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
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