Home » The Best Paint Colours » Neutral, Gray, Greige Cream and White » The 3 BEST WHITE Paint Colours for North-Facing Rooms

The 3 BEST WHITE Paint Colours for North-Facing Rooms

Posted on September 3, 2021 by KylieMawdsley

THE 3 BEST SHADES OF WHITE FOR NORTHERN EXPOSURES

If you’ve ever tried to pick paint colours for a north (or south) facing room, you’ll know what it’s like to want to bang your head against a wall, chug a vat of wine like a Viking and scream at the world, begging for friggin’ MERCY. However, once you understand what your north-facing room needs, you’ll find it easier to create a welcoming and well-balanced space.

Kylie M Interiors, edesign, online paint colour consultant. Living room with gray accent chairs, Pure White walls and trim, gallery wall and navy blue builtins

But guess what? White paint colours aren’t that hard to pick when you have a lil Ginger in your back pocket (I pinch upon request). While you might see hundreds of whites on display, most of these can burn in a pit of disappointment, because that’s how you’ll feel if you use them in your home. Truth be told, there are only a SMALL HANDFUL of white paint colours that are worth looking at – okay, maybe two handfuls (which is what Tim calls me).

bathroom before remodel (3)

Small bathroom powder room, wainscoting, beadboard, Pure White, Sherwin Williams Light French Gray, budget-friendly makeover (2)

But before we get into which whites are best, let’s do a little refresher on exposures. Remember, I’m not just here to show you what you can do via pretty pictures, I’m here to TEACH you how to make the best choices for you and your home! And I know there are many of you with south, east or west-facing rooms or rooms with multiple exposures – don’t worry, we’ll be talking about these in another blog post. For the sake of brevity, sanity and limited attention spans, we’re going NORTH!

(In the meantime, I have a variety of blog posts on the other exposures HERE)

The best white paint colours from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams to paint a north facing or northern exposure, shadowed room by Kylie M Interiors Colour expert

NORTH-FACING ROOMS…

  • Are the COOLEST looking room in a home. And I don’t mean cool like ME in Converse and skinny jeans, I’m talking COLD like Tim’s ex-girlfriend’s heart.
  • Don’t get any sun throughout the day. Even if a northern room gets a secondary hit of south/east/west, it’s the DOMINANT northern exposure calling the shots.
  • Can look more flat and dull compared to rooms with hits of sunshine, especially if the amount of natural light is limited.

North facing entryway with Sherwin Williams Creamy white paint colour. Kylie M Interiors

This is a great example of a north-east facing room with a warm white paint colour, and it should be great – it’s our old house!

THE MANY TYPES OF WHITE PAINT COLOURS

What’s the difference between a good white and a bad white? (I prefer Pinot Gris myself.) How do you know which white is right and which white is wrong? And why does it matter – isn’t WHITE WHITE? HELLLLS no.

There are 5 MAIN TYPES OF WHITE. However, for this blog post, we’re focusing on THREE in particular – cool, true and warm. If you aren’t quite sure which type of white you’re hoping to use, you may want to read this blog post before you go any further. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Now, starting with COOL white paint colours…

COOL WHITE PAINT COLOURS IN NORTH-FACING ROOMS

If you paint a room that has northern exposure a COOL white paint colour…

1. the room will look even colder than it already does; you’re giving it a double-whammy (not to be confused with Tim’s favourite Friday night move, also called ‘the double-whammy’)

2. the cool light can glorify any cool undertones in your white paint colour

I mean, each to their own, but DAMN THAT’S GONNA LOOK COLD!

Now, you might be hoping to see photos of my north-facing client’s homes painted in cool whites, but I don’t have many. Why? Because I RARELY advise it. And if I do, it’s for a pretty specific reason. For example, I have a client who wanted a ‘whole home’ white paint colour, and because her home is primarily SOUTH-facing, we chose the cool white look of Benjamin Moore Super White. Luckily, the only space in her home that receives north-facing light is the entryway, in which Super White is looking a little lacklustre…

Best white paint colour, Benjamin Moore Super White, foyer with Sherwin Gris front door, white oak flooring, built-in bench. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Now, look how different Super White looks in her south-facing dining room…

Best white paint color, Benjamin Moore Super White. Modern farmhouse dining room, white oak, floating shelves, chandelier. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour consulting

  • Entryway: Super White looks NOT so super white as it picks up a gray cast.
  • Entryway: Super White looks more flat and dull.
  • Dining room: Super White looks WARMER than its roots suggest via the warmth of the south-facing light. In fact, the cool approach of Super White is adding some balance to the warm southern rays.
  • Dining room:  Super White looks brighter and more welcoming.

