Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Use white. Or very white.

What color should you paint the walls? …, that’s a trick question….

You’re an Architect. All walls should be white.

Of course, they should. Obviously, that’s the only choice, The ONLY choice, no options, no other possiblities, none, nothing, just go with white…

whitey, white, white, whitey, white with extra whiteness. WHA-ITE!

But, I have witnessed a handful of clients who resist this. (I know…?!) Some have suggested that a “color” might “warm” up the space. Some, have suggested a “bright” color, or even (gasp) a “pastel”! Ridiculous, right? But it has happened, and you should be prepared for this, because, try as you might to convince them of the clear benefits of white walls, sometimes your client will want a different color.

You should try to guide them away from any use of color. You should point out that white will make the space seem larger. You should use terms like “purity”, “simplicity”, or “elegance”. It’s also effective to wave your arms around in wide circular patterns. Look like you know what you’re talking about. Repeat the word “simple” as often as required. Try to associate this with “less expensive”

But, don’t say “less expensive”!!! – Just imply it, or better yet let them infer it.

Usually the client will get fatigued. Or, they’ll need to leave for another meeting, and you’ll be able to leave all the walls white. When they call the next day, send it to voicemail. They’ll probably give up eventually. Plus, if you wait long enough, you can point out that you don’t have time to change the wall colors if they want to meet their deadline.

As a last resort, here are the only architecturally acceptable alternatives to white:

White Birch
Really expensive
more white

Stick to your guns on this one. There are some things we can’t compromise on.

Otherwise, the terrorist win.

[ Brown, Jody. "Use white, or very white" 07 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 07 Feb 2012. ]


  1. enlight your junior about this use of white wall, please. we have no choice, why? is it because it is easier for us architects because we just don't have to incorporate color? and besides, white is easier to play with (regarding to space and those architectural craps), is it?

    1. well to be brutally honest... (saying this as a lazy-*ss student i am) ...white and black are the most practical colours to play with (regarding the said cr*p). also if i tried playing with colours i feel like screaming "too lazy to configure the space experience with dimensions and stuff, so i'll splash some fancy colour psychology stuff to do it instead." that's just me though. what about you?