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Architects’ 8 Favorite Cool-Toned Neutral Paints

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Architects’ 8 Favorite Cool-Toned Neutral Paints

October 15, 2019

Among the finer points when it comes to choosing a paint: whether it has warm or cool undertones (which can have a surprisingly big effect on a room, adding an extra complication when it comes to choosing a shade). Luckily, we have a panel of paint masters to consult. We asked the experts in the Remodelista Architect & Designer Directory for their favorite cool-toned whites and neutrals, all with undertones of green and blue, rather than red and yellow. Among the benefits of cool-toned whites: They have more dimension than a “pure” white and make walls and ceilings recede more than warm whites do (making spaces feel bigger). Here are eight vetted picks from the experts.

The selection ranges from crisp white to ice-colored to distinctly blue-toned when painted on a wall.
Above: The selection ranges from crisp white to ice-colored to distinctly blue-toned when painted on a wall.
MLK Studios tends to go for DKC-68 by Donald Kaufman Color when looking for a cool white paint. (It&#8
Above: MLK Studios tends to go for DKC-68 by Donald Kaufman Color when looking for a cool white paint. (It’s the brand’s “coldest bright white,” they say.)
 Scavullo Design Interiors favors ICI Paints’ Winter&#8
Above: Scavullo Design Interiors favors ICI Paints’ Winter’s Day, which provides a “lovely shade of white with a blue undertone and very clean color.” Note: English company ICI Paints no longer exists (it was bought by Akzo Nobel, which also owns Dulux), but a paint shop can mix the color if you tell them that you want “Winter’s Day 50GG.” We had ours mixed at Lowe’s.
Nickey Kehoe uses Farrow & Ball’s James White for a paint that “has a lovely slight blue-green cast.&#8
Above: Nickey Kehoe uses Farrow & Ball’s James White for a paint that “has a lovely slight blue-green cast.” (The shade was “first created for the pretty garden room of a discerning Dr. James with a fresh underlying green tone,” the company says. “The slightest hint of green creates a calm, soothing, and airy feel, which is particularly useful for darker interiors. It will look greener when used in contrast with All White and in north-facing rooms.”)
Ellen Hamilton of Hamilton Design Associates considers Farrow & Ball’s Wevet a favorite cool-toned white.
Above: Ellen Hamilton of Hamilton Design Associates considers Farrow & Ball’s Wevet a favorite cool-toned white.
 Michael Howells from Howells Architecture and Design recommends Farrow & Ball’s Cabbage White as a cool-toned white paint &#8
Above: Michael Howells from Howells Architecture and Design recommends Farrow & Ball’s Cabbage White as a cool-toned white paint “with the slightest hint of blue,” Farrow & Ball says.
Patriotic White by Benjamin Moore is a favorite of Kriste Michelini Interiors.
Above: Patriotic White by Benjamin Moore is a favorite of Kriste Michelini Interiors.
 Lindsay Crozier of Brooklyn-based Made recommends Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl with a greenish cast that comes to light when painted on a wall.
Above: Lindsay Crozier of Brooklyn-based Made recommends Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl with a greenish cast that comes to light when painted on a wall.
 Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs in New York City opts for Sherwin-Williams Lattice, which he describes as “super fresh with a cool, neutral undertone,” a white that is “perfect for any room.” It&#8
Above: Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs in New York City opts for Sherwin-Williams Lattice, which he describes as “super fresh with a cool, neutral undertone,” a white that is “perfect for any room.” It’s hard to tell out of context, but Lattice has a distinctly blue cast.

And one more: Marie Fischer Interior design prefers Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, describing it as simply “the best.” (It was also Medium Plenty and Amy A. Alper‘s pick in Architects’ 8 Favorite Pure White Paints.)

N.B.: For white paints with a creamy, old-fashioned bent, see Architects’ 8 Favorite Warm Gray Paints.

More in the world of neutrals:

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