Get White Right

How to choose a shade of white for your home.

| July/August 2005

As you assemble colors, don’t forget the sum of all colors: white. With white woodwork, the richest, deepest colors can enliven your walls: eggplant, chocolate, ultramarine, persimmon, fuchsia. Even a palette of flinty grays in a bedroom can be beautifully soothing, rather than somber, if gauzy white linen curtains and white embroidered pillows float on the twilight scheme.

Be careful when choos­ing whites, whether for trim or walls. “White” can be green, tan, beige, yellow, pink, blue, or gray. Rich, deep wall colors gen­­­­­erally pair best with brilliant whites on the trim; creamier whites or pink-whites partner with various woods. Hold whites up to something white that you love—such as a piece of linen, for example—or compare white chips with each other to see which tones they reveal.

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