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.
Above: The selection ranges from crisp white to ice-colored to distinctly blue-toned when painted on a wall. 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.) 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. 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.”) Above: Ellen Hamilton of Hamilton Design Associates considers Farrow & Ball’s Wevet a favorite cool-toned white. 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. Above: Patriotic White by Benjamin Moore is a favorite of Kriste Michelini Interiors. 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. 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: