House & Home

Pretty in White

Posted March 30, 2014 8:45 a.m. EDT

One of the great things about Hometalk is that I get to live thousands of redesigns, home decor experiments, and more vicariously. I can see what DIY remodelers are up to and follow projects from start (ripping out gross old flooring or despairing at the site of an ancient electrical system) to glorious, smooth, show home-ready finish. I must admit that one of my favorite parts is checking out the interior design from this bunch of smart, very aesthetically talented individuals.

I've been drawn towards white decor lately, which gets a bad rep for being cold and standoffish. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth; artful white decor can be extremely warm, or it can be sleek and sophisticated, but it doesn't have to be cold. Better yet, it offsets bold splashes of color fantastically well, allowing you to determine what gets highlighted, and where. So if you're thinking about a Cleveland remodel, don't knock white before you try it! And hey, while you're at it, won't you reconsider pastels?

I took a tour through some cool white rooms on Hometalk for inspiration, and thought you might want to come along...

Here's an example of a white decor element in a colorful room to start us off gently. The distressed look is great here, and it's a fantastic way to rehab furniture and ornaments that might have gotten a bit funky with the passage of time.

Linda G's gallery wall, on the other hand, is almost the polar (haha) opposite, with white on white accents relieved with silver. I love the way these frames flow into each other to extend space, and the butterflies flitting across the interior landscape add a whimsical note.

I would sleep in this bedroom in a heartbeat. White bedrooms are especially great in the tropics, where they feel cool, airy, and refreshing even on muggy, awful days. The dark floor and trunk offset the white to relieve the room, and the use of distressed furniture helps it avoid a fussy, overwrought look.

Here's a warm, friendly kitchen done in shades of white with notes of blue and gray. It feels cozy and welcoming, with a painting scheme that ties together in a way that's not too precious.

Using ladders for decor is always fun. In this case, an old white ladder ties together beautifully with various white design elements. You could use this in all kinds of rooms and settings, but I think it would be especially great in a honeymoon suite.

Here's another take on decorating in white: black and white, that is. There's something clean, sophisticated, and fetching about this look, which would fit in well in all kinds of environments. I love the crisp feel of this room, which makes me want to settle down and read a book on that comfortable couch while looking out at a beautiful garden...

Katie Marks writes for

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