Autumn’s blaze of colors can warm up a chilly November night, but bright hues aren’t the only way to create warmth and magic in your home decor. White has its own radiant charm as a design element, and with modern fabrics and surfaces, it’s surprisingly practical even for family room furniture or children’s rooms.
Boise interior decorators and design consultants use plenty of white for fall and winter because it so readily takes on the warmth of the hues around it. Wintry whites can be as cool as snow in context, but pair white with cheerful oranges and yellows, and you transform it. White reflects light and picks up the color of anything near it, so by arranging a few spice-toned cushions on a white sofa or loveseat, you create echoes of those warm colors.
White has its own subtle color variations, so to keep a room from skewing too cool, interior decorators look for candlelight whites and warmer versions of the neutral hue. Some fabrics have an inherent warm undertone to them because of how the fibers are processed. Unless they’re tinted slightly blue, white cotton fabrics have a sunlit look to them that’s perfect for warming up a room with a northern exposure. Many favorite winter whites are creamy rather than snowy to create that impression of warmth that’s so welcome on a cold night.
Designers also like white for window treatments. No other color allows as much filtered light into a room as white. In sheers, thermal blinds or pull-down window shades, the hue works well to let in as much light as possible while maintaining privacy. Because it’s a neutral tone, it also solves a lot of interior design issues when used as a window treatment. It goes with everything and won’t overpower the rest of your decor no matter how large or dramatic your window treatments are. If you like bold color on the walls, white’s a beautiful counterpoint to them. If you prefer pastels, white allows these delicate colors to take the spotlight.
Too often, white’s seen as the default, a kind of visual vanilla that isn’t exciting in its own right. The key to finding the magic in white is using it to highlight textures and shapes, not just as a place-holder. It brings out all the detail in decorative crown moldings, emphasizes the simple beauty of bead-board and turns nubby fabrics into a strongly textural design element. Think of white as a positive design choice and not as a way to fill space, and you can make it sing.