White has been used in decorating for centuries. It’s clean, crisp and sophisticated. White reminds me of pure and simple things like linen and clouds. It can be feminine like sheers and white flowers, or masculine like contemporary modular furniture or a backdrop for dramatic colourful artwork. Unlike other colours that come in and out of fashion, because of it’s simplicity and purity, white will always be in style in décor and fashion. It goes with everything and is always elegant and understated. If you think that white is an easy “cop out” for decorating, think again. It is more complex than it appears because there are no distractions in an all-white room.
Photo by Elle Decor
The choices of materials must be carefully selected and multiple layering of textures and tones incorporated to build interest and create warmth. A white room will never feel cold or austere if layered properly. When layering whites look to the paint palate. There are literally hundreds of whites (Benjamin Moore has over 200 hundred!) Each has a distinctive undertone – some warmer, some cooler. My personal favourites are: Benjamin Moore OC-57 White Heron (a beautiful white to pair with blues and grey), OC-117 Simply White (this is my all-time favourite and the one I use the most– it’s very pure and clean, but not cold) and Farrow and Ball 2005 All White (as pure white as there is). I love pairing white with black – like a tuxedo – it’s timeless and elegant. Now if I could just stop buying so many black and white pieces of clothing….