Read all about Benjamin Moore Simply White, plus see 19 real homes that use it!
Benjamin Moore Simply White (OC-117) is a warm, inoffensive white that’s used on walls, cabinets, trim, and ceilings in many homes. It was even crowned with the title of Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year in 2016!
Simply White is part of the Benjamin Moore Off-White Collection (hence the “OC” in the paint number), but is it truly off-white? Maybe. Sometimes! Don’t worry…this post will tell you everything you need to know about this popular white paint!
Benjamin Moore itself describes this shade quite poetically by saying, “Fresh as the first snowfall, this clean, crisp, multi-purpose white is a perennial favorite for trim, ceilings, and walls.”
If you’ve always loved the idea of crisp white walls but were fearful of choosing a white that looked too stark, Simply White could be the shade you’ve been searching for.
Welcome to the latest post in a paint series featuring popular paint colors. I hope that the posts in this paint exploration series will give you the information you need to help you pick a perfect paint shade that you’ll love looking at day in and day out.
What color is Simply White?
If only I could say, “Simply White is just white!” But if you’ve ever tried to look at the subtle nuances of different shades of white, you probably noticed your eyes starting to cross because white paint is ANYTHING but “just white!”
Simply White is a lovely soft shade of white that looks terrific nearly anywhere. It will never look stark or cold. By the same token, it will never look too yellow.
Ok, let’s discover this color’s nuances as we take a deep dive into Benjamin Moore Simply White.
FAQs about BM Simply White
Is BM Simply White too white?
Simply White is a very light white. I think the thing that makes whites feel “too white” is when they have blue undertones and appear cool and stark. Simply White is a soft, warm white, so there’s no risk of having it look “too white.”
Is Benjamin Moore Simply White warm or cool?
Simply White leans warm thanks to some yellow undertones. However, it’s just warm enough to look soft rather than yellow.
Where should I use BM Simply White?
Consider using this shade for any room in your house! Since it’s light and soft, it’s extremely versatile and can look amazing when you use it for:
NOTE: because of Simply White’s undertones, it can be a little tough to successfully pair it with another white when painting trim, ceilings, and doors. So just stick with Simply White for all three because, in the absence of a neutral or cool-toned white, it will ACT white.
Curious which style home to use this shade in? Simply White can be an excellent choice for any house style and decor.
Benjamin Moore Simply White Undertones
Paint colors are complex. A knowing eye can pick up a little bit of blue or a tiny hint of yellow in a shade of white paint.
It might sound hooey at first, but after looking at enough paint swatches, your eyes will begin to pick up the most subtle nuances between one paint shade and another.
There are a couple of terms to know when looking at paint shades: “mass tone,” which is the main color you see when looking at paint (blue, white, brown, etc.), and “undertone,” which are those subtle differences that peek through to give variation between hues.
What are Benjamin Moore Simply White’s undertones?
Simply White is usually described as a soft yet clean, warm white. This shade is a little unique because it has some yellow undertones but none of the gray undertones that often accompany the yellow ones to soften it up.
As a result, Simply White will appear as a clean white unless it’s ablaze in very warm light or positioned next to ultra white. Then you’ll see the yellow come through (probably more than you want to).
For example, I wouldn’t recommend painting your kitchen cabinets white if you have white appliances, cool-toned marble, white quartz countertops, or a white subway tile backsplash. Otherwise, Simply White is an excellent choice for the kitchen!
NOTE: NO paint colors will look the same at varying times of the day or in two different locations. Paint swatches will show you EXACTLY how your lighting and decor will impact the appearance of your paint. I can’t recommend using paint swatches strongly enough!
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 BM Simply White
Believe it or not (seriously, believe it because it’s true…), surrounding elements in your home can reflect their colors onto your white paint and affect the way it reads. But what might be even more surprising is that the lighting in a room does the same thing!
Here’s a general idea of how you can expect Simply White to appear based on different types of natural lighting!
- North-facing light – northern light is cool and blue-tinted, which will leave Simply White exhibiting passive warmth.