This shows how the same paint colour can look DRASTICALLY different via opposing light sources and why choosing your white carefully MATTERS!

EXAMPLES OF COOL WHITE PAINT COLOURS: Sherwin Williams Extra White, Benjamin Moore Decorators White, Benjamin Moore Super White

Now, let’s chat about TRUE white paint colours…

TRUE WHITE PAINT COLOURS IN NORTH-FACING ROOMS

Because true whites don’t have an allegiance to being warm or cool, they’ll pick up what their environment is throwing down. This means that in a north-facing room, a true white could look pretty darn cold and look quite similar to a cool white.

Again, you’re not going to see many photos of this application because it’s not usually advised. This doesn’t mean YOU can’t do it, it’s just not a common choice simply because it doesn’t add balance to an already cold-looking room, in fact, it weighs the scales heavily to one side.

As shown in this next room, while Sherwin Williams High Reflective White has a super high LRV and is quite a genuine white, it’s not for every room and usually benefits from a wee bit of sunshine (don’t we all…).

Romantic farmhouse style bedroom, Sherwin Williams High Reflective White board and batten, vaulted ceiling, chandelier. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant

The redeeming feature of true white paint colours in north-facing rooms is that once the sun goes down, you’ll be left with the original white you wanted, a simple one that will be affected by the Kelvins of your interior lighting, which are easier to control.

EXAMPLES OF TRUE WHITE PAINT COLOURS: Read HERE

So, does this mean you should totally avoid cool or true whites in a north-facing room?

No. If you really want a cool crisp look, you might like a clean white or one with a hint of gray or cool undertones to it. And in fact, there is the odd duck who LOVES this look – that cool combination of northern exposure and stark white paint gives an icy, edgy look (I hear Elsa is a big fan).

Master Bedroom, white board and batten paint colour, vaulted ceiling, chandelier, wood barn door and white oak flooring. Stonington Gray. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color advice blog

Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

However, I’ve found that when I have Colour Consulting clients who’re (the apostrophe in that word is important) looking for a nice white for their north-facing room, they’re usually looking to lighten and brighten. They want to add life without adding colour, coldness OR overwhelming warmth. And the BEST way to do this is with THE RIGHT WHITE!

Master bathroom, white hexagon tile shower walls, fibreglass floor, LG quartz countertop, Pure white walls, freestanding tub. Kylie M INteriors Edesign,

Sherwin Williams Pure White

Are you confused yet? Have another glass.

I love to show RELATEABLE & REAL homes, so ONLY use photos from my Online Colour Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the quality/range of pics I need, but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!

What’s the Best White Paint Colour for a North-Facing Room?

Well, if you ask ME (which by the way, you kind of are), the best white paint colours for a north-facing room are WARM WHITES as they help balance the cool light coming in the windows.

Sherwin Williams Pure White in home office with leather chair. Best white paint color. Kylie M Interiors edesign, virtual or online paint color expert, diy decorating ideas and home staging

Sherwin Williams Pure White  / Western Exposures Photography

Another important note is that cool northern light will STILL LEAN a warm white towards the cooler side of things. This means your warm white won’t look as warm as it would in another room with a warmer exposure.

I’m going to hit that baby one more time…

Cool northern light will still lean a warm white towards the cooler side of things. This means your warm white won’t look as warm as it would in a room with a warmer exposure. 

However…

a) the warmth of the white can help balance the cooling effect of northern light, often creating a great happy medium, balancing the scales

b) you have flexibility based on how WARM the white is that you choose – the warmer the white, the more it will counteract the effect of cool northern light

In this next room, Pure White looks considerably warmer in a room with decent southern light…

Kylie M Interiors, edesign, online paint colour consultant. Living room with gray accent chairs, Pure White walls and trim, gallery wall and navy blue builtins

However, notice how the warmth falls back in a room with cooler lighting…

2 storey entryway or foyer, white walls, Sherwin Williams Pure White, black front door, wood stairs, sliding barn door. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour, virtual diy decorating ideas

1.  If you don’t like warm whites, choose a white that’s only slightly warm, knowing that the gray-blue of the northern light will cancel out a lot of the warmth, making the walls look cooler in the process, but not ICY cold like a true or cool white would. In the evening, when natural light isn’t in play, you’ll choose the KELVINS you want to get the desired look.

2.  If you like warm whites, you might want to lean into a white that’s slightly warmer than not, knowing that the northern light will try to pull it to the cool side. The warmer your white is, the better it will counteract the cool gray-blue light.

Now, the above information is really the meat n’ potatoes of this blog post – are you ready for the GRAVY?

The 3 Best Warm Whites for North-Facing Rooms

Remember, north-facing light WILL REDUCE the warmth of these whites. The warmer your white is, the better it will be at counteracting this.

