White is the absence of color but it is not the absence of personality or interest. White has many variations as seen in the 184 options of interior white paint that Sherwin Williams offers. Yes, I did say 184 different colors of white.
White traditionally signifies purity & cleanliness – think of fresh snow or a doctor’s crisp coat.
We have all seen how white trim showcases and enhances the color of the walls but many of us don’t consider using white as the dramatic background to cocoon us into our living spaces. White has a broad spectrum of emotions it can evoke, depending upon what it is paired with via furniture, architecture & accessories. And as long as it’s well maintained and not aged and the house isn’t smoked in (ew), it always says “I’m crisp”. Here is an example of a cozy beach house with white walls:
White can be a very soothing & relaxing color (as shown above), or it can create a very sterile environment as shown here:
Thank you to Architectural Digest for always having the best photos. Please click on either image to read more about the space.
If you are staging to SELL, white can be a very welcoming neutral – allowing the sunlight to play off of the walls in darker spaces because “sunlight sells”. It will also help create the feeling of cleanliness in the space which will in turn translate to confidence (“if they keep the house this clean, the HVAC system must also be clean and well maintained!”) and comfort (“gee, this space is cozy without feeling cramped”) which can also translate into an offer. Oh, and it also won’t turn off a buyer who doesn’ t have the time or interest to paint over bold colors as we discussed HERE.
If you are staging to DWELL, white can be a great background for displaying your art collection, lightening a home that does not get a lot of natural light, and also provide you with easy touch ups. Not to mention you can change your furniture and accessories regularly and not worry about something not matching within the space….
Ultimately, don’t be afraid to experiment with white, and like with all color considerations you should paint a handful of swatches around the house to see how it works in the different lights during different times of the day. Believe me, if you watch HGTV and think that you can pick one color and it automatically looks good on the wall, remember they don’t show the outtakes.
Oh, and don’t feel like you’re not allowed to “wear white” on your walls after Labor Day…it’s good all year ’round!