Styled, Staged & Sold

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How to Choose the Best Creamy White for Your Space

Don’t underestimate how a coat of white paint can add depth and character to your interiors—but make sure you choose the right white.

White paint isn’t all the same. In fact, there are an infinite array of whites to choose from, including stark and creamy shades.

“Each has their own DNA,” says Philippa Radon, C2 paint and design expert. “Those heralding a creamier, softer side seem to be drawing more appeal within the ‘quiet luxury’ design movement, ranging from those with cooler blue undertones to warmer variants with hints of buttery yellow, blanched oatmeal or the softest taupe. Creamy whites strike a slightly less conventional, delicate balance between cool and warm, encompassing the perfect blend of sophistication and comfort.”

Creamy whites can provide a foundational color for layering textures, art, materials and home accents into your space. Radon offers some tips on how to choose the perfect luxurious creamy white:

  • Watch the light. The amount and quality of natural light in a room can play a crucial role in how a creamy white shade appears, Radon says. “Rooms with abundant sunlight may benefit from cooler, creamy whites to balance the warmth, while dimly lit spaces can benefit from warmer tones to create a more intimate atmosphere,” she says.
  • Beware the undertones. Creamy whites can have undertones that range from pink and apricot to silvery gray and ubiquitous beige, Radon says. “Understanding the undertones will help you select a shade that harmonizes with other elements in your space, such as furniture, flooring and accessories,” she says.
  • Gauge the color temperature. Overall, there are two base tones to white: warm or cool. Warm whites offer a more yellow, soothing undertone, have a softer appearance and can be cozy and welcoming, especially in large open spaces. However, when choosing a warm white, make sure that it doesn’t come off as “too yellow.” Cool whites feel crisper and cleaner; have a blueish, more energizing undertone; and tend to pair best with blues, greens and cooler grays.

Favorite Creamy Whites

Radon offers a list of her favorite creamy whites from C2 Paints:

Compliment the Creams

Choosing the right creamy white goes beyond just the shade and quality of paint but also how you compliment it in a space. Consider the size and function of the room when choosing a creamy white shade, Radon notes. “Lighter tones can make smaller rooms appear more spacious while darker variants can add intimacy to larger spaces,” she says.

Creamy whites can provide the perfect backdrop for highlighting different textures and materials, Radon notes. Consider incorporating natural fibers, plush fabrics or reflective surfaces for added depth and visual interest. “Adding tactile, textural elements, like natural wood, fur or coarser weave fabrics, into a white space, as well as lots of oversized foliage, creates a sense of harmony,” she says.


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