7 ways to make white anything but boring

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  • Whether it's going for hotel chic, painterly brights or a little baroque and roll, discover 7 easy ways to create a mega-watt white scheme

    1. Accessorize your socks off

    While white might be the base of this feel-good living room, it’s really just a blank canvas for far more exciting things. Painterly blooms give this scheme its bright and beautiful colour palette – simply start with your favourite floral artwork, pull out key shades (such as buttercup and fuchsia), then add accessories in tonal brights. Voilà!

    Giverny print (left); Peony print; both from £25 each; for similar cushions, try the red rose ecru, £70 each; all Bluebellygray

    2. Bring in a baroque twist

    Love a little baroque and roll? Go for a softer white palette with an intricately printed wallpaper and French-style furniture for a modern manor-house vibe. Tip: take the look from the 17th century to the 21st by dodging colour altogether – the painted bedframe and understated tones make this room dainty not dated.

    Provençal Sassy white bed, £1,345 for a double, The French Bedroom Company

    3. Give a one-dimensional shade 3D impact

    White can feel a little flat, so give it structure with a stylish shelving wall. Go for the same width but different heights to keep the look focused rather than frantic, then layer up glass, white and ecru buys for a bespoke display.

    For similar shelves, try the Lack shelves, from £10 each, Ikea

    4. Go bold with a block of colour

    This smart country scheme proves how adding just one bold colour is all it takes to transform a white room. From snazzy floor tiles and a repainted table to a matching pendant and chintzy china, indigo is the perfect pal to give this crisp white room real structure and interest. Tip: try painting a block of colour, such as above a peg rail, in a contrasting shade for extra depth and impact.

    For similar paint, try the Smalt Absolute Matt Emulsion, £38 for 2.5ltr, Little Greene

    5. Snazz it up for hotel style

    All it takes is a few bold buys to lift a simple white backdrop. This Seventies-style orange sofa is the star of the show – team it with oversized lighting, abstract artwork and a large-scale chevron rug (all in discreet monochrome) to finish the look.

    For a similar sofa, try the Flos, £500, Fern & Grey; or the Lulu, £599, Made.com

    6. Pep it up with fresh foliage

    Pretty as this country-style utility space might be, the all-white scheme could leave it feeling a little lacklustre. Thankfully, all it takes is some sprigs, bunches and vases of wild flowers to bring it back to life!

    For similar wild flowers, try a selection, Bloom & Wild

    7. Use art to make a statement

    This blue and gold print is pretty fearless – and it’s just what the expanse of white-painted brickwork needs. Avoid a cluttered or overworked feel and just opt for one statement piece. The bolder the better!

    For a similar artwork, try the Buddha, from £5.95, King & McGaw

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