White colour in a room’s décor, can make it look soothing and classy. White can look sleek, sophisticated, romantic, pure and meditative, depending on how it is used in a room. “White is a colour that is peaceful and quiet and it is also a perfect backdrop for all textures and settings,” says Lekha Gupta, senior architect, L.A.B. (Language Architecture Body). While many people feel that white is a single-tone colour, this is not the case. “If you open a paint shade card, you will see that there are multiple shades of white. This is why, white is a perfect backdrop for every drop of colour. From furniture and to accents, to floors and walls, white can be employed everywhere. However, white alone, is an empty colour – you must give it a partner that really allows the colour to shine and vice-versa. A complete white apartment, would be a nightmare, for the user, as well as the domestic help,” adds Gupta.
One has to be very careful, to not go overboard by using too much white, as it could get too gloomy and mundane, agrees Prashant Chauhan, creative director of Zero 9 design firm, Mumbai.
“Colourful accents should be added to the décor, to enhance the appeal of white and its dominance. Indoor plants, cushions, paintings and curtains, are some of the options through which you can bring in contrast and highlight whites. Carefully selected textures can also add depth to white,” Chauhan advises. For example, gold, turquoise, etc., can be used as highlight colours in a white décor.
See also: Colour therapy for your home
How to ensure that white remains white
One should choose the right materials to ensure that the white décor remains white. For example, opt for G4 Stone, which is a composite glass and is a more durable alternative to use. “White sheers for curtains, white Teflon-coated fabric (which is stain-resistant) for furnishings and white duco paint (automotive paint) are a few materials that can be experimented with, to achieve a dominant white palette,” adds Chauhan.
White reflects light. So, it adds to the brightness of the space and makes the space appear bigger.
“White can contrast with the gaudiest of colours and make it look elegant. For example, gold looks rich on a white backdrop. One can go in for a stylish gold-coloured false ceiling with a white trim and white walls. For art lovers, white walls are a perfect backdrop to set off their masterpieces. People who prefer bright furniture, or large prints in the upholstery, can also use a lot of white in their home’s décor,” states Gupta.
Tina Dutta, a home-maker from Delhi, extensively used white colours in her house. “My bedroom has white painted bricks and a white ceiling, with wooden rafters. The bed is also white but the head rest is designed with an aqua-coloured fabric. I have two chairs in aqua hues and I have a blue and white porcelain vase for my flowers. My room looks calming and cool. The room’s curtains are also white and I always prefer white bed covers and white towels as I feel that it adds a ‘wow’ factor, provided they are clean and crisp,” Dutta explains.
People who have pets, children, or a non-centralised air-conditioning system in their homes, should be careful with the amount of white that they use in the décor. Dust, dirt and scratches can convert the white to a dirty off-white. So, if you love white, you must also ensure that you can maintain it.
Tips, for using white colour in home décor
- Ceilings should always be white or off-white in colour, as it reflects light.
- Walls can be painted white, to give a spacious feel. When complementing your white walls, keep the accent colour subtle and do not overdo it.
- Do not keep white surfaces plain. Instead, use textures to add dimension and to create different surfaces.
- Fabrics, such as light and breezy sheers in white and ivory and white bed linen, can make the room appear fresh and relaxing.
- White spaces need to be blended carefully with coloured linen, furniture and artifacts. To create a calming space in an all-white room, add citrus green, turquoise or classic purple.
- If you have children at home, opt for washable fabrics for slipcovers of white sofas, chairs and duvets.