Friday, August 8, 2008

Perfect white?


I need help. My step-kid (13) called the color of our front room "cat-lady yellow" which is kinda still tearing my heart out.

I need the perfect bone white. A little cream in it, but no grey. Seattle is too grey as it is.

Does the perfect white exist for the light here in the NW?

Help, por favor.


(Cute green, huh? But I need white. Photo is just for funs, y'all.)

53 comments:

maison21 said...

benjamin moore super white- a completely true white, with a little warmth so it's not blue-y.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I just have to give a LOL at cat-lady yellow. =)

Gnarled Old Cat Lady said...

Ralph Lauren has the best selection of whites and off-whites.

erika - urban grace said...

I like Benjamin Moore OC-17 "White Dove".

Jules said...

Are you sure on the white? You don't strike me as someone with white walls, even though it's fashionable right now. Maybe that is why it has taken you so long to find the right white?

Anonymous said...

"White Dove" is probably what you're looking for. It's not blinding, showoffy white.

decorno said...

Jules - YES. I am totally a white-walls person.

I used to have some crazy colors in old apartments, but because my house is this dark old brick bastard of a tudor(-ish), I can't do color. Hard to explain, but I want the white to make it cleaner and more modern. With the yellow, my old stuff is starting to make the whole place look like a junky Samamish antique shop (sorry Sammamish). With white, I think it will help set off a mix of new and old stuff.

I do have color in my office. It's a chalky green that seems to work.

Also - I am simply not good with color. So there you have it. :)

Jules said...

I hear you. If I could repaint my whole house, I would. In my other house (small McMansion) I could get away with dark walls because of the high ceilings. I now live in a 50s ranch with two 80ft trees and my lighting is zero in the main parts of the house. I wish I had known than before I let my family convince me to paint all the walls a dark sand. Not only is it too safe, it's too dark (relatively speaking).

The House of Beauty and Culture said...

Sanderson's Dusky White: 413P

Anonymous said...

The green in that photograph is like Nick Olsen's old apartment, huh?

Anonymous said...

FYI--if you go with a Ralph Lauren paint, get the RL color you want in some other brand. Their paint quality suuuuuuucks.

birdy said...

I tried out about 20 different shade of white when we were painting our living room/front hall/home office, and FINALLY found the perfect shade: Ralph Lauren Portrait White.

heyhey said...

Jeffrey Bilhuber's Design Basics--which HabituallyChic covered not long ago--has some great pointers on choosing paint colors. He has a whole section on whites, in which he names about 10 Benjamin Moore whites and the best applications for each one.

Decorno! Just stopped by the newsstand, and Mayer Rus is now writing for Elle Decor! Apparently--and maybe you already know this--he's now the style & culture editor for the LA Times magazine, which is set to launch as "LA" in September.

Anonymous said...

go get a bunch of sample colors from benjamin moore, paint them on several walls and watch the light for a few days. You'll be much more certain that way.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Decorno

Once you've had your daily dose of Lillet "Over ice. Lots of ice"

You won't care what color it is ;-)

Anon

Jennifer said...

my vote BM white linen with BM white dove trim

that's what i'm doing in my house. upstairs i'm doing MB manchester tan with same white dove trim.

white dove also for walls in bath and kitchen cabinetry

i wanted just a bit of contrast but all dove white is nice too


my bedroom is dark chocolate brown

Anonymous said...

Ditto on Ben Moore "white dove".

Jennifer said...

please share office 'chalky green' I'm looking for a good office color.i want something on the masculine side. and it can be darker

paola said...

Farrow & Ball has lots of lovely whites. They're formulated for British light and therefore perfect for Seattle...

birdy said...

Can I jump on your thread, and ask for gray recommendations?

I've been looking for the perfect gray for awhile. I want it for my bedroom -- a soothing, but not depressing color.

Poppy said...

Decorno, Once you choose it, and you paint it, can we see it???

Anonymous said...

jennifer: I think white linen looks great--I used it throughout my last apt--but it might be more cream-colored than whitey white

Robin said...

Um, he's 13. Do 13-year-olds like anything?

Benj. Moore's Elephant Tusk is nice and creamy. My old bedroom had a northern exposure and faced the neighbor's 50-ft pine trees, so every day was a gray day, and the bedroom always felt bright but warm and soothing.

decorno said...

13 year olds like all kinds of stuff. He has a good eye. I am taking his word on this one. It's definitely cat-lady yellow.

Anonymous said...

Behr, designer white.

eM said...

I painted my north facing bedroom Benjamin Moore's "snow fall" I really wanted a color in there, but this white is lovely - has a bit of yellow in it - I am suprised how much I love it. I also like Mountain Peak, which I have in the rooms that face the water - it's a kind of chalky white that does not contribute to the glare we sometimes get. I use super white for my trim because it looks really fine in a high gloss

Lisa said...

Three things:

1) My comment is coming way late in the game. So no one will read it anyway.

2) Sammamish doesn't have junky antique shops. Issaquah sure, but in Sammamish, we have standards.

3) I wish he had called it "cat-piss yellow". That would have been really awesome.

decorno said...

I don't mean all of Sammamish. I mean like the one neglected lame shop that doesn't meet the standards of the rest of your antique town.

Are you going to the wedding in Whistler? We were just talking about you at dinner and I am hoping you will be there.

mrlfvl said...

Duron "Shell White" is my favorite white...I agree on the Ralph Lauren comment too - the quality of their paint is terrible...

Anonymous said...

Some BM whites: Superwhite is extremely white, although warm.

Decorator White is extremely white, with a bit of gray.

whites with a tiny bit of yellow: Cloud White, Mayonnaise, Linen White.

whites with a bit of creaminess, tiny bit of gray: White Dove, Elephant Tusk.

