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  • MAOMA Designs

The perfect neutral colours for your home- different shades of White

White paint- surely choosing white paint is easy and doesn't take any research or much thought? Think again- with so many different shades and tones White paint is a maze of confusion for many!

White walls give life to dark spaces and make small rooms feel light-filled, providing a blank canvas and a chic, clean setting to showcasefurniture, art, fabrics and objects against with no distractions.

Choosing the right white paint is influenced by a whole host of factors; the size of the room, how much natural or artificial light it gets, the function of the space and the mood you want to create. Subtle differences in pigments can change the feel of the whole room, so it’s not a decision to quickly tick off the to do list.


  • the use of the room

  • the mood you wish to create

  • the light in the room

  • the overall style you are going for in the rom

The effects of the right white are very powerful as white adds drama when bold and bright, and is inviting and warm when shaded. It can be calming, soothing and very chic when the right shade harmonises with the space.

There is a ‘right’ white for each space, you just have to find the one that works best for your interior.

The best white paint for small rooms

Opt for a blue-toned white like Cabbage White from Farrow and Ball to create the illusion of more space – blue particles draw the eye and make a space feel bigger. Smaller rooms are less likely to feel clinical and sparse in the way that a larger space could if it were painted with a cold white.

The white particles in pale paint bounce light, making small rooms an opportunity to use the painter-and-decorator-go-to of pure, brilliant white. A definitive, true white such as a Brilliant White is completely devoid of pigment reflects nearly all of the light that hits it, reducing shadows and making a space feel larger, and so can be an easy choice for smaller spaces.

The best white paint for big rooms

Larger spaces can accommodate whites with more pigment and personality as they are generally more light-filled. Choose a warmer white for a large room, a slightly off tone that makes a big space more inviting and approachable. To create a cozy, light coloured room, select whites with warmer undertones as mixing whites with creams can also help create tonal variation and bring additional warmth. Larger rooms with extra space will accommodate deeper colours such as Rolling Fog which will act as whites, pale colours which bring warmth to a room but displays little of their underlying subtle beauty.

Cool tones should be avoided in the bedroom and bathroom where relaxation is the focus.

North-facing rooms get minimal direct sunlight and have a cooler light, so the white paint you choose for these spaces needs to bring warmth.

South-facing rooms are often filled with sunshine and daylight, so white paint colours used in them should be cooler to counteract the natural warm tones in the room.

Cool white paints

Whites with hints of green and blue fall under the cool white category, and work best in south-facing rooms where they offset the space’s warm sunlight and maximise light and space. Cooler whites such as Farrow & Ball’s Blackened or Wevet pack more of a punch than the warmer tones.

Pair blueish whites with other colours and materials that match it’s cooler tones.

Warm white paints

Warm white paints with a dash of red, pink or yellow in them, such as Valspar’s Welcoming White, evoke a sunny, warm feeling best suited to north-facing spaces, bringing a pretty, soothing feel to relaxing spaces such as bedrooms. Warm whites bring softness but they can err towards the dreaded Magnolia, and paired with the wrong accent colours warm whites may look frumpy or yellowed.

Grey white paints

White paints with a hint of grey create a crisp finish that is warm and gentle, nodding to the contemporary without being overly harsh or distracting. Match a warm grey paint with a natural light-filled north-facing room, and a cooler grey with a darker south-facing position.


Farrow & Ball’s All White No. 2005

Benjamin Moore’s Simply White and Dove White, and Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball

Designer’s Guild’s Pure White and Chalk

Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White

Little Greene’s Loft White

Farrow and Ball’s Light Touch

Farrow & Ball’s School House White

Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace

Mountain Peak White OC-121, Ice Mist OC-67, Snow White OC-66 and Winter Snow OC-63

Ferdinand White Lead and Stock-Mid by Little Greene

MAOMA Designs is a small Design Studio based in Surrey offering Interior Design Services to both residential and commercial clients.

For further information or if you would like to see how MAOMA Designs could help you please visit

Instagram: @maomadesigns Email:

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