White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. G.K. Chesterton – Atlanta Bartlett’s At Home With White
I love white. I always have. I love how perfect it is, I love how clean its looks, but more than anything when it’s used right, I love how it brings a sense of comfort and peace to a home.
Once upon a time white was considered a sterile color to decorate with and was banished to hospitals and ceilings throughout the land. The Scandinavians however were always adept at using white in the styling of their homes, they found endless inspiration in white. And born from it was the idea that design should be functional and simple, yet beautiful and inspired by nature, accentuating space and clean lines, transforming the Scandi look into the art of minimalism and sleekness.
Using white for decorating doesn’t end with the Scandinavians. You can use it in a variety of different styles of decorating like shabby chic, coastal (I love love), modern, baroque, rococo, gustavian, and the list goes on. White goes with everything. I’m especially fond of using it with blues, greys, and black. It also looks fabulous with pastels. I love it for its versatility as it’s a blank slate color that you can layer any look over the top of. It has the power to be sophisticated and elegant, inviting and soul reviving, but it also has the power to be cold, empty and isolated, so be careful with it unless a nescient look is what you’re aiming for.
White is one of the most abundant colors in nature like freshly fallen snow, pristine beaches, a gardenia flower, twinkling stars in the night sky, and radiant sunlight. It’s amazing how much inspiration you can draw from nature when trying to find ideas on decorating your home.
When I was 12 we lived in Robinvale for a while, we lived in a property overlooking the Murray River and it started to rain. The raindrops were thick and heavy and the sun was out making them look like white sparkling diamonds hitting the water. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen and it made life feel magical, even if for just a few moments. Right then I knew I wanted to live in a world that felt as magical as that moment and one of the ways to do that is to make a home a place that’s truly yours, that speaks to you with the heart, no matter how little you have. The color white reminds me of that day, and is such a great color to use on a budget.
It also has a most glorious history to match. White is associated with goodness, innocence, honesty and purity. On a psychological level white symbolizes new beginnings and evokes a sense of well-being as it opens the heart and aids in mental clarity. It helps in creating an environment where you feel your most relaxed, safe and calm, alleviating you of the days emotional stresses and purifies the heart, body and soul.
Bedrooms are a sacred space and should be a place that’s dreamy and relaxing making them a place that you want to retreat to at night, or just to hide on those sleepy days when you feel like curling up and getting cosy. White expresses a sense of cleanliness and encourages one to clear the clutter making for a serene and peaceful sleep.
In history, white has been worn by Isis and Egyptian priestesses, the Pope, and Leonardo da Vinci who was an incredible artist and polymath said, “We shall set down white for the representative of light, without which no color can be seen”. In some cultures white is the color worn at funerals to represent the souls journey from this life to the next which is such a wonderful way to celebrate the life of someone you love who has passed.
In 1840 Queen Victoria decided to wear a white wedding dress, since then brides across the world are seen wearing this color as it symbolizes purity and innocence which I think is much nicer than the red dresses they wore beforehand.
In the meantime, there is nothing more beautiful than white walls, whitewashed floors and a big comfy sofa. It’s a classic and timeless look that appeals to many styles and you can imagine infusing your home with one or all of the above qualities, giving your home a feeling that it’s a sanctuary. Even decorating the exterior of your home with white says nothing more than “Come in, take your shoes off and rest your weary head”, giving family and friends a place to visit that fills them with calm and joy.
Till next time, love where your feet are planted xx