Picking out a white paint shade might seem simple, but quite a bit goes into the decision. From undertones to color pairings, the choice can’t be made in isolation. And while you can have your hand at swatches, sometimes it’s best to take advice from the experts.
Interior designers love White Dove, one of Benjamin Moore’s best-selling colors, for its adaptive nature and warm undertones. Here’s how eight experts suggest employing the white paint – its uses range from background hue to cabinetry, and beyond.
How to decorate with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove
White Dove has become a go-to shade for designers and homeowners alike, and it’s clear to see why – with a clean, fresh base and welcoming background hues, it’s fit for any design style, and any room of the house. Here’s how to bring the shade into your own home.
1. Use the shade as a palate cleanser
Hannah Yeo, senior manager of color marketing at Benjamin Moore, describes White Dove as ‘clean and classic with the slightest tinge of a warm gray undertone.’
Adding that the shade is one of the brand’s ‘top-selling colors,’ she says White Dove is flexible enough to work in locations all around the home, and suggests a uniform look for maximum impact.
‘This versatile hue makes it easy to layer in your personality or to change out the look seasonally, in many parts of the home. Use the same color on walls, trim and ceiling for a clean, cohesive look. Unifying colors also has the benefit of easy maintenance,’ says Hannah.
Hannah also says that White Dove can help to balance a home’s overall color scheme when bold hues are used elsewhere.
‘If you have strong colors in other rooms, White Dove can work as a palate cleanser as you move from room to room,’ she says.
2. Breathe new life into a space
Becky Shea, interior designer and founder of Becky Shea Design, has used White Dove across multiple design projects, from interior walls and ceilings to exterior cladding. She says she loves the shade because it brings a distinctive feeling of warmth without ‘veering into beige territory.’
‘Using White Dove is a fantastic means to breathe new life into a space without succumbing to the sterility often associated with many whites. It strikes a perfect balance, infusing warmth while maintaining a fresh and inviting atmosphere that enhances the overall aesthetic of the environment,’ says Becky.
Becky Shea is a full-service interior designer and lifestyle entrepreneur in New York City. She co-founded her studio, Becky Shea Design, where she currently works as the creative director. Her work is rooted in her love for natural materials that celebrate sustainability and craftsmanship from the local artisan community.
3. Channel its undertones
‘White Dove is the perfect neutral white paint color – it is warm without ever appearing yellow, it has a hint of gray without being cool,’ says Trish Knight, interior designer and co-founder of Vancouver-based Knight Varga Interiors.
Because of the versatility lent to the warm white paint by its complex undertones, Trish says White Dove works beautifully alongside a wide range of decor styles, from traditional to contemporary, to everything in between. She adds that the ‘classic’ works well when paired with cabinetry, walls, trim and doors. Layer it alongside shades that share warm undertones for the best overall result.
‘When pairing it with other colors and materials, consider the undertones and lean to warmer finishes. For example, rather than a cool-toned Carrara marble counter with White Dove cabinets, look for a Calacutta with a creamy base and warm taupe to gold veining. White Dove looks great with natural wood floors from oak to walnut and is the perfect choice to complement an art collection,’ says Trish.
Designer Trish Knight is a co-founder of Knight Varga Interiors. Collectively with two decades of experience this Vancouver-based multi-award-winning design firm has become known and sought after for creating well-curated interiors. The firm provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout Vancouver, BC Canada and North America.
4. Incorporate natural materials
Emma Beryl, interior designer and founder of Emma Beryl, says decorating with this Benjamin Moore shade creates ‘a versatile and timeless backdrop.’ She suggests pairing the hue with natural materials and organic textures to play on its warmth even further.
‘Use it as a neutral base for walls, allowing flexibility in furniture and decor choices. Enhance the warmth by incorporating natural materials, like wood, and introduce pops of color through textiles, artwork or accent pieces for added visual interest and depth,’ says Emma.
Emma Beryl is the founder of her eponymous design firm based in New York. After training at the New York School of Interior Design, Emma worked on an array of international projects before settling in the city. She was recently named as a top new designer to watch by Lonny Mag.
5. Layer with bold and earthy colors
‘White Dove has been and is still a star on many walls, and rightfully so! This shade is perfect for creating a foundation that’s both laid-back and elegant. When it covers your walls, it sets the stage for a clean, expansive look,’ says Marie Cloud, owner and principal designer of Indigo Pruitt Design Studio.
In this living room, a stunning pink velvet sofa and a perfectly placed house plant draw visual interest in an otherwise black-and-White-Dove space. Marie suggests pairing the clean white shade with ‘bold, lively’ colors like these to create contrast.
‘This is where personality shines through. Don’t shy away from adding earthy elements too. Plants are fantastic for injecting a natural, organic vibe into the space. They not only complement the White Dove’s simplicity but also bring a burst of life and color to the room,’ she says.
Marie Cloud is the Owner and Principal Designer of Indigo Pruitt Design Studio, a full-service firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
6. Use on detailing
While White Dove shines on a plain white wall, Diana Bastone – principal designer and owner of Diana Bastone Designs – says she’ll often use the shade atop a wall treatment like paneling or applied molding.
‘I paint the walls, ceiling and cabinetry – all in the same color. The trim detail on the wall gives the walls texture,’ says Diana.
In her design projects, Diana also turns to a similar but slightly warmer shade: Simply White from Benjamin Moore.
‘In the case of this contemporary home, I used Simply White throughout the entire home but also in the kitchen cabinetry. We combined it with the warm light wood of white oak. In 2024, we are seeing a move towards a warmer palette, and Simply White is the perfect paint color to give you that warmth in a home,’ she says.
Diana Bastone is the Principal Designer and Owner of Diana Bastone Designs, an award-winning boutique studio based in Ontario.
7. Experiment with different finishes
Lauren Robbins, founder and lead designer of Lauren Robbins Interiors, says White Dove ‘sets the tone to be a beautiful backdrop for art, furnishings and accessories to be the statement pieces in a room.’
In this kitchen, White Dove covers just about every surface, allowing the sleek blue barstools and minimalistic artwork to take center stage. When going for the all-one-hue look, Lauren suggests opting for a selection of paint finishes for visual interest and texture.
‘When working with any shade of white, I am sure to use different paint finishes for different areas in the space so trims, ceilings and walls all stand out but feel cohesive,’ she says.
Lauren Robbins is the Founder and Lead Designer of Lauren Robbins Interiors, a residential design studio based in Georgia.
8. Use as a backdrop for your design style
Perhaps the best part of Benjamin Moore’s White Dove shade is that it fits in with a wide array of design styles – with the proper consideration, it’s easy to make the hue work right at home. Shaunn Lipsey, principal designer and creative director of Shaunn Lipsey + Co., says the shade offers the perfect opportunity to experiment with varied textures and color palettes.
‘White Dove seamlessly complements various color palettes and design styles, adapting to your preferences with ease. Additionally, use it as a backdrop to showcase standout furniture pieces or architectural features, allowing them to take center stage,’ she says.
Shaunn Lipsey is the Principal and Creative Director for Shaunn Lipsey + Co., a Toronto-based design and build team. Renowned for crafting bespoke interiors that enhance both value, style and function, Shaunn Lipsey + Co. services Ontario, Montreal, Florida and California.
The next time you’re in need of a classic white paint, look no further than Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. With its warm undertones and classy touch of gray, it’s the perfect complement for just about any design style.