How To Design a White Room


This seems like it would be an easy task, purchase everything white and toss it in a room but there is actually just as much planning that goes into a white room as a room full of color. Today I am sharing a few simple steps to my approach of designing in white and how to create the look so many of us adore, a fresh white room.


Create  balance- Start out by deciding where white will “not” be; some ideas are natural wood floors, tables, lighting fixtures, window frames or chair arms and legs. Then decide where white “will” be; when designing white rooms I always like the walls, upholstery fabric and bedding to be white. Designer tip-  Not everything you select for the room will be white, the choices you make will be predominately white but you need to add just the right amount of non-white choices to feel like you have walked into a fabulous white room.

PicMonkey Collage

Add texture- This is so important when going white because typically there is just one or sometimes no pattern in the room. Texture adds interest and warmth and can be achieved with moldings, woven woods, rattan, area rugs and natural stone.


Keep it light- Select glass cabinets or accessories to keep an open and airy feeling. Add touches of silver for a bit of neutral shimmer coupled with a palette of pale grey and taupe to complement the predominant white hues. In the kitchen white sub-way tile is a favorite of mine for the back-splash and the Carrera marble counter-tops are just stunning.


Create layers- This is easily achieved in the bedroom by adding pillows, throws and quilts, this is the same advice I give when designing a room with color. Above, a tufted headboard and bench add dimension similar to the effect of layering. Below, interior shutters create a layered look and add architectural interest painted the same color as the wall. A collection of vintage mirrors reflect the crisp, white walls and natural light, lovely.


Go for it- So often my clients want to design with white but they are afraid of the maintenance and that it will look a mess. They try to incorporate a few white pieces and call me because they are not achieving the look. The only way to achieve it is to just “go for it”, the rooms will actually be quite durable with the upholstery and bedding needing slightly more maintenance cleaning the fabric and sometimes re-upholstering over time. I recommend choosing good quality fabrics that have been treated with a stain guard and no shoes in the house when possible , that’s my rule no matter what color your rooms are LOL (we’ll talk more about that in a future article, How do I keep my house so clean).


Images {1,2,3,4,5,6,7}

  • Susan

    I’ve always been a fan of white,but never could quite get how to pull it off, with the touches you’ve displayed, I think I can do it.

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      You can do it, send me pictures if you need some inspiration and ideas I would love to help!

  • Rebekah S

    Thank you for this lovely post! I have white sheets with layers of quilts, blankets and pillows. Thank you for the reminder that all things need not be white to create that ‘feeling’. I stumbled up on your blog via Pinterest and I have since saved it to my favorites. Great stuff!

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      So nice to meet you Rebekah, I’m so glad you found my blog and are enjoying it. Since your new to AYP I wanted to let you know that I offer free design advice if you are ever in need in my Just Ask category :)