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Need help w/SW whole house color - Panda White vs. Shoji White?

Contessa
last year

I'm building a contemporary home with a large open concept living room/ kitchen/ hallway/ stairwell and am struggling to find a creamy off-white to use. I would love a warm white that pairs well with my straw white oak cabinets and white oak floors, and SW Greek Villa trim. The main floor has lots of windows so it gets lots of ambient light but not much bright direct sunshine since the living room and kitchen face East. They have very large windows but there is also a lot of greenery and trees pretty close by so it's not like sunlight streams in. The color I pick for the main floor will carry over to at least the upstairs hallway. Ideally I'd love a color that works well in the primary bedroom (also faces East- not particularly bright) and the guest rooms (West facing). The walls are currently primed so when I tried out Shoji White, I was shocked to see how much pigment it has and it seemed a bit pinkish-- but I'm not sure if it would seem brighter once the whole room is painted? Since the living room is not particularly sunny, I'm worried about making it feel dark. I liked Panda White, which reads a bit brighter but I don't know if that will look like just white on the walls? Should I try Creamy or would that look odd paired with the Greek Villa trim? Would Panda White work upstairs and on the main floor, or should I do Panda main floor and Shoji upstairs? These pics were taken before priming, but you can see that the light is somewhat bright /ambient but not sunny. Thanks so much for any help / guidance you can give!



Comments (39)

  • chispa
    last year

    Paint the walls in the same SW Greek Villa, but in a matte finish.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    I should add that I don’t want a very “white” look. More like something warm and creamy and soft and cozy (maybe very slightly tan but no yellow), but without being dark. Maybe that’s too much to ask from a paint!

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  • chispa
    last year

    Going through my ideabooks ...

    This house has SW Greek Villa on walls. Trim is probably the same but in a different sheen.

    Landmark Homes of TN Sherwood Green Home · More Info


  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    @chispa Greek Villa looks so beautiful here! It looks like they have it on the ceiling too but we unfortunately couldn’t do that (we had to have SW ceiling white on the ceiling). The light we get is pretty cold Eastern light so when I tried Greek Villa on the walls, it looks pretty white / cold, but I’ll try to paint a larger swatch maybe.

  • chispa
    last year

    When we built last year I had them paint most of the house in BM Winds Breath. I quickly realized I didn't like it. My Trim is Chantilly lace. I had picked the WB because in my parents house it looked tan-gray, but in my house it was tan-yellow. I took a few weeks to repaint on my own and went with BM White Dove. I much prefer the lighter/brighter feel of the White Dove. Still a bit yellow in some areas, but the more grayed off-whites colors didn't look good with my warm colored furniture and art.

    It is hard to judge when you don't have your flooring and everything in the room. I would err on the side of going lighter than darker. You can always repaint a room or two if you feel they should be more moody. I really prefer my hallways and smaller spaces in the lighter color after I repainted them.

  • Maureen
    last year

    A creamy white will have a yellow undertone and it’s not obvious until you compare white chips next to each other in the paint store. I have also found that BM consultants are excellent and will pull chips based on what you are aiming for.


    I thought the article below might be helpful and also thought you might like White Dove after reading.

    https://somuchbetterwithage.com/white-dove-by-benjamin-moore/


  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last year

    I use this a lot for clients who must choose a color before the space is done. Builders have very sloppy painters BTW. I cut this 25% it looks awesome with wood and with your trim color Sometimes spaces do not like to be white


  • Susie .
    last year

    Why do you have to use ceiling white? Can't they tint it to work with your wall paint? It will appear blue next to a creamy white, but maybe that's what you're going for? If your painters are using SW, I'd use Pure White or High Reflective White on the ceiling if you have a warm toned wall and trim.


    Using Greek Villa on the walls in a matte finish would be the easiest and you wouldn't have to worry about competing tones. I have Greek Villa on the trim in one of our rentals (it matches the kitchen cabinets). We put Aesthetic White on the walls (SW 7035).


