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decorating with white


“I love the look of white walls, it’s so clean and bright but everyone keeps telling me that my home will look sterile and cold if I paint my walls white.  Any advise or suggestions?”


Paint can really transform a room – it can make it bright and bold, dark and sultry or light and airy….we love what paint can do for a room.  sometimes picking the right colour can be a BIG challenge.  The under tones of paint can really shine through depending on the light, time of day, and surrounding finishes. 


So we never recommend falling in love with a paint colour in a store – you really need to see it in the space and over the course of a day.  We are huge fans of testing out swatches on a wall and not just looking at a small chip. Some paint companies do offer large (like 8×11) chips that you can tape to the wall – this is a great option to explore! Use the small chips to narrow down your choices but get the samples or large hips to really see what the colour will look like.


When it comes to white – the choices are plentiful! You have warm whites, cool whites, blue whites, pink whites, grey whites etc…..Every white looks different in every space.  All white walls is a very clean look.  It can look sterile if you aren’t careful.


Here are points to consider when it comes to painting your walls white:

1. Consider the natural light source.

Before painting a room white, identify its orientation. Rooms that face away from the noonday sun receive gray-blue light, which is great for a summer bedroom, a gym or a studio where you want constancy. A clear white paint will optimize the light of these spaces while keeping things cool.

The same white color, though, would not work in a north-facing family room in a cool, snowy climate. White’s visual relationship to the snow and ice outside the windows would be visually chilling. Instead, try tinting
your white with red, yellow or orange or selecting a color from Benjamin Moore’s Off-White Collection for rooms where you plan to eat, socialize and linger.


2.  What’s outside affects what’s inside.

Rooms with a view of the ocean can be spectacular. For a summer residence, white walls can enhance the benefits of living by the sea, opening the house up and bringing the cool water view closer.

If you have already decided to paint your walls white and your home has a breathtaking view, consider painting the trim to match. Eliminating the delineation between the walls and woodwork with white paint will allow the landscape to remain frameless, expanding the view’s presence in your home. This strategy (painting both walls and trim the same), used to drop out the architecture obstructing the view, can be used with any color, but it is most effective with white because of its reflectivity.


3.  Reconsider the gallery look.

There’s a reason galleries paint their walls and trim the same bright, white paint color. It drops out the architectural details and focuses attention on the artwork. The same method works for homes, too.

Remember white does show off imperfections – scuffs, nail pops and more…so be prepared for regular maintenance.  This is not the best option for families with young children and the pure and crisp colour is not very forgiving.

4.  Pay attention to history.

White is classic, formal, refined and restrained in style. For your Greek revival or federal interiors, white will be expected on trim and on walls in the kitchen and third-floor bedrooms. Make the mistake of painting everything white, and your home will look like a builder’s “flip.”


5.  Use white to expand spaces.

Rooms painted white appear larger due to the amplification of light. Shadows and edges also diminish in white spaces. When creating a palette for your home, try to keep in mind that cool white drops back in space and can be used to enlarge and open your smaller spaces.


We recommend making selections that you love – you should be surrounded by the looks and styles that you love.  To keep white walls from looking sterile we suggest: keeping some art, wall decor or photos on the walls – they will pop off the walls.  Stick with a white that has a satin or semi-gloss finish so you have a reflective finish (a flat or eggshell finish in white never looks rich). Take the time to pick the right white. We also love to mix white walls with texture – so look at floors, window dressings, plants, decor accessories even fireplace mantles to add some texture and character in the space.

White walls is a great look and perfect for anyone with a great view, great art pieces and lots of texture in their space.

White is so clean and crisp and we love how the shades vary. There’s a white tone for every home and every style!

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White is a classic.  Some say it’s boring but we think it is chic and timeless plus it is totally transitional and works with all styles of decor.  Benjamin Moore even picked their 2016 paint colour of the year as ‘Simply White’. White is so clean, crisp and fresh!

In honour of today’s #snowday – here are some of our white on white rooms:

Monotone decor is so stylish but the key is texture.  We love this white on white bedroom. The mixture of  subtle print in the throw pillows, the antler table lamp bases and that over sized cable knit throw blanket is unbelievable cozy – why would you ever want to get out of bed if this was your bedroom?

This white on white condo living room is so chic.  Not ideal for a family (yikes the stains!) but we love the layering of pillows and soft prints but adding a few natural elements really ground the room.  The banana leaf plant and wood/iron coffee table break up the white. Light tones really work well in a small space.

White works so well with a nautical theme.  This stylish beach house has that white washed and drift wood look and a few pops of blue add to the beach house look.  This is the perfect balance of relaxed casual and elegance.

See how glamorous white can be?! Paired with touches of gold and a pop of cheetah so luxurious and glam! We love this combination.

When you think of farmhouse you may not think of white, but why not? We love the touches of white in this farmhouse kitchen and dining space.  The white kitchen is so timeless but the harvest table with the white wash treatment paired with the white metal chairs – it is spot on!

Who says white and rustic don’t work well together? We love this combination – the white ‘canvas’ really helps the rustic character stand out.  You really notice this incredible coffee table and the other wood elements in this room.

White decor can also be dramatic – it’s all about the pieces and the combinations.  This elegant bedroom has a subtle and soft combination of grey and white tones.  The room is so tailored and just stunning…

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Scandinavia has a long heritage of beautiful home furnishings. Scandinavians are renowned for incorporating clean lines, using the color white like total pros, and emphasizing both function and form.

You might think that Scandinavian style is that famous yellow and blue store with ‘assemble yourself furniture’ that comes in boxes.  but Scandinavian style is more than that!

If you love a clean and minimal look that embraces natural elements, Scandinavian might be your style!

Scandinavian style includes…

1 – Light toned wood.

2 – A rug with one pop of colour…

Maybe…but usually they are neutral, black and white are often seen in this style of decor.

3 – Lots of white, and white on white

4 -Simplicity is key

When it comes to hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms, clean lines and minimal to no detail.

5 – Invest in classics.

Scandinavian style is very minimal so you will only have a few decor items, so it’s worth investing in them. For example, a glass vase by designer Alvar Aalto

6 – Signature ‘Scandinavian’ pieces

Furniture pieces that embrace the Scandinavian style like the Tulip Table

7 – Gallery walls with a monochrome colour palette.

Not cluttered at all – it’s a very clean look in a consistent and neutral colour palette.

8 – Pendant lighting is essential and an important decor feature in the room.

It is functional but also decorative. Plan the room around it

9 –  Plants.

Streamlined and clean in a simple planter or vase.  But every Scandinavian styled room has a plant.

10 – Wood flooring.

Think wider, lighter planks with visible knots and minimal to no gloss.

11 – Make a point of having and highlighting the fireplace.

In Scandinavian styled homes, we often see corner fireplaces and furniture plans are often designed around them.

12 – Open Shelving.

For functional items like dishes in the kitchen.  It’s about easy access and operating effectively.

Scandinavian style is all about simplicity, it is clean and minimal but has a signature look. Scandinavian style isn’t just IKEA

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