Read all about Behr Swiss Coffee, plus check out 16 real-life homes that use it!
Warm whites and off-whites are timeless. They’ll never go out of style because so many people love that cozy feeling that warm whites exude.
However, like greige paint, warm whites and off-whites can appear VERY differently when you change the lighting exposure alone. Add that to changing up the surrounding decor, and you’ll see for yourself just how shape-shifting white and off-white colors truly are.
Today I’m doing a color review of one of my all-time favorite off-whites: Behr’s Swiss Coffee.
A warm and creamy off-white, this shade is one of Behr’s most popular white paints. In fact, it’s so light that it’s “behr-ly” a color at all! 😂
Tip: As someone who doesn’t want to throw money down the drain, I recommend buying a few paint samples of your top choices and using them to paint your swatches. It’s SO much cheaper than spending $$$ to buy gallons of paint!
This post about Swiss Coffee is part of my in-depth series about popular paint colors. I hope these posts will make visualizing how a color may look on YOUR walls – and the overall process of narrowing down and choosing paint – easier.
Behr Swiss Coffee (#12) is a soft, muted, warm off-white. I think it’s WAY less yellow than many off-whites and much more comfortable than bright, stark whites.
Here are all the deets about Swiss Coffee to help you narrow down your search for off-white paint and determine if it’s a good fit for YOUR home.
Is Behr Swiss Coffee the same as Benjamin Moore?
They are NOT the same color, but they are similar. They are both soft, warm off-whites with yellow/beige undertones and have an LRV around 84. However, there are subtle differences, so you need to use paint swatches to help you decide between them!
FAQs about Behr Swiss Coffee
Is Behr Swiss Coffee too yellow?
This shade definitely has (as all off-whites do) yellow undertones that can peek through. However, Swiss Coffee tends to look more beige than yellow, so you will never look at your walls and think a canary took up residence.
What colors are similar to Behr Swiss Coffee?
If you’re looking for comparable shades to use, check out:
Sherwin Williams Alabaster – this color is very close.
Benjamin Moore Cloud White – a little more muted than Swiss Coffee, but gives the same general vibe.
Behr Nano White – if you have a cooler color palette in your home that you want to match.
Is Behr Swiss Coffee a warm color?
Swiss Coffee IS a warm color! It’s a warm white (which means it has yellow in it) that has a muted base to neutralize it and calm down the yellow.
That said, it reads warm and soft without being TOO warm or yellow.
Where should I use Behr Swiss Coffee?
This lovely color can look incredible in ANY room of the house as well as on trim and cabinets. If you’re aware of and work with its undertones, you can use it nearly anywhere!
Consider Behr Swiss Coffee for your:
Thanks to its versatility, you can use Swiss Coffee in any style of home and with any type of decor.
Behr Swiss Coffee Undertones
“Mass tones” are the primary color you see when looking at paint, such as blue, yellow, green, etc.
However, every color has many variations (or shades). These slight differences in color come from blending together the unique combination of colors needed to create the mass tone of paint. These variations are called “undertones” because they are just subtle differences in the overall color.
What are Behr Swiss Coffee’s undertones?
Swiss Coffee is a lovely soft off-white that leans warm. The warmth comes from yellow undertones. Some people hate yellow undertones, and I completely agree WHEN they’re obvious and unavoidable.
However, Behr Swiss Coffee isn’t offensive at all because its undertones look more beige than yellow. So instead of reading “creamy,” Swiss Coffee looks like a beige-leaning off-white.
Take this as a gentle reminder to buy a SAMPLE and paint yourself a nice big swatch of Swiss Coffee before you fully commit and spend $$$ on gallons of paint only to decide you hate it.
If undertones make your head hurt, you’re not alone! Grab your free copy of 5 Biggest Paint Choice Mistakes Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
How Different Types of Lighting Affect Behr Swiss Coffee
In nearly every room, no matter the lighting exposure, Swiss Coffee is a lovely light neutral that takes a backseat in favor of giving the nearby decor a chance to take center stage.
The color’s saturation is more noticeable in dark rooms than light ones, and the yellow undertones will come through stronger in rooms that rely on artificial lighting.
Here’s a general idea of how lighting exposure can impact how Swiss Coffee will appear in your home.
- North-facing light – northern light is cool and gray-ish, which will tone down the warmth of this shade and draw out the muted base. It will often read as soft, warm off-white in northern lighting exposure.
- South-facing light – warm light from the south will pull out the warm (yellow) undertones. Depending on how bright the lighting is, you may see Swiss Coffee wash out and appear white or look slightly beige.
- East-facing light – an east-facing room has warm light in the morning and shadowy afternoon light. Swiss Coffee will shift from soft off-white to white or light beige with the shifting light..
