We wanted a warmer white versus a "hot" white (also disguised as blue-white or Tack Room White by Mr. RL). Once you determine that, you can eliminate about half of the "white" paint swatches -- and there are hundreds. For this "warmer" white, I didn't want ivory or yellow-y cream colors. Just something that sat in that comfortable true-white zone that wasn't blindingly bleached white.
After living with some final paint swatch selections in daylight and evening light, I chose Benjamin Moore's Simply White. It's perfect in every light. Shown here with the new credenza in place. Isn't she lovely?
You can get a lot of Ben's colors in their higher-end paints named Aura. According to our paint crew, it goes on a lot better and is a truer, more even color. It really is a great-coverage paint - no marketing bull it seems. You still need two passes which is better all-around anyway.
As with just about everything creative in my life, this room also started with a mood board. This one is not as full and final as some of the others, but it definitely pulls together the feeling I wanted for this room -- it continues to grow organically as I find things I like. The room on the upper left is the exact layout of our dining room. Except we need a table. Fairly integral to the whole dining experience, don't you think?
For the mood boards and more, I have been constantly collecting images of things that really speak to me for years. I store them in my "inspiration" 3-ring binders from Russel and Hazel , a company that carries the most beautiful office supplies. Completely worth it, because when they are exposed -- they become part of your environment.