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

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

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Trends are always moving. You can’t pin them down. When you’ve been in the colour business for as long as I have, it’s fascinating to watch.

And it’s also the reason I’m so jaded about each new tile trend fad that comes along.

I’m talking about hard finishes because they are the most permanent. I really would like to save the world and especially YOU from so many unnecessary renovations.  It’s simply not reality to rip out tile every time the trends change. Yet we keep installing the trendy tiles like we’ll love them forever.

Related post: Ask Maria: Help! I Don’t Want the Same Kitchen as Everyone Else

Last month when my participants-designers and colour enthusiasts-started arriving at the location where we held my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop, they had barely  walked in the door when they started asking questions about greige.

“Maria, will you be talking about greige?”, was the overwhelming question.

And then while in LA, Tricia my design assistant, wrote a post about the newest trend which is painting your trim and walls the same white (or cream) because we’ve noticed that it happening in our eDesign consultations.

Related post: Paint Your Walls and Trim White (or Cream)

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

Design Chic

The white-on-white trend was born out of necessity.

There are way too many homes filled with moulding and millwork that were built or decorated in the Tuscan Trend and before that in the 90s with lots of dark slate. Not only would it be very expensive to paint all the woodwork white from the existing cream, but you can’t do it without changing out the Travertine or dark earthy tile floors because the contrast would be too high, and white or off-white would start looking too stark. Keep reading the example photo is below.

After my workshop in LA, I was home for one week and we flew to Washington, DC for my next course.

Here the questions were largely about white.

I don’t launch into my training about white until the afternoon of Day 2, but the questions kept flying, so I’m moving the section about colour and light up to Day 1.

This is one of the big reasons why my course is never the same.

And here’s what’s new about white that you should know:

Cream Hard Finishes = Cream Cabinets, Greige Walls = White or Off-White Trim

If you have earthy hard finishes or more creamy tile or countertops in your kitchen which dictates a creamier colour for the cabinets, then this is when you should break the usual guideline of coordinating trim colour with cabinets and simply choose a coordinating lighter trim for the rest of the house.

Why? So your overall wall colour can be a paler colour or a greige.

If you choose a lighter colour for the walls but your trim is still cream, it might start looking dirty.

Related post: Ask Maria, When is White Dirty?

Often when I talk about trends, I’ll get comments saying it has to do with marketing and sales. That companies have to continue to make money by telling you to switch your finishes from silver to gold, for example.

Consider that after 7 – 10 years, you’ll be craving a change no matter what’s happening with the trends.

I know a woman who changed her living room every 7 years whether it needed to be done or not.

We can’t all do this of course, but paint is cheap, so if you’ve been living with an earthy palette for a few years now and want a change. This is how you can pull it off.

Obviously paint can’t do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes you’ll need to freshen up your accessories or change your upholstery.

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

Kitchen | Living Room

This kitchen (above) is cream because the granite is cream and not white. So if your kitchen is BM Ivory White (for example), then your trim could be BM Cloud White.

If you need the gradation of light to dark for blue white, off-white, true-white or cream you can find it in my White is Complicated eBook which you can download here.

Earthy slate tile or dark Travertine needs cream woodwork to look correct.

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

The fixed element dictating the trim colour in this house is the dark Travertine floors (above). The current trim is way too white and should be cream.

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

Enchanted Home

This slate has cream in it which is why the cream cabinets look good. However, the wall colour in this kitchen can NEVER be white because of these floors.

Therefore, if this is your kitchen and you’re clear this tile is not coming out anytime soon, AND you are craving a fresher colour throughout the rest of your house, then you have to treat the woodwork elsewhere like you are ‘moving forward’ and choose an off-white that works with the cream cabinets in your kitchen.

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

Slate Floors

In this floor, there are about 5 colours and not one of them is white or cream giving you no alternative except to paint the cabinets a colour.

A white or cream kitchen with this slate will always look a little bit wrong.

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

source

This kitchen has a similar slate floor but the orange has been repeated in the wood stain.

Better.

Moving forward.

That is what you have to do when the trends change. And that means you have to break the regular guidelines of having everything coordinate.

