Vancouver Colour Consultant: The Best White for Carrara Marble

Since Carrara Marble is so trendy right now, I thought it would help to write a post on which whites work the best with it for your white kitchen or bathroom.


Carrara Marble will look the best with a plain white like BM OC-65 Chantilly Lace or Behr Snow Fall WF600 (below) or even a white with a blue undertone like Behr 790C-1 or Dulux White Wing 50GY 83/010.

If you are choosing a standard white from a cabinet manufacturer, just make sure they are close to any of the above and your cabinets will look great.


If you want your cabinets to relate to the countertops I would not recommend Cloud White because it's way too creamy looking next to it.

Carrara has quite an overall blue-gray undertone which will look cold and wrong if you get the white wrong.

There's nothing wrong with choosing an off-white or cream to go with Carrara, you just need to be prepared to repeat it, like in this kitchen with the wallpaper. Or on the walls like in this bathroom (below).

Keep in mind, if you haven't "repeated" it and it doesn't perfectly match, you might not even think about it or notice it. Some people (like me) are simply more sensitive to all the varying tones  so if this applies to you, then keep reading.

Giannetti Home (source)

This is BM 1558 Fieldstone or Behr 790D4. When I first saw this kitchen and heard the all the buzz about it, I pulled out my deck and was shocked at how green it looked all by itself (because it's a blue/green). Compare it to 1656 (something bluer) and it's definitely green, but if you compare it to green 509, suddenly it looks really blue.

When I consult with my clients, the way that I lead them to the right colour is ALWAYS by comparing to other colours. If you look at a colour all by itself without context it's almost impossible to make a decision that way. If you are just learning how to find the right colours for your clients, having my large colour samples is an absolute necessity. All the whites I'm talking about in this post are in the collection.


And as nothing brings gray to life faster than clean fresh colours, painting your cabinets a happy colour over simply a white will look amazing with Carrara countertops.  Here's a pale yellow one, it's BM Light Khaki or Behr Cream Silk 370E-2.


In general if you go past all the whites and choose a "colour" to go with Carrara then it will simply read white and no longer like a "blue-gray." It's when you are dealing with "whites" that you'll be visually comparing the gray of the countertops with the white or cream you have chosen for the cabinets.

Download my eBook, It's All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

Colour is Context

The Truth about Cloud White

What Everyone Should know About Gray

The Difference Between an Experienced Colourist and a Novice

Carrara Marble for your Kitchen; Yay or Nay?

39 Responses to Vancouver Colour Consultant: The Best White for Carrara Marble

  1. Marlo says:

    Excellent post Maria and one I will keep in mind when I get my dream kitchen one day.

  2. Joni Webb says:

    maria – the top two kitchens aren't carrara – they are prob calacutta ora – which has a goldish vein to it. sallys kitchn is statuary marble. not sure about brooke's bathroom.

    btw – we used two colors in my neice's house from your package and it looks fabulous!!!!!!! i will send pics when i get thm.

  3. Charlotte Owendyk says:

    Great post…good to know since I have just started thinking about renovating my master bath and I see so many carrara marble baths. Nice to know the different approaches that color provides.

  4. Nat says:

    Maria, your blog and consultation for my mother's house have changed me. I am in the process of renovating my kitchen and I now can see undertones… who knew. Does the same principle apply to calacatta marble? I find calacatta sort of whiter than the carrara

  5. Donna Frasca says:

    Great point about white being so white it's looks blue/gray. Soft/off whites do the trick. I think the same applies to white in TV commercials when filming milk commercials. They need to alter the white so it doesn't appear blue. Isn't color just crazy sometimes?

    Light Khaki is a great color and looks amazing with marble.

  6. JC says:

    I'd like to chime in that most of the photos chosen for this post (especially the first two images) are of Calacatta Gold, not Carrera. Carrera nowadays (with emphasis on nowadays) are much more grey, and when compared against Calacatta; each has a very different background color, the former dirty white vs creamy white in the latter. In any event, marble naming is a funny business, but 9 out of 10 times, you walk into a slab yard showing the photos above, they'll take you to the Calacatta section. also you'll be able to tell the difference by the price premium between the two as well

  7. Shelley says:

    I like the idea of light khaki with marble – like Donna says. What Benjamin Moore color comes closest to
    FARROW & BALL LONDON STONE 6-? Anyone know?
    Or any suggestions as to a warm taupey grey to go with carrara marble?

