The Power of White in Home Decorating

From subtle to sparkling, white is a powerhouse in home decor

Credit: Roche Bobois

The Intervalle modular sofa and Dolce lounge chair bring comfort to a white room

From subtle to sparkling, white is a powerhouse in home decor

Check out our easy tips for using white to elevate your existing spaces.

1. Choose the right shade: Designer Ivan Meade of Meade Design Group loves the colour white and uses it in all his projects, but he’s very careful about choosing the right shade to achieve the right mood. “There are as many shades of white as there are colours,” he says. When in doubt, says Meade, go with Benjamin Moore Cloud White.

2. Consider the lighting:
Take into consideration the type of light that’s in a room. What kind of bulbs do you use? What direction do the windows face? These variables all affect how white performs in that space.

3. Accessorize appropriately: Typically the largest room in a home, the living room is where you can really have fun with accessories. “Because white is seemingly devoid of colour,” explains Valerie Edwards of Designs Essentials Inc., “it is perceived to be almost transparent, in the sense that our eyes see past a white object.” Two of her favourite living room accessories are a white leather sofa and a white leather chaise. “You can put a large white leather sofa in almost any style room and it will actually ground the room, pulling everything together.”

4. Brighten up the kitchen:
Use different shades of white to create depth and to avoid whiteout, where everything starts to look the same. Texture is good, too – for example, glossy white cabinets bring a professional, stylish look into the kitchen. And if you have an open layout, use white accessories to tie the dining room esthetic in to the kitchen. You can even paint the dining room and kitchen ceilings the same shade of white in a subtle effort to connect them.

5. Make the little things count:
Warm up the bathroom with fluffy white Egyptian cotton towels and robes, splurge on a set of crisp, white Frette sheets, mount black-and-white photographs with white mats and frames and arrange them gallery-like on your walls, fill a large platter with different sizes of white candles. These elegant touches, suggests interior designer Patricia Gray, make a big difference in the overall esthetic of a home. 

Prefer to add a little colour? Why not create a destination-based palette for your home?