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Color Guide: Designer Tips for Decorating With White

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!

interior design using whiteAnd 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.

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interior design using whiteLayer 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.

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interior design using whiteIncorporate 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.

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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.

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interior design using whiteTry 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.

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interior design using whiteAccent 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.

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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.

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interior design using whiteCurate 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.

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interior design using whiteIncorporate 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.)

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interior design using whiteUse 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.

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green monochrome room

We’re Mad For Monochrome Rooms – 4 Ways to Get the Look

green monochrome roomYou might think decorating a monochrome room is just another passing color trend, but it’s the exact opposite. Monochrome rooms, or spaces in black-and-white or varying tones of one color, have long been used by designers to add drama and impact in homes. It’s a daring approach to color that’s daunting at first. But if you commit to the look, the result can be a space that’s bold, elegant, and absolutely unforgettable.

If you’re not one for color and feel intimidated by the idea of a monochrome room, don’t be. It’s actually much easier than working with a palette that has lots of different colors. The focused color scheme surprisingly helps with design decisions since it also streamlines your options for furniture, art, and objects by your chosen hue.

That said, a little guidance can help. So to break down the monochrome look, we turned to our expert designers. Here, they share their best tips for making monochrome rooms work in any home.

grey monochrome room

Consider The Mood You Want

A monochrome living room in grey will obviously feel very different than one in yellow. But before you even pick a color, consider the function of the room and the atmosphere you want inside. A living room in all-black tones with chic furnishings might feel sleek and glamorous; meanwhile doing the same in an office might feel more dark and dramatic.

Color psychology tells us that certain hues can affect our moods. Keep that in mind as you select your color. Want a calming space? Go light blue, grey, or even soft green. Prefer something more vibrant? Explore more saturated hues.

Nervous About Color? Start Subtle

Again, how bold you want your palette to be is totally up to you. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can paint the walls and go head-to-toe blue, green, red, or any bright color. Or if you want to try out monochrome in a subtle way, keep to black and white tones and all the shades of grays in between.

Of course, you can go either subtle (white and gray tones) or graphic (sharp black and white) with this high-contrast approach. Both will result in a cool, modern space that’s chic and soothing. Better yet, you can easily layer in some color if you want and swap out accents later on if you decide to move on from monochrome.

monochrome room blue

Play With Tones and Textures

The most captivating way to do monochrome is to mix together different shades within a color family. It helps to add dimension to your space. Think cobalt blue with denim and cerulean. It’s also a great way to create visual texture and keeps a space from feeling flat. To add even more depth and texture to a space, layer in different materials and textures, such as gold notes, shiny velvet, and washed textiles in the same hue.

monochrome room green

Don’t Forget Neutrals

Incorporating neutral pieces in wood, metal, and natural materials will keep your monochrome room from feeling one note. Try bringing natural wood tables, metal bookshelves, brass accents, and stone elements. These organic and lustrous touches will help create contrast and enhance the overall color scheme.

Bring Monochrome Room Ideas To Your Space

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