- South-facing light – warm southern light will let Simply White lean into its warm side, and it may (at times) show off its yellow undertones.
- East-facing light – here you’ll find warm yellow light in the morning and shadowy, passive light in the afternoon. Simply White will shift a little through the day from warmer to passive, but not a lot.
- West-facing light – expect passive light in the morning and very warm light in the evening. Simply White will again shift slightly throughout the day, in an opposite order that you’ll see in east-facing light.
Great Coordinating Colors for Simply White
BM Simply White looks terrific with beige, gray, blue, green, red, and yellow. I would hesitate to pair it with another white and possibly some light creams.
Want some specific ideas of shades to pair with it? Check out these shades that look wonderful when paired with Benjamin Moore Simply White:
- Revere Pewter
- Copley Gray
- Amherst Gray
- Repose Gray
- Hale Navy
- Sea Salt
- Pale Smoke
- Beach Glass
- Dorian Gray
- Black Fox
- Wind Chime
- First Light
- Chelsea Gray
LRV of Benjamin Moore Simply White (OC-117)
Did you just read that and think, what the heck is an LRV? Don’t worry – I’ll explain it! LRV is an acronym for light reflective value. It’s simply a way of measuring how much light is reflected (instead of absorbed) by a particular shade.
LRV ranges from 0 – 100. Something with an LRV of 0 is straight up, super dark black. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an LRV of 100 is the brightest white you can imagine.
The LRV of BM Simply White = 91.7
With an LRV in the low 90s, it’s safe to say that Benjamin Moore Simply White is a bright paint shade. I have a lot of images to share with you below of how it looks in real people’s houses, but the important thing to note for now is it’s not a super stark, blinding white (which is a GREAT thing!)
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!⤵️
Simply White OC-117 Compared to Other Colors
Want to know a super-duper top-secret thing all of us designers know? Not all whites are created equal! Okay, that may not be as top secret as I implied. But many people fall into the trap of thinking that white paint will always just be basic white.
I’m going to show you how this shade compares with some other popular paint colors so you can see the differences between the two. Just help me keep the secret. Nah, just kidding – share this with all your friends, okay? 😉
Benjamin Moore Simply White vs White Dove
Benjamin Moore White Dove is another incredibly popular shade from Benjamin Moore. When you look at Simply White vs. White Dove, you’ll see a lot of similarities. Both whites are in the OC (aka Off-White Collection). Both shades are also warm whites, although they are not equally as warm.
As you can see from the image below, White Dove is a bit darker with an LRV of 85.4. It also has much stronger greige undertones where Simply White picks up more yellow—but just a touch.
Benjamin Moore Simply White vs. Chantilly Lace
First, let’s look at Simply White next to another popular white paint from the same brand, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (OC-65). It’s a clean, crisp white that clean slightly cool. Simply White’s LRV of 91.7 makes it just slightly darker than Chantilly Lace (LRV 92.2).
Also, its yellow undertones make Simply White naturally read much warmer than Chantilly Lace.
If you want very clean and crisp, go with Chantilly Lace. However, if you want something slightly warmer and softer, check out Simply White.
Benjamin Moore Simply White vs. Sherwin Williams Pure White
Pure White by Sherwin Williams has an LRV of 84, making it read darker than Simply White does. Further, Pure White has slight gray undertones, which give the shade a cooler quality that Simply White doesn’t have. Simply White will look warm and just a touch creamy next to Pure White.
More Colors to Consider
I know from experience how challenging it is to choose new paint colors! If you aren’t ready to commit Simply White yet, check out these other similar and popular white paint colors.
- Paper White (Benjamin Moore) – a cool-leaning off-white with slight green undertones
- Silver Satin (Benjamin Moore) – a gray-tinted off-white
- Calm (Benjamin Moore) – a soft and airy off-white
- Eider White (Sherwin Williams) – a warm off-white with greige undertones
- Creamy (Sherwin Williams) – a very warm, creamy off-white
- White Duck (Sherwin Williams) – a creamy off-white that leans greige
- City Loft (Sherwin Williams) – a creamy off-white with light gray undertones
- Snowbound (Benjamin Moore) – a slightly cool, yet very livable, white
- Decorators White (Benjamin Moore) – one of the most popular bright, cool whites
- Cloud White (Benjamin Moore) – soft, creamy & warm white color
- Super White (Benjamin Moore) – a brilliant, sparkling white paint
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!⤵️
19 Real Life Homes Using Benjamin Moore Simply White
All of the above information is certainly worth taking into consideration as you are trying to decide whether Simply White is the right paint color for you. However, sometimes you just need to have a good visual to really see it.
