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"Warm" Mediterranean white paint color for interior?

6 years ago

Hello all,


After a long, dramatic house hunt, my husband and I are finally set to close on our first SFH this Monday. I am looking to give the place a bit of a contemporary Mediterranean flair, and so I want to repaint the walls that nice, warm, creamy white color you always see in those hacienda-inspired photos. I bought paint samples for Elmira White (apparently an internet favorite), navajo white, and sail cloth (all by Benjamin Moore). I painted these colors onto a postcard and I am not sure if I like them. The Elmira White seems dark beige, the sailcloth registers a bit too gray, and the navajo white seems kind of yellow. I am sure they will look different on the walls of the house itself, so I can't discount them entirely yet, but I feel like maybe they are not quite what I was looking for?


Another consideration is that this house is in Chicagoland, which means long, dark winters. Furthermore, the kitchen is north facing, so a lot of dim, gray-blue light is to be expected there throughout the year. I feel like I need a warm, happy color to counteract this effect.


I guess what I had in mind was something like this paint color? The undertone might be a bit beige, but where the light hits it it doesn't look SO super beige, like the Elmira does to my eye.


Does anyone have any good suggestions for a paint color that might help capture my vision? Thanks in advance for your help! I have a feeling I will be back on this forum with more home decorating questions. :)

Comments (34)

  • 6 years ago

    I am on this same hunt right now. Here are some I am looking at: Farrow and Ball "Tallow", SW "Creamy", BM "Mascarpone" and "Mayonnaise". In my space I'm really noticing that although the colors appear yellow on the sample (even the 11X17 sample card I'm using to tape on the walls to get a feel for things), that when painted on the walls, the colors just all look WHITE. (Guess that's why they're called "whites", haha).

    Also there are some threads on here discussing the off-whites, which I have read through and am still getting lots of ideas. Fan decks can really help to see which color family you're looking at.



    Elana thanked Mrs. S
  • PRO
    6 years ago

    Hello Elana, Choosing color can be challenging. I understand what you are talking about in the Chicagoland area as I live here too and days like today need some happy walls! The Navajo White looks nice on the walls and I believe with the slight yellow undertone would give a nice warm environment. Things to consider when choosing a color is not only the North facing windows, but your lighting in the room, color of your furniture or kitchen cabinets, flooring and fabrics. Wall color appears different in a room or even on each wall depending on the lighting both natural and artificial.

    Elana thanked KCR Interiors LLC
  • 6 years ago

    Color is just one of those things that is so particular to a space because so many other things impact how it looks and can throw it off. Example, I have a bathroom where everything looks great until a certain time in the afternoon when the late setting sun goes through a frosted window and puts a yellow caste on the tile for about 2 hours. So I would say stick with the classic colors that have been around, they have been around for a reason and that is because they usually work. Navajo White is certainly a classic. And then try things in your particular space at different times of the day/season.

    Elana thanked cpaul1
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I saw a suggestion elsewhere for String Cheese M260-1 by Behr. I know Behr gets a lot of bad press, but the color looks good (on my monitor at least) and I am not opposed to saving some money... Does anyone have experience with this paint? And if Behr is just untenable, what would be the best Benjamin Moore equivalent?

  • 6 years ago

    What about SW Dover White? It’s what my house is painted and it is way too creamy for me. Here you can see it in the background against my white cabinets.

    Elana thanked mommyniki
  • 6 years ago

    @mommyniki, that looks very nice to me in your picture. :) However, when I look at the online swatch, it looks like that color might be a bit darker than I'd like. It seems like your kitchen might be a bit brighter and sunnier than I expect mine to be as well, so it might come out even darker for me.

  • 6 years ago

    Elana, do look at Ben Moore's Navajo White as suggested. It seems to have more appeal to me than Sherwin Wms' Navajo White. Maybe due to just a bit less color.

  • 6 years ago

    Farrow and Ball Pointing.

    Elana thanked Patrick Blackmon (8a)
  • 6 years ago

    @chloebud, the Benjamin Moore Navajo White is one of the samples that I mentioned, but it looks a bit yellow to me. Maybe I will like it better once it is on the wall. One of the other things that is turning me off from it is that my mom says that is the exact color her house used to be, and she repainted, so must not have loved it too much. I remember it, but neither fondly nor with disgust - it was just another "white wall" at the time, before this decision landed at my feet. :)

  • 6 years ago

    I used Sw creamy in our house and it is a warm white and I am pleased with it. But you might also want to look at SW alabaster which has less yellow. BM Navaho is also a favorite of mine but can show more yellow in certain light. Look at alabaster.

