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Why are You Obsessed with White Walls?

By 07/19/2018July 20th, 2022158 Comments

Okay, inquiring minds need to know, I have been thinking about the 2018 obsession with painted white walls a lot lately. So, let’s discuss why everyone is so obsessed with white walls.

Photography by Amy Batog


I can’t help it, in our eDesign consulting, whenever I specify the palest colour our client can get away with in their home, they often ask for an even lighter shade which brings us back to. . . you guessed it, white.

And not every house can pull that off.

Especially if your house is still decorated in the Tuscan brown trend.

Which means it has a lot of earthy fixed elements in tile, backsplash and countertops. If that is the case, ‘Art gallery white’ is rarely, if ever a good solution.

Anyway,  I realized that while I might have a bunch of theories on why the planet is obsessed with white, I haven’t actually asked YOU, my lovelies.

Coffee table | End Table | Carpet | Ottoman | Console | Sectional   {Photography by Amy Batog}

So here’s what I would love to know:

Have you painted your house something in the realm of ‘art gallery white’ (in my system for choosing whites I would call that a true white, like BM Chantilly Lace or an off-white like SW Snowbound) similar to the images shown in this post in the last year or so? And if so, is it fabulous? Do you love it? If not, why not?

What had you arrive at the decision to go WHITE?


You have scheduled a painter and your house (interior or exterior) is about to be painted WHITE.

Why? What series of events, magazine photos, Pinterest or Instagram photos (or HGTV)  had you decide that art gallery white was THE answer for your home?

Please post the answer in the comments below!

And don’t forget, if you are about to choose a white, better to be informed and know what you’re doing, you can find the answer in my White is Complicated, A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White eBook here.

image source

Is it because there are so many rooms like this everywhere (above)? Rooms filled with lots of light?

Image source

However, notice that the walls in this room (above) are actually a pale yellow beige and not white it all (just compare them to the blue white ceiling)

Also, please leave a comment on blog topics? What burning question/s do you have that I haven’t already covered?

And, it’s been awhile since I wrote an Ask Maria post, but I need photos!! Please email photos for my ‘Ask Maria’ column here. Please include real dilemmas not just “What colour should this be?” since I’m looking for questions that have not been previously covered on the blog. I want this to be as helpful as possible!

Can’t wait to read your comments!

Related posts:

What Everyone Should Know About Paint

When to Break the Rules Around Choosing White (or Cream)

Trend Alert: Paint Your Walls and Trim White (or Cream)







1027 pins


  • Kim says:

    This post made me laugh.
    I do have gallery white walls (sort of).
    I’ve been staring at the 2 coats of primer on my living room walls for at least 2 years now.

    I don’t love it.

    Painting those walls (and the kitchen cabinets of our open plan living room/kitchen area) is on my To Do list for this year.

    • Janet R says:

      And your post made me laugh! I had one spot in my colorful home still primered for a long time (over the stairway). When Radiant Orchid popped up as color of year in 2014 “I said there it is!” and it makes me happy everyday.

  • Fiona says:

    I love white walls. I feel oppressed in rooms with coloured walls. I don’t know why, I just do. I love them in pinterest pictures but know that I could never live with them. My walls are actually creamy white, not gallery white, so I don’t have that intense contrast with my yellowish pine floors. I do have grey on the two window walls in my bedroom, but don’t think I could do all four walls in grey (and I’ll paint it white again, when I move rooms).
    I think I like the flexibility it gives me in changing colour themes in my house. I live in Aus, so have intense summer light – and most of my rooms have large windows on two walls, so there is always a lot of light. I lived for a year in a house with small windows and hated the lack of natural light. I like the way white walls bounce light around, rather than absorbing it the way coloured walls do.

    • Julie S says:

      Yes. Add everything Fiona said to my response.

    • Patti says:

      Fiona nailed it. Especially the “I feel oppressed” feeling. Dark color walls, a favorite in my cold climate, is like being in a cave. Makes room seem small and enclosing, not cozy or comforting.

      I would only add I love to decorate for the seasons and Christmas is red and green not pink and gray, and fall is Orange and Browns and white walls let me be seasonal and still looking coordinated.

      Finally all guests look great in white rooms and not everyone looks great in a maroon dining room.

    • Francine says:

      Hi! I have been reasearching the color, soft chamois. I see this color in the photos. So! I purchased the sample. I tested it. I am puzzle. Is it off white? I see more if grey than off white. Why is that?
      I am looking for soft, warm, and bright. Also I’m looking for neutral, very tiny gray and beige undertone because my home is small and one room is dark. Especially green sofa in dark room. I do not want any yellow or gold color.

      I have no experience with picking the right color. I need your help.

  • Katy says:

    I’m renovating a house with wood floors and I’m using white in one section- a massive great room with like 100 windows that are south facing. In that room white looks amazing, but in other rooms (north facing) I’m going with color.
    I feel like the white paint trend is just based on the last ten years of clean colors. They go together and it’s what everyone has pinned on Pinterest for years.

  • Nicola says:

    I have never painted white walls but I am so tempted. It’s the Pinterest pics and magazine pics that do it for me. They’re so light and clean and pretty. The closest I’ve got is a white kitchen and I love it. So many people seem to want some shade of white too, rather than the pale neutrals that have a bit more of a noticeable undertone – that’s my experience anyway.

  • Jons says:

    Three years ago I painted my whole house white and I love it. When I see colored walls, i just don‘t like them anymore. Perhaps a very light color is ok, but nothing darker than the first or second row of lightest color on a strip. But prefer white or a very light off white.
    You can change color with furnishings or rugs, and it always looks great. I have light maple wood floors throughout the house. House was built in 93 but has white trim all throughout, a white kitchen with black granite….so white walls work really well.
    I don‘t think colored walls will come back any time soon. They are too cloying and demanding.
    All nicer houses going on the market, in major areas, east and west coast, almost all now paint every wall very light or white before going on the market.

  • I love white as an accent color in trim but I wouldn’t paint a whole wall white. It seems too bland and unfinished, and I’d worry it would show dirt more.

  • Layla says:

    Dear Maria

    I painted my current apartment a shade of white (Plascon Evening Mist) 8 years ago and would not change the colour today. The reason for the choice was that it’s a small space and the actual visible walls were few. Also, I’m from South Africa where we have lovely lengthy summers and brilliant sunshine all year round.

    Now that we are building a new home, I’ve gone for a white again (Plascon Antique Petal). On the walls and ceilings. This time, I made the choice as we have a terracotta brick exterior with some exposed brick on the interior, black framed windows, a mix of concrete ceilings as well as high level sloped ceilings. With so many elements, white felt the cleanest choice to clear the palette.

  • Mel says:

    Hi Maria,
    I love the freshness of white but I do not choose to have it everywhere, I love colour as well. I have recently painted my bedroom white and installed white plantation shutters, it reflects a lot of light and is very helpful during the dark days of winter and really boosts my husbands mood(He suffers from Seasonal Affected disorder). I have finally found my perfect wallpaper choice for a feature wall which I think will help balance the white whilst still retaining the crispness. We also recently just redid our kitchen and have a lovely fresh white which we love. The house is a work in progress as we are doing things ourselves amidst busy family life but the refection of light in a low ceilinged pretty dark house definitely influenced our decision.
    Kindest regards, Mel

  • Cherill says:

    We just painted over 1996 Tuscan Gold walls and woodwork throughout with Dulux Natural White. We also had our gold/honey Baltic pine floorboards stained nutmeg, a mid brown. When I saw that white in a magazine a year ago I thought it was too white at the time. But I love it and it has some warmth. I’ve never liked all white. It looks like a house has been prepped for sale! But it’s current, it’s fresh, and it looks clean.
    I was more influenced by our local housing market than Pinterest, Insta or magazines.

  • Vicky says:

    I have art gallery kitchen walls, simply because it’s a small room and my kitchen cabinets are the same white (I am very particular about undertones). The cabinets make up most of the kitchen so it would look quite piecemeal to have different colors going on. That said, I think the white walls look like unfinished plasterboard and would not have that color anywhere else. In fact, when I specified colors for my new house, none of them are stark white. I find as I learn more about color that stark white is the color one often chooses thinking it goes with everything, so it is a safe choice. In fact it takes a master touch to make white work, and a carefully made lighting plan – else it can end up looking like an unfinished basement (I’ve made that mistake).

  • Gerley says:

    Here in Germany any realtor/owner/builder will paint walls white for rentals. It’s just the most neutral option (in theory of course as Marialites know ) that’s light. I guess the better question would be: what else would you choose if you didn’t know who is moving in? There actually used to be a law that you had to change the walls back to white when moving out. And it’s the best color to paint over I guess. So culturally here in Germany you see a LOT of white walls because they sorta just came with the place haha.
    Another reason that so many people choose and keep white walls is that it’s like the brown/grey/black sofa – you think it’s the most neutral option to give you the most timeless and flexible base. Like you advise with kitchens and bathrooms I think the reasoning is that you will add color later with pictures etc.
    Also I think colorful walls are scary! You make a commitment! You probably pay money! When starting out in your first apartment you have a sample and you say : oooh I will paint this wall a lovely lavender shade and then you have a bright purple room. So when you’re young you think : welp! This was a mistake! But next time you will be that much more cautious and be hesitant to actually CHOOSE a color and stand by it. As you know it’s difficult and not everyone has time and resources to change it if it sucks. So white seems the least scary. No one not even your nagging mom or overly critical sister-in-law could criticize WHITE it’s just…there?!
    So that’s my German perspective on white!
    So curious to read the other responses:)

  • Bonnie says:

    I have lived with greige walls for eight years. A colour that wasn’t chosen by me. It seems to be the standard colour chosen for apartments – goes with everything. Why I am going to paint my studio apartment white? I have embraced minimalism and I like the simplicity of it. A lot of my furniture is black with steel accents. I can change the accessories – lots of red around Christmas time – fuchsia and lime green for spring and blues for summer. Oranges and rusts in the fall.

