6 Unique Reasons Why Walls Are White, and 3 Why Not


When you move into a new house or apartment, the walls are usually painted a plain color, mostly white. If you have ownership of the unit or if your lease agrees, you can choose to leave the walls as they are or make the house more your own by painting the walls with different colors. This luxury, however, is not available to most people since sometimes, your lease does not allow you to paint the walls.

There are a couple of reasons why people decide to go with a shade of white for their homes, the most common one being to make the space brighter as it captures the light.

Keep reading to find out more about why houses have white walls and some of the ways that you can use them to work for the good of your house decor.

Why people choose white walls?

Here are some of the top reasons that motivate tenants and homeowners to get white walls for their homes:

1. It widens the space

White walls give the house the ability to attract and reflect more light. This can help create the illusion of a larger and more open space. For this reason, white walls are commonly used in houses with open floor plans to give the area a sense of serenity.

2. Flexibility

Having plain white walls gives you a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to the house’s interior design. They are like a blank slate, and this gives you complete freedom to experiment with different colors.

You can put in cushions, rugs, and pillows of various colors and textures and switch them around until you find something that suits you best.

Having white walls also makes them perfect for displaying art. Just like in museums, solid non-hue colors are used on the walls to focus all the attention on the piece of art.

3. Improves the lighting

Lighting is one of the key factors that decide whether your house will achieve the design styles you wish to bring to life. When sunlight shines into your room, white walls will make the room brighter since they reflect most of that sunlight while maintaining a cool atmosphere.

4. Easy maintenance

Taking care of a house with white-colored walls gives the homeowner or the landlord an easier time when it comes to maintenance and care.

This is because, when it is time to repaint the walls, you do not have to go through the tiresome task of painting over all the panels. You will just have to do a couple of touch-ups once every couple of years.

5. White is stylish

With white walls, you can achieve multiple stylish looks in your house, whether you are going for a minimalist or maximalist design. The color can pair with whatever color patterns and textures you decide to use.

This color also beautifully accentuates your house’s structural elements. If your house has an eye-catching structural build such as paneling, pillars, and distinct textures on the walls, white is the best color to use to show them off.

6. Cheaper

White paint is more affordable than the other paint colors. If you are looking to save some coin on the cost of decorating or remodeling your house, then this is a color you should consider. Besides, there are tons of other benefits that come with white walls.

Why shouldn’t I paint the walls white?

Although there are plenty of perks associated with white walls, some people tend to shy away from the color. Here are a couple of reasons why individuals would not want to paint their walls white:

1. It is boring

Some say that plain white is a bland and boring color and that it may suck the life out of the house. If you choose white walls, it is essential that you also put in more color, patterns, and texture. 

The selections you make need not be of bright carnival colors and loud patterns because even subtle colors will pop against a white wall.

2. High maintenance

With white walls, everyone can see areas that are constantly touched, such as near the light switches. Children and pets also make their fair share of messes and they are amplified even more on a white wall. This will have you cleaning walls and doing touch-ups more often than not. 

3. You need the right shade

If you gt the wrong white for your house, you might be in for a disaster. Rooms receive different types of light depending on where the windows are facing. If you are unaware of this fact, you may choose the wrong shade. 

The result is usually a room that looks too cold and uninviting or one that is too bright and blinding.

What you need to know before you paint your walls white

If you decide to paint your walls white, there are a couple of things you will need to keep in mind so that your white walls do not ruin the decor of the entire room.

1. There are many shades of white

Going in, many people assume that all shades of white are the same. However, this is not the case. White paints usually have undertones of red, blue, yellow, and sometimes, green. 

To know which undertones are in a shade, you should hold the samples against a sheet of white paper. 

White paints can be put into three categories, warm-toned, cool-toned, and gallery whites. 

2. Consider the natural light

The direction from which the light enters your room and the quantity of light play a part in how your room will look if it is painted in white. This color reflects a lot more light than it absorbs so you should choose a shade of white that has some undertones of color in it. This will prevent the room from looking blindingly bright.

To know what shades of white to use, you need to know what direction the room faces:

  • West-facing rooms get the most light in the midday. If you want to use the room in the morning, you should go for warm-toned shades to balance out the gray. If you will use the room in the afternoons, go for cool undertones to balance out the brightness.
  • North-facing rooms never receive full light. This results in them having a grayish tone that makes them feel flat and boring. To prevent this, opt for shades with a warm base.
  • East-facing rooms receive most of the light early in the morning. This gives it a soft glow that looks beautiful with any shade of white so you have free choice. If you use the room in the evening, you should choose a warm-toned shade to balance the gray, shadowy light.
  • South-facing rooms get natural sunlight throughout the day. This makes decoration a lot easier since you only have to make a decision based on the times you want to use the room. if you receive a lot of natural light, get a cool-toned shade and if you have small windows, you should get a warm-toned white to make the room brighter.

3. Get lots of options

Painting your house in white can go south pretty fast if you don’t have the right color. This can be prevented by getting plenty of options and then choosing the best ones. Start by choosing around twelve different paint swatches. You can then look at these paint swatches under both natural and artificial light at home then make your decision.

4. Use quality materials

If you are painting over a wall that had colorful paint before, you should invest in a quality primer. This will help cover all traces of the previous color and let your white paint brightly show its undertones.

You should also buy quality paints. Spending a little extra is better than staring at your walls and hating the color that they take. Also, using quality paint enforces the integrity of your walls and prevents them from cracking.

5. Consider the outside

In addition to the natural light and how it gets into the house, the surroundings outside also affect the way it looks. If you have plenty of vegetation outside, your walls will likely reflect the green.

Depending on your surrounding, you should choose a shade with an undertone that balances it out.

6. Decoration is essential

When working with one color, it is easy for the space to look boring. This is still the case with white. The room also risks looking surgical and sterile. To prevent this from happening, you should use different-textured decorations in your room. Invest in different curtains, floor rugs, and throw pillows.

You could also use an accent wall to give a predominantly white space a splash of color to break the monotony. If you go for this option, choose an accent color that matches the undertones of the shade of white on your walls.

Final thoughts

Whether or not you decide to get white walls for your house, I hope this article has shown you why they are so popular and that the tips provided will help you achieve your goal of living in a beautiful white space.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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