Color of the Month: Decorating with White

Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? How could you go wrong with simple, classic white?

Before you go and paint your house entirely white (“it’s modern!”), read this post. Yes, white can be serene, beautiful, and (of course) modern, but there’s a fine line between “fresh and clean” and “hospital antiseptic.”

White is the ultimate neutral. It matches everything. But many consider it a “non-color” due to its inherent blandness. The great thing about white is that it serves as a perfect backdrop to any other color that you want to use, and it can also be used on its own (with an abundance of caution).

The most classic combination: black and white.

Even the smallest touches of black lend drama to a primarily white room. Conversely, use white to lighten and sharpen an all-black room.
The main issue with white is that it can look sterile when not done properly. The go-to choice for warming up a white room is wood of any type and color.
White also provides an opportunity to introduce more color and pattern – bold or subtle – when one does not want an overwhelming palette, yet wishes to incorporate color beyond the neutrals. Even soft colors will stand out in a white room.
For the more adventurous color choosers, white is an excellent accent color to soften your main color (helpful if you don’t want to feel like you’re swimming in an overly blue/green/orange/yellow/purple/whatever room).
Of course, white can be a stand-alone color.
But it is difficult to find the perfect shade and the right balance. Employ the help of a seasoned professional to choose your hue – there are bright whites, soft whites, creamy whites… more whites than you would believe, and with the most subtle differences between them.
Another consideration before painting white: the finish. Make sure that your white paint is cleanable, especially if you have small children – nothing will put a damper on your white enthusiasm more than smudges, handprints, and dinginess. (This is especially important if you plan on painting your exterior white. Be prepared for regular power washing!)
Everyone has some white in their homes. Is it the main or the accent in yours?

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