Renters, listen up -- it's time to embrace those neutral, standard white walls! Bland, boring, and blah? Think again! White has recently turned that bad rap on its head and has emerged as the latest favorite for color-lovers worldwide. Now, rather than finding itself associated with an overall lack of personality, white is celebrated as a way to accentuate character in a space. Here are four tips to make the most of this colorless color.
There's a reason why elements of graphic design are often placed on a white background. The color has an unmatchable way of making the foreground explode into focus. And the same concept goes for interior spaces. As shown here, white painted walls allow the rainbow of textiles and finishes to take center stage. The other advantage is that colorful personalities have the license to go wild. White negative space allows the eye to rest between each dose of color, making the space feel both balanced and poised, no matter how exuberant the styling.
There's no denying that adding bright color to architectural wall details -- things like crown molding, chair rails, and beams -- has a way of bringing them into sharp focus. Yet bold hues also have a tendency to become the focal point and mask the subtleties in form that allow the architecture to be a focal point in the first place. White, on the other hand, gives shape to each curve and heightens each shift in depth. The neutral, unassuming tone accentuates, rather than exploits, these architectural details.
Look up! If a feeling of spaciousness is what you're after, try painting your walls and ceilings in a pure shade of white. The classic hue is an easy way to amplify the grandeur of just about any space. For example, the white paneled surfaces in this dining room feel practically endless, and, by keeping the accessories minimal and understated, the area feels much larger than it really is. This is certainly not a new technique, but it's one that proves itself over and over again.
And finally, consider taking things to the extreme. Although frequently associated with mod Scandinavian design, the white-on-white craze has begun to take hold of trends worldwide. One popular evolution of the monotone look, as demonstrated here, is to add dimension with different shades of white -- anything from soft cream to muted gray will do. Admittedly, this strikingly uniform look can be a bit of a chore to maintain, but the results are often worth the effort. When executed down to the most finite detail, a white-on-white space is both eye-catching and sophisticated.
Carrie Waller is the founder of Dream Green DIY, where she blogs about DIY, design, and life.