  • Elaine says:

    About 5 years ago, I painted my entire house BM Linen White (technically a cream) and I love it. I live in a somewhat Mediterranean-style house in north Florida with cherry cabinets, beige tile/carpet and a creamy coquina fireplace surround. I love the simplicity of one color throughout the house. I’m getting ready to do a remodel and will replace the cabinets, flooring etc but will still go “white” throughout the house. Thanks to your wonderful advice, I will probably select another cream or off-white shade. I like the look of a white home but would not go “Art Gallery” white.

  • Pam says:

    Although every other room in my house is painted a “color,” I did paint my main hallway, up the stairs and the upstairs landing “white.” Specifically, the trim is BM China White and the walls are the same with double pigment for a very subtle contrast. The existing floors were Alabama white marble with very similar veining to Calacutta. The previous owners had the walls a butterscotch gold and I definitely didn’t want that. There is a lot of light from many windows colorful art on the walls. I love it!

  • Carlyn says:

    I love the beautiful images on Pinterest and Instagram of clean, fresh rooms with lots of windows, minimal furniture and light wood floors. The upholstery is either white or a pale neutral.

    However, I live in a 1920 craftsman house with dark brown woodwork and mission style furniture. We do have lots of windows and we have sheer white curtains that let in lots of light. I also have very messy teenagers who track in dirt and eat on the sofa or their bedrooms, even though they’re supposed to take off their shoes and eat at the table.

    So that kind of room wouldn’t be possible for our family. I have been gradually repainting our rooms from beige to a much lighter cream to lighten them up. Once the messy teenagers are out of the house, I will reapolster our mission style sofa in light beige and put in a light, neutral rug. I really want to bring lightness and freshness to our home without destroying the original mission character.

  • Kay says:

    Never a fan of “white walls”, I did paint my bedroom walls a year ago a creamy white because my sister and I painted a couple of small pieces of furniture and then they didn’t fit with my colored walls. She has attended your color seminar and is more aware of current trends than I am, so I tend to follow her advice. After a year, I can’t say I am a big fan of white walls. I find them a little impersonal and uninteresting but readily admits that it does make changing accessories easier.

  • Carrie Hodges says:

    Maybe Fixer Upper with its white modern farmhouse aesthetic contributed to white’s popularity. And magazines featuring the spreads like you posted. It’s such a hard look if there’s not great architecture and/or great art and furnishings and great light. Otherwise it just looks unpainted.

    • jess says:

      agree. The fixer upper influence is driving the white walls with black windows in the US.

      I grew up with white walls in almost every place I’ve ever lived, so it just looks normal to me. Also I have mostly lived in beachy places and so white walls, French doors, and lots of light have been the structural elements that were already present.

  • Dawn says:

    love Love LOVE white. It’s fresh, bright, neutral, and my favorite: Simply white by Ben Moore.

  • Lisa says:

    We run a professional painting company, so we paint white all the time… and love it!! To me, “white” encompasses all the off-whites as well, plus the palest of creams and greiges (in a Tuscan brown home with granite and limestone, a soft warm creamy-white will read as “white” in that environment). Most commonly, we paint kitchen cabinetry white, but also brick exteriors (our latest exterior project was in “Shoji White”) or entire interiors, walls and trim included (doing a project in Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” currently). I’m personally thrilled with the trend toward the “lightest possible” tint of a color that still works with the existing hard surfaces. It’s fresh, open, mood-lifting, and timeless, all in one! I actually don’t understand the antipathy to white I see sometimes, unless it’s just a reaction against anything perceived as a “trend”?? Well, if it IS a trend (as it was in mid-century modern interiors… although they’re so classic, call you really call them a “trend”?), then the longer this trend lasts, the happier I’ll be, LOL!

  • Bg Mitchell says:

    I painted the walls in my house BM White Dove about 5 years ago and I still love it! The house was custom built in 1940 with lots of huge, over sized windows so the natural light is always gorgeous from morning till night. Plus, White Dove is the perfect background for the art, antiques, and rugs that I’ve gathered over the last 40 years.

  • Cindy says:

    In an effort to de-pinkify my house, I also wanted a neutral look to allow my antiques to pop. I spent the better part of last winter agonizing over white paint chips! I also bought your ebooks and read all your posts on white. I settled on SW Natural Choice for my very bright, south facing vaulted living room. I love it in the day, but not crazy for it at night with warm white light bulbs. Next door in the dining room {open concept-ish} I used Grant Beige which I love. Front hall is Extra White which I abhor. It’s great on all my trim {wanted to match my white appliances}, but stark and cold in my entry {small and north facing}. I’ve kinda given up…. wishing I’d done all Grant Beige or some other soft neutral greige. The kicker? My kitchen cabinets are a soft aqua blue. Yes, I live in a countrified house 🙂

    • June says:

      Cindy, a good friend painted all her walls in SW Natural Choice and her trim in BM Dove White. It is absolutely gorgeous. At night, she uses light bulbs that look like daylight.

  • Lana says:

    I love white and have for many years. When we built our home 28 years ago I had all the walls painted white. The painter could not figure me out as that was 1991 and the dusty rose and grey days. I have painted the walls other colours over the years but still love white. I have always loved the Swedish and Scandinavian look of lots of white. I currently have just painted my walls in the BM Classic Grey. I also really like the greige look and this was the best one I found after testing many of the BM colours. I am getting white furniture so thought a bit of contrast on the walls would be good. I think I love white so much because you can add pops of colour and change the look by adding or changing items in the room. Also having a bright sunny looking room makes me feel happy when there is so much darkness in the world.

  • Freja says:

    We live in a farmhouse styled house that’s over 100 years old with stucco, cedar shakes and a front porch that we recently painted all white -BM White Dove. I love how fresh & clean, classic and charming it looks; very authentic and it’s reminds me of my grandparents’ real farm house on the farm! Against a white backdrop, our summer annuals & perennials really pop! Throughout the interior, White Dove was used on all the woodwork and on our kitchen cabinets. Again, love how bright and clean it looks. Our walls are not painted white however. We have plenty of windows and light, but I needed different neutral colors to compliment and soften all the white with my dated furnishings! The one room we painted all white was a mistake and need to change it: My teenager’s small, north-facing bedroom. There isn’t enough light in there to pull off the white wall; it looks drab and needs a color to pull it all together. All in all, I will always love white due to how versatile and classic it is!

  • Susan Flynn says:

    How timely this blog is! Just in the last few days I have been contemplating whether I need to paint my open kitchen/dining room/family room white (actually off white) to match my entry way. The motivation is to try to “fix” my mistakes with mis-matched white/off white/ivory undertones – perhaps an Ask Maria dilemma or another eDesign opportunity. But I do love the white wall look in sunny rooms with lots of other white and pops of color – it feels fresh and clean.

    I agree with another post that I think the Joanna Gaines era might have contributed to our obsession with white walls. I love watching the show, I love them, I love the ‘afters’ and the funny thing is, I don’t like the rustic look (I’m more transitional). BUT, I will say that after watching it for the last few years and before I found your blog, I felt ‘guilty’ about color and thought it must be outdated! When I found your blog, I was relieved – it is not outdated (I think you say it is timeless), it is just a different style than “Magnolia”.

  • Gillian says:

    Back in the 70’s in Liverpool, England my mum painted all of our rooms white which was quite unusual at the time. I remember thinking how nice and bright it was. I have been through the entire spectrum of colours and wallpapers in my own houses over the years but when we started planning our retirement bungalow last year I decided that I was going to follow my mum’s lead and go with a simple, bright pallet that would go with anything. I agonized over which white to use and decided on BM Simply White matte on the walls and semi gloss on the baseboards, trim and doors. My kitchen cupboards and living room built ins are also the same white but I went bold with my kitchen island and used BM Hale Navy which gives a nice contrast. I am so happy with my choices. The house is lovey and bright and provides a calm, neutral background for accents in any colour I decide to choose.

  • Bev says:

    I feel pretty much like Fiona does. I like the brightness, the light bouncing around, the backdrop which allows me to change up the colours of my accessories on a whim. It’s cheerful and warm. Some times when I visit homes in darker colours I find it lovely to look at and appreciate it but would find it too dark for me to live in – I much prefer the lightness!

  • Shelley says:

    My kitchen, bathroom and guest room are now white or almost white. It was you, Miss Maria that inspired me! You have commented that bathrooms should be white and after that room went white, I was on a mission to create light reflecting, clean, calm spaces in my home. I love to add colourful accents when I want to change the look and no interference from a bossy wall colour.

  • Camille says:

    My obsession with a white wall started with my college dorm room! My childhood bedroom was painted a dusty blue, so my college dorm in it’s soft, milky white that looked bright and cheerful was beautiful to me. About 1/2 the rooms in my house are SW Ivory Tusk. It looks like milk or an eggshell to me. Just a soft white. I also have white sofas and chairs in my living room and did with raising three kids! They were slipcovers of course, which I cannot fathom not being able to wash your seating. To me that’s like not washing your bedlinens. When they were little we kept colored throw blankets “casually” on things like the ottoman or arm rests that got dirty from little sweaty bodies. Now that they are grown, I have new white parsons chairs in the breakfast room too. Washable covers of course. I love the way a Christmas tree looks in a white room and the way you can go from shabby chic needlepoint pillows in fall, to blue and white pillows in spring, and this summer I added a potted palm and went pink and green. The versatility is like no other! Love my white forever.

  • Lisa says:

    My mother moved in with us and asked me to paint her room white. The walls are SW Pure White, the curtains are white sheers, the rug is a white shag and her bedspread is a textured white quilt. She LOVES it. And, I have to admit I do too, although I was skeptical while I was painting. She says it makes her feel calm. Maybe the world’s anxiety epidemic is drawing us to white rooms! We’re all trying to lighten the mood.

    • Melinda says:

      Depending on how many kids your mom had… she waited a loooong time for a clean white room. She deserves it. 😉

  • Irene says:

    Oh goodness, for me I feel that whites, grays, creams are flexible. There is a commitment to colors. Choosing colors is a daunting process. I’ve had some wins & losses.I have lots of blues in my home with colored pattern rugs and art. If my walls stay nutural everything pops I don’t end up with regrets later. Plus my current home has a mass of south windows that flood my home with light. It brightens my whole open floor plan. We love it and are content with our white/ gray walls.