    I'm sure you've heard that picking paint color last is the best tactic. The paint color will be affected by light, flooring, other fixed elements and furnishings, so try to get as much of that together IN THE SPACE to get the best idea of how the paint will look. No matter what color you choose, they will all look different in different rooms and on different walls in the same room.

  • Jennifer Svensson
    last year

    Shoji white is one of my favorites. Much prefer it to panda white. Make sure to test in your space.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    @chispa thanks so much for the advice to go lighter rather than darker.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    @maureen thanks for the recommendation for white dove. Unfortunately our builder only uses SW and I’m hesitant to do a color match. I know it’s strange but it’s $$$ to get them to change to BM.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    @susie The painters charge a major upcharge to do anything other than ceiling white. I was skeptical but they explained and it sort of made sense (just sort of). It’s one of those things I decided was not worth it to challenge since the ceilings are so high.
    I’m wondering if I should try Aesthetic White like you did. I wish I could pick paint last but they need to order it soon. Very frustrating.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    @jennifer can you elaborate why you prefer Shoji White to Panda White? Shoji seems so dark but I can’t tell if that’s just because it’s surrounded by primer. Maybe I’ll try a larger swatch.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks so much to all of you who offered guidance already.

  • robin983
    last year

    Shoji and Panda have subtle pink undertones, right?

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Yes it seems so. Panda a bit less so I think. I didn’t mind it because it feels warm/ creamy but the swatches I did were small and I Forgot to take pics of them.

  • Susie .
    last year

    The pink whites may fight with the yellow of GV. Also, compared to primer it will look weird. Samplize makes it easy to test. They will fedex you large samples with adhesive. Attach to them to foam poster boards and leave the white of the boards to frame your sample, then you can move those around to different areas and look at it next to flooring, cabinets, countertops, etc. If you have sample paint left over you can paint it on the foam boards, just tape off a frame around the edge so you have a white border showing. The neutral white helps you visualize the paint better. Even though all your finishes aren’t in yet, seeing it in the house is best.

  • kandrewspa
    last year

    I'm going to vote for Creamy, too. I just went through picking a color for a north facing room and we found that anything without yellow looked dead. So even if you think you don't want any yellow, the reality is that creamy whites and off whites have yellow, and you need some yellow to bring life to a color in poor light. Definitely try some larger samples before you commit. Greek Villa is darker than what most people use for a trim color. Pure White is more popular and versatile for trim. It's still a warm white, but more colors will go with it and show contrast than Greek Villa.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks so much for all the helpful comments! I’ll try Creamy and will also try a larger sample of Greek Villa. You all have been great. I’ll try and follow up once I do the samples if anyone is interested.

  • Susie .
    last year

    We are always interested!

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last year

    The white and the trim you pick has to work with the flooring and cabinet color that you selected. You won't see the primer when you have everything painted, so be careful not to let the primer influence you decision.


    Lighting does impact the appearance of colors, but our homes always have a variety of lighting in different rooms and our minds adjust to these differences. Where I see people getting into the most trouble is when they pick their wall color and it does not work with the flooring.


    One makes the other look dingy, pink, green, blue, gray, yellow, stark . . .


    What I like to do is take my flooring samples and wall color samples outside on a clear day in mid afternoon and see how the colors work together in natural daylight. It is amazing how often I see pink or green in a sample that others don't see until I take them outside with the sample and their other colors and suddenly they see the undertones. You also have to have fairly large samples of lighter neutrals to see the undertones.


    It is the comparison to the other colors that will make an undertone on a neutral become screamingly obvious.


    I picked a color that I don't think would work in 90% of homes, but I have a huge, pink brick wall in my entry that is also the fireplace wall in my living room and my flooring has a violet undertone. Even the neutrals that are typically described as pink or violet undertones looked dingy and green in my house.


