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January 28, 2014

When White is Right – Tips for Using White in Your Home Decor

by Decorview

emily henderson country living after.png

With winter upon us, many are thinking about the “white stuff.” Some are sick of shoveling it. Others are wishing for it. Whatever your attitude is towards snow, the right “white stuff” in your décor can create a stylish, fresh new look in every room of your home.

First things first; white is not a color to be afraid of. Yes, you may need to keep some extra paint handy for quick blemish touch-ups, but it is by no means restrictive. You can use white just as you would with any other color: on your walls, in accents like chair rails and accessories, and as a means to highlight pops of color throughout your home. But the options don’t end there! White is bold and beautiful, and comes in so many shades that a subtle hint of a blue undertone versus a red undertone can change a space in an instant. Not all whites match, but several shades can be melded together in different pieces, or layered with various textures to create a warm, cozy utopia.  

Here’s a few simple dos and don’ts to help you successfully liven up your dwelling with a new whirlwind of white, without creating a look that is cold or washed-out.


  • Start with white. With so many ways to include color in your room, start decorating with a “blank canvas” and see what your room, and imagination, takes you.
  • Keep it clean with ease. Invest in pre-shrunk, washable fabrics for slipcovers, duvets, and pillow shams, and keep some extra paint tucked away for speedy spruce-ups.
  • Go for texture. Whether you get your shades of white through faux leather or a cable-knit blanket draped over your loveseat, texture becomes its own design element in an all-white room. If you’re stuck in a bind, consider the variety of textures available on vintage milk glass vases, or go bold with textured wallpaper.
  • Go rustic. Woods and whites are a match made in heaven. Somehow a crisp white room transforms into pure warmth when dark, repurposed wood is added. Lucky for you, you don’t have to worry about painting your grandmother’s china cabinet white while still making a dramatic décor change.
  • Let something else take all the attention. If you’ve got an assortment of beautiful artwork, a collection of trinkets you’ve acquired while traveling, or simply a fireplace that you would like to highlight, then white is your go-to color. Let your personality shine through your space.


  • Pick a white from a paint chip and go wild with it. Test different whites in multiple areas of your room of choice to see how the light changes in the space. With all those choices of hues within the white family, “Winter’s Bliss” in the store may be anything but when you get it on your walls.
  • View white as sterile, and don’t treat a white room as such. Metallic accents and white match much like woods and white. Throw in a few pastel knickknacks and you will have a serene, modern space.
  • Shy away from white because someone somewhere deemed it bland. White doesn’t always have to be a neutral! It can also be the center of attention. Remember that statement pieces don’t always have to be in bright, bold colors!
  • Let your space get boring. Expect that seasonal decorating may become more necessary (and more fun)! A tray table with interchangeable accessories, a mantle with seasonal style, a quick swap of pillows and you’re ready for it all.
  • Think that a white room must always be all white. Choose to go the more traditional route and use white to pop out your more colorful décor. White goes great with the bold color trends this year such as Radiant Orchid, Koi, and Vivacious. 

Whatever you choose to do with the color white in your home, I hope you find it simple to make it yours with these tips! The versatility of white is sure to surprise you, so get those paint swatches home, and start imagining the possibilities!


photo credit: Emily Henderson

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