Because we just don’t live in a perfect world. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

If you need help with your whites, you can download my eBook here. It’s 150 pages filled with photos and instruction of how to get your white right. Way more that could ever fit into a blog post. Plus it includes my Bonus Book of Whites to narrow it all down for you.

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

Just had 3 fabulous days in Vienna, Virginia last week with 21 new True Colour Experts and then Terreeia and I stayed at the Jefferson Hotel (above) in DC for the weekend.

Don’t you love how my shoes (from my recent trip to Paris) match the marble inlay?

Specify Colour with Confidence in DC | Maria Killam

DC True Colour Experts at the Westwood Country Club

Specify Colour with Confidence in DC | Maria Killam

We are often at Country Clubs because we always need windows for all the in-class exercises.

Specify Colour with Confidence in DC | Maria Killam

Lori Steinman, Deb Landy, Maria Killam, Susie Marentis, Jenna Steckler

Lori Steinman from Everett Scott Designs (above) said this about the course:

Taking Maria’s 3-Day Specify Color With Confidence course was time and money well spent.  Each day was chock-full of information, exercises, and tools to make the job of specifying colors a snap. Not only will this course strengthen my skills as a designer, but will give me the tools to help my clients understand WHY colors I specify work. Priceless!

I also enjoyed Maria’s warm, approachable style and wonderful sense of humor. She is an exceptional instructor who reads the needs of the class well and adjusts her instruction accordingly.  She is truly amazing and inspirational. 

I think we all benefitted from the wonderful camaraderie of the group and came away with friendships that I expect to last a lifetime.  

I am so thrilled to have been part of this experience!

Register here if you’d like to transform the way you see colour!

PS. I’ll be at High Point Market this weekend coming up after my course in Charlotte so you’ll want to follow me on Instagram to see all the trends I’m snapping!

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  1. Also a timely post for me. I am on the way to specify color for an old client who just installed a new kitchen. Her floors are a blond wood plank. She said her cabinets are white but the rest of her house is more woody. I am anxious to take my knowledge and help her with color. She also wants me to specify the marble for her counter tops. I won’t be specifying granite.

    So glad to hear that your class was such a success. I am sure they all loved you as we did also in your LA course!

  2. Also a timely post for me. I am on the way to specify color for an old client who just installed a new kitchen. Her floors are a blond wood plank. She said her cabinets are white but the rest of her house is more woody. I am anxious to take my knowledge and help her with color. She also wants me to specify the marble for her counter tops. I won’t be specifying granite.

    So glad to hear that your class was such a success. I am sure they all loved you as we did also in your LA course!

  3. Also a timely post for me. I am on the way to specify color for an old client who just installed a new kitchen. Her floors are a blond wood plank. She said her cabinets are white but the rest of her house is more woody. I am anxious to take my knowledge and help her with color. She also wants me to specify the marble for her counter tops. I won’t be specifying granite.

    So glad to hear that your class was such a success. I am sure they all loved you as we did also in your LA course!

  4. I was so excited to read this! My cabinets are bm ivory white and the trim is bm cloud white. I have loved it ever since I painted out the kitchen but did it out of necessity. My stair spindles are cloud white and it would be much too expensive to have them repainted on a whim. Thank you Maria! You are the best at what you do!

  5. I was so excited to read this! My cabinets are bm ivory white and the trim is bm cloud white. I have loved it ever since I painted out the kitchen but did it out of necessity. My stair spindles are cloud white and it would be much too expensive to have them repainted on a whim. Thank you Maria! You are the best at what you do!

  6. I was so excited to read this! My cabinets are bm ivory white and the trim is bm cloud white. I have loved it ever since I painted out the kitchen but did it out of necessity. My stair spindles are cloud white and it would be much too expensive to have them repainted on a whim. Thank you Maria! You are the best at what you do!

  7. Great article Maria! This helps clarify the ongoing White vs Ivory/Cream debate.

    I Love your photo of the floor at Jefferson Hotel…
    …. and are those your shoes? Love Love Love them!!

