This month I decided to be really bold and feature … white! In one way it seems a bit inside out and backward to feature such a colour here – in a realm that is all about rich saturation, depth, and character – and yet in another it seems essential given white’s huge popularity and its vast array of subtle undertones that can be close to imperceptible to identify and therefore implement to the untrained eye. So here I feature cool white, if not purely as an exploration of just one side of white’s character. I’d say that there are at least several broad categories of white that I could deal with, but starting with this one just seems right on a warm, sunny, breezy October day like today.
It’s important to understand white precisely because it is so commonly used as a default colour by people all over, and quite frankly, it so often doesn’t work. Despite what you might think, white needs to considered just as carefully as you would any other bright, bold, or daring colour in order to ensure stunning results. There’s an underlying, subtle assumption amongst the majority that white it is a ‘non-offensive colour’ because choosing to use it isn’t making the same level of design statement that choosing another colour might. However for me, white is actually the hardest to get right, the easiest to get wrong, and the worst when employed in the wrong way. Not that I want to scare you off (though part of me does!).
Cool white suits a relaxed atmosphere. Inherently, it suggests repose, calm, quietude, and laid-back simplicity, which is why it complements hot climates so well. If you want to instate a sense of resort-like escape, then cool white is usually pretty perfect. It goes wonderfully with blues, greens, and greys, so of course it naturally suits Oasis-like locations (whether you’re creating a cleverly deceptive inner city escape or you live by the seaside). For me, this mood is at the heart of cool white, so if you fancy something spicier, I’d suggest looking elsewhere!
Here are a few really beautiful examples of Cool White in situ, and if this sort of thing does float your boat, Resene have several great colours that are sure to invoke the right feel.