  • mrsben says:

    As a self-confessed wall-paper junkie I have always preferred colour and pattern on my walls BUT have painted some ceilings white in the past. With that said; as I am now upgrading my home I am opting for warm whites throughout using colour in accents only, namely to accommodate resale purpose (which could be in the very near future at my age … ☺). To conclude; I do feel Art Gallery White walls do have their place in interior design but admit something I do dislike , is the popular use of white vinyl clad windows on exteriors that often compete with the fixed elements on ‘some’ homes. -Brenda-

  • Jill says:

    I recently painted my living room BM White Dove, and it is the perfect white! I absolutely love the space. I have a lot of artwork, some big antique pieces, sisal rug, blue and white porcelain, green plants. It all looks great against the back drop of White Dove. I have green-beige in my den and kitchen, and now I feel that it is not a good back drop for art, plants, antiques, etc. I need to change those walls next!

  • I am in my mid 50’s and have always been obsessed with white walls – but only if paired with hardwood floors. Our latest house is a fixer upper and was dark cream walls, 80’s oak trim, gold metal and lots of white porcelain tile and white carpet. First thing we did was swap out floors to medium brown hardwood. Then swapped out all gold for ORB (and more clean lined transitional fixtures). Then we painted all walls and trim SW Ivory Lace which is a bone off white and not a ‘primer white’. Our exterior was painted brick as well but was a dirty buttercream tone that we switched to SW Shoji white. It all looks crisp but not harsh. We bring in lots of color with upholstery and art and some rooms have natural woven Roman shades and some have drapery (not afraid of adding color or pattern there). For variety we have the bathrooms in other light to medium paint tones which work with the tile in each room. Totally agree that white is hard and that you have to look at the whole package of finishes and existing architectural details to see if it’s right.

  • Diane Suess says:

    Hello Maria and Welcome Back!
    I recently converted a bonus room to a Sun Room and painted it a blue-tinted white. This room is appropriately named the Sun Room since it has Windows on 3 sides with lots of natural light. It is lovely and my favorite spot in the entire house. Following the rules for a white room, it has lots of natural light, mostly white upholstered furniture, textured pieces and great art work. Not to mention, we are less than a mile to the beach. The reason I chose a blue-tinted white was my side drapery panels are cornflower blue and gold. The trim is a pure white.
    I hope this passes the test. Also, you have been a great inspiration to me and I see color everywhere now. Thanks immensely, Diane

  • Kim says:

    I’ve always loved the simplicity of Scandinavian interiors, with the white walls and light flooring. I also really like photos of Australian homes with all the light, white walls and modern furnishings. However, I live in a 1980s home in the woods. I wish our home was light and bright but, unless we chop down a ton of trees (not happening!), it just won’t happen. I’d love to be able to have white walls and ceilings, light flooring, and then pops of color throughout. I’d like the ability to change it up on a whim. Many thanks to you Maria, for your home renovation course and blog, to guide me with my bathroom renovation. Even though the walls aren’t “art gallery white”, I love it.

  • Susie says:

    I grew up with white walls, and probably will never have them after seeing my mom obsess over keeping them clean. She spent a lot of time touching up paint that couldn’t be scrubbed clean. I understand how it’s pleasing to look at, but the livability is just not there for me.

  • B. McIntyre says:

    I painted our sun room which has 4 large skylights and 2 large sliding doors on the south side of our house BM White Dove. We are actually putting our house on the market and the stager recommended doing this. I thought it was a terrible idea but went with it anyway. I love it! It makes the space crisp and clean bit clears the color pallet so that it looks more up to date.

  • Heather says:

    I have a newly built house and went “Scandinavian White”. My inspiration was found in travels to Denmark. I traveled there several times and loved their simple, clean, white interiors. “Simple” is the key word. By keeping a firm control on their stuff (aka clutter) the Scandinavians pull it off.

    White walls and trim, natural colored or white tinted hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets are the basics they work with.

    They are not big into color with decorating either. They choose the same colors they wear: black, white and a touch of brown

  • Linda says:

    We are currently designing the house we will be building. I am not to the point of choosing my colors yet, but I am thinking about it. Since the trend has been grey, a movement away from grey and into white seems logical. Grey is dark and, depending on how you decorate, can be drab and even depressing. I think white is the opposite of grey. It is light and airy and refreshing after all of that grey!

    Thanks to your blog, I will not be choosing grey floors. I was considering a grey for the walls in the Great Room. But while I was kneeling on the floor of my (current) kitchen cleaning the antique stained glass window that will be installed in my new Great Room I realized how good it looked with the colors in my current kitchen. The walls in my kitchen are painted BM 958 Ocean Beach, which I believe is considered a “white.”

  • Lisa says:

    We recently moved out of a sunny townhouse painted in BM Coastal Fog, a gray green I loved every single day for 10 years. Now we are in a brand new home the builder painted a beautiful shade of warm taupe gray, SW Anew Gray throughout. I have an all white kitchen and bathrooms and dark brown wood floors. However, I’m going back to a creamy white on the walls, which I had years ago and now miss! We have lots of windows here with a sunny Southern exposure, but our covered porch off the great room makes the area too gloomy on cloudy days, especially in winter. I’m officially tired of gray walls after only six months of them here with less sun. My husband is a photographer and now our walls are filled with color, so I’m hoping that will warm up the white even without the full sun. White is happy and fresh, that’s what I miss about it.

  • kate says:

    Hi Maria! First thanks for pointing out that the last image indeed doesn’t have pure white walls – the comparison to the ceiling is the only way I could see that. We just moved into a new contemporary space that we brought our traditional mix belongings into. We went with color on the walls. Only the stairwell/adjoining halls/my bathroom are pure white. I love the color on the walls in the rooms (gentlemen’s gray, kind of a slate blue & lighter gray, dark sage, vanilla and a happy terra-cotta. Not trendy clear colors, but we love them and our antiques pop on them like they never did before. Plus I love metals and I think they look great with the saturated colors. Can’t wait to read the responses!

  • Norma F says:

    Hi Maria! I chose BM White Down for walls and Simply White trim for my very bright sunroom. I love it. The floor tile is reddish brownish kinda swirly that blends with my Brazilian cherry wood floors. I didn’t want beige walls and the greens felt too much with the outside green reflecting in. I wanted the walls to “fall away” as much as possible. The room is all windows on the east,north, and southeast. And there is a small lake and a beautiful setting outside so I wanted that to come in to the room. My second color is green. Pillows, rug, art, and plants.

  • Cary says:

    I believe that most people who ask for white walls aren’t actually asking for art gallery white. They want something that reads as white as we see in all the Pinterest and Instagram feeds. A lot of the off-white Benjamin Moore colors read as white and give you undertone options that allow “white” walls to work in many spaces with varying light conditions.

    • jill says:

      I agree, Cary

    • ei says:

      Totally agree! As a designer, I’ve found that many clients who ask for ‘White, White, White!’ are actually drawn to pictures with warm whites. It’s the overall feeling of light, bright and clean they are after. I’ve had great luck with Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois. It’s a warm ‘white’ with slight green undertones (doesn’t sound so appealing but in reality is a dream to work with…IF the client isn’t insisting on grey everything – which is a whole different issue lol.) I’m also a fan of a ceiling in the palest blue like the last picture.

  • Elaine says:

    I grew up with white walls. My parents still live in the same house and to this day the walls are white. I’m afraid of color, I think, afraid of getting the wall color wrong. So white feels safe to me. (which is why I asked for your help in choosing a main neutral paint color — and I think you really nailed it, by the way)

  • Julie S says:

    Good for you for asking! I know as a color expert it is probably frustrating to run into that scenario over and over, glad to see you are still open to learning. My reasons are asterisked below!
    I’ll tell you – my walls in our new house that we partially renovated and moved into 6 months ago, are Snowbound, off white, ***because creamy walls feel more traditional than I wanted*** (and I don’t do gray walls – sat that trend out). Also- ***I craved the maximum airy brightness possible,*** with a modern-organic vibe, and for me that meant white walls were it! I have definitely been affected by Pinterest and don’t mind saying I love the very current look of my white walls with black steel windows, mid brown wood floors, and a few hits of green, blue, and terra cotta amid my more neutral furnishings. I would like to note that I do have a house where it works – we live in SoCal, the house has an open floor plan and though only 1400 sq ft, has an 8′ window, a 12′ window, and glass French doors in the the main living space, as well as 2 skylights in the [white] kitchen and 3 more normal sized windows scattered around. I wouldn’t call it stark here though, as the ceiling remained the original Navajo White (dirty cream) and most of the windows have an amber UV-resistant tint to the glass, guess that was a thing in the 80’s? that actually yellows the light.
    I have used White Duck (one of your creamy greiges) in two of the other rooms of the house we’ve done so far that don’t get as much light, so never fear, I didn’t just slap white on every wall but did read and understand your Whites eBook and found it extremely valuable!
    Good luck and hugs in your struggle to accept white walls across North America 😉

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Julie,
      I have no problem with white walls whatsoever. I’m not in ‘a struggle haha’. This blog is about colour and getting it right and ‘art gallery white’ will just not work for everyone. That’s the reason behind this post. Thanks for your comment. Maria

  • Lynda Curry says:

    I love white walls with colorful furniture and accessories. I guess it is the contrast! It always feels fresh to me.
    When I have neutral colored furniture, I feel the need for discreetly colored walls. (I still like white baseboards with colored walls even though the trend seems to be to paint them the same.)

  • Rachel says:

    In Scandinavia every home is painted with white interiors to grab onto what little natural light there is and make it bounce through the house. When there is no natural light, the interior remains bright and open.
    The trend of using white in decor is for the same reason. It creates bigger, fresher spaces that wash away darkness and enhance mood. In a world where suicide rates continue to climb, it’s no wonder that people are searching for natural and cheap ways to liven up their dwellings. Another benefit is that white goes with everything. Even if you’re a color enthusiast you can paint your interiors white and still leave explosions of color in accessories and furniture.

