Pure and sim­ple

Why not buck the trend for colour and em­brace an all-white world? Gabrielle Fa­gan re­veals how to keep it pale and oh-so in­ter­est­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - Gabrielle Fa­gan

Colour may be cool – but if you pre­fer to dance to a dif­fer­ent decor tune, and yearn for light­filled, calm, easy-on-the-eye rooms, then a white pal­ette’s the ob­vi­ous choice.

Ig­nore the ‘white is for wimps’ wis­dom; that only the brave stylishly splash on fash­ion­ably bright shades and en­joy a tech­ni­colour world, while the rest of us scaredy-cats pale at the sight of colour charts and scurry back to the safety of neu­trals.

What this the­ory fails to recog­nise is the sim­ple fact that white works.

What’s not to like about a pal­ette which makes spa­ces ap­pear lighter and larger? With such a huge va­ri­ety of shades ( yes, re­ally!), from sub­tle and warm, to crisp and sharp, there’s bound to be at least one that suits.

“White, com­bin­ing all the colours of the vis­i­ble spec­trum, is a dra­matic, af­fir­ma­tive choice, rather than a pas­sive one ,” de­clares Karen McCart­ney, cham­pion of a white pal­ette and co-au­thor of White Rooms: Dec­o­rat­ing With Style, Pat­tern And Colour, pic­tured above.

“White cre­ates the sense of a blank can­vas, a fresh be­gin­ning upon which we can im­pose our dec­o­ra­tive style,” she adds. “Light re­flects off white; it bounces around and has the ef­fect of lift­ing the spir­its.

“And its cre­den­tials have been proven over time – white’s been used for gen­er­a­tions and in many cul­tures, to sym­bol­ise hon­esty, pu­rity, per­fec­tion and spir­i­tu­al­ity.”

She be­lieves white has the power to “set rooms free” and suits any style of home, from mod­ernist to Moroc­can in­te­ri­ors, coun­try cot­tages to in­dus­trial lofts – ex­am­ples of which all fea­ture in the il­lus­trated book.

Sound all-white to you? Time to freshen up those rooms...

White Rooms: Dec­o­rat­ing With Style, Pat­tern And Colour by Karen McCart­ney and David Har­ri­son, pho­tog­ra­phy by Richard Pow­ers, is pub­lished by Pen­guin Lantern, £25.

Pim­lico bed­li­nen, dou­ble du­vet cover, £170; pil­low­case from £50, Carl­ton three-drawer glass bed­side chest, £495, all The White Com­pany

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