Is there anything quite as nice as a crisp and clean all-white room? (We’d say, no, there is not.) Whether it’s truly an all-white interior, or simply a room where white is the dominant color, white rooms have a particular appeal to them.
You might think they’d feel stark and cold, but decorating in shades of white can actually be quite warm and inviting. They have a sort of timeless appeal and never look dated or tired! And we love that interior design using white can come to life in any style—from modern rustic to glam, traditional to minimal. It all depends on the shade of white you choose and the furniture style and decor that goes within the space. After all, there are hundreds of different shades of whites, creams, off-whites, and ivories—not to mention grey and beige!
And having kids or pets doesn’t exclude you from being able to pull off an all-white room. White slipcovers can easily be bleached to keep them looking fresh and crisp, and white wood only gets better with age. Designing with white doesn’t have to be a precious process. Things will get dirty and spills are inevitable. So, just opt for furniture, rugs, and paint finishes that suit your lifestyle!
Curious about how to create an all-white room in your space? Wondering how to incorporate other neutrals with white walls, or perhaps explore grey and white interior design? Need some guidance for how in the world to choose the right neutral paint colors? You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re walking you through our designers’ best secrets on how to design with white (and other neutrals) and how to pull off an all-white look in your own home!
Add Nuance With Natural Textures And Wood Tones
When it comes to all-white rooms, natural textures and wood tones are your best friend. They add depth and nuance to the space so that the design doesn’t fall flat. In fact, an all-white room helps celebrate the natural beauty of wood elements and natural textures in the space. So, don’t be afraid to layer in tons of different textures and materials to a white room!
Here, the sheepskin rug, jute pouf, plush linen duvet, and natural woven baskets all offer a diversity of natural textures, which helps to create layers in the space and break up all the white. Meanwhile, wood elements help bring warmth to the room. We recommend using wood tones that are in the same family when going for an all-white room to help unify the look. Bonus: natural materials like these all still fall into the neutral color camp! Pops of greenery also help enliven a white room; and since greenery is from nature, it doesn’t feel like too bold a wash of color in a neutral space.
Layer In Warm Neutrals
While white is the dominant color in this living room, we’re also using warm neutral earth tones to help draw it out a bit. The velvet camel chairs offer a warm touch, which immediately gives the space a welcoming, comfortable vibe. Pro tip: if you want a warmer look without layering in darker neutral tones, opt for an off-white or cream versus a stark white, which will immediately warm up the space.
Incorporate Textured Upholstery
If you’re going for a white bedroom design, consider a playful textured duvet to help break up the space a bit. Textured accent pillows or playful designs like the eye pillows above are also great! The color-blocked woven wool rug also adds a textural element (and a touch of color) to the space. If you prefer a simple duvet cover, you can add texture with your headboard instead. Perhaps opt for one with caning, an upholstered style with subtle channeling, or a subtle print in a neutral color or off-white/cream.
Add Visual Interest With Unique Art And Decor
White rooms are the perfect backdrop for showing off unique art and decor. Whether you’re a lifelong art collector, want to display family heirlooms, or have amassed a collection of unique decor and objects through world travels, a white room creates a blank canvas where you can really let those pieces shine. In this living room, the wall art, pillow covers, tabletop decor, and even the pouf become the talking points in the space. Together, they give this neutral room a collected, eclectic edge. The mix of varying shades of white, cream, and gray further that eclecticism and offer subtle contrast throughout the space.
Try On Some Shiplap
Shiplap or wood-panelled walls add some natural texture and visual interest to an all-white room—and also create a crisp and clean look. It lends itself perfectly to a coastal or rustic interior design style. You can then play off this neutral base with other white and natural elements. Here, the natural wood shelf complements the white and neutral tones in the space (whereas a dark wood shelf would add contrast). The table, chair, and woven rug further complement the neutral palette. Together, this is a perfect example of using the bones of a space to help direct the color palette.
Accent With Black
Just because you’re designing a white room doesn’t mean you can’t layer in some accents on the other end of the color spectrum. In fact, we encourage it! You can never go wrong by combining black and whtie. We love using one focal point that contrasts with an all-white color palette. Here, the coffee table grounds the space with start contrast. Various accent decor also complements the coffee table by layering in contrast through the shelves, which are sprinkled with both dark and light accents.
Layer In Some Metallic Elements
In white bedroom designs, layering in metallic elements in furniture and decor adds nuance and depth to the room. It’s a perfect example of using a piece’s finish or material as contrast in a neutral space rather than incorporating other colors. In this room, we opted for silvers, acrylic, and white metals, which gives this room a “cooler” vibe, whereas brass and gold accents would add more warmth to the space. And the metallic elements—the mirrors, lamps, chandelier—all add texture to the room as well.
Curate With Care
If you want your all-white room to be a truly serene space, curate with care. Too much art and decor will distract from the serenity of a white color palette. So, be thoughtful about what you bring into the space and carefully consider each piece’s placement within the room. Not only will this create a peaceful space, but, since white can be stark, giving thought to the placement of objects will also help you make sure the space feels livable and considered.
Incorporate Pops Of Blue
Unfortunately, there is potential for an all-white room to fall flat. That’s why we love the use of natural textures, as we mentioned above. But we also like incorporating subtle pops of color. In this room, white is certainly the dominant color—but pops of blue in the throw pillows add both color and pattern, offering just the right amount of life to this living room design. (Plus, there’s nothing quite so classic as a blue and white color palette.)
Use Material As Ornament
When you’re going for an all-white room, we love using various materials as ornament within the space. Here, the marble coffee table and herringbone floor really set a mood for the scene. By skipping a large area rug and opting for a sheepskin in the corner instead, the patterning of the wood floor becomes a centerpiece of the room. The marble coffee table, with it’s black veining, not only adds ornament to the space but also a bit of depth.
Want to try your hand at designing with white?