  • karen says:

    Hi Maria!

    My mother always had Navajo White walls. I think the dirty white walls and the rust drapes bleached to orange caused me to develop emotional scar tissue when it comes to color on walls and draperies. To this day the only things I like in the yellow/orange color family are daffodils and orange fruit juice. Gran Marnier too!

    I have always had colored walls but nothing like stop sign red. Our sitting room has pale butter walls and the drapes are cherry red on cream toile. My husband has always lived in “living color” and that may be partly from mild male color blindness; but I loved the soft rose color he chose for our bedroom when we first moved to our house in the Midwest. Now we have butter walls with patterned drapes and bedding in butter with floral motifs in rose and green tones.

    I would not be happy with white walls, no matter what the real estate agents say. I also love wallpaper!

    Thanks for asking,


  • Anna says:

    I don’t understand the white thing. That’s why I wanted my own house, no more white walls.

    Here is my current burning question: If you are choosing blinds or roller shades to go under curtains (or by themselves), which colour do you match to? Since I have to drill into my wood trim, I don’t want to redo them every time I redecorate. Plus, they can be expensive. Do I match my trim colour or carpet or just an offwhite? What would be the most timeless?

    A smaller question: When choosing frames for family photographs or art…do you pick what looks best with the photo/art, or a colour that matches the room? How do you pick photo frames?

  • Tara says:

    We moved from snowy Buffalo NY to sunny FL and we built a new townhome. Since it’s bonkers pricey for the “two-tone-paint” upgrade, we decided to embrace our included Sherwin Williams X-tra white wall colors! (Plus I wasn’t about to choose a color without having lived in the space) I figured we could always paint it later. I was just happy to be getting my white kitchen with black granite. Cupboards that I didn’t have to painstakingly paint myself!—-again
    Well, we found ourselves LOVING the all-white walls! Thankfully the house is crazy bright and shadows don’t seem to boss us around. The black metal framed windows are lucious and all my things look beautiful on the walls, including two of my own paintings filled with colors. I’ve found that there is a need for a softening of sorts with houseplants and textiles. My blue couches, happy artwork, and touquise/green accents work great. I fancy myself drawn to Transitional decor. The white just seems to work with nearly everything, but you’re right, the surrounding hard fixtures have to match the undertone of your white. I also think folks are responding to Scandinavian designs that are having their moment.
    So, we embraced the white and it’s WORKING!!

  • Megan says:

    I painted my whole interior BM Moonlight White, and it is decidedly not-fabulous. I did it mostly out of desperation/indecision when we moved into our current house, because the previous owner’s paint colors were not my style and I wanted the house to feel like “ours.” I knew it would be much easier to paint while the house was empty, and I got overwhelmed trying to figure out a whole house color scheme. At the time I was consuming a lot of scandi-modern design blogs and really loved that light, simple feeling. We’d painted our previous house Moonlight White and it was gorgeous. Trouble is the old house was a simple little cabin with tons of windows and no shade, so of course the white looked lovely. New/current house is a north- and east-facing mid-century ranch on a wooded lot. The white looks dark and dingy and depressing. This house wants color! My thinking at the time was that white would be a nice neutral backdrop until I figured things out. It’s been six years and I still haven’t figured things out. 😉

  • aprilneverends says:

    I chose not a pure white, but an off white for all the main areas of our new house three or so years ago. I wasn’t looking for a white per se, at all..I was looking for a light greige with a green tint, probably, because I wanted a tad of contrast with the reddish flooring. But nothing worked, not as I wanted it to. So this off white, it was sort of a lucky find. It’s warm and murky and complex and I love how it changes throughout the day. It’s called Doric White, by Dunn Edwards. It’s very fitting for the house too as it is Spanish Ranch.

    I spent many years living with white walls-it’s a staple in Meditteranean.
    But even there it can turn into uninentionally grayish and quite drab color if a room, say, doesn’t get a lot of light for some reasons.
    I feel that some locations, they re better for white. Which is probably white is historically preferred there in the first place. Either a lot of light (but it can be that a house is so bright that white starts being blinding)..or some locations, while having harsher darker winters and all, they also have longer days other seasons, and softer light..with a day that stretches into evening and even into the night in summers, like in St Petersburg and Scandinavia. I lived both in temperate climates(different countries) and subtropical ones(different countries as well), and it’s interesting how the light is different everywhere. This dim soft light of upcoming evening that one has for hours in North, one doesn’t get in the South..light and dark trade places pretty fast, as if someone turned off a switch.
    I love so many colors. and I find it’s best to work with the house that will be such and such house, standing in such and such place, getting such and such light, and kinda asking of you such and such things-one just needs to listen.

    Why others are suddenly into white, I don’t know. (They’re also into darker deep colors, and jewel tones, and many other things) I personally was a bit timid about sharper black and white combo, until I read Celerie Kemble’s pushed me to explore it more. The book came out in 2013 if I remember correctly. I still prefer not to use it full force and I prefer softer contrasts and muddy warmer colors. But I started being more bold about it in art and accessories.

    I also collect netsuke..that’s a different white, bone white..I’ve been collecting them for years, very slowly since it’s an expensive endeavor.

  • Sue says:

    Hi Maria! I am so glad you asked that question. For me, my house feels more tranquil, peaceful and even elegant since I painted my walls white. They are not gallery wall white. I chose Benjamin Moore China White for most of the house and Sherwin-Williams Super White in the kitchen to match my cabinets. I find color on the walls too visually noisy for me. It took me many years to figure that out. I painted my walls white a few years back and I have to tell you that no one agreed with my decision at the time. I had friends asking me if I was going to put my house on the market, tell me that white is boring, and other silly comments. I am so glad I stuck to my guns! So, in answer to your question, for me I would preferred to have white walls with some pops of color if I choose, then to be committed to a color on the wall. I find color on walls overwhelming and I find white, or variations of white, calming.

    • Liz says:

      I also find that too strong a colour on the walls throbs at me. It’s just not serene or restful. I like the peace of off white. But I know some people find these neutrals boring and need the sensory stimulation of brighter colours.

  • Jacquie says:

    We renovated our house 6 years ago and there was not a white wall in sight. We had the medium dark brown floors, and darker gray green walls and the Tuscan tiles in the bathroom with marble countertops. It was stunning when we did it and I loved it. It brought together my family antiques and my newer furniture.
    Then we had a house fire and lost everything. We started from scratch without a painting or piece of furniture for inspiration. Until I found my gorgeous countertop and from there we chose the rest of the color palate. My whole house is BM17 white dove – ceilings are flat, walls are eggshell and trim is shiny. Kitchen cabinets are the same color as well. I have replaced most of my original art work and it’s gorgeous against the walls. Bright blues and reds and yellows. The artist is John Ferrie who lives in Vancouver and I love his whimsical paintings of Vancouver. We aren’t finished decorating yet. Just about to get our occupancy permit, furniture is being delivered in the next couple of weeks (we have been using our outdoor furniture indoors until it arrived. We can’t wait to have everything in place. It’s a minimalist contemporary look – completely different from what I have had in the past and I love it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if we hadn’t had the fire as my treasured family heirloom pieces wouldn’t have worked. But this was an unexpected forced start from scratch renovation. When the furniture arrived, I can finished decorating and then will post some pictures.

  • Hi Maria,
    I think the biggest reason everyone is obsessed with white is the influence that Studio McGee has had on the industry and the population. Shea McGee’s work really has a wonderful look and feel that is really appealing. Like you, almost every house we touch has a lot of white in it. In the last month, as I’ve been looking through Zillow, most of the listings have white paint in our area. The biggest benefit is that many of the “Kaleidoscope color” houses are getting evened out.

    I think it will be a fad, though I don’t know for how long. One of the top realtors in our area said that he is just sick of white and he can’t wait until people start using color again. I will say that every time we specify white, my clients say they love it, but they see it as a reset point and that they will start adding color later.

    I completely agree with you that every house should not have white!!!

  • Kay says:

    As you say, Maria, and as so many commenters say, it’s all about the light. My 1964 house does not have big windows and felt rather dark when we moved in many years ago—especially in the kitchen with its northern exposure. The living/dining room, with windows facing north and west, was painted BM linen white, and the walls looked dirty. Eventually I had it painted a full spectrum yellow, and the greens, the wood furniture, the artwork—everything popped. I had the dark hall painted the same yellow and made a gallery of it, and that too worked so well that I haven’t changed it. However, we added skylights in the kitchen, and when we raised the ceiling in a complete remodel, we went with white cabs, Carrara marble counters, and BM Chantilly Lace walls. It’s the lightest room in the house, and it looks fabulous. In the living room added to the back of the house, I chose BM Antique White, with Chantilly Lace on the ceiling and tons of custom white millwork matched to the subway tile in the kitchen and used throughout the house. The room has southern, eastern, and northern exposures in a garden environment with trees and considerable shade except on the south side, and the antique white works very well, probably better than a bright white would.

    We are thinking about moving to the country, and I wonder what to do about the walls if we sell. My sister, who took your course, says that when looking around the dining room and hall, one doesn’t even notice that the walls are yellow. People who walk in always say that it’s beautiful. I think the look is rich. The bedrooms have to be painted anyway and could probably stand to be white, so perhaps I’ll do that and leave yellow as the only color. Around here people are painting walls red and orange, deep gold and purple, even in otherwise nice houses. I think those dark colors look awful.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Kay – I am *this* close to going with Linen White in our house, and you’re making me rethink It. We are in a row house with light only coming in the front and the back. When the sunlight comes in, it’s gorgeous and bright, but for most of the day 2/3 of the house is not well-lit. Because the hallway is open to the kitchen and dining area, we really need to pick one dominant color. You say you loved your yellow. Do you remember the exact color?


  • Nancy says:

    I have BM pale oak with BM dove white trim in a large open room with skylights and sliders providing light all day long. Since my upholstery is light beachy blues and turquoise I believe my walls would look unfinished with white, like I didn’t know what I was doing. My greige looks deliberate but still presents as light and bright as white. I have inherited white walls in a much darker family room with off white carpet (and printed upholstery with a white background). It does not work at all even though there is white cabinetry too. There is just not enough light. I tried to get by using various accent colors but no color touches were great. The walls have to be painted a bit darker greige or a color and that is that. Thinking back to previous homes I wish I knew that then. I would have saved myself grief.

