Choose a soft, soothing palette of whites, off whites and neutrals. Remember white is not one colour but a thousand tones and shades – all subtly different from each other. White pigments and paints not only bring rooms to life; they accentuate architectural details, mouldings and woodwork.
Think through the flow of rooms so the layout is light and airy. Use adjustable lighting to ensure rooms don’t become too bright or sterile. Don’t forget the quality of candlelight: it provides instant warmth and the soft flickering light is a treat for the senses.
Create texture and character by mixing natural materials and finishes, such as flooring in wood, stone or sisal. Add touches of greenery to bring in hints of the outside world. If possible, it’s wonderful to have a fire. Wicker baskets of wood and kindling by an open fireplace add an organic note, and are especially in keeping with wooden floors.
Collect small groups of items on mantelpieces, shelves or a coffee table. Add interest with art, ceramics or textured bowls – items that form pleasing compositions. For subtle contrast, use occasional darker shades in some pieces of furniture and on mirrors or decorative accents, such as throws and blankets.
A bedroom must be a calm space for retreat and good sleep. This is essential in a hectic age of constant connectivity. A supremely comfortable bed, beautiful white linens and the right duvets and pillows make climbing into bed a joy. Bathrooms with a spa-like feel – layered with soft white towels and a flickering candle – help with unwinding.
White and neutral homes need to feel both emotive and sensory. Scented candles and diffusers can help create mood. There’s something about the ritual of lighting a candle and the warmth of a flickering flame that always makes a room inviting.
For the Love of White: The White & Neutral Home by Chrissie Rucker & The White Company is published by Mitchell Beazley, £30. Available now at OctopusBooks.co.uk.
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