Decorating with White

Embrace white year-round to get a simple, classy, and functional look for any space. Take a cue from these rooms where white is done right.

Lauren Smith


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White kitchen with food accents
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Blank Canvas

    The white walls and cabinetry in this kitchen provide a neutral backdrop for a rotation of cheerful color accents: a red rug, a wooden table, and, most importantly, an array of seasonal food in a variety of colors. The open shelving makes the kitchen feel spacious, and the all-white dishware adds a chic touch to the blank-canvas feel of the kitchen decor.

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Two-Hue Style

    For a fail-safe way to create a cohesive look, add one color to a white palette. Here, white with dark gray accents creates a clean, sophisticated bedroom. Use varying intensities of the same hue to introduce eye-pleasing depth, such as the black-and-white framed photos and the bedding in this bedroom.

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Colorful Accessories

    In a colorful room with white walls, it's important to make the walls cohesive with the room's decor. Form a strong, eye-pleasing connection between furnishings and accessories by hanging artwork that matches the color scheme. Large letters in yellow, green, blue, and black liven up the walls in this home office and tie all the elements together.

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Odd Pair

    White wall art on a white wall makes an interesting and effective statement in this casual living room. The word "fred," positioned between two windows, stands out against the white wall to create an eye-catching piece of art.

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Too-Cute Tulips

    White is the perfect backdrop to showcase dark furniture. A rich wood floor and dark-tone furnishings in the dining room warm up the bright white walls. A tulip motif, seen in the table cutouts and centerpiece, adds to the room's cottage chic style.

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Shelving Choices

    Even the most basic storage offers visual inspiration when you sprinkle a few favorite items into the mix. This chic, mostly white living room gets pops of color from personal items. These books, vases, and random accessories bring the shelves into focus.

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Standout Tile

    Artistic tile ups the ante in a white bathroom. The unique shape and deep crevices of these tiles creates appealing wall decor in this modern bathroom. A blue toothbrush holder and vase of flowers add to the simple value of the space.

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Picky Decorators

    For children whose favorite colors change as often as the seasons, opt for an all-white scheme for bedding, walls, and furniture. Pump up the color with inexpensive, easy-to-change accents, such as pillow shams and throw blankets. Adding a yard of fabric to hang on the headboard adds an extra shot of color.

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Dainty Vanity

    This white vanity area offers a serene space to start the day. The walls feature white and light gray paisley patterned wallpaper, which provides a subtle hint of color without overwhelming the beauty spot. Framed photos and silver hanging candleholders add a vintage touch to the design.

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Pop of Color

    Choose one bright accent color to stand out throughout the kitchen decor. Here, aqua-blue accents are sprinkled throughout the mostly white accessories and color scheme, creating a beachlike vibe and an overall bright color scheme.

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Classic Beauty

    A white-and-blue color palette creates a classic look in this living room. Multiple shades of white for the walls, trim, and furniture complemented by accent pieces in light and dark hues of blue mimic the ocean and sky in this seaside cottage home.

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Reverse Color

    Go for the unexpected when adding color to a room. White walls and window treatments create a serene, clean look in this living room, while light blue brightens the ceiling. Stacked windows lead the eye to the living room's white exposed beams, putting the emphasis on the room's height.

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Fireplace Flavor

    Paint a brick fireplace to create a fresh look affordably. In this cottage style living room, a red brick fireplace is painted white to help the feature blend into the room, creating a cohesive look and allowing colorful accessories and furnishings to take center stage.

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Cool Concept

    Use antique wall art to create an eye-catching design element in this simple kids' bedroom. This tradition kids' room uses children's story-themed art arranged side-by-side around the center of bold white walls. It's a unique design approach that makes this room both kid-friendly and sophisticated. White bed frames and bedding allow the art to stand out.

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Beaded-Board Beauty

    An all-white color palette creates a crisp, clean look in a kitchen. The beaded-board ceiling and walls adds texture to keep this space from looking too plain. The wooden kitchen table pops against white furnishings and floor to put the emphasis on the gathering area for friends and family.

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Toss in Pattern

    Red, white, and blue shines through in this living room. Patterned wall art and throw pillows add contrast and life to the solid-color walls and furnishings. Using two bold accent colors against a white palette creates a contemporary look that is bold yet comfortable.

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Simple Space

    In this home office the low ceilings could make the space feel cramped and claustrophobic. But by keeping the design simple and mostly white, the room feels spacious and open. Wood countertops provide a warm contrast to the white walls, ceiling, and cabinetry.

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Savvy Seats

    A subtle white-on-white color palette allows a kitchen and breakfast nook to flow together. This simple design embraces white walls, colorful accents, and bright blue showstopping chairs. Use a banquette to squeeze extra seating into a small space. An L-shape unit offers room for eight at this round table, where only four chairs would have fit comfortably.

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Furnishings on Display

    Neutral walls allow the furnishings, artwork, and exposed beams to be the stars of the show in this room. This cottage kitchen uses funky stools to add modern flair to the design and stand out against the white walls and cabinetry.

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Simple Fun

    This formal dining room's simple use of color keeps the focus on the chandelier and the trio of lithographs. This creates a sophisticated yet fun look in a beautiful art gallery-esque space.

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