  • HPierson says:

    Add me to the list of those who love the white look. At least, that is to say I love the look in the bright, ethereal and blown out pictures I see all over the internet. It seems to work well with many design styles, particularly when contrast, texture or pops of color are included in the decor. But in our Pacific Northwest home white walls would not work well. We have many overcast days with little natural light coming in to bring white walls to life. I love how bright and fresh my new white kitchen cabinets look, but I picked a light greige for the walls in our main living spaces. So far I am still happy with the color. I was tempted to go with a less neutral color but our open floor plan makes it difficult to transition gracefully between spaces.

  • MH says:

    Here in Phoenix it’s all .about white specifically Swiss Coffee. I think it’s because it’s so darn hot here. It just reads cooler.

  • Anne says:

    Yes, I have painted walls, ceiling and trim all Oxford White and I adore it. I decided to as I love as much natural light in the house during winter as possible, I have board and batten architectural detail, and lots of colour elsewhere. If you want a dilemma question I am pondering two different drapes in the same room – a lace style on a south wall and a traditional paisley pattern on a north wall. I haven’t seen different drapes in the same room but perhaps somewhere in the world this is done.

  • sandi says:

    I lived 43 yrs. in Europe (all over including 14 yrs. in Greece & 3 times in Vienna Austria). I have always lived w/white walls & would never consider another “color”—it fits us. . . just as your vivid colors suit your personality. I am not a big fan but to each his own. I do have lots of lime green on my deck outside, which I also love.
    I wish I knew how to post some photos so you could enjoy the serene tranquility of a home dressed in white. I lead a very busy life & need the calmness of light & white.

  • Joanna says:

    I’ve always painted my walls a shade of off white as we moved often with the military. It felt like a clean, fresh take on someone else’s home. Then, when I sold, it presented as a clean slate for their furnishings. Note: My homes always sold quickly.
    Upon retiring I planned to paint my walls in colour but once in my new build I once again resorted to off whites. They just feel “right” to me.
    I might wall paper my main bath. I’m thinking about it…thinking about it…

  • irene fraser says:

    Hi Maria:

    You are right, everyone has wanted white for quite a while now. I prefer to do an off which, Collingwood, Stonington gray, Gray Owl, Baby fawn, silver satin (beaturiful silvery off white colour) as white can be very stark and the off whites should have an understone in them that works with what is in the home – the hard elements. I am slowly seeing a trend to go off all white at least in Vancouver. I recently used Sea Salt, which is a great colour with some depth and texture that works with almost everything.

  • Cheryl (clrbham) says:

    Hi Maria–We built our house one year ago and most of our interior walls are S/W Shoji White. I do have other shades of gray in bedrooms and bathrooms and run the spectrum all the way to my husband’s study being completely painted (walls, ceiling, trim) in S/W Iron Ore as well as the ceiling in our dining room. We have a lot of natural wood tones in our floors and cabinetry. The exterior of our house is also S/W Iron Ore (paired with Neutral Ground and Wheatgrass on our doors (yellow-green)). Our home (furnishings and artwork) are colorful to me. I have a fair amount of black/white/gray artwork, as well. I don’t believe anyone would look at this house or our last two and say they were void of color or boring. I just prefer a more “simple” environment. I also have dressed in mostly black, gray, white, and cream for many years, so my home IS a reflection of me, I guess. I certainly can appreciate others love of color…your home is top on the list, but it just leaves me feeling unsettled to have too much going on in our home. I get all the doses of beautiful, colorful rooms looking online and at magazines. 🙂

    • Maria Killam says:

      The Main walls of my house are also Shoji White which I consider to be very far from an ‘Art Gallery White’ which was what this post was about! Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Tonya says:

    We painted our entire first and second floors white (Benjamin Moore Simply White) a few years ago. It’s a matte finish and we took the trim to that finish as well. We have always loved the Scandinavian influence in homes and that was a factor in our decision. The other factor was the fact we live in a rural area with many trees. So much green coming in through large windows that tended to make our walls look muddy with certain paint colors and lighting. I know we would not have been able to recognize that if not for your blog!

    We recently hung Belgian linen curtain panels and it all looks finished – finally! The white fits well with our minimalist approach to furniture and open floor plan!

    We’ve always had a lot of natural light in our home (oversized windows and roof windows) but it often felt dark before we painted. Overall we love the bright, clean, airy look we have achieved and the contrast our furnishings and artwork provides!

  • Mid America Mom says:

    No white in this house but we might for the kitchen and dining room. The only room that has been white in our 3 homes over the last 7 years is our last kitchen that you helped pick with a consult. Pinterest is where I see spaces. In the last home I wanted white with black shutters for the exterior but as it was a condition of sale the buyer wanted gray which was fine by us. We recently moved into a house that is mostly gray inside with some medium blue bedrooms. In one of my parents homes in the mid 80’s, I had a large bedroom that had lots of light from the west and north. When we moved in it had light white oak floors with white walls and window treatments. I disliked it immensely and though I begged for years I was never allowed to change it. It was too harsh.

  • Susan says:

    Oh, hell no! I used to read a blog by someone who lives in Scandinavia or nearby. Her walls and furniture match – “pure” white. It looks nice in her immaculate home but how much free time does she have because everything looks ready for surgery? I’m surrounded with the condo developer’s Navaho White (every room) for more than 30 years and I’m sick of it. I have transitional “design.” I am deviating to cool colors (light gray, light blue, light gray blue?) but need to decide on fabric for my more than 30-year-old upholstery before I can do the natural bamboo flooring + fabric comparison which i learned from you. (Thank you!) Whatever the colors will be, no way am I selecting anything white/off white/beige.

  • Okay, great question! Here’s my two cents on this topic.

    Almost every cover of Style at Home in 2016 and 2017 had white rooms on the cover. I’m sure many others did too, but that happens to be the one I was subscribed to for years. Then, there’s Studio McGee with their clean, white aesthetic and warm wood tones and lots of fresh greenery and often, navy blue accents. Plus, Joanna Gaines’ white shiplap craze still seems to be lingering.

    A lot also seems to have to do with the global economy and unrest. Dare I bring up politics? 😉

    Not to mention, the overwhelming increase in people generally being super busy with life, often feeling overworked; dealing with financial struggles (often due to trying to keep up with everyone else); families whose children are in all sorts of activities, leaving parents with little time for themselves; and multiple social media outlets constantly creating ‘noise’ in the palm of our hands and with us 24/7. And for the record, I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of such habits, for me it’s the latter point that hits home the most. But as you may have guessed Maria, I admit that I like being a part of the on line world and creating my own brand. That’s a big part of being an entrepreneur too.

    So, in my opinion, people want a break from all the noise and stress. The desire is for white, serene, fresh, uncluttered homes – or at least they love that idea. Haha, there’s my rant. Is that what you were after Maria? LOL

    • heather says:

      This is actually spot on for me. I have three little kids who have taken a huge toll on our walls in our narrow, old, mostly dark townhouse. The house feels smaller with three kids, and the walls look beat up, and I think I’ve come to assume that by painting the walls white the house will feel bigger and brighter and be a testament to the simplicity and order I’m parched for.

      So, I finally convinced my husband to let us go ahead and paint even though our kids are still really little and are bound to continue to mess up the walls. I went directly out to buy a sample can of Simply White, painted little squares on a few walls and thought, Huh, this is actually really boring in my house.

      I found your blog b/c I’ve been googling different paint colors. I really want that fresh, clean look of a white paint to help lighten up my house… No more grey. It’s just too sad in the winter! Any creamy yellows you’d recommend?

    • Maria Killam says:

      I think the magazines try to make their covers look as fresh as possible, I actually wrote a post about your very comment 8 years ago and obviously nothings changed 🙂

      Thanks for your rant, haha!

  • Yup, I painted my home white and I’m in LOVE! It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
    Now the Maria Killam part of this comment! I do have high ceilings and huge windows and our home is filled with light.
    Conversely, We have a theatre room, only 8′ high ceilings, no windows at all, I wouldn’t dream of painting that white, so we went with a beautiful navy blue and it’s perfect!
    Thank you for your mentoring Maria!

  • Brooke says:

    I renovated 4 years ago and I still LOVE my “white” walls. But they are actually cream —BM seashell (they only read white). I have warmer tones (am not a gray gal so I have stuck with camel, sea grass type neutrals). My walls are a creamy white and I love them!

    Sometimes I wish I would have painted my moulding the same creamy white but a semi-gloss. It is BM white dove instead. While it looks good together and not super noticeable), the white molding feels a little dated to me (and my crown is colonial revival style, so not anything too special). Luckily I didn’t do too crown in my kitchen and family room renovation, so I think it looks fresher. The crown is just in the old parts of the house.

    My exterior is white dove and I love it so much. Our house was red brick and the new brick was not a perfect match. The white looks so crisp and lovely. Again, not a true bright white.

    I actually think people don’t know the difference between all various tonal whites and what they are looking for is something that reads white in their homes.

  • Helen says:

    Yes white is everywhere! What do you suggest for an updated tuscan color that is light tan like the one pictured above?

  • Juli Roland says:

    I agree with the theory that you put forth previously: white became popular as stronger or more saturated accent colors also rose in popularity. Bold colors stand out best against white, and tend to make beiges (especially pink beige) look dull and blah.

    As to why I personally chose white: out of rebellion. ; )

    I’ve never liked dark houses, but after the tyranny of the Tuscan brown trend, I really grew to loathe them. I’d seen images of chic, trendy white rooms on Domino for years, and it appealed to me. About four years ago, I purchased a small midcentury house and painted it in all whites (with a few accent walls), and I LOVE it. I used Behr Falling Snow in the main areas, and Ben Moore Winter White (just a tiny tinge darker) in the bedrooms. There is tons of natural light, so it works. My rugs, side chairs, pillows and art are in jade green, fuchsia, coral and navy. I find it very cheerful. It feels like a beach house, without the beach.

