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How to decorate white walls

White is the color that signifies purity and orderliness. The color white also expresses freedom and liberty. White is the perfect color for those who live in condos, apartments, and townhouses as decorating with white will make it look bigger. It makes a room feel more airy, peaceful and fresh. Moreover, decorating a living room with white walls offers many options.

However, there are a few things you should remember when decorating a white room. Colors that would normally get lost in a color-filled room would really stand out in a white one. Just use colors that you love and you can’t go wrong, especially when you have white walls. The style and colors should express your personality. The key is to balance out the whiteness with other hues so as the white color will not dominate the room.

Choose a theme for your living room and it should reflect on the colors and materials of your living room furniture. All you need to do is blend the colors of the furniture and decide on the look of the room. Colors for your furniture can range from light beige, white or cream. Use soft colors like yellow, pink or red for throw pillows, drapes and floor rugs.

If you want to create a contemporary look, choose red and black furniture for your living room. They are not only modern and stylish, but they also create a look of grandness and elegance.

If you want to create a country style for your living room, then pale colors are a perfect match for white walls. For example, you can choose colors like green, brown and blue.

If you are searching for more ideas and suggestions about beautiful decor, look at the images below.

August 8, 2018 by admin 22 Comments

This is a funny post for me to write because several years ago, in our old house, I dreamed of having an all white house. (Yes, the whole house.) My husband wasn’t on board (and ultimately I love color too much to make that commitment) but I did have an all white room that I loved. LOVED. I wrote about that room here and showed the final photos of it in that post.

Fast forward to 2018 and white walls are everywhere. And to be honest? A lot of the time it doesn’t look right. This post by Maria Killiam talks about why white isn’t right in every house. (I found Maria’s blog around the time I bought our current home and I love, love, love how practical her advice is.) BUT if you are going to paint your walls white (which can be stunning) I thought I’d offer some practical advice from someone who has done it before on how to decorate with white walls.

The first key to getting white right is to layer. Layer, layer, and then layer some more. Because white can create a gallery effect that makes individual pieces look lonely, like they’ve been dropped into a space you have to bridge the gap. To do that you add layers like a rug, curtains, pillows, and accessories.

The next thing I recommend is to not matchy-match. Just like you wouldn’t go full on mauve with your curtains and pillows in the exact shade, don’t do that with your white either. Its ok to mix white with cream. It’s even ok to mix in white on white patterns (or white on cream or even white on grey). When you pair white and cream it creates another layer and helps it look less “I went to Ikea and bought everything’. (FYI, I love Ikea.)

Lastly don’t forget texture. If you have an all white pallatte make sure and add in various textures of white. This is easy to do with pillows, blankets and accessories. When you layer a blanket over your couch choose something with a nubby hand knitted feel. Looking at curtains, go with a tweed instead of cotton. Instead of a flat weave rug go with jute or a shag.

Bonus tip: Contrast is your friend, sprinkle in a smatter of wood or black for a bit of visual interest. Although it seems contrary to the idea of a white space, contrast will make white come alive, especially if you have the ability to use natural items (wood, leather, plants).

Here are some great items to help you bridge the gap when decorating with white walls:

If you’re struggling with your white walls I hope these tips help. What are your best secrets for pulling off white walls?

If you’re like me and you’ve rented for years in residences with a “no paint” rule, you know the look of the white-walled interior! In fact, you may begin to associate white walls with a lack of choices, but today we take a look at a few strategies for making your bright space shine! And I’ll let you in on a little secret… When I did finally move to a space that I could personalize with paint, I chose to keep many of the walls white. Why? Because there’s just something about a clean, crisp look.

