White never seems to get the credit it deserves and is often a fallback option when everything else seems just a bit too hard.
Although often considered the absence of colour, white actually contains all the colours of the spectrum and has a unique, reflective quality. But white isn't simply white - there are warm whites, cool whites and somewhere-in-between whites. The amount of light and other objects in a room will determine which white is going to look the best.
White has a certain timeless beauty that can make a room feel spacious and fresh and allows other things to shine through, like colour, texture and decorative features. When using white in a room you have to consider is how much light is there to bounce. White rooms with a lot of ambient light appear larger because the light is reflected from the white surfaces, but if the room is not well lit the light is absorbed and the room seems smaller.
So how do you go about choosing the right white for a room?
There are your warm whites; tinted with shades of brown, red or amber which usually work well next to natural, earthy-based colours, dark timber floorboards and natural fibres such as sisal or bamboo. In a cold big space a warm white can help it feel cosy.
Then there are your cool whites; tinted with blue, green or magenta, perfectly matched with clean, crisp colours like violet and aqua and classic steely greys. The crisp finish of a cool white would suit modern furniture or cutting edge designer pieces and would look great next to blond or lime-washed timber floors. Cool whites will also balance the light in a bright north-facing room but will look grey in a darker room.
And then there is your pure unadulterated white with no tint which would freshen up an older place and let the true dimensions shine through. Pure white also makes a great undercoat reflecting the top coat's colour onto itself for maximum intensity. Be warned though, a pure white can be too bright and make life a little glary.
But one thing to do - avoid mixing cool and warm tones of white as they'll make each other look dirty.
Orson & Blake
Shop T8, 2a Todman Ave
Kensington NSW 2033
Ph: 02 9662 2600