80% of all paint sold in the UK is white, but that doesn't mean that all the shades are the same. White paints come in tones from soft warm to cool, to bright and stark but, naturally, not everyone wants a pure brilliant white as a backdrop to their home. What shades should you be using? We've put together a room-to-room guide to answer just that:


A north-facing room, for instance, will always have an inherently cool feeling – this is due to the colder northern light, so making the room feel warmer would require the use of a warmer, peachy white or perhaps one that's more shaded or stone-like.

Warm white north facing room
© MattSchia_

Bathrooms in particular benefit from this approach – as few will want a visually cold bathing or showering space – even the thought of it makes us shiver!

Warm white bathroom
© John Keeble

Kitchens allow for a freer rein – here you may indeed prefer a clean and clinical white, though a country kitchen would be more rustic in feel, so a straw-like creamy white would probably work too.

Crisp white kitchen
© Westend61

Living rooms and dining rooms, like kitchens, are open to a more personal interpretation to fit in with your existing furnishings and preferences, likes and dislikes. However, always bear in mind that north-facing rooms have cool daylight, south-facing are inherently warm and that east and west change significantly during the day from cooler to warmer, so check out where your largest windows are and then consider your choices based on these factors.

Crisp white dining room
© NelleG