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White is white. Right?

Wrong!

Not so long ago my husband took me to pick out white paint. He informed me he would sit in the vehicle since it wouldn’t take long. It shouldn’t take long, right?  Because I really just had to go in and pick up a can of WHITE PAINT. Wrong. Even though ‘white is white’ to many people, the truth is there are a variety of whites with a variety of different undertones. Todays trend is white on white.  Just look at the new appliances from stoves, refrigerators to dishwashers ALL shown in white at the 2013 interior design show in Toronto. The best thing about white is it is very versatile. Crisp whites with undertones of blue lend themselves to contemporary interiors, while soft ivory whites are perfect for shabby chic style.  With a rainbow of undertones, white is not just white. Its decorative possibilities are virtually endless.

Layer, layer, layer and repeat

Make layering your decorating mantra.  All white in a home can read as sterile and flat.  You’ll need to add visual interest and the key is to use texture and layers.  Make sure that the all white elements of your room don’t blend into each other. Try pairing something smooth with something fluffy or woven.  You’ll want your shiny and glossy surfaces to be set with something soft and matte.

Introduce some neutrals!

An all white home does not have to be all white to work! White on white doesn’t have to mean white floors, white walls, white furniture and white accents. Instead, aim for low contrast. Try low contrast with material like blond wood and creams and ivory. Watch how they blend with the look rather than dominate it.

Shedding light on white

While whites will brighten your home, it’s light that illuminates it.  In order to add more illumination to the situation, try multiplying your lighting sources. For example, try hanging one statement white light fixture and use reflective surfaces to bounce the light around your room.  It is an energizing effect.

Now that you have a nice neutral space from floor to ceiling, you’ll discover that you have the freedom to play and add some accent colours that are trending. A hot new colour trend for Spring/Summer 2013 was Emerald Green but look for bold black and white contrast for Fall. Easily changeable accents such as books, toss cushions, throws, vases can allow you to play with the new colour trends without breaking the bank or committing to a full redesign of a room.  The best part is you don’t have to commit to any colour. Your white home will match every shade!

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