Winter White: Decorating Tips from Country Living

Decorating with White

Brace yourself for a flurry of decorating ideas! Why? Because Country Living is kicking off 2011 with a clean slate. February is the official WHITE issue, and when it comes to decorating, WHITE is in style all year-round. Country Living’s “Insider Guide to Decorating with White” features interior designers Rachel Ashwell, Darryl Carter, and Suzanne Kasler, revealing how to perfect decorating with one of the trickiest and underrated hues. Take a look!

Reconcile Beauty with Comfort (Rachel Ashwell)
– Choosing the right white matters: go for a crisp, clean white such as Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball, a warm white that never looks dull like White Room by Glidden, or a cool white with minty undertones like Strong White by Farrow & Ball
– Get over your fear of ‘breaking in’ an all-white room: embrace the crumpled, imperfect look and make sure white sofa slipcovers (such as Ashwell’s own Shabby Chic ones) are preshrunk and machine washable
– Soften up a rigidly blank room: avoid sharp modern pieces and opt instead for cushions and distressed surfaces to create a light yet warm space

Choose Your Details Carefully (Darryl Carter)
– Embrace white floors: by using white porch paint, white floors will endure and focus more attention on the objects furnishing the room
– Use white as a unifier: white can harmonize disjointed spaces, establish continuity from one room to another, and lets you move furniture to different parts of your home
– Pair white with textures: wood, woven fabrics, marble countertops, and antique rugs are all nice complements to sparse white spaces

Emphasize White’s Complementary Potential
(Suzanne Kasler)
– Don’t treat all shades the same: not all shades of white go well together, so placing different ones next to each other to see if they blend is important
– Go for curtains, not couches: white-linen curtains are much less likely to get stained than a white-linen covered sofa, and a splash of color on the bottom part grazing the floor gives you an added bonus of both boldness and practicality
– Accessorize: varying textures and layers upon layers of objects bring together an all-white room

I wonder how old my kids have to be in order for me to have an all white color palette in my home? Does 50 sound right? Ha-ha! You can also follow Country Living on Twitter: @CountryLiving for instant decorating tidbits.

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