When Sherwin Williams selected their Color of the Year for 2016, Alabaster, we thought it was an interesting choice. Then Benjamin Moore followed suit with their choice, Simply White, and the evidence started to build that white was the color of the moment.

With a reputation for being a bit sterile, bland, and (dare we say) boring, white is not typically the color of choice when creating a stunning space. It’s time to reconsider and we will tell you why.

White, with its light, bright and fresh feel, can be down right casual or upscale elegant. It presents itself simply, appealing to modernists and minimalists alike. It serves as a visual palette cleanser, understated and serene, calm and unruffled. As a base from which to begin, it creates a beautifully simple backdrop, like a canvas waiting for the artist’s brush.

White is often viewed as sterile, but with a deft hand, a designer can use varying textures and layers of different shades of white to create a sense of warmth and visual interest, avoiding the antiseptic hospital feel.

Art gallery walls are often finished in a base of white with good reason – the displayed art becomes the focus and white does its job of quietly and unobtrusively providing the perfect backdrop for each piece.

Other techniques for boosting the beauty of white:

• Add neutral tones to a white space to pull the look together cohesively.
• Add vibrant pops of color with accessories, pillows, or throws. (Easy to swap out when ready for a new look).
• Consider metallics – gold, copper, nickel and iron all look amazing in a white space.

For those who love a go-to formula that simply works, try this:

White + two basic neutrals (shades of gray, tones of brown) + a dash of saturated color = a casual chic space.

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