When it came time to pick a paint for my first full service gig as an interior designer - my own apartment - I looked at sooo many whites. This was before pinterest, but I had a tumblr full of white spaces. They all felt so calm and I knew this was the direction I wanted to go for my own place. I wanted a uniform color throughout and felt it would work well here.
The apartment is small, but there are six windows and it is on the top floor, so light is generally good. However, there are both northern and southern exposures, so it ranges throughout the rooms and depending on the seasons. In a small space it helps to keep to a simple palette that is consistent throughout. I wanted natural wood and textures, hits of black, greenery in plants and white - floors, walls and ceilings - lots of white. I wanted a white that wouldn't look too cold or stark, especially in the northern room, but also did not want any hint of yellow or creaminess. I needed something that would look good throughout the whole space. Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace was the winner. As you can see in the living room above and the kitchen below, it delivered.
I painted the drop leaf table and vintage cabinet in the same paint I used on the floor because I wanted there to be low contrast in the room. Here is how it looks in the bedroom. Of course I have the disease of being an interior designer and much of the apartment has been changed at this point! Someday maybe I will photograph it again, but one thing hasn't changed and that is how much I love this white.
Since then I have also used Chantilly Lace with several clients. The top photo in the post is a favorite shot of the dining area in West End Avenue. Truth be told, I really would have used a golden grass cloth here if the budget had allowed. I also pushed a little for a green paint because there wasn't a ton of natural light - despite how the image looks. (Man, that apartment was hard to photograph.) However, the client wanted white and at the end of the day it did look good, just so much better in person than you could really capture on film because of the white walls, high contrast, low light situation. I loved the grays we used in the kitchen and bedroom on this project, but that is another post.
I also used Chantilly Lace in the Brooklyn Heights office, seen above in the last rays of late afternoon sun. You may remember "Black Wall-Gate", when the client painted one of the walls in here black. Wait, did you think as interior designers we are just going in and picking out everything and then setting it all up? Um, no. Some days I wish it was like that - and that is what some clients want, but in reality, having a dialogue can be useful too. I feel like there should be some reason behind my choices of why an elelment will work and why it may not. I also want to hear my client's desires. I am working for them afterall. And, since they will be living there, I need to work with things they are firm on. Anyway, this client was not firm on the black wall and actually painted it over herself. In the end, the all-white office is such a bright and cheery space. I love how it turned out.
In lieue of a black wall, she got black base kitchen cabinets, so that can of Benjamin Moore Soot came in handy after all. You can't see really see the base cabinets here, but they were all painted black and we actually covered the old "almond" colored dishwasher with black paper, to consistently ground the space from the black floor up to the black countertops. For the upper cabinets and the rest of the kitchen we used - you guessed it - Chantilly Lace. The black and white reads nicely against the gray of the living room, which was done n Benjamin Moore's Half Moon Crest. I definitely see a "My Favorite Grays" post coming.
Since falling in love with Chantilly Lace as a really neutral white, not too gray or creamy. I have also read that it is a favorite of some other designers. This is comforting, especially since I will be using it again in the master bedrooms of two of my current projects. As always, it is good to test a swatch on your own walls and live with it for a bit. I also like to search online for images, but photos can have their color balance tweaked in editing and monitors vary, so, if in doubt, it is better to test it out on the wall. Sometimes a creamier white is more desired or maybe something a little cooler with blue or gray undertones, but for a fresh, clean true white, I highly recommend Chantilly Lace.