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In the comment section of another post, a reader asked about white walls – do I love them or hate them? I actually do not have any white walls in my house, but I do have many neutrals. As I told her, I have been in many houses where it was painfully apparent that it was the builder’s white and the rooms felt cold, undone and uninviting, despite residing there for years… and I’ve been in homes, where the walls were Nordic white and the rooms were sumptuous and downright cozy!

If you want versatility, are renting or just hate painting, white walls offer a blank canvas, but they need to be addressed the right way to be successful. In other words, they need to look deliberate in order to work.

White living rooms bespeak of a certain type of lifestyle: chic, sophisticated, metropolitan … and that of no kids, no dogs and no red wine ;-)

You can embrace the color (or actually, absence of color). And note what they have done on their sofa, which I do on my cream sofa. Note to that note: I bought that sofa pre-kids and when I just had 2 Jack Russells, which one throw worked nicely for them to nestle upon and still left of sofas clean. Ok, relatively clean. I forgot about groundhog holes. They loved groundhog holes.

Pressed plants grouped together in inexpensive frames can make a focal point, while addressing a large white space.

Add some soft hues to accentuate the room.

The huge piece of art essentially inserts wall color.

Black looks great in a white room!

Clean, tailored and crisp.

Natural and beachy.

My bookshelves do not look this good, but these are severely lacking books! They are called “book”shelves.

Light walls/dark furniture…the reverse (dark walls and light furniture) is a good option too…but this room needs some soft textures. It’s leather, wood, glass and metal.

My (rescued) German Shepherds would take care of this white room in about 3 seconds! They haven’t met a sofa they don’t love and I don’t have the heart to kick them off <3 …Have I mentioned we live on the river and they love to go swimming, then come in and shake?

Soft grey, but with shiny surfaces to add glamor.

I don’t know what this black panel is about, but it wouldn’t be my first choice of artwork – maybe it didn’t photograph well?? If you like it, you could easily create it (or in another color), however, I would recommend paying close attention to scale. This one is close, but a little off in fitting within the panel.

The point of this photo is that the architectural details of this room really become the focus when a hue isn’t on the wall.

This room needs a little more (maybe some art above the fireplace), although the basics are great.

White walls/black trim….and bamboo molding on the walls! The design is definitely elegant, however, my preference is wood for the molding because bamboo can (emphasis on can) “read” cheap.

I could just DIE for that plasterwork on the ceiling!!!

This is more from the house in picture #1, If you know me, you will know I love the architecture of this home!

Puddles of drapes on the floor is very luxe as it shows that the fabric, which for draperies can be very expensive, wasn’t skimped upon.

This is only half white, but I just really liked the objects on the table!

This shows just how important it is to add details. Although it has lovely pieces, it feels stiff, like the movers forgot to add the rest of the things to this room! Too many hard surfaces and little too matchy-matchy, although I love the mantel mirror! The lamp ON the mantel really bothers me though! It belongs on the chest NEXT to the fireplace. If they were looking for some height on the mantel inexpensively, nothing beats tall, tapered candlesticks, which would be exquisite when reflected in the mirror for a party. Details, details….they really make a room.

With white walls:

  • Embrace the white and go for an all white/cream room -or- offer varying degrees of contrast to the room.
  • A large piece of art (above a sofa, table, etc.) helps break up the monotony of a large, white wall
  • Insert color with drapes (hung high), art, a rug, a screen, furniture, etc.
  • Add texture (coral, a mohair/cashmere throw, velvet upholstery, drapes, shells, a rug)
  • A little glimmer doesn’t hurt either, like mirrors, a crystal lamp, silver, mercury, gold, brass, etc.

And moldings make any room, in my opinion, regardless of color! I’m trying to get excited enough to tackle our upstairs hallway, master and guest bedroom. I also need to finalize my selections. Of course, I will take before, during and after shots with directions when (if??) this burst of energy happens! And I dream of conquering our ceilings!!!! Oh, one day I will get to them, plaster in hand!

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