5 Things to Know about Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year ‘Simply White’

Each year one of the country’s leading manufacturers of paint, Benjamin Moore, chooses one paint color they feel is descriptive of what is trending in color that year.  The Benjamin Moore color of the year for 2016 is ‘Simply White’.

I first caught wind of Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’ in 2014 when I was stalking following Young House Love’s progress on the showcase home they were doing for their local Home-a-rama.

They tastefully used Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’ on the walls in the family room and kitchen (as well as a few other rooms) at the showcase home.

Examples of Benjamin Moore Simply White

via Young House Love


'Simply White' Young House Love

via Young House Love

Young House Love-Simpy White

via  Young House Love

I liked it!  It reminded me of the Sherwin Williams ‘Restful White’ I have in my family room but even lighter.

Family Room SW Restful White

Sorry for the poor iPhone photo!

I took note and didn’t think about it again for awhile.

 Then ‘Simply White’ popped back up on my radar in 2015 when I saw my new designer crush, Shea from Studio-Mcgee, using it  on the walls in her design spaces!

Examples of Benjamin Moore Simply White Studio Mcgee

via Studio Mcgee

Studio mcgee Simply White

via Studio Mcgee

So when it was finally time for me to paint our two story foyer and “new” living room Benjamin Moore ‘Simple White’ was certainly a contender.

Choosing Paint Color above Trim

Pictured above is from left to right BM Swiss Coffee, BM Classic Gray, BM Simply White (Benjamin Moore sure does have unfortunate initials, eh)?:-)

After employing my tried and true technique for picking paint colors I settled confidently on ‘Simply White’ (well as confident as you can be when picking a paint color for a 2-story space…not a space you can easily do over again if you don’t like it)!

BM Simply White Foyer

And I love it!!  But is Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’ for everyone??  Probably not.

Here are some characteristics to consider before painting your walls (or cabinets, furniture, or trim) ‘Simply White’.

1. Very rarely is a paint purely one color.  As with almost all paint colors there will be an undertone (hint of another color coming through).

For ‘Simply White’ the undertone is yellow and at times a tiny bit green.

Not everyone likes the color yellow.  I am drawn to pale yellows so this worked out well for me.

2. ‘Simply White’ is not a true white.  Because of it’s pale yellow undertones it is a very warm white.  If you are looking for a true, standard pure white do not choose this one.  However, if you are look for an off-white that gives off a lot of warmth this is good choice (no harsh, hospital  vibes with this white).

3. ‘Simply White’ glows.  Okay so paint may not really be able to glow but I swear it looks like it glows. 🙂

If you don’t want your walls to radiate this paint color may not be for you.  Living in Ohio where sunny days are few and far between I love the warm glow of ‘Simply White’!  However, I don’t think everyone would appreciate it

‘Simply White’ is especially useful in rooms with no windows or perhaps north facing rooms that get little sunlight because the paint color itself resembles light (I swear it glows)!



Benjamin Moore Simply White

Simply White in my living room.

4.  ‘Simply White’ will create a light and airy space.  It is important to know if you use Simply White the overall general feel of the room will be light and airy and perhaps a bit whimsical.  If you are designing a moody man cave or a dramatic dining room this is not going to be “right” paint color.

I think if you were even to add a dramatic black and white abstract painting (like the ones I discussed here) you would still end up with a light and airy feeling room!

5.  If  you have a collection of artwork or a colorful decorative souvenir you want to showcase in your space then paint the walls ‘Simply White’.  ‘Simply White’ really compliments  artwork and the use of other colors in the room.

Perhaps it’s the perceived light that ‘Simply White’ gives off that makes it act as a spotlight to the other colors and features in the room.

Below is an abstract painting I created for my friend Lolly’s Master Bedroom that we are slowly making over.  I took a picture of it in my living room up against the ‘Simply White’ walls before taking it over to her house (Here is my tutorial on painting your own no fail abstract paintings).

 BM Simply White

For those who are new here I recently turned my dining room into my living room and my living room into my dining room.  I’m so glad I took the plunge and made the switch…it make a lot more sense this way!

I’ve been slowly working on the “new” living room.  I  took the chair rail down and painted the room Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’.

Benjamin Moore Simply White Room

But the room is still definitely trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up.

Benjamin Moore Simply White Examples

We will see!  I hope after reading this post that you feel you have a better handle on Benjamin Moore’s 2016 Color of the Year ‘Simply White’.   As well if you would want to use it in your home or not!

If you are interested here are some more of Benjamin Moore’s color trend predictions for the year.

Benjamin Moore 2016 Color Trends

via Benjamin Moore

Have you used any of these colors in your home before??  There are some really pretty ones!!  Have a great weekend and as always thanks for being here!!:-)


 You can follow along at Pinterest/Instagram/Bloglovin/RSS

5 Things you Should Know about the Paint Color of the Year Simply White

32 thoughts on “5 Things to Know about Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year ‘Simply White’

  1. Jana Leigh

    I love it too, Tamara! White-painted rooms can take a room anywhere, from timeless and classic to colorful and Bohemian. It’s the perfect canvas on which to paint your room.

