Off white walls are a versatile, and sophisticated, color choice for multiple architectural styles. Are you a fan?
WHO IS USING OFF WHITES?
From cottages, to contemporary, and even 19th century homes, off whites have been a homeowner favorite for years. While the reasons for its popularity are varied, many homeowners understand how off whites can add, or detract, from their homes specific architectural traits.
For example, cottage owner’s love the light and airy feeling off whites provide. Contemporary homeowner’s use it to build upon their homes pared down beauty. And, the homes of yesteryear use off whites to lighten the feel of a heavy-handed use of medium to dark wood; something very popular at the time.
THE MYTH THAT CREAMY OFF WHITES ARE SIMPLE TO SELECT
While it may seem logical that off whites can be chosen with ease, this isn’t necessarily the case. What you’ll find when beginning your search is that off whites are just as “colorful” as more clearly defined colors like beige.
Benjamin Moore offers 140 off white selections in its Color Preview collection alone, each of which has a different undertone. In fact, if you set each of the color chips next to another, you’d begin to see that some have creamy yellow undertones while others have a distinct pink, peach, lilac, green, blue, or gray.
SO, WHAT IS THE KEY?
The key to selecting a good off white for your walls is the same as choosing any other color; the undertones must first be determined, and then respected.
The undertones which must be considered are not just those of the off whites you’re choosing between. Time must always be taken to analyze the undertones of the fixed finishes as well.
For example, if most of your fixed finishes have green undertones, pairing them with an off white with pink undertones could be disastrous. Why? Because red and green are complementary colors on the color wheel, and pink is just a very soft version of red.
Colors that are the complements of one another call greater attention to their differences. Thus, a pink undertone paint color combined with green undertone fixed finishes would likely make the finishes look greener, and the paint color appear pinker. Unless this is the look you’re going for, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
HOW TO ENSURE YOU’VE SELECTED THE PERFECT OFF WHITE
Upon narrowing down your off whites to just 2 or 3 choices, it’s time to sample each of them properly. Why is sampling off whites as important as sampling gray, or any other color for that matter? Because, while it may be difficult to discern the color’s undertone in a small paint chip, it will be magnified once painted throughout a room.
Thus, purchasing a piece of foam core board for each color you choose to sample will become your best friend. Upon painting two coats of paint on your boards, you will be able to see the undertones of your off white and know that it’s a great, or not great, selection for your fixed finishes.
Follow these suggestions, and you too will be one of the very happy homeowner’s living with the perfect color of off white walls.