Choosing the Right Color for Your Mantel

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Most people have probably never considered the finer differences between light, neutral colors like buff and cream. This is usually the domain of interior decorators, wedding dress designers, and stationers. But if you’re planning home improvements without the help of a designer, these can be surprisingly important color distinctions.

Last year, Old World Stoneworks introduced a choice of white, cream or buff to our customers. This post should help you understand the differences between these subtle, neutral shades.

When White is Right

Depending on the person, white interiors bring to mind art galleries, serenity, minimalism and/or sterility. But when picking a mantel, the effect is more like trim, rather than painting a whole wall. So, you should consider the room’s predominant colors. White brightens surrounding colors and shows off architectural details. Say you want to emphasize crown molding on an architecturally stunning house – painting it white and picking a matching mantel should work well. If your color scheme is cool, white will match best.
berkley mantel
Notice how white shows off the details of our Berkley mantel.

The Softness of Cream

Cream, on the other hand, has a softening effect with just a touch of gray. It tones down surrounding colors and is relaxing without looking sterile. For bedrooms, cream is cozier and more intimate than white.
amhurst mantel

Our Amhurst mantel looks classic in cream.

What about Buff?

Buff is complicated for such a neutral color. Technically, it’s the base color for a gold/brown/yellow mixture. You can trace this color name back to an 1868 London Gazette article, where it was used to describe the lining of a uniform made of undyed buffalo leather. Hence the name buff. This color shows up on vintage and Victorian paint palettes, so it may be a good mantel choice in older homes with earthy tones. 
gatwick mantel
What do you think of the metal pattern within our Gatwick mantel in buff? We love hearing feedback on our old and new designs. So, be sure to keep an eye out for new fireplace designs coming soon.

We’re Here to Help

Still unsure whether buff, cream or white is the right shade for you? Our expert staff is happy to consult. We love to talk mantels. Give us a call today and take advantage of our January promotion and save 10% on your new fireplace mantel.

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