  8. Great article Maria! This helps clarify the ongoing White vs Ivory/Cream debate.

    I Love your photo of the floor at Jefferson Hotel…
    …. and are those your shoes? Love Love Love them!!

  9. Great article Maria! This helps clarify the ongoing White vs Ivory/Cream debate.

    I Love your photo of the floor at Jefferson Hotel…
    …. and are those your shoes? Love Love Love them!!

  10. Great post! I wasn’t able to join your Charlotte course this year which kills me because I live in Charlotte and it just doesn’t seem fair! Hoping to catch you next year. Thanks for the great information!

  11. Great post! I wasn’t able to join your Charlotte course this year which kills me because I live in Charlotte and it just doesn’t seem fair! Hoping to catch you next year. Thanks for the great information!

  12. Great post! I wasn’t able to join your Charlotte course this year which kills me because I live in Charlotte and it just doesn’t seem fair! Hoping to catch you next year. Thanks for the great information!

  13. I can’t imagine being able to update every 7-10 years. That would be the dream. I love change!
    I hope your shoes were as comfortable as they are cute.

  14. I can’t imagine being able to update every 7-10 years. That would be the dream. I love change!
    I hope your shoes were as comfortable as they are cute.

  15. I can’t imagine being able to update every 7-10 years. That would be the dream. I love change!
    I hope your shoes were as comfortable as they are cute.

  16. Interesting to hear that painting the trim the same shade as the walls is a new trend in your neck of the woods. In Australia that’s what we have always done unless of course the walls are a darkcolour then we paint the trim white or cream. I’d love to do your course Maria but a tad too far to travel! Perhaps one time I am in the States things will co-ordinate.

  17. Interesting to hear that painting the trim the same shade as the walls is a new trend in your neck of the woods. In Australia that’s what we have always done unless of course the walls are a darkcolour then we paint the trim white or cream. I’d love to do your course Maria but a tad too far to travel! Perhaps one time I am in the States things will co-ordinate.

  18. Interesting to hear that painting the trim the same shade as the walls is a new trend in your neck of the woods. In Australia that’s what we have always done unless of course the walls are a darkcolour then we paint the trim white or cream. I’d love to do your course Maria but a tad too far to travel! Perhaps one time I am in the States things will co-ordinate.

  19. Hi Maria –
    In regard to your trendy tile reference at the opening of this post, could you remind us again what the best long term choice for bathroom tile is – if you are in the lower, builder-grade budget range. As always, thank you for your generosity in sharing your experience.

  20. Hi Maria –
    In regard to your trendy tile reference at the opening of this post, could you remind us again what the best long term choice for bathroom tile is – if you are in the lower, builder-grade budget range. As always, thank you for your generosity in sharing your experience.

  21. Hi Maria –
    In regard to your trendy tile reference at the opening of this post, could you remind us again what the best long term choice for bathroom tile is – if you are in the lower, builder-grade budget range. As always, thank you for your generosity in sharing your experience.

  22. Help!! My floors are the exact slate floor pictured that has 5 colors in it, my cabinets are a medium stain which works fine, however my huge entertainment center and fireplace are a dark red stain and it must be painted! The floors are throughout the house. What color do I paint the entertainment center and fireplace? My trim is off white, not sure of the color and I have very little natural light, the room is east facing with a heavily shaded yard outside.

  23. Help!! My floors are the exact slate floor pictured that has 5 colors in it, my cabinets are a medium stain which works fine, however my huge entertainment center and fireplace are a dark red stain and it must be painted! The floors are throughout the house. What color do I paint the entertainment center and fireplace? My trim is off white, not sure of the color and I have very little natural light, the room is east facing with a heavily shaded yard outside.

  24. Help!! My floors are the exact slate floor pictured that has 5 colors in it, my cabinets are a medium stain which works fine, however my huge entertainment center and fireplace are a dark red stain and it must be painted! The floors are throughout the house. What color do I paint the entertainment center and fireplace? My trim is off white, not sure of the color and I have very little natural light, the room is east facing with a heavily shaded yard outside.

