Ask A Decorator: How To Add Color To A White Room

It’s time for another Ask A Decorator post. This one is in regards to choosing color and how to infuse it in a room, a very important step in decorating. Some people get a little nervous when it comes to this, but trust me that it is a lot easier than you think it is when you know what you are looking for. Here is the question:

Megan, my house has white walls. I love the clean look of it, but I would like to bring in some color. What is your advice on choosing the right colors and how do I bring them in without it taking away from the white?Alice

White or neutral spaces with pops of color are very popular at the moment. It’s an especially smart strategy when you are preparing a home for sale because it can appeal to the maximum number of buyers. If you want the main look of the room to remain white and only accent it with color, there are several ways you can do this. First, choose the color or colors you want to include. I wrote a post on Understanding Color and How To Use It In Interior Decorating that will be helpful in making this decision. Next, use some of the following ideas for bringing that color into your space.

Accessories are the best way to add pops of color that won’t take away from the cleanliness of the white. They are are easily changed if you ever get tired of the color, perfect for staging. In this kitchen, the pop of turquoise in the curtain breaks up the white a bit and the pops of yellow in the plant holders and lemons add some extra dimension.

Highlighting a part of the room with a colorful paint, as seen here with the doors and door frame leading to a balcony, will add interest and make architectural features stand out.

Curtains are like an extension of the walls, so you can bring in color through solid panels or even a pretty pattern while still maintaining the crisp look of white walls. Also love the pop of yellow in the tub here, very unique.

This home office has some great examples of how to bring in colors through accessories and furniture. You can spray paint a chair a color for a great pop. Also note the pattern framed in sections on the walls. Patterns can be just as effective as color. This one is gray, but breaks up the white in a way that is visually interesting.

Turning the tables and having your furniture be the pop of color is a bold approach but can create some amazing results. Carry that color through in artwork and small accents elsewhere to finish it off.

In a bedroom, it’s easy to bring in color through a bold headboard. By keeping the comforter and dust ruffle white, you keep the clean look of the white and pop the color instead in clever places like a blanket, pillows, and even the sheets.

If you have a fireplace, you could take a bold approach and paint it in a color. This will make your great architectural feature pop and become a focal point in the room.

Painting the inside of a bookcase can create a “wow” factor in a room. You can either put accessories in front of it or leave it bare, allowing the color to speak for itself.

I hope these tips have helped and inspired you in choosing color to accent white walls. To submit more decorating and staging questions, please fill out the contact form.

Warm regards,

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