- West-facing light – west-facing light shifts throughout the day in the opposite order from east-facing light. Swiss Coffee will also display a similar shift in how it reads.
Great Coordinating Colors for Behr Swiss Coffee
Swiss Coffee’s warm undertones make it pair especially well with muted earth tones, browns, and dark greiges. I would generally not pair it with cool grays unless I really wanted that warm/cool contrast.
Here are a few notable colors that look great with Behr Swiss Coffee:
- Seasoned Salt
- Palais White
- Spring Valley
- Nairobi Dusk
- Rodeo Tan
- Cameo Stone
- Ice Drop
- Rusty Gate
- Bellflower Blue
- New House White
- Lingonberry Punch
- Ultra Pure White
- Hale Navy
- Antique White
- Polar Bear
- Chopped Dill
LRV of Swiss Coffee (#12)
LRV stands for the “Light Reflectance Value.” The way LRV works is that paint is given a numerical value (between 0 and 100) based on how light or how dark it appears. The higher the number, the more light that color reflects and the brighter it appears, and vice versa.
Knowing a paint’s LRV is very helpful when choosing paint colors because you want to find an LRV range that works for your room and stay within that range to make coordinating colors easier. If only I had learned about LRV before I painted our first couple of houses!
The LRV of Behr Swiss Coffee = 84
Behr Swiss Coffee is light – very light, which puts it in the off-white range. It will act as a soft, warm white without appearing stark or blindingly bright.
LRV…what? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Swiss Coffee Behr Compared to Other Colors
Let’s compare Swiss Coffee to other popular off-whites so we can see for ourselves how those undertones come into play.
Behr Swiss Coffee vs. Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
As I mentioned above, Benjamin Moore also has a paint color named Swiss Coffee, and the colors are so similar that it’s hard to give a very clear description of the subtle differences. See for yourself!
Suffice it to say that they are both soft, warm off-whites. Their LRVs are even shockingly close (BM Swiss Coffee is 83.93, and Behr’s is 84)!
Swiss Coffee vs. Polar Bear
Polar Bear by Behr sits at an LRV of 90, making it brighter than Swiss Coffee. In addition, it has a little less warmth (yellow) and a little more gray.
On the wall, it will likely read as more of a “true white” than Swiss Coffee will.
Behr Swiss Coffee vs. Cotton Knit
These two colors display the greatest difference of the pairings we have listed. Coming in at 74 on the LRV scale, Behr’s Cotton Knit acts more like a greige than an off-white.
In addition, thanks to its deeper beige (and wink of pink) undertones, it’s less versatile than Swiss Coffee.
More Colors to Consider
Does all this talk about undertones, LRV, and the like make your eyes cross in toward each other? If you find your head spinning and don’t know that Swiss Coffee is “the one” yet, here are a variety of similar yet popular colors you may love more. 😉
- Snowbound (Sherwin Williams) – a slightly cool, yet very livable, white
- Drift of Mist (Sherwin Williams) – a warm-leaning light beige
- On The Rocks (Behr) – a mid-toned greige with slight green undertones
- Worldly Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a mid-toned warm-leaning greige
- Silver Satin (Behr) – a gray-tinted off-white
- Dover White (Sherwin Williams) – a warm, creamy off-white color
- Alabaster (Sherwin Williams) – one of the lightest greiges available
- Calm (Behr) – a balanced light greige
- Chantilly Lace (Benjamin Moore) – a bright, beautiful white paint color
- White Dove (Benjamin Moore) – a popular, warm off-white paint shade with gray undertones
- Pure White (Sherwin Williams) – this popular SW shade is a clean, fresh white that’s bright, yet soft & versatile
Feeling lost? I gotcha, boo! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Real Life Homes Using Behr Swiss Coffee
Now it’s time for what you’ve REALLY been waiting for, right? I’ve babbled on and on enough about undertones and LRV. So now it’s time to get to the bones of this Swiss Coffee analysis!
Here are more than 10 real-life examples that show how Swiss Coffee by Behr could look like on your own walls (remember…use swatches first!).
Swiss Coffee Living Rooms
A quick note here: don’t forget to consider picking the right paint finish…it’s not only about getting the color right! We have an in-depth explanation of choosing sheens here.
1. Great Base for Your Decor
Some people want their paint colors to be the focal point of their home, but I Spy DIY took a different approach. Using Behr Swiss Coffee allowed the decor stand as the focal point.
2. Works for Feature Pieces Too
A Beautiful Mess took a fun approach and painted the stone fireplace in Behr Swiss Coffee. You can see how it’s slightly warmer (but not obviously yellow or beige) than the white wall and ceiling. So chic!
