Whites are in!
Throughout this past year, one thing has become clear. Whites are in!! I have specified more off whites and whites than ever before. The majority of my Color Consultation clients are desiring “light and bright” interiors with pops of color in accents instead of the main paint color.
|Chantilly Lace OC-65||92.2||Pure White||Extra White SW 7006|
|White Dove OC-17||85.38||Slight Greige||Alabaster SW 7008|
|Ballet White OC-9||73.68||Soft Greige||Shoji White SW 7042|
|Pale Oak OC-20||69.89||Warm Greige/Gray||Egret White SW 7570|
|Gray Owl OC-52||65.77||Warm Gray w/Slight Blue||Repose Gray SW 7015|
Keeping this in mind, we have also realized the need to broaden our Peel and Stick Paint Samples to include more whites and off whites. We often get requests for Benjamin Moore colors, and we have listened! Now in our Shop, you can order the entire Benjamin Moore Off White Collection.
Top 5 BM Whites
There are 152 whites in the Benjamin Moore Off White Collection. I wanted to highlight my top 5 that I use most often and that are also some of the most popular. They are Chantilly Lace, White Dove, Ballet White, Pale Oak and Gray Owl. I will be detailing the characteristics of each off white, sharing the Sherwin-Williams “equivalents” (whites that are a very close match) and offering advice on places to paint these whites.
Chantilly Lace OC-65
Chantilly Lace is a lovely white that is considered Benjamin Moore’s version of a true bright white. No sneaky undertones, just a true white. My favorite white for my personal home to use on the all trim, ceilings and cabinets is Extra White SW 7006, which if I were to translate it over to Benjamin Moore, would be Chantilly Lace!
I specify Chantilly Lace for clients that want a brighter white for more of a classic and clean look. It’s a crisp white that doesn’t have a cool or warm undertone, which is ideal for walls, trim or cabinets to just be “white” without veering cold or warm. The LRV of Chantilly Lace is 92.2, which means that it reflects A TON of light. It’s bright and some may even say that it’s too bright or too stark.
I personally like a brighter white for certain places in the home, which I will outline next.
Where to Use Chantilly Lace
Since Chantilly Lace is considered a brighter white, I will say that it’s not my first choice for an all over wall color. As I mentioned, the LRV is so high that it reflects a lot of light and appears more “stark” than you may want for all of the walls in your home. That being said, Chantilly Lace can work in areas like bedrooms or more specifically, trim and cabinets.
My top way to utilize Chantilly Lace is on trim (baseboards, crown molding, shiplap, etc.) and cabinets. The kitchen pictured above is a great example of Chantilly Lace used on cabinets and trim. Notice how crisp and clean it looks! I especially like how the vent hood design breaks up some of the white and adds some dimension, texture and detail to the kitchen. The leaded glass also creates some contrast and pattern against the mostly white kitchen. Overall, Chantilly Lace persists as a top Benjamin Moore white for a crisp and “pure” white.
White Dove OC-17
I love White Dove and I am pretty sure that I am not alone! White Dove has a beautiful warmth to it that keeps it soft and not too stark, which is why it’s one of Benjamin Moore best selling whites. It has a touch of a greige undertone that gives it that warmth that it needs to not feel too sterile.
If you are searching for the Sherwin-Williams equivalent of White Dove, look no further than Alabaster SW 7008. Alabaster is a soft white that I specify all of the time for clients who need a softer, warm white that doesn’t get a yellow undertone. White Dove is just like Alabaster and is considered an in between white that is neither a bright white or a creamy white. White Dove has an LRV of 85.38, which means that it still reflects a lot of light, but not as much as whites like Chantilly Lace.
Where to Use White Dove
White Dove pretty much has endless options, as far as I’m concerned! I use it on trim, ceilings, built-ins, cabinets and walls. Lately, I have been loving using it as a main wall color in a home for a classic and clean look.
I absolutely love this inspiration picture! The walls are in White Dove and the trim is in Chantilly Lace. It’s a subtle contrast, but lovely. Notice the White Dove keeps the walls from feeling too stark and bright and yet is a beautiful “blank canvas” for pops of color in accessories and furnishings. Warm wood floors and shelves help to ground the space and add just enough warmth to keep the look from feeling sterile. Pops of color in the decor perfects the style and the deeper color on the adjacent interior door is just the ticket to balancing the white walls!
Ballet White OC-9
I am absolutely in love with Ballet White! Since whites and off whites are currently the most requested main wall color, this one has been a staple of mine as of late. Light and bright is the goal for interiors and if your space needs some added warmth, Ballet White could be just what you are looking for.
Ballet White has an LRV of 73.68, which is light, but not as bright as Chantilly Lace or White Dove, just for comparison. The undertone of Ballet White is a beautiful soft greige that has the perfect balance of warmth that doesn’t get a yellow undertone. If you are searching for a color to compare it to in the Sherwin-Williams deck, Shoji White SW 7042 is the closest match.