  • Judy Delen says:

    I painted my entire main floor Benjamin Moore Simply white when we remodeled our entire main floor (kitchen, family room, living room, dining room). I simply love it (pun intended!) but I have to admit, once it was painted and before I moved all the furniture back in, I freaked out because it looked too white and stark! But once the hardwood floors were uncovered, area rugs put in place, and my furniture moved back in, it was not stark at all. It was warm and inviting. My furniture is a mixture of antiques, modern and coastal but I tied it all together with furnishings, textures and the walls in Simply White. I did a ton of research on whites; I went round and round –do I use SW Alabaster? BM Cloud White? BM White Dove? But in the end BM Simply White was the winner.

  • Emily says:

    I strongly dislike white walls unless it’s a very modern house (which isn’t my taste). They feel unfinished and uncozy to me. I love cream though!

  • Jen says:

    First, I love wallpaper and wish it was considered to be as classic and timeless in the US as it still is, to some extent, in the UK. Nothing pulls a room together like a great wall covering, IMO, whether classic or contemporary.

    I’ve had a house with off-white walls, and now with colored walls, both with light to medium hardwoods, and in the cold blue light of the Pacific Northwest. I like both…but apparently contrary to popular opinion, I find a more saturated color to be a less “bold” choice than one might assume, in that it does not create such high contrast with furniture that is anything other than very light-colored.

    The contrast between furniture and white walls is too jarring for me. Unless the furniture is of very light wood and light upholstery, my eye bounces from furniture to white walls to furniture as it travels around the room, which I find to be inharmonious. Others clearly like a lot of “popping”, and I am in the minority, I do appreciate.

    I had an off-white upholstered sofa once, and it went wonderfully with white walls…but too hard to keep it clean, and I eventually feel starved for color.

    It’s funny that we call it “Art Gallery white”…since many art galleries have highly saturated color on the walls.

    • Molly says:

      I love wallpaper here in the US of A! 17 years ago I wallpapered a dining room in a paper with deep red background and white Magnolias with awesome birds. I still love that wallpaper! However, as I prepare to sell that house now I am told over and over it has to go. I understand. Wallpaper is quite personal which is why it’s also so fabulous when it’s just right. I have been seeing fabulous wallpapers, but hesitate to spend the money since I don’t know where my forever house will be just yet. I enjoyed your comments.

      • Jen says:

        I have rolls of an Italian wallpaper with deep red background and a floral pattern, maybe somewhat similar to yours, sitting in a garage cupboard for some years–and still love it. Sounds perhaps similar to yours, and now I can’t think why I never installed it! I’ve always thought it would go well in my dining room, or perhaps powder room.

  • Katie says:

    When we moved last year, I reviewed my Pinterest boards to figure out what elements my pins had in common. I’ve always pinned pretty randomly any rooms I like without necessarily thinking about why. It was glaringly obvious— almost all of them were white! So, most rooms are a soft creamy white in this house (which was not the case before). I love it because it feels fresh, airy and clean. Also, we have a lot of artwork and the white really does give the paintings a wonderful backdrop.

  • Melinda says:

    Our walls are all shades of yellow. BUT I will confess, I lust after white on white in a Parisian pied-a-terre. I love the romantic look of an old Paris apartment home with tall windows, white trim, white walls w/white curtains blowing in the wind. A few very pale natural wood pieces, one or two pops of sun-bleached soft pink for chairs Romantic perhaps, but it’s stuck in my head. Realistic? Someday. Will I love it? We shall see.

  • Theresa says:

    No I have not. I had white and it didn’t do a thing for my home which does not have a lot of light. I also have two fireplaces and wood. The white did nothing for the stone and the wood. I found a soft beige and the rooms lite up. Glad I didn’t go white. Not every house should be painted white there are other soft colors that will work much better with those things we are not changing or can’t change.

  • Tricia says:

    I suspect it’s home improvement shows on TV, as was mentioned by others above. Me, I’m allergic to white. I can appreciate it in pictures and in homes of other people, but would not be able to tolerate it in my own home. I need COLOR. And colored walls are fantastic for artwork. I buy art when I travel. I have no problem finding a place to display my art.

    • Jen says:

      I love artwork on saturated walls…and we certainly have ample precedent in that regard, in so many of the world’s great art galleries. I vote for “Gallery red”, Gallery green”, etc…not just “Gallery white”!

  • Nancy says:

    I’m SICK of Gray! Depressing, boring, dull, what else??

  • Linda Trammel says:

    I like all of these! It is too late to go to another color of white for me! I have painted the entire open area of my living room, dining room, kitchen and hall way with SW Alabaster. Two of my bathrooms (I have 3!) I also painted with the alabaster and painted my vanity SW Pure White. I like how they look. Now for my kitchen cabinets I have not painted them white yet b/c I’m hesitant that the Pure White might be too bright a white. Because I have a dark brown counter top then the pure white might work.The alabaster goes with my honey beige Tuscan tile I think.
    Now I just have to decide what white to go with b/c I am determined to do white! I love love white! It is so airy and fresh and you can do all colors with it in your décor.
    Thank you for all your emails on painting. I eat them up. Always looking for new ideas that are simple and inexpensive. Like in painting I may not paint ever again since I am almost 74 and my budget will not allow me to make big renovations. My kitchen cabinets will be pretty expensive (I have 26 doors) but I will make a way to do them!
    I really enjoyed the pictures of Italy too!
    Thanks again Maria.
    Linda Trammel

  • Deneen Schamer says:

    I recently painted my dining room Pure White SW. I have box molding above and below the chair rail around the entire room. I had painted it in a different white years ago with a semi gloss finish, but I recently did a satin finish which is so much softer yet it still makes my walls look like wood rather than drywall. The inset tray ceiling is SW Black Fox. I made the decision to do all white because I wanted it to feel brighter as it gets very little natural light from the window, and I wanted the tray ceiling to stand out. I love it and feel like it gives a cleaner, brigheter feel to my home.

  • Ellen Shook says:

    While I am a color junkie, in the last year or so we have painted the MBR pure white, as we had previously done in the foyer and stairwell. The reason is that I wanted some areas of my house to “just breathe,” as well as be more adaptable seasonally.

    I think the reason some of us who are suddenly craving pure white spaces is the current national climate (U.S.). You may choose not to publish this, and it’s your blog so I understand — but sometimes after watching the news, especially this week, we all feel like we need a bath. Or a baptism.

  • Penny says:

    Hi Maria
    I am so tired of all white walls and furniture everywhere these days. One of the reasons my DH and I bought a house was to have the freedom to paint the walls whatever color we wanted. I get that people want a fresh look after the Tuscan brown followed by Greige trends, but I think just as with those trends white will play it self out. I wonder where we will go from here? Shelter mags on occasion do a “color” spread but imo they are overdone and lacking in style.

  • Shara says:

    I painted a long rectangular room with little natural light “Greek Villa” white. My hope was that it would make the room feel brighter. WRONG. The room felt stark, cold and had a “hospital-vibe.” NOT the vibe I wanted. By the end of the week I had re-painted it (Edgecomb Gray) and it’s been that way for about 3 years.

  • Kristi says:

    New construction home, tons of windows, light-stained white oak floors, white/marbley quartz countertops, white cabinets, white trim, and…all white walls! All walls/trim/ceilings/cabinets are Ben Moore “Simply White”. Could not be happier with my choice, it has been a year with three little kids and so far so good! Your whites e-book was extremely helpful in bringing all of the hard finishes together. We did use some black-brown stained hickory for some of the built-in cabinetry in the living areas and plenty of color in the soft finishes, so it is not stark at all. Just light, bright, and cheerful. I feel lucky to have such a nice space.

  • Molly says:

    White bedrooms! This is the biggest surprise for me reading the comments in this interesting discussion. While I have been looking at off-white & cream colors to paint my master bedroom to work with existing finishes, it never crossed my mind that other people love their already white, off-white, cream, or griege bedrooms! I spent the evening browsing homes for sale in my area to see if the walls were some of version of white, cream, ivory, or greige as I plan to list my house in the next 6 to 10 months. When I bought my current house two years ago here in NC almost every house I looked at was painted BM revere pewter. I am also preparing a Chicago suburban house to sell in the next year. I do not think I will paint a version of white unless I have have enough fabulous furniture, art, accessories and architecture to carry it off. With Venetian Gold countertops I am indeed limited in my current house with white kitchen cabinets. BM Pale oak or Elmira white were my original choices, however, in the past few months I have been leaning toward an off-white or cream not only for the kitchen but the entire downstairs, stairway, and upstairs hall. Perhaps I need to spend less time on Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram!

  • Shari says:

    “Gallery white” – Yes! Since I look my best wearing black and a true white with pops of bright colors, I fill my home with these as well. Its many windows fill my house with plenty of sunlight on most days of the year. Maria, perhaps our personal coloring has something to do with our preference for which “white” and colors and how much contrast we prefer. That could spell trouble. Might this be a good subject for a post?

    • Shari says:

      Adding to the comment I made above… All white walls work for me because: 1) “Colour” on walls gives me a closed-in feeling whereas white gives me space in which to breathe. 2) I do not want my house to look like the interior painting has not been completed so, I prefer painting ALL the rooms white. 3) Many large windows with lots of year round natural sunlight, high ceilings, cool-toned and bright white hard surfaces, white fabrics, a variety of textures, plants, brightly coloured and also black and white art, modern/minimal/organic decor,and light natural woods are what I have loved for many decades. 4) Bright white walls are just a natural extension of who I am and what I love. It’s part of my story. Authenticity, not an obsession.
      A little tip: Avoid selecting paint if you have cataracts. Cataracts will tint everything a bit yellow or brown, especially the whites.
      Maria, thank you for asking such interesting questions.

  • Hi Maria,

    First of all, welcome Home! And, I can’t thank you enough for your blogs and e-books!

