So, I'm in the middle of painting pretty much every single wall in our new home. Room by room, wall by wall and bit by bit. Turning walls from various shades of magnolia, pale khaki and mint green into stark white backdrops. Every single wall is being painted white. Yes, pure, brilliant white. Nothing more fancy. A blank canvas if you will.
It is then, whilst painting and simultaneously admiring my fresh-looking walls that I started to think that I have lost count of the amount of times I've read articles where some interiors expert, interior designer or similar advises people to go "warm off white" because of the grey UK skies. Cream? Almond? Buttermilk? Sorry, no. Just no. Those are (and of course that's just my own humble opinion) the colours used by developers when looking for a cheap solution to make a new and badly built house without any personality look "homely" and "welcoming". It's the 90s option of playing it safe and trying to blend in. It's the kind of advice given by designers on daytime tv programs. Accessible and safe for all those poor souls who apparently just wouldn't know how to paint their own walls if it wasn't for that expert advice.
I've also lost count of the amount of comments on interiors websites about white walls. Often white interiors are being called boring, somebody is trying to be too cool or too safe, the owner is obviously too insecure to choose a "proper" colour or too minimalist and therefore a fashion victim and many other things along those lines. Basically it's a lose-lose situation. But what if somebody (yes, that includes me) simply happens to like white walls without being a minimalist or mimicking a trend and has deliberately taken the decision to paint the walls this colour? Not out of indecisiveness but for very clear and thought through reasons. Just like some people happen to love very dark walls. I know very dark walls look absolutely fantastic in small as well as large rooms and it's a look I greatly admire - in other people's homes - but it's just not for me. Light grey used to be my go-to colour, no darker.
So now I've even moved on from said light grey and I'm painting all my walls white. Our living / dining room as well as our bedroom are south-facing which means, when the sun does shine, they're beautifully lit. When it's grey outside my walls look light grey which I happen to like. In the evenings, when we have the fire on (and with my penchant for fairy lights and candles), the white stops the room from looking too gloomy. White for me is the perfect backdrop: unintrusive, elegant without being old fashioned or stuffy, fresh without being shouty. With new colours being hailed as "the colour of the moment" or "colour of the year" all the time, I like to keep things classic and timeless like a little black dress. My walls are not supposed to be a fashion statement and I have no intention of changing them with every new season trend. A white wall is like a blank canvas. One onto which I can "paint" my furniture, plants, accessories and art. I don't want my walls to compete with all the other elements I have in a room. I want each piece - that is there for a good reason - to stand out. I like the contrast of green plants, small accessories, black window frames and wooden floors against the stark white walls. The idea of "warm" white as a backdrop in combination with old, natural wood floors makes me shudder. Admittedly it doesn't help that I don't like anything with a yellow undertone.
In a sense I apply the same philosophy to my home that I apply to my wardrobe: keep the overall outfit simple and of good quality and upgrade or change the look with accessories if needed. I don't want to stand out due to my outfit, but want to be able to relax in it and then engage with people on a personal level. The same goes for my home: I don't want to feel overwhelmed by it the moment I step in (and neither do I want guests to feel that way), but feel relaxed and be able to enjoy all those small things that make my home personal. I also believe that despite being anything but a minimalist, having white walls gives the whole room a less cluttered look. It's not even that I actually have masses and masses of clutter (though some people might disagree) and everything has its place, but I know that adding colour to the walls would make the room look far less calm.
So there you have it. My very personal reasons why I'm painting my home pure brilliant white. I know it's not for everybody and I know that there will always be some expert telling me that I'm wrong, but in the end even the experts are acting on what they believe to be "good taste" or style and this is not only my take on it, but also my very personal choice.