Best White for Wood with Orange UnderTones

Just moved Macy back to college, into a rent house shared with her besties. It’s that time of year when you don’t know if you’re sad or glad…Both!

Hate to complain, but in the hot Texas heat, it felt like we were moving her on the surface of the sun!  Parents, can I get an AMEN?!

After interning with us all summer, Macy knew too much about color to stomach the conflicting undertones in the entry. Proof positive that ‘neutrals’ are not all neutral. They all have an undertone that can clash with other undertones.

In this space, one wall has green undertones, another pink, and the wood tone is orange. The result is a nauseating mess.

Colors that are far apart on the color wheel tend to intensify each other, while those closer together, or analogous, tend to calm each other down. The undertones of the walls – green and pink – are practically opposite each other on the color wheel, so they were bringing out the worst in each other. The maple stain was caught in between.

The landlord was not down with the idea of us painting the woodwork. Actually, neither were we, for a rental that these girls would only be in for 2 years. We needed a quick-fix white to coordinate with the paneling. And when I say quick, I do mean quick. We had about an hour to slap on a coat of paint before leaving them to fend for themselves. Oh what mamas will do for their babies!

To choose your paint, start with the existing surfaces that can’t be changed – in this case, the orangey woodwork. Go for a color that has the same undertones. We found a warm white at Home Depot, Behr “Off White”, to coordinate with the super warm tones of the wood. Another great one would be Sherwin Williams “Creamy”. Notice how it calmed down the red/gold and made the wood look more brown and neutral.

Paint unified the palette into a fresh look. Ok, so we probably wouldn’t hang a stuffed llama head on the door of a home we are staging, but millennial lovers of the “Jungalow” blog can feel at home here.

Thought you might like to see how cute her room turned out, too. Found this rug for $25 at Ross! Hanging lanterns also from Ross.

Becoming a color expert is just one part of the Staging Design Professional™ accredited training. Everything you need to become a BOSS stager is available in the online course, with the option of also getting hands-on staging experience.