lessons in design :: Finding the right white {project nursery}
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by {darlene}

I loved reading about all the interior decorator’s faves in yesterday’s post: Decorator Recommended Whites. It definitely got me excited to try some new whites.

Which is a good thing, since I am planning on using white walls in both Project Nursery AND Project Library.

So, once you have a selection of whites to choose from, how do you go about Finding the Right White ?

The fact of the matter is: you never truly know what a white is going to look like until it is painted – on the wall – in your space. I wish there were another way, but truthfully, you must try it on the wall first. And, therefore, the hunt for the perfect white can be so frustrating.

But there are some steps you can take to narrow down the insanity.

Finding the Right White

How to find the right white:

1. Start with good recommendations from friends and designers {ideally those who have actually used that paint color.}

2. Do some further investigating online by searching for finished ROOMS that have been done in that/those paint colors. Some paint colors are easy to find in images, and some are not. But, if you can find several pictures online in an actual room, this can give you a better idea of how that white actually look/feel in a space.

3. Narrow down your choices based on your own personal style. {ex. Do you love greens? Then don’t be afraid of whites with green undertones. If you prefer the warmth of a creamy white, don’t listen to someone who says they hate yellows in their whites.}

4. Narrow down your choices based on the room’s purpose {ex. I wasn’t afraid to go a little creamy pink in the girl’s nursery. In the library, my focus was keeping the room bright since the cabinets will be dark.}

5. The most important step: Buy several samples of the different paint colors and paint them on the wall! Oh, it can be so tempting to skip this step. But don’t!

6. Once you see the paint on your walls, you will need to then 1. Trust your instincts and then 2. Just GO for it!


Here are some pics of me putting my own advice to work here at Fieldstone Hill, in project nursery:

Finding the right white

Finding the right whiteThe step of painting the samples up on the walls was, of course, the MOST helpful part of the process. No matter how tempted you are to skip this step, I repeat, don’t!!

So, what did I decide?

Well, the winner is Farrow and Ball Clunch! It had a touch of pink without reading “pink,” and it had the subtle but clear contrast to our trim color that I was going for.

I could have never figured all this out from a paint swatch!

I can’t wait to show you the pics!!! Soooooo pretty! Ooh, you are going to love it!





 *****Don’t forget to work on your Ditto DIY challenge this week. The grand link up party will be next Monday the 1st of July!****

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Labeled: beautiful colors, lessons in design, project nursery


  • Can I just say I picked that one out of your samples?! The nursery is going to look fabulous!!

  • I enjoy a white with a caramel undertone.

  • Oh, white is such a hard color because just a touch of color will change its mood. I agree you must paint the walls first to see how it looks in the light and on the wall.

  • Whites are so difficult to perfect. Good tips on finding the right fit.

  • I am planning on painting three whole rooms white and it is so hard to pick. The bathroom is fairly easy since it has to blend with the creamy white tiles but for the kitchen and kids room it’s a bit harder. I want the kitchen more crisp(but not super white) and the kids room to be more creamy but without looking yellow or dingy. It’s time to go grab those samples I guess!

  • I didn’t read this in your article, but putting a sample on all four walls and looking at them over the course of 24 hours at a minimum. Sunny days vs cloudy days; day vs night. It matters. Have the actual light fixture with the actual bulb you’ll be using that will be in the room to look at the samples both day and night. Ignore the names till you are ready to order your gallon(s) of paint. Keep notes, so you’ll remember that “color #3 looked too blue in morning light.”
    Consider the sheen carefully too. Flat is best for rough walls, bedrooms and living rooms. High gloss for trim and woodwork. Scrubbable for kitchens and baths.
    Don’t be in a hurry. You’ll be sorry if you don’t take time with this process.

  • Do you have any thoughts about how to choose a paint color for a small, one north facing window guest room? It tends to be dark.

  • Hi there,I read your blog named “lessons in design :: Finding the right white {project nursery} – Fieldstone Hill Design” like every week.Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work! And you can look our website about love spells.

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