White–blank, innocent, full of possibilities. It represents the spirit of new beginnings, potential and purity. White, the combination of all colors, is a shade that never goes out of style and always matches whatever you have in mind.
Curious about the possibilities of white? Read on.
All about whites
White is not a single color. Go to any paint store and ask for their white varieties–you’ll see how many possibilities there are with this deceptively simple color.
There are three types of white in home decor: warm whites, to which a little yellow was added; pure white, with no blue or yellow added; and cool whites, with a little blue in them.
Warm whites, like shades of linen, stone and pearl, act as any other warm color would. They help make a space comfortable and inviting and they go well with neutrals and warm colors. Warm whites remind me of beach houses and countryside kitchens.
Mastering pure white is difficult. It is a great shade for rooms that receive lots of light; think solariums and living rooms with ceiling-high windows receiving sunlight throughout most of the day.
However, pure white does very poorly in dark rooms, to the point of being gloomy. Here’s some good advice: stay away from pure white as your major color. You can always use pure white in accessories or furniture.
Cool whites give a sophisticated and modern feel to any room. It is a favorite of zen and other minimalist styles. Anything that reminds you of fresh snow is a cool white. Cool white adds instant freshness and crispness to a room. http://homemu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/home-furniture.jpg
White rooms and contrasting color
If you decide to choose white as your main decor color, you have a few options: you can use several matching shades of white to add depth and interest, you can pair it with neutrals (browns, beiges and taupes) or you can use bright colors as an accent.
Warm whites work well together to give any room as cozy, comfortable feel. As you can see in the picture above, different shades of warm white just make you want to cozy up under a blanket and read a book until you fall asleep with your dog at your feet.
White with neutral colors is sophisticated, elegant and practical. Neutrals easily match with each other and they provide a level of depth that whites alone can’t achieve. Warm whites tend to fit better with neutrals, but cool whites can also match with cool neutrals like taupe.
If you like color, then white is the perfect shade to avoid mismatching. White rooms with a single focal color are common; some of the most popular matches are white with blue, green or orange. White with colors like turquoise, lavender or pink is quintessentially feminine; white with green or orange has a great organic feel; white with blue can look rustic or nautical depending on the patterns and accessories.
If you just want to add a refreshing touch to your decor without repainting the walls and buying new furniture, you can always use the power of accessories to bring white back into your decor. Cushions or throws in a suitable shade of white will instantly refresh a living room.
A rustic kitchen table and chairs painted in white will cozy up your kitchen. White drapes will diffuse sunlight and brighten up any bedroom. Changing the sheets to a suitable shade of white with neutral or color accents (depending on your current color scheme) can also do the trick.
Keep it simple
The most important rule with white is to keep it simple. White may freshen up a room and give it light and air, but it will also highlight any decor faux-pas: a mismatched color, too many patterns or an overdose of the same texture. Despite its flexibility, white can easily become a decor nightmare (and it’s difficult to keep clean, to boot).
Use pure white sparingly; it’s a great accent with warm whites, but it should never be used as a main shade. There are chances it will make the room look like a science lab (unless that’s what you’re going for, of course).
When using color, use ONE color. White has this wonderful ability to highlight anything that contrasts with it; don’t abuse this power. One bright color is enough to bring pop to any white room; use too many, and your eyes will not know where to look.
On black and white: black is a difficult color to use in home decor. Black and white requires skill and a perfect understanding of balance and contrast. Black is severe and stark; if you really want to use black furniture in a white room, try to get a few neutral accessories like cushions, throws and drapes to soften it up.
Have you ever used white in your home decor? Share your successes and tips for using white!