Creative ways to use the color white

Pair white with darker colors to add a sense of contrast. Pexels

How do you incorporate white into your home? Can you mix different shades of white in the same space?

While to some the color white may seem boring or bland, white can be used creatively and purposefully in a number of ways to make a big impact. From allowing the eye to visually rest to being used to help create a sense of contrast, here are some do’s and don’ts of using the color white.


1. Do consider using a monochromatic color scheme using tints, tones and shades of white.

2. Do incorporate pops of white through accessories and accents.

3. Do consider white for anchoring elements such as rugs, sofas and artwork.

4. Do consider white for architectural features such as cabinetry and countertops.

5. Do pair white with darker colors to add a sense of contrast.


1. Don’t pair bright white and warm white in the same space. Bright whites tend to have bluer tones while warm whites have yellower ones.

2. Don’t place white elements in situations in which they may get overly soiled.

3. Don’t blend too many different shades of white in the same space.

4. Don’t be afraid to pair white with deep bold colors such as black, brown and indigo for a sense of contrast.

5. Don’t overlook opportunities to use white as an opportunity to bring negative space into a room, which can allow the eye to visually breathe.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tribune Wire

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.