  8. Love love that Light Khaki kitchen. Amazing about lighting and context. That is the color of my kitchen walls and it always reads green, never yellow. Great post about the whites. You just gave some mighty powerful free advice. I just wish I had the marble to take it!! :). Have a great week.

  9. Leigh says:

    Sally Wheat's kitchen you featured is not the color Fieldstone. She actually used Linen Weave by Martin Senour paints (now discontinued). When giving out advice to your readers make sure to double check your information.

    • Lorna Perkins says:

      Hi Leigh.
      Re: your comments that Sally Fieldstone's kitchen is not Fielstone…this has been a widely published article and extremely popular kitchen…ALWAYS with the information that it is Fieldstone. Do you have the source of your information for being Linen Weave?


  10. shahnaz says:

    Wow !!!!

  11. Maggie says:

    When you refer to 1558 Fieldstone and 1656 and 509, what paint company deck are you using?

  12. Kelly says:

    Maria, I always value your posts. So practical and helpful! I have spent hours on your blog, just trying to soak up some of the knowledge.

    We are mid-way through a build and my kitchen is planned as SW Snowbound on surround cabinets, and BM Fieldstone (which you referenced above) on my island. Carrara countertops throughout. I know your expertise does not come free… so can I just say if you think I am making a terrible mistake- please comment and stop me?! Ha! I have spent hours with the SW whites trying to find the right one.

    Thanks for what you do.

  13. Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

    Hi Leigh,
    Joni from Cote de Texas was the first to post about Sally Wheat's kitchen, here it is with the colour:
    Regardless of whether I have shown all Carrara Marble photos or not as it is hard to distinguish on the web, my advice about which white is right is based on actual Carrara samples.

  14. Hi Maria,
    I've specified Fieldstone several times, and it looks different in every setting. Never seen it look like that kitchen, but it sure is beautiful! I wish I had some Carrera marble in my bathroom . . .

  15. Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

    Hi Maggie,
    Fieldstone is from the Benjamin moore Classic deck in the US. Maria

  16. pretty pink tulips says:

    This is SO helpful!!! I just chose a Carerra countertop for a small sink in an upstairs powder bath. I'll just save the paint colors for when we're ready to paint the walls!

    And, I love neutral tiles. I did one in my kitchen and I'm still thrilled with it.

    Happy Tuesday!

  17. Jennifer Johnson says:

    We used decorator white since everything else didn't look right to me. I really don't like creamy white cabinets with carrara (and I have true carrara with lots of grey, which I love). Did the island in a grey paint to show it off!! Thanks Maria, your advice for me has always been spot-on!!! (And I get lots of compliments on my kitchen!)

    if you want to view it it is at:

  18. trish Berns says:

    I thought about going white, but had so much marble in the room I went with BM intellectual gray. Rich, soft, beautiful. I have white moulding, but it was a custom color. A kind of soft white with a very slight gray undertone..

  19. trish Berns says:

    I put BM intellectual Gray with carrera counter tops, and cherry cabinets. Lots of white trim. It is the most beautiful room in my house. People come over and want to see my bathroom. The heated porcelain tile that looks like carrera is so warm, and beautiful. I was a little nervous about mixing the real thing with man made, but I think the separation of cherry cabinets makes it work. It is all beautiful!

  20. Hello Maria! I like to look at Swedish interiors for grayer whites that go well with Marble. The creamy whites just contrast so much!

    Also, any posts on grout color for marble? Subway tile is so popular and the grout color makes all the difference…


    • What a great article on marble!
      In response to which grout color to use with white subway tile and /or carrera marble tile, we have successfully used CBP (Custom Building Products) 'Snow White #11' and 'Oyster Gray #386'. The oyster gray grout looks soft and defines the tile pattern without being harsh. Looks especially nice with white hex floor tile in a bath.
      Be careful though with Carrera marble and oyster gray grout because the Carrera marble can be very blue/gray. In that case the oyster gray might be too warm to use. Of course, always best to check grout color samples with the tile or marble you're actually using. Best regards! Julie

  21. Stephanie says:

    Maria, Are you familiar with Cambria quartz Torquay? It looks like white marble with grey veining. I have SW Extra White(02) with raw umber for woodwork. I am not sure I want this white on cabinets. I have white appliances and BM Simply White looks too creamy. Torquay will be on countertops and island. Island will have light maple decor/faux doors. I would appreciate a suggestion for white paint on cabinets. Thanks for help.

    • Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

      Torquay is an off white countertop for sure, I'm surprised Simply White looks too creamy next to it because I didn't think so, maybe it's different where you are. Maria

  22. Laura says:

    Hi Maria,

    Lets say I do chantilly lace as my cabinet color with Carrera countertops for the kitchen, does that mean I have to do all of my trim throughout the house in chantilly lace? Are you supposed to have the same trim color throughout your house or do you change it in each room depending on what color you paint the walls? Thanks!

  23. Marianne says:

    Hi Maria,
    Could you address the white trim throughout the house issue? I had one designer recommend Navajo white when I did the bathrooms; now I am doing the kitchen and another designer says to use atrium white. I see yellow and pink.
    Thanks…love your blog.

  24. Sophie says:

    We are putting carrara marble in our kitchen, so (with advice from your post) we had the cabinets painted in BM Chantilly Lace. So, as you say, we're painting the trim and doors, etc. all Chantilly Lace to match the fixed white in the house. My question is . . . The kitchen has very little wall bare wall left after the cabinets, but the entire first floor (kitchen, living room, dining room) is open concept. I want to keep the walls white. What white goes with carrara marble counters and island and Chantilly Lace cabinets, trim, doors, etc. I welcome any advice, please!
    Love your blog!
    Thanks :)

    • Mindy says:

      I would love to know what white you used for your walls…we have the same design elements and need to find a white for the walls throughout the house…we are deciding on white for cabinets now–do you love the chantilly lace? thanks!

  25. Pingback: Kitchen Conundrum in Gray | A Story about a Home

  26. Kellie says:

    Hi Maria! We're building a house and need to pick our finishes up front. My dream for the kitchen is to have white cabinets, a white counter, a carrara subway tile backsplash, and a medium brown wood floor. The downstairs is a pretty open floor plan. I'd have the woodfloors throughout, and I'd like the main living area to have gray walls and white trim, with other colors as accents, and other colors brought in other rooms. I love this post about what whites work well with Carrara, but do you have any tips on what grays work well? I want it to feel open and serene, but obviously not too cold. Any help? Thanks!!

  27. Brooke Stebbins says:

    We have an open concept, using Calacutta (not gold) on the island and something black on perimeter, either soapstone or honed black absolute (maybe leathered). We have natural hardwood floors and stainless appliances. Will likely do a ceramic white subway tile for backsplash. Please help me choose between BM Super White or BM Chantilly White.
    Thank you!

    • Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

      Calcutta is not a white/white marble but maybe the one you're looking at is. Paint up the whites on a big sample, and plunk your sample down on top of it, if they look like they should be married, that's the one. Maria

  28. Brooke Stebbins says:

    Following up, What BM white would you recommend for cabinets in a calacutta island kitchen? Thank you

  29. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this post! I'm doing carrara marble and white cabinets, but I'd also like to do white walls throughout the house.

    Do you think the chantilly lace will work for the whole house? If not, is there another white I should try for both the kitchen cabinets and rest of house?

    Thank you!

  30. Linda Ferris says:

    The first 3 pictures are Calacatta not Carrara, .. they have the dramatic, large solid veins and creamy white background. .. Carrara has mostly thinner, more spotted veining, with a cool grayish white background. Calacatta is much pricier (2 – 3 times the price). Both Calacatta and Carrara look great with BM's "Super White" paint. It's a brighter, warmish white, and complements Calacatta, and brings out the beauty in Carrara. I have Calacatta in the Kitchen and Carrara in the Bath… both with BM Super White wood cabinets and wood trim. Super White also compliments any wall paint color!

  31. Esther Davis says:

    The only white option our cabinet maker had available was Navajo white. Would you recommend pairing this white with Carreras marble? I'm really afraid the cabinets will look dingy next to the marble? I would appreciate any advice you could share.

    • Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

      Benjamin Moore Navajo White? Absolutely not. Unless your repeating cream in your kitchen, on the walls, backsplash, etc.

  32. Mary Rose says:

    Hi Maria

    My kitchen great room has Calacatta fireplace and kitchen back splash. Cabinets are dark walnut. Problem is that the room is quite dim. What paint colour would you suggest?

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