White is arguably the most versatile of paint colors, especially when it comes to that which surrounds us—walls. Would you agree? Although I love a pop of bold color (or a dramatic dark, or a well-considered neutral…), even I have to agree that white can be seen as one-size-fits-all, serving as a backdrop for spaces overflowing with interest and personality. It seems that no matter the style, from classic and cozy to clean and contemporary, white just works.
A melange of textiles can get busy for the eye, but look wonderful when they don’t have to compete with any other dominant color in the room. Carley Page’s kitchen is a great example; had she opted for different color cabinetry, things might have been a little too overwhelming visually.
Retro-inspired, Scandi-chic, mid-century: whatever you want to call it, this decor style sits well with white. The warm tones of teak look great contrasted against white walls, as do the bright retro accessories so popular right now.
As can simple, subtle hues mixed across styles in a relaxing room
You know what color never seems to go out of style? White. Vintage furniture and accents look fresh and contemporary against a bright interior here in this room from Home Polish.
A little modern, a little boho, a little vintage…a touch of everything comes together in this neutral-walled room from Amber Interiors.
When I think of bohemian style, I generally think of color and texture. In fact, many colors and textures layered over each other, with a healthy smattering of house plants to boot. All that visual interest looks its best and brightest when set off by crisp white walls, don’t you think?
23 | Designer: FabrykabarwThe last apartment comes from the designers at Fabrykabarw. It measures 41 square meters (441 square feet) and is located in Warsaw, Poland. The space is designed for a couple that lives somewhat of a nomadic lifestyle and that certainly informed the interior choices made.
The design is not the poshest (e.g., not the most expensive) but it works for the people who make it their home. The use of white makes it easier to switch things out and up either when the current occupants want to make a change or a new owner is ready to come in.
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I’m closing out this post on a nearly all-white room (from Bolig) to underscore again how a lot of white can act as a big, beautiful canvas (like this post’s first image). Here, though, you’ll see that when you create an intentionally minimal space, your mix of elements of different styles become key pieces in a smartly curated room.
Committing to a certain feel or vibe in a space can give you a lot of leeway when it comes to choosing furniture from a wide array of styles. In this room found on Domino, the furniture arrangement is casual, the seating heights low and the whole room feels like a cool lounge.
Never underestimate the power of elements that feel earthy and of natural. In this room from Vtwonen, a mix of modern chairs and a heavy, rustic wood dining table complement one another thanks to their earthy materials.
If you set a subtle, simple color palette (in this room by Christy Allen spotted on Desire to Inspire, its gray and shades of blue mixed with a light to medium-brown wood tone), you can have a room with furniture that focuses on contemporary comfort but also mixes in a rustic live-edge table detail and a surprisingly modern acrylic table.
Sometimes mimicking colors and design elements (like in this room we spotted on Vtwonen) can be the ticket for combining two furniture styles that are quite different. In the living room we see a comfy, contemporary couch nestled near a metal industrial-style side table, but the colorful medley of hues in the throw pillows is mimicked by the colorful petals of the wildflowers next to it.
A blank canvas is white, but not every blank canvas is waiting for a brushstroke to make it complete. The three homes featured in this post are feature bright white walls, cool cream furniture, and plenty of blank open space. But the designs of these homes do not cry out for more color or more art, instead the white spaces open the home and help to turn the people who live there, who entertain there, and who visit there, into the real focal point of the design.
This room from My Scandinavian Home makes any and all colors work together against a white backdrop.
(Image credit: Cody Ulrich for She Sheds, via Dear Designer)
The built-in tub and cabinetry in this house from The Telegraph look like something from another era entirely, but the neutral white keeps things light and perfectly suited for today.
The Art of Mixing Styles: 7 Gorgeously Eclectic Rooms that Show How It’s Done
19 | The faux deer head adds a special charm to the room. Do check out our post on faux deer head home decor if you want to look at ways to use it to enhance the appearance of your room.
There’s a reason museum walls tend to be white: all art looks great up against it, like in this posh porch from House & Garden.
1 | Designer: Ando StudioThe first space, from designers at Ando Studio, uses white to create a truly posh look. In contrast to white molded walls and linen sofas, are a few bold black stripes and of course some gilded accents.
An ornate mirror, a silvery candlestick, and even a striking rusted gear art piece/conversation starter each create their own force fields of interest, adding their personality to the otherwise white, chilled out space.
With the addition of a plush purple modern wingback chair, this white house takes a turn towards contemporary royalty.
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Minosa Design kept it simple with white cabinetry in this contemporary kitchen with traditional touches.
When we think of traditional, country or classic homes, white isn’t the first shade to spring to mind—we’re more likely to consider deeper shades and neutrals. But white can look great in an older home, particularly when showing off wall panelling (like the swoon-worthy moldings in the above image from d-raw) or shiplap to its best advantage.
Does this one even need explaining? Modern architecture almost always defaults to white, and for good reason. White is the most reflective of all colors, bouncing light from big windows (a lucky feature of many new builds) all around, and showing off crisp corners to perfection.
White just works in a bathroom. It feels clean (nearly sterile) and refreshing, and works great with a heavier repurpose vintage piece like the cabinet-turned-vanity in this bathroom from Sunrise Over Sea.
If white cabinetry isn’t for you, opting for a color adds tons of personality…and looks best when paired with a crisp white wall, like in Jenny Komenda’s kitchen.
A clean palette of white and neutrals might just be the perfect backdrop for relaxing and kicking back in your very own “she shed”, via Dear Designer.
Above: A strong focal point (here, an architecturally beautiful black fireplace and white brick wall behind it) combines with modern, neutral furniture without a lot of ornate details. The white walls are a canvas that lets a lot of different color and styles meld together nicely. Spotted on Design*Sponge.
Gorgeous materials shine (those floors!) when they don’t have to fight for attention, like in this hallway from House & Garden.
Other related interior design ideas you might like… 5 Apartment Designs Under 500 Square Feet3 Sparkling Apartments That Shine with Wonderful WhiteContemporary Sofa Sets from ColumbiniStudio Lofts
Sticking to one style in your living room is one way to decorate. But for some, the ideal way to fill a room is with an eclectic mix of furnishings that fit together to create a space that’s wholly unique. How do you accomplish such a feat, exactly, without your rooms coming out looking like a mess? These seven rooms hold secrets to successfully designing eclectic spaces — use some of them to mix styles in your own home.
A dark wall color cocoons this whole living room spotted on Camille Styles, and while there are a lot of different shapes and styles of furniture at play (as well as wood and metal finishes) the room works thanks to a commitment to bold color and subtle pattern.
18 | Architect: Image Box StudiosThe next home has that distinct Scandinavian style that we have come to know and love on this site. Coming from Image Box Studios, shades of white are the perfect complement to the minimalist style.
Whitewashed wood floors add their own rustic flair, while such quirky pieces as a wireframe deer’s head and the oh-so-hip caged light bulb fixtures make the design perfectly homey, cozy, and warm.