Thursday, October 25, 2012


Hey Everyone, I came across a few pics that got me thinking about white rooms.  White Rooms can be one of the hardest things to get right.  First of all, picking the right white for the walls can be a nightmare.  If you don't understand undertones then you will have a miss right from the get go.  The other thing is that there has to be interest within the room so it doesn't look boring, dull or like you stuck a bunch of furniture in a white room.
Here are some great and not so great examples of white rooms:

I absolutely adore this bedroom.  If I ever get to move to Hawaii I want it to look like this.  The wall colour is the perfect shade of white for this room- it has the right undertone. 

Now, this room kinda makes me noodles.  It looks like everything was just plumped down in there. The white chosen for the walls is way to bright and cool.   It in NO way relates to anything in this room.  All the fabrics chosen have a warm undertone and the walls have a cool undertone.  It is totally the wrong white.  This room would have been better served either painted in a warmer white like BM White Down for instance or wait for it.....  a deeper colour!   At least with White Down it would relate to the "flesh" coloured fabrics.  And do not get me started on that settee!!  Boggles the mind it does!

The same can be said for this room.  I really love all that is in this room except for the horrible wall colour above the wainscoting.  Again it bears no relation to anything else in the room.  I don't have a problem with painting white above the wainscoting but it should have been in a warmer tone.

This fantastic room is by Judith Balis.  It is one of my new room design crushes.  I Love it!!  I wouldn't change a thing.  It has it all.  The texture of the boards on the walls, texture and more texture, that gorgeous rug, that great coffee table, the sofa, the pillows..... I could go on and on.......

Gotta love a great Groin Vault.  The subtle architectural detail here makes my heart sing.  It is so pretty and uplifting.

I just love all those wood tones with the white of the walls.  It is such great contrast.  But why it works has a lot to do with the undertone in the walls and how it relates to the wood.

The last 4 pics are from Sweden.  I will say this......  The Swedes really know how to do white.  You would think that living in the climate they do that having all that white would feel cold.... well not at all.  The way that they use the white with wood and stone and fabrics all makes for such a happy place to live.  I have always admired how they put white together so well.
The white that was chosen for the walls in this space has a cool undertone to it.  Why does it not feel cold and uninviting??  Well..... it has everything to do with the fact that the white chosen RELATES to everything else in the space.  If they had chosen a yellow undertoned white for the space it would have looked awful.  It would have looked dirty and everything else would have looked out of place in relation to the wall colour.
It also helps that there is a lot of natural light coming in.  There is nothing like having tons of light pouring into a room to lift it up!!

So in closing the way to do white well is the following.... it is just a little recipe......  Pick the right white for your space with the right undertone........Use texture.......Use wood.......  Use Architectural detail.  Another detail is to use contrast.  One way is to use darker wood/black/brown with all that white.  If you have an all white room then you need to use texture to create interest if you don'thave contrast..  If you have all that then you can't go wrong.  I know..... sounds daunting but it can be done.  For me the most important of the above is get the right undertone right and use detail-texture and/or contrast.  If the white you have chosen has NO relation to anything else in your room, the room will always feel off in some way.  It is how the White RELATES to everything else that matters above all.  Just my opinion for what it is worth.

Have a great day everyone.

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