NORTH FACING ROOM, the best white paint colours. Benjamin and Sherwin. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online expert (1)

1. SHERWIN WILLIAMS PURE WHITE SW 7005

I LOVE PURE WHITE – wait, was that my inside voice? Trust me, there are MANY things I say that should be kept inside my head, right Mom? Anyway.

If you’re having a mental battle between WANTING a clean crisp white and understanding that it could hold your room back visually, Pure White could be the PERFECT choice. Keep in mind, you WILL lose a lot of its already passive warmth, but at least it won’t look ICY cold like a true or cool white will.

Laundry room mudroom with Formica laminate countertop Carrara Bianco, marble look. Pure White walls and cabinets. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour blogger

CHECK OUT THIS WHOLE HOME IN PURE WHITE!

Sherwin Williams Pure White with floating shelves in small bathroom. Light French Gray beadboard walls. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, client photo

Pure White has an LRV of 84, so while its name might suggest a BRIGHT white, it’s actually a considerably soft one. However, if you’re wanting to actually add some visible warmth to your north-facing room, Pure White MIGHT not be warm enough, in which case, keep on reading…

YOU MIGHT ALSO CONSIDER: Benjamin Moore Oxford White (personally, I think Pure White is WAY prettier)

FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Pure White

The best white paint colors for your room. Benjamin or Sherwin. Edesign, online paint colour services. Diy home decorating ideas blogger.market

Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages

2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS ALABASTER SW 7008

Alabaster is a lovely, warm white paint colour. However, if you’re HOPING for ‘legit’ white walls, it’s a bit farther away than the others. This is because Alabaster has an LRV of 82, so it has a bit more meat on its lovely lil bones. And along with this meat is a soft cream base (cream being a yellow colour with neutral added to calm it down).

Sherwin Williams Alabaster best warm white paint colour. Client waiting room. Beach coastal colour. Client photo. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consulting

The reception of my client’s office – Eddins counselling

Alabaster, White kitchen, Alabaster, Island Sherwin Iron Ore, Viatera Aria, Sandbar. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online virtual paint color consulting. Kitchen remodel

Alabaster on the cabinets

Best neutral beige, tan paint colour, Sherwin Sandbar. Living room, built-ins, fireplace, vaulted ceiling, Alabaster trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Alabaster is on the built-ins and fireplace surround

FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Alabaster

YOU MIGHT ALSO CONSIDER: Sherwin Williams Greek Villa, Sherwin Williams Cotton

Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…

Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…

  • Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
  • At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing for traditional paint sampling
  • If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

Paint colour review of tool Samplize, peel and stick samples. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Farrow and Ball, Home Depot. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE

3. BENJAMIN MOORE WHITE DOVE OC-17

White Dove is a WICKED gorgeous white. It’s a soft white with a beautiful warmth that does a great job counteracting cool gray-blue northern light.

White Dove has an LRV of 85, so it’s well into the white range. However, your walls WILL have a softness to them, especially if you have finishes that are TRUE or COOL whites (these will expose the softness of White Dove). Not sure what LRV is? It could SAVE YOUR PAINT LOVIN’ LIFE – check it out here.

Laundry room, farmhouse sink, green cabinets, White Dove walls, Benjamin Moore. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decor and update ideas

Laundry room cabinets painted Benjamin Caldwell Green, White Dove walls, black aplliances, sink. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, client photo

This next room gets an equal balance of north and south-facing light and look at how AWESOME White Dove is at humouring both…

Family room, north and south facing light. Best paint colour, Benjamin Moore White Dove, Kylie M Interiors Edesign. Gray sectional, tv and stand, white oak

DIY Board and batten, White Dove and Benjamin Moore Graystone and door painted Cheating Heart. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting and blog advice

White Dove on trim and upper walls

YOU MIGHT ALSO CONSIDER: Sherwin Williams Cheviot, Benjamin Moore Cloud White, Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore White Dove

Now, let’s count what we’ve got there…3 GREAT options to choose from, 6 alternatives. As I mentioned earlier, there are only a HANDFUL of white paint colours that are worth looking at (for ANY room or project). And from this 9, I bet you can narrow it down even further based on how much warmth you want to be left on your walls once the northern light has done its job.

Staircase, white spindles, wood stairs, best white paint colour, Sherwin Williams Pure White. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

WANT MORE WARMTH?

There’s a good chance that even with the soft warm whites mentioned above, you’re still not getting the warmth you want to see on your walls. If this is the case, you may want to explore the following warm white and cream paint colours

Sherwin Williams Creamy SW 7012

Creamy is one of my true loves. But FULL DISCLOSURE…I also love Ryan Reynolds, white wine, Moana, Cornuts AND…Creamy is actually an off-white, not a white (just thought I’d slip that in at the end).