In fact, white walls have a way of setting the stage for vibrant decor. Not to mention, there’s a refreshing vibe that results from a white space with white or neutral accents. Whether you choose to play up the neutrals, insert bright pops of color or create a gallery effect in your white-walled interior, we think you’ll find design inspiration in the images below…

Play Up the Neutrals

If your walls are white and you enjoy neutral tones, you can always take a soothing approach… Layering neutrals in a space with white walls can play up the clean, refreshing look we talked about in the intro. It’s also undeniably elegant, as shown in the space below, previously featured in Lonny:

How to decorate white walls Soothing living room

Then there’s the earthy neutral approach, created by warm wooden tones and other rich hues. A trio of framed pictures echoes the color of the reclaimed wooden dining table by Bob Card of Greenwood Bay, while wooden floors anchor this white-walled space. [from C O N T E N T Architecture]

How to decorate white walls Dining room of a Houston loft

Ready for another approach to blending neutrals with crisp whites? It’s the “dark and light” effect, created when the brightest of hues meets the richest of tones, as shown in this Manhattan penthouse dining room. Note how dark trim on the windows and the deep color of the furnishings contrast the white of the walls and ceiling. [from Shelley Starr Design]

How to decorate white walls Elegant penthouse dining room

We see a similar effect in this next living space from Lonny. Also like the space above, there’s an “earthy meets elegant” vibe created by touches like animal-themed artwork and a sparkling light fixture…

How to decorate white walls Living room with dark and light tones

Accent with Bright Pops of Color

If neutrals are a bit too subdued for your taste, there’s always our next design strategy: accenting with bright pops of color. In fact, we begin with the striking technique of featuring one burst of color in an otherwise neutral space. This minimalist London bedroom makes the most of a bright orange pendant light. [from Beccy Smart Photography via Houzz]

How to decorate white walls Bright orange pendant light

Or you can select a dominant accent color and repeat it in your white-walled space, as shown in the next featured room. Radiant red is the color of choice, and it’s present on the deer-themed artwork by John Frechette of MADE, as well as the abstract art by the window. Fire red + bright white = design perfection! [from Tuck Fauntleroy Photography for Grace Home Design]

How to decorate white walls Red accents in a white bedroom

If you prefer a rainbow of color, don’t limit yourself to one hue. Choose a striking color combination for an accent palette and go with it! Mustard yellow, bright turquoise and vivid red shine in the vintage-meets-modern space below. An intriguing grouping of hues, don’t you think?! [from Etsy shop Handz]

How to decorate white walls Radiant bursts of color in a white living room

It’s not just about the color. It’s about the objects on which the color appears! Add doses of color in interesting ways… We’re loving the use of large artwork, a lean bench and exotic flowers as a way to introduce vibrant shades in the space below from Domain Designs:

How to decorate white walls Colorful details in a white entryway

Create a Gallery Effect

Did you ever notice that art galleries have white walls for good reason: to provide a clean slate for showcasing amazing artwork! You can create the same effect by highlighting interesting finds in your space. This Barcelona loft from Vuong Interior Design includes wall art by Rosa Roca, as well as a series of pillows that are works of art in themselves…

How to decorate white walls Artistic white living room with bursts of color

Hanging a plethora of colorful framed art pieces on the walls also contributes to a gallery-like feel, as does featuring an array of objet d’art, as shown in this next intriguing space. [from Lonny]

How to decorate white walls Framed artwork in a compact living room

It doesn’t have to be about color. Framed black and white photographs have a similar gallery effect, especially when presented as a group. Also note the use of greenery in this all-white space. Plants can provide a subtle yet much-needed dose of color in your crisp white interior. [from Rockefeller Partners Architects]

How to decorate white walls Black and white photos in a white living room

Don’t forget that galleries also showcase pottery and other unforgettable art pieces! Your collectibles can do wonders in setting a colorful, unique tone in your white-walled space. Hue, form, and display can magically align to create a one-of-a-kind showroom. Still doubting your white walls?… [from MGS Architecture]

How to decorate white walls Interesting objects in a white dining room

How have you made the best of the white walls in your space? Or perhaps you’ve purposefully chosen white as the backdrop to your interior design finds. Share your design tips by leaving a comment below…

White walls make the perfect background for stunning decoration techniques and accessories. White is a lovely color for the bedroom walls. It’s simple and neutral and makes the room look bright and serene. Moreover, white is a very versatile color which can be paired with any other. But be sure to look at white walls as stand out detail and not something that needs to be hidden.

White walls with black accents.

Even through the contrast is very powerful, both colors are simple and they make a great pair. You can choose to play with these two colors in numerous different ways. For example, fill your white shelves with black items or apply black decals.

