We’ve got—and are happy to embrace—a reputation as color-happy design mavens. But we also love white, which serves a variety of handy purposes in decorating. It’s an antidote to lots of color in summer and fall, so it’s perfect for switching up the look of an otherwise colorful room. White is also the ultimate contrast for popping a hint of hue, so you can make a big statement with one eye-catching color. It has a blank-slate feel that makes a room seem airy, easy, and restful (and often larger). And white rooms work in any season, whether echoing the snowy landscapes of winter or providing a bit of visual rest between the riot of summer colors.
There’s one more important reason why white decorating is pretty fabulous, all the time: it’s easy to get it right. As these six white-on-white bedrooms show, the key to decorating with white is to focus on a few key elements:
1. Layers. With all-white rooms, especially bedrooms, piling on the layers will give a rich, dimensional appearance and a plush, snuggle-in ambience. You can go with just one shade of white, but we love the look of layered whites, from snow to the palest dove, and ivories, especially those that lean toward the creamy end of the spectrum.
2. Texture. Think: a smooth cotton duvet on top of a fluffy fleece blanket and silky Tencel sheets, or a quilted matelassé coverlet paired with a nubby sweater-knit throw and linen shams. Try mixing—and remixing—as many textures as you can to find the warm-cozy-sophisticated balance that all-white rooms often have.
3. Dressmaker details. Large and small, obvious and subtle, details are the cherry on top of this particular sundae. We love details like beading, ruching, pintucking, ruffles, embroidery, and appliqué, all of which add depth and individuality to a bedroom.
4. A well-chosen other neutral or two. You can take your pick here, but we’re really loving the gold and brass accents in some of these rooms. Warm chocolate brown is also a gorgeous grounding element, but limit it to just a couple of pieces of furniture or accents, so the airy effect of all that white isn’t lost.