White walls make it easier to use color in other parts of your home, such as a comforter or mirror.
Nicole Nichols, owner of Revival Designs, says that white walls can showcase your decor, such as these fixtures and stools.

Jackie Barnes, owner of Jackie Barnes Design, says that white is eternally classic.

Designer Jackie Barnes recommends changing paint colors when updating your home.

A kitchen by Revival Designs





White walls make it easier to use color in other parts of your home, such as a comforter or mirror.

Gray had a good run. For years, it was color du jour in home decor. The go-to hue for both cabinets and walls. But it appears that white paint now reigns supreme.

It’s bright and clean and caters to the minimalist movement ushered in by the likes of Marie Kondo. While it can be just as complex—there are dozens of different shades and undertones that range from warm to cold—it’s a great way to stay on trend, designers say.

“Gray was really popular for a lot of years. Now everything’s white, but sometimes with dramatic accents or touches, like black or deep, deep navy in select spots,” says Nicole Nichols, owner of Revival Designs, a Cincinnati-based renovation design company. Nichols also specializes in residential design, home staging and photography. “White can range, but it’s classic and allows the furniture and the decor to be the showcase.”

When it comes to flipping houses, Nichols often takes more risk, because those buyers want the latest and greatest, she says. For those projects, for example, she likes to mix metals in bathrooms and kitchens to add color and interest. And while white kitchens are still very popular, she’s seeing more black or dark cabinetry.

But white walls are universally in demand, and also eternally classic, so it’s also a good option for homeowners looking to update their space, says Jackie Barnes, owner of Jackie Barnes Design, a local interior design business. And paint is an easy, and relatively inexpensive, way to stay on point.

“It’s good to take a look around every few years and see what you can do to modernize,” Barnes says. “If you think about, when you get dressed in the morning, if you wore sweatpants every single day—while it’s comfortable and will get you by—is that really what’s going to make you feel your best? Your surroundings really do influence your mood, so if it’s decorated in a way that makes sense for your family and looks nice, it tends to improve how you feel.”

Among her favorites: Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster for trim and Shoji White for walls. But whether a homeowner goes all in—on paint or anywhere else, like using quartz countertops over granite and zellige over subway tile—it’s all about preference.

“Your home, that’s a very personal space,” Barnes says. “Gray is moving out…but if you like gray, use gray. No matter what style you like, whether it’s industrial or bohemian, which is super popular still, use it sparingly, and that’s a great way to stay on point.”