Since I shared the first video tour of our new house, everyone keeps asking me, “What color are you painting the walls?”
I get it. For years I’ve been teaching Color Confidence—how to create a whole house color palette. So, I think people expected something other than white.
The walls are already painted the final color. No, that’s not primer. It’s our wall color.
Our walls, ceilings, trim, and doors are all Sherwin Williams Pure White.
And no, we are not planning to paint any walls after we move in. We’re sticking with white.
Allow me to explain why we chose white as the neutral in our whole house color palette, and how we still plan to bring in loads of color.
Why We Chose White Walls
1. The Builder Paints Walls and Ceilings the Same Color
This was not our leading reason for choosing white, but I think many people building a house don’t realize the wall color they choose may also be used on the ceilings. Most builders do not paint the ceilings a separate color, even white unless you upgrade.
Our builder (like most) offers a two-color interior paint package. One color is for the doors and trim. The second color is for the walls AND ceilings. So, in a two-color package if you choose beige for your walls, it will also be the ceiling color. To get a different ceiling color (even white), you have to upgrade to a three-color paint package. Additional upgrade fees apply for each additional wall color too.
One reason we chose white walls is so the ceilings would also be white. We can more easily change wall colors later.
I think white ceilings are a MUST. White ceilings reflect light back into the room. Anything else, even the lightest of neutrals will start to absorb some of the light.
2. We Want a Bright, Clean Look
This was our leading reason for choosing white walls, ceiling, and trim.
One of the few things I’ve enjoyed about apartment life is the neutral walls that match throughout the apartment. I know, surprised me too! I like that the neutral walls sort of fade away and allow our furniture and decor to become the focal point.
Ever since the basement remodel in our last house, where we did white walls and white trim, I’ve been craving a white interior. It’s just so clean and bright.
One of the things I hate the most about apartment life is the lack of natural light. Our apartment is very cave-like with only north-facing windows. I do not want a dark, dimly-lit house.
We chose a home lot where all of our windows face South or East to let in maximum natural light. The white walls and ceilings will reflect the beautiful natural light.
When this video tour was recorded there was no electricity. So, all the light you’re seeing is natural light through the windows and skylights.
3. We Want to Use Color Everywhere Else
In our past homes, painting the walls was a cheap and easy way to add color to a room. But in our new house, we have the opportunity to add color in other fun ways.
First, we designed our own colorful lighting package. Our light fixtures will pop against the white backdrop.
Second, we painted our kitchen island a gorgeous shade of teal. Click here for all the kitchen design details.
Third, we added color and pattern through tiles. Our kitchen backsplash is sky blue with contrasting white grout to show off the unique hexagon shape. In two of the bathrooms, we used a patterned gray tile.
Fourth, we have a lot of colorful furniture and decor. Our house will be anything but neutral. This is what our “neutral” apartment looks like right now:
Fifth, we’re planning on several wallpaper accent walls. We’re obsessed with Hygge & West. If you watch Stay or Sell (my fave renovation TV show), most of the wallpapers they use are Hygge & West. Our white rooms will be the perfect backdrop for their gorgeous wallpapers. See below.
4. We Plan to Add Wallpaper
Before we even settled on a house, we knew we wanted to create statement walls with wallpaper. It would have been very difficult to choose one wall color that would coordinate with the four or five different wallpapers we plan to use in different rooms. Whereas white goes with everything.
We plan to wallpaper one accent wall each in the master bedroom, office, dining room, and mudroom. We’ll probably do the kids’ rooms and maybe the laundry room later too. More on our wallpaper choices soon!
Even though our walls our white, I’m still designing our house with a whole house color palette in mind. The colors just won’t be on the walls. I’m bringing in color through finishes (flooring, painted cabinets, tile), furniture, lighting, and decor. Our house will still be very colorful.
Want to learn how to create your whole house color palette? Then, you’ll love my Color Confidence course. It includes classes on choosing colors, mixing and matching patterns, and lighting design. Color is the best way to personalize your home, even if your walls are neutral.