White: The Workhorse of Interior Design
What is the most timeless color? White. There’s no question. One can argue that white is a non-color—and science would back that up—but for our purposes, we’re going to look at white not just as a color but as the single most important interior-design element.
The bright whites we see today are a relatively recent phenomenon. It wasn’t until titanium dioxide came to be used as a white pigment in the mid-Twentieth Century that decorators began seeing truly bright whites. As the Twentieth Century played out, the use of bright whites increased and became an important part of interior design.
Homeowners have a wealth of whites to choose from. Every Graber product comes in at least one version of white—and often dozens of different variations of the color. In many product categories, the top seller is white. And that’s been the case for decades.
So, why is white so popular?
White Reveals Details
A broad expanse of white—such as a wall, a drawn set of drapes, or a wide roller shade—is the perfect backdrop for subtle details such as leaves, fern fronds, intricate carvings, and fringe. A curved piece of sculpture might harmonize with a darker background—but, set against white, every shape and detail stands out and the artwork becomes the focal point of the room.
An Emotional Response
Crisp is a word often used to describe a white room. Other reactions include refreshing and joyful. The blank slate that white presents, coupled with the color’s ability to maximize the available light, creates a sense of openness that no other color can match. Utilize the power of pure whites to flood a room with light and establish a cheerful mood.
Makes the Room Larger
White can make a room look bigger. Darker colors tend to make the walls come in closer and give the sense that the room is smaller. A ceiling painted white looks higher. White maximizes the brightness of sunlight that enters the room, and this brightness softens the shadow lines and lessens the visual impact of the corners. In a very brightly lit white room—such as one that uses a white solar shade with a very high openness rating—a visitor may feel like they are surrounded by light rather than walls and furniture.
When used thoughtfully, white can give a sense of elegance. Add white walls, rugs, or drapery to nearly any setting and you’ll add a touch of elegance. White walls and window treatments work especially well as backdrops to sophisticated modern décor or antiques made of dark wood. An all-white room—painted white, decorated in white, with white fixtures and window treatments—exudes opulence.
The Ultimate Contrast
Every color contrasts with white. Works of art, photographs, and other wall-mounted décor stand out on a white wall. You can combine décor elements in various shades of white to create visual interest and subtle contrast. The Aesthetic Design style trend, with its matte finishes, stripes, and optical geometries depends on white walls, ceilings, shades, and blinds for contrast.
White Is Having a Moment
White is on trend—designers everywhere understand the versatility and power of white. And it’s no surprise. Everything goes with white. Whatever contrasts with white is amplified by its presence. At night, white walls can be brought to life using colored lights. It serves as the ultimate contrast to nearly every color.
Shades of White
In decorating terms, there is no one true white. White comes in many different shades, and the human eye can distinguish small differences between adjacent whites. This can be used to create subtle patterns or emphasize certain lines and curves.
White Is Timeless
Jewel tones, pastels, glossy blacks, pink—all shall pass away (or at least disappear for a time), but white will never really leave us. It is an element in most design styles, and its uses are too numerous. If you are looking for a color palette that won’t soon become outdated, choose white.
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