustic Scandinavian white-on-white palette is easy to achieve if you stick to soft whites. Select one family of white, then vary the tones for depth. Play with texture, such as matt finishes and limewashes, and add either soft accents like blue or pink, or lively accents like acid yellow and chartreuse.
Cool and warm greys are now standards of the neutral palette. There are many ways grey can be played with and the result can look casual and relaxed, or chic and elegant. Just be careful of opting for greys that are very pale – They can come up looking like dirt white. A mid-toned grey is still soft and works as a neutral backdrop.
Check out the Haymes Neutrals Colour Palette for more white inspiration!