  25. Hi Maria
    I have a question
    If you paint your trim and walls let’s say simply white . You love it but down the road here comes colors that you now want cream not white .
    Then aren’t you in the same place as you’ve now ?
    thank you Nancy

  26. Hi Maria
    I have a question
    If you paint your trim and walls let’s say simply white . You love it but down the road here comes colors that you now want cream not white .
    Then aren’t you in the same place as you’ve now ?
    thank you Nancy

  27. Hi Maria
    I have a question
    If you paint your trim and walls let’s say simply white . You love it but down the road here comes colors that you now want cream not white .
    Then aren’t you in the same place as you’ve now ?
    thank you Nancy

  28. Thank you for a post about using cream, white and off white. I have found very few posts that discuss cream colors. Is cream considered a white, off white, beige, yellow, or is it in a category of its own? What are the best/most frequently used cream colors?

  29. Thank you for a post about using cream, white and off white. I have found very few posts that discuss cream colors. Is cream considered a white, off white, beige, yellow, or is it in a category of its own? What are the best/most frequently used cream colors?

  30. Thank you for a post about using cream, white and off white. I have found very few posts that discuss cream colors. Is cream considered a white, off white, beige, yellow, or is it in a category of its own? What are the best/most frequently used cream colors?

  31. I wish I’d read this a few years back, when I picked my white. I SCOURED your blog, the interwebs, pinterest and couldn’t quite get an answer to the following issue: which white to choose for cabinets (and trim) when the countertop is a busy beige with yellow, orange, and rust red splotches. Some sort of cream I guess, (which I do NOT like). But with a lot of trim and built in woodwork threaded from kitchen to rest of house (no clear line of division), and hoping to paint rest of house in fresh and mostly cool grays, and some navy, I guess the answer was off white?

    Problem: My understanding was that the white should have an undertone corresponding with the wall paints I wanted–cool.

    Dilemma: pick yellowish/dirtyish white that I hated, but looked okay with countertop, having countertop dictate white in rest of house. Or white I loved, but that clashed with countertop?

    What is the answer when you have bossy fixed elements? You are simply stuck with whites you don’t really like, which then dictate color for rest of house–all because of a bossy countertop that’s just a jerk? I guess the answer here is off white. But warm white for countertop? Or cool white for cool grays.

    • Choosing the right white is not about looking for a coordinating undertone in the surrounding colours, and it’s hard for me to help without a photo.

      And as you’ve said, but said another way, sometimes there is no magic, and something has to change in order to get the look that you want, especially when a previous homeowner has messed it up which happens sadly more often than not!
      Thanks for your comment!
      Maria

    • Mae, you say that you hate cream, and call it yellowish/dirtyish. But there is such a wide variety of “cream”, from almost a light yellow to slightly off from white. BM Ivory for example, if you don’t have a white next to it, it reads as very white. It is only when you put a true white next to it that you see it isn’t. At least where I’ve used it, I can’t imagine anybody thinking it is yellowish/dirtyish.

      Have you actually tried something like this, and did you really hate the way it looked?

  32. I wish I’d read this a few years back, when I picked my white. I SCOURED your blog, the interwebs, pinterest and couldn’t quite get an answer to the following issue: which white to choose for cabinets (and trim) when the countertop is a busy beige with yellow, orange, and rust red splotches. Some sort of cream I guess, (which I do NOT like). But with a lot of trim and built in woodwork threaded from kitchen to rest of house (no clear line of division), and hoping to paint rest of house in fresh and mostly cool grays, and some navy, I guess the answer was off white?

    Problem: My understanding was that the white should have an undertone corresponding with the wall paints I wanted–cool.

    Dilemma: pick yellowish/dirtyish white that I hated, but looked okay with countertop, having countertop dictate white in rest of house. Or white I loved, but that clashed with countertop?

    What is the answer when you have bossy fixed elements? You are simply stuck with whites you don’t really like, which then dictate color for rest of house–all because of a bossy countertop that’s just a jerk? I guess the answer here is off white. But warm white for countertop? Or cool white for cool grays.

    • Choosing the right white is not about looking for a coordinating undertone in the surrounding colours, and it’s hard for me to help without a photo.