    I have two thoughts on why we’re obsessed with white. Yes, one is because a we see so many lovely photos of houses with so many huge windows and natural light. (Ah, wouldn’t that be nice…)

    But, also, perhaps it’s a reaction to the past several years, before the more recent gray trend, when we were painting the rooms in our homes all different colors and really experimenting with color for the first time. We were letting loose and getting bold by watching HGTV, Trading Spaces and the like, and giving ourselves permission to express ourselves in our homes. I know myself and many others who are longing for white or neutral color throughout our homes for the cohesive feeling it promises after living with the choppiness of (I’m describing my previous home now) a green living room, yellow kitchen, brown laundry room, and various bedroom colors.:)

    We live in a busy, complicated world. Maybe all white is a reaction to that, too. Just some immediate thoughts. 🙂

  • Christine says:

    I just painted all my walls SW white duck. I was ambivalent because even though all my finishes are clean and neutral- white kitchen, white bathrooms, mid tone woods floors- my ceilings are wood. It came out great! When I was young, my parents always had bright white walls and I hated it, not relaxing.

  • Holly H says:

    No white walls inside my home, but I did just mention to my hubby that when we reside our house i’d like to consider white. Mostly because I love the classic look of a White house with black shutters (which we already have). And our house is a colonial so I think we could pull it off?

  • Nataly says:

    I lived in a little house with low ceilings in Seattle. Most of the windows were small and on the north wall of the house. My ex had it painted art gallery white because he was majoring in photography and he had a freshly printed array of photos from his senior project to display. It looked so grim and grubby on a gray day, and many of our winter days are gray. It looked stark at night with our lighting, too.
    I think a lot of the current popularity of white is driven by the Fixer Upper look, and it works great in the warm, bright light of Texas, and I love how fresh the white rooms look on my computer screen, but it just doesn’t work in my house with my stuff and my lighting. Maybe the problem is that I don’t have Photoshop installed in my living room so I can’t turn up the brightness and bump the contrast?

  • Gilda says:

    For my new build, in anticipation of it, I studied your White is Complicated, plus your other materials.. I was coming form an 1855 farmhouse with saturated color in all of the rooms (because of massive millwork all previously painted antique white…so they could take the color). For the new house, I chose Simply White for the walls and mill work, with Opalescence for the ceilings (recommended on another blog, I think Laurel Bern’s blog). I’m pleased with it. HOWEVER: I do get reflection from the greenscape outside in some rooms..but that’s only in the summertime! I think I just needed a break from the color and am enjoying the use of texture in this house where I can do exactly what I want (the other house was my husbands so I was totally restricted, but did my best there)

  • Angela Vogt Schellenberg says:

    We bought our house 4 years ago. It had beautiful hardwood floors (red-orange undertone) and beautiful wood shaker cabinets (orange undertone) and the whole house was painted yellow with white trim. There is also no place to stop painting in my house (all the corners are round) so once you pick a color you are committed to a large space. The yellow was light absorbing and it made me feel like I lived in a cave so 2 years ago I decided to go white. I spent several months with paint chips on my wall and realized very quickly that a white on my walls with that floor was not the answer. Finally I found Benjamin Moore Muslin OC-12. This is not even close to white, except in my house. The dining room looks cream, my living room looks like a fresh white, and my lobby looks pale grey. My house feels light, fresh and relaxing and all the wood in my house looks beautiful without looking heavy and dark.

  • Anna says:

    Obsession with White Walls: It took me years to get to this obsession. After years of having color, I realized White would give me the most options when I felt like changing out the decor. White also makes things easier when it comes to changing our pictures, paintings, frames. It’s just an empty pallet where everything matches because it’s against a white wall. I hope this comment make sense.

    • DEbi says:

      This comment makes sense! several dwellings and color schemes behind me… I too am doing whitish walls… love!

  • Kaye Gomes says:

    We build custom homes on Mt Hood in Oregon – one of our customers worried and worried about her “white walls” and after multiply samples of paint she finally chose one…………..the only problem was when she turned on her kitchen pendant lights the RED Glass in the fixture turned all her walls PINK! She loved it.

  • Jo Tazelaar says:

    George Costanza’s dad said it best in his plea for “Serenity NOW”! Like yourselves, I’ve given this ‘white room’ thing quite a think. Just what is it the common thread that runs through such a large percentage of home or shelter images featured on line, Pinterest as well as Instagram. The rooms and subject matter in the shots vary so widely and yet they all ‘hold together’. If you were to produce a printed piece, say, a catalog, you would strive to have such consistency in you photography. It helps the reader to understand the seller’s point of view. But, here, we have thousands of photographs by thousands of unrelated photographers! So, what gives? Although we have certainly experienced trends before let’s set aside the other concurrent trending we see in home and shelter on line images and focus on the white aspect. We know that in order to establish a space that we truly respond to, we have to establish either for ourselves or our clients the key questions…”how do we want the space to ‘feel’ “How do we want it to make us feel” It’s all about the ‘feelz’. Architecture and art, music, fashion and design are typically responses to what is happening in our environments. And lately, things have been fairly uncertain, unpredictable and unnerving. Cue the calm. There is an uncluttered, organized calm depicted in today’s high key ‘white’ shots that we’re responding to with a sort of “oh…yes, please”. And it’s not just that they are white. But that they are bright. This light and bright look can also be perceived as a more spare and attainable aesthetic for those who are unclear as to how to connect the dots and pull their rooms together with a more varied palette with more moving parts. Just looking at many of these images can create a sense of hope that we too, in due time, can achieve greater control and calm over our immediate environments. And that’s always a good place to start.

    • KNJ says:

      Hello Jo, you are precisely on point. The white wall ‘trend’ has to do with feel as established by humankind through sound as well as resting the eye. As time constraints mounted, technology filled our every minute and the vast majority of people are glued to screen where movement, color and sound (unless muted) overwhelm our brains, humankind craves something blank where the mind can rest. Think back to the 70s where colorful appliances, wallpaper, fabric and italian, portuguese & spanish & delft tiles where all the rage. People were calmer and could absorb/handle additional outside stimuli. Today, that isn’t possible. Without a reversal away from technology the white wall ‘trend’ will not be a trend at all but becomea ‘classic.’ Thanks for being uber observant! Time to get the rest of humankind to realize just how stressed our brains have become!

  • Marilyn says:

    I have admired white walls for 30 years since I started buying Country Living magazine. So, I don’t think it’s a trend- at least not with country/cottage style. I finally painted my bedroom Alabaster White and I love it. I also think white is popular because houses are being built so close together with not enough windows, and white brightens up the space. White feels clean and fresh.

  • Adelaide says:

    I recently bought a house (3 years old), that has very soft, warm griege walls throughout, soft white ceilings and mid brown floorboards. Much like an office I worked in, it is very soothing. Alas, no details of the paint colours were left by the previous owners. I have moved from a home with soft buttery yellow walls and feature wall of terracotta/Chinese red. I left the decorator’s advice with paint chips and the original greeting card that expressed what I loved for the new owners. They may or may not use them. I have no intention of painting the walls here, so I worked backwards to your advice Maria, and did not start with the fabric and work towards the paint colour. BUT, I have been very aware that I needed to take undertone into consideration. In my head I wanted corals and greens in my furnishings. As winter approached I knew I needed to warm up the huge area that is my kitchen, dining, living area – typical of new builds here is Oz. I naturally lean towards warm, fresh colours. My search for fabric has taken 5 months. Last week I went to the fabric wholesalers and have had much larger samples of my choices, originally found in smaller samples at the upholsterers, draped over my lounge , kitchen island and against my walls, in all lights – sunny days, grey, rainy days and the artificial light of night. I’ve moved the sofa around to different points in the large space. There are no greens, I have saved those for my smaller lounge on the northern side of my home, but I have a fabulous botanical print that encompasses all the neutrals of this room (my kitchen is not white, but griege and taupe), of leaves with occasional ‘berries’ in coral and soft gold. So Maria, here I am, happy with these soft walls which the untrained eye may call white, and feeling very relieved. I will have two sofas, one in the print and one coral. I will also have two casual chairs in the print, as I have created two seating areas. The basis of the room is decided. There are rugs, cushions and throws yet to be found. My art works are not yet hung. But now it is all systems go. I kept referring back to your site so often, and my overriding anthem is when I walk into this space, will it make me happy? Yes it will. Thank you so much for all your sage advice over all the incarnations of your blog – I must have found it very early in your blogging days.
    Would I have white walls? I have the soft greige version and am very satisfied.

  • Katie says:

    Four and a half years ago I was in my grandmother’s home in LA. I looked at her flat gallery white walls and the way they made her artwork pop and decided then and there that my next home would have white walls. Three months later we lost our house to a fire, and I stuck to my guns. Everything went white. It was the cusp of the trend but now I see I was just sensing what was to be the upcoming trendy design aesthetic. White walls, brown hardwood, mid century furnishings. Love it but never thought it’d be everywhere. Still reminds me of my grandma (exquisite taste) and my mother’s houses, always white. Not so much of a trend in calfornia.

  • Alana says:

    Most of my house is painted an off white– Glass of Milk by Martha Stewart. It’s a small boxy house–built in the late 40s in Edmonton.

    I believe I painted it four years or so ago throughout the house with the exception of my bathrooms and stair well. Reading “White is Complicated” actually gave me the courage to do it. The only hard finish I had to take into consideration was my 70 year old beat up orangey oak hard wood floors.

    I chose it so that the focus would be on everything else. And because we don’t intend to paint the house again. And because I wanted to maximize the light. Technically, my rooms are too dark for “white.” I do need the lights on during the day. But the shadows aren’t dingy like they would be with a stark white like Chantilly Lace.

  • Barb says:

    I think it’s at least partly a regional thing- i’ve noticed several of my friends in the south and southeast love the all-white look. I think it’s pretty in pictures but we have a black dog, a cat, and kids. Also long winters when it would lack warmth. Not happening here.

