Favorite White Paint Colors - Crowd Sourced Results

Well hello there! It’s only been 3 months since our last blog post…

Today, we’re back with something really fun. Last week on Instagram we took a poll asking followers to share their “Favorite White Paint Color”. We got so many responses! And we’re not surprised…I mean, we are in fact surprised because it’s always a fun surprise when we get lots of Instalove…but we’re also not surprised because finding the perfect paint color is a universal curiosity (and thorn).

If you scroll through your Pinterest feed after searching “best white paint color” you’ll find lots of excellent resources. Everything from Studio McGee’s recommendations (here and here) to Emily Henderson’s recommendations (here) to every interior designer ever’s recommendations. While there is definitely some notably overlap of designer favorites, everyone has a slightly different take on when and how to use which crisp/cool/soft/warm white. It’s confusing and overwhelming.

The results of our little poll mixes answers from interior design professionals with answers from DIYers with answers from design curious/mildly interested followers. It’s crowd sourcing at its best. And here are the results in a neat little chart.

Gray Oak Studio - Favorite White Paint Colors

There were 3 choices that were consistently repeated (all Benjamin Moore colors) - White Dove, Simply White and Chantilly Lace. We thought it would be useful to give you some food for thought on each of these colors because we’ve used them all.

White Dove - This is the warmest white of the top 3 from our survey. The warmer the white, the farther from true/absolute white and closer to its undertone (which in the case of White Dove is beige/tan). Being a warmer white, if you put it against a whiter white on trim/ceiling/cabinet, it will appear creamy. This might be a good thing, might not. It’s very dependent on the context (amount of natural light, direction the house/room faces, etc.). The warmer tone is nice in more traditional spaces. It also has a cozier vibe than starker whites.

This is the entryway from our Hutchins Project - we used White Dove in this expansive foyer that gets amazing natural light and has many traditional architectural elements.

Gray Oak Studio - Favorite White Paint - Benjamin Moore White Dove

Simply White - This is a crisper white than Simply Dove, but not extremely so. Because Simply White is closer to an absolutely white, it’s great for brightening spaces that don’t have a lot of natural light. It can appear a touch yellow under some bulb light and against some even whiter whites, so definitely test it out before committing. This is great color for homes with a modern leaning aesthetic where you want to create a fresh and clean vibe.

This is my kids’ bathroom - I used Simply White in this mostly modern space that gets minimal natural light.

Leahs Kids Bathroom.jpg

acrylic box holder / similar stool / towel ring / mirror / sconce / similar rug

(we’re happy to share shoppable links for our personal projects, for client projects we’re able to share some sources upon request - DM/email us)

Chantilly Lace - This is the brightest white of the 3, coming even closer to absolute white. For modern spaces this is an excellent choice. It’s also great if you want one color for your wall and ceiling to hide unusual architectural elements (think vaulted and quirky ceilings). In spaces with a lot of natural light or a lot of traditional wood tones, it has the potential to feel clinical.

This is our Windsor Project - we used Chantilly Lace in this ultra modern bathroom with little/very little natural light.

Gray Oak Studio - Modern Bathroom - Chantilly Lace

{Quick Tip} - The Benjamin Moore website makes it super easy to determine color saturation. First, search your specific color and click on it. You’ll come to a color detail page and there is something that says “LRV” with a number. The closer that number is to 100, the closer that color is to absolute white (absence of all color).

In the end, the only way to find the perfect paint color for your project is to paint a swatch and hang it on the wall. Check it out with the lights on, with the lights off, day, night, stormy, sunny…are you feeling confused and overwhelmed? So maybe don’t feel the need to go that far, but definitely check it out with the lights on and off in all the corners. And know that every paint color in the chart above was someone’s FAVORITE, so they’re all great options.

Be sure to head to our Instagram Story today to participate in our new wall color survey - by request, we’re asking for your favorite pale/soft gray.

Until next week…or next month…

- Leah

*this post contains affiliate links*

Wednesday Five - 26

Hey There! It’s Wednesday again. The final Wednesday of the month. And, as happy as I am that April has brought us some milder weather, I’m also happy to be done with the cliched April showers. Bring on the May flowers!

1. We were on a podcast. WE WERE ON A PODCAST!!! If you somehow missed this (which is sorta hard because we’ve been shouting about it for a week now), we were guests on last week’s episode of Michele Binette’s Business Homies podcast. We talked about Install Day - behind the scenes process and strategy that goes into completing a full service interior design project by fully accessorizing and styling. Spoiler alert: it’s not all that glamorous and there’s a TON of work involved. It’s also our favorite part of the process because it brings our creative vision to life and is the key ingredient to a truly magical transformation. If you’re a designer, you might be interested to compare your apples to our apples. If you’re a DIYer (or just curious), you might be interested to apply some of these tips to your own magic.

Funny behind the scenes moment that you’ll totally pick up on if you listen: our computer nearly died in the middle of recording. About 30 minutes into our conversation with Michelle (it’s done face-to-face, but only our voices are recorded), we saw the “low battery” warning pop up on our computer. Easy fix, right? One person plugs in the computer while the other keeps talking.

Well, if you can picture this, Sonia and I were sitting awkwardly close (so Michelle could see us both in her screen) at her dining room table, which is in the center of her dining room and not close to any outlets. So…we did nothing, thinking we might be able to squeak out the remainder of the interview without needing to plug in.