    The color I picked is frosted toffee - described by Benjamin Moore as "A dusty pink that fades into a cool lilac-gray. "


    This is what it looks like in my foyer



    I also own a lot of décor with pink and purple and teal greens, so I used those things to create my color palette for my home.





    I wanted some color on the walls and a more distinct white on my trim.

    The LRV of Frosted Toffee is 63.86 The white that I used is a color match to Devine Icing. It is my favorite white for trim with taupe wall colors, but the point is that the LRV of my white is 91.22.


    You can see how much difference there is between the white and the wall color. Many people today are choosing lighter wall colors than I selected, with less difference between the wall color and trim. Nothing wrong with that as long as there is either enough difference that it doesn't look like you tried to match and failed or when they are the same color with different sheens.

    If they are too close, but the undertones are not quite right it can be like pairing a white shirt and shorts that are just a little different in color and one makes the other look dingy or back in the day when our husbands wore ties and a bright white in a tie could make a white shirt look dingy.


    How much of a difference between wall and trim color do you want?

    A trick I often use to get the differential that I am looking for is to buy 2 samples - one without any colorant and the other the color I want. I use an oral dose syringe to mix the white and the color starting with:

    mixing 3 cc/ml of white with 1 cc/ml of color (25%),

    mixing 2 cc/ml of white with 2 cc/ml of color (50%),

    mixing 1 cc/ml of white with 3 cc/ml of color (75%)


    I compare each to my original sample and decide how much whiter I want my trim. Higher gloss is going to make the color appear whiter, but sometimes I want just a bit more difference.


    I will also go with a whiter trim because I will be less limited if I decide to paint the walls another color. I don't like having to repaint trim if it isn't necessary and I like the same trim throughout the house. If your trim has too much color it is more likely to fight with some other wall color.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Wow Jennifer you offer amazing advice!

  • Blogger Strikes
    last year

    It sounds like you're working on an exciting project and are looking for a creamy off-white color that will complement your straw white oak cabinets and floors. Since you mentioned that the living room and kitchen area doesn't get much direct sunlight, it's important to consider a color that will work well with the ambient light in the space. Shoji White may have seemed too pinkish when you tried it out, but it's possible that it may appear differently once the entire room is painted. Panda White might be a good option to consider as it reads as a bit brighter, but it's hard to say for sure without seeing it in the space.

    Creamy white could work well with the Greek Villa trim, but you may want to test it out first to see how it looks in the space. As for upstairs, it may be best to try out a few different options to see what works best in each room. Since the guest rooms face west, it's possible that a different color may work better in that space. You can also consider lighter shades of the color you choose for the main floor to make the space feel brighter. It's good that you are testing the color before painting the whole house. It's advisable to paint a small area of the wall or a board and observe the color in different light conditions before committing to it. Hope this helps and good luck with your project!

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    You all were so helpful yesterday. I’m attaching pics of the samples I put up today. The walls have been primed and the trim has been painted SW Greek Villa already — sadly there is no going back here… lesson learned. I’m hoping for input because I realize I just don’t have good taste in paint colors!
    Here’s the family room.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Here’s the breakfast nook.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Creamy in hallway.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    I’m concerned there isn’t enough contrast between Greek Villa and Creamy, and creamy is reading too yellow. I think I’m really looking for a soft Greige and am wondering whether I should try Shoji White at 75% since I like the neutral tone of Shoji but it feels a bit dark.

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    I think I prefer Panda White in the west facing bedrooms, but again I don’t quite trust my judgment…

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last year

    How do Shoji, Panda and Creamy look next to your cabinets and flooring?

  • chispa
    last year

    I vote for Greek Villa in matte finish on walls!

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    So there’s not much wall space immediately next to the cabinets. I ruled out panda white for the living room because it washes out so much in the morning eastern light. I’m attaching this pic of shoji on left and creamy on right, and you can see how creamy doesn’t really show through.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last year

    You don't need to paint directly on the walls. Create a sample using poster board or watercolor paper. Paint two coats and let it dry. Then take that sample and hold it up to the cabinets and hold it up next to the sample flooring.