3. Definite Farmhouse Feels
Faith and Farmhouse used Behr Swiss Coffee as the main wall color, which acts as the perfect monochrome backdrop in this well-lit living room. This is as creamy as you will see it read.
Kitchens Using Swiss Coffee
For kitchens, eggshell or satin are popular finish choices for walls. For cabinets consider semi-gloss or high gloss for the most durable finish (and a gorgeous glow).
4. Fun Contrast with Darker Colors
The blue cabinets in this laundry room from The House That Lars Built cools Swiss Coffee way down so that it reads soft white with no evidence of its undertones (the bottom cabinets are painted Behr Whale Gray).
5. Creamy White Kitchen
The yellow-tinted light in this kitchen featured on Houzz from DII Architecture (photo credit: Jereme Smith) pull out the yellow undertones of Swiss Coffee. You can see the teeniest bit of yellow, but it isn’t obvious unless you’re looking for it.
This space also shows that Swiss Coffee on the walls does provide some contrast with the bright white cabinet color.
6. Cozy Cabinet Paint
Classy Clutter decided to pair Swiss Coffee with a deeper yellow-leaning beige, and the result is stunning. This shade works very well with darker warm colors.
Behr Swiss Coffee Dining Spaces
7. A Backdrop for Modern Art
All whites and off-whites are susceptible to influence from surrounding decor. For example, the lime green art frame on Semigloss Design‘s wall draws out some faint yellow undertones in Swiss Coffee.
8. Beautiful Next to Neutral Tones
Faith and Farmhouse knew that Swiss Coffee would be the perfect choice for modern farmhouse decor. Doesn’t this room feel like it’s ready to wrap you up in the hug? I’m getting all the feels and loving every second.
Swiss Coffee in Bedrooms
In general for bedrooms, and low-traffic areas, flat paint is fine. If you like something with a bit of shine (and more ease of cleaning) opt for eggshell or satin.
9. Excels in Natural Light
If there’s one thing I don’t enjoy, it’s being in a stark white room. It just hurts my eyes, and I guess Most Lovely Things feels the same way. Swiss Coffee was a brilliant choice for this room.
10. Just Slightly Off-White
Bright and clean without being too crisp…that’s what Thou Swell must have been going for, and it works so well. See the contrast with the much cooler white on the ceiling?
Laundry Rooms Painted Swiss Coffee
11. Brightens Small Spaces
Please consider Swiss Coffee for small rooms where you want to create a spacious vibe. Katrina Blair‘s laundry room doesn’t have a lot of natural light, but it feels about twice as big as it actually is.
12. Cute Paired with Patterns
Life on Virginia Street had fun playing around with adding patterns on top of the wall paint. Swiss Coffee handles it like a champ by fading into the background.
Behr’s Swiss Coffee Bathrooms
Don’t forget the finish! For bathrooms the perfect sheen is either an eggshell or satin. Why? We’ll tell you in this post about paint sheen.
13. Highlights Molding Features
A Thoughtful Place Blog used Swiss Coffee’s subtle depth to highlight the molding in this bathroom. It looks so amazing that now I’m envisioning doing the same thing in my guest bath.
14. Clean and Modern
The right paint color does more than just sit there looking pretty. The best choice for a room works harder than you may realize to tie everything in the space together.
This bathroom from Undecorated Home shows how the different types of lighting, dark accents, and wood tones all look like they belong…thanks to Behr Swiss Coffee on the walls.
Other Sightings of Swiss Coffee Paint
15. Warm, Welcoming Exterior Paint
Cass Makes Home used Swiss Coffee as an exterior color, and I love the creamy warmth it radiates even as it’s paired with black accents.
16. Ideal Neutral for Most Any Space
Do you need a perfectly neutral background color? Whether you love minimalist decor or are planning to sell your home, Peyton Bryan shows how Swiss Coffee can be the perfect color to show off the SPACE instead of the decor.
17. Basement Brightening
We used Behr Swiss Coffee in our own home, as well! After testing LOTS of samples in this space that has VERY little natural light, we went with Swiss Coffee! It was bright enough to help lighten the space, but also had that tinge of warmth that I was looking for to help make the space feel cozy rather than cold.
There you go! I hope this blog post helped you see just how lovely Swiss Coffee by Behr really is. If you’re searching for a perfect soft white for your own home, give Swiss Coffee a chance to see if it makes the cut.
Pin this paint color for later! And if you use this paint shade, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others decide if they want to try this color, too!
Ready to show those boring, beige walls who’s the boss at home? Grab my free guide to help you sidestep the mistakes that almost everyone makes when it comes to picking paint! You’ll be on your way to perfect paint promptly…pinky swear.