BHG Style Spotters

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Get the Look: Bright White Spaces

Get the look: white walls and colorful accents

A couple of years ago I began to feel a shift towards clean, white walls in our house. I’m an avid fan of color but there’s just something calming about white. I like to say that it’s my neutral of choice. First I started with painting my studio all white, reserving the window seats to be a contrasting navy blue. Then when we did our big kitchen and family room makeover, we chose to do solid white everywhere, allowing the furniture and accessories to be the pops of color.

All white kitchen with pops of color via

Having our lake house painted Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White was a no-brainer. It provided the clean fresh canvas for a laid-back coastal vibe. I wanted the house to feel light and ethereal, especially to counteract the extreme heat of an Oklahoma late summer afternoon.

Benjamin MooreBoys bedroom in lake house with nautical accents and Benjamin Moore Decorator White walls

That’s not to say that going the all-white route is easy. In fact, I think it can create quite a challenge now that I’ve done it a few times. Initially every time I do this, I feel like the room is too stark once I move in just the basic furniture, like a big white box. It isn’t until after I start to accessorize that I finally breathe a sigh of relief. In the guest bedroom of our lakehouse (above), I panicked because the room felt so blah, even with super cute furniture. Once I started adding accessories such as artwork, cute pillows, and homey accents like books and games, everything started to come together. No more blank white box. Now it’s a fun, comfortable room for the boys to enjoy sleeping and playing in, with a subtle calming undertone thanks to all that fresh white.

Avoid the panic of all white walls with a few handy dandy tips. First things first: have a consistent color scheme. This all-white bathroom (below) gets a big dose of personality with a consistent gray and yellow color scheme. It’s simple and punchy.

White bathroom with yellow accents

If you choose to go the all-neutral look (such as sandy accents or even all white in addition to the walls), try to mix up your textures. Rugs, pillows, drapes, and upholstery will make a huge difference and add visual interest. Metallics add an extra glow and luxurious element.White living room with colorful accents

A tip from my realtor husband that really works: take a few shots with a camera and see what your room looks like through a lens. Sometimes it’s easier to evaluate a space this way because it gets you to note a little more objectively what’s working (and what’s not working). The room might fall flat in a photograph and you don’t realize it in real life until you see the image.

Bright white kitchen with orange accents

Bring in a contrasting item to make the room pop.If you’re all about making a color statement, there’s no better way than pairing a bright color against brilliant white. Look for unexpected ways to include a bold shade, such as a kitchen island, a pantry door, or bold barstools.White living room with pale pink bookshelves - pop of color

Are you afraid of white walls or do you make it work? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

9 Responses to “ Get the Look: Bright White Spaces ”

  1. Yes to all of these spaces! My entire home is painted white and although it’s a modest size, the all-white walls and trim make it feel so much larger and airier. It’s also a nice compliment to the bright colours I favor – it gives the eye a much needed rest :) I love the inspiration you’ve rounded up here…Pinning for later!

  2. Hi Tanya!
    I completely agree with all white making things feel larger. I’m in the throes of retouching some paint in my studio and I’m amazed how much bigger going all-white makes it feel. Thanks for the kind words, and your lake house looks so lovely!

  3. I love those red stools! Where are they from?

  4. Does this white have an undertone color? Like a yellow or gray? I want a pure white. Looks great in your home!

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