10.05.2010

surface studies: white & wood, take 2

I have been on a neutral high lately and I just can't shake it.  My home is slowly turning into a study of whites, grays, charcoals, and taupes with hints of golds.  I also love adding wood tones in a space to provide warmth, texture, and a natural aesthetic.  I had posted my love of white combined with wood at my other hangout Alluminare where I talk about design and decor tips for the home.  
Now white is synonymous with pure, clean, fresh, and modern.  For a “color” (it’s actually the sum of all colors) it works double time as a primary hue in a modern setting and also as an incredible backdrop to showcase other colors in their best light.  It is THE best of the basics, it is modern, and every home needs a bit of it. White is classic, timeless, and the perfect canvas to introduce other textures and colors to your space.
My absolute favorite combination and look right now is white paired with wood.  It is ethereal and oh so modern but in a warm, never stark way.  Sometimes referred to as Scandinavian inspired, whites and wood tones are paired for a natural, simple, sometimes rustic aesthetic that is both casual and sophisticated.  The white/wood design combination also takes its cue from mid-century modern interiors when white was also called upon frequently for a home. White combined with wood creates a bright, light and airy, natural interior.


This bedroom is a stylish retreat.  The pale wood accents and furniture pieces look amazing against creamy white walls. The grays and soft taupes add texture and softness as middle tones between the contrast of the whites and pale woods. It’s so airy and calming, I don’t know that I could leave this room.
The organic sculptures and stacked logs are the perfect accessories in this all white space.  The various textures keep this room interesting and avoid feeling flat.  The white walls and flooring reflect the natural light and bounce it around in this full volume space.  I love the combination of modern lines and rustic elements.  It makes for an organic, fluid design.
The tones warm up a bit in this bedroom.  The artwork, furniture, and flooring all have warm yellow undertones that pop brightly against the flat white.  Again, this simple space is an example of how adding subtle textures like the sheers and rug can add interest to an otherwise basic palette.
Wood doesn’t just belong on floors.  Wood plank flooring looks fantastic as a wall covering!  It’s especially nice sandwiched between white walls.  Its so soothing and natural; it feels like a modern day log cabin.

These dining rooms are so fresh and inviting! Any spread wood look incredible in these neutral settings.  What a dreamy space; I could curl up on the sofa in the background in the first one after a full meal.
When designing with white and wood, it’s important to keep a few  rules in mind.
1. Don’t forget to add texture.  To avoid a sterile, lackluster space, be sure to add rugs, window treatments, and accessories with different textures and shapes.  Whether you choose neutrals or bold colors to reside with your white, these are the elements that will shine against a neutral white and wood backdrop and keep things from turning boring.
2. White takes some know how and forethought.  Although you think it would be an easy choice (and it can be!) selecting the right white is crucial to create the right mood. 
3. Finally, (and this may contradict #2 somewhat), white can be both daring and an excercise in restraint.  It’s easy to slap color on the walls and call it a day.  But white hides nothing.  And that can be a good thing!  It shows your space as it really is and lets your furnishings and accessories have the spotlight once in a while.  White interiors are authentic and honest.  Embrace it!
White can be an exciting (never boring) addition to your space.  Pair it with wood to warm up your home and add organic interest.  
{Rooms:1.2.3.4.5.6.} Original post at Alluminare.

2 comments:

Suzie @ cupcake monkey said...

I think surface studies may be my favorite regular of yours. This one is great! What beautiful images and informative explanations.

It's so funny how I used to HATE white. I wanted everything to be pumped with tons of color and now I am leaning more and more towards the more neutral spaces.

...I also love the mix of chairs in that dining room!

Sort of Pink said...

I love love love the last picture! Lovely color scheme!

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