City Loft vs Alabaster: What’s the Difference?

city loft vs alabaster

When searching for the perfect light, airy neutral paint color, two great options from Sherwin Williams are City Loft SW 7631 and Alabaster SW 7008. At first glance, these two shades appear quite similar – soft whites with a subtle hue. But looking closely, there are noticeable differences in tone and intensity.

This in-depth guide will compare City Loft vs Alabaster to help you determine which is better for your home’s interior. We’ll analyze everything from undertones, light reflectance value (LRV), real photos, room pairings, and more.

By the end, you’ll understand how to choose between these beautiful, versatile neutrals from Sherwin Williams. Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between City Loft and Alabaster

Before getting into the details, here’s a high-level overview of how City Loft and Alabaster differ:

  • Undertones – City Loft is a cool white-gray, Alabaster is a warm white
  • Light Reflectance – City Loft has an LRV of 70, Alabaster has an LRV of 82
  • Use – City Loft suits modern styles, Alabaster fits traditional decor
  • Rooms – City Loft excels in kitchens, Alabaster shines in bedrooms
  • Availability – Both come in all sheens

Now let’s explore City Loft SW 7631 and Alabaster SW 7008 more thoroughly.

Detailed Review of City Loft SW 7631

Sherwin Williams City Loft
Sherwin Williams City Loft

With its cool white-gray appearance, City Loft SW 7631 by Sherwin Williams creates a sleek, urban backdrop well-suited for contemporary styles. This versatile color works beautifully across modern spaces.

Here are some details about City Loft:

  • LRV: 70
  • Undertones: Cool white-gray
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Bold colors, black and white, wood tones

City Loft is a hushed dove gray with subtle hints of blue. In all lighting it maintains its understated neutral white-gray appearance.

The 70 LRV provides ideal illumination without being too stark. City Loft gives an open, breathable feel.

This adaptable neutral complements a wide variety of colors from bold to muted. Popular City Loft color pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Naval
  • Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
  • Black and white patterns
  • Rich wood stains and finishes
  • Polished chrome and nickel accents
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While suitable anywhere at home, City Loft truly excels in these sleek, modern spaces:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Hallways

City Loft’s versatility creates a relaxing yet fresh backdrop, perfect for contemporary styles.

Detailed Review of Alabaster SW 7008

SW Alabaster

With its warm white appearance, Alabaster SW 7008 by Sherwin Williams creates a flexible, inviting backdrop well-suited for accentuating traditional decor. This color succeeds in both formal and casual spaces.

Here are some details about Alabaster:

  • LRV: 82
  • Undertones: Warm white
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Wood tones, grays, blacks

Alabaster is a creamy white with the slightest hint of beige warmth. In most lighting it maintains its understated neutral white appearance.

The 82 LRV provides ideal illumination without being too stark. Alabaster gives off a welcoming, peaceful feel.

This versatile neutral complements both cool and warm accents nicely. Popular Alabaster color pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  • Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
  • Black and white patterns
  • Weathered wood finishes
  • Oil rubbed bronze lighting

While suitable anywhere at home, Alabaster truly excels in these cozy spaces:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Libraries

Alabaster’s warmth helps create a relaxed, traditional feel – perfect as an all-over home color.

Light Reflectance Value Comparison

The main LRV difference between City Loft and Alabaster is noticeable:

  • City Loft SW 7631: 70 LRV
  • Alabaster SW 7008: 82 LRV

Alabaster will read brighter and more airy than the subtle, understated City Loft. But both offer nice illumination.

Direct Comparison of Undertones

When viewed together, here is how the undertones of City Loft and Alabaster differ:

  • City Loft is a cool-toned white-gray with hints of blue.
  • Alabaster is a warm white with faint beige qualities.

City Loft has a light gray appearance, while Alabaster leans creamy white in most lighting.

Style and Room Pairings

Due to its white-gray tone, City Loft SW 7631 excels in modern spaces like:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Nurseries

Alabaster SW 7008 fits best with traditional decor and shines in these rooms:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Libraries

So City Loft delivers contemporary versatility, while Alabaster offers traditional sophistication.

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Real-Life Photo Examples

Let’s look at real-life photos to compare City Loft and Alabaster:

City Loft SW 7631

Real Sherwin Williams City Loft
Real Sherwin Williams City Loft

Alabaster SW 7008

Real Room Photos SW Alabaster

You can see City Loft’s subtle coolness compared to the warm white tone of Alabaster. But lighting affects their appearance.

