You’ve probably noticed the all-white fashion look that’s all over the high street. Like me, you might see it as all-well-and-good, but something that’s probably best avoided – we all remember what happened the last time white jeans were in fashion and we accidentally dropped chocolate on them. For me, all white fashion is something I’ll admire from afar but leave to the people who are confident enough to pull it off.
White interiors, now that’s another matter. Again, they strike fear into the heart of many, “it’ll get filthy” “will it wipe down?” and “with my kids? There’s no chance” are phrases that spring to mind for most. There are ways to make it work effortlessly in the modern home though. I asked stylist and trend consultant, Anna Woods, for her top tips:
Firstly, why choose white?
"White is associated with happiness, positivity and symbolises perfection. It's a great hue for summer or winter where added accents change the mood for each season: summer is inspired by white-washed isles creating a relaxed fresh approach, whilst winter inspires a magical, frosty and Narnia like winter-wonderland feel." Says Anna.
Against the grain
The most important thing to know is that white looks best when different tones and textures are used to bring out light and shade. This way your room will have depth and won’t look flat. Anna says,
“Using rough, matte textures such as bleached floorboards against the high gloss enamel of a bath and finishing it off with fluffy towels will really bring out the qualities of each item”
The light will reflect differently from each item, meaning that there will be a wide variety in the tones. It’s advisable to use keep cool and warm tones separate for your whites to complement each other perfectly.
Back to nature
If you’re still worried about getting your tones and textures right with an all white look the best way to introduce colour to a white scheme is with natural materials and plants. Using different wood types adds warmth and when used correctly gives a subtle drift-wood feel. Plants are also great for adding colour that is calming and not too overpowering. Anna’s tip would be to:
“Finish off this look with statement pieces in copper, glass and enamel. This will add interest. Stack, lean and line up your items, which will look better when grouped in odd numbers”.
Make sure you keep your colours warm and neutral – anything too bright will look brash.
It doesn’t matter what tips we’ve given you on white interiors, if you have kids and you’re reading this, you’ll still be thinking, “no way would that work”. Well, there’s a solution. The main area that is likely to get marked is your walls, and whilst there are many different shades of white you to choose from – antique, jasmine, linen…the list goes on – we would suggest that you actually choose a soft, warm grey instead. Anna says:
“Soft grey walls add warmth and look great with crisp white furniture and fittings. They’re also perfect for covering up marks, scuffs and tiny fingerprint daubs that can leave pure whites looking dirty”.
Grey walls are the perfect complement to white fittings and accessories as they’ll work with the grey tones created in the texture of your whites to ensure that everything blends in seamlessly.
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