Graphic elements.

Given the simplicity and versatility of white walls, you can think of them as the perfect blank canvas to showcase your stunning graphic accent details such wall décor, bedding or a fun way to display the cord on your lamp.

Let the outdoors in.

A clever strategy is to keep the bedroom simple and neutral. The white walls can be complemented by a black bed frame and some simple framed photos. Open the room to the views and let them become a visual part of the room’s décor.

Neutral and balanced.

Give the bedroom a serene and tranquil look. Don’t try to hide the white walls behind colorful artwork or decorations. Embrace their minimalism. Use subtle colors such as light gray and warm textures throughout.

Make the rug the focal point.

In a room with white walls, you can make the floor or the ceiling the focal point. The bedroom, for example, can feature an eye-catching rug with a striking design or pattern.

Balance out the accent colors.

You can choose to decorate the room with a few accent colors but try to be harmonious. If you use warm shades, balance them out with cold colors. The coral pillows are grounded by the green and gray elements in the room.

It’s time to get experimental!

How to decorate white walls

How to decorate white walls

White walls in a home can offer a classic and sophisticated look, providing a neutral backdrop to other features within the room and allowing you to experiment with colour elsewhere in your décor.

But while they are a great option, ‘ white walls can end up looking a little bit sparse if you don’t contrast them with some lively colouring or patterns elsewhere in the room,’ explain bespoke furniture makers Sofas by Saxon. ‘Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to do this, allowing for a lot of flexibility when you decorate.’

Here are four ways to add a splash of colour to a room with white walls…

1. Expressive artwork

White is the perfect background to display a bit of artistic flair. This is a big part of why so many galleries choose to hang their works on clean, white walls, where they can be admired against an unobtrusive, neutral background.

You can exercise a lot of freedom on this one, as there’s a whole world of art styles to suit your tastes. Just make sure that your chosen artwork has a lot of colour to contrast with your wall. Many people opt to go for a large statement piece that dominates an empty space, though a series of smaller artworks can work just as well.

When it comes to shopping around, you can get original pieces from sites like Etsy or Notonthehighstreet, where many talented people list their unique works for purchase. Or, if you have a favourite artist or picture in mind, a website like Art.co.uk can help you buy a quality, framed print.

How to decorate white walls

2. Natural plants and flowers

Bringing the outdoors in with some plants and flowers is a great way of adding a flourish of natural colour to contrast with a white backdrop. Many species also have the added benefit of improving the air quality in your home, as well as helping you relax.

There is plenty of choice when it comes to choosing houseplants and flowers, so it is really down to your own personal taste. Bright and beautiful bloomers can be found in species like orchids, African violets, and hibiscus, which can all thrive indoors with a bit of sun and care.

White walls tend to work very well with green houseplants, especially if you are going for a clean, minimalistic look. You can also add further contrasting colours with your choice of plant pot or vase.

How to decorate white walls

3. Statement furniture

Against your neutral walls, your choice of furniture will be the most prominent feature to draw the eye and makes a great opportunity for some expression through colour.

What type of furniture you choose for your statement piece will depend where your white walls are situated. For instance, a prime candidate for a living room would be an eye-catching sofa that would take centre stage. One of the best options to get the exact style and shade that you’re looking for is to invest in a bespoke sofa from a specialist company. You can choose from a range of fabrics and colours, or even supply your own material that can be upholstered.

How to decorate white walls

4. A colourful or patterned rug

If you are choosing neutral or more understated colours for your other furnishings, a bright rug will make a great statement piece for your room. You could go for an intricate shape or maybe a stylish geometric pattern — there is a wide range of choices available to suit your taste.

One thing you will need to keep in mind, however, is how much floor space you have to play with. You don’t want to take delivery of your dream rug and find that it’s too big for the room, so be sure to check the dimensions beforehand. You may also want to think about how the shape will work with your furniture for the best effect.

There’s so much you can do!

