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Publication Date: 2014-03-03


Using White to Make a Statement

Color: it’s everywhere. We use it to create a mood, to emphasize, to complement. But what about white? We often think of it as clean, absent, and blank. All of those things may be true, but used thoughtfully, white can be just as powerful as any bold color.


White can be used in countless ways. With minimal in mind, stark white is the starting point for crisp furniture and a clutter-free space. For an eclectic room, white merges seamlessly with other neutrals, colors, and styles. Rustic white rooms gain personality from a mixture of off-white hues and collected furnishings. A refined aesthetic starts with classic white and is complemented with stylish details: black accents, metallic finishes, and luxurious textures. Spanning the whole range of design sensibilities, white is one of the most versatile colors.

On the floor, white makes a daring statement. White shag says sumptuous. Natural white wool creates a warm and organic foundation. The ultimate in luxury, a white silk rug makes a daring and sleek style statement. Real wool and silk make the most impact and will stand up better to wear over time. White hardwood changes the entire look and feel of a space, creating an open, bright appearance.

Furniture is an easy way to incorporate white into a room. A tufted velvet sofa is luxurious and classic. Fur-covered chairs add texture and warmth. Moroccan poufs in white leather increase seating and double as unique accent pieces.

Mixing various styles and materials will create an interesting space with understated personality. White tables in varying sizes or mismatched chairs can create height. The muted color palette gives everything a cohesive, calm feel.

A white pouf accents this room’s plush furniture and neutral palette.

In this 70′s inspired room, Kelly Wearstler uses a white fur chair to add soft texture.

Sleek, gold-trimmed chairs add height and drama to an all-white space.

Instead of the usual cast of saturated colors, white makes for an unexpected accent wall. A standalone white wall can create a bright focal point in a room. Use a white wall to anchor a seating area or showcase an important piece of art.

Showcase unique furniture or art on a white accent wall.

Monochromatic palettes are always in style. By combining multiple hues of white and layering the various shades, a space becomes the epitome of effortless style. Start with a white rug, select interesting pieces of furniture, add texture with a throw blanket or pillows in hues of white, and incorporate personality using art. Touches of color become even more powerful in a sea of white. Black, indigo, or chocolate brown break up the white with a touch of sophisticated contrast.

White doesn’t have to mean absence and it’s nowhere near boring. With a little bit of creativity, it can work as a statement, as an accent, or as the basis for a room’s palette. Its versatility is as endless as it is effortless.

Designer Annabelle Selldorf used white-on-white to maximize this space’s modern, minimal luxury.


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