Why Pure White Doesn't Work With Wood
Pure white and wood don't work well together because pure white has no earth tone component to marry it to the earth tones in the wood. With no color relationship, neither brings out the best in the other, and the combination looks like a mistake, instead of being warm, harmonious, inviting and flattering to both parties. The photo on the right from sfgate.com tells the story. It's cold, bland, and boring, and nobody is happy.
When people don't know what color to use, or they plan to sell the house and want a neutral color, pure white often is the default choice, probably because they think it's safe and they can't make a mistake. Wrong! White walls do not produce attractive pictures for MLS and the internet, and you could be unwittingly sabotaging your marketing plan by making your house less appealing to buyers. If the house is vacant, the problem of mis-matched wall and wood colors becomes even more obvious.
When you're selling, put color to work for you. Avoid pure white walls. Instead, choose a palette of coordinated colors throughout the house that works with all the permanent elements, like cabinets, flooring, tile, counter tops, etc.
Wood Color Families
If your house has wood floors, cabinets or trim, you must consider those color(s) in every design decision you make, especially when you're looking for interior paint colors.
The crucial thing to determine is the wood's color family because this information will point you in the right color direction. The most common color families are red, yellow, orange, brown, purple and gray.
|Basic Color Wheel|
Let's say you have red mahogany cabinets. Green is the opposite of red on the color wheel, so you could choose a green or blue earth tone, in a light, medium or dark color for the walls. If you wanted the mahogany to blend with the walls, you could choose a mid range color in the red family.
Other Colors That Aren't Good Choices
In addition to pure white, tint colors, that is colors that are one or more hues plus white, also aren't good companions for wood. For every hue there are variations mixed with white, and variations mixed with pure gray or black, so if you like green, use green. Just make sure it's the right green. In the green family, imagine lime green (tint) vs. sage green (earth tone). When looking for the color to flatter your wood, always choose the earth tone version. Here's an earlier post that explains the difference in more detail: Mixing Tint Colors with Shade Colors
Bewildered by Color?If you need a little help, call me at 828-692-4355 to schedule a color consultation. Whether you're selling or updating, we'll find the colors that are just right for your project.
By: Sandy LeRoy