When it's time to pick up the brush, the full spectrum of hues can be daunting. That's why we asked our designers for the shades they seem to reach for again and again.
These are the shades our designers reach for again and again. You can’t go wrong with their faves.
“Decorators White: It’s The Hamptons-vibe—all white everything.” — Angelo Varischetti
“Right now, I have been using Benjamin Moore’s Classic Grey. Although the name suggests it’s a standard grey, this color is in fact incredibly unique. It’s such a subtle whisper of a grey, and has a warmth to it that in some lights looks almost taupe, which I love. In contrast with a bright white trim, it’s beautiful. I’ve also been using Classic Grey as the trim color with a white wall.” —
“Benjamin Moore’s Upper West Side (CSP-70): A great color with a ridiculous name (seriously! I call this one by its number when talking to clients because the name is too pretentious). But it’s a great grayish taupe for a space that doesn’t want white but does want subtly and depth.” —
“Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore: It’s versatile because it reads both taupe and gray.” — Allie McMunn
Design by, photography by Sean Litchfield.
Everyone Loves Chantilly Lace
When we asked our designers about their favorite white, 50% of them mentioned this Benjamin Moore shade for its incredible versatility and depth. Here’s what they had to say.
“I love a crisp white space where the furniture and artwork pop. Snowfall White or Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore.” —
“My go-to whites include Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White and Chantilly Lace (both from the Natura range) or Farrow & Ball All White for more traditional spaces. — Pippa Lee
“Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore or Falling Snow by Behr.” —
“Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace or Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White: one is cooler and crisper, one is warm and a bit more traditional, both are gorgeous.” —
“If you’re opting for a bright white for well lit larger rooms (living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms), I love Chantilly Lace.” —
Other Ways to Do White Right
Of course Chantilly Lace wasn’t the only white they loved. When it comes to white, you have more than a rainbow range of subtly different shades. Here are their picks.
“All whites are my favorite color. My Benjamin Moore All White Paint deck is my favorite. Lighting is the most important thing when choosing a color so it’s best to look at the color in the space.” — Mackenzie Madsen
“Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball.” —
“White Dove by Benjamin Moore. I always put up two or three other white samples for clients and White Dove always wins.” —
“Benjamine Moore White Dove (OC-17): It’s a classic. It goes in and out of style on ‘color lists’ but for me, it’s here to stay. Truly the perfect white for almost every room setting. It makes every space look like perpetual dusk, which for me is heaven.” — Alec Holland
“Two favorite whites: Simply White and Super White Benjamin Moore, because they are the brightest whites without being institutional. Simply White is a perfect white that can go warm or cool. Super White is always like a cooler bluer tone, which is great for that look and can feel nicely stark if that’s what you are going for.” —
“Benjamin Moore Dove Wing is one of my go-to neutrals. It has just the right amount of warmth without any strong undertones.” —
“Currently it is Farrow and Ball Wevet because of its soft gray that looks beautiful as a trim or on its own.” — Allie McMunn
Design by, photography by Jen Smith.
The Hues They Can’t Wait to Use
These are the shades our designers are itching to paint on the walls. Be brave and trust them when they tell you what’s next
“One I cannot wait to use is the soft dusty pink lime wall wash Marrakech by Bauwerk.” — Pippa Lee
“All black everything. I’ve been using it for years it makes rooms warm and cozy. I’m busting myths that you shouldn’t use dark colors in small spaces. Someone lied about that.” — Mackenzie Madsen
“Cinder Rose from Farrow & Ball for a living room or bedroom! Please!” — Kerry Vasquez
“Burnt red or terracotta—I never thought I would say that but I am game!” — Tali Roth
“I am in love with Carolina Gull by Benjamin Moore at the moment. Even considering painting my bedroom.” —
“Mayflower Red HC-49: subtle and calm for a red, but still impactful!” — Crystal Sinclair
“Benjamin Moore French Beret 1610: I would literally give my left leg to use this in a client’s house.” — Angelo Varischetti
“Setting Plaster from Farrow & Ball: It’s this subdued and serene peachy color I would love to use in a bedroom.” —Barbie Palomino
“I really am wanting to paint a space a very dark, rich green, like Portrait Backdrop by Fine Paints of Europe. It would look great in an eggshell or matte finish, but for a dramatic punch I want to use a high gloss finish.” —
“I’m dying to use Farrow & Ball Red Earth. It’s the perfect dusty terracotta color and I can see it in a moody dining room or powder room with blush accents.” —
“Peignoir by Farrow & Ball: I recently saw it used in a bedroom and fell in love with the soft mauve/lilac hue.” — Allie McMunn
“Flamingo Feather by Behr: I had been wanting to use this color for a while and the client actually suggested it! I knew she was the perfect client for the subtle peach tones of this pink. It reads feminine yet sophisticated, just like her. Johanna is from the Dominican Republic, but just moved from New York City to Los Angeles. I wanted her home to feel like a colorful yet elegant tropical paradise, honoring her roots and celebrating the warmth and sunshine of her new city. However, this is a very bold color so we chose to use it in the entryway to brighten up the small space and make something of a room that you might otherwise disregard or pass through. Now it may be my favorite space in the house!” — Kerry Vasquez
Design by Kerry Vasquez, photo by Sara Tramp.