      And as you’ve said, but said another way, sometimes there is no magic, and something has to change in order to get the look that you want, especially when a previous homeowner has messed it up which happens sadly more often than not!
      Thanks for your comment!
      Maria

    • Mae, you say that you hate cream, and call it yellowish/dirtyish. But there is such a wide variety of “cream”, from almost a light yellow to slightly off from white. BM Ivory for example, if you don’t have a white next to it, it reads as very white. It is only when you put a true white next to it that you see it isn’t. At least where I’ve used it, I can’t imagine anybody thinking it is yellowish/dirtyish.

      Have you actually tried something like this, and did you really hate the way it looked?

  33. I wish I’d read this a few years back, when I picked my white. I SCOURED your blog, the interwebs, pinterest and couldn’t quite get an answer to the following issue: which white to choose for cabinets (and trim) when the countertop is a busy beige with yellow, orange, and rust red splotches. Some sort of cream I guess, (which I do NOT like). But with a lot of trim and built in woodwork threaded from kitchen to rest of house (no clear line of division), and hoping to paint rest of house in fresh and mostly cool grays, and some navy, I guess the answer was off white?

    Problem: My understanding was that the white should have an undertone corresponding with the wall paints I wanted–cool.

    Dilemma: pick yellowish/dirtyish white that I hated, but looked okay with countertop, having countertop dictate white in rest of house. Or white I loved, but that clashed with countertop?

    What is the answer when you have bossy fixed elements? You are simply stuck with whites you don’t really like, which then dictate color for rest of house–all because of a bossy countertop that’s just a jerk? I guess the answer here is off white. But warm white for countertop? Or cool white for cool grays.

    • Choosing the right white is not about looking for a coordinating undertone in the surrounding colours, and it’s hard for me to help without a photo.

      And as you’ve said, but said another way, sometimes there is no magic, and something has to change in order to get the look that you want, especially when a previous homeowner has messed it up which happens sadly more often than not!
      Thanks for your comment!
      Maria

    • Mae, you say that you hate cream, and call it yellowish/dirtyish. But there is such a wide variety of “cream”, from almost a light yellow to slightly off from white. BM Ivory for example, if you don’t have a white next to it, it reads as very white. It is only when you put a true white next to it that you see it isn’t. At least where I’ve used it, I can’t imagine anybody thinking it is yellowish/dirtyish.

      Have you actually tried something like this, and did you really hate the way it looked?

  34. I love this. I have clients who are stuck, stuck, stuck on gray. They are doing a tiny bath with a really dark gray tile as the accent wall in the shower and I’m trying to move them to a white with gray vein marble-look side wall tiles. So the walls should be a gray white? I thought maybe introducing a warm undertone on the wall would give the room a little warmth?

  35. I love this. I have clients who are stuck, stuck, stuck on gray. They are doing a tiny bath with a really dark gray tile as the accent wall in the shower and I’m trying to move them to a white with gray vein marble-look side wall tiles. So the walls should be a gray white? I thought maybe introducing a warm undertone on the wall would give the room a little warmth?

  36. I love this. I have clients who are stuck, stuck, stuck on gray. They are doing a tiny bath with a really dark gray tile as the accent wall in the shower and I’m trying to move them to a white with gray vein marble-look side wall tiles. So the walls should be a gray white? I thought maybe introducing a warm undertone on the wall would give the room a little warmth?

  37. Kelly powers- my walls are bm Powell buff. I like the yellow undertone because my rooms face north in northern Ohio. It helps warm our space.

  38. Kelly powers- my walls are bm Powell buff. I like the yellow undertone because my rooms face north in northern Ohio. It helps warm our space.

  39. Kelly powers- my walls are bm Powell buff. I like the yellow undertone because my rooms face north in northern Ohio. It helps warm our space.

  40. Thanks Maria for a fantastic class. I was so honored to be able to be there. I waited YEARS to get to one of your classes. Hint to others…don’t wait. It will change your ability to get to the right color quickly and with confidence.

  41. Thanks Maria for a fantastic class. I was so honored to be able to be there. I waited YEARS to get to one of your classes. Hint to others…don’t wait. It will change your ability to get to the right color quickly and with confidence.

