The New Year will be All White / by Paula Henry

Happy New Year!  Many of us think of the New Year as a time for a fresh start and nothing says fresh like a coat of paint.  I love the clean and fresh look of white walls that can be a back drop for designs ranging from soft to BOLD.  But beware, all whites are not the same and care must be taken in selecting the right one.   Some whites are more pure while others have undertones ranging from yellows, blues, greys and more.

One might argue, “It is just a can of paint” but when you consider what an important role color plays in our lives, it goes way beyond that.  Not only is it a key element in all design, it has an influence on how we feel and impacts us visually, emotionally and physically.  Here are a few examples:

·      Red:  Encourages risky behavior.  Dressing in red can make you appear heavier.  It raises your heart rate.  Red cars get more tickets.

·      Yellow:  The first color your eye sees in daylight.  Anti-depressant; makes you feel happy.  Encourages communication.  Used for warning signs.

·      Blue:  Lowers blood pressure.  Calming.  Cooling.  Increases productivity.  Decreases appetite.

It is not uncommon for folks to want to start a decorating project with painting but in reality, that is putting the cart before the horse.  There are other things to consider before deciding on a paint color, even if the color is “white.”  When I am selecting paint colors and creating color palettes for clients, I take many factors into consideration.  Here are my top five:

1.    Lighting, both natural man-made.

2.    Fabrics on furnishing, window treatments, bedding, etc.

3.  Hard surfaces such as flooring, cabinets, counter-tops and tile.

4.    How the paint color in one room will flow into the next.

5.  How the color will effect and be affected by other things in the room.

You may have a color or color palette in mind, but deciding on other elements first will serve you well.  Just as there are many variations of white, the same is true for the entire spectrum of color. One shade off can be the difference between success and failure.  It might just be a can of paint, but cans of paint can get expensive, not to mention the labor involved applying the paint.  


For a color consultation or to get started on your New Year’s project, please contact me at 410.252.9911 or 

Have a Beautiful New Year!