Choosing My House Paint Color

Choosing My House Paint Color cover picture shows the color I picked on the concrete block of the front porch. There is a wood door in the background.

Choosing My House Paint Color: A Realtor’s Japandi Journey

As a Realtor at Avalon Group Realty in St. Petersburg, I’ve seen my fair share of home designs and color schemes. But when it came to building my own Japandi-inspired haven, little did I know I’d be embarking on a colorful adventure in the world of off-whites. Grab a cup of green tea, and let’s dive into this tale of tints, tones, and design epiphanies.

Choosing My House Paint Color: The Japandi Odyssey Begins

First things first, you might be wondering, “Rob, what on earth is Japandi?” Well, my friends, Japandi is the love child of Japanese and Scandinavian design aesthetics. It’s a harmonious blend of minimalism, functionality, and natural elements that creates spaces that are both serene and stylish.

Japandi design embraces clean lines, neutral colors, and a less-is-more approach. It’s all about creating a calm, clutter-free environment that still feels warm and inviting. Think light woods, natural fabrics, and a palette that would make a zen master nod in approval.

Warm Minimalism and Wabi-Sabi: Japandi’s Cousins

Now, Japandi isn’t an only child in the design world. It has some close relatives that share its DNA. Let’s meet the family, shall we?

Warm Minimalism: This design philosophy takes the stark, sometimes cold feel of traditional minimalism and injects it with a dose of coziness. It’s like giving your space a warm hug without suffocating it with stuff.

Wabi-Sabi: This Japanese concept celebrates the beauty of imperfection and the passage of time. It’s about finding beauty in the weathered, the worn, and the wonderfully imperfect. In home design, this translates to natural materials, handcrafted items, and a lived-in feel that tells a story.

The Great White Debate

When I first embarked on this home-building journey, I had visions of a pristine white canvas dancing in my head. I imagined a home where walls, ceilings, and trim blended seamlessly in a symphony of white, creating a modern, minimalist masterpiece.

But as I delved deeper into the world of Japandi design, I realized that sometimes, a little warmth goes a long way. That’s when I decided to venture into the thrilling (yes, thrilling!) world of off-whites.

The Kreiss Connection

Now, I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a design groupie when it comes to Loren Kreiss. This Southern California designer has a knack for creating spaces that are both sophisticated and inviting. His use of warm, neutral tones and natural materials aligns perfectly with the Japandi aesthetic I was aiming for.

Following Loren’s work opened my eyes to the subtle power of off-whites. These hues can add depth and warmth to a space without overwhelming it. It’s like adding a pinch of salt to a dish – just enough to enhance the flavors without dominating the palate.

Choosing My House Paint Color:  The Great Paint Parade

Inspired by Loren’s designs and armed with a newfound appreciation for the nuances of off-white, I dove headfirst into the world of paint swatches. My poor builder probably thought I was losing my mind as I paraded through a veritable rainbow of whites and off-whites.

Here’s a peek at my shortlist of Sherwin Williams contenders:

  1. White Flour
  2. Alabaster
  3. Classic Light Buff
  4. Shoji White
  5. Cotton White
  6. Divine White
  7. Moderate White
  8. White Duck
  9. Accessible Beige
  10. Natural Tan
  11. Oyster White
  12. Canvas Tan
  13. Arrowroote

Each of these colors had its own unique personality. Some were warm and creamy, others cool and crisp. I felt like a kid in a candy store, except instead of sugar highs, I was riding waves of color inspiration.

Choosing my House paint Colors: Exterior Samples of the paint colors. Bottom Right is color samples in the Living Room.

Exterior Samples of the paint colors. Bottom Right is color samples in the Living Room.

The Plot Twist: Farrow & Ball Enters the Chat

Just when I thought I had narrowed down my options, Loren Kreiss threw a curveball my way. In one of his posts, he shared his top warm off-white colors, and there it was – Farrow & Ball’s School House White.

It was love at first sight. This color seemed to embody everything I was looking for – warm, sophisticated, and with just enough depth to create interest without overwhelming the space.

But there was a catch. My builder, the fantastic Kasper Modern, uses Sherwin Williams paint. Was my dream color just out of reach?

Pictures of Loren Kreiss Instagram pictures. Pictures show his face, a living room and exterior of a home all painted in School House White by Farrow and Ball.

