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What to Do to Make the Most Out of Your White Living Room

White living rooms are an elegant and timeless design feature in any home. Creating a white living room is the perfect way to create crisp and clean lines, and the power of white helps a room feel more open and spacious, even if it's a small space. The best part about having a white living room is that it allows you to have more freedom in your design ideas and lets you make the most out of accessorizing within your living space.

How do you style a white living room?

Choosing an all-white living room colour scheme may seem like the safe option, but there's a world of difference between a modern living room with a fabulously chic aesthetic and a stark, bland space. You need to choose the best colour whites for your home. There are hundreds of variations and shades of white out there and it is essential to explore all the hues in the white family when considering your living room design. In order to achieve a sophisticated white living room it is best to use a variation of tones through a combination of paint, furnishings, living room decor and accessories. It's not a matter of choosing the perfect white for your home, it's about choosing a few perfect whites!

White Living Room

Above: Shaggy Bean Bag, Short Wool (Dublin Bay, Sheepskin Footstool, Short Wool (Dublin Bay), Designer Floor Rug, Short Wool (Dublin Bay)

Weathered wood can provide balance and contrast to a white colour scheme. Tie in your coffee table by styling it with your favourite books and a vase of fresh flowers. The soft hues of light wood will beautifully contrast any white furniture and accents in your living room.

White walls and ceilings help expand a living space, and exposed wood beams can accentuate a high ceiling. Consider pops of blue in your furniture and quirky decor to give the design a mid-century modern and coastal twist. Nothing says coastal calm like white walls paired with ivory or neutral furniture. Dress up your sofa or armchairs with a few decorative pillows that tie in the design style. you can draw the eye upwards with some fun art prints or well chosen hanging plants.

When considering your white living room ideas, it pays to keep in mind that while a light colour palette will naturally brighten up the room, you can never have too much natural light. Adding or utilising a window or two in your space will help your living room feel even lighter and brighter.

How do you soften a white room?

While it’s tempting to use crisp roller shades or leave windows exposed, using tall, flowing curtains or adding soft linen drapes will soften a white room and keep it from from feeling too harsh. Interesting textures like a wall hanging, a sheepskin, or pillows can also achieve that goal.

Cosy Bed

Above: Sheepskin Rug, Long Wool (Cardrona)

Remember that there’s a whole spectrum of whites, from cool to warm. If your goal is to create a casual, welcoming space, choose one with a hint of yellow or pink. Pairing glossy white moldings with flat-painted walls can also help to add depth.

Bring nature in with hints of green in throw pillows and plants to add a fresh feeling to any white living space. There is a sweeping elegance to the way simple elongated branches of greenery can make your living room pop.

What colours go with white?

White on its own can be a bit sterile, but too much colour can lead to overload. The perfect compromise is a room that combines white with one strong colour. Spread your accent colour throughout the space: Curtains, throw pillows, bedding, rugs, artwork, and light fixtures can all add a punch of colour that relies on the white walls to keep things controlled, yet never boring. The beauty of white is that it looks great with just about any other colour. Adding one accent colour to your living room will help it feel less stark and more inviting. Choose based on your favourite colour, the mood you want to evoke or a timeless neutral that you won’t get bored of.

What's the best trim colour for white walls?

White Trim

Above: Image by Annie Spratt

White walls will look best with a nude or light grey trim while coloured walls will go better with white trim or base. The contrast can be subtle while still creating a clean and purposeful ambiance. You do not want your trim and walls fighting for attention.

What colour curtains go with white walls?

One of the most popular interior looks at the moment is dark curtains combined with a white interior. Dark curtains provide contrast and create a focal point for the room. The more neutral the room the more the dark curtains stand out, creating a versatile black and white background that is timeless. If you are afraid of black try a darker shade of blue or charcoal. 

On the other hand you can inject vibrancy into a white room with a pop of colour in the curtains. Or if you are feeling bold then a patterned curtain can add an unexpected element to an all white interior. If you love patterns but don’t want to make a bold statement, consider a small, neutral print instead.

Do white curtains look good with white walls?

White on white proves that less is more, the trick is keeping it light, clean and inviting. You don’t want to go overboard and end up with a sterile space. White curtains are much less likely to get stained than couches, so it is an easy way to introduce soft white fabric that stays that way. Keep it simple and allow natural light in by using sheer curtains for a soft flowing look. 

White Curtains

Above: Image by Mila Albrecht

What colour sofa goes with white walls?

There are more than a few popular colour choices for a couch that can compliment white walls and also serve as a visual focal piece for a room. If you want to go all out with a vibrant, brightly coloured couch then by all means do so, just be aware that this may limit your design palette in the future.

While it is not for everyone, you can really make your room pop and give your interior design an aura of distinction and sophistication when you choose a white couch. Yes, it is a bold choice and a little risky if an incident were to occur, but it looks so good. Plus, a white colour couch pairs well with pretty much anything and everything when it comes to choosing other living room furniture or accessories and it brightens up the room. Choose a white couch for a minimalist space, a modern, industrial living room, or a bohemian abode.

If a white coloured couch is too much of a commitment to upkeep or doesn’t suit your fancy, consider a grey couch. Grey offers the benefits of a neutral colour palette and still looks good with most accessories, accent furniture, and decor treatments. 

What floor goes with white walls?

Matching the walls of your home to the flooring is essential in creating a cohesive living space. You could have your home decorated with diamonds hanging from the ceiling, but if the floors don’t match the walls you are definitely going to have a problem. Choosing the perfect flooring to match your walls is arguably the most important design decision you will make.

Flooring can really tie a space together and make it amazing or not so great. White or any coloured walls should be paired with a lighter wood or carpet as it will complement the space better than darker colours will. Dark floors can look very good with white or lighter coloured walls but do give off a more severe look, while light floors tend to show less wear and tear while also being easier to maintain and clean.

The lighter colours really open up the space and give off clean and comfortable energy. If you do prefer dark colours, try using a darker palette for your furniture. Lighter flooring alongside white walls has really become a standard in interior design. Dark paired with very light colours do tend to complement each other, but it walks a very narrow line. Darker flooring shows dust and hair more than a lighter floor will and that may be a dealbreaker for pet owners.

How should I select an area rug for a white living room?

A rug can make or break a room, and a good rug can really bring everything together. In living room decor, a rug helps to define zones, but choosing the right rug for your space can be challenging. 

Area Rug

Above: Designer Floor Rug, Short Wool (Pisa)

Do choose your rug first - or last. If you want to make a real statement with a rug to steal the show, start with your rug and then build the room around it. However, if you already have furniture that you love, your rug can be a supporting element and it can be chosen so it works with the palette you already have. Before settling on a style, educate yourself about what is available and think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create in your white living room. Remember that an area rug doesn't need to match everything in a room, but it should work with the textures and tones of the existing furnishings.

Make sure to consider your flooring. It is the base your rug will be placed on and some colours just work well together. Warmer toned timbers work much better with warmer rug shades, whereas modern, light timbers look great with grey, navy and white rugs. Colour is a natural starting point when choosing an area rug. Obviously, you need to think about what colours you like and what colors you'd like to live with day in and day out, but that's not all. The colour of your area rug will set the tone for the entire room, so it's an important decision.

If you already have furniture, consider how different colours will work with your existing items. Rooms with a lot of colour and pattern often work best with a rug that has neutral tones or a single colour. If you don't already have furnishings, consider how different rug colours will work with the tones of the flooring, walls, and ceiling. Rugs can either stand out or blend into a room, so think about what effect you want to create when considering colour.


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