Can I Paint My Walls White?

Don't worry -- I'll be taking this issue up with Sanders the Paint God very soon. But for now I'd like to know what you think: When is it ok to paint your walls white and when is it a bad idea? New House has fabulously high ceilings in the family room and big sexy windows, but it also faces North and is very shady.

cream paint white trim

I think I could even be happy with a warm cream -- something translucent but still palpably present.

Light colors in dark rooms -- yes or no?

The Perfect White?

So now that I have a fantasy house to help decorate, I've been busy as a bee collecting inspiration pictures and ideas for The Inlaws. Priority #1 is a complete kitchen overhaul, and I'm sure we'll discuss that ad nauseum later. For now I am preoccupying myself with determining an overall color palette for their house my vacation getaway. The space is not ginormous, but the ceilings are super high, it has tons of windows and it gets a lot of light. The floors are warm polished marble, like so:

The current neutral running throughout the house is not horrible, but it's a little too yellow (more yellow than this picture). The aqua walls have to go -- too cold and contemporary. The Inlaws have employed fairly traditional decor in the past, and I feel like my task will be to ever so gently nudge them toward clean lines with casual finishes. I'm headed for slightly more modern but still very comfortable (and hopefully with a splash of drama), as befits a super radical 70's pool house. They seem willing to go to there.

With that in mind, I'd like to solicit your ideas for the perfect white. The ideal candidate would stand 6'2", do dishes, and be sexy as hell. Or, you know, just look great on the walls. I have some ideas of my own, but I'd love to hear yours.

Help me out, peeps. Nothing too clinical or super ultra light. Something versatile and welcoming.

And... go!

The White Album

So far 2010 is shaping up to be craptacular. This does not bode well for the next 10 FREAKING YEARS, does it? Let's recap the already long list of stupid stuff that has happened in this very new year: the entire nation has been living in a subzero meat locker. The Hunny, Baby Ike and I, have been passing around a disgusting cold. I am on a no sleep plan, thanks to Ike's first tooth. Because I'm exhausted, every night I scarf down a bowl of ice cream with hot fudge about 3 seconds before I go to bed. The scale refuses to even register my weight in the morning -- it just laughs. Oh, and the cat puked on our rug in the middle of the night, for the 854th time this month. Aren't you jealous? Don't you wish you were me? SAY YOU WISH YOU WERE ME. Yeah, it could be a lot worse, but I don't really want to hear about context or perspective or any other gross thoughtful stuff today. Instead, I've been fantasizing about painting everything in my house white, and getting all white furniture, and all white accessories. It's my new happy place, where it's clean and fresh and everything matches, and there is no orange puke or chocolate sauce, and everybody sleeps all night long.

white bedroom

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. (Remodelista)

all white room

I used the google to find this, therefore I have no source info. What? You think I shouldn't occasionally resort to googling my post material? I don't have time to read blogs ALL day. Update -- thanks to Nicole for letting me know this room was designed by Alexander van Berge!

all white room

Is that sofa inflatable, or is it just me? (Per Ranung)

all white room

This room is so anti maximalist, but I am in sweet sweet love. Even the buildings across the way are white. (Francois Halard)

all white room

I don't know where this came from, and those clothes are really buggin, but hot damn! White just photographs so beautifully.

white bedroom

So. restful. can't. keep eyes open.

white bedroom

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Marie Claire Maison)

all white room

Om me padme hum a zoom zoom, just shake your rump! Uh, that's totally not where I meant to go with that. I just got a little overexcited thinking about all that white. (Living Etc)

all white room

Get out of my room, fugly brown boxes.

white room ugly

How not to do a white room. I want to punch that DREAM banner in the face and rip that stupid Z Gallerie pirate chandelier out of the ceiling. Repeat: this room bad. Bad white make Erin angry!

all white room

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Anger level receding. (Remodelista)

white bedroom

Um hmmmm. (Desire to Inspire)

white bedroom

Oh yeah. (From the Right Bank)

white room

Almost disqualified due to a preponderance of off white tones, but so pretty I couldn't help myself. Whatever. You can't stop me. I'm high on white. I'm unstoppable. (Style Files)

white bedroom

Pure as the driven snow... and the number one reason I can't actually have an all white house. (Ohdeedoh)

I think I'm actually feeling better, thank you very much, but now I'm seriously jonesing for more white crack. So tell me, smart, savvy decorating friends: do any of you have white walls? Do you like them? Does white highlight every imperfection -- like the dreaded wall cellulite -- or does it smooth over the ugly drama? Any particular colors, tips, etc? It seems like great architecture and serious windows are needed to go white, but I'm oh so tempted...