27 Sept 2022

Interiors: Decorating with white

Interiors: Decorating with white

Interiors: Decorating with white

When it comes to white for use in interiors, the colour can often be perceived as minimalist, clinical or even cold. However, used correctly white is an amazing tool to give the illusion of a bigger space by bringing light to dark spaces and creating fresh, calm interior spaces. Walls painted in white can also act as the perfect backdrop to showcase art, furniture and fabrics. Here are a few tips on how best to use white in your home.

Variations of white

There are so many variations of white, from cool to warm, so it's important to take the time to choose the right shade of white for your rooms. To add depth and subtle variation, consider using different shades of white in different rooms or areas as this creates a more interesting space.


To provide balance to your scheme, it is best to have some contrast as you do not want to have huge expanses of white. Areas to add contrast can include furniture, curtain fabrics, bed throws or upholstery.


If you have a very dark, cold room, then consider choosing a warm white with a touch of yellow pigment. This will result in a brighter, more inviting space. If you want to create a cool, calm room then consider using white with a touch of grey for a contemporary interior.


White is the perfect backdrop to showcase artwork or sculptural pieces. Consider colourful artwork and enhance the scheme further by pulling on the colours from the painting for use in accessories and scatter cushions.


For a minimalist look, consider a monochrome scheme using only white. However, ensure you add plenty of variation by using different textures to provide contrast. This can be achieved by using different fabric types, mixing surfaces such as gloss for kitchen units, and using mirrors. The reflectiveness of metal is also fantastic when paired with the crispness of white.

Paint Finish

For white interiors, I would recommend a matt finish rather than a reflective gloss paint finish, as gloss paintwork can show imperfections in an older property where the plasterwork may not be smooth.


To create a rustic interior scheme, add warm wooden furniture to your white interior and then layer with a mix of textures in your soft furnishings such as linen, cotton and lace. For additional depth and texture, add knitted wool throws to enhance your cosy rustic interior.

Complement the seasons

With your interiors painted white, you can easily complement each season by making a few simple adjustments to your scheme. Consider updating your accessories with pastels in spring, nautical blues in summer, autumnal oranges and yellows in autumn and vibrant reds in winter. An all-white interior gives you the versatility to change effortlessly.

Thanks for taking the time to read my interiors column. Remember, if there is a topic that you would like covered in a future column then please drop me a line with your suggestions.

Louise is a former winner of TV3’s Showhouse Showdown. Contact 086 3999926; email;

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