The Incredible Lightness of White…..

After last week’s  wintry, pristine  snowfall I guess I’ve got WHITE on the brain.

Although I  cherished every moment of the relaxing “forced vacation”; reading screaming children, baking 40 loads of laundry, crackling fire a freaking huge mess in every corner of the house   I’m happy  to see the last of the  fluffy stuff  melt into the ground as we all know in the end its  really just a big fat PITA  and relieve the thirsty winter grass.   Plus  I’m painstakingly aching for any  glimmer of evidence that spring is around the corner….a sprig? … a bud? ….anything? anything???….. but until the pansies bloom, the current snowstorm has left me  obsessing about snow white  interiors.

twisted perhaps, but I thought quite funny???

ok… back to interiors… A monochromatic palette is truly my design eye’s happy place.  It’s peaceful, it’s fresh, a beautiful canvas of purity. Many of my clients admire it as well but seem to be afraid of it — and surprisingly not from the practical standpoint of how easy it would be to dirty  it — but more from fear they’ll end up with a surgical suite in lieu of a living room.

Be not afraid! Here are user friendly tips  — avec images magnifique — to inspire us how to live  beautifully in a world of white.

First and Foremost ….one must realize that all whites are not created equal. Whites fall into two camps: Warm (those with yellow or red undertones) and cool (with blue or black undertones). The warm whites  instill comfort and  the cooler  are best for crisp, ultra modern, minimalist spaces. Use caution when  mixing the two in the same room as the warmer white will start to look dingy in contrast to its sharper blue – toned counterpart.

To distinguish a “warm” from a “cool”: white,  compare paint chips under natural light lying atop a piece of quality bright white copy paper ; the underlying tones will be apparent. When combining several shades of white in a single room, try varying sheens, (flat, matte, semi-gloss). It might seem in significant but  those slight discrepancies will reflect light  differently and create interest in the monochromatic room.

Don't be intimidated! (gulp?)

Vary textures to ward off any chill. In my own designs I generally  prefer warm whites to  cool and  I achieve this feel by integrating a variety of fabrics and finishes. Linen in all shades of light (from white to cream to beige) is one of my all time favorite looks…. and introducing organic elements into the space is a design MUST  for softening the edge and breathing life into the a neutral space. Examples;  stone planters, driftwood accents, plants, a hand carved side table — all of the above will really transform the room into something special.

Axel Vervoordt, grand seigneur of the design world, has perfected the art of integrating organic materials into his always neutral design schematics. Just breathtaking!

The natural touches create interest, add dimension and really soften the space.

Design godess Kelly Hoppen brings in "organic" elements with greenery and stone planters.

Love the reclaimed wood coffee table and the zen symmetry of the 3 potted grass planters.

I simply covet these stone planters. Especially when introduced as an accent into (semi) contemporary spaces. Jennifer West showroom; Seattle Design Center

White can expand a space.  In a world of  white  you’re not as  conscious of walls and boundaries —  a  room that might otherwise seem small feels  bigger and much more modern. I adore  pale rooms where select pieces of  furniture standout  like sculpture.

The curvature in the lines of the simple accent chair punctuates the room and rounds out the simplicity. Kara Mann Interior Design.

The Eva zeisler coffee table is artwork in itself.

White creates a unifying atmosphere. White lets you read the simplicity or the complexity of a space as you will  pay more attention to the space instead of surfaces. A muted palette lets you see all the amazing  things that you otherwise might have missed.

The interior palette of this home allows the water to be the main attraction. Sheer perfection!

1 thought on “The Incredible Lightness of White…..

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