Should You Choose City Loft or Alabaster?

So which airy neutral should you choose for your space? Consider the following:

Consider City Loft SW 7631 if you want:

  • A slightly cool, crisp white-gray
  • A versatile color suitable for modern spaces
  • A relaxing yet fresh backdrop
  • To allow bold colors to pop

Consider Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A warm, welcoming white neutral
  • A color ideal for traditional design
  • A cozy, peaceful bedroom and living room
  • A softly enveloping feel

City Loft offers light modern crispness, while Alabaster provides subtle warm tranquility.

Get large color samples before deciding. Test them on walls in natural light at all times of day. This gives the most accurate impression of undertones.

Either gorgeous neutral from Sherwin Williams will complement your home beautifully!

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, City Loft and Alabaster create soothing backdrops. Here are ideas to complement them:

City Loft SW 7631 Pairings:

  • Navy blues and grays
  • Sleek chrome finishes
  • Rich walnut wood tones
  • Black and white abstract art
  • Sheer linen drapery

Alabaster SW 7008 Pairings:

  • Soothing sage greens
  • Creamy antique whites
  • Weathered oak wood finishes
  • Oil rubbed bronze lighting
  • Floral accent patterns

Choosing colors and materials that enhance the crispness of City Loft or the warmth of Alabaster is key.

Room-by-Room Guide

Here are rooms best suited to City Loft and Alabaster:


City Loft – A crisp, modern backdrop that feels airy. Lets colorful accents pop.

Alabaster – A subtle, welcoming color that warms up traditional kitchens beautifully.


City LoftCrisp and spa-like. Pairs nicely with marble finishes and chrome accents.

AlabasterPeaceful and relaxing – perfect for a long soak.


City LoftLight and bright. Highlights colorful bedding and artwork.

AlabasterWarm and calming – promotes restful sleep.

Living Rooms

City Loft – A relaxing yet contemporary backdrop suitable for varied furnishings.

Alabaster – A versatile, welcoming color perfect for traditional living rooms.

Both neutrals work well but have unique strengths based on the style.

City Loft vs. Alabaster Comparison Chart

Here is an overview comparison between City Loft SW 7631 and Alabaster SW 7008:

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Paint Color City Loft SW 7631 Alabaster SW 7008
LRV 70 82
Undertone Cool white-gray Warm white
Use Modern styles Traditional decor
Sheen All finishes All finishes
Rooms Kitchens, baths Bedrooms, living rooms

Which Neutral is Best for Your Home?

So which of these beautiful Sherwin Williams neutrals is right for you?

City Loft SW 7631 is the better choice if you:

  • Prefer cool, modern color palettes
  • Want an airy feel for kitchens and bathrooms
  • Seek a backdrop that allows accent colors to stand out
  • Are decorating in contemporary style

Alabaster SW 7008 is ideal if you:

  • Love warm, welcoming neutrals for bedrooms and living rooms
  • Prefer cozy traditional design
  • Need a universally flattering and relaxing neutral
  • Want a soft, enveloping feel

City Loft modernizes, while Alabaster cocoons. Choose the one that best fits your style!

Be sure to get samples before deciding – both create gorgeous spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to common questions about City Loft and Alabaster:

Q: How do City Loft and Alabaster differ?

A: City Loft is a slightly cool white-gray while Alabaster is a warm, beige-influenced white. City Loft has a more modern look.

Q: Which paint color is lighter?

A: Alabaster SW 7008 has an LRV of 82, while City Loft SW 7631 has an LRV of 70, making Alabaster lighter.

Q: What colors go well with Alabaster?

A: Sage greens, antique whites, oak wood tones, oil-rubbed bronze, and floral patterns complement Alabaster’s subtle warmth nicely.

Q: Can you use City Loft in a dark room?

A: Yes, City Loft SW 7631’s LRV of 70 provides enough brightness to liven up a dark space without being too stark.

Q: Does Alabaster have gray undertones?

A: No, Alabaster SW 7008 is a true warm white without any cool gray influences coming through.


Whether you choose chic City Loft SW 7631 or cozy Alabaster SW 7008, both of these Sherwin Williams neutrals create beautiful, tranquil spaces.

Consider your style and needs, get color samples, and test them out to find your perfect light airy paint color!

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