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6 Ways to Decorate With White

poligonchik / iStock /

poligonchik / iStock /

Properly executed, a white-dominant color palette looks fresh, clean, bright, and utterly sophisticated. But done wrong, an all-white scheme can come across as institutional, without personality, and even uninviting (think of the potential for stains!).

Despite being a neutral, white might just be one of the trickiest colors to decorate with. We’re here to help you gain confidence when working with white, avoiding the culprits that come with the color.

Dress it Up With Color…
Even a predominantly white palette can benefit from a touch of color. A little goes a long way: to keep the focus on the white, use color sparingly, but intelligently.

Accessories like throws, pillows, and lampshades are good places to play with color: you can add them or retract them, depending on your mood or the season, and you can switch up colors rather inexpensively. For the ultimate temporary color blast, a vase of fresh flowers will do the trick!

…Or Keep It Neutral
If neutral is what you want, no problem: you can avoid a monotonous feel by using different shades of white. The key is to make it obvious that you’ve chosen to work with different whites: if everything is the same eggshell white, then a single object in a different shade will look like an accident. If you’ve got a consistent mix of whites peppered throughout the space, then the look will come off as deliberate.

You can also add accent pieces in other neutrals, like beige or light grey. Metallic colors are another way to add personality without stealing the show—the Geometric Shapes Satin Border Blanket is the perfect example of using a touch of silver to enhance the white.

Play With Texture
Whenever you opt for a single-chrome palette, you need to create visual interest by adding dimension in other ways, like texture. Play with different materials to create a dynamic look, avoiding a flat, hospital-room feeling.

Try combining shiny and matte fabrics: the Satin Border Peachy Blanket (in white, of course) relies of different materials to provide contrast. The quilted microfiber cotton would look basic on its own, but the satin border dresses it up nicely. Apply the same principal to other home furnishings and accessories.

Adjust the Thermostat
Warm whites and cool whites will create different effects in a room. Opt for warm, creamy whites if you want to create a comfortable vibe that oozes with coziness. Furnishings with rounded corners and plush, fluffy linens and pillows will accentuate the warmth.

If you’d rather a sleek, modern look, choose cooler tones of white. Glossy materials will take the look one step further. Here’s a fun fact: Benjamin Moore offers more than 200 different types of white! Do your homework to find the right white for whatever environment you’re trying to create.

Fear Not the White
Scared to sit on that all-white couch? For pieces of furniture that will be used frequently and that might encounter the occasional stain, choose materials that can be wiped clean or easily laundered. If you have kids and pets, incorporate fabrics meant for outside: they’ll stand up to just about anything.

Create Harmony
Create unity throughout a floor or even an entire home by incorporating a white color theme from room to room. It will help disjointed spaces come together, creating a natural flow throughout the home.

Individual rooms or spaces can then be created using different colors, patterns, or materials. The use of white will tie the spaces together, while allowing different areas to hold their own distinct purposes.

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