That’s right, Creamy is an off-white paint colour which means it has more junk in its truck – junk being in the form of a creamy base. BUT HOT DAMN IT’S PRETTY!

stairway with wood and metal railing, beige carpet, Sherwin Williams Creamy, golden doodle and rescue dog

If your room has south-facing or afternoon western sunshine, Creamy could be MORE than you’re looking for – not just in colour, but in depth. However, its lovely creamy warmth is a great way to balance cool light coming in north-facing windows.

FIND ME REVIEWING THESE WHITES ON YOUTUBE TOO! 

Sherwin Williams Dover White SW 6385Paint colour review, best warm white creamy paint colour, Sherwin Williams Dover White. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert and diy decorating blogger

Now, if you’re twitching in your seat and REALLY REALLY want a more legit white, the ONLY TRUE or COOL white I’d humour in a north-facing room is…

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65

Why Chantilly Lace? Well, she has a pretty face to start with. Chantilly Lace is Benjamin Moore’s WHITEST white paint colour and I like it because it doesn’t NATURALLY cast cold (nor does Sherwin Williams High Reflective White). It WILL be affected by the northern light, picking up some of that gray-blue, but it won’t go as icy as some more traditionally cold white paint colours.

Benjamin Moore Decorators White, Chantilly Lace, Super White compared to marble tile or countertop. Best white paint color. Kylie M INteriors Edesign

High Reflective White / Super White / Chantilly Lace / Decorator’s White

The EXCEPTION: The north-facing room I WOULDN’T paint white

If you have a north-facing room that has very little natural light, I would NOT paint it white – any white. Why? Well, colour will not come to life without light, so not only will you be fighting the gray of your limited exposure, you’ll be fighting the gray of the shade created due to the lack of natural light.

Cool or true whites can look flat and unwelcoming in a low-light north-facing room. Warm whites can look dingy and chalky. So, what do you do? Seriously, just add a few table and floor lamps and play around with your Kelvins and CRI. This will make the lil Ginger happy and THEN you can pick your fave white paint colour.

Open layout dining room, kitchen dark wood cabinets, tile wood look floor. Sherwin Williams Pure White. Paint color consulting Kylie M Interiors Edesign (4)

Remember, if you have a dark north-facing room and an awesome interior lighting plan (the above photo does), then fill ‘yer boots with any white you like. If you don’t, you MIGHT want to look at colours with more colour or chroma. Adding COLOUR to the walls of a dark north-facing room can be a great way to give it personality and prevent it from looking like a room with only primer on the walls. The best white paint colours from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams to paint a north facing or northern exposure, shadowed room by Kylie M Interiors Colour Consultant

So, there you have it! Now, of course, there are MANY more awesome colours to check out, but hopefully, these whites get you pointed in the right direction.

READ MORE

NEED HELP?

Check out my Online Color Consulting & E-Design packages! 

The best white and gray paint colors for kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity. Edesign, Kylie M Interiors Online colour consulting. Home Decorating and diy ideas blogger

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

Originally written in 2017, MASSIVELY updated in 2021



Image

Comments

  1. Kylie – Your posts are always full of interesting information – not just paint colors, but light intensity and gradiations as well. Since I am currently furnishing a small North-facing bedroom with odds and ends to fashion it into a mix of boho and Mark Twain, I will soon be calling on you for the 3 pain color for $45 offer. Every time I see that offer I get so excited, yet I’m not ready to send you pictures. At this point, the room might be too masculine for me and I need to solve that problem before I proceed. I have walls covered with framed art, burgundy leather chairs, a large open secretary-desk, a navy twin mahogany bed, and MORE framed art. Boho pillows and plants soften the look. My birthday is the end of May and I think this will be my present to myself.
    Please keep putting out your fascinating newsletters concerning light directions and its effect on paint colors.

      1. Kylie –
        The burgundy leather chairs are going ,going ,gone! A friend is buying them for her hubby’s “man cave” and I am on the look-out for 2 chairs to replace them. I need to find a comfy chair for myself and one more if a friend visit. It’s odd that its both a bedroom and a sitting room, but all my friends enjoy the intimacy, music, and the art.. Pictures will be forthcoming.
        I love your recent post!
        Ellen

        1. Wahoo – peace-out to the leather burgundy chairs! You know, Pier 1 has some fantastic chairs. AND they have a few fabrics to choose from and you get the chair a week later! I find the scale of them to be ‘just right’.

          And of course there is Wayfair, but you don’t get to sit in the chairs beforehand…

          Can’t wait to see some photos!

