Sometimes the hardest paint decision can be which white to paint a room. It seems like such a simple color choice, but a quick look at any paint swatch book reveals the hundreds of variations on white. White can contain hues of blue, red, yellow, or green.

While it’s always a good idea to test a paint shade in a room, this is particularly true with white. Take the time to paint a few large swatches on several walls to be painted as lighting changes the color of the paint. Therefore, a wall receiving light from a window or floor lamp will have subtle color differences. For this reason, sample swatches should be viewed throughout the day to see how light affects the color.

Before painting, consider the direction of natural light entering your room:

A north facing room will look best painted with whites with a yellow or creamy hue. This keeps the room from looking darker than it actually is.

A south facing room will have a good amount of light exposure. You have the option of using a warm white to create a sophisticated feel or a cool white that will give you a watery ocean feel.

For an east facing room, consider using a green or blue hued white paint. You want to go with the natural coolness found in morning light that will enter the room.

West facing rooms provide the best light reflection and look best with neutral white walls. The room will appear cooler in the morning and warmer towards evening.