First, before we go any further, in my last post when I talked about white and cream wall colours being such a huge incoming trend, one of my fabulous readers posted this comment:
“Hey, you didn’t tell us whether you were FOR or AGAINST this trend?”
So first, I’m not FOR or AGAINST, any trend. I know it sounds like I am, because I’m always warning you about the overuse of them, however I specify trend colours anytime it’s the right thing to do.
Here’s what this means. If the right colour to pull your space together is beige, for example, then that’s the right colour for you.
What I’m always striving to do, is warn you against blindly choosing ANY TREND COLOUR, over and over and over again.
My mission in life is to teach you how to choose the right colour at any given point so that you’re happy with the result.
So just because white or cream has suddenly hit the world of trends big-time, doesn’t mean that your house is suddenly WRONG.
That the BEIGE your house is painted is WRONG.
Just because your house is painted a shade of grey it’s WRONG.
There’s NOTHING WRONG.
Well, if it really is wrong, you’ll either hire me to help you fix it, or you’ll read my blog long and hard to try and figure it out yourself, buy an ebook or two, or attend one of my live workshops so you can become much more confident with all the constant colour decisions you make as a homeowner or designer.
What everyone wants is a look and a feel
However, I would like to stress AGAIN, that what will make you happy in your home is spending your time, money and effort creating a look and a feel.
Painting your house white or cream (or any trend colour) will not suddenly give it a look and a feel if that’s what’s missing. In fact, it might make it worse, if it doesn’t relate to anything.
A look and a feel is achieved with the finishing touches.
Area rugs, artwork, accessories, throw pillows, and most important of all, table lamps not recessed lighting or the matching set of 3 from a big box store, or the most common light of all, the torch light. You can incorporate all the lighting I just mentioned into an overall lighting plan, however I’m just saying that you need MORE.
Okay so back to this post about MORE cream and white 🙂
I received this photo from a reader with this question:
This is a picture I pulled from the internet and I’m thinking of doing my master bathroom in the same marble/tile. I love the creamy/yellowish cabinet and ceiling with the white and grey marble. However, after finding your website/blog last year, and becoming a believer, as well as purchasing both of your e-books and large paint samples of whites & neutrals, I thought you could not mix true white and creams together. Looking at the shower wall in this picture gives the impression that the tiles have a true white background and the cabinet is a definite cream. I love this bathroom, it looks so soft and I love the hint of cream. What do you think?
Link bait image, please post the source in the comments if you can find it
This is a great question,
It’s not that you can’t combine them, it’s that if the only thing in this bathroom that was cream was the vanity, it would look odd if everything else was a true white. Then it would look like you chose the wrong white.
This is Calacutta marble which is off-white (vs. Carrara marble which is blue-white) and in addition to all that, the cream is repeated on the ceiling.
Also, let’s break down why this bathroom is so attractive, because it’s more than just the colour.
The millwork is high end and beautifully designed.
The marble is not overly busy and evenly installed.
It’s all the same, adding to the feeling of continuity.
No busy, conflicting patterns or strips of unnecessary accent tile.
Here’s another bathroom with a similar look and feel but the marble is much busier and blotchy looking.
Here’s a bathroom with book-matched marble which immediately creates a cleaner, less busy, serene feeling!
Here’s another gorgeous vanity with a lovely matching mirror and gold hardware and lighting.
As I’ve said in my White is Complicated eBook, you don’t have to worry about repeating true white if paired with off-white. Because they are very close.
Don’t forget the other fixed element in a cream bathroom is often white plumbing fixtures. If you have a cream bathroom, you could still choose a true white vanity because it will relate to your true white tub and sinks, for example.
Hope that makes sense! I thought it would be valuable to identity the key elements that made her inspiration bathroom so inviting because it’s harder to copy a room if you don’t know exactly WHY you love it! This way, you know you need to search longer and probably pay more for marble that looks like the one in your photo!
If you have a question for my Ask Maria post, send me photos here.
I’ve just finished Day 1 of my TOTALLY FULL–at the VERY LAST MINUTE–Specify Colour with Confidence workshop here in Corte Madera!
Joanna Chrobak from the UK wrote a fabulous post about her experience in Toronto earlier this month, check it out here.
Love this excerpt from her post:
How do you see colour like an expert?
I suggest training your eye to see colour in the way that Maria teaches. Her system for specifying colour uses 9 useful neutral undertones that help you categorise the basis of a colour, which then helps you to predict how the colour will work in a space. When you see colour in this way, you’ll be able to categorise every element of a property, including furniture, fabrics, paint colours and natural materials such as stone and timbers into an undertone category.
Training your eye to see the pink beige in the Karndean flooring that your client has just installed (and are referring to as “light grey”), which you now can’t ignore in your design scheme, gives you that expert edge that your clients are paying you for. Training your eye to see the difference in porcelain tiles that have blue-grey, rather than violet-grey undertones will help you make the right decisions for your clients, every single time! That is how you see colour like an expert, with confidence.