When you think of sleeping on a cloud, what color comes to mind? We'll take a wild guess and assume you're conjuring up images of crisp, white linen and cozy neutral hues. There's just something about a white bedroom that exudes comfort in a chic, classic way. While decorating with white can be daunting (will it look stark? what if I spill?), when done well it can create a dreamy bedroom you'll never want to leave.
We tapped blogger and designer Laura Genevieve for her best pointers on nailing the white-on-white look in the bedroom, starting with paint.
"Nothing is worse than agonizing over 10 shades of white," she tells MyDomaine. "My go-to is Ultra Pure White from Behr for walls in a matte finish, with eggshell or satin on the trim in the same Ultra Pure White. It’s the color I used for the entire interior and exterior of my home."
Meet the Expert
Laura Genevieve is the interior designer and blogger behind Blanco Bungalow, where she chronicles her family's journey restoring a 1920's Spanish bungalow in Long Beach, California. She's a lover of all things DIY and has mastered the art of bright, white interiors.
So if you're thinking of going colorless in your bedroom, read on for 32 bright ideas to inform and inspire you.
Play With Texture
Layering your bed with cozy textures is not only a way to encourage all-day snuggle sessions, but it can also add warmth to a stark bedroom. Genevieve is a big proponent of incorporating texture.
"I like to use a mix of textures—linen, sheepskin, cotton, wool, leather, etc.," she says. "I also mix pillow textures, along with their sizes and shapes." Layering four or more textiles on your bed gives your room that sleeping-on-a-cloud feeling and adds depth to your neutral space.
Invest in Linens
Outfitting your bed in crisp white or soft ivory sheets can make all the difference in how inviting it looks and turning up that luxury hotel vibe. We'd recommend springing for the highest quality you can comfortably afford, seeing as how the average person spends 33 years of their life in bed.
Genevieve has another suggestion for you: Swap out your duvet cover. "I can’t tell you how much more luxurious my bedroom feels after replacing my cotton duvet with the rich linen texture," she says.
Strive for Symmetry
"I'm a big believer in symmetry in the bedroom," Genevieve emphasizes, "especially in an all-white one." And we couldn't agree more.
When a soothing space is what you're after, symmetry will keep everything feeling balanced. It also prevents any mismatched pieces from competing for your attention. But no need to overcomplicate things—two matching nightstands and a nice rug framing the room are Genevieve's personal suggestions to achieve the look.
Focus on the Rug
Speaking of rugs, a neutral rug with a touch of color or interesting graphic design is a great way to ground the space and ensure your white bedroom doesn't feel bland. Avoid overly busy or brightly patterned rugs so as not to overwhelm a primarily neutral space, but a subtle color or two with some visual interest is a great way to add an element of contrast to the room.
Upgrade Your Lighting
"It’s true painting a bedroom white instantly brightens it up, but it's even better with good lighting," Genevieve says. For an extra dose of warmth, upgrade your light fixtures to something more unique that coordinates with your style. Overhead lighting in particular is a great way to bring in a modern touch.
Genevieve also recommends swapping out your standard lamp for something with a little more personality, like a plug-in sconce.
Create a clean slate and add a touch of texture by hanging up some simple white curtains. Window or no window, opt to extend them from wall to wall behind your bed to really amp up the luxury—just make sure they run all the way from ceiling to floor for maximum impact. Curtains will also help dampen sound so you can sleep a little more peacefully.
Add a Little Shine
If your white-on-white bedroom is falling a little flat—maybe feeling too casual or even too bohemian for your taste, Genevieve has another suggestion.
"Sometimes when I put a lot of whites and creams together, my bedroom can start to look too boho. When that happens, I like to add in some brushed brass elements to warm it up and add a little sophistication," she shares. "Shine will instantly elevate the room, keeping it from looking flat."
Go Wild With Greenery
If you're anything like us, you probably wish your home was a living greenhouse. "I call plants my favorite accessory," agrees Genevieve. "They bring everything to life. Nothing makes me happier than a crisp white wall and a lush green plant in front of it."
