An off-white to get excited about…
In the world of paint colors, it’s easy to get side-tracked by the big names – Agreeable Gray, Accessible Beige, Pure White, and others. However, sometimes your BEST paint color is just waiting to be found…on my blog, and that color JUST MIGHT BE White Heron…
To show you RELATEABLE & REAL homes, I ONLY use photos from my Online Color Consulting clients. Some Pinterest images have been over-edited or aren’t even the color they’re said to be – this won’t happen here!
WHAT COLOR IS WHITE HERON?
That’s the beauty of White Heron – it’s pretty darn uncommitted to the color world. You might see a touch of taupe or pink in some lights, whereas it winks at cream in others. And just when you think you have it figured out, this ninja-like paint color will be heavily influenced by your surrounding finishes and exposure, as will most colors with higher LRVs (we’ll get into undertones and the actual LRV shortly.)
For example, White Heron might appear a bit muted and not as warm as expected in a north-facing room. But then, toss it on the walls of a south-facing room or one with afternoon western sunshine, and you might see a welcoming hint of creamy warmth!
This photo (above) shows White Heron in a dark hallway with no natural light. Notice how soft and pretty it is, contrasting with the white trim without making the space look dark or cluttered (contrasting colors can make a space look busy).
WHAT’S WHITE HERON’S LRV?
White Heron has an LRV of 76, making it a gentle shade of off-white. Slightly darker off-whites hover around 73 or so, whereas ones that border on the WHITE range wink at the 80s. Any neutral paint color with an LRV in these ranges WILL wash out in a room with a lot of natural light. But don’t let that dissuade you because you get it back as soon as the sun shifts!
Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.
WHAT UNDERTONES DOES WHITE HERON HAVE?
White Heron has muted undertones that can shift on a wall-to-wall basis. In some lights, White Heron commits more to a subtle form or cream, meaning there’s a touch of yellow in it. However, other lights show a vague, almost taupe (violet-pink) backdrop, which softens that creamy-yellow edge.
It’s easy to see White Heron’s neutral, warm versatility in the above space
White Heron can be a great happy medium for people who love cream but don’t love yellow undertones (by the way, you can’t get cream WITHOUT yellow; it comes down to how much yellow you want to see).
SAMPLING WHITE HERON WITH PEEL & STICK
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WHAT WHITE TRIM (CABINET) COLOR GOES WITH WHITE HERON?
White Heron does well with various whites; it all depends on how much contrast you want between wall and trim or cabinet and wall.
- Sherwin Williams Pure White for a slightly softened contrast with White Heron
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace offers a gorgeous contrast with White Heron without being stark or cold
- Sherwin Williams Extra White can be stunning
Because of the bit of taupe/pink in White Heron, avoid whites with an obvious amount of yellow/cream.
IS WHITE HERON A GOOD COLOR FOR THE EXTERIOR OF A HOME?
White Heron certainly can be a good exterior color for siding or trim. The key is to make sure it coordinates with your home’s finishes, including the roof and any stone or brickwork. These days, many homeowners want a light and bright exterior but are stepping away from the white trend. And while most shades of cream are too yellow for the average exterior, White Heron’s more modest, blended approach offers a cream-inspired warmth with a reduced commitment to yellow (but it will still be there, particularly on your home’s south-facing side).
IS WHITE HERON A GOOD COLOR FOR KITCHEN CABINETS?
Off-white kitchen cabinets are definitely in style, but this doesn’t mean you should do it. In fact, I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to this topic to help you decide if this is the best choice for you and your home.
Should you go ahead with off-white cabinets, White Heron can work, as long as its particular undertone blend speaks closely to your backsplash and countertop. In my experience, White Heron is often a touch too creamy-pink for many finishes but not quite creamy-yellow enough for others! But this doesn’t mean it won’t suit yours – check it out!
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO WHITE HERON?
In the off-white world, it’s a battle of the undertones, and comparing similar colors is the BEST way to find the one that best suits you and your home!
SHERWIN WILLIAMS WHITE HERON VS. HERON PLUME
Heron Plume takes the idea of White Heron and cuts it back a notch with gray. If you find the creamy base of White Heron isn’t quite working, Heron Plume offers a similar, feather-light approach with gentle taupe undertones – and no cream.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS WHITE HERON VS. CITY LOFT
Like Heron Plume, City Loft isn’t creamy like White Heron and counters it with a healthy dose of warm gray-taupe. This gives City Loft a smokier, slightly less cheerful, and bright look (that can come with more noticeable undertones).
City Loft is also darker than White Heron, with an LRV of 70 (to White Heron’s 76). This can be a big difference when picking the best shade for your cabinets or walls, as you’ll see more contrast with your trim using a color like City Loft.
In a well-lit room like the one shown above, White Heron would wash out a HECK of a lot more on that large wall. Not to say that City Loft doesn’t wash out, but having that slightly lower LRV helps a wee bit.
WHICH PAINT COLORS GO WITH WHITE HERON?
Off-white neutral paint colors are more flexible than colorful versions. And while they have their limitations, a color like White Heron has some great palette partners…
- some shades of taupe, as long as they’re a good shot darker than White Heron – these colors look good in adjoining rooms
- greige paint colors with a bit more noticeable green hue can be a beautiful accent to White Heron
- mid-toned blue-gray blends, as well as green-gray blends like Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray
- husky, stormy shades of gray with blue (blue-green) hues
- White Heron will be fussy with many cream, beige, and tan paint colors
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!