SHOP GRAY MALIN

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Interiors

Tips & Tricks: If You Love Bright Colors, Paint Your Walls White

Let us start by saying that if we’ve learned anything over the course of our careers working with Gray, it’s that we are extreme lovers of bold and beautiful color. From the dotted sands of the Amalfi Coast to beaches down under, how can we not? Well, we learned a little design secret from our expert contributor Daniela Malca Benloulou recently, and let us just say—it’s making our space as stylish as can be, and our brights brighter than ever. But before we give it away, let’s turn things over to Daniela for all the details…

I am a lover of all things bright. Walking into a grey or beige room depresses me. I always gravitate to colorful pillows and home accessories. Here’s the thing, though—when you pile colorful accessories into a room with colored walls, it’s a bit overwhelming. The visual interest from the home accessories gets totally lost and absorbed into the intensity of the walls. It’s as if the walls are quicksand, sinking your beautiful pillows into a rainbow abyss. For this reason, I recommend painting walls white to people who love color. That’s right: good old white!

With white walls, you are able to have teal velvet chairs and hot pink pillows and your eyes won’t burst. With white walls, you can have art of any color, as well as any combination of colors. White walls are the ultimate tabula rasa, enabling you to decorate as you choose, with as many different colors as you desire.

Now what if I only love one color? 

If you really just love red, for instance, it’s okay to paint your walls a neutral “greige” and have red furniture, accessories, or flowers. Or perhaps if you really love blue with hints of yellow, your walls don’t need to be white. BUT if you are trying to balance a variety of colors in one room, my recommendation is to keep the walls white. In doing this, it is also important to strike that balance by dispersing your pops of color around the space. Don’t have all your color in one corner or along one wall, while the other side of the room yawns with boring neutrals.

But what if I’m just trying to highlight one killer piece? 

Let’s say you’re not even that passionate about colors, but you have one awesome piece that you want to highlight, like a great rug or a beloved art piece (like your fave Gray Malin photograph!). My dining room consists of a white Saarinen table, ghost chairs, and white walls, but the teal rug makes the space interesting. Only having one color in my dining room gives me freedom to set the table with whichever colors I wish. I’ve done beautiful tablescapes in emeralds, pinks, black and white, gold… you name it. Having those white walls are perfect for mixing things up as I please.

Okay, give me the deets. What paint do I buy? 

If you’ve never hunted for that perfect white paint before, then you’re probably thinking, white is white… right? But in reality, not all white paints are created equal. My personal favorite shade of white—the one I suggest to practically all of my clients—is Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace.” It’s crisp, bright, refreshing, and works well with décor of any color. When applicable, a simple bright white works great for trim, baseboards, or other architectural details. My love affair with “Chantilly Lace” goes back many years, many homes, and many styles—traditional, modern, Spanish revival, mid-century modern, etc. It is truly the perfect shade of white.

So, paint your walls white, roll out that fabulous colorful tribal rug you got on your travels, hang the Gray Malin art you want to show off, throw in some coordinating vases, pillows, and books… and see how it all comes together!

Done and done! Thanks again to Daniela for reintroducing us to our love of white walls. Trust us, if you haven’t played up those white walls yet, it’s never too late. (Or in other words, what are you waiting for?!)

You can see more from Daniela by visiting her website and following her on Instagram.

Until next time,

Xx Team GM

Photos: Amy Bartlam

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