Consider pulling a wide variety of plants into your white bedroom to create an oasis with a natural splash of color. And if your bedroom is lacking in the natural light department, a well-made faux plant can look just as good as the real thing.
Embrace Your Architecture
Don't fight the natural bones of your home—if you have an interesting architectural element, such as a wood-beamed ceiling or cozy built-in fireplace, a simple white theme is a great way to let those natural components of the room take center stage. Pulling out the undertones of those elements to inspire accents throughout the room can be a great way to tie it all together.
Decorate With Shiplap
Another great way to add a bit of texture to your white bedroom is with a shiplap accent wall or ceiling. Shiplap is an easy Joanna Gaines-approved DIY that looks clean and neutral but adds just a touch of extra visual appeal to give your room more character.
While shiplap is traditionally installed horizontally, flipping it and installing vertically instead can be a nice stroke of modernity.
Paint Exposed Brick
If you're lucky enough to have exposed brick in your bedroom, consider painting it white for a rustic yet modern look. Exposed brick can add a lot of warmth and visual interest to your bedroom, but red brick can look dated and dark. Instead, paint it a crisp white for a wonderful accent wall that reflects plenty of light to brighten up your space.
Paint the Kids' Room
A white color palette in your child's room may be a bit unexpected, but it offers a wonderfully clean canvas to add embellishments and accents throughout. White can create a cozy, whimsical bedroom look for a kid, especially with a few pops of color throughout. And even better—a white palette is much easier to transition with your kids as they grow, saving you some work down the road.
Opt for Off White
If a crisp, cool white is just too stark for your taste, capture the same inviting look with a warm off-white shade instead. A paint color such as Sherwin Williams White Duck is a great choice for a bedroom—it's warm but neutral, and it provides a bit of depth to your space while still feeling clean, bright, and inviting. It also lends itself well to earthy accent colors.
Sprinkle in Color Conservatively
Myth: A white bedroom scheme must be all white. "I like to stick to three accent colors, and add them in conservatively and consistently," says Genevieve.
Pick a couple of colors and have a light hand to prevent losing the soft, neutral feel of an all-white bedroom. Genevieve's personal philosophy is to start with creams, naturals, and whites, then layer in tobacco browns, soft denim or deep indigo blues, and heather grays.
Incorporate Calming Beige
Beige may be part of the brown family, but it actually plays extremely well with white. A lovely tan or beige headboard or duvet cover can be a great neutral addition to a white bedroom—just pick a shade with a similar undertone to the white walls and keep it fresh with crisp, white sheets. Rugs and accent pieces with the same beige undertones can also help reinforce that neutral color palette.
Pair Blue and White
As we suggested earlier, color is definitely not off-limits in a white bedroom. Here we see how mixing in a single color can add a bit of depth to a white bedroom while still keeping the overall look calm and clean.
Light blue or denim is a great choice, but anything with a cool undertone looks classic against a clean white. Linens and throw pillows are especially easy to mix up with a splash of color and change out on a whim.
Try a Pop of Orange
A wonderful burnt or rusty orange is a great shade to pair with a white bedroom. Orange adds an infusion of energy into your space, but a muted version used sparingly is toned down enough to play well with a simple white color palette while adding a bit of personality to the room. It also introduces an earthy element that can warm up a space that's feeling too sterile.
Add Black Accents
There's a reason black and white is such a traditional color combo. "I learned this trick from Leanne Ford," shares Genevieve. "If a room is ever feeling dull, too white, or too 'all one color,' adding a touch of black will give it that subtle edge."
Consider a sharp black accent that stands out, such as window hardware, lighting, or accent furniture pieces like a side table or bench. The high contrast is eye-catching but still feels clean and neutral.
Mix in Natural Elements
Mixing natural fibers into your all-white bedroom is a great way to add a bit of warmth without sacrificing that crisp, monochromatic color scheme. Rich, textured wood furniture and hanging wicker and rattan baskets add a lovely contrast to the sharp white color palette in this room while providing a bit of color to tone down the brightness and bring things back down to earth.
Loop in Leather Details
In a dark room, leather accents can sometimes look heavy and overpowering. But in a room with a white palette, they can give the space an elegant, chic feel.
