White, Gray, and a Pop of Color – A Downsize Story

Completed Project: Bruton White is Gray. Super White is pretty white.
Completed Project: Bruton White is gray. Super White is pretty darn white. The lampshade will be unpacked by now.

Client MW is doing the downsizing thing. She has kept her most treasured objects and furniture and moved herself into a sunny, bright condo about 6 stories up. She’s in the treetops!

I think Downsizing is a polite term for the sometimes gut-wrenching process of letting go, but M is no sissy. When we met at her new place, she was wearing her casual designer clothes, lavender eyeshadow, and 80+years extremely well.

M, a collector of art, crafts and beautiful objects from everywhere, already knew she wanted to create an art gallery energy in her condo. She had already chosen Super White, a bright white with a slight gray cast for all the walls. We looked at a few others just to be sure: Chantilly Lace was too stark. Soft and warm Simply White felt too sentimental for this space. Decorator’s White did not make the cut. Super White won the day.

Next we needed color for the decorative doors that open on to several closets and a storage space. M had installed new flooring in a soft gray driftwood-color. To let the objets d’art be the main event in every room, keep a gallery feel but warm up the spaces, we looked at several grays for the doors. Bruton White is the solid, soft, warm grey that you see in the photos.

So with all the white and warm gray on the walls and floors, I was hoping M would go for pops of color in the hidden spaces. My own personal eyes love it when I open a closet door and see a magenta or a bright aqua. Or when I walk into a bright orange laundry room. Seriously!

I’m so glad to say that M and I were on the same page. This was a birds-of-a-feather kind of color consult. There are many options for the Pop when working with  a gray and white palette. It turns out M loves the acidic yellow-green of chartreuse. See for yourself:

Complete: we wanted the doors to blend beautifully with the floors.

Completed: Laundry and closets in Granny Smith chartreuse.
Completed: Laundry and closets in Granny Smith chartreuse. Yay!

Thanks for reading. Send me your color questions. Onward, Barbara

2 thoughts on “White, Gray, and a Pop of Color – A Downsize Story

  1. Hi Barbara – I saw your post regarding saltillo tiles and paint color. I’m currently at that crossroads and more confused than I thought I would be. I have simply white and chantilly lace on the walls. I feel like I like a bright white but chantilly lace looks quite stark in certain areas (but haven’t seen it in daytime yet) but simply white looks somewhat yellow. We plan to use the same paint color on walls kitchen cabinets and trim throughout the house. Let the saltillo stand on their own. We live in Fl and trying to go with a spanish modern or coastal modern decor. – still confused on how that would work. Gong with blacks, creams/white and naturals with texture.


    1. Hi Mary, Thanks for reaching out. Are you saying that you’ve painted sample sections of Simply White and Chantilly, or have you painted whole rooms? In this post, I’ve listed 3 other whites that you could try, but there are many whites and off whites to choose from. The light in every space, both natural and artificial affects the color; also, furniture, floor color/carpeting. Maybe a color consultation would be best. If you’ll send me your email, I’ll send the PDF will all details on working together. I consult on Interior projects on ZOOM these days, so distance is no longer a barrier.
      I’d need photos and a simple, sketched-out floor plan beforehand — but we can talk about that if you’d like to move forward.Again, thank you for connecting. Barbara b mayfield media at g mail dot com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s