Design by Tali Roth, photo by Claire Esparros.
The Perfect Shade for: Bedrooms
“I love using deep hues in bedrooms to create a moody, intimate feeling.” — Barbie Palomino
“For most of the home I like white, but you can go moodier in the bedroom like the Benjamin Moore’s Carolina Gull.” —
“For bedrooms, I love a soothing blue hue like Benjamin Moore’s Sweet Bluette. I find light blue to be extremely calming. It’s also my favorite color.” — Ariel Okin
“Bedrooms and guest bedrooms get silver satin walls with Decorator’s White on the trim and ceiling. It lets you get creative with colors to accent.” — Angelo Varischetti
“I love painting a bedroom a really dark color, like navy or green. I painted a tiny NYC bedroom C2 Brigand, which looks like the color of the deep ocean. Its really beautiful and creates a calming, moody presence where the walls and corners of the room just recede.” —
“Whale Grey 1472, Shoreline 2134-40, Chelsea Grey HC-168. I usually love to use these in smaller rooms (hallways or powder baths), but sometimes for a sexy, darker bedroom!” — Crystal Sinclair
The Perfect Shade for: Living Rooms
Living room, a middle range grey like Benjamin Moore’s Horizon always does nicely in a living room; in an eggshell finish it’s easily cleanable yet still packs some aesthetic punch. — Ariel Okin
Living Room is a tough one, depending on the feel of the house Edgecomb Gray, especially with how “organic” looking the market seems to be going. — Angelo Varischetti
“My new favorite color for a Living Room is Burnished Clay by Behr. It’s perfect: warm, rich and sophisticated.” — Kerry Vasquez
The Perfect Shade for: Kitchens
“White kitchens always: they are timeless, you could have one from the ‘70s, ‘80s ‘90s or today and they still look good.” — Mackenzie Madsen
“I am really excited about using Benjamin Moore Comet 1628 for kitchen cabinetry. It’s a soft grey-blue that is going to look really pretty with the wood floors and wooden beams.” — Cindy de Luzuriaga
“A cool, crisp white or a warm white like Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White, it lives nicely and isn’t distracting, which is great for a busy area like a kitchen.” — Ariel Okin
“I love Hale Navy on cabinets for a pop and White Dove on walls.” — Allice McMunn
Design by Pippa Lee, Photo by Sean Litchfield.
Design by Kate Banks, Photo by Sean Litchfield.
Color is only part of the battle. Here’s what our designers recommend when it comes to gloss, matte, and more.
“I love all finishes for different applications. I LOVE a high gloss ceiling or a matte chalky wall. It all depends on the mood you want to create for your client.” — Tali Roth
“I think trim always looks beautiful in a crisp, cool white, and causes the wall color to really pop nicely. Small spaces like powder rooms look fantastic in high gloss paint. When painting high gloss in a small space I like to also paint the ceiling to add a bit more dramatic flair.” — Ariel Okin
“Flat has been all the range in modern homes but it’s just impractical. I get so many complaints from new homeowners when they’ve finished moving into their formerly pristine home. Unless you wear gloves indoors, scuffs happen. Life happens! Go with the low luster sheen and enjoy your home.” — Barbie Palomino
“I always go as matte as possible, exceptions being ceilings and bathrooms which are always eggshell. High Gloss on trim or a built-in can add drama to spice up a space, but is best when used sparingly.” — Jill Shadek
“For kitchen cabinets, I prefer a semi or high-gloss as its easy to wipe down. Bathrooms, I prefer a semi-gloss as it stands up well to moisture. I am also loving experimenting with paint like wall finishes like lime wash, faux concrete, Venetian plaster and brushed suede.” — Pippa Lee
“I am a straightforward eggshell girl because it offers some washability without being too shiny. You can’t go wrong with eggshell.” — Amy Row
“Don’t paint small rooms that receive little or no natural light white!” — Crystal Sinclair
“As a wellness architect and healthy home designer, I worry less about colors and more about the actual paint. I always look for manufacturers that offer a No-VOC option like the water-based paints from Farrow & Ball, Benjamin Moore Natura range, Sherwin Williams Harmony indoor latex paint, Behr’s Premium Plus no VOC range, and Bauwerk who do an amazing lime wash paint which is all natural (they ship to the USA).” — Pippa Lee
“My favorite tip that I tell clients is, it is always worth it to buy samples of a few paint colors throw them up on the wall then move forward with the color.” — Mackenzie Madsen