  42. Thanks Maria for a fantastic class. I was so honored to be able to be there. I waited YEARS to get to one of your classes. Hint to others…don’t wait. It will change your ability to get to the right color quickly and with confidence.

  43. Maria, your excellent discussion on trim color is timely! Here in the west we come across medium to dark stained trim often- what do you think about bringing a room together when woods reign more than whites/creams?
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi Lara, it’s hard to say without photos but usually when I get asked questions like this the focus is more on ‘which wall colour’ rather than the decorating which is where you need to start and THEN choose the paint colours!
      And you do need to hold up your sample colours beside the wood trim before you decide. It’s no longer neutral when it’s vertical like it is when it’s the flooring. However, most greys will certainly work with wood stained trim.
      Hope that helps,
      Maria

  44. Maria, your excellent discussion on trim color is timely! Here in the west we come across medium to dark stained trim often- what do you think about bringing a room together when woods reign more than whites/creams?
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi Lara, it’s hard to say without photos but usually when I get asked questions like this the focus is more on ‘which wall colour’ rather than the decorating which is where you need to start and THEN choose the paint colours!
      And you do need to hold up your sample colours beside the wood trim before you decide. It’s no longer neutral when it’s vertical like it is when it’s the flooring. However, most greys will certainly work with wood stained trim.
      Hope that helps,
      Maria

  45. Maria, your excellent discussion on trim color is timely! Here in the west we come across medium to dark stained trim often- what do you think about bringing a room together when woods reign more than whites/creams?
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi Lara, it’s hard to say without photos but usually when I get asked questions like this the focus is more on ‘which wall colour’ rather than the decorating which is where you need to start and THEN choose the paint colours!
      And you do need to hold up your sample colours beside the wood trim before you decide. It’s no longer neutral when it’s vertical like it is when it’s the flooring. However, most greys will certainly work with wood stained trim.
      Hope that helps,
      Maria

  46. Whites are so hard! I moved into a house with cream-ish tile through most of the house and tan carpet. Simply white was a perfect choice for my wall color with furnishings and hard finishes. Sounds great until you get to the open concept kitchen where everything is STARK white. Pure white counter tops, cabinets and backsplash. So in this case my perfect white kitchen still bothers me because it feels like it should be in a different house. I ignore it for now but I know it’s not as perfect as it could be. I know I will be replacing the cabinets down the road because they are wearing out. The house is 16 years old so I’m lucky with the white kitchen, really. I wish the previous owners would have chosen white or cream, not both. I don’t know another way to work with it.

    • Ann I am not a fan of stark white kitchens, and I suspect that really is your issue and not the fact that cream is in the rest of your house. I often see cream walls with very white trim and it looks great.

      Am I wrong about this, Maria? Is it only a neutral white trim that works with cream, and maybe her stark kitchen is a blue white, and that’s why they don’t go?

  47. Whites are so hard! I moved into a house with cream-ish tile through most of the house and tan carpet. Simply white was a perfect choice for my wall color with furnishings and hard finishes. Sounds great until you get to the open concept kitchen where everything is STARK white. Pure white counter tops, cabinets and backsplash. So in this case my perfect white kitchen still bothers me because it feels like it should be in a different house. I ignore it for now but I know it’s not as perfect as it could be. I know I will be replacing the cabinets down the road because they are wearing out. The house is 16 years old so I’m lucky with the white kitchen, really. I wish the previous owners would have chosen white or cream, not both. I don’t know another way to work with it.

    • Ann I am not a fan of stark white kitchens, and I suspect that really is your issue and not the fact that cream is in the rest of your house. I often see cream walls with very white trim and it looks great.

      Am I wrong about this, Maria? Is it only a neutral white trim that works with cream, and maybe her stark kitchen is a blue white, and that’s why they don’t go?