How to decorate white walls

How to decorate white walls

If you’re trying to create the cozy living room of your dreams and have ruled out using white, you might want to think again. This list of gorgeous spaces proves that a white living room can be the most inviting place in your house. It also allows you to be freer with your decorating, whether you’d like to incorporate antique finds, big prints, or plush velvet sofas. Some of these ideas involve going all out, like white painted floors or customizing fireplaces to pop against the bare walls. Others require small touches, whether that’s by adorning your walls in an array of bronze mirrors or offsetting the white with a colorful area rug.

Even if you’re hoping to implement some rustic living room ideas, this list is a great resource, since many rooms incorporate rustic wood beams, floors, and other accents that look beautiful against the white. Anyone can achieve these looks, even with little ones running around! Check out all the different ways to create a stunning white living room right here (and don’t miss our list of the best living room paint colors).

How to decorate white walls

The black-and-white touches in this room, including the chairs, table, and lamp, elevate its glamour.

How to decorate white walls

The planked walls in this open, sunny room were painted white to create an airy living room.

How to decorate white walls

White walls are a great background to show off your antique finds, especially a collection of ornate mirrors.

How to decorate white walls

The white-on-white look of this room that features a painted floor is broken up with antique accents and neutrals.

How to decorate white walls

When you have a big, blank wall to fill, your first thought may be a gallery wall. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it’s nice to break up all of that flat framed artwork with something different. Enter baskets, brackets, paint-dipped objects, wall sculptures, special paint effects and more. Check out these 9 ways to fill your walls with color and creativity.

1. Cluster colorful baskets. Why hang one or two baskets when you can hang a whole bunch? Collect decorative woven baskets in various sizes and colors, and play around with possible arrangements on the floor before hanging them. Can’t find colorful baskets? Create your own by painting the interior of plain baskets with craft paint.

2. Layer giant letters. In this case two is definitely better than one — a pair of oversize letters, whether vintage or new, makes a big statement anywhere you put them. Slightly overlapping the letters creates an even stronger graphic statement than hanging them side by side.

3. Make a dip-painted wall sculpture. Yes, the piece shown here was created by an artist — but that doesn’t mean you can’t craft your own spin on it. Try dip-paining an old farm implement or wood-handled cooking tools in brightly colored paint to give them a modern twist, then hang them on the wall.

4. Tape off a graphic statement wall. Paint a base color on your wall, then tape off sections (these will show through later) and paint the next coat in a contrasting hue. Vary the width of your taped-off stripes to create a random look similar to what is shown here. Hang pictures or just let the wall be a statement on its own.

5. Use wall brackets to bring dimension to your art. Instead of just hanging art directly on the wall, why not try propping it up on decorative wall brackets? It would boost visual interest, and you can change things around whenever you feel like it — framed prints one day, bud vases the next.

6. Hang your hats. Don’t let cool hats hide behind closed doors — show off your fedoras, trilbies, cloches and skimmers on hooks on the wall for a functional display. Unless you are going for a dorm room–bachelor pad vibe, avoid hanging baseball caps. No hats? Try the same thing with your statement necklaces for a similar effect.

7. Add oomph with framed paper. Lengths of wallpaper framed with basic wooden wall molding beef up the headboards of a pair of four-posters in this bedroom. A gorgeous F. Schumacher paper was used here, but you could frame a really pretty gift wrap for a budget take on this look.

8. Go subtly sophisticated with wainscot paneling. Create architectural interest on a plain wall by using 4- to 6-inch-wide pieces of MDF wainscot paneling applied in a grid pattern, then paint it all a very rich, dark hue.

9. Hang something with an interesting pattern. Keep an open mind and you can find unique wall hangings just about anywhere: metal sheets used to cover radiators, garden fencing, punched tin doors, woven screens, baskets … the list is endless. Check your own garage, attic and storage shed, and keep an eye out for curbside freebies — you never know what you may find!

Wall decor has always been my least favorite part of decorating a room. I always get stuck on how to fill the empty space without making the room look too busy, or finding the right size decor. Recently I’ve been trying to think of what to do with one of the walls in our kitchen… and then one of my friends (hi Colleen!

