5 tips for decorating with white!

April 04, 2015


Mcelherans  5 Tips decorating with white


Is forever timeless. You can pull it off in any room!

Why is white so loveable?

Because it is:

Soft, Classy, Simple, Airy. Fresh, Bright, Restful, Crisp, Clean, Calm, Cozy, Pure

Bernhardt haven desk 

Here are a few tips of the trade to keep in mind when decorating with white:



white paint designer favorites

White is the #1 paint colour choice to go with when decorating your home. We spoke with our designers here at McElherans to see what their favorite whites to use are:

Anne: ” I like using Dove WIng OC 18 by Benjamin Moore. I like it because it doesn’t change colour. It stays white no matter what you put with it. Many other whites tend to go blue or yellow but this white is pure. 

Lynne: “I like Ivory White by Benjamin Moore CC-130

I used this color throughout a house. It was used for all the trim and all the doors to be a consistent calm color to balance with the other colors I chose.  It has a tamed beige base for a warm look.”

Leta: “White is never absolute white! It is always kissed with another color! I prefer the warmth of Benjamin Moore CC-40 Cloud White which a lot of designers use to marry with other warm pallets!

It reminds me of the warm white sands of the Bahamas! Paired with texture and good lighting, different levels of warm white can create an elegant surrounding!”

Abigail: My favorite white is by Sherwin Williams SW 6070. Heron plum has a beautifully soft undertone of hazelnut. The colour mix works lovely with all the warm tones of the season.”


Hancock and Moore Crosby chair

White seems scary, especially when sharing the space with kids and/or animals. There are so many durable options available that look great and are practical. When choosing fabrics look at the contents. You want fabrics that are washable, or contain 100% polyester or 100% acrylic. Mohairs, velvets, linens and wools are some examples.  Indoor/Outdoor fabrics popularized by Sunbrella are a fantastic solution. The quality and options available are incredible.  Some you can’t even tell the difference. If an accident occurs it’s easy to clean. Nothing is bulletproof but look for these contents and it comes close.

 If you are looking for other textures, faux leathers & suede’s are great for durability.  

Slipcovers are another practical way to bring white into the room. They are easy to take off and though into the wash,


bernhardt salon bedroom

white and white: keep in mind when you are combing whites, that not all whites are the same. Pair whites with similar colour hues ie. blues, yellow, oranges.  

Another tip when using multiples of white is to layer textures. It can be a fuzzy wool throw, a cozy tone on tone area rug, or introducing different materials like wood, lacquer, glass etc.

White and Black

joined black and white

It’s true, opposites attract! This dramatic color pairing will never go out of style.

The classic black and white is used in many different forms and functions from the small details of a picture frame to a large sectional in the middle of the room. My favorite use of this scheme is when black and white are combined in patterns, especially geometrics. You see it being used a lot in tiles; floor tiles, backsplash, shower tiles you name it. When combining shapes and sizes you can create amazing patterns.

 White and Neutrals

jessica charles upholstered chairs

Neutral pairings create a soft and calming feeling to a room. Whether you love working with greys or prefer beige both neutrals work well with white, enhancing its beauty. I especially love neutral pattern designs. You can have fun mixing scales and textures without being too busy and taking away from the room.  

White and Colour

jessica charles ginny sleeper sofa

White is the perfect backdrop for a splash of colour! It’s almost like the white is floating in the room and you can’t help but notice the colour, it craves your attention. Attention it will have because you can guarantee your guests will ask you about it. When choosing the splash of colour, choose something meaningful to you to ensure a great story.


 To keep the room from feeling too cool you want to add hints of warmth. You can do this by introducing warm textured woods, soft fabrics, and greenery from plants or flowers.

jessica charles dining chairs



White has the power to trick the eye. In a smaller room it creates the illusion that the room is larger than it really is.

If your room lacks natural light and is feeling dark, leave it to white to work to brighten it.

Selecting the right undertone can help create the look you want. Whites with blue undertones are often cool and work well in  modern settings. While whites with yellow, or orange undertones love being a part of Traditional rooms.

bernhardt white roomI love using elements of white in decor, It just feels right.. Embrace it in your home!