  2. C.K.

    I used to be a big fan of Cloud White and while I still like it, all the trim in my home is now Simply White. I am tempted to paint the walls white, too. But I’m not quite there yet. Your rooms look amazing in white! Enjoy your new space!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Aww, thanks so much, C.K.:-) I totally understand about not being there yet. I’ve wanted to paint my 2 story foyer and main hallway white for over a year but have been too scared until recently. Who knew going white could be so scary!:-)

      1. Colleen

        It is really hard to see a difference! But simply put…Cloud White is a slightly warmer white and Simply White is just a little bit more of a true white. That said, it is really hard to tell the difference. We did Simply White everywhere in the cottage and it feels like a true white – crisp, clean, but not stark and cold. Hope that helps & good luck with the painting!

  3. Jennifer

    Very helpful post Tamara! I feel like I make design decisions easily, but paint selection makes me nervous. I don’t know if it is the miriad of colors out there or that I worry they will look different in my space, but I get scared to take the leap too!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Laurel! I wish I could tell you an exact color of the door but it was custom made color. Valspar Wet Cement is a close match and Valspar Crushed Granite is also very similar just a tad bit lighter. Definitely check those out (you can get samples at Home Depot or Lowes to see which you like better).:-)

  4. Cathy Bean

    Oh my gosh! All of my house was painted a darkish greenish beige. After watching Fixer Upper on HGTV, I decided I wanted the brighter Farm House look, off to the paint store I went.
    I tried lots of swatches, got more and more confused, finally I decided on Simply White only because it was the color of the year. I hired a painter (I use that term lightly, no way he should call himself a painter) he did a horrible job!
    The color was way too bright! Like you said it glowed, it had lots of green undertones coming thru.
    I returned that same day to the paint store, got me some BM Marscapone, repainted myself. I think it is still to bright and still green undertones. I’m waiting it out to see if it grows on me.
    I almost like it, then it snows and the reflection coming thr the North facing Windows is blinding!
    Time to hire a decorator to fix my mess! Help!

      1. Marlene

        I painted my living room, kitchen, hallway and dining area Benjamin Moore ‘ s Simply White. I love it! My spaces are bright, airy looking and oh so current. I generally like taupe, grays and blues. Simply White has quickly become my new go to color.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Laura, thanks for reaching out! I think it would be a matter of preference. I’ve heard of a lot of people using Simply White for trim and being happy with it. I personally prefer a pure (bright) white trim (specifically Behr Ultra Pure White) because I like contrast between the trim and wall paint. That being said I don’t think it would look bad to do Simply White on both. Hope this helps!:-)

  5. Laura Coffin

    I normally dislike yellow walls. And our old, light-yellow walls looked dingy and tawdry inside, especially in artificial lighting. But even so, Simply White is my favorite. I mention this for people who might be driven away by the mention of yellow undertone. It doesn’t make the space cave-like or dingy like yellow can at night. You won’t feel like you’re siting inside a whale’s belly with a lantern. I think the creaminess is soft and radiant, like whole milk, and would look great with textures. It looks very good against a grey blue that I have.

  6. sarah berns

    Hi, love the article. My husband and I are debating painting our exterior “simply white” any thoughts?

    So far we tried “white dove” – very creamy, so we did a 50/50 with it, very close to simply white.
    We want it to be warm, but still very much white. thanks

    1. Tamara Post author

      HI Sarah! I love a white painted exterior! I’m excited for you! I think you would be happy with Simply White for your exterior being that you want it to be a warm white. I think it will still very much look white. Hope this helps!!

  7. Linda

    We are having our oak kitchen cabinets painted and I’ve chosen Simply White. Our trim is Behr Ultra Pure White and our walks are Behr White Metal which is a very light gray. I want a warm white on the cabinets – not stark like the trim, which I love. You mentioned the yellow undertone and I’m wondering if the Simply White will look dingy or dirty next to the light gray and Ultra Pure White.

    1. Laura Coffin

      In my house I put this on walks of a room that has a stark white ceiling and trim. The simply white doesn’t come out dingy at all (or even yellow to the eye). Instead, is describe it as more lumescent, next to the starker whites. As in, it gives off more light, and has a richer white quality. Sort of like the way flowers brightly reflect the last light at dusk. I really hate dingy looks, and wanted to avoid any yellowy or fleshy tones, and I’m happy with the effect of simply white. I live in the Pacific Northwest and have it on north and east and south facing walls. I have it in Ultra matte. Hope this helps.

  8. Pam

    Im doing a master bathroom in beveled white subway tile, othello cinnamon wood look flooring and then having an alder wood medium stained cabinet. There will be a very white vanity with carrera marble. Would simply white be good for this bathroom?It gets the morning sun

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Pam, thanks for reaching out! It sounds like your bathroom will be beautiful no matter what the paint color :-)…I love your selections! Simply White would be a very pretty and light and airy color for the bathroom. If that’s the feel you want then I think it will be a great color!!

  9. Andrea

    Hi. I need a pure white for walls going with my ‘rustic glam’ look wood and patina. All other colors are greige. How can I make this white look right? I need a white that will both energize me and calm me but look right with Griege. My 600 sq. foot condo is North Facing…and when I painted Simply white is looks like lime koolaid. Getting too expensive. Please help.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Andrea, it sounds like you would like Behr’s Ultra Pure White. I used it for all of my trim, doors, and my hallway that has trim work. I love it! It’s fresh and truly a pure white. Hope this helps!!:-)

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