Decorating With White: Tips, Ideas and Inspiration

Decorating with White - White is trending on walls and cabinets

It’s Day 3 of Red, White and Blue week here on the blog, and today’s color is white!

Unlike the warm red hues that we talked about in Tuesday’s post, white is light, fresh and clean.  It’s neutrality makes it a versatile tool and many designers gravitate to it for at least some portion of their designs.

Here are some thoughts on how to incorporate it into your decorating:

Ground It and Mix It.

Using a mixture of whites, from cool to warmer, makes a space interesting and gives it dimension. That, along with varying the textures, also keeps it from feeling too stark.

Adding darker furniture pieces or using dark flooring can help ground the space.

Black Bellagio Tables

Upholstered Furniture.

As you can see in the space below, white sofas can look great, but whether you should use white really depends on what room you’re putting it in and the type of use it will get.  If it’s in a heavily used family room with small children and pets, probably not.

If that’s your situation and you love white, consider adding it instead with rustic white painted tables, a white+color/pattern accent chair, and accessories.

Decorating With White - Is a white sofa right for your space?
Designer Judith Balis 

Add Architectural Interest:

White walls are currently trending in all kinds of spaces, and one of my favorite ways to see white on walls is with wall treatments like board and batten or wainscoting.

It takes plain walls up a notch and adds architectural interest.

Decorating with White - White board and batten or wainscoting add architectural interest
1 – Life on Virginia Street | 2 – 33 Shades of Green

Consider contrast:

If you love decorating with warmer colors and dark woods, it may seem that white wouldn’t be a good fit for your space.

Actually the opposite is true.  Contrasting white against darker, warmer colors is a great way to highlight them.

Decorating With White - Make warm colors and dark wood pop
1. source | 2. source

Analyze Undertones:

Whether you’re painting white directly on the walls or adding wainscoting, always consider the undertone when choosing paint to avoid ending up with light pink or pale blue walls, for example, rather than white.

Decorating with White - Wendy Bellisimo Youth And Teen Collection at Schneiderman's Furniture

Color Versatility:

White provides a nice neutral canvas for changing out furniture and accessories whenever you please, and it really really makes the colors pop!

Decorating With White: A white background gives you versatility for switching colors out and makes them pop! (Sita Montgomery Interiors)

So where are you at with white?  Use it and love it, unsure, or absolutely not?

, , , ,

5 Responses to Decorating With White: Tips, Ideas and Inspiration

  1. PK November 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Patty,

    All of the options for white paint can seem overwhelming but there are some that seem to be favorites of both designers and consumers. We talk about them in this post: Hope that helps! Would love to hear what color you end up choosing and how you like it. :-)

  2. Patty November 4, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Love to paint white in living/dining room area but stuck on what color white. I have lots of windows on one side of room and oak wood work throughout the rooms – very small living/dining room area.

  3. Schneiderman's Furniture July 3, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    I’m with you Natalie! Love it’s ability to freshen everything up and make it look crisp – even darker rooms.

  4. Natalie July 2, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    White: I use it and LOVE it!!


  1. White Walls Are Trending: Best White Interior Paint Colors | Schneiderman's {the blog} - May 20, 2016

    […] For more inspiration in white, check out this post: Decorating With White: Tips, Inspiration and Ideas. […]


Sign up for our blog newsletter to see the latest design tips, decorating ideas, room inspiration, and more!

We promise not to share your information.