First of all I'd like to thank you and congratulate you on writing such an interesting ebook with lots of information and advise about undertones. I have a question about whites, does off white belong to the white family of colors? What color is cream? And which color family is it from? I'm guessing yellow?
So to answer this question, yes off-white belongs in the white family. Cream technically has a yellow undertone, like Vanilla Ice Cream, but if you want the appearance of cream without it looking too yellow, then you should chose one with a slight green undertone like OC-35 Spanish White which will only look green on the paint chip.
Someone in my Specify Colour with Confidence™ Training last week, asked if cream could have a pink undertone. The answer to this question is no. If you think you are looking at a pinky/cream, it's not cream, rather pink beige.
In a consultation yesterday, my client had 2" white faux wood blinds with oak windows. We were choosing a white to paint it all out but her medium toned, maple kitchen was staying. In this case I would chose a creamier trim colour, however if her white blinds were staying and we chose cream, that would look bad.
I suggested an off-white like OC-117 Simply White after I determined that her white blinds were very close to OC-65 Chantilly Lace. However, if we chose OC-38 Acadia white for her trim, it would definitely look like she had ordered the wrong blinds.
If you have glazed cabinets you basically have a beige cabinet, not a cream or white one. It's why this look was all the rage during the Tuscan brown trend when we decorated our homes with rich earth tones. Your trim colour should then be in the cream family so that it doesn't look stark and wrong.
Can you combine white, off-white and cream together?
Yes, as long as you repeat the whites and the creams like you would any other colour combination.
Here the black and white pillow jumps out because it's the whiter than any of the other off-whites and creams in this room.
Notice I am only showing soft furnishings that combine white, off-white and cream. Combining whites and creams with your hard finishes like floor tile, countertops, backsplash and cabinetry will generally not work unless the entire kitchen is a combination of whites and creams.
Just like the post I wrote about the right white with Carrara Marble, creamy whites are too yellow to coordinate.
And if you have a kitchen with countertops and/or flooring that is patterned, (not solid in other words–one colour) and there is no white or cream to be found anywhere? Well white or cream might not be the right colour for your kitchen.
Here's the guideline: You can combine white and off-white, cream and off-white, but going to the extreme and combining white and cream will mostly end up looking like you tried to coordinate the whites but failed.
If you have a question for an Ask Maria post, email me here.
Hey, my final exterior webinar of the season is happening Thursday, May 2 at 11:00 am PDT time. Here you'll get the skinny on which whites are best for exterior.
Sign up here.
The Best White for Carrara Marble
Should you Add a Glaze to your Painted Cabinets? Yay or Nay
Ask Maria: Will Cream look Dingy in my Dark Kitchen?
If you would like help choosing the right white for your house, become a client on-line or in-person.
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
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