Look for a leather headboard or bench to add a touch of masculinity to a crisp, white room. These days, you can even find leather throw pillows and lighting with leather accents.
Go Bold With Accessories
One of the greatest benefits of decorating an all-white room is you have the freedom to go bold with your accessories without overwhelming the space. Splurge for throws, blankets, or curtains with embellishments and fun details instead of sticking to the simpler options. Fringe, pom-poms, tassels, and embroidery are a few unique features that come to mind, but you could also opt for boldness in pattern and texture.
Consider Throw Pillows
Throw pillows are a simple way to add a bit of comfort to a white room and warm things up. Mix in a few patterned or solid throws, either in white or a light color that plays well with the rest of the space. Layer on as many as feels right, and change out the pillow covers when you're ready for a quick bedroom refresh.
Try a Canopy
No longer the frilly forts of our childhoods, canopy beds have been popping up all over our feeds lately—the modern versions boasting sleek frames with or without clean-cut curtains. There's something just so impressive about canopy beds, and magical even, when you factor in those cascading curtains.
But if you're not ready to upgrade your bed, don't fret. You can get the same sweet look with a couple of dowel rods, eye hooks, and sheer fabric.
Give Your Bedroom a Hotel Vibe
If you dream of creating a luxury hotel bedroom look in your own home, a white color palette is a wonderful choice. White and tan hues look incredibly elegant in a bedroom and can give you that chic, streamlined look reminiscent of a 5-star hotel.
Be sure to layer plenty of plush textiles and upgrade your lighting to really pump up the feeling of luxury.
If you lean towards a more minimalist design aesthetic, white is the perfect choice for a clean, light, and calming bedroom. Opt for bright white walls then layer in a few pieces in other neutral shades to ground the space.
And remember, when working with a limited color palette, you want to incorporate plenty of texture to keep things from falling flat.
Embrace Scandi Style
For those into Scandinavian design and all things hygge, a white bedroom is a great choice. Scandi design is simple and pared-down. It's uncluttered and cozy in a streamlined way, and a simple, neutral color palette works best in these spaces. Opt for textiles and linens in shades of white and beige, light wood furniture, and organic touches to really nail the look.
Pick a Point of Contrast
The last thing you want in your all-white bedroom is for it to feel stark or even sterile. A simple way to counteract the feeling like you just walked into a hospital room? Introduce a point of contrast. Whether it be through furniture or textiles, bringing in a contrasting shade will ground the space and give your eye a place to land.
Give It a Graphic Punch
Why yes, you can have fun playing with patterns in a white bedroom. In fact, mixing and matching graphic prints can lend the same visual grounding effect as layering textures or incorporating an accent color—it draws the eye in, plus communicates a punch of personality.
Bring in Bohemian Flair
Boho interiors may not be dominating our feeds now quite like they were the past few years, but they'll always hold a special place in our hearts. And happily, white bedrooms lend themselves beautifully to bohemian style for all you kindred free spirits. Fresh white walls and bedding, earthy furniture, and plenty of greenery add up to one chic and dreamy boho retreat.
We've never missed an opportunity to tout the wonders of wallpaper, and we're not about to start now. Installing a neutral-toned wallpaper will add such a distinct depth and sophistication to your white bedroom that you'll wonder how you ever did without. Opt for a single feature wall behind your bed or wrap the entire room to really create a wow moment.
Pile on Plush Layers
If you've got your heart set on a truly all-white palette, this one's for you. The secret to nailing the white-and-only-white look is in building up plenty of layers—you don't want everything to blend together and feel flat. Be it through textiles, furniture, lighting, bedding, even architecture, create as much depth as possible.
Create a Laid-Back Atmosphere
Don't get us wrong—we love a sophisticated bedroom. But we've fallen pretty hard for more casual white bedrooms, too. Check out the mix of simple white bedding, masculine furniture, and eclectic art set against crisp walls in this laid-back lair. This is the exact right spot for lazing away the day in bed.
Your Life In Numbers. Dreams.co.uk. 2017 Sept.