At Home With POPSUGAR: How White Paint Completely Transformed My Once Ugly Apartment
When I first laid eyes on my 750-square foot apartment on Long Island, NY, my fiancé and I had seen more apartments than I can even attempt to remember. I was sick of the search process, especially knowing that the closing and purchase of our place would take even longer once we did find something. I remember walking through the front door of our current home and my eyes immediately locked on the stale coffee-brown kitchen walls. Upon walking a few feet further, past the bedroom door, I noticed those walls were lime green. And the bathroom a few feet further from there? Purple. It was just . . . ugly.
I wanted to turn around and walk out there and then because of my aforementioned Sick of This Process™ mood (where were all the fully renovated, move-in ready dream apartments like the ones I was scrolling past on Instagram?!). Luckily, I had a real estate agent who was lovely, and she gently reminded me that as we were buying the apartment, we could paint over everything however we wanted without having to check with a landlord. Having only rented apartments until this point, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. The space was small, the kitchen had old appliances and a peeling countertop, and the bathroom was so very dated, but it was actually an ideal space for us, and I was ready to transform it with paint — bright, white paint.
I decided to throw out the idea of accent walls and every other painting rule, instead opting to paint the whole apartment white. Painting in general is great, but I'll never use another color besides white again (even though some designers would probably want to fight me on that). Here's why:
Benefits of Painting Your Walls White
- It's cheap. Paint can get pricy, so by purchasing a few larger containers of one color, we weren't forced into spending more on different color mixes. Plus, anything that's leftover is guaranteed to get used eventually, whether for touch-ups or in our next home.
- It makes everything appear crisp and clean. There's something about walking into a bright white room that's akin to a deep inhale of fresh laundry. It just feels and looks neater than other colors, in my opinion.
- Also, it makes everything more light and airy. We don't get a lot of natural light in our apartment, which is one of the only things I don't love about it. However, white paint helps a bit — the sunlight we do get bounces off the walls and makes everything feel more airy and open. (Because we don't get a lot of natural light, we went with a cool-toned white, Ultra Pure White by Behr).
- White paint creates the illusion of more space. The white definitely opened up my space physically — it made the rooms seem wider and longer, and the ceilings higher.
- It helps make decorating easier. White paint makes your walls the perfect background for any color furniture or decor. You won't be limited to neutrals in order to offset a mustard yellow bedroom or pale blue living room. Cool and warm tones play a part, but it's much easier to navigate than working with multiple colors.
- White walls photograph well. If you, like me, love sharing photos of your space, it's amazing what white walls will do for your Instagram feed. They really make whatever else is in the room pop.
Keep reading to see how I used white paint throughout my entire apartment to open it up, make it feel lighter, and give myself all of the decorating color options. It sounds so simple and obvious, sure, but still, the before and after photos don't lie!