Summer 2013 Decorating with Whites Color Ideas

Whatever your style, see how white can give your home a fresh, cool look that's perfect for the season.

By : Debra Wittrup

White is an ideal color for a small space. The monochromatic palette opens up the room and bounces light throughout, visually expanding the perceived space. In this small nook, the contrast of textures the chenille fabric, airy draperies, and sparkling crystal pleases the eye. The beauty of decorating with white is that it changes shade as the light changes. A sun bleached palette can become a warm and cozy ivory in the evening when lamps are turned on.

Don't be afraid to get out the paintbrush. This Queen Anne-style armoire wore a dark finish until a few layers of paint and a bit of sanding gave it a distressed look that suits this all white bedroom. Layer different shades of white to provide more texture and a sense of age to a room. Even an old metal chandelier found new life thanks to white paint.

Color tastes and trends change, and in a child's room especially, it's nice to have the luxury of a new look fairly often. Opt for an all white scheme for bedding, walls, and furniture. Swap out the coverlet, pillows, or throw on the bed. All are easy enough to change and will make it seem like you have a new room every season. Use a yard of fabric to add a shot of color and pattern to a headboard, as seen in the photo.

Once a chopped up jumble, this kitchen now unifies two spaces with white. Polished slabs of Carrara marble cover countertops and walls in a nod to historical kitchens of the early 20th century. Minimal wall shelving allows natural light from the many windows to flood the room. Ghost stools at the island keep the feeling light.

Keep color to a bare minimum to bring furnishings of all eras and influences together with style. Here, creamy whites and taupe unify the collected furnishings. The canopy is made with white mosquito netting and old bronze lamp base. The subdued palette, texture, and mix of found objects bring a worldly sophistication to this bedroom.

When walls and furniture are all white, accessories take center stage. Have fun with accents and do away with the expected. A collection of compelling objects is so much more interesting as a dining room centerpiece than candlesticks, as this ensemble of colorful ceramics demonstrates. The light fixture gets to shine in a unique way, too. A store bought chandelier goes glam with layers of old and new chandelier drops and old earrings in vivid color. The bright hues link to a rug made from recycled plastic.

Frame an all-white room with doorway curtains that make the space look like a secret destination revealed. Gather a group of similar scale chairs in shades of white around the dining table for a one of-a kind set that's anything but predictable. The massive flea market apothecary cabinet, with its dark back, creates a dramatic display space for the white ironstone collection.

A mosaic tile floor is the only departure from an all white scheme in this bath. Strategically placed mirrors add shine and reflect outdoor views. A window seat with nubby terry cloth pillows and a beaded-board back give the scene some texture.


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