          ~Kylie

  2. When we moved into our current home, the owners had painted a room with a big bay (north-facing) window a pale aqua blue color. We quickly learned that that very pretty aqua blue turned electric blue as the day wore on! We have since repainted with BM’s Winds Breath and have lots of whites and warm taupes in the room with some navy accents and it works well. There’s still a bit of a blueish/green cast right at dusk nut not during the rest of the day. If I decide to repaint in the future, I like the idea of the vanilla/creamy paint by SW. Thanks!

    1. Hi Charlotte, it sounds like you’ve had a bit of a challenge! I’m glad you’ve found some colours that work for you! If you need help down the road don’t hesitate to drop me a note!

      Chat soon,
      ~Kylie

  3. This post was very helpful – thanks. So, if Benjamin Moore Simply White is good for a north facing room, does that mean that it is too reflective for a room that faces south?

  4. I feel like you wrote this just for me LOL. I picked up swatches of all the colors you suggested in my consultation. I like them all! I’m going to give timid white a shot in my north facing room – I am so excited to brighten it up in there 🙂 Now I’m kicking around the idea of yanking the chair rail and going timid white all the way, or if I want to accent with the green.

  5. I stumbled on your website through Pinterest and love your articles about how to make north facing basements less dark and dreary. Thanks so much for such great information. I’m glad to see that you like Simply white, which I used on the ceiling and trim upstairs in my house. I’m probably going to use the same downstairs. Our house was previously owned by someone who loved pink, not light pink, but middle of the card pink/mauve. The ceilings, trim, doors, walls, grout, etc. were all painted this pink and we are slowly painting over it.

  6. Hello Kylie. Do you have any posts on what colours to paint North facing rooms. I have a sliding door and window across one wall and that’s all the light that comes into my lr/dr. I wanted to paint a greige. Was thinking perhaps Revere Pewter or Mindful gray but I don’t want my place to be dark and dreary. My furniture is white and couches beige. Do you have any posts on this. I saw the one on which white to use but I want something with a bit more personality than just white. Thanks!

  7. Kylie, I love your posts – so much information and great to know you’re available for in-depth consulting work! I’m about to paint my bedroom in Silver Satin – was happy to see it mentioned here! Do you have a go-to trim for Silver Satin? Rest of the house is White Dove trim, so I’m hoping that will work…we’ll see. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  8. Kylie,,
    I love your posts, and have been referencing them for the past week as I choose paint colors for a newly finished basement. Can you recommend a nice white for our basement bedroom, which has a small window but will be well lit with two recessed lights (bright white, 650 lumens each)? I already chose my bathroom and rec room colors (based on your suggestions). Thanks!

  9. I just read your advice about what colours of white to use in a north facing room. What happens to BM Palladian Blue in a north facing room? I know it looks great all day long in a south facing room and I don’t think it will look great in a north facing room but I can’t explain why to myself.

    I will be in touch to hire you. I need help in finding a condo sized coffee table (less than 40″ wide) for a great room where I want to create a specific look which I believe depends mostly on the coffee table.

    Just found this blog tonight. Are your prices in CAD$? Looking forward to working with you. Thanks.

    Heather

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Heather! So I’ve found that with cool colours, when you put them in a north facing room – which has a cool gray with a tint of blue light coming in, that it can enhance the cool tones. So, Palladian Blue is likely to look a bit more blue and chilly and will lose a bit of that nice balance that it has.
      As for shopping online, I don’t do too much of that anymore and am more focused on paint colours, but I’d be happy to take a look at your room! And yes, if you decided to buy a package, you would just let me know which one and I would invoice you in CDN!
      ~Kylei

  10. Hi Kylie,
    I love the dark accent wall in the girly room with Simply White. May I ask what color that is? Simply White is such beautiful color. I think I’m going to ask you where it can work in my home when I consult you next time.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Julie! I think that was Benjamin Moore Black 2123-10 (they got really creative with the naming of that one 😉 I did it in eggshell finish, but I wish I’d done flat or matte. Even eggshell in dark colours can be a bit abrasive looking.

  11. What about a room with THREE exposures? My combo living/dining/kitchen has great windows up to the 12′ ceilings.
    1) one overlooks a parking lot and nice brick buildings (north)
    2) the biggest overlook a nice park (east, southeast)
    3) and the third overlooks some of the trees, some street and some buildings (southeast and south).
    How do I treat a big room like this? Thank you!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Amy! Sounds like you’re lucky and have a nice range to balance things off a bit. I can’t say that I would base it on one exposure at all and would just in general, find a colour that suits YOU and your interior products. It will naturally shift from wall to wall, and as the day progresses, so you might find a more neutral colour easier to manage than a colour.

