Interior design colour ideas: How to wow with white | homify

Interior design colour ideas: How to wow with white

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Designers Gang
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Think of an all-white room as a blank canvas. Imagine yourself as the painter. What potential lies in this amazing relationship? We understand that you might feel excited at the prospect of styling up that white space, but expectations can be quite daunting. 

Obviously, other colours need to be added into your design in some form, but which ones? And how much? And what about textures or patterns? 

Relax: designing a white room with homify is designing made easy…

1. Be careful about which white you choose

AR Design Studio- Abbots Way AR Design Studio Modern kitchen
AR Design Studio

AR Design Studio- Abbots Way

AR Design Studio

Just like all the other colours, white consists of a myriad of hues and tints that we usually call “off white”. These tints and hues have their own unique names that help describe the colour such as Daisy, Powder, Porcelain, etc. Some of these have warm undertones, while other provide a cooler finish.

Your job is to ensure the off-white tint you choose matches with the rest of the room’s colours, as well as your expectations and usage of the space (i.e. a warm and cosy feeling or a sleek style). Remember that yellow undertones give white paint a warmer appearance, while blue undertones ensure a crisper look.

homify hint: The more natural light you can add to the room, the warmer the colours (including the whites) will appear. 

2. Get started on your colour palette

Sea Side Pixers Modern style bedroom Multicolored

Sea Side


After selecting your perfect white, choose from one of three palettes for your space:

• Complementary palette: Combine any two colours appearing opposite one another on the colour wheel (like violet and yellow);

• Split-complementary palettes: Picking one colour and matching it with two colours adjacent to its opposite/complementary colour (like yellow with red and purple);

• Gradient colour palette: Decorating a space by using different hues from the same main colour (i.e. Bumblebee Yellow, Dandelion Yellow, Lemon Yellow… ). 

Feel free to bring in pops of bright colour to complement your choice of white. Keep the 60-30-10 rule in mind to strike the perfect balance: 

• 60% of your room must show the primary colour palette (that goes for the largest surfaces like the floor, walls, ceiling, etc.)

• 30% for the secondary palette (for furniture and soft furnishings)

• 10% for your main accent colour or pops of colour. 

3. Pick a style

While the eclectic style is known for its “anything goes” vibe, the truth is that a lot of thought and planning goes into creating the perfect interior design style – including eclectic.

Use your furniture and accessories to help portray the vibe, the ‘personality’ of the room. For instance, choosing pieces with lean lines and colder materials (like metal and glass) will ensure a much more modern and gallery-like vibe. For something much cosier and more inviting, settle on warm woods with weathered/whitewashed finishes, linen-covered couches, and lots of layered fabrics. 

4. Pick a perfect rug

Home interiors Designers Gang
Designers Gang

Home interiors

Designers Gang

Speaking of fabrics, adding a rug can really help anchor all the elements of a room together – plus give another excuse to introduce the right colours, patterns and texture that are going to complement your chosen design style. 

Remember that your rug’s size is of the utmost importance. For the living room, for instance, it needs to be big enough to carry all the core furniture pieces (sofa, armchair(s) and coffee table), otherwise your entire space could look disjointed. 

5. Add touches of Mother Nature

Pedini Dune Metallic Silver Urban Myth Minimalist kitchen Metallic/Silver
Urban Myth

Pedini Dune Metallic Silver

Urban Myth

Even the sleekest, whites space can be done up further via the right potted pretties. And as indoor plants can help to clean your home’s air, we always say “go for it” when it comes to adding plants and flowers to rooms. 

As the colour white will be showing up in major parts of your home / room, we present two options to help potted plants introduce a trendy, botanical vibe: 

• Go with exotic-inspired varieties like banana plants or succulents; or

• Pick the country vibe via some potted herbs on windowsills (perfect for kitchens). 

6. Finalise it with artwork

Bathroom CGI Visualisation #1 White Crow Studios Ltd Classic style bathroom Ceramic White
White Crow Studios Ltd

Bathroom CGI Visualisation #1

White Crow Studios Ltd

Art is subjective, yet there are still some considerations when picking between different artworks for a white space. In a busy room, lone pieces of oversized artwork are best. And for rooms flaunting one or two architectural features (like a delicious brick wall or fireplace), a gallery wall can do wonders for setting up a focal point. 

Speaking of white done right, let’s be inspired by The clean-cut look of a modern family home

Are you planning on decorating one of your rooms in a white colour palette?

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