I watch Loren Kreiss on Instagram and love how he is right on the money with design trends.

The Great Color Match Hunt

Determined not to let my perfect off-white slip away, I channeled my inner detective. Armed with the RGB color code for School House White, I set out to find its Sherwin Williams doppelganger.

After much searching (and possibly a few grey hairs), and finding this website: ,eureka! Sherwin Williams Natural Choice emerged as the perfect match. It was like finding a long-lost twin – separated at birth but reunited in my home.

The Final Verdict

So, after months of deliberation, countless paint swatches, and probably more than a few exasperated sighs from my builder, and Keith, the builder project manager, we have a winner!

Drum roll, please…

The exterior walls, interior walls, ceiling, and trim will all be painted in Sherwin Williams Natural Choice. This warm off-white will create a cohesive, sophisticated backdrop for my Japandi-inspired home.

But wait, there’s more! To add a touch of contrast and ground the design, the exterior soffit will be painted in Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. This deep, rich color will provide a beautiful counterpoint to the soft warmth of Natural Choice.

Here is the RGB Color Match Proof! Perfect Match!!! There are color samples of School House White and SW Natural Choice.

Here is the RGB Color Match Proof! Perfect Match!!!

Choosing My House Paint Color:  Lessons Learned on the Color Journey

This adventure in the world of off-whites has taught me a few valuable lessons:

  1. Don’t be afraid to evolve your vision. My initial all-white dream evolved into something richer and more nuanced.
  2. Research pays off. Following designers like Loren Kreiss opened my eyes to new possibilities.
  3. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just because your perfect color isn’t in the right brand doesn’t mean you can’t find a match.
  4. Sometimes, less really is more. A simple, cohesive color scheme can create a powerful impact.
  5. Trust your instincts. At the end of the day, your home should reflect your personal taste and style.

The Unexpected Benefits of a Color Quest

While my journey to find the perfect off-white may have seemed like a simple quest for aesthetics, it unexpectedly brought about some profound realizations and benefits.

Firstly, this process taught me the value of patience in design. In our fast-paced world, it’s tempting to make quick decisions, but taking the time to explore options and let ideas marinate can lead to more satisfying results. This patience not only improved my home design but has also seeped into other areas of my life and work as a realtor.

Secondly, the deep dive into color theory and its psychological impacts has been invaluable in my professional life. Understanding how different hues can affect mood and perception has become a secret weapon when helping clients stage their homes or envision potential in a new space.

Moreover, this journey fostered a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship involved in creating the perfect paint color. It’s not just about slapping some pigment on a wall – it’s about creating an atmosphere, a feeling, a home. This newfound respect has changed how I view and value the homes I help my clients buy and sell.

Lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly, this color adventure has become a fantastic conversation starter. Whether I’m at a neighborhood barbecue or showing a property, my tale of the great off-white hunt never fails to spark engaging discussions. It’s a reminder that our homes are more than just structures – they’re expressions of our personalities and journeys.

The Journey Continues

As my Japandi dream home takes shape, I can’t help but feel excited about the serene, sophisticated space that’s emerging. The journey to find the perfect off-white may have been long, but it’s been worth every swatch, sample, and second-guess.

So, if you find yourself in St. Petersburg and spot a home that seems to glow with a warm, inviting light, it might just be my little slice of Japandi paradise. And if you’re curious about the color? Just ask for “Natural Choice” – I’ll be happy to chat about it for hours!

Remember, whether you’re building a new home or just refreshing your space, don’t be afraid to explore, evolve, and embrace the journey. After all, in the world of design (and in life), it’s not just about the destination – it’s about the story you create along the way.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some zen gardening to do in my soon-to-be-perfectly-off-white Japandi oasis. Who knew choosing a paint color could be such an adventure?


If you are looking for a St Petersburg Realtor visit

Directions from Avalon Group Realty in St Petersburg to Sherwin Williams Paint Store:

Check out this article next

St Petersburg Beaches Market June 24-28

St Petersburg Beaches Market June 24-28

St Petersburg Beaches Market June 24-28: A Week of Remarkable Sales As a seasoned realtor with Avalon Group Realty in St. Petersburg, FL, I'm excited to…

Read Article
About the Author
Rob Johnson
Realtor, St. Petersburg FL