So, I found 19 real-life homes, rooms, and spaces that are using BM Simply White for you!
Of course, keep in mind that the paint color will not look the same on YOUR walls as it does in these pictures. How the shade reads is dependent on so many factors including lighting, what else is in the room, and what you pair it with.
I always recommend swatching the color in your own space before deciding, but maybe this will help you decide whether it’s worth a trip to the store. 😉
Kitchens with Simply White
Let’s start with the heart of the home, shall we? Whether you are dreaming of Simply White cabinets or looking for the perfect warm white for your walls, here are some real-life kitchens that embraced the hue!
Sheen note: Picking the right color is only winning the battle, not the war. Remember to pick the right paint finish, or sheen, also! Read up on what you need to know about picking the perfect paint sheen.
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).
1. All White Everything
Every wall, cabinet, trim, ceiling, and even the doors in Jamie from So Much Better with Age‘s beautiful house is painted Simply White. This bright, calming shade looks fantastic in her kitchen, as you can tell in this image.
2. Warm and Creamy
This lighting in @sweetshadylane‘s kitchen really brings out those creamy, warm undertones in Simply White. If you look closely on the bottom left, you can see where the plant is reflecting a bit of green into the paint too.
3. A Perfect Farmhouse White
Okay, if you can, peel your eyes away from that adorable lab and take a look at Simply White in @oursweetmagnoliafarm‘s kitchen.
Both the cabinets and the shiplap are painted in this creamy shade of white, although the paint seems a bit brighter on the cabinets. The shiplap is getting some of that warm sunlight from the window, which pulls those warm undertones out a teensy bit more.
Benjamin Moore Simply White Bathrooms
Another place where many homeowners opt to use this paint is in the bathrooms. It makes sense, as many times you want a white bathroom but you don’t want it to feel so stark and sterile. Here’s how Benjamin Moore Simply White turned out in some 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.
4. Classy Pairing with Marbled Tile
This bathroom from So Much Better with Age is major en suite goals! The wall color is Benjamin Moore Simply White, and it looks extra bright and clean thanks to all the natural light flooding in and reflecting off the cooler marble.
5. Soft White for a Clean Look
Here, Benjamin Moore Simply White is used to help soften up the darker shade on the top half of the wall. Without it, this bathroom from @945_home might have felt dark and tight, but the white wainscotting helps keep it bright.
6. Fresh Painted Powder Room
Benjamin Moore Simply White looks gorgeous in this bathroom from The Lived In Look. My guess is that they have cool lighting installed in this bathroom, which softens the warm undertone just slightly.
Living Rooms with Benjamin Moore Simply White
I know everyone says the kitchen is the hub of the home, but my family and I spend so much dang time in our living room! Between entertaining guests, watching movies, and just lounging, the living room is a crucial space to get right! Here’s how Simply White performed for these homeowners.
7. Great Interior Color for an Airy Feel
Here’s another all-white living room painted in Simply White, shared by @portdalhousiehome. This room is picking up a lot of warm light and bringing those creamy, slightly yellow undertones out.
Take a look at the right armrest of the sofa then compare it with the wall behind it and you’ll be able to see the warmth.
8. Use Reflectiveness to Your Advantage
Here, @riversandlou shares a wonderful example of a smaller living room done right! If you have natural lighting on one side of the room but not the other, add a big mirror, and it will reflect that light back onto your walls.
9. Simply White in Our Own Home
I looove this warm white so much that it’s one we’ve used in SEVERAL rooms in our own home. Here you can see it in our formal living room.
