7 ways with white

All-white schemes that’ll make you go ‘wow’

Don't shy away from an all-white scheme, here's how to make white work in any room.

1. Layer shades of white
Avoid stark too-bright whites in a living room and go for a palette of faded white tones instead to create a relaxed, lived-in feel. Team casual upholstery and whitewashed furniture with lots of cosy textures and add depth to your scheme by layering accessories in natural-fibres, weathered woods and faded tones.

Layer shades of white

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

2. Put white with cream
It may be a fashion ‘no, no' but white and cream can work well together as long as you keep to the same undertones throughout your scheme - use warmer yellow-toned whites, rather than cooler blue-toned whites, which can appear grey and dirty next to cream.

Put white with cream

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

3. Use tone-on-tone whites
All-white schemes can look stark and clinical, so introduce subtle patterns and textures to make a room appear three-dimensional rather than flat and featureless. A subtly patterned wallpaper in a tone-on-tone white, sheer textiles and understated artwork will all add background interest without dominating the space.

Use tone-on-tone whites

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

4. Be bold with pattern
By going all-white, you can create a scheme that looks deceptively simple, but actually has a lot going on in it. A busy oversized wallpaper like this might be too overpowering in a bold shade, but in an all-white colourway, the bigger the better.

Be bold with pattern

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

5. Make it family friendly
Busy home with kids? Don't be afraid of decorating with white. Where furniture is concerned, keep it practical with easy-clean slipcovers that can be popped in the wash or leather upholstery that's wipe-clean and durable. Washable rugs are easy to move around and opt for wipe-clean vinyl wallpapers or scrubbable paints.

Make it family friendly

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

6. Add decorative details
An all-white scheme is an easy way of making a small space feel bigger, but too-much white in a small bathroom can make it appear sterile and bland. The secret to success here is the well thought-out combination of tiled walls and whitewashed flooring with the elegant mix of furniture and accessories.

Cream tiled bathroom ideal home housetohome

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

7. Bring in an accent
Lift an all-white scheme by introducing an accent colour, whether it's a touch of eau de nil or a splash of oyster pink, it will give the space some life. Try breaking up a solid white wall by painting a soft band of accent colour above a shelf.

Cream chair with white wall ideal home housetohome

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Liked this? Take a look at these cool coral schemes.


Lisa Fazzani
Deputy Editor

Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.