Read all about Benjamin Moore Simply White, plus see 33 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!
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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 things looking too stark, Simply White could be the shade you’ve been searching for.
The LRV of Benjamin Moore Simply White
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.
Benjamin Moore Simply White has an LRV of 91.7. That may not mean anything to you yet but think of it this way. 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.
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!).
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Benjamin Moore Simply White Compared with Other White Paints
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
White Dove is an 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.
Simply White vs Simple White
I know that looks like a typo, but it isn’t. Simply White is by Benjamin Moore while Simple White is a shade from Sherwin Williams. Confusing, right?
When you look at these shades side by side, you will CLEARLY be able to tell the difference. I’m only including this one because I don’t want you to go to the wrong store and buy the wrong paint by the wrong brand. Ask me how I know! 😬
Decorator’s White vs. Simply White
Decorator’s White is another shade from Benjamin Moore that’s long been a favorite. The LRV of this white is 85.6, so while it appears darker than Simply White, it’s not by much.
The real difference between these two lies in the undertones. Again, Simply White has that touch of warm yellow to it, while Decorator’s White leans cooler and has more gray.
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33 Real Life Homes Using 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 33 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. How the shade comes out is dependant 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!
Every wall, cabinet, trim, ceiling, and even the doors in Jamie’s beautiful house is painted Simply White. This bright, calming shade looks fantastic on both the ceiling and her kitchen cabinets as you can tell in this image.
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2. Simply White | NKBA
Whether you are a fan of gold accents (like these gorgeous light fixtures below!) or stainless steel, Simply White works. As you can see, the cover looks beautiful next to stainless steel and gold both!
3. New Construction California Cottage | HB Home Bunch
This image can help you see what Simply White looks like both in natural light and lower light. If you compare the area right around the window to the bottom corner, you’ll see the difference. Without as much light it takes on
This lighting 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.
Okay, if you can, peel your eyes away from that adorable lab and take a look at this Simply White 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.
In this gorgeous image, the Simply White cabinets look slightly less warm than some of the other images. Remember, white absorbs and reflects color from things around it, so those cool gray tiles can help soften the warmth of the shade.
In contrast, this kitchen is filled with warm accents and wood tones, so the paint is reflecting a bit of that warmth back. If you follow the line from left to right, you can see how the shade changes as the light fades from it too.
A lot of people have asked me in the past if you can pair a warm tone like this paint color with a cool tone, like these stainless steel appliances. I think the answer speaks for itself in this photo, but it’s an absolute YES from me.
Who said white has to be boring? Not me! There is so much personality infused in this kitchen. I love how the paint color serves as the perfect background for decor pieces to pop.
Believe it or not, this image isn’t a kitchen…it’s a pantry! I die. Kidding, but how amazing is this room? Straight ahead, you can see these Simply White pantry cabinets are a bit warmer than on the left where the light is washing them out a bit. Both are gorgeous and I would 100% take this room as-is into my house!
These Simply White kitchen cabinets take on a bit of a different hue than many of the others above. That amazing wall of windows filled with greenery combined with the black countertops almost make the cabinets have a gray tint to them. I dig it!
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.
Here, Benjamin Moore Simply White is used to help soften up the darker shade on the top half of the wall. Without it, the room might have felt dark and tight, but the white wainscotting helps keep it bright and clean looking.
13. Small Bathroom Renovation | So Much Better with Age
This bathroom 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.
Benjamin Moore Simply White looks gorgeous in this bathroom. My guess is that they have cool lighting installed in this bathroom, which softens the warm undertone just slightly.
Simply White Dining Room
I couldn’t put together this post without including this beautiful dining room! Both the wall paint and the trim are painted Benjamin Moore Simply White. The abundance of natural light makes the entire room looks warm and cozy rather than stark and plain.
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.
Do you have a living room filled with rustic beams, shiplap, and picture windows? I’m halfway kidding, but also slightly jealous. Simply White makes this mostly-white room feel inviting and warm. Those big windows reflect just a bit of green light onto the paint – do you see it in the back corner?
17. Benjamin Moore Simply White | Concepts & Colorways
Here’s another all-white living room painted in Simply White. 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.
18. Benjamin Moore Color of the Year: ‘Simply White’ | Studio McGee
I like this image because it shows you how the shade looks with natural light and without on the same wall. To the left of the oval window, the shade is creamy and shows those yellow undertones. On the far right of that same wall, the shade picks up a bit more gray.
In this living room painted with Benjamin Moore Simply White, you can see how white will often pick up and reflect colors surrounding it. That pretty red-orange foliage outside produces an almost pink tint on the wall directly next to the window.
If you want to create a warm, yet neutral backdrop to display items on, Simply White could be the answer! I love how it makes all the things on the bookshelf pop here.
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Another beautiful 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.
All the bright light flooding in through this living room 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.
In this Simply White living room, you can see how the cooler light and green trees reflecting inward neutralize the warmth of the paint to create a balanced shade.
Okay, let’s look at one last living room painted Ben Moore Simply White. This one 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.
25. our own living room (heathered nest)
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.
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.
This adorable nursery has lots of warm furniture and warm sunlight pouring in. As you can see, the paint is picking that up and reflecting it so that the walls almost look like a very, very light buttercream.
On the other hand, this bedroom 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!
Want a shade that you can paint in your ceilings and walls with? Look no further! Benjamin Moore Simply White works perfectly in a room like this that has some interesting architectural features. Using the same shade of paint helps them not to stand out as much as they might otherwise.
29. simply white girls’ bedroom (heathered nest)
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.
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.
Is it weird to be totally jealous of a child-size playhouse? How cute is this! Let’s get really detailed for a minute, though. Take a look at the light reflecting off the tree onto the paint at the bottom left, then take a look at the bottom right where the greenery is reflecting. Can you spot the difference?
Here’s an adult-sized example for you to consider. 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.
Other Simply White Spaces
To round out this list, we’ve got two more spaces in our own home painted Simply White.
First up, our laundry room…
32. Simply White Laundry Room (heathered nest)
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!
33. Simply White Hallway (heathered nest)
OK, so literally this is two steps toward the kitchen from the last shot. I need to take a better angle of the laundry room at some point so I can show you more of it. But here’s another shot of Simply White in this part of the house…
And 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.
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!
More Paint Colors to Consider
If you aren’t sure whether Simply White is the right paint for you, I’ve got plenty of other options for you to check out:
- Chantilly Lace (Benjamin Moore)
- Light Pewter (Benjamin Moore)
- Gray Owl (Benjamin Moore)
- Classic Gray (Benjamin Moore)
- Stonington Gray (Benjamin Moore)
- Sea Salt (Sherwin Williams)
- White Dove (Benjamin Moore)
- Repose Gray (Sherwin Williams)
- Agreeable Gray (Sherwin Williams)
- Swiss Coffee (Benjamin Moore)
Pssst…before you go, I sure would love to hang out with you again really soon! And before you’re on your way, make sure you grab your free copy of the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Picking Paint, so you can avoid the heartache (and hole in your wallet) when your paint choices don’t quite work out! Click here, and I’ll send your free copy right now!