Jul 16, 2020 | Carpet One Floor & Home
Contrary to popular belief, an all white room is anything but basic. The color white can be expressive, energizing, and exciting. An all white room can make a space feel bigger and brighter than its actual square footage, and in my professional designer experience, these are two characteristics that everyone covets for their own home. Particularly in small spaces but applicable in every home, any chance to create a greater sense of space and light is a golden opportunity. This is why the all white room has been a long-standing trend, and it’s here to stay. This is also great news because it happens to be one of my favorite color choices, despite the fact that it’s not technically a color at all.
From white living rooms to all white kitchens and bathrooms, across a vast range of styles and style preferences, here are a few reasons to consider this trend in your home. As with all interior trends, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go all white. Believe it or not, many people are intimidated by the thought of going all white. It’s the whole idea of the “blank slate.” Where do you start? Rather than fearing it, tackle those white walls as you would a blank canvas—seek inspiration from what brings you joy, and you can’t go wrong. Whether you look to nature (think earthy, organic, tactile experiences); technology (clean, sleek, and slim); or something in a completely different realm, you can translate its essence in an all white room.
White’s neutral nature gives it wide appeal. Other colors have the potential to evoke strong feelings—and the risk of offending. Don’t get me wrong; I love designing with color, but especially when designing a space for someone else, you’d better be sure to reconfirm the color choices before putting the brush to the walls. By contrast, for someone who may be hesitant to commit to a bold color palette or when differing preferences are in the same home, white room decor is typically an easy win that still makes a big impact.
Trends turn with the seasons—and trust me, when a color choice or tile style is “last season,” it can be glaring. The fact is that some design choices can instantly date your home. The bolder you go with the trend, the higher the likelihood you’ll want to update it sooner rather than later. White has no expiration date. You could say it has the gift of eternal youth. It is the ultimate in neutral design options. It’s easy to update with new accessories, patterns, and metallic finishes to bring it back to life. This is a quick and inexpensive fix when your home feels like it’s suffering from a “style slump.”
The timeless appeal of all white decor bodes well for your wallet, especially when it comes to expensive or difficult-to-replace items such as floors, tiles, cabinets, countertops, and big-ticket furniture items. Now, there’s a right way and a wrong way to work with white.
Some people might feel intimidated by the vastness of an all white room, but this happens to be the very reason I love working with white. It’s a blank slate that lets a home’s natural focal point shine. Start by painting everything white, and see what pops. It could be the home’s unique architecture, its natural light, or its views. What the eye is drawn to without the distraction of a kaleidoscopic color palette is amazing!
Speaking of color, before you choose “white” and move on to your next design decision, know that white comes in hundreds of different hues. In fact, every color in the rainbow can tint white, resulting in literally thousands of variations. Pure white, China white, antique white, bone white . . . when compared side by side, it’s easy to see just how different they all are.
Layering different tones and shades of white within a space can be a great strategy to warm up your palette and bring depth to the overall design. Just be sure your whites complement one another. Remember to pay attention to the natural lighting in the space because this will change the overall perceived brightness of the white.
Beyond color, be sure to bring different textures into the mix. Textures can be as effective as color when it comes to bringing variety and interest to a room. I often combine different materials such as wood and natural stone, fabric, leather, plastic, and metal to bring color to a white space without using any color at all.
Another consideration is sheen—using matte, eggshell, or high-gloss surfaces is a subtle way to showcase different elements within your space. Imagine a white dining room with a high-gloss white dining table taking center stage. Topped with a shimmering chandelier and a mirror overlooking, this all white room is quite a dish.
I advise my clients not to shrink away from white upholstery. Of course, those who share a space with young children or pets might not consider white to be the most practical choice. That said, modern fabrics come in a range of washable and fiber-guard options that look great, are practical, and will stand the test of time—and sticky fingers.
White is a wonderful palette to use in an open-concept space like this one. The open-concept floor plan is generally coupled with a clean, modern aesthetic. Here, the white walls, white kitchen cabinets, and built-in bookcases balance the action typical of a kitchen and adjoining family room, instantly bringing calm to the chaos.
I believe all white rooms have the unique ability to lighten the mood. Maybe that’s why I love working with this palette. I believe part of white’s appeal comes from our deeper urge to simplify life. Declutter your home, and why not do away with those heavy colors and cumbersome trends while you’re at it? You’ll be surprised at how much simpler life seems when your home actually lets you breathe.
Interior Design: ANDREA COLMAN Photography: STEPHANI BUCHMAN
Andrea Colman is principal of Fine Finishes Design. With almost two decades of renovation and design experience, her full-service firm services clientele throughout the Greater Toronto Area. The growing boutique design firm is known for creating stylish, harmonious, livable environments.