BM Navajo is yucky.

Bone White is a classic bone color.

Atrium white pink.

Cameo peachy.

Yes, I have tried all these on my walls. If you paint trim and walls the same color, you will not notice the undertone so much. If you paint your trim Superwhite or Dec White, and another color on the walls, you will see the undertones more.

Jules said...

Dec white is far too white and bright for anything other than trim, in my opinion. It's what I have on my trim in the office. Let me know if you want pictures. Agree w/ anon---bright white with some gray.

Anonymous said...

what finish will you do? flat, eggshell or my favorite - semi-gloss.
it makes a difference!
Good luck!

Jen r. said...

Ben Moore super white is good. If you like a bit of yellow, there's timid white (that might ahve atouch of grey) but I really like Mayonnaise OC-85. It's funny how white isn't white(cat-lad yellow.ha!)! Jen R

Lisa said...

I hope the dinner talk was about how frickin' awesome I am. And not about my stalker tendencies.

Yes, we will be in Whistler for the wedding. I am practicing getting drunk right now.

Oh, and to sort of bring this back round to topic - paint it Tiffany box blue. I did that to my bathroom. It was the best. And by best, I might mean worst idea ever.

UNIFORM Studio said...

I didn't read the thousands of comments that came before me, so forgive me if someone else mentioned this one:
Sherwin Williams Extra White is THE perfect white. Ever. There is no other color in it. No pink, no blue no nothing undertones. It's base paint, what they use to mix all of their colors. and it's perfect in every situation.
I'm an architect and use it in all my projects.
Good luck w/ the painting!
xo

Anonymous said...

This is late so will probably not be read but anyway...
Absolutley Farrow and Ball for quality...no VOC's or other nasties either. For the light in the NW their range is perfect.

Anonymous said...

Try Benjamin Moore's Mayonaise- It looks beautiful up. It's the color of vanilla ice cream- perfect in all lights.

Great Dame said...

Or, an non Benjamin Moore color:
Pratt and Lambert's Seed Pearl. I used it in a north facing hallway, and it has a lot of warmth, but not too yellowish or pinkish.

Anonymous said...

It totally depends on your lighting in the room that you intend to paint. No matter how good a color looks on a paint chip, someone else's walls, a magazine photo, or other media, it won't look good on your walls unless it looks good in YOUR lighting. I am not often fond of white walls, as I have lived in too many apartments/rentals where I was forced to keep it all white. Luckily, I have a landlord right now that allows me to use color, as he has each apartment painted back to white when a tenant leaves, anyway.
You say you are not good with color. Best thing to do is to pull a color you love from something else in the room, or select a drapery/upholstery fabric to use in the room and pull a color cue from that.

Meander said...

oh that photo is just divine! i think i would actually make my bed every day if it looked that cute when completed.

simply seleta said...

Selecting the perfect white is a function of how much direct or indirect light you have in your room. If it is mostly indirect light, you may consider selecting a color that's not too dark, or it will look like a dirtier white. If you have a lot of lovely sunlight pouring in, then you can bring in a white with a subtle undertone and it will be seen and appreciated.

Some favs:

BM's Niveous [creamy with touch of yellow]
BM's Navajo [off white]
BM's White Dove

Duron Nacre

CSS said...

I am really late on this, but we did the guest BR in BM Mayonnaise and it is great. With a super white trim, it really looks fresh and only at night do you see the more yellow undertone (but only if you really look). Please tell us what you pick.

Birdy, I really like BM Silver Cloud, but if that is too blue then try Abyss, Boothbay Grey, or Cement Grey (all by BM).

Jennifer said...

i had to revisit to see the rest of the suggestions.

i may try BM Mayonnaise instead of Linen white in my house...

but why do they have to call it mayonnaise, why not vanilla ice cream or something lovely?? i have a bit of a fear of using colors with yucky names. am i alone here?

Anonymous said...

I hated the sound of Mayonnaise too, but in fairness, think how rotten a job it would be naming colors for a paint company. There are probably, what, a hundred off-whites, and after a while the namers probably just get desperate and start slapping all sorts of words on them, like Albumen White, Eyeball White, Maggot White, Toilet White, etc.

Louryne said...

I was checking out whites today and on House Beautiful online under the decorating tab. . then color they have a list of whites that designers recommend.

Anonymous said...

I like BM Navajo White.

Erin said...

Door Sixteen's blog/flickr set shows her home painted with BM Moonlight White. I think it's nice and warm and not too glaring.

christi said...

Man lots of BM love here. I wanted to offer up a less expensive alt in case someone can't afford BM, F&B or SW paint. I recently painted my entire house Martha Stewart's Bakery Box white. I love it so much. I used Valspar low VOC eggshell. It's enamel-y white and cheerful.

Grey - look for a Weimaraner (brownish) grey for max luxe and coziness.

Office? Hmmm. Think about what you'll be doing there, what impression you need to make and go from there. I'd make mine a primary and white, but I like to have fun or at least think there's the potential for fun to break out all the day long!

papercupp said...

I agree with maison 21, Benjamin Moore - super white. It is seriously the best. By the way, I adore your blog!

Anonymous said...

superwhite is too showoffy for a whole room. take it down a notch and it'll be a room you can relax in.

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Moore Creamy White, OC-7, is THE perfect bone white. If you would like a whiter white, then go with Glacier White (I forget the number).

Of all the ready-mixed whites, truthfully Dove White (a greyish white) is the one that works best.

Good luck!

Ellie said...

Benjamin Moore's Moonlight White.

Anonymous said...

Did you try Mascarpone by BM? It is a very crisp white with a hint of cream. Goes really well with the dark wood moulding.
Check it out here. http://www.houzz.com/projects/146768/My-Houzz--Lani-Zervas