      Hope that helps, if not, I do have affordable e-design! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
      ~Kylie

  12. Hi Julie
    What paint finish do you generally recommend for a bedroom. I usually do an eggshell finish but curious what you think. On my “honey-do” list is the task of painting a bedroom that only gets northern light so I’m leaning towards one of the white tones you have suggested but not 100% sure if I should stay with eggshell finish. Love the site and the info you offer.

    1. Post
      Author
  13. I really enjoyed this post and learned a lot. We are getting ready to lighten up our north facing living room, and the photo of your house (SW Creamy?) inspired me. I also really like the accent wall shown under the SW Creamy section. Can you please tell me the color? Thanks again for sharing your expertise. I have never enjoyed selecting paint colors, but with my newfound knowledge, it will not be so painful 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Shelly, I’m so glad! That’s actually Benjamin Moore Steel Wool – if you look in my portfolio under my kitchen/entryway you’ll see it there too – it’s one of my FAAAVES. It’s a gray with a kind of blue/purple undertone that is vague and OOOOH so pretty.

      ~Kylie

  14. Hi Kylie! I live in a north facing mountain home on a north facing slope. We initially did a remodel on our upstairs and I painted everything Benjamin Moore Silver Satin. It looked amazing in the south and east facing rooms, but horrible in my master bedroom which is north/ west facing. I decided to revisit this blog post and in a last minute decision while remodeling our living room we decided to go with Benjamin Moore Simply White. We put in white stacked stone over the fireplace and used Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron on the wall behind the fireplace and put an Edison/ Sputnik style chandelier on the ceiling. It looks AMAZING!!! Thank you, thank you for sharing about LRV and different shades of white that can work in north facing rooms. I don’t regret the white at all and people comment on how beautiful it is all the time. I plan to repaint my master bedroom and upstairs hallways with the same Benjamin Moore Simply White, as well. Thank you for your advice and information. It was invaluable and made for great results! I would be more than happy to send you a before/ after picture, just let me know 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Wow Valeriane, thank you for that note, that is GOOD news and I would ABSOLUUUUTELY love to see your before and afters – please! I can’t wait to see it 😉 you can send the photos along to [email protected]

      Chat soon!
      ~Kylie

  15. HI Kylie! Could you share what color you used in the photo that you said was your own house? It’s exactly what I’m looking for in my north facing living room! Thank you so much!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Samantha, that is actually SW Creamy! And it is a chameleon. You’ll find that it will soften and cream up in the evening, which is really nice (of course depending on the bulbs you use) and then it goes back to that more bright, soft warm neutral white in the daytime. I have mad love for it…

  16. I live in an 1850s Greek revival home with the orginonal wallboards in our northern exposure family room. It’s a large room with two original windows that are 9 Feet tall. The ceilings are over 10. Feet. I made a mistake on a color when we remodeled and I am trying to get it straight now. I used SW NEUTRAL GROUND. Want to cozy this room up. All the trim is velvet white. Can you provide some direction? The floor are all hardwood with sea grass rug.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Linda, your home sounds lovely! Now without seeing photos of your furnishings and the tone of your wood floor, I’d entirely be guessing. So while I could suggest something like SW Malabar, that is a TOTAL guess, simply because it’s a colour that is warmer! If you’d like me to look at photos of your room and spend some time with it, I do have an affordable and fun e-design service! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/product-category/interior-paint-palettes/
      ~Kylie

    1. Post
      Author
  17. Hi Kylie,

    I love your website and information! I recently bought a sample pot of Alabaster White. I painted some bristol boards and put them in different areas of my condo. I noticed that it has a cool, grey undertone and goes blue in areas of lower light. When I compare it to the paint card from the store, the paint card is a lot warmer and creamer. Online reviews say Alabaster is warm and creamy. Is it normal that my paint sample is cold and is different from the paint swatch?

    1. Post
      Author

      That is weird Barbara as yes, Alabaster is soft and creamy! Now in a northern space it can certainly pick up a bit of the lighting coming in, but the swatch would do the same thing. I’m thinking that perhaps it wasn’t a good sampling…which I have had happen.