    Elana thanked maureen214
  • 6 years ago

    Elana, I know choosing the right warm white can be hard, especially since much depends on lighting in your home. Maureen mentioned Alabaster that can be another nice one.

    This link might help, although it includes Navajo White.

    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/the-best-cream-paint-colours-benjamin-moore/ 

    Elana thanked chloebud
  • 6 years ago

    This link just came to me via email. Just thought I'd share it with you.

    https://mailchi.mp/2f53b07f27cc/modern-neutral-paint-palettes?e=4d61c05d40

    Elana thanked chloebud
  • 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing those links. Much appreciated!

  • 6 years ago

    Dover is definitely not dark. I have the color swatch on my phone where I’ve been playing with the colors and it’s not accurate. And I definitely don’t have a bright house. I’m actually worried that there’s not enough sun coming in to the living spaces, only a few of the bedrooms. The only windows on that side of the house face east. I want grey for my walls but am getting a super light color to compensate for lack of natural light.

    Elana thanked mommyniki
  • 6 years ago

    We have been happy with SW Alabaster.

    Elana thanked pk2003
  • PRO
    6 years ago
    My entire house is bm Navajo white (sw Navajo is much more yellow) and I love it. I had a complete panic when it was first rolled on as the adjacent raw Drywall made it look yellow. Once all the walls were painted it was fine. I have white trim and dark floors.
    Elana thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • 6 years ago

    @Kimberly Ellen, that is a beautiful room!

    Thanks everyone else for your insights. When Monday comes I'll be able to get some of these samples on the walls and hopefully finally make a decision.

  • 6 years ago

    The Panda White looks nice! See how it does with your lighting.

  • 6 years ago

    My only comment regarding whites is that, in my experience, even though they often appear too dark, too beige, too whatever on the paint chip, once they’re painted on a large surface they appear much “whiter” than I initially thought.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    K Laurence, so true about the "whiter." We had a room done with BM's Swiss Coffee in a previous home. I was NOT convinced but our painter somehow talked me into it. He said it would appear much lighter in that particular room's lighting. He was right...perfect soft white...loved it!

  • 6 years ago

    I'm leaning Navajo White now. The sample I painted looked okay to me in the various rooms of the house. Wish me luck!

  • 6 years ago

    i love SW Greek Villa, the interior wood trim and all the exterior of our house is Greek Villa. It doesn't show pink or blue or gray or yellow just an opaque white.


  • PRO
    6 years ago

    I don't think the white paint in the Mediterean homes are actually 'warm'. I think the paint is actually fairly neutral, but that most of the items placed in the spaces have warm tones that are reflected on the painted walls. IMO Navajo White is way too yellow. Consider some of these options. You can't use natural linen with Navajo White.

    These images from The Holiday are kind of an updated Mediterranean style.

  • 4 years ago

    What color did you go with?

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I actually chose Navajo White for my office because it's not as yellow as others. the undertones are more on the peachy end of the spectrum. but I suppose in your space, it reads as too yellow!

    Another soft white I like in that category is Sherwin Williams Paper Kraft. it's even peachier than Navajo - but very subtle.

    Edit: just realized this is an old post but I'll leave my comment up anyway.

  • 4 years ago

    What did you choose?;)

  • 4 years ago

    Hello, I went with the Navajo white and I will say that it does often take on a yellow tone. I have stuck with it because it's not bad enough to repaint but it definitely has a yellow tone.

  • 3 years ago

    I just painted Snowbound SW pretty soft white!

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thanks @Bren Stove I ended up using the color Oyster by Behr. The painters are just about finished and it has not shown any yellow, green, or blue undertones in the room. Just a nice off white with a tad gray and a tad beige. 13 samples later, choosing paint was way harder than I imagined! Lol

    Behr Oyster Paint

  • 3 years ago

    What did they use for the trim and ceiling?

  • 3 years ago

    Hi all - I am in the midst of pairing my walls hoping For that Mediterranean feel of white. Great comments across the board but wondered what finish did you do - flat, eggshell, satin?

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I am updating our master bedroom and it is north-west facing. It also has Brazilian cherry floors and the windows have a green tint to reduce heat in the summer. I too am looking for a creamy white that is not yellow but won't turn pink or peach due to the floors.

  • 2 years ago

    Hello all, I am trying to Achieve the same Mediterranean feel …. I am
    Leaning towards SW Dover White and trying to compliment with SW Earthern Jug and SW Moscow Midnight. Any suggestions?