Like many aspects of designing a home, the simplest choices often turn out to be incredibly complex. Just ask Kate Krasic and Amanda Nycz of Toronto-based firm Kate+Amanda Design. The duo recently completed designing Kate's home and chose to decorate almost every room with an all-white colour palette. You might think that forgoing colour would simplify the process, but it's quite the opposite.
"When Amanda and I talk to clients about designing their homes, we always say think about spaces that they have been in that make them feel the most comfortable. The cleanliness of white always makes me feel the most at ease," says Krasic, who lives in the three-bedroom home with her husband, Chris, who was also the contractor. "But like all white spaces, they need warming up, and that's where the natural elements come in—the jute, marble, light oak and then a touch of black since it grounds everything."
Though white spaces always look calm and cohesive, they also run the risk of appearing stark, something the designers were conscious of when decorating each room. Thanks to a few insider tricks, they managed to create a stunning space that's a lesson in monochromatic design. Take a look inside.
Embrace Natural Light
Crisp white walls reflect natural light, making a room appear larger. When designing the three-bedroom, five-bathroom home, Krasic and Nycz used this to their advantage and made sure each room had plenty of natural light. It's now one of Krasic's favorite parts of living in the home. "I love that there are windows everywhere. In fact, the window in my kitchen specifically brings me great joy," she says of the vast window that floods the countertop and cabinets with bright light.
Most well-designed rooms have one thing in common: There are clear focal points that guide the eye as soon as you enter. Given the limited color palette in all-white spaces, this can be challenging. To add a burst of color and visual interest, Krasic incorporated greenery and flowers in almost every room, a touch that helps create a primary or secondary focal point.
"Flowers and greenery add life and colour to this very neutral home, but because plants are living, they are in keeping with all the natural elements that are thematic of the house," she explains. Krasic describes her aesthetic as "Belgian farmhouse on a beach," so these natural elements are certainly in line with the overarching style.
Though monochromatic, each room is carefully layered to add depth and visual interest. "When working with white, Amanda and I suggest adding different shades of white and cream [and] lots of textures via drapery, pillows, throws, and rugs," she explains. If you're unsure where to start, she recommends incorporating texture via linen and pottery. "They are opposite textures (one soft and one hard), but they both warm up every room in the house."
Opt for Natural Materials
"The kitchen was a labor of love," says Krasic. "It's way easier designing kitchens for other people—it just seems so final when it's yours!" Fortunately, her business partner Amanda shared the same vision for the space and helped make tough decisions. Their favorite features? "Framed cabinetry, floating shelves, art, and marble. I made sure this kitchen had all of those elements," she says.
Although bathrooms and kitchens are the most common all-white rooms, they chose to buck tradition and introduce wood. "I wanted the richness of wood to make the room feel warm and the lightness of the oak for consistency in the home," she explains. It adds a layer of depth without complicating the colour palette.
Add Subtle Colour With Small Accessories
The house isn't completely devoid of colour. The duo added pops of blue in the bedroom via accessories like throw pillows, duvet covers, and art that can be swapped out as their tastes change.
Though white furniture might seem impractical, Krasic and Nycz let us in on a secret: Almost every item has a removable cover that can be easily cleaned. "Amanda and I tell everyone to not buy anything white that you can't wash," she says. "I am washing my chair slipcovers right now!" Now that's the top trick to styling an all-white home.
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