How to decorate white walls

Example of beautifully styled floating shelves from Amber Interiors

How to decorate white walls

Christ & Julia of Chris Love Julia made this DIY Art Ledge to fill the space above their couch

How to decorate white walls

In my own home, I have an art ledge from IKEA with some simple decor as well as a small floating shelf above the chair in my living room.

2) A MIRROR

A well placed mirror can work miracles for a room! Whether you choose a leaning floor mirror or wall mirror; they can help a dimly lit room appear brighter, while also helping to fill some of that empty space! Mirrors are great to use when you need to fill an area but don’t want it to overwhelm the overall design.

How to decorate white walls

IN THIS DESIGN BY STUDIO MCGEE, AN OVER-SIZED FLOOR MIRROR IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF STATEMENT THIS WALL NEEDED!

How to decorate white walls

THIS MIRROR FROM BALLARD DESIGNS LOOKS PERFECT ABOVE THIS BENCH!

3) WOVEN ART / TAPESTRY / BASKETS

I lumped these three together because they all help to add a sense of texture to your room. Woven wall art can include macrame, fiber art (those beautiful yarn wall hangings), or even any type of woven sea grass art!
Tapestries were in style when I was in high school, but those were crazy tie dye ones that you had when you went through your “hippie” phase. These days, they make wall tapestries to suit every decor style! Basket walls definitely had a major moment- almost everyone had a wall dedicated to their gorgeous basket collections! I still love them, especially when paired with a more minimal style!

How to decorate white walls

I’VE HAD THIS PIN SAVED FOR SO LONG, I LOVE HOW IT’S COLORFUL BUT NOT OVER THE TOP!

How to decorate white walls

I LOVE HOW MODERN AND MINIMAL THIS WALL TAPESTRY IS! SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD ALSO BE A SUPER EASY DIY.

How to decorate white walls

I LOVE HOW THIS MACRAME IS STYLED IN A MORE TRADITIONAL ROOM. IT SHOWS THAT MACRAME DOESN’t HAVE TO MEAN BOHO.

4) PLANTS

Hanging planters, plants on wall hooks, plants on floating shelves, wall planters – however you want to add them, plants make a great addition to any room! Bonus points for if you use real plants and can keep them alive (I definitely can’t)!!

How to decorate white walls

THE MIX OF GREENERY ON THESE FLOATING SHELVES ADDS SO MUCH TO THIS ROOM! (via a beautiful mess)

How to decorate white walls

ANGELA MUELLER OF RESTORING HOME USES SIMPLE WHITE WALL PLANTERS TO CREATE A MINIMAL WALL GARDEN

5) GALLERY WALL

What I love most about gallery walls is how they different they can be. You can make them minimal and organized, or colorful and random- and everything in between! You can really flex your creativity when dreaming up a gallery wall.

How to decorate white walls

THIS GALLERY WALL MAKES A BIG STATEMENT WITH DIFFERENT SIZED FRAMES, HOWEVER KEEPING ALL THE PHOTOS BLACK + WHITE STOPS IT FROM BEING OVERWHELMING. (VIA PINTEREST)

How to decorate white walls

THIS GRID STYLE GALLERY WALL FROM STUDIO MCGEE LOOKS VERY CLEAN + POLISHED.

How to decorate white walls

THIS GALLERY WALL IS HELPING TO TAKE FOCUS OFF OF THE TV. (VIA EMILY HENDERSON)

6)WALL HOOKS

Wall hooks are the latest thing I’ve become really into when deciding what to put on a wall. There are so many different styles of hooks available (a couple of my favorites affordable hooks: these + these). Hooks are also very functional! You can use them to hang up/ display your beautiful purses, scarves, or hats. You can put hanging planters or hanging banners on them. Or in a kids room or playroom, you can hang fun costumes from them!

How to decorate white walls

THESE WALL HOOKS ARE VERY FUNCTIONAL, BUT KEEPING EVERYTHING HANGING ON THEM IN THE SAME COLOR PALETTE PREVENTS IT FROM LOOKING MESSY. (VIA INSTAGRAM)

How to decorate white walls

DIFFERENT TEXTURES + NEUTRAL COLORS MAKE THIS SPACE BY AMBER LEWIS BEAUTIFUL!