How to decorate with country whites

The go-to neutral pairs perfectly with every shade. But don't underestimate its power to stand alone, as shown by these clever design ideas...

What better way to decorate your home than with lovely shades of white? Vary a white colour scheme with various shades of off-white, cream and pale grey for a beautiful backdrop that lends itself to many different styles.

White works perfectly with every other colour in the spectrum – including black – so it’s great first look for a new home. Even if you love colour, blanketing a home in a coat of snow white will help you to understand the space before committing to a riskier scheme.

Picture perfect

Image credit: Sandberg Wallpaper

‘One of the best things about living in 
a rural location is appreciating the great outdoors,’ says Fredrik Nilsson, Managing Director, Sandberg Wallpaper. ‘A white scheme allows for experimentation with pattern and scale without detracting from the countryside framed by the windows.’ Here, the wallpaper reflects the natural light creating a peaceful space in which 
to curl up and enjoy the view.

Get the look
Buy now: Levi 428-21 wallpaper, £76 a roll, Sandberg Wallpaper at Wallpaper Direct

First impressions

Image credit: Homebase

As the saying goes, first impressions count, 
so what better way to freshen up your front 
door than with a lick of crisp white paint? Associated with peace and tranquillity, it’s the perfect colour to welcome guests to your home. ‘Light, neutral hues also allow lovely period features and statement accessories to do the talking,’ 
says Judy Smith, Colour Consultant, Sandtex.

Get the look
Buy now: Sandtex Rapid Dry Satin Paint in Collecter’s White, £17.99 for 750ml, Homebase

Subtle shades

Image credit: Neptune

A few strategically chosen accents of colour 
are a useful way to inject character into a white room. Bold shades will add a pop of colour, but for a more rustic feel, John Sims-Hilditch, Co-founder 
of Neptune, recommends a softer approach. ‘Treat your room as a blank canvas and keep in mind that less is more – adding soft sage tones reminiscent of nature, for example, will enhance the relaxed feel.’

Get the look
Buy now: Larsson dressing table, £430; Larsson chair, £315; Fairfax lamp with Lucile shade, from £120; Whytock rug, £570, all Neptune

Decorative display

Image credit: The White Company

‘White furniture expands a space visually, effectively making a small area feel bigger,’ says Chrissie Rucker MBE, Founder, The White Company. ‘If upcycling, always opt for warm whites rather than cold bluey-white tones and experiment 
with sample pots before you buy.’ Alternatively, consider investing in a statement piece like this versatile display cabinet with glass doors.

Get the look
Buy now: Glass cabinet, £995; Ardleigh stool, £95; Kubu baskets, £50 for 2; items in cabinet, from a selection, all The White Company

Comfort factor

Image credit: Sofa.com

Contrary to popular belief, a busy family life and a white living room can work as long as you make practical choices. Vanessa Hurley-Perera, Chief Product Officer at Sofa.com, recommends the Isaac sofa, specifically designed with relaxed living in mind. ‘The seats are extremely comfortable and the covers are loose and washable, making inevitable stains and spills quick and easy to deal with.’

Get the look
Buy now: Isaac sofa in Chalk Washed Linen, £2,040, Sofa.com

Timeless classic

Image credit: Everhot

White never goes out of fashion, making it the obvious choice when it comes to a lifelong purchase such as a range cooker. ‘As well as making a style statement, opting for white appliances is an easy way to highlight other tones, textures and features within the room, whether it be the warmth of stone tiling or decorative pieces against wooden backsplashes,’ says Guy Goring, Founder, Everhot.

Get the look
Buy now: Everhot 60 range cooker in White, £4,995, Everhot

Rustic charm

Image credit: The Winchester Tile Company

Tiles don’t need to be bright and bold to lift 
a country bathroom – why not mix and match textured designs to create a patchwork pattern 
that has a touch of homespun charm? Contrast with a dark wood basin cabinet to add drama and help define the space. Handcrafted in Devon, these beautiful wall tiles by The Winchester Tile Company, were inspired by iconic British gardens.

Get the look
Buy now: Artisan tiles, from £1.14 for a plain tile to £3.75 each for patterned tiles (Bicton, Kew, Rosemoor and Wisely, all The Winchester Tile Company

Layer up

Image credit: Camengo

A white scheme offers a calming backdrop making it a restful choice for a country bedroom, but it is important to pay attention to the details to avoid the overall look becoming too sterile. Layering textiles is 
a good place to start. Here, luxurious bedlinens and tactile cushions sit against 
an upholstered headboard – which creates 
an impressive focal point within the room 
– while a faux fur floor rug adds welcome warmth to painted wooden floorboards.

Get the look
Buy now: Headboard, bedcover and cushions in Plénitude, cols 
Pebble and Ivory, £126.60 m, Camengo 

Will you be creating a dreamy white scheme in your home?

Ideal Home loves...