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Achieving the American Dream no longer just includes owning a house with a white picket fence—apparently, we want the house to match, too. But not just any shade will do. According to a recent survey from siding company Alside, off-white is the most sought-after exterior shade for homeowners planning to make updates in 2023. Twenty percent of the respondents said they prefer the warm tone, while a crisp, traditional white came in second with 14 percent of the vote, followed by light gray.
Sure, it seems like it should be simple to decide on something that’s essentially colorless, but that’s exactly what makes it tough. (Case in point: A Domino writer once agonized over 24 white paint swatches for weeks before making her final selection.) With a range of undertones and nuances that change with every type of light, building material, and climate, it’s tricky, to say the least. To make it easier for you, we asked designers: What’s your favorite off-white paint to use on a facade?
We used it on my house and on many client projects. It’s a chameleon that adapts; it’s crisp and bold on modern homes, but not at all jarring on a more traditional facade. —Anna Still, Still Johnson Interiors
Soft white, off-white, bright white—we love it all! Exteriors can be tricky with the amazing SoCal sun here, so the color can be blinding. We like a softer option and often use Simply White or Whisper White. —Ashley Clark, Skout Interior Design
This is a gorgeous creamy shade that doesn’t read too yellow and looks great inside and outside of homes. The velvet finish is a favorite of mine, and I love how simple, classic, and refined it is. —Laura Brophy, Laura Brophy Interiors
Clare’s paint colors are curated to perfection, so we use them a lot. Timeless is a true creamy, warm white, whereas On Point tends to be a little gray, but we love it. —Jordan Slocum and Barry Bordelon, The Brownstone Boys
This shade solved so many quandaries in homes with natural wood siding on the ceiling, or walls where bright white seemed way too contrast-y. There is the perfect amount of warmth in this to sit next to oak, walnut, and even pine walls, as it does in my own home. —Raili Clasen, Raili CA Design