Leave it to Leanne Ford to make you question everything you thought you knew about white paint. The Restored By The Fords star is known for her "wear black, paint white" approach to design, making it her unofficial mission to show people that white isn't boring. And white paint isn't just white paint. There are undertones to it—nuance, if you will—and the shade and finish you use can have a huge impact on your home.
"To me, white is the silence between chords," Leanne says, explaining that she's drawn to the way it helps her break away from the constant stimulation of the world around us (including our ever-present, ever-buzzing, notifying, and chirping cell phones).
Still, finding that perfect shade for the vibe you're going for can be tricky—especially when staring at wall after wall of swatches at home improvement stores. The HGTV star recently took matters into her own hands, working with fellow Pittsburgh-proud brand PPG to develop three flawless white paint palettes, which she says will work with whatever look you're going for.
"At first glance, all three colors are close to each other, but when you spread one of these colors out on a huge wall, it evolves and changes," Leanne says. The subtle tints stand out, which is why the star gave us some cues on what to look for, based on your style.
If You're Into Cool, Earthy Tones:
You need to try White On White. Blues, greens, and any nature-inspired shades pair well with this paint, which has cool undertones. To keep the room from skewing too chill, warm things up with a few wood tones and mixed-metal finishes, Leanne suggests.
White On White, $37/gallon, Home Depot
If You're Into Warm, Bohemian Shades:
Go for Natural White. With its warmer undertones, this shade helps create that cozy feel in a room—and it pairs well with many of the sienna and clay color trends that have been emerging in the U.S. and abroad, at Maison & Objet in Paris. Leanne says a warmer white is a strong complement to pieces with character and history, like worn woods and vintage artwork. That and a little dimmable lighting, to set the mood, and you're all set to hygge away the winter.
Natural White, $37/gallon, Home Depot
If You're More Into Modern Looks:
Pure White was made for you. Leanne actually modeled this bright, true white shade after her own wardrobe—and her years as a fashion stylist. It's as crisp as a classic buttondown shirt, making it great for timeless looks—and for sleek, modern decor. "It's like a navy-and-white striped shirt," she says, pointing out some of her favorite shades to pair with it; largely neutrals, with subtle winks of color thrown in.
There are grays (ranging from a worn, Grey Tabby, to a dark, gunmetal), linen, twine, and sandy hues, navy, and black. And the quietest hint of blush, a shade called Delightful Pink.
Pure White, $37/gallon, Home Depot
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