A white interior doesn’t have to be stark or boring – think crisp, warm, clean lines, minimalist, calm, Scandinavian, interesting. You can have a white minimalist interior or a white Scandinavian interior with splashes of colour or how about a white New England interior with hints of red or blue.
But what is the secret to getting it right? Well, it’s about using different shades of white to create layering and incorporating items that have texture to add warmth, depth and interest.
Starting with the floor – if the floorboards are in a reasonable condition, paint them with a floor or an eggshell paint (hammering down any protruding small nails, sanding and priming first). Farrow and Ball’s Pointing is a lovely shade of white – fresh without being too bright. A white carpet may seem a bit extreme in terms of trying to keep it clean but a pale grey carpet would be user friendly and would keep the palette light.
Painting furniture is very much in vogue at the moment with the current upcycling trend. You might find a lovely piece of furniture (for example, a console table or a chest of drawers) in need of some tender loving care either in your own home or in a junk or antique shop. By simply sanding, priming, undercoat and finishing it with two coats of paint and perhaps some new handles, you can add to your white interior effectively and inexpensively.
A white sofa may not be the most practical in some living rooms but a grey sofa would look great in a mainly white living room. You could then choose whether to liven the whole look with some brightly coloured cushions or tone it down even more with some plain white cushions, intermixed with the occasional white textured cushion.
White bedlinen is wonderfully crisp in the bedroom and if you feel that the look is too bland, add two cushions in the season’s fashionable colour to the bed and a throw along the bottom of the bed or placed over a nearby chair.
Keep the walls light too, either painting them with an off-white paint or using a two tone white wallpaper such as Miss Print’s Sapling Wallpaperwhich is available in a two tone white, white with a faint gold, and silver with white. This will add texture and interest to the walls while still keeping the look light and crisp.
This is where you could have great fun by adding the occasional brightly coloured vase or cushion. But you could keep it calm by adding lots of accessories in different shapes and tones – think white jugs, vases, mugs, clock, baskets for storage, a white magazine rack, white lampshades and bases. By using inexpensive accessories, you can change the look of the room quite dramatically by simply changing the colour of some of your accessories.