If you gave me the choice between decorating a room with all white and decorating a room with lots of colour, I would go for colour every time. However, though my decorating instructor would cringe to hear me say it, I can understand that some people just gravitate to the simplicity and cleanliness of an all white interior. Since the interior design world continues to encourage the idea of white, on white, on white, I thought I would give some purely subjective tips on how to do an all room white right. It sounds harsh to say some of these rooms have done it “wrong” but to my eyes the results of their decor is stark, cold, lifeless and un-interesting.  Here are some comparisons by room.

White done right: Bedroom


White done wrong: Bedroom


White done right: Living Room


White done wrong: Living Room


White done right: Kitchen/Dining


White done wrong: Kitchen/Dining


White done right: Bathroom


White done wrong: Bathroom


White done right: Dining Room

whitedininggoodWhite done wrong: Dining Room


Can you see the difference? One thing that you have likely heard is that an all white room needs texture to add interest. So true! Notice how slick and flat looking most of the “wrong” rooms look. Woven fabric, sisal, shag, and embroidered fabrics (even if white embroidered on white) can all add interest. Wood is another element that keeps a white room from looking flat and ties in with the concept of texture. Raw woods add texture and darker woods provide contrast which creates a more lively and inviting room. And speaking of lively, having greenery in a white room is a must in my books.

One last tip to leave you with: choose your white wisely and avoid cool whites. Designer Shawn Henderson, says that the wrong white “can feel more sterile than serene,”. Choose a white with some warmth to it. The old stand by, Cloud White by Benjamin Moore, is a solid choice. And remember, an all white room doesn’t really need to be all white. Sneak in some cream, beige, and grey to give the room dimension. You’ll still get the pristine look of an all white room but also the warmth of these added, dare I say, colours.

Shall we break it down? A white room needs:

  1. Texture
  2. Wood
  3. Greenery
  4. The right white wall paint
  5. Some colour (even if it is a barely there neutral like cream, beige, or grey).

What do you think? Like I said, this is mostly subjective on my part so I’m curious to hear from you. Do you prefer the more pristine white which I have been rejecting?

2 thoughts on “All White Done Right

  1. I probably would never do an all white room… But those white done right pics are gorgeous. Makes me want to try! Thanks for the tips.

    1. Phew! I’m glad no one is offended yet by me saying that some of those rooms were wrong! I always appreciate your comments. Thanks!

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