color theory – best whites

Probably the single most challenging decision for any interior design project is choosing the perfect paint colors. We’ll share all our favorite paint colors with you on an on-going basis in our Color Theory feature.

Below is a selection of foolproof Benjamin Moore WHITES and OFF-WHITES.

1. Ivory White (925): Best all-purpose for trim and cabinetry. Suzanne painted her living room mantlepiece with it.

2. White Dove (I-06): Excellent trim color for anywhere.

3. Decorator’s White (1-04): The perfect ceiling color that goes with just about any wall color.

4. Atrium White (I-79): Favorite all-purpose for walls.

5. Acadia White (OC-38): Suzanne’s living room is this color. It has a touch of pink in it, very warm.

6. Elephant Tusk (OC-8): Chic beige to give old wood furniture a quick face-lift.


  • kim

    ok, so i’ll cast my vote (again) for pale oak…it’s listed on the ‘card’ you picture, though it’s not one of the colors mentioned below the card. in my loft (which gets the western light), i decided (at the suggestion of a friend) to go for the darker of the whites on the card, and pale oak has been perfect. i tested, at the same time, white dove (loved it, loved it, but i wanted something a bit darker) and dove wing. dove wing, in the light that hit my walls, gave a SLIGHT greenish cast that was not bad, just not what i was wanting. i wanted a putty/grayish-taupe cast to my ‘white’ and i got just what i wanted in pale oak. love white dove, too, though, for certain applications. probably should have put white dove on my loft’s ceiling, but it’s Ben Moore Simply White. stands out nicely from the Pale Oak.

  • lynda Diamond

    Thanks for the tips. I find that the Farrow and Ball whites are the best. The Cornforth White is the most beautiful french grey. And the Blackened is another great whitish grey classic color. Great for walls, or Cabinets. Fab with Yellow. My 2 standards are Pointing (the color of true old English liming), and White Tie, which is the perfect creamy white/off white. And the perfect Taupe next to B. Moore Smokey Taupe (color of Belgian Linen…almost exactly)…..is Farrow and Ball’s Elephant’s Breath. Great name, huh???