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Ask Maria: Which Whites go Together?

By 04/01/2013April 30th, 2017No Comments

Ask Maria

‘First of all I’d like to thank and congratulate you on writing such an interesting ebook with lots of information and advise about undertones, I have a question about white, does off-white belong to the white family of colors? What color is cream? And which color family is it from? I’m guessing yellow?’

White + Cream

via pinterest

This is such a great question since so many people are in love with white now that the gray/black/white trend is here.
To answer the first question, yes, off-white belongs in the white family. Cream technically has a yellow undertone like Vanilla Ice Cream, but if you want cream without going too yellow, it should have a green undertone, like OC-35 Spanish White.
Someone in my Specify Colour with Confidence™ training last week asked if cream could be pink and the answer to that is no. If you think you’re looking at a pinky/cream, consider that in the category of pink beige.
Yesterday in a consultation, my client had white wood blinds installed on her oak windows. She was going to paint out all the oak and once I determined that the white was very close to OC-65 Chantilly Lace I told her she could go to an off-white like OC-117 Simply White and it would still work but if she painted the oak a creamy colour like OC-38 Acadia White then it would look wrong.
It’s the same with your kitchen. If you have glazed kitchen cabinets, your trim needs to be in the creamy category because a glazed cabinet is beige.
It’s why glazed cabinets were all the range during the tuscan brown trend because they looked fabulous with all the rich, earthy colours we were using in our homes.
White & Cream
Via Pinterest
Can you mix white, off-white and cream together in general? Yes, as long as you repeat both in the room just like any other colour combination.
White & Cream
Via Pinterest
White & Cream
Via Pinterest
Notice that I’m showing soft furnishings mixing creams and whites. It’s totally different with your hard finishes like tile, moldings, cabinets, countertops, etc.
The guideline I would use is, you can mix white and off-white, cream and off-white, but don’t go to the extreme of white and cream, otherwise it will most likely look like you tried to match the whites but failed.
A good example of this is white with Carrara marble. If you go too creamy with your cabinet colour it will simply look like you chose the wrong colour.
When choosing the right white for your kitchen cabinets or the trim in your house, make sure that you consider the fixed white already there. So if you want white/cream and your finishes have pattern and more than two colours, none of which resemble any shade of white? Well white/cream might not be the best choice for your kitchen.
If you need help choosing the right white for your house, Download my eBook, White is Complicated – A Decorator’s Guide to Choosing the Right White. It’s on sale for 50% off. This offer expires Tuesday May 2nd!
Related posts:
The Best White for Carrara Marble
How to be Smartin a World of Dumb Designers
If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.

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