White never goes out of fashion. No other color beats white in evoking brightness, cleanliness, and calmness. It’s also the only color that can bring the sense of purity while also bringing out confidence and sophistication.
White is a super versatile neutral that works well with so many design styles and color palettes. However, you still have to keep in mind some guidelines, tips, and ideas for using white in interior decoration so that it would not look too clinical and boring.
1. Choose the best shade of white.
Like other more “visible” colors, while has hundreds of shades, and all of them do not look like shades of beige. There are creamy whites, soft whites, ivory whites, cool whites, warm whites and more! Also, all colors in the spectrum have their versions of white. From yellows to greens and from pinks to purples – all of them have underlying faint hints of whites.
Yes, you have so many choices, but here’s one tip: If your room gets a lot of natural light, choose a cooler shade of white with blue undertones for a crisper and more balanced look. Conversely, if your room is always artificially lit by fluorescent or LED lighting, then go for the warmer and creamier whites with yellow undertones.
2. Focus on texture.
Since you will not be getting a lot of visual stimulation with color when going for an all-white interior, use textures to break the monotony. Look for surfaces you can add to the room, like throw blankets and rugs with thick, rough or interesting textures or patterns. You may also go for those white-washed texture furniture pieces that reveal patterns of wood for a coastal or shabby chic effect. White as a solid base color always look good when complemented with natural textures, woods, and fibers.
3. Layer whites for a warmer look.
If your room lacks architectural detail, using all-white can be bleak and boring. To avoid this, choose a warm shade of white as your main color and consider layering it with shades of white like ivory whites, warm grays, light grays and the like. Incorporate patterns, textures and other materials in similar white hues to bring in more depth and personality to the room. For instance, a white bedroom can be made more interesting with white textiles of a different shade, an upholstered headboard and window treatments. You can also balance the warm white palette with elements of glass and silver for contrast.
4. Brighten up a small and dark room with one shade of white.
White can light up even the smallest and darkest spaces. If you have a small and poorly-lit room, then use only one shade of white – preferably warm – on the walls, ceilings, and moldings to create a cohesive look. Painting a room with the same color will create an illusion of a larger space since it will allow the eyes to roam around the space. It will also help to make the room appear cozy and airy.
5. Pair it with metals.
Pairing neutrals with classic metals is trend nowadays. This is especially visible in modern kitchens, where white walls, ceilings, cabinets and countertops look sleek and beautiful with stainless steel appliances, sinks and stovetops. Brass, copper and gold are also popular today, and they are best paired with the crispness of white. A living room with white walls, ceilings and furniture can be nicely accented with brass lighting fixtures or steel coffee tables.
6. Don’t be hesitant to go for white upholstery.
Most people shy away from white couches because it is harder to keep clean and makes dirt more visible. While it is true, and while white is truly a magnet for stains whether you have kids or not, this must not keep you from getting an all-white room. In living rooms and family rooms that receives much traffic, consider using faux suedes and faux leather for your upholstery. Invest on those materials that are stain-resistant or easily cleanable. You may also opt for upholstery for the outdoors, stain guards or white denim slipcovers. The good thing with choosing white upholstery is that you don’t have to worry about it fading over time!
But before buying and using a white piece of upholstery, be smart and know how to clean its material before any accidental spilling or staining happens.
7. Let a piece of art become a focal point in a white room.
The best thing about using white in interiors is that you can showcase your personality and style without having to consider the contrast on the color of walls, furniture, and decors. If you have a great piece of artwork or sculpture you would like to display, put it against an all-white wall and let it receive all the attention.
However, some people think that having an all-white wall allows them to put anything and everything they like. If you have a busy room, it is recommended that you put only one piece of large artwork, because anything more would be excess. If your room is either lacking in architectural detail or has an overpowering feature, you can put up a gallery wall to either bring life to a boring area or temper a visually intense space.
8. Bring color and texture to a white bathroom.
A white bathroom with white sink, bathtub and flooring may look clinical and too pristine. Create an interesting, eye-catching element by adding a feature wall, like those made of glass tiles, red mosaic tiles or a steel tile. When choosing not to breakaway with white, just incorporate bold textures in your vanity and get a white wall treatment which can double as art.
9. Showcase plants.
Your home is your sanctuary, so make it more livable and relaxing by adding indoor plants. You may choose to make a statement out of it by showcasing palm fronds, succulents and banana plants for an exotic feel or using potted herbs for a country look. Adding greenery is also the best way to add some accents in your white space. Flowering plants would also help liven up a white room.
10. Paint shelves white.
Highlight your treasures while using white as a backdrop. Paint your bookcases or display shelves white to make books and your other prized objects to stand out. It will also make it easier for you to locate something if the cabinetry is white.
11. Pair it with wood.
Wood brings feelings of richness and warmth. Soft, white upholstery, white walls, and white cabinets are best paired with dark wood floors and wooden accents on the ceiling. You can also get the same effect if you would use dark wooden tables or baskets. In a dining room, you can achieve the homey effect with white by having a light wood dining table and white upholstered chairs with a wooden frame, and then place some white flowers on display as the centerpiece.
12. Pair it with black.
The combination of black and white spells out sophistication, minimalism, and class. A white hallway can have a featured black and white patterned wallpaper and a mirror to create a classy effect. White contemporary kitchens look sophisticated with the addition of dark to black countertops without trying too hard.