  48. Whites are so hard! I moved into a house with cream-ish tile through most of the house and tan carpet. Simply white was a perfect choice for my wall color with furnishings and hard finishes. Sounds great until you get to the open concept kitchen where everything is STARK white. Pure white counter tops, cabinets and backsplash. So in this case my perfect white kitchen still bothers me because it feels like it should be in a different house. I ignore it for now but I know it’s not as perfect as it could be. I know I will be replacing the cabinets down the road because they are wearing out. The house is 16 years old so I’m lucky with the white kitchen, really. I wish the previous owners would have chosen white or cream, not both. I don’t know another way to work with it.

    • Ann I am not a fan of stark white kitchens, and I suspect that really is your issue and not the fact that cream is in the rest of your house. I often see cream walls with very white trim and it looks great.

      Am I wrong about this, Maria? Is it only a neutral white trim that works with cream, and maybe her stark kitchen is a blue white, and that’s why they don’t go?

  49. Maria… I think it’s so nice that you include your mom in your business and make it a point of putting her in pictures that u take and post. Speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. You are obviously very close. Like my mom and I. It’s an invaluable and irreplaceable relationship.

  50. Maria… I think it’s so nice that you include your mom in your business and make it a point of putting her in pictures that u take and post. Speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. You are obviously very close. Like my mom and I. It’s an invaluable and irreplaceable relationship.

  51. Maria… I think it’s so nice that you include your mom in your business and make it a point of putting her in pictures that u take and post. Speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. You are obviously very close. Like my mom and I. It’s an invaluable and irreplaceable relationship.

  52. What if your brand new sofa is light beige, you are considering beige drapes & a beige area rug, going for a tone on tone effect. Can I paint the walls a soft cream?

  53. What if your brand new sofa is light beige, you are considering beige drapes & a beige area rug, going for a tone on tone effect. Can I paint the walls a soft cream?

  54. What if your brand new sofa is light beige, you are considering beige drapes & a beige area rug, going for a tone on tone effect. Can I paint the walls a soft cream?

  55. The trim in most of my home is BM Cloud White. My kitchen floor is tiled and the tones run from tan to cream. The cabinets are a creamy color. A few years ago I painted the trim in the kitchen and the walls and trim in the dining room BM Rich Cream. It works wonderfully but I don’t like how it flows with the rest of the house with its Cloud White trim and doors. Any suggestion on how to remedy with without painting all the trim in the house?

  56. The trim in most of my home is BM Cloud White. My kitchen floor is tiled and the tones run from tan to cream. The cabinets are a creamy color. A few years ago I painted the trim in the kitchen and the walls and trim in the dining room BM Rich Cream. It works wonderfully but I don’t like how it flows with the rest of the house with its Cloud White trim and doors. Any suggestion on how to remedy with without painting all the trim in the house?

  57. The trim in most of my home is BM Cloud White. My kitchen floor is tiled and the tones run from tan to cream. The cabinets are a creamy color. A few years ago I painted the trim in the kitchen and the walls and trim in the dining room BM Rich Cream. It works wonderfully but I don’t like how it flows with the rest of the house with its Cloud White trim and doors. Any suggestion on how to remedy with without painting all the trim in the house?

  58. Off topic here, but Maria, I am so curious what you think about Ben Moore’s color of the year 2017, Shadow. Are people asking for deep purples? Just curious about your take on this one.

  59. Off topic here, but Maria, I am so curious what you think about Ben Moore’s color of the year 2017, Shadow. Are people asking for deep purples? Just curious about your take on this one.

  60. Off topic here, but Maria, I am so curious what you think about Ben Moore’s color of the year 2017, Shadow. Are people asking for deep purples? Just curious about your take on this one.

  61. (To Cindi, sorry this comment didn’t want to go in the right spot). I think lots of off-whites are pretty, and if I’d been a little more advanced in color theory at the time, I would have picked off white. Even though what I love is crisp white, which is what I have. I think my jerk countertop though caves a warm cream, and that I could not live with in rest of house. I’d like to replace countertop with butcher block, not a huge fan of granite. But people gasp, husband included: replace GRANITE??? Like, have you taken you’re pills today madame?

