In this post, you’ll learn how to decorate your home in all shades of winter white. Using only white decorations is the perfect way to create a peaceful and elegant winter home.
For me, winter white has always been the perfect way to decorate my home in the winter season. I really love how stylish and elegant it looks, and it really brings a snowy feel of winter indoors.
Transitioning a room filled with cheerful holiday decor to a room without all that decorating awesomesauce can easily make it feel bare and empty. When you take down all those holiday decorations you are left with a blank canvas that simply seems empty. And yet in those cold winter months, we need warm, fuzzy, and cozy. And white doesn’t quite have a reputation for being a warm color.
So how do I do that – creating a warm winter home – when I love white decor so much? Let me show you…
I realize that for some the idea of filling that empty canvas in January with an all-white decor seems odd. For a long time, a monochrome white interior was considered a modern look, minimalist even, and as far away from cozy and warm as one could get.
I don’t think that is true anymore though. The whole trend of decorating in neutral tones, the popularity of muted vintage colors, and the way farmhouse white has become big, have made white interiors totally in vogue. And rightfully so!
The challenge of decorating an all-white room
I love an all-white room. My home is a proven example of that. But through the years I had many people commenting on my love of a white interior. I get ‘I could never do it, it would feel cold’, or ‘doesn’t it get boring, how do you make sure your room isn’t looking blank?’, or ‘there are so many different colors of white how do you mix them?’.
So yes, there are a few challenges when you want to have white interior decor.
But those can be resolved easily.
Let me address the issues and my solutions.
How decorate a white room that doesn’t look bland
When using lots of white in your winter home decor you want to prevent it from looking bland and flat. To do white decorating right, you’ll have to remember these three little rules: layering, texture, and tones.
To start with that last one. Tones. All whites have a different undertone. It is the hue of the white color. The two most basic undertones are yellow which gives a warm, off-white hue, and blue which gives a cool greyish hue. Generally speaking, it is best not to combine two whites with a different undertone. Some go as far as not to mix them in a whole room, but I am not that strict. But when I create a little white vignette, I’ll never mix different tones of white directly.
Layering and texture are two best friends. Layering means making groupings, stacking things together, overlapping things, and making them look nice together. Texture is all about using different materials, that have a different feel and look. And when you combine your layering with an extra texture you’ll get magic.
Look at this mantel decor below. the basis is all white: a white shelf, white walls, white accessories, and a mirror reflecting even more white. But In this case, I added different tones of brown to the mix. All the browns come from natural materials and all the browns have texture. The rattan plate, the two grapevine wreaths, the cotton branches, and the feather balls. There is a whole lot of texture going on there. The bottom wreath is layered in front of a mirror. The lantern is stacked on a book. All the accessories are grouped together. There is some color in this mantel but the neutral brown makes it work perfectly with my winter living room decor.
More seasonal decorating tips
<<<< How to decorate your bedroom for fall >>>>
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How to add drama to a white-on-white room
Decorating a home in winter white colors results in a serene and tranquil room. Just like a layer of snow outside will mute the sounds, so will a room full of winter whites whisper at you instead of shouting.
But to make that white room look really good, it still needs a little drama. Adding a stark contrast to an otherwise white living room decor creates depth and will ground the room. it doesn’t have to be much. A black lamp, some deep brown wood tones, a dark grey pillow cover, are all great ways to break up the white and help the eye move around the room.
I love the bohemian style of decorating. In my bohemian beach guest bedroom I have used wicker and straw to add a touch of color and interest to a white foundation.
And of course, you could add a pop of color. But that has a much larger impact than simply adding a dark neutral color. It’s where your preference lays, really.
The basic elements of an all white room
To create a great white interior there are the basics to consider first.
What do you do with the walls and floors and how do you choose your furniture?
I have been living in a home with white painted floors for years now. And I love it! There is a giant list of reasons why I love my white floors, but suffice it to say here that it sets the mood and tone of my room immediately. Any very light flooring would do though. But you’ll struggle with the look when your floors are very dark. In that case, I would consider a nice big, light-colored area rug.
My walls are also bright white. There is a whole debate on what the best white paint colors are but in my book, it is simply bright white. When choosing the color of your walls remember what I said about the tone of your whites. It makes a huge difference if you go for the warmer tones or the cooler tones. The warmer tones look better in winter, but the cooler tones do very well in a white summer home. You can make both work, just be aware of your choice.
A white interior is neutral and it profits majorly from some architectural interest. If your house doesn’t have beautiful windows, arched doorways, or remarkable trim work, then make sure your furniture packs a punch.
In a white home, bigger furniture looks better. I have a small living room and at one time I had four big pieces of furniture in there: a large hutch, a three-seater sofa, a round dining room table, and a painted wardrobe. Oh, and my coffee table is on the large side too. And yet my room never felt stuffed nor full, on the contrary, it was and is a very cozy room. All the furniture was white in complementing shades, the light bounced around and the larger surfaces of those pieces made the room less busy.
White winter decor ideas
So how do you make a cozy living room if you limit your color choices to one: white.
Well, you add the right kind of decor elements to make it all come together. Let me show you some easy ideas to create white decorations for your room.
I love creating little winter vignettes, little compositions of different accessories that look good together and make a little statement. If you want to know more about how I decorate my white living room for winter you must read my 30 tips for creating a cozy winter home.
Natural elements are usually my starting point. White flowers, branches, a homemade wreath, white painted pine cones, or some coral. Those are all perfect choices in creating a winter scene. I have a homemade DIY twig wreath that I have used on many occasions to add a bit of rustic and nature to my decor. It works well in all seasons but I especially love the version where I turned it into a luscious white winter twig wreath. When you see that one it is hard to think that the simple version before that was when I used it plain in my Valentine’s mantel decor.
I’ll add height with pillar candles, candlesticks, lanterns, or (empty) frames.
The key to decorating a winter white room that is tranquil and peaceful and at the same time is warm and cozy is to make the right choices.
When you choose colors that are “white” and “neutral” you are giving the room the appearance of being bigger than it really is. This creates the illusion of a larger space. You are also making your room look “clean” or “fresh”. But by mixing the right kind of whites, by choosing your furniture carefully, and by adding lots of personal touches to give your room meaning and life, you are also making sure you will love your room and it will be like a warm blanket around you.