Warm white, cool white, or colour combinations of both? Discover when to paint warm and cool whites, and how to mix them for an elegantly understated look.

The perfect white for your home decor

Discover when and how to use warm and cool whites.

When to use warm whites

If you want to create a welcoming atmosphere, choose warm whites that have a little red or yellow in them. These hues create a soft and relaxing atmosphere, so ideal for bedroom and living room decor ideas. As warm whites reflect light well, they are also good to use in south-facing rooms, which often have less natural light than north-facing rooms.

When to use cool whites

Cool whites have blue, grey or green undertones, making them look crisp and clean. For a serene, contemporary home decor, try using cool whites to create strong silhouettes and sharp lines. You’ll find that they also do a great job of showing off striking accessories and artwork.

A cool white colour palette is useful for small rooms, because it has the effect of making walls recede and so a space looks bigger. Cool whites also neutralise bright light, so work well in rooms that get a lot of sun, particularly in north and west-facing rooms.

Mix whites for a sophisticated interior design

If you’re feeling adventurous, have a go at colour combinations of warm and cool whites. Here, cool white walls and a warm white ceiling, floor and table create the perfect backdrop for ornate furniture, striking accessories and a beautiful rug. This creates a classic scheme that surprises in its sophisticated simplicity.