Are you tempted to decorate a room using only shades of white? It’s a brave endeavor, but when done well all white rooms are absolutely stunning. They make you stop in your tracks and take a big, deep, pleasurable breath. The effect should be completely relaxing and provide an inviting space for you and your guests to sit down and enjoy rare moments of uncluttered mental and physical space.
Tips for Decorating an All White Room
First, let’s eliminate some of the negative connotations that go along with all white interiors. The most common, of course, is that they are difficult to keep clean. Keeping an all white room clean is a challenge, that’s true. They are not recommended if the room will be in the constant flight pattern of children or pets. That being said, being smart about your fabric and furnishings choices will go a long way towards helping you design an all white space that can, indeed, be kept white.
Secondly, all white rooms have a reputation for being sterile. Au contraire! This has much more to do with design and materials choices than it does about the fact that white spaces are boring. White is an accumulation of all the colors in the spectrum, so choosing varying shades, paying attention to lighting and using the right accents, your white room will be visually interesting.
Now that we’ve dispelled your doubts, let’s move on to the tips and tricks that will make your white room a showpiece in your home.
Choose the right white(s). Just as there are varying shades of blue or red, there are a variety of whites. Some are cooler and cast blue or grey tones. Others are warmer and will look more creamy. Selecting the right whites for your tastes is the first step. Typically, cooler whites are used in modern designs and warmer, creamier whites are used in traditional and transitional spaces.
- A modern space will lean toward cool whites as well as linear accents and smooth surfaces with an occasional textural pop. You may opt for accents like metallics, glass or mirrored furniture that add visual interest and dimension but don’t veer from the modern aesthetic.
- A traditional space will have more creamy whites and play up textures using lace, wool and distressed wood furnishings. Shiny accents and smooth surfaces are usually kept to a minimum. Vintage and antique furnishings will also enhance this aesthetic.
You must have texture. Those cold and clinical rooms we talked about above? Those are almost always the byproduct of a designer who didn’t pay attention to the textural elements. If color isn’t going to be the way you draw the eye, then texture is a must. There should be elements of soft and hard, low-profile fibers and more wooly or nubbly ones. Use a variety of finishes from high-gloss to matte sheens. Together, your varying textures will create a more interesting environment. Try to mix elements as well – wood, metal, glass, stone, natural fibers, etc.
Use stunning accents. As an interior decorator, I can never advocate “standard” accessories. I feel every piece should have a specific purpose. That being said, an all white room needs to have exceptionally purposeful accents and accessories since every angle, and every wall hanging, will draw the eye.