Decorating with white - 10 of the best ideas

White is a great base for a decorating scheme. Find inspiration for decorating with white on

There are so many advantages to decorating a room in white. Not only will white create a clean and serene home that any potential buyer would be happy to snap up, but it's also a great base for colour too.

Elegant and pristine, a white room is so inviting, thanks to an air of clean and effortless style. From hotel chic in the bedroom to Scandi minimalism in the living room, there are so many ways to make an all-white scheme work for you.

White decor is a great choice for any room in the house and you can really open up small spaces with bright white design. A busy area, like a hallway, can be tricky as white walls are likely to get scuffed. Add in grey panels on one side to stop unsightly marks from appearing, but still keep the light and airy feeling of this clean decorating scheme.

1/10 Make the most of a white decorating scheme with these design ideas

dining room with floral wallpaper white dining table and chair

(Image credit: Future PLC /Carolyn Barber)

You can also liven up your new decor by introducing bold colour. Add monochrome touches to a living room to break up the all-white design, or floral wallpaper in your dining room to add a traditional edge to otherwise stark decor. Kitchens and bathrooms look fabulous with all-white fittings - plus it's a practical choice in such functional areas. Black, chrome and stainless steel with stop a kitchen from looking cold and clinical and a bathroom can be injected with personality thanks to a few brightly coloured soft furnishings.

Dining room with traditional wallpaper
Traditional prints don't have to be fussy and old fashioned. Use a striking take on a toile (re-imagined in a modern colour) to give a fresh contemporary edge to a dining room, especially when paired with white furniture. Paint woodwork white and cover chairs in linen to bring the scheme together. Don't be afraid to choose tonal colours that are highlighted in the wallpaper (even if they don't quite match). Here, a red and pink blind looks great with the distinctive toile pattern. Finish off by displaying flowers or accessories in the same shade to give the scheme a cohesive look.

Cole & Son
Dining table
Geoffrey Drayton

2/10 Home office with white trestle table

home office with panelled white wall and table lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC /Polly Eltes)

This all-white home office is relaxed, practical and a perfect place to work in. Place a trestle table next to panelled white wall for a clean, unclutttered look. Avoid the space looking too clinical by hanging black-framed pictures and clipboard-style prints from the panels. Add rustic accessories in pale wood - it'll keep the space light and give it a fresh, Scandi feel. Finish off with a few utilitarian details such as this metal bin and functional task lamp. Voila!

Similar trestle table
Similar task lamp

3/10 White kitchen with stainless-steel worktop

white kitchen with stainless steel worktop and crockery

(Image credit: Future PLC /Richard Powers)

White is a practical colour, often used in bathrooms and kitchens. To liven up a crisp white scheme, choose stainless-steel worktops. Open shelving is a functional choice as it not only allows you more useable worktop space (without having to bump your head into wall units), but also means you can add colour and interest with pretty crockery and retro tins. Choose plain flooring such as simple white painted floorboards. Add personality with a wall clock and a set of contemporary stools.

Kitchen units
Similar worktop
MPM Engineering

4/10 Panelled hallway with painted floor

hallway with grey floor and white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC /Colin Poole)

White is the perfect way to brighten up a hallway as it will make it feel larger and less oppressive. However, the downside is that white walls are easily scuffed. Why not add panelling on one side in a dark grey colour? It will provide an interesting detail and hide any unslightly marks. Leave the rest of the room white and paint a few other details, such as the radiator, in a matching grey hue. Also, be daring with your flooring. Here, white painted floorboards have been updated with a diamond design that mimics Victorian floor tiles. A few quirky accessories, such as a grey painted peg rail and repeated framed prints, give the space yet more personality.

Grey paint
Farrow & Ball
Similar photo frames

5/10 White kitchen with silver bar stools

white kitchen with silver bar stool and white flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC /Neale Smith)

Use black and chrome to bring a white kitchen scheme to life. Striking breakfast bar stools and sleek appliances are great ways to liven up a simple kitchen space. Here a mixture of white and taupe walls gives the scheme a sophisticated touch while dome-shaped pendants in glistening chrome are great for adding a retro yet contemporary feel. Fresh flowers and foliage are perfect for adding colour - go for warm shades of red, yellow and green to bring a cheerful, summery feel to the room.

Kitchen units
Leicht Kitchens
Pendant lights

6/10 White living room with black striped rug

living room with monochrome rug and floor lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC /Rachael Smith)

A large monochrome rug works perfectly in this all-white living room scheme. Huge open fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows and sheer curtains in pale shades add to the feeling of light and space. Use mismatched furniture to create a relaxed, eclectic look and team with bright cushions in bold shades of cobalt and sea blue to introduce a playful element. Striking accessories, such as this floorstanding Anglepoise lamp - a design classic - finish off the look perfectly, resulting in a fun mid-century-style scheme.


Similar floor lamp
Lights 4 Living

7/10 White dining room with paper animal heads

white dining room with paper animal head and wooden chair

(Image credit: Future PLC /Colin Poole)

Who says you can't layer shades of the same colour? White on white might sound bonkers, but it can look beautiful, too. Panel your dining room walls to give them depth, then paint in a cool shade of white. Now you can start layering - from paper animal heads to pendant lamps, just make sure everything is the same colour! Choose teak or oak furniture to add warmth to the scheme and a touch of slate grey or black for a new dimension. The finished look will prove white is both smart and sophisticated. 

White animal heads

8/10 White bathroom with ruffled shower curtain

bathroom with shower curtain and white bath tub

(Image credit: Future PLC /Jake Curtis)

An all-white bathroom scheme is practical and won't date, but the problem is it can often look dull and unloved. Bring the passion back with a statement shower curtain. This great frill design combines myriad blues, greens and teals and really packs a punch. Keep everything else calm and neutral to avoid colour overload. Add a pop of colour to the floor with a lively bath mat. You could always go for mulit-toned bath towels if you're feeling daring. Who said white had to be dull?

Similar bath
Victoria Plumb
Similar shower curtain

9/10 White kitchen with grey feature wall

kitchen with grey wall gloss cabinet and white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC /David Giles)

Thinking of going for a white kitchen, but not sure what worktops, wall colour and furniture to choose? Be daring and remember white looks good with everything! Here wooden worktops add warmth to white gloss cabinets. The rich oak colour is picked up in the French doors and wooden flooring. A dark chalky grey wall looks great and adds a feeling of depth. Don't be afraid to mix colours. Here, a painted table in pale blue looks great with cream painted chairs and complements the white kitchen perfectly.

Grey paint
Annie Sloan
Similar worktops
Worktop Express

10/10 White dining room with pink wall and glass table

white dining room with glass top table and white flower vase

(Image credit: Future PLC /Damian Russell)

Glam up your white scheme with a pale pink accent wall and plenty of chrome! Here, a fabulous glass table with chunky silver legs takes centre stage in a dining room. Choose contemporary black chairs, framed black prints and a few striking chrome accessories to add drama. Be daring by covering white painted floorboards with a bold rug in pastel shades. Finish off the scheme with a fabulous bouquet of flowers to bring the pale pink tones together. White doesn't get much more glamorous than this!  

Dining table

Cattelan Italia at Harrods
Chrome tableware