The Colour Lab: Winter White

White has had something of a bad press recently – in interiors at any rate. We’ve been swooning over sexy black walls, rich jewel tones and vibrant patterns, and white has been relegated to something bland and safe.

However, nothing makes a style statement like an all-white room, and if you’re hoping for a white Christmas, this could be the perfect way to create a scheme that is calming, serene and also rather luxurious.

If you’ve ever been brave – or tidy – enough to have an all-white scheme in the past you’ll know that it inspires astonishment in visitors. ‘How do you keep it so clean?’ people will tend to ask as they walk through the door. There’s something very pure and inspiring about decorating with all-white, so here are our tips for creating a dreamy white space that’s neither cold nor boring.

Dazzling white

For a really stunning look you can harness the space-age power of high-gloss, flawless white. We’re talking minimal, clean-lined furnishings in white leather and high-gloss white lacquer, with walls painted in crisp Brilliant White.


It’s a great look if you have sculptural pieces of design that you want to show off, and with the right materials it needn’t be as hard to maintain as it sounds.

To make the maximum impact you want to chose finishes that reflect light, and the good news is these sleek materials are also easier to keep looking spotless.


A room with plain white vinyl flooring, or a white stone or tile effect, provides an excellent base. Light-reflecting paint on the walls will add to the dazzling effect, and apart from a few well-chosen pieces of furniture you need only add soft white voile curtains and a centre piece pendant light for a truly breathtaking space.

Touchable texture

Too much minimalism? Then they other way to go is to create a cosy, Christmassy room using layers of white in a variety of rich textures.


From a deep, soft carpet in white that feels gorgeous to walk on, to rough unbleached linen upholstery (tip – pick loose covers that you can wash at 40 degrees!), white chunky knit throws and cushions, the secret to making a white space feel cosy and enveloping is to mix up as many tactile materials as possible.

Don’t be afraid to add too much – a white sheepskin rug on top of a white carpet will feel positively decadent.

Bleached or white-painted wood for furniture teamed with some sharp accessories in white ceramic will give a little bit of contrast.

And the best thing with layers of white? It’s easier to throw the top layer in the washing machine to keep everything looking pure and sparkling.

Depth and details

Unless you’re a super-minimalist then there’s no need to limit yourself to white only. Once you have created a white base you can add threads of colour to add life to your scheme.

Whether it’s a flash of green from plants (or your Christmas tree), glamorous glimmers of gold threaded through cushions, or a subtle, washed out floral motif on your rug, adding just a hint of colour will give your room even more depth.


Don’t feel you have to stick just to one white either. For walls, floors, woodwork and ceiling, decorating in a range of whites – from pure white to softer ‘antique’ shades – will round off your room and stop it looking clinical, making it the perfect, cosy backdrop for your festive season.

Need a few more design ideas? Visit our inspiration and advice section for for guides, how to’s and ideas.