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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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7 Design Tips You Need to Know If You Want An All White Bedroom

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We have three words for you: all-white bedroom. We’re guessing that thought either has you swooning or cringing. Either way, there’s no denying that all-white rooms are elegant and serene spaces that exude a sense of calm.

And when it comes to bedrooms, an all-white space might be a dream design for some, and it’s certainly a nightmare for others! If you’re in the “yes please” camp, read on to see what our designers have to say about all white bedrooms and get the scoop on their best tips for designing this intimate and welcoming space.

Textures, Textures, Textures

Textures are key to creating an all-white bedroom design that doesn’t look washed out and boring. Pieces like a woven rug, braided pillows, and rattan or wicker decor can help to create a dynamic, layered design. Even if all the pieces are white, layering textures in your all-white bedroom helps to bring the look to life and keeps it from falling flat.

white bedroomMix Up Your Materials

And while we’re talking about textures, an easy way to ensure you have lots of them in your space is to choose pieces made of a mix of materials. Instead of using just one or two basics, try incorporating materials like marble, wood, stone, ceramics, linens… the sky’s the limit when it comes to all-white bedroom designs.

You can even mix in natural materials like rattan and jute for an additional pop! These aren’t technically white, but as long as you stick with neutral colors, they won’t feel out of place in your all-white bedroom.

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bedroomThink about Wood Tones

Wood tones are also a fantastic addition to an all-white bedroom. Our only rule here is to pick a lane for your woods and keep the tones, be they light, natural, or dark, consistent.

Our vote? Natural or dark wood accents because they provide a lovely pop of warmth and contrast that all-white rooms usually lack. On the flip side, washed-out or blonde woods can fall flat or get lost in an all-white bedroom. But no matter which tone you pick, having wood in your space is a great way to add warmth, natural texture, and contrast to your bedroom.

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bedroomLayer On The Textiles

Layering textiles, such as rugs, pillows, curtains, etc. helps add depth, texture, and lots of contrast. Plus, lots of layers will help instill a cozy note to your white bedroom and make your space feel more dynamic and well-thought-out.

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white bedroomGo Big With Greenery

Greenery adds a welcome pop of color to an all-white bedroom without overpowering the look. A floor plant, hanging plant, or small succulent on your nightstand will also add texture and dimension to your space without interrupting the serenity. Plus, we all know that plants just make you happy! All in all, there is a lovely addition to a bedroom sanctuary, no matter your color scheme.

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Play with Fun Shapes

When you don’t have color, you have to find other creative ways to add visual intrigue to your space. One of our favorite ways to do this is to consider the forms of your furniture and decor. Playful and funky shapes will help spice up the look of an all-white bedroom. Think round forms, square forms, or even squiggles! Wall art, poufs, and patterned benches are also easy ways to add a little fun and flair.

white bedroomAdd Contrast Through Your Wall Color

Here’s a great little secret – it’s okay for your white bedroom not to have white walls! There are plenty of off-white and neutral shades that still create the look of an all-white bedroom design without being so stark and harsh. A shade of cream, off-white, or light grey can really help warm-up, cool down, or add contrast to your room while still maintaining the clean, crisp and calming look of an all-white bedroom.

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