May 03, 2013
Some wood tones look better with certain shades of white. For instance, choosing a hardwood floor, such as Anderson Floors' Rushmore collection, should be decided according to the shade of white that's selected.
That's also the case with colors used with white. While its greatest strength is that it works well with any hue, white has a variety of tones - bright, off-white or antique - that are more effective with some colors than others.
A bright white coordinates well with modern decor that may include charcoal gray, silver and black. Off-white is more traditional and complements with many shades of blue, sage green or dusty rose. Antique white is similar to off-white, but has a slight yellow undertone which allows it to work best against hardwood furniture and kitchen cabinetry.
White with colors
White may be the most neutral of all colors, but one of its greatest strengths is that it works well with any color.
Especially in a small space, using contrasting colors to highlight white as the main hue guides attention to it and away from the small dimensions of the room.
According to Shari Hiller, co-host of the PBS series Around the House with Matt and Shari, choosing the right shade of white isn't different from choosing other colors.
She suggests using the white that's in an upholstered piece to determine the shade of white that will be used elsewhere in a room design.
Better Homes and Gardens magazine states that white also creates a sense of spaciousness when it reflects from light sources around a room. The magazine recommends taking advantage of natural light by limiting window treatments in a small room to blinds or shades only.
Homeowners may want to consider choosing blinds that are the same color as the walls, which allows them to convey the impression of an unbroken surface. White curtains or shutters, often used in country-style decorating, are attractive by themselves or combined with window shades.
Accessorizing with white
A white theme in home design can be continued through accessories. They provide another way to create a unified, spacious atmosphere. Clear jars filled with white and cream-colored candles, white flowers and porcelain pieces are some items that can be used effectively.
In one design featured in Better Homes and Gardens, floor-to-ceiling shelving painted white was filled with a mix of white accessories and colorful items that pick up colors in the furniture and pillows in the room.
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