  62. (To Cindi, sorry this comment didn’t want to go in the right spot). I think lots of off-whites are pretty, and if I’d been a little more advanced in color theory at the time, I would have picked off white. Even though what I love is crisp white, which is what I have. I think my jerk countertop though caves a warm cream, and that I could not live with in rest of house. I’d like to replace countertop with butcher block, not a huge fan of granite. But people gasp, husband included: replace GRANITE??? Like, have you taken you’re pills today madame?

  63. (To Cindi, sorry this comment didn’t want to go in the right spot). I think lots of off-whites are pretty, and if I’d been a little more advanced in color theory at the time, I would have picked off white. Even though what I love is crisp white, which is what I have. I think my jerk countertop though caves a warm cream, and that I could not live with in rest of house. I’d like to replace countertop with butcher block, not a huge fan of granite. But people gasp, husband included: replace GRANITE??? Like, have you taken you’re pills today madame?

  64. On another note, I almost hate reading this stuff. I was actually quite happy with my white kitchen (countertop issue excluded), which is the white in the rest of my house. But the more I read, the more I suspect it’s wrong, thinking: (bleep), I probably messed up. But I’m NOT painting it again. Not just yet, it was a lot of work…

  65. On another note, I almost hate reading this stuff. I was actually quite happy with my white kitchen (countertop issue excluded), which is the white in the rest of my house. But the more I read, the more I suspect it’s wrong, thinking: (bleep), I probably messed up. But I’m NOT painting it again. Not just yet, it was a lot of work…

  66. On another note, I almost hate reading this stuff. I was actually quite happy with my white kitchen (countertop issue excluded), which is the white in the rest of my house. But the more I read, the more I suspect it’s wrong, thinking: (bleep), I probably messed up. But I’m NOT painting it again. Not just yet, it was a lot of work…

  67. I have just finished Maria’s class in Charlotte. I Had previously read her two books and expected a lot from the course, but it exceeded my wildest expectations. In my adult life, I’ve lived in seven different homes and expect to live in at least two more. I’ve never had the opportunity to be the initial decorator, so have had to work with the existing hard finishes. The informattion and training would have improved each immensely and guided me to different choices in upholstey, rugs, paint, etc. So even if you don’t work in the design field, this class is for you and might prove to be more valuable than to a professional because it is personal.

  68. I have just finished Maria’s class in Charlotte. I Had previously read her two books and expected a lot from the course, but it exceeded my wildest expectations. In my adult life, I’ve lived in seven different homes and expect to live in at least two more. I’ve never had the opportunity to be the initial decorator, so have had to work with the existing hard finishes. The informattion and training would have improved each immensely and guided me to different choices in upholstey, rugs, paint, etc. So even if you don’t work in the design field, this class is for you and might prove to be more valuable than to a professional because it is personal.

  69. I have just finished Maria’s class in Charlotte. I Had previously read her two books and expected a lot from the course, but it exceeded my wildest expectations. In my adult life, I’ve lived in seven different homes and expect to live in at least two more. I’ve never had the opportunity to be the initial decorator, so have had to work with the existing hard finishes. The informattion and training would have improved each immensely and guided me to different choices in upholstey, rugs, paint, etc. So even if you don’t work in the design field, this class is for you and might prove to be more valuable than to a professional because it is personal.

  70. Great advice for troublesome kitchens.

    I have long favored antique white, a sort of white with a slight brown/burnt umber undertone to it. It is not yellow like cream or ivory and actually works quite well with bright whites. I think it also works well for older homes, particularly Craftsman and Victorian era homes where white whites look out of place. White white didn’t really come onto the scene until the 1930s or so, and even so the creamier tones were favored well into the 50s and 60s.

    Most of the comments on this page are doubled or tripled–you might want to notify your web administrator to fix the problem.

  71. I’m downsizing into an RV with distressed-looking mostly gray vinyl plank floors throughout. I’m going to paint all walls & trim a white, and had planned on a white, beige & soft teal color scheme. Now that I have gray floors, however, I’m agonizing about the paint. Shall I go with a touch of gray in the paint with all-white trim instead? Shall I blend it in with some gray pillows on the sofa and bag my poor beige?

    Trying to go with what is rather than my fantasy, which I now see is not possible. Unless I paint the floor, which doesn’t seem practical.