  18. We have painted our master bedroom 3 times now, please tell me I’m not the only one!? It is north facing with not a lot of light. Currently it’s painted agreeable gray, with the dresser and night stands painted urbane bronze. Everything looks so dark, no contrast 🙁 Thinking alabaster. What are your thoughts? Any other suggestions?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Cesilee, yes north facing rooms can be hard, particularly ones without a lot of light so i’m not surprised to hear that Agreeable is falling flat! NOw without knowing any of your decor or anything, I can say that Alabaster will likely be a GREAT improvement to brighten things up! I also love BM White Dove for a slightly more ‘white’ look, so it does depend on your room/decor for sure…you might also find this blog post here handy! https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/the-best-light-paint-colours-for-a-dark-room-basement/&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjN9dG_67zaAhUMFnwKHbo7CO0QFggOMAM&client=internal-uds-cse&cx=partner-pub-5050475103619299:2713416047&usg=AOvVaw1OYQCH_-BG336jnM7LKrwI

  19. Hi Kylie,

    I really appreciate your blog, advice, & style of writing! I have a north facing dining room with a lot of deep, natural wood trim (built in 1930s) and I tried a couple of swatches of Silver Satin around the room, and while it does “brighten” the room it comes off kind of dingy (not the look I want for a dining room where we eat everyday). I’ve noticed on other post about adding 4 oz of white pigment to different colors to counter act the dingy factor, do you think that could work with Silver Satin?

    Thank you!
    Rebekah

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Rebekah, yes, adding 4 ounces can just slightly clean up colours! Will it be enough to help in a north facing room? Probably not. It might be more about your northern light and less about the colour… 🙂 Have you thought about going a bit warmer, ie: White Dove?

  20. Hi Kylie,

    Thank you so much for all the helpful information. I am currently painting my entire home and wondering if you think BM white dove will look good on walls, ceiling and trim? My home gets mostly north facing light with some indirect south facing light in my dining room which is a bit open concept. Also is SW creamy brighter than white dove? I just love the color of your walls and want something like that. Or would simply white be a better option? Ugh so confused

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Gina! If you want a slightly softer, not ‘bright’ white look, then White Dove would certainly do the trick! Creamy however, is more of an off-white that has more yellow/creamy body to it and I wouldn’t do it everywhere. Something slightly warmer/softer than White Dove would be SW Alabaster… 🙂 If you do need help I have my E-design services so that I can look at photos of your home!

  21. Hi Kylie, I just recently discovered your blog and have learned so much. Thank you for all your great advice. We are building a new home that has an open concept. The house faces due north so many of the main rooms will be north facing so I have been working on researching colors that might work in north facing rooms over the course of the past few months. I (stupidly) assumed we would be using Benjamin Moore paints but I just found out that my builder only uses Sherwin Williams paints. Is there a way to cross reference colors that I like in Benjamin Moore to find out what the nearest match would be in Sherwin Williams? Thanks for your help!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jenn! Well, rest easy knowing that SW has fabulous paint. I’m a big fan of BM Regal or Ben (lines of paint) or SW Cashmere (Opulence in Canada). Now there ISN’T an easy way to cross-reference as there are very few colours that are the same. Hmm. You know what, if it’s a short list (ie: approx 5 colours), send me an email and I’ll let you know the ‘closest comparables’ in SW – knowing that they won’t be the same, but will hopefully do a ‘similar thing’. My email is [email protected] Now I do get TONS of emails and generally don’t answer questions via email (it’s hard even to get to this comment section!), so be sure to label the subject line ‘You said you’d compare colours for me’, that way I won’t miss it 😉
      I hope that helps!
      ~Kylie

  22. Kylie I have a north facing kitchen and I’ have black counter tops and had grey cabinets which made the kitchen look gloomy and dark especially at night. I have back splash tiles spark white with black grout. I want to paint my cabinets white to give it some uplift to make it look spacious open and bright.
    Should I use SW pure white or whitetail? Also shd the window tr and pantry door be painted the same?

  23. Kylie,
    I have a huge north facing window in my living room and a smaller south facing window in the attached dining room. Could you comment between Valspar’s Wispy White and Olympic Winter Mood (which in my space seems to be a bit less yellow than SW Creamy). PS: I’m in Canada.

    Thank YOU!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Wanda, thank you for your note! I actually only consult with BM and SW paint colours and aren’t familiar enough with those brands to give you good advice! And glad to hear from a fellow Canadian!

  24. Hello – I am so happy to stumble upon this blog off of Veranda, I think. I have a 1350 square foot condo in WPB and it is south facing, but as it faces towards another building (across quite an expansive garden), it only gets sun light in the first few feet of the condo, the rest does not get direct light. I have trim and doors that I have to live with that are a creamy beige white and want the paint the entire condo in a white that is not yellow at all, so will punch off the molding/trim/doors and make the home bright. My painter suggested All White, and others have suggested White Dove…what would you suggest, please?
    Diana

    1. Post
      Author

      Oh Diana, it’s SO hard to know without knowing what the trim colour is! A creamy beige white can look quite different if partnered with the WRONG white colour. I would start with White Dove, and go from there. White Dove could look a bit too warm/yellow compared to the trim or maybe too neutral! Sample sample sample and then adjust from there if needed :). Sometimes what we want and what our home NEEDS are two different things ;).

