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Best Interior Designers, Interior Design Tips

Decorating with White

Who says that using the white paint color extensively for your modern apartment interior is boring?

In fact, you can spend a lot of time having fun in adding decoration or accent to make your interior design looks interesting.

Professional interior designers give advice on how to use white right.

Rachel Ashwell


WHITE IS NEVER BORING. Beige can be boring, but not white. It’s a very dramatic color. That’s proven over and over again by weddings — we never tire of looking at them.

WHITE CAN BE COZY. People think of it as cold, because they believe a white room must be neat and uniform with chairs lined up like good little soldiers. I avoid hard, modern pieces and use fluffy cushions and distressed finishes — so you still get that airy feeling, but with warmth to it.

WHITE MAKES FOR A FLEXIBLE AND FORGIVING FIRST STEP. Paint a room white, and you have a blank canvas for anything. Start with bold wallpaper, and you’re already committed.

WHITE IS EASY TO CARE FOR. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone go with an all-white room, then fear it. Let the white be lived in! I’ve raised two children in my homes, so all of my Shabby Chic slipcovers are preshrunk and machine washable. Of course, it helps to like the crumpled, imperfect look. I don’t iron. If you’re a human being and have a life, that gets old very quickly.

PAIR WHITE WITH PASTELS, BUT PROCEED CAREFULLY. They can read as baby colors, so I choose mellow shades that impart just a whisper of smoky pink, blue, or green.



photo:William Waldron

Darryl Carter


WHITE IS INDEED A COLOR — WITH LOTS OF RANGE. Benjamin Moore alone offers over 200 different shades. If you look carefully at the undertones, some are blue, pink, green. You really need to paint a wall and experience the color at different times of day, to see how the light changes it.

WHITE UPHOLSTERY CAN BE PRACTICAL. I often use outdoor fabrics inside. Faux leathers and suedes are also very forgiving. Once, I vinylized a linen kitchen banquette to give the sense of texture without sacrificing stain resistance.

WOOD WARMS UP EVEN THE MOST SPARSELY FURNISHED WHITE ROOM. There’s a lot of movement in wood. In effect, it starts to feel like a print — just a very subtle one. Other low-key ways to add interest and depth: Fabrics with woven tone-on-tone chevron or herringbone patterns, marble countertops, and antique rugs on the reverse (just flip the rug over so the muted side shows).

WHITE HAS THE POWER TO UNIFY DISJOINTED SPACES. My country home in Virginia is an old farmhouse that had been added to over time; even the floors didn’t match. White — on the walls and underfoot — harmonized the space and established continuity from one room to another. It encourages flow, whereas an abrupt color change can destroy the sight line. On a more prosaic note, an all-white decorating scheme lets you move furniture around: A chair pulled from the living room can also work at the dining table.


Suzanne Kasler


NOT ALL WHITES MATCH. Once you start layering different tones, you can’t assume they’ll all go together. You’ve got to look at them next to each other to see if they blend.

WHITE ALLOWS YOU TO APPROACH DECORATING AS YOU WOULD FASHION. You can freshen up a white room just by swapping out throw pillows: blue ones for summer, orange ones for winter, and so on. A rug or work of art is another little way to make a big difference.

DRAPES DELIVER THE WOW OF WHITE UPHOLSTERY, WITHOUT THE FEAR. If I’m working with a young family, I’d never cover a sofa or any other everyday piece in white linen. It’s unrealistic. But white-linen curtains are much less likely to get stained — especially if you add a colored border to the bottom, where the fabric grazes the floor.

WHITE CAN SOFTEN ARCHITECTURAL QUIRKS. If everything’s painted white, then that odd steam pipe almost magically disappears.

WHITE DEMANDS ACCESSORIZING. Layers of objects with different textures are where white rooms really come together!



photo:Suzanne Kasler

see more about Suzanne Kasler

Source: Country Living

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