Mind you, all this is happening in silent acknowledgement - both seeing the low battery warning, both deciding to do nothing. We didn’t want to interrupt the conversation or let Michelle in on the hugely rookie mistake we had made. When we were at 2% battery with a solid 15 minutes left, we had no choice but to shuffle, side-by-side, across the room, while continuing our conversation, until reaching the outlet…several miles away. You’ll hear Michelle comment on this around 55 minutes into the podcast.

2. Speaking of Install Day, we had one on Monday! Our first bathroom. We’re keeping the full reveal underwraps for now…in due time…in due time. But we’ll be back next Monday with a living room Install - so get on Instagram to catch sneak peeks in our stories. Also, I recently heard Instagram referred to as “The Gram”. Try saying “the gram” out loud if you’re not 17. You’ll feel like The Gram, meaning a 92-year-old grammy. Awkward.

3. I came across a fun blog post from Room for Tuesday that I wanted to share: 6 Ways to Style a Bar Cart. We all love bar carts, especially in the summer when they’re on a patio stacked with fresh lemonade, a bowl of strawberries (for garnish) and an ice bucket full to the brim. Summer dreaming around here. Summer dreaming.

And now, some novelty ice trays


dinosaurs / water bottle sized (genius!) / airplanes / lemon ledges / Little Mermaid / cactus

4. #GrayOakPlantClub - Every Monday we post (on FB and IG) a photo of a plant used to style one of our projects. We tell you a little about the plant and give you some tips on using plants to style your home. We would love you to “join” our club by posting pics of ways you’ve incorporated plants into your home (or into your interior design project) and we’ll feature the photos on our Instagram stories every Friday.

5. Finally, World Market is having a 20% sale on outdoor furniture, decor, everything. And I want so much - outdoor string lights, a couple modern rocking chairs, acrylic stemless wine glasses…all of it. Thank goodness my house is still in the middle of a massive renovation and buying all this stuff is out of the question, or else I’d be broke.

Until next Wednesday!

- Leah

* This post contains affiliate links*

Wednesday Five - 25

Hi There! I finally pulled off a Wednesday Five! And it sort of feels like I’ve moved a mountain. Taking the past few months off blogging was not part of the plan, but it had to be. Sonia and I have been full force on client work and I’ve been squeezing in work on my own home renovation. Oh, and March was full of puke and fevers.

So, yeah. It wasn’t even a choice to ignore this blog for a bit, it simply happened. And thank goodness it did. Having one less thing to manage was relieving and necessary. Here’s the thing (that I know you know): we can’t do it all. And I find it pretty annoying (to put it in non-hostile words) when someone pretends that we can and tries to tell us how. If we want to do it all halfway and sloppy, and make silly mistakes, and not sleep and feel endless crazy, them maybe we could attempt to do it all. But, if we allow ourselves the grace of prioritizing and taking a breath instead of charging onto the next thing, then the truly important things will get done. In time.

And now, let’s dive in.

1. Are anyone else’s kids bathrobe obsessed? My daughters love them some bathrobes - a good terrycloth one out of the shower, a thick fleece one with some slippers to cozy up and lounge, a pink one with ruffles because. And so I’ve become quite the connoisseur of little girl bathrobes and can personally vouch for all three of these (if you’re in the market). Click photo for sources.

2. Way back in December, we breathed a huge sigh of relief upon learning that Joanna and Chip Gaines would be back on TV. There weren’t details as to how and when, but it was promised by Chip himself. We recently got some of those details: they’re not coming back for a show, they’re coming back as a whole friggin channel. This is the least surprising news I’ve heard in a long time (unlike all this scandalous stuff about Prince William and Kate!!!). They’re taking over the DIY Network and, I imagine, giving it a serious Magnolia makeover. It’s underway and planned for release/start/don’t-know-the-phrase in 2020.

3. Did you know that Jonathan Adler has an affordable home decor line that’s available on Amazon.com? Well he does and it is. Here are some of our favorite pieces. We used the glass knot in a recent project. It’s a great shelfie piece.

Gray Oak Studio - New House by Jonathan Adler Roundup

candle holder / white glass knot / blond wood cocktail table / black and white “wink” tray / pedestal table / upholstered dining chair / grid box

4. We have two installs scheduled for the next two weeks. Love us some installs. Be sure to check out our Instagram feed and stories for behind the scenes.

The first is a bathroom! Here is what it looked like the last time we showed you progress.

Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - stacked white subway tile wall
Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - Black hex tile bathroom

And the second is a family room with an incredible fireplace transformation. Here is what it looked like at the beginning of last week.

Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - Lovell Family Room Before Photo

5. Let’s quick chat about the Rule of Three, shall we? It’s design theory that groups of 3 are more appealing than groups of 2 or 5 or 9…or any other number. The theory has a couple layers, but boiled down - the human eye prefers seeing things in three because it helps us decipher the center, a comfortable focal point.

If you’re interested in learning more, here and here are some quick articles. The easiest way to begin incorporating the Rule of Three into your home is your surface styling - a coffee table and or console. You probably don’t have to add much or subtract much, just cluster things a little differently. Here are a couple quick examples of the Rule of Three in our design.

We used three books under this lovely Monstera plant in on Dover Project. And, the mirror, framed print and plant also act as a cluster of three.

Gray Oak Studio - The Rule of Three in Interior Design

And here are a cluster of three white vases on a console from our Homestead Entryway. While this frame gallery has far more than three items, there are three mirrors within the bigger plan (check it out our blog post reveal to see - here).

Gray Oak Studio - Rule of Three - cluster of white vases

That’s all for this week. Maybe we’ll be back next Wednesday…sign up for our email subscription and you’ll be the first time find out (ahem, shameless plug).

- Leah

* This post contains affiliate links*