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Decorating with white

Decorating with white – nautical elegance that never goes out of style

There is no denying the meditative power of white. It is no surprize that it is the go-to colour for seaside sanctuaries all over the world. For what better way is there to create a relaxed, beach-inspired look in your home than decorating with illuminating white? Here are a few important things to remember to get your white interiors just right:

White is supremely versatile. Yes, it seems obvious but white really does go with everything. For a clean, classic kitchen look it pairs with stainless steel and also warmer metals like brass, copper and rose gold that are so trendy of late. It also pairs brilliantly with wood and other natural materials. For a dramatic effect white can be contrasted against a bright accent wall or feature. Or consider layering whites in similar shades of white, warm whites, grey, warm greys, etc. using patterns, textures and varying materials to create a room that has depth and interest.

There is no such thing as plain white. If you don't believe us visit your paint dealer and ask for the white colour chart – there is a range of white shades so vast it makes choosing one almost impossible. Some major paint suppliers have a paint-it-yourself app on their websites which is great to help you visualise a specific colour in a room. Choosing a shade with pink undertones will make a space feel warm and inviting, while a bluer white can feel cool and more formal.

White is the ultimate blank canvas. White furniture and walls invite a host of accent colours, from black to red, yellow to blue. As a backdrop, white allows an easy transition from season to season – simply change the accessories to create a mood that clicks with the conditions.

The absence of colour radiates light. Whatever tint you choose, white paint creates a fantastic play on light. In rooms that have weak, cool natural light, so you’ll need to compensate for this by choosing a warm white. By contrast, in rooms that have plenty of strong light from sunshine, a cool white will balance the glare. White also makes a small space appear large and airy, perfect for a tight guest room or other tiny nook.

Don't be afraid of white, but remember it can't hide dirt. When selecting furniture, choose slipcovered pieces. They can be easily washed (and bleached, if necessary). In living and family rooms with lots of traffic – consider using faux leather and faux suede’s. For floors, go with an oil-based porch and floor enamel. It cleans with soap and water and resists scratches and stains.