I know I recommend not trying to pair this soft white with another white, but I just couldn’t resist using a brighter white for the trim, fireplace, and ceiling.
10. The Perfect Backdrop
Okay, let’s look at one last living room painted Ben Moore Simply White. This one from @plankandpineinteriordesign is interesting because the vivid red furniture is definitely picked up by the paint to create a warm, almost pink reflection. You can see it on the wall behind the armchair, particularly towards the bottom.
11. Bit of Green Bouncing In
All the bright light flooding in through this living room from @Charmaine_Kingston help keep Benjamin Moore Simply White from becoming too yellow. On the wall right next to the window, you can even see a bit of that green light bouncing through.
Bedrooms Painted with Simply White
If there was one space in our homes that absolutely needs all the serenity and calming vibes from Simply White, it’s the bedroom! Here are a few that have used Simply White.
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.
12. True Neutral in Cooler Light
On the other hand, this bedroom from Rose Interiors has cooler light reflecting throughout, along with some more cool tones. The paint balances out and then becomes a true neutral. Just take a look at that little whiteboard and compare it to the wall behind—they are almost an identical color!
13. My Daughter’s White + Pink Bedroom
My daughter’s bedroom is painted Simply White. This inviting, warm white was the perfect backdrop for her girly pink and teal tones that really take center stage and pop so beautifully against this welcoming neutral.
14. A Nice Neutral for a Great Night’s Sleep
Katie Lamb shows what a calming shade Simply White can be in a bedroom perfect for those who love a neutral palette.
Simply White Hallways and Trim
15. Our Simply White Hallway
For years, this space was painted another Benjamin Moore shade…a true gray called Nimbus. I love that shade but was kind of tired of gray. So when we tackled our $1000 kitchen makeover, I painted this hallway and our laundry room Simply White, and I’m SO GLAD I did!
YES, those are plywood-painted subfloors you see under that beauty of a striped rug. That plywood floor leads into the kitchen floor, which we ALSO painted (without sanding…shhhhhh…that’s a secret.) Don’t tell any flooring contractors we cheated like that.
But if you’re interested in possibly cheating, too, you can check out our painted floor tutorial here.
16. Simply White Trim
In these images, with the hall doors closed, there is almost zero natural light entering this hallway. @945_home painted the walls Revere Pewter, and kept the doors and trim light and bright in Simply White.
17. Light, Airy Hallway in a Lakeside Home
Look how stunning Simply White looks in @ourculvercasa‘s lakehouse hallway coupled with white oak stair treads. It’s a perfect pairing.
Simply White Exteriors
Paint is generally a pretty low-risk thing to choose. Yes, it’s annoying when you have to lug out all the supplies and paint a room yet again, but that annoyance goes up 10-fold if you have to paint your entire exterior over!
If you have been looking for a classic white home, here’s what Simply White might look like.
18. Modern Complement to Rustic Cedar
Here’s a wonderful example of Simply White paint on a home exterior for you to consider from Deko Inc. This photo may have been taken on a cloudier day because that warm undertone isn’t reflecting back as much as it normally might on a sunny day.
19. A Triumphant Traditional Paint Shade
Looking for a clean but inviting paint shade for the exterior of your traditional or colonial home? Check out how well this shade looks on @sarahgtucker‘s brick facade! Perfection!
Phew. Is your head filled with visions of the perfect creamy warm white? I hope so! Remember to grab a paint sample and use it on your walls before you commit to anything, though. 😉
Not ready to paint? Pin this Simply White paint exploration post for later!
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.
I’m struggling with choosing a paint color for my bathroom. It’s filled with yellowy, cream-colored travertine – the shower, the floor, the counter. The existing shade is too close to the color of the travertine itself. Plus I just hate it. Our cabinets are stained a color with a reddish/orange undertone. We’re stuck with the remnants of Tuscan style. Yuck. What colors might go with travertine and update the look? I was thinking some kind of white. Thoughts? Updating travertine is a big problem. Most of us can’t afford to tear it out (or our husbands won’t let us), and I’m sure lots of other people are wondering about this too.