White That Works: Tips for Decorating with Whites



When I came across Shea and Syd McGee’s San Clemente home tour on Style Me Pretty, I was smitten. Owners of Studio McGee, a full-service design company , the dynamic duo’s home is the definition of white that works. Looking through their gorgeous abode, it sparked the inspiration for this post. On top of that, I just saw last week that Benjamin Moore’s 2016 Color of the Year is Simply White (OC-117), so this is a perfect time to start adding white into your decor.


You might think that white walls are boring, or doing too much of white can create a stark and sterile feel. But it’s only because you haven’t seen it done correctly, and beautifully. As you can see in the McGee’s home, shiny whites can really brighten up a space, but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere that comforting. Here are a few tips for decorating with white that you should remember.


Not all whites are created equal. While it’s fine to combine whites, make sure they are on the same temperature scale. In other words, yellow based whites are warm, blue based whites are cool. It’s not best to mix the two.

CTTI_Whites copy


Keep it cozy. White has the ability to make a room fresh and cozy all at the same time. Using lots of soft fabrics for comfort, add touches of greenery, and use warm woods throughout the room will create this cozy feeling you want to have in your home.


Texture is everything. In any monochromatic room, texture is what keeps the place feeling like it’s a hospital room. Use woolly throws, wood blinds, textured rugs and subtle tone on tone patterns to add texture.


Don’t fear white fabrics. Although on the surface it may seem scary to have anything you sit on in white, most mass furniture retailers, like Rooms-To-Go, offer a Scotchguard on all of their products to keep stains for sticking. But if you’re still worried, try investing in a slipcover that you can take off and wash.


Mirror, mirror. Mirrors had depth to an otherwise small room. If you’re trying to make your space seem larger, adding a gallery of mirrors or one large mirror over the mantel will create this sense of space that didn’t seem there before.


When in doubt, add gray. Try adding another neutral to give depth to the space. Grays and black are great for cool whites, while beige and browns work well for warmer whites.


Click to pin!

For more pictures of this gorgeous home, visit Style Me Pretty or simply click here.

All images c/o Brooke Palmer; all opinions are my own. 

4 thoughts on “White That Works: Tips for Decorating with Whites

    • Natalie says:

      I know right? I am enjoying an empty house for a few more years. The only reason I love white is because my dog sheds a ton and she has white hair. So it doesn’t show as bad on white furniture!

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