lcm lifestyle

In Praise of White Paint

In a sea of choices, here a few of my faves

By Laura Carson Miller

Hello friends. I’m aware there are a lot of opinions out there about paint. I know I may be super charging a firestorm here by professing my love for white walls. Fact is I don’t care.  I know what I like and I’m not afraid to say so here, on Instagram, at the hardware store or the local seafood restaurant or with a megaphone in the town square. 

Now, let’s not just talk the talk but walk the walk of white paint and the shades that move me.

Living room Greek Villa and White Flour

When G and I bought the house we currently still live in, in 1993, color on your walls was the thing. I watched a lot of HGTV at the time and all the designers were doing colorful paint in every room. And I mean every room and hallway and closet interior. Every nook. Every cranny. It was quite the color explosion. We too did color! 

After years of living with color in the living room I was ready to go in a different direction. And especially since we’d acquired a few art pieces that are colorful I thought a white wall, gallery style, would keep the focus on the art. Where it belongs. 

Painter’s White in the living room

We perused the vast array of white paint samples at the big box stores. We also looked at white paint samples from a specialty brand that is very expensive. Neither of us thought their colors or their paint was any better than Behr or Sherwin Williams, after testing the samples.

One of many reasons I wanted the living room painted happened to be because I was all set to host a bunch of women for lunch in our home. This was back when I used to host the monthly LCM Lifestyle Lunch, a networking group of local Atlanta women I enjoyed connecting and supporting.  So, because I married a some kinda wonderful man, my husband spent a weekend painting the entry and hallway and the living room the color we landed on, Painters White by Behr. 

Now I gotta tell ya, I loved Painters White and so did G. We still have it in the entry and hallway.  

But….fast forward to last year when we had the ceiling collapse in our bedroom. (BTW: have you ever come home from dinner, put down your purse, gone to the basement to get a basket of laundry, come back upstairs, walked down the hall and approached your bedroom with an eerie feeling that something was badly amiss? Have you then turned on the bedroom light to see your ceiling had collapsed all over everything? I surely hope not.) And because we also needed the ceiling replaced in our living room, we found ourselves revisiting the choice of paint colors.

We chose Drift of Mist (a gorgeous very light grey) for the bedroom walls with Greek Villa for the trim. I came to find out Greek Villa has a cult following and is very much a thing. I mean wow, I did not know this and just used my good taste and that of my husband to pluck this casually chic white out of the vast white paint universe. Are you rolling your eyes? I hope so. Because I am. LOL. 

Drift of Mist on walls and Greek Villa on trim

SO. We loved Greek Villa on the trim in bedroom so much we decided to use it on the walls in the living room with White Flour on the trim. Can I get an amen on how much a paint job elevates a room? A smooth well anchored ceiling is really great too. Imagine that, friends? 

Greek Villa on walls and White Flour on trim

We were so fortunate to find a fantastic contractor who did detailed work and truly respected the character of 1940’s cottage house. We needed some repairs to our window sills and to our fireplace mantle which is original and we absolutely adore.  Just having these things restored and new moldings installed gave me such a boost mentally and psychologically. Happy wife, happy life is a real phenomenon! G said many times how much the new paint and the smooth ceilings have been a much needed and much appreciated project for our home. Well worth every penny!

I was so excited to see things coming along! A vision to coming to life!
The best the ceiling had actually looked in a long time. Just being real, friends!

Just having these things restored and new moldings installed gave me such a boost mentally and psychologically. Happy wife, happy life is a real phenomenon!

While we are on the subject of fabulous white paint shades I wanted to share a few more with you:

There was an article in Southern Living magazine, which I love because they show old homes that are respectfully restored and the owners have some hand me down furniture and not every single thing is brand new or trendy.  And the homes they feature showcase cool original design elements like arched doorways and exposed brick and all manner of other charming intricacies that give a house character and flavor, if you will! 

Anyway this fabulous woman, I wish I’d written down her name, offered several recommendations for multitasking white shades that work in many different rooms and styles of houses. She recommended Sherwin Williams Pearly White and Extra White. Got that? Check.

Amber Lewis, an interior designer I greatly admire and the author of one of my fave design books, Made for Living, likes Simply White and White Dove by Benjamin Moore and Milk Glass by Dunn Edwards. She has a whole chapter, yep, on white paint in her book. It is a great read all around. The information is presented in a very laid back and fun manner and the photos are amazing and highly inspirational!

Made for Living by Amber Lewis is fantastic!

Here’s a recap of the white paint colors I mention in this post:

  1. Painter’s White – Behr – PPU18-8
  2. Greek Villa – Sherwin Williams – SW 7551
  3. White Flour – Sherwin Williams – SW 7102
  4. Pearly White – Sherwin Williams – SW 7009
  5. Extra White – Sherwin Williams – SW 7006
  6. Simply White – Benjamin Moore – 2143-70
  7. White Dove – Benjamin Moore – OC-17
  8. Milk Glass – Dunn-Edwards – DEW358

Something I really love about Greek Villa and White Flour is how they change as the light moves during the day and as the sun sets. I would use White Flour as the wall color in our home office as I think it would offer a soothing vibe for a work space. And of course a fabulous backdrop for my much treasured mood board. 

Paint is very personal. Not everyone loves white walls and I get that and totally respect it. If you love them and are considering a paint project I hope this post has helped spark your interest in pursuing some of the shades I wrote about here. No matter what color you choose, paint is truly great and will make the most pleasurable and impactful difference in all your spaces!

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