Picking the perfect white paint is simple thanks to designer and RHONY star Erin Lichy's golden rule

White walls are a safe bet, whether you want an effortlessly stylish scheme, or one with re-sale value. But not all white paints are created equal, says this designer and Real Housewife

erin lichy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When redecorating a property, especially if you know it’s not your forever home, you might feel a bit unsure about what decisions to make that you won’t have to change when putting your house back on the market. Settling on a color to paint your walls is one of those decisions. 

While home decor color trends tell us bold hues are having a moment, picking one for your home that you both love living in and will appeal to potential buyers means going more toward neutral, lighter tones. However, you can bring your personality in by playing with different undertones in your chosen neutral, to create a space you will love living in. 

I spoke to Erin Dana Lichy, the successful realtor and interior designer appearing in season 14 of Real Housewives of New York, and she reveals how she chooses a white paint that not only will sell your home better, but that's the best shade to live with, too. 

How Erin picks the right white paint

kitchen with white walls, wood dining table and seats in vibrant blue velvet

(Image credit: Erin Dana Lichy / HOMEGIRL)

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room: pure white. While it might be the go-to for many because it’s the easy choice, and we’d assume nobody would have an issue with it, the truth is that it lacks warmth, and in the long run, is not the most inviting to live in.

A pure white is not the only answer for a space that looks light and bright. Here’s what Erin Lichy, owner of interior design studio HOMEGIRL NY tells me: ‘Most people prefer light colors, but don’t underestimate the power of small differences in tone. In a light room, I won’t use a crisp white, because it will be too harsh, like you’re in a gallery, but I’ll introduce a creamier tone, and this can go a long way.’ 

The good news is that it’s hard to go wrong with neutral color schemes, and you can pick pops of color in your furniture which is always easier to change. Pick your undertone to be warmer, such as a creamy yellow base, if your room is north facing. Neutral as it may be, it looks incredibly elegant, and just in line with the minimaluxe movement that is all about quiet luxury. For a south facing room, you can get away with a more grey or blue undertone, if that’s what you prefer, as the warm natural light will soften it.

Erin loves working with these colors for projects at Homegirl NY, her interior design studio 

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.