  25. Hi Kylie, Your color information is so helpful! Quick question in choosing a wall paint color for my north facing marble (with gray veining) master bathroom that is pretty much all white. In one post you say don’t go with warm undertones with marble, but this post says go with warm undertones or the room will seem extra cold. I was thinking SW On the Rocks or Crushed Ice at 25% lighter OR SW Pure White on the walls to match the trim. But now I’m confused. I would really appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Post
      Author

      Oooo, both of those could be really pretty! AS for the temperature thing, it’s hard, sometimes something has to give and for me, I’d be willing to give up a warm colour for a slightly softer gray like those – absolutely!

      1. Thanks so much for the response! What do you think of BM Wickham Gray on the walls in this space? I really don’t want a gray bathroom and I think Wickham Gray could bring our more color from the undertones. Not sure that is a good thing or bad thing with northern exposure. Is there a comparable BM color to SW Pure White? Kim

  26. Hi Kylie! Thank you for all the help and feedback you have been giving all of us!

    I have a question and would love your guidance. Some background — We are building a house with an open floor plan. The front of the house faces east, the rear west, and have windows on the side of the house facing north. the north and west portions of the house are shaded by a large tree. The front of the house is exposed to the sun.

    We are looking at SW Pure White, Greek Villa, Alabaster, and a BM match from SW for BM’s White Dove. We are scratching our heads trying to figure out which ones we should pick for our walls, cabinets, and trim.

    In addition, should we separate the walls, trim, and cabinets by different whites or keep them all the same white with different finishes?

    Sorry for the dissertation! Never knew picking colors could be so difficult!

  27. HI Kylie! We are painting our entire house SW White Heron. We live in Dallas in a mature neighborhood (lots of trees) and our house faces North/South. For trim, doors and ceiling, I’m torn between SW Pure White and SW Extra White. I would love your thoughts on this!! Thank you!

    1. Post
      Author
  28. Hi Kylie! If I were to do Pure White or Creamy in the kitchen walls, is there one or the other that you think is better on cabinets and on trim throughout the house? Thanks for all your wisdom!

  29. Hey, Kylie, i love Your work, please help me out. We have direct western exposure with very big window and quite lots of light, very big living room + high cielling.. Because of big window i guess (now) we are getting some WN exposure too.. i mean at least on 1 wall.. Anyway.. first i’ve starter with cooler colors, because by a theory-west means warm orange light.. So to balance it out we need cool color.. But.. SW City Loft looked very purple,SW Eider white – blue.. accesible beige looked flat and too dark, but hue was quite good, so tried it lightened 50 percent.. still to dark…(all the walls looks quite similar ).Going warmer and lighter SW Pearly white..looks perfect on paper sheet, but i see that red in it when it is on the wall and its quite cold …so keeping it more yellowish…so SW White Duck.. Your rewiev is perfect..on the sheet it looks perfect..it fits my color scheme..even with wooden floors i like (warm beige wood) it looks nice..even lighed with 3000K LED light (all the lighting will be 3000K) ir looks good.. but on the wall in daylight ..i still see that redness…my husband says i am crazy (i guess guys from paint store i was already ten times-too).., I am afraid that despite those all my correct color schemes and other things it will just look more red than subtle offwhite…i dont like yellow walls..my plan is to keep it contemporary and quite modern, but not cold purple or red… I will be very glad if You could help me with some advice.
    Dovile

  30. You speak in this article about cool whites warm white and clean white. Yet I’ve never seen a post of yours where you actually go into detail about what a clean white is. Could you please do a post on your 6 favorite quite clean white colors. I am looking for a clean white for the bulk of my home. Thank you.

    1. Post
      Author
  31. Hi,
    I love your breakdown of white paint options. At the end, you said don’t paint white in a room with little natural light. What would you recommend instead? I am trying to brighten up a bedroom (nursery) with one small Northern facing window.

    1. Post
      Author

      Well, it’s a tough one. White will make a dark room look the brightest, but it can look a bit chalky or dingy in low light. The idea is more to improve the interior lighting via increased lumens or table/floor lamps and then white makes more sense :).

  32. Is it normal to pain trim the same color white as the walls? It seems like it could be an aesthetic nightmare if the trim was just barely different from the walls

    1. Post
      Author

      Oh, it’s SO normal and in fact, when in the white range, I wish most people would! You’re right, mixing and matching whites can be a nightmare.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Posts

Meet Kylie

Thank you for visiting!  I'm so glad you're here!  Come on in to learn a little more about me!

Categories