50 Shades of White

50 Shades of White


White is such a versatile colour when it comes to decorating. Perfect for a clean, fresh look, stark minimalist, calm and neutral, classic or modern, a white colour scheme can help transform your home.

Choosing a predominantly white colour scheme has a number of benefits, it is less likely to date, think of the terracotta and tan trends of a few years ago.  It allows you to have a lot of fun with colour, a beautiful white bathroom can be instantly updated with a pop of the latest colour in towels and accessories, the same can be said of every room in your home, the accessories are easier to change than the floors and walls. As well as this, the right choice in whites can help lighten a small, dark room.

However, it isn’t as simple as just picking white.  There are so many subtle tints of white, those with a touch of grey, a dash of brown or a pinch of blue.  And each of these work within a colour palette in their own unique way.

So how do you navigate the myriad of white options available to you to create a room that is just right for you?  We’ve put together some tips and hints to get you started.


The difference is subtle

When you’re dealing with white, the differences will be subtle. However, each different tint can significantly affect the look and feel of the room.   Take the time to look at all the pieces you are wanting to put into the room, flooring, tiles, paint to make sure they work with each other and don’t clash.  Also, consider major furniture pieces that you aren’t going to relpace.


Assess the natural light coming into the room

Your room’s natural lighting will affect the different tones in white so it is important to assess the amount of light coming into the room and decide the type of feel you want your room to have. For example, if there is a lot of sunlight coming into the room it is best to choose cooler toned whites such as light grey. This will balance the warm sunlight and stop the room from looking too cream.

In contrast, however, for rooms that don’t receive much natural light, you should use a warm white. For example, choose a colour with beige undertones. This way it will add to the warmth of the room. If you choose to use grey in a darker room, it will only feel dull and cold.


Consider finish and texture

Not only is there the right white to choose, you need to decide whether gloss, satin or matt is the way to go.  How you will use the surfaces will play a large roll here.  Gloss tiles work really well in bathrooms, especially on walls.  The reflective quality will help bounce light around to help make the room feel spacious.  Satin finishes on painted walls are very popular as they are less attractive to dirt and smudgy fingers as matt or flat finishes and are more easily cleaned.  But you don’t have to stop there, especially with tiles, these days you can bring texture into your feature wall choices, new trends in origami style tiles bring a subtle (or not so subtle) texture to your walls, they create fabulous light and shadow and will make your guests stop and want to touch.


Make a statement

Use a bright white for features in older homes such as detailing around ceilings and architraves. Especially in Queensland, our traditional architecture includes beautifully intricate features, white helps them stand out in the best way possible. Highlight these features further by using white walls with a soft grey or beige undertone.


Be aware of the play in light

The light in rooms changes throughout the day, time of the year and weather conditions.  Seeing how your chosen colours work in the space across a range of days and times is really important in making the right decision.  If you can access a reasonable sized sample, to place in different parts of the room, you will have a better idea of the end result.

Creating the perfect white colour scheme for your home isn’t easy, it takes just as much time and attention as choosing any other colour, however the versatility and end result definitely makes it worthwhile.