A Bold New Color Choice For Me

Well, I did it. I painted the room white.

white walls

And the most shocking part?  It only took two coats!  And I didn’t use primer!

I used the same white that I’ve used on all of the doors, trim, board and batten in the living room and breakfast room, and the built-ins in the living room.  It’s also the same white that I used on the cabinets in the connected bathroom, and the faux wood slat walls in the other bathroom.  It’s a white called Polar Bear, and it’s a touch on the warm side.  (I hate whites that are so cold they look blue!)

So while this white is definitely present quite a bit in the condo, this is the first time I can remember ever painting the walls (without wainscoting) in a room solid white.

Now I know that some of you think I’ve just made the worst decorating decision of my life. (Okay, so that’s probably a bit too dramatic. 😀 It is, after all, just paint.)

But I kind of already had my heart set on trying white, just because it’s something that I probably won’t ever do in the house (or will I?), and I just wanted to try it out…once.

And you have to admit, it’s a lot cheerier (and blends better with the tile floor) than the black walls…

black walls

And just about any color in the spectrum would look better than baby poo brown…

brown walls

That picture seriously makes me cringe.

So…yeah.  White it is.

white walls

Aaaahhhhh…so fresh, so bright, so clean!!

Plus, I read all of your comments like “Kristi, don’t do it!” and “It won’t look right in the condo!” and “It’ll look out of place!” and “White just isn’t you!“…

And the more I read those comments, the more I was like…

challenge accepted barney stinson


I think it’ll work.  And really, all of that color that I love so much looks amazing against crisp white.  Like this…

White room with gray and turquoise accents

And this…

white room with orange accents

And this one…

White room with red and blue accents

(All photos via BHG.)

So I’m up for the challenge.  We’ll see if I can pull it off.  Maybe I can, or maybe some of you will end up saying “See?  I told you so!”  🙂  Either way, I’ll have fun trying.



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  1. Yay! I’m so glad you did it! I’m a lot like you when it comes to color. Lately, I’ve been getting the urge to try white. You may just be the source of my courage to do it.

  2. I don’t have any white walls in my house because I think it’s so boring, but I think you made a good choice and it’s made me kind of want to do it, too! Way to step out of your comfort zone!

  3. Haha, I freakin love Barney. I think white was a great choice and will be really fun to work with. I swore I would never have white walls because it just screams “rental!” (to me), but them I went ahead and painted my kitchen a dining room white…and I love it. It’s really freeing actually, and you can do whatever the heck you want with accessories…it all works with white!

  4. I love it! You can do so much with color in the accessories. I too have always covered my walls with color. I recently have been going pale pale pale almost white with my walls. I recently painted my bedroom walls a warm white (called innocent). My husband walked in and said who are you and what have you done with my wife! I painted my ceiling a pale robins egg blue and a love the soothing tranquil feeling it gives. It’s light, airy and open. I can change up the colors quick and easy with a change of a few throws and a can of spray paint.

  5. You’re brave! That is such a fresh, inviting, bright color, especially after the previous (& uninviting) poo color!

  6. This looks great! What was the name brand of the paint you used? To cover so well over that brown is amazing!

    1. I used Behr (from Home Depot), and I used just the regular paint, not the paint and primer in one. Every time I’ve used the paint and primer in one, I’ve been disappointed by the coverage, but the regular stuff never disappoints. Also, I used flat paint. Not sure if that has anything to do with the coverage, but I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite sheen.

  7. Haha! I didn’t comment on your previous post, but I was mentally cheering you on. I painted my daughter’s nursery white, and it has been a great backdrop for all sorts of super-fun colored accents. I have no doubt your end result will be fabulous. But then again, with the right white curtains, accents, and dressing, I bet you could have even made poop brown work!

  8. I’ve never been a fan of white walls. That’s, however, before they were done as they are now, with pops of bright color infused to bring some life in the room. I’ve seen white walls too often in homes because the owner was afraid of color on the walls and then would have just regular furniture/decor, not really design worthy. Their walls looked too sterile to me. I really love the examples you show; so fun. I LOVE Behr paint, however, I really am amazed that it covered those dark walls with just two coats and no primer. Very cool! Whether the white is you or not, doesn’t really matter. Soon it will be somebody else’s and in the meantime I’m sure you will make it look fabulous as you stage for selling. You have such a gift.

  9. I have painted every room in our house, most of them twice and always a color. The other day I was thinking how calming it would be to have white. I am even considering painting my kitchen cabinets white!!! Actually dreaming of it! Have all these years of color made me long for something white? Is this a sickness? Is it spreading? Lol! I love your crisp white walls!