Where to Use Ballet White
As I mentioned, I have been specifying Ballet White a lot lately. Spaces that I have used this color in the most are homes that have more outdated selections lingering from the “Tuscan Era” when tile, countertops and backsplashes were more golden and had a stronger yellow undertone. Clients are understandably wanting to update their home with a fresh coat of paint, but also can’t quite do a full reno replacing all of the existing selections. Ballet White is ideal in this situation as you can see below in the inspiration picture.
The “before” picture of this kitchen is quickly identifiable as a kitchen that was built during the 2000’s era of travertine and golden countertops, complete with stained oak cabinets. I remember this time period well! I was a specification designer at a model home merchandising firm and 90% of the time, I was specifying Crema Marfil Travertine and Santa Cecelia granite countertops.
Now, if you hone in on the picture above, they have actually kept all of the main selections the same: travertine flooring, backsplash and the granite countertops. The huge transformation is with the paint. This is why I love my job so much! The cabinets are painted in Swiss Coffee (similar to White Dove, with a tiny bit more creamy undertones) and the walls are freshened up with Ballet White.
Using Ballet White on the walls instantly brightened up the kitchen and gave it a fresh and updated look even with the old selections intact! No further explanation needed as to why Ballet White is one of my top current recommendations for homes that need a brighter off white to bring their outdated selections into the current era.
Pale Oak OC-20
Another amazing off white that has my heart currently is Pale Oak. Pale Oak is similar to Ballet White in the lightness or saturation level with an LRV of 69.89. Pale Oak is categorized as a “warm greige,” however, leans a bit more gray than Ballet White. When you view Ballet White, you can see it’s warmth instantly while Pale Oak works better with selections that have more of a gray undertone.
If I were to pull a Sherwin-Williams color similar to Pale Oak, I would likely pick Egret White SW 7570 or Incredible White SW 7028, which is one shade lighter than one of the most popular Sherwin-Williams neutral colors, Agreeable Gray SW 7029. What I like about Pale Oak is that it is in between Incredible White and Agreeable Gray in brightness and has a touch more warmth as well. It’s a great option if Incredible White and Agreeable Gray are feeling too gray and Ballet White is feeling too warm.
Where to Use Pale Oak
Since Pale Oak is a greige, it has some versatility for spaces that have neither super warm or super cool selections. I’ll hash that out a bit. Homes that have tile and granite that have more of the golden undertones, are not the best spaces to use Pale Oak. Ballet White is more appropriate. Also homes that have very cool gray selections will need an all over color that has more of a gray undertone versus a greige undertone.
A good example of where to use Pale Oak is in the inspiration picture below. The kitchen has medium toned wood floors and a backsplash that has warm greige undertones. Notice that the tile isn’t overly golden and doesn’t have a yellow undertone. It’s more a taupe/greige undertone and therefore works well with Pale Oak as a wall color.
I’d also like to give one more example of a space to use Pale Oak in that has more gray selections. The bathroom pictured below does have medium toned flooring but the tile is the carrara marble tile that has more of a gray veining to it.
There is enough gray in the undertone of Pale Oak to coordinate with gray veining in tile or a gray sofa, etc. However, I would be careful to not go too gray all over. There is warmth in Pale Oak that is suited better for spaces that are more “middle of the road” with a greige undertone.
Gray Owl OC-52
I’m saving the best for last! JK. They are all great whites. I just love me some gray-blue off whites, which is exactly what Gray Owl is. Gray Owl has been a very popular off white lately and it’s one that I would use as a main neutral in my own home in a heartbeat.
Gray Owl has an LRV of 65.77, so it has the most saturation of all of the whites that I have outlined in this post. It is still considered a part of the Benjamin Moore “Off White Collection,” but if it were me categorizing, I might put it in with more of the “regular neutrals.” A good Sherwin-Williams equivalent to Gray Owl is Repose Gray SW 7015.
I still consider Gray Owl a warm gray, but it leans a tad cool since it has a trace of a blue undertone that comes out stronger in certain lighting. When I was looking for a main neutral for my last home, this one was a big contender. I settled on Lattice SW 7654, which is also similar to Gray Owl. You may view my full review of Lattice SW 7654 here.
Where to Use Gray Owl
Since Gray Owl has a slight blue undertone, I particularly love it in this coastal interior. What says coastal better than a soothing gray-blue? The designer paired the wall color with a lot of whites and brighter pops of blue to reinforce the coastal vibe.
Even if you aren’t planning a coastal feel in your home, Gray Owl still matches up well with the ever popular modern farmhouse style or even an eclectic interior that has brighter pops of color (pinks, greens, yellows, etc.). It is versatile enough to be a main neutral or as a different color for a bedroom or bathroom.
Wrapping it All Up
That pretty much wraps up my 5 favorite whites from the Benjamin Moore Off Whites Collection. Visit our shop for the complete list of colors that we have available as Peel & Stick Paint Samples. I am thrilled to be able to offer the chance for my clients (and anyone!) to be able to sample these Benjamin Moore colors in their home. Whites as a main neutral are going strong and I expect that they will be for a while. I sincerely hope this post has been helpful to shed light on some wonderful options for the home.