White has the ability to make your home look like a designer masterpiece–or a sterile atmosphere. Do you love the idea of decorating with white in the home, but aren’t sure how to do it tastefully? White is a great choice for home decor because you can use it as a starting point and take it in any direction you decide. Believe it or not, many designers with children and pets have white living areas and love it. You can, too.
Keep it warm, not sterile
White doesn’t have to feel cold and impersonal. The first trick is to avoid too many clean lines and flat surfaces. Keep it warm and cozy with plush furniture, soft textures and lots of curves. Another way to warm up a white room is to choose whites with yellow or red undertones, rather than bluish ones. Remember, white comes in many different colors. If you want to keep it stark, accent with very light neutrals, such as tan and beige, which will stand out against the white while keeping with the decor.
Proceed carefully with color
Want to add a few splashes of color in your white home? Proceed very carefully. You can always start out with light, neutral accents, as mentioned above. If that’s not enough, consider various darker neutrals, such as a muted navy. Bright colors, as you might have guessed, will steal the show in an all-white space, so take great care and careful consideration before adding in bold color accents.
Consider your whites
Not all whites match. As I mentioned briefly above, it comes in many different colors. Find all the pure white things you can around your home and place them all together. Look at each piece next to the others; what colors do you see? Yellow undertones tend to stand out next to red or blue undertones. Keep this in mind when choosing whites for your home.
Add interest with texture
A white interior can become much more interesting with the use of texture. Vary your textures while keeping the same color–white–throughout; layer smooth and rough furnishings. Create contrast with opposite textures. A plush, white rug can add texture and warmth to the living room, and a white satin pillow can dress up the most informal woven upholstery.
Choose outdoor fabrics
If you have pets or children, you might be worried about keeping the furniture clean. Most people won’t even consider white decor while they still have kids at home. The trick to keeping your white furniture clean (or washable, at least) is to choose outdoor fabrics and finishes wherever possible. Instead of buying patio furniture for your living room, reupholster the existing furniture with outdoor fabrics. They are easier to keep clean than regular, white fabrics.
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