If you quiver at the idea of a totally white room, from the living space to the kitchen, because all you can think about is how easily it’ll show dirt, the truth is that it’s actually not that difficult to maintain.
White is traditionally easier to apply as a paint selection and reflects any ambient light to brighten the space on even the dreariest days. There are several design strategies you can apply to any room to make white the dominant color while still reflecting your personality.
Avoid a purchase of just one white color to splash across the room. Consider using three or four different hues to create a unique appearance instead. Add cream, pure white and standard white to the living room using paint, upholstery and furniture accents. Create a cream-colored accent wall with pure white covering the other three walls, for instance. Consider adding a striped wall with all three colors alternating as the accent wall. There are literally hundreds of different ideas ready to be discovered.
Accents Add Spice
A white interior only allows your favorite sculptures or paintings to shine even more brightly against the contrast. Add a dark-colored sculpture to a pedestal against a long wall or hang a favorite painting in a main hallway. Select any art or picture that isn’t completely white for the best effect. The light reflecting off the walls and ceilings seems to illuminate the art, making it possible to leave out the spotlights on the art for visual purposes. Even add white pillows with fun designs on their face for a unique conversation piece. Loved ones will want to cuddle on the couch as they enjoy the art and personal design.
It’s a fact of life that white will need to be cleaned periodically. Make the cleaning process easier, however, by choosing paint with an advertised “easy clean” surface, such as gloss. Use attractive slipcovers on chairs and couches so you can launder them when necessary instead of spot-cleaning. For furniture without a slipcover, select materials where spot-cleaning is suggested, such as faux suedes and leathers. Even quality vinyl is an option for budget-minded decorators.
Got Wood Furniture?
Those dark wood cabinets, coffee tables or chairs may look too drab for the white decor. Don’t be afraid to paint the wood a solid white color. Wood is surprisingly durable when it comes to paint and stains. Enjoy the white look for many years. If you decide to change back to the natural wood grain, it’s relatively easy to strip, stain and seal the furniture again. However, the white appearance may have you sold to keep it that color for awhile.
Some designers might say gray is a variation off the white hue, adding in a touch of darkness to an otherwise bright appearance. If the entire room is white, down to the carpet and furniture, try a dash of gray as a tablecloth or pillow accent. Select nearly any gray hue you desire. Even stripes or polka-dots in gray and white give the room a certain flair. From candlesticks to coffee table books, gray adds another layer to your white decor.
When you add white decor to a kitchen, you may be concerned about appliance colors. With stainless steel being a tried-and-true favorite, this metal color contrasts perfectly with any white color. Appliances will stand out to visitors, especially if you’re holding an open house for sale. Give all surfaces a periodic cleaning to remove cooking grease and grime, however. White surrounding the appliances gives any visitor the idea that the space is clean and pure, adding to its beauty for everyday use.
Start collecting paint color samples to discover white in all its glory. You don’t have to be blinded by one white hue throughout the home, but adding strategic shades creates the depth you need for a unique design. Loved ones will be amazed at the power white has as it dazzles as an interior accent.
Tim Smith writes for Modernize.
Photo credits: Vincente Burin Architect
Iowa native Todd Snyder launched his eponymous menswear collection exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman, Ron Herman, and Neiman Marcus for Fall 2011. Inspired by Savile Row craftsmanship, military tailoring, and a distinct New York sensibility, the line has garnered wide critical and commercial praise in the US.
In 2012, the line was picked up by Barneys New York and select Nordstrom stores; simultaneously, Snyder was nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and named one of GQ’s Best New Menswear Designers.
More recently, Snyder was selected as one of the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists. During that time he launched his Todd Snyder + Champion collaboration with the iconic Rochester, NY-based sportswear brand, and opened his first New York boutique, called City Gym, at 242 Elizabeth Street in NoLiTa.
This success is a humbling reaffirmation of Snyder’s roots. In Dutch, his surname means “one who makes outer garments” and while studying textile and clothing design at Iowa State University, Snyder learned the art of cutting and sewing at the Des Moines haberdashery Badowers.
He spent the following two decades honing his skills in New York, designing outerwear for Polo Ralph Lauren, working as Director of Menswear for the Gap, and SVP of menswear at J. Crew, where he revamped men’s styling, introduced formalwear, and launched a series of collaborations with heritage brands like Timex, Red Wing, Thomas Mason, and Alden that culminated in the popular Liquor Store boutique, opened in 2008. At the helm of his own brand, Snyder still strives to deliver on the rubric set forth by his Badowers mentor: “A perfectly fitted suit makes the man.”
DISCOVER: Todd Snyder