    Have you ever gone shopping and purchased a pair of pants or a shirt that you know will be the perfect piece to go with something you already own only to come home and find that the two pieces clash, one looks dingy or way too something. This is what you are risking by not following the advice to look at these colors next to the colors that you already picked.


    You can paint every wall in your house and until you see the color next to the flooring you will not know if these two will work together or clash. You can see the color in 20 other people's homes and not know if it will work with the finishes you chose for your home.


    So often I wish people would have asked what color to paint before they went ahead and painted and we had to tell them that the color doesn't work with their flooring, but here we are, your asking before painting, but won't listen to how it needs to be done.


    I guess you should pick the one you like best and we will all keep our fingers crossed that when you get the walls painted and the flooring installed and cabinets installed that everything works together.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Have you tried White Duck?


    Westhighland white?


    Dover White? has a LRV of 82


    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/paint-colour-review-sherwin-williams-dover-white-sw-6385/



    This is a good one too.


    And please, you're paying your painter to paint your house the color you want. The guy can use BM paint! Or, he can try and get a close color match w/some SW color. Why not get a sample of this and see how it looks?

    I also like Swiss coffee (Behr) and like their paint. BM has a swiss coffee that EmilyHarris used at 75% on her room. (you can google it)



    You can see that creamy has slightly more pink undertones next to Greek.




    If you use Eggshell on the wall and a semi gloss on the trim, it will look slightly diff. I did my walls that way w/Simply White.




    Here's greek villa on the walls and trim




    In the meantime, read these two articles and see if they help, especially w/the diff directions.

    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/the-best-off-white-neutral-paint-colours-undertones-and-more/

    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/north-east-south-west-which-paint-colour-is-the-best/

  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Beth-
    think you’re right about White Duck! I will get a sample and try it out (using the advice I got here about the correct way to sample!).

    Jennifer-
    The floor stain will actually be chosen last so I will have a chance to see a bunch of floor samples painted and can choose something that works with the paint.

    Others— I’m still keeping Greek Villa in flat on the table since it’s so popular here. I’ll update with a pic once the paint is done. Thanks so much all.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last year

    The truth is that you have to start with something, but usually we choose based on cost and frequency of replacement.


    Kitchen cabinets come in a limited number of finishes unless you are painting. Good wood cabinets can last 50 years with just cleaning.

    Wood floors can be stained in a variety of colors, but there are limits to the number of stain colors. If you keep them sealed and well cared for they will last decades.

    Paint colors are limitless and of the 3 it is the easiest color to change.


    Even if you don't choose your floor finish until last it will still need to work with your cabinets.

    If the undertone of the paint color fights with your cabinets how will you ever find a floor that works with both?


    Anyone who follows Houzz design dilemmas can tell you how often we have to let people know that the paint color they picked doesn't work with their floors or their floors don't work with their cabinets.


    This may help.

    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/how-to-mix-match-and-coordinate-wood-stains-undertones/


    I am not trying to be mean - I am trying to have you avoid a really expensive mistake.



  • Contessa
    Original Author
    last year

    Hi Jennifer
    I’ll definitely check it against my cabinets and look into floor samples as well this week. Cabinets (stained white oak) are installed so that should be doable.

  • chispa
    last year

    Also whatever "undertones" you are seeing in these small samples, will get amplified once you paint the whole wall.

    You also have no lighting yet, so your colors will also look different once that goes in.

    I keep voting for the Greek Villa because it will be the safest option. Once you have moved in and placed your furniture, you can then tweak the paint color in individual rooms. Paint is easy to change.

  • Greenie Williams
    9 months ago

    What did you pick? I chose Panda White for whole house, and I love it. We tried a BUNCH of different whites and Panda was light, soft, neutral. Not sure why it's hated.