Create stunning white interiors
Some people are afraid of decorating with white as they fear it may look too clinical, cold or minimalist. However, when used correctly, white is an amazing tool to give the illusion of a bigger space by bringing light to dark spaces and creating fresh, calm, inviting homes. In addition, walls painted in white can also act as the perfect backdrop to showcase art, furniture and fabrics. Here are a few tips on how best to use white in your home.
Variations of white
There are so many variations of white, from cool to warm, so it's important to take the time to choose the right shade of white for your rooms. To add depth and subtle variation, consider using different shades of white in different rooms or areas to enhance your scheme.
For white interiors, I would recommend a matte finish rather than a reflective gloss paint finish, as gloss paintwork can show imperfections in an older property where the plasterwork may not be smooth. However, if you are updating furniture with white paint, then you may prefer a satin or gloss finish for variation in finishes.
Working with light
If you have a very dark, cold room, then consider choosing a warm white with a touch of yellow pigment. This will result in a brighter, more inviting space. If you want to create a cool, calm room, then consider using white with a touch of grey for a contemporary interior.
Add contrast to your scheme
To provide balance to your scheme, it is best to have some contrast as you do not want to have huge expanses of white. Areas to add contrast can include furniture, curtain fabrics, bed throws or upholstery.
Showcase your art
White is the perfect backdrop to showcase artwork or sculptural pieces. Consider colourful artwork and enhance the scheme further by pulling on the colours from the painting for use in accessories and scatter cushions. There are also many wonderful Irish artists who would be happy to commission a piece using your selected paint colours. Some Irish artists to consider are Rachel McDermott, Theo Hanley, Emma Campbell, Fran Halpin, Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova, Rita Oates, Jean Lowndes, Michelle O’Donnell and Karen Hickey.
For a minimalist look, consider a monochrome scheme using only white. However, ensure you add plenty of variation by using different textures to provide contrast. This can be achieved by using different fabric types, mixing surfaces such as gloss for kitchen units, and using mirrors. The reflectance of metal is also fantastic when paired with the crispness of white. Consider white floral arrangements to add further depth to your scheme such as these elegant artificial white hydrangeas from The Irish Country Home. These would work perfectly on a coffee table, side table or as centrepiece on your dining table.
To create a rustic or Scandinavian inspired interior scheme, add warm wooden furniture to your white interior, and then layer with a mix of textures in your soft furnishings, such as linen or cotton. For additional depth and texture add knitted wool throws to enhance your cosy rustic interior.
Complement the seasons
With your interiors painted white you can easily complement each season by making a few simple adjustments to your scheme. Consider updating your accessories and soft furnishings with pastels in spring, coastal blues in summer, autumnal oranges and yellows in autumn and vibrant reds or moody greens in winter. An all-white interior gives you the versatility to change effortlessly.
Thanks for taking the time to read my interiors column. Remember if there is a topic that you would like covered in a future column then please drop me a line with your suggestions.
Louise is a former winner of TV3’s Showhouse Showdown. Contact 086 3999926; email email@example.com; www.aspiredesign.ie.