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Freshen up with a touch of white

On Feb 27 2014
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  • My LJ Hooker

If you are living in a rental property or selling a house, the interior may be in need of some ...

If you are living in a rental property or selling a house, the interior may be in need of some tender, loving care. This may be as easy as a lick of white paint to freshen up those walls. 

When choosing interior wall paint colours people often suspect that white is the safest option, as it's a relatively tame shade. 

If used correctly white can maximise the potential of any room. It can enlarge smaller spaces, lighten a dark area or modernise an aged room. 

However, contrary to popular belief, white is not a static colour. It is largely affected by its surroundings and careful consideration should be made before proceeding.

Warm or cool

There are now hundreds of different shades of white available, but it is best to class the various different shades into two specific types. 

Cooler whites are a brighter or starker shade. They tend to have grey or blue undertone that can make them ice or snow white. Due to this colouring, they are often referred to as clean or crisp whites.

On the other hand, warmer whites are creamier, with red or orange undertones, and are often thought of as more traditional.


If you have a very sunny space then a cooler white should be used, as these shades neutralise very bright light. 

When a room suffers from lack of natural light, using a warm white can soften a darker area. 

It is important to also consider the amount of artificial lighting each room has, as too much light can reflect on the paint. For example, kitchens may have brighter lights than a bedroom. 

Additionally, considering the use of a room is important when choosing the tone of white because paint shades can affect the feel. A study or work space should be painted a cooler tone, while a living room or bedroom would better suit a warmer tone. 


After considering the lighting or use of each room, it is necessary to contemplate the decor before selecting your perfect shade.

Due to its undertones, a warm white would not suit a room that has predominantly grey furniture. Alternatively, a cool white might not work in a room with yellow or orange interiors. 

Cooler whites work well in contemporary spaces, particularly ones with glass panelings, as they are relatively stark and project a more modern feel. 

If you're looking for a welcoming feel, warmer whites paired with timber and other natural materials may be the best selection for your room. 

Remember, before you pick up your paint brush and start redecorating your room, you'll need to test colours and use sample pots! 

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