  10. I LOVE it and I know you will too! I am going all white in the next house…I find that all the rooms on Pinterest that I am drawn to all have white walls – I think it makes the furnishings POP and stand out so much more…Can’t wait to see it finished!

  11. Wow! That certainly brightens up the room and it looks great with the contrasting tiles. Some pretty window treatments and a pop or two of color and you’ve got yourself a bright, clean, inviting bedroom. Well done.

  12. I just saw decal dots for walls on Houzz if you need some fun color and they are not permanent- I think your white with all your accent colors will be very fun-!!

  13. Wow, now that was fast!!! So glad you only had to use two coats of paint. You will be able to pull it off and we’ll all stand back and admire the finished look of a well appointed room!

  14. The right shade of white makes all the difference! We had a fresh coat in our our entire interior (except for the master, kitchen, laundry and bonus) before we put it on the market. In our little starter home, it freshened everything up. Didn’t hurt our agent staged it to POP…
    You could make anything look gorgeous!

  15. I love white. My life is crazy, four teenagers (and their friends) and a full-time plus job, and the house is always cluttered no matter how hard I try to clean it up. White soothes my soul, and I can decorate any way I want. I do agree, though, that a warmer white is preferable over the icy ones.

  16. Love it, especially with that bolt of fabric! You inspire me to tackle the dark red room I’m looking at right now. Thinking of Sherwin Williams Universal Khaki.

  17. I love flat paint for walls, it is so forgiving of any little imperfections in the drywall. I have to say, I really like the white walls, and I bet with bright colors in the draperies and furnishings, it will really look great.

  18. Well if you know me you know that I LOVE white.And I agree a warm white is much nicer than a cooler white.Which is why I chose a warm white for my walls.Best decision ever!!! White is the perfect background color to which you can add any colors to your home as in furniture and accessories…hey but you already
    knew that right!

  19. OOOrrrrr, get really really bold and add NO color at all!! All white on white decorating– wonder what you’d come up with!

  20. You’ve got a blank canvas, Kristi. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I know it will be great.

  21. White is a color to paint if you want to sell the condo. People see they walls see the
    walls as blank slate. Sometimes, I see white as the safest choice for those afraid of color.

  22. I am glad you saw the comments of others as a challenge (love that Challenge Accepted photo too!) White is THE classic neutral background; in light terms, it is the presence of all colors, and every color pops against white, as you demonstrated in photos again. A white background allows the items set in front of that background to take center stage; I always think about text and web pages when I consider a white background.

    Our home used to be a rental suite for my parents. It looked like a rental suite, but not because it was “white” like my dad used to say. It was a murky cream color. The ceiling, the trim, the walls were all beige. There was no contrast and this sort of vanilla over everything seemed to be the “white” of the time. Maybe that’s the design stereotype people have put on poor, defenseless white. Today, I stand up for white and every color that makes up white on the light spectrum. =D

  23. I almost laughed out loud. I’ve been reading your blog long enough to guess that all the “Don’t…” comments would wind up being a challenge. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

  24. I always have my bedroom walls painted white so that I can change the bedding, cushions, etc., several times per year!

  25. Goodness LOVE your choice… what a difference. All of our walls and quite a few furniture pieces are WHITE (even with four kids). It fills your space with fresh light and is the perfect backdrop to any season or colour choice for decorating. White doesn’t have to be boring. It must have felt quite different going from the darkest wall colour (black) to the lightest. Way to give it a go!

  26. Excellent! With your flair for picking the right accessories with just the right colors, this room can be awesome. White with bold accents – one of my fave looks.

  27. Wow great job! Must be really good paint, you don’t see a bit of the old color seeping through in the pics. As far as trying white in your new house, I say go for it, you can always add color as you go along. Cheers, Siggie

  28. That’s such an improvement! Over the brown, but even an improvement over the black.

    There’s a reason why white is the default, the standard, to such a degree that it’s boring: white is hardly ever the WRONG choice for a room. (Hardly ever the most interesting, either, but oh well.) In your case it’s delightfully practical: it brightens a small room and is nicely neutral for buyers. You’ll decorate it beautifully so that it “goes” with the rest of the condo.

  29. I Love the white! Nothing wrong with a white room….it’s a clean slate to add any color you want. Don’t get me wrong, because I love your condo, but I was beginning to wonder if the whole condo was done in teal and yellow, and how that was going to work for a new buyer.
    Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you put in the new white room. Happy Decorating!