How to decorate with white
White can be a colour that cools, calms and creates an air of relaxation when used well. Alternatively it can be seen as clinical, too clean and lacking any character. Getting the balance right is crucial to creating a decor scheme that is both practical, comfortable and presentable without simply creating a stark open space. So how do you decorate with white to create the right balance in your home? Here’s some tips to help you decide if decorating with white is right for you.
Choose your white wall paints
There are so many varieties of white wall paints to choose from. As a rule sunny south facing rooms will take both cool and warm tones of white, whereas darker north facing rooms usually suit warmer tones. However in this case I don’t advise following the rules but try out the paints instead and create your own rules.
Start with colour test cards and why you've narrowed it down try create larger colour samples to test out. Use tester pots to paint large pieces of stiff paper or card. Place the cards on the walls in different areas of the room and then look at the samples at different times of the day. Take into account that colours will look different in different paint finishes and always test all the finishes for the walls, ceiling wooden doors, skirting and window alongside each other for one room.
Use the samples to look at the colours next to your furniture and accessories as well. When you've decided on the the colour you'd like you can take smaller pieces of your sample with you to compare when shopping for textiles, furniture and accessories for your room scheme
A Create Perfect design project using Slaked Lime by Little Greene Paint Company
The right colour white will make your room warm, inviting and complement your furniture perfectly. Although there are so many to choose from there are a few that we come back to in projects time and time again:
Cabbage White -F& B cool hint of blue
Loft White - Little Greene - cool
Wood Ash - Little Greene - cool
White wall colour: Slaked Lime by Little Greene Paint Company
Slaked Lime - Little Greene Paints
Ammonite - Farrow and Ball Warm
School House white - Warm earthy off white
Wimborne White - warm yellow
Strong White - Farrow and Ball Warm
Neutral tones, natural textures, wood and white
The first recommendation I have for how to decorate with white is to create an elegant neutral or monochrome scheme which uses natural tones and textures such as the warmth of wooden and leather furniture, ceramics and metals to complement and bring character to a white scheme.
Scandinavian style homes often use this combination of natural light woods and whites to good effect. White walls are a canvas to show off wooden furniture.
These Scandinavian style rooms demonstrate perfectly the aesthetic is of minimal simplicity with a simple colour palette of natural woods and monochrome furniture.
Create Perfect city apartment bedroom
If your style is minimal and you like the focus to be on just one or two pieces of furniture in a room, this a perfect style for you. Monochrome schemes are easy to achieve and work well with pops of black alongside neutral tones in textiles.
Whilst still keeping a natural colour palette in this room, the focus is on the furniture, where a strong contrast makes these shabby chic leather chairs really stand out.
Using more subtle colour combined with pattern and texture can really lift an all white scheme. In this all white kitchen it is done with the subtle warm greys and pattern of a marble work surface and splash back.
A neutral colour palette filled with pattern also adds character to a white room
How to decorate with white and colour
How do you like your colour? Subtle pastels, deep muted tones or bold jewel brights? As white is such a blank canvas all of these will sit beautifully against a white background
Yellow is a colour that has a real impact in a room and just one piece of statement furniture adds a bold injection of colour into this white room.
Image: Sofas and Stuff featuring the Camden King Bed
Focus the eye with a burst of bright colour from jewel toned textiles in a plain white space.
Image: Farrow and Ball featuring Strong White
White provides a cool background for a riot of colour and pattern in this colourful, eclectic home.
Such a versatile colour and with so many ways to work with white it really is hard to choose a favourite. Do you have a favourite way of decorating with white? Let us know in the comments.