  • Rhonda Bovine says:

    Hello, I am one of your clients that wanted a lighter, brighter, cleaner look after the gold/brown/tans of the Tuscan era. While its true that my tan tile needed to be addressed, I couldn’t find myself happy with the BM Manchester Tan (TOO dark) or even pinky-tan BM Feather Down and the closest thing to it SW Moderate White. After much agony and dispair and testing of so many colors, I did decide to choose a warm off white. By cutting the red oxide and sampling SW Steamed Milk, I am now so happy with my lighter, brighter, cleaner and fresher look on these walls. I did the baby’s room and the entire upstairs in SW Creamy and I LOVE the freshness, the neutrality of knowing that any furnishings and artwork are going to be lovely and the ease of changing things in the future. Beige is back! And I plan to stay here because the truth of the matter is that painting a home is expensive, time consuming, and unsettling a bit.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Rhonda,
      It should never be necessary to tweak the formula of a colour, and you would have had to cut out the red from SW steamed Milk because it’s very pink to start with. The Feather Down that we specified (which is far from pinky-tan) would have given you the same result.
      Anyway, I’m glad it worked out in the end, that’s all that matters! Painting is definitely stressful because it truly impacts how you feel in the room! Thanks for your comment! Maria

      • Susan Telfer says:

        Does Feather Down look pretty and white when on the wall? Because on my poster board it looks not as nice as Standish White, though I did think I wanted to go lighter.

  • lia says:

    i love my furniture white but not my wall

  • Carla says:

    Contrast with current furniture and accessories, flexibility if one wants to change F & A, white is so cheerful!

  • allison says:

    So I had to pipe in here BECAUSE, I painted my walls white only because of Maria! I am finishing up a renovation, and we added a ton of windows to the south and west side of our house. I put a white kitchen in with black and white counter tops/ a black and white fireplace, and had a lot of white slipcovered furniture from pre-renovation. I hit indecision stage quickly, but finally decided to paint the walls white (BM Simply White) as it matched my cabinets. When I first moved into my house 5 years ago, I painted it BM Edgecomb grey, and I really never loved it. So when I went to repaint after the renovation, I DID NOT want a grey. but did not want a warm neutral. and given that I didn’t have any other items picked out, I went with the one color that coordinated with an existing finish: White. Now I will also admit: I didn’t paint my whole house white, only the southern/western rooms that get a TON of light and it is bright enough to support the wall color. However, in The rest of the house went a green/grey or a navy that coordinated with the rugs in those rooms because those rooms don’t get enough light to make it feasible. but I LOVE the white.

  • Gisele says:

    My floors are dark brown,my couch is soft beige and green and i have a picture window in the living room, there is not enough light in the living room.In the evening the sun shines in the living room,it’s so hot we have to close the curtains ,so at super time the living room is very dark what color of wall should i choose to lighten the living room?Please help me painted are already chosen,to come to paint.

  • Cindi says:

    My house in Hawaii is BM Acadia White (formerly Ivory), which I believe you call a white. The ceilings are Simply White. I love it.
    Yes, there is tons of light in the house. There is also a lot of wood and bamboo (teak parquet floors, Sapelle cabinets, wood and bamboo furniture), and a lot of color in the art, rugs, and of course looking out the windows. I have had several neighbors copy the paint color, and many people say “I don’t normally like white walls but I love these.”

    • Cindi says:

      I forgot to mention, two of my rooms are yellow (a bedroom and a den, the two that get the least amount of sun). I also have and orange/papaya accent wall in the dining room, and some green accent walls (master bedroom, living room and hall.) I know accent walls are supposed to be out of style but I love them. They add a lot of color without being overwhelming, and the crisp white looks so good next to them.

    • barbara says:

      I have teak parquet floors also!!!!! ( from Bankok teak in 1979)…. they are certainly bossy but beautiful. Most wall colors die next to it. Will check out your color choice! ( we live in san diego…. but not enuff sun comes into house..)

  • Susan Telfer says:

    Hi Maria,

    I think your question relates to the zeitgeist of the moment, which is overwhelmed. I just got back from a one week holiday in a waterfront cabin which had the most minimal colours: brown wood, white, greige, and a bit of blue in the duvet cover. Along with the sound of the waves and lack of TV or computer, it was very calming. When I returned home, my house seemed saturated in colour. While I can’t put wood panelling on my ceiling right now (like the cabin), my next impulse is to remove as much clutter and colour from my house as possible. This means eliminating some colour from the walls. I have read all your publications, and know with my hard finishes, I cannot have art gallery white, but I am looking at creams and off-whites. Maybe some just want the most white possible because a lot of the books about decluttering are from Scandinavia and Japan, where walls are typically white. I really think as a culture, we are fed up with too much everything: social media, news, consumerism, and even colour.

    • Susan Telfer says:

      P.S. I am rereading Patina Farm and donating other decor books which focus on a lot of colour and pattern.

  • Teri says:

    Yes Yes yes!

    I have a new obsession with white in my home. We live in the dessert (lots of natural light) and built our 1500 sf home in 2008. At the time it was all beige beige and Tuscan travertine. Thank goodness the travertine I picked was off white since it looks ok with white.

    I kept seeing people on the blogs take their gray walls and change them to white the past few years.. I then noticed it happening a LOT. I started to fall in love! First I started getting white accessories and then I was one day staring at my off white walls and decided to go white in almost every room. The exception was my son and daughters rooms. I also painted the bathroom navy (another trend I’m seeingbwith Moody colors) a few weeks ago?

    My husband thinks it’s funny that the color “white” can be a trend and he rolls his eyes when I get serious about it. Love it!!?

  • Carol Baker says:

    I recently built a new house and struggled with wall color. I was tired of the gray I had in my entire house. Looking in magazines, blogs and Pinterest I realized all the rooms I liked best were some shade of white. I eventually settled on a creamy white. As the house was being painted I feared the rooms would be too light if there is such a thing. But as soon as the furniture went in I love it! I did break it up by painting my study and powder room RH Silver Sage. Have lived in 11 houses and never before had a white wall.

  • Yes! I painted white recently, and got it right the first time thanks to you, Maria! I did a LOT of testing before I painted. But it’s not stark art gallery white. It’s luscious and a bit creamy. I simply love it. I’m fortunate enough to have 12′ ceilings and light streaming in from all directions. The white is a great backdrop for art. And I love the way shadow and light plays with it. It’s elegant, historic, and dare I say—a bit Parisian! 🙂

  • Heidi Paris says:

    My whole house is painted Snowbound including the exterior.
    It is a new build, which I designed and decorated myself. It is flooded with light and has lots of windows. I have read the White is Complicated book countless times while planning my house. Here are the reasons I arrived at the decision to paint everything white, which was by no means an easy decision, but here it is.
    1 Carerra marble backsplash, fireplace surround and laundry room floor and bathroom floor.
    2 Snowbound had to be my trim color because of the kitchen cabinet color the builder offered, which could not be changed.
    3 No place to stop and start with different paint colors due to open concept kitchen, dining and living area.
    4 High gloss Snowbound painted raised paneling.
    5 Sheer terror of any other color turning pink beige.
    6 Fear of a grey or greige color throughout soon dating the house and identifying it as being built in the grey trend.

  • Hi Maria, I love,love, love your blog! I am hoping to take your E-design course one of these days…
    I am a practicing Interior Decorator and Realtor originally from Toronto Ontario and now live in the USA. I had the opportunity to help a friend in Canada with the renovation and decoration of a pretty, Dutch Colonial home in Windsor Ont to help their mother relocate to be closer to family. We were aiming to have similar colors that were in the previous home – very elegant Georgian with lovely antiques etc. This could have been such a fun project but too many cooks spoiled the broth – The homeowner (the son) suffered from ‘shiny thing syndrome’ and could not stay committed to my plan – We had specified and agreed on all the colors to use and then I got a phone call from the homeowner ( friend, kind of family) saying he wanted to change the wall color throughout to BM Simply White because his brother’s in-laws had their entire ( contemporary home) painted in Simply White and it was going to be featured in a magazine – at that point I graciously declined working with this family and today their home is painted white throughout making all the creamy peaches and off whites look incredibly dirty. It could have been so pretty 🙁
    I have learned my lesson though – you have to take the reins and be the meanie sometimes if you want to get your point across.

  • Wilma says:

    Living in SA – north facing home, which means full sun – I just love my white walls and white painted notty-pine ceilings!!
    And our 3*3 m windows just enhances the look….maybe we got photoshop in our home ?


  • JoAnne says:

    The first time I had a house I wasn’t renting, I painted every wall and ceiling. It was a southwest motif so it all went together well. Then I had to rent again, for the past three years. It was the most god awful puppy poop color throughout every single room. I’m pretty sure that’s why this house has never sold, but the property manager doesn’t believe me. I was so over color by the time I left there, all I wanted was bright and white. I love the white. I’m using White Dove in eggshell on the walls and White in satin for the trim. It’s very soft. This house was dark and dismal when I looked at it. It had all wood trim and floors which were original to a 1954 home. I had the floors redone and all the trim painted. It makes me smile now!!

  • Cindi says:

    Could you give some examples of colors in your book that you are referring to as “gallery white”? You mention it a lot but it’s still not clear to me when you say gallery white if you mean a true white, or if that even includes off-white and/or cream. Thanks

  • Liz says:

    I LOVE the white wall looks in the pictures, but textures (to me) help pull off the looks (plus great lighting). Our north-east facing walls have been a grey green color (Duron Stone Lion) for 20 years and I’m ready for something lighter, happier and goes with all colors of the seasons. Only worry I’ll bore of white fast. Looking forward to reading Maria’s books and learning more!

  • Tina says:

    I just had our entire main floor painted BM white dove with BM simply white trim. We love it! We do not have the Tuscan brown look in our home. A fair amount of color in terms of furniture. We have the Devine Paint colors in all of our rooms. All walls and ceilings were painted in a variety of colors. And while I loved it, we got sick of it. Our home is sort of a working class Tudor built in 1926 with lots of smallish rooms – sort of choppy. With the entire space the same fresh clean color, it just makes things feel calmer and super fresh.
    So yeah. We love the white. Our regret is that our budget didn’t allow for the floors to be redone too. We do have medium brown Siberian white oak floors, but they are a bit “lived in.” Oh well. Next project.

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