All White: Timeless or Trendy?

By Kate Riley July 27, 2010


I’ll be the first to stand up and plead guilty to a love of decorating with white. 

all white bed style at home

I’ll spray paint just about anything white that’s standing still.  

white dining room michael partenio

I’ve noticed that for the last several years, all white rooms are popping up more and more in design.      

  sarah richardson white room  

White spaces have an ethereal and dreamlike quality . . .

white vanity country living

. . . so crisp, clean, and bright.

coastal living all white room christmas

Romantic and lovely. 

layla grace bedroom

But I often wonder . . .

  white bedroom country living

even though white spaces are pretty . . .

  cream bedroom with cool dresser adelto    

Are they practical ?

  Do children really live here?

white dinign room slipcovered contry living

   I’ve heard several moms swear by white slipcovers and bleach.

white slipcovers myidealhome

I do believe the key to pulling it off is to provide varying textures.

And dark floors do help ground a space dominated by white.

all white bedroom dark floors  myideal home  

. . . or a dark piece of furniture for contrast. 

coastal living decor above bed white room

. . . better still, dark floors and pops of color.

white chairs and endtable style at home  

. . .  something, somewhere for your eye to focus, and rest. 

rachel whiting white bedroom with color

. . . even if it’s just a simple throw and some greenery.

white room via simply seleta via madamecupcake tumblr


 I like to see a touch of color on the walls . . . 

victoria thompson bedroom

. . . or at a minimum, some patterned fabric to add interest.

   white bedroom justine taylor via myidealhome

white room pop of turquoise cottage living         

  I do believe the white kitchen will be around for awhile.


Are you a fan of space dominated by white ? 

white room griege via seleta 

Could you live in a room void of color ?  

  style at home ann favot living

All white rooms.  Are they timeless, or trendy

Images: Style at Home; Michael Partenio; Sarah Richardson; Country Living; Coastal Living; Layla Grayce; Country Living; Adelto; Country Living; My Ideal Home; My Ideal Home; Coastal Living; Style at Home; Rachel Whiting; via Simply Seleta; Lonny; My Ideal Home; Cottage Living; source unknown; Griege via Simply Seleta; Style at Home


  1. Just when I decided on one “white space” I scroll down and see another I love! I can’t get enough of white spaces and warm woods. They are the perfect marriage of masculine and feminine. Don’t you think?

    …and a white space with the pop of energetic color never hurt either. Thanks for this roundup!

  2. I love white! I have been on a white-painting binch lately and the streak has not ended. But I don’t think I could do an all white room. I love it in pictures but in real life I would miss colors. So I go for white as the perfect backdrop to seasonal colors.

  3. I dunno…I guess it would really depend on the pieces you used to decorate…maybe *all* white is a little trendy right now, but pretty much all neutrals have some timelessness to them…

  4. I’m a color girl. I admire whites from afar but I can’t see myself having an all white room. My duvet is all white and that’s as white as I get :). Although I have to admit, once finances stabilize I’m paining our kitchen white! I agree that a white kitchen is timeless.

  5. Decorating WITH white – Timeless.

    Decorating ALL white – Trendy.

    Even though it is beautiful and whistful, I need some color in my life ;)

  6. I have asked myself that same question numerous times over the past couple of months because I am getting ready to paint our living area. SInce we have an open floor plan, that means the living room, dining room, and kitchen. I wonder if I will tire of the white when the trend moves on. However, I am not planning on doing to total white immersion thing. My furniture will not be going white. Great question – I will wait and see what the rest of your followers have to say…

  7. Totally timeless! Most of those pictures had some kind of color in them, and they make such a drastic difference simply because it pops! Love it :)

  8. Currently, I think it has become a trend, but refreshingly so. For years the trend was Morrocan, Medditeranean and Tuscan decor which all were heavy (dark) on color in paint and fabric. Although I loved the Tuscan trend myself, I was happy to see it go. Now, it seems that the trend is to go lighter and fresher. I am sure white will always be a classic design color, but the “all-white” look as well as the beachy and coastal trend will one day fade too. Let’s enjoy them while they last.

  9. I love decorating with white, but I have to have splash of color somewhere in there! Most of my furniture is white, but I do have a few pieces of natural wood and a beautiful aqua chest of drawers for a bit of boldness. As for the all white kitchen – I’m all in! :)

  10. I have been pondering this very thought. I agree the white kitchen is a classic. But, entire white rooms have had their day before and it always seems to ebb and flow in and out of trends. There will always be the lovers of color and some will always hold on to their white. I love white but, having raised three boys I have never ventured into the white paint chips with them in the house.;)

  11. Hi Kate! I hope you remember me (we emailed back and forth and you gave me some fantastic advice on dealing with life as an attorney/wannabe decorator/blogger/mom/DIYer/etc!). I absolutely love, love, LOVE white and tend to mainly decorate with at least an off-white in every room. It is timeless! That IS why God invented Pottery Barn slipcovered sofas- to make white more liveable!! :) I finally struck out and started my own blog- I’ve just gotten started but please check it out and continue to watch for all of our progress (major furniture refinishing and bathroom renovation to come)! [] I actually just blogged about my white couch today!!

  12. I am no expert on whether something is trendy or timeless, but I love the all white room. With two toddlers though, I am not sure how it would hold up in my house.

  13. Well the all white photos are so beautiful, and it’s hard to not want to change my entire house to white. But I do have to remind myself I LOVE color and ultimately color wins. :)

  14. I’ve just finished my bedroom in my very first house (!!!!) and every time I walk into it I feel a sense of calm and peace, very spa-like. It’s balanced with a wood floor and a soft turquoise on the upper part of the walls (white paneling on the bottom). I wish I was there right now!

  15. White rooms look good when they’re well thought out and purposeful, but I think I’d just make it look blah. I’m very much indie, homey, autumn-like in nature, so I like saturated colors and natural woods. If you can pull it off, good for you, but I never could. ;-)

    And I think all-white (floors, painted wood, cloth) is trendy, but white with natural woods and pops of color is more classic.

  16. I love the white timeless kitchen (and wish it was mine)…but for all that other white, it IS so calm and charming in the photos (and I can only dream!), but in real life, I think it would be stressful, and I’d be spending all my time trying to get tomato sauce out of the slipcovered chairs. No thanks!

  17. I don’t think I could do all white because I love colour too much! I loved the images above where a little colour was injected here and there. I love the look of a white couch, but I don’t think I could do it with kids. I know, I have heard about slipcovers and bleach too, but it just seems like too much work! To get the white look without compromising your furniture, go for all white walls!

  18. For me personally, I cannot live in an all-white room. 1) because I have italian Greyhounds, which are impossible to keep off the furniture, and 2) it just feels so…. overwhelming. Like a padded room.

    That’s not to say that I hate those white rooms, but I do feel there needs to be a break somewhere, a pop of color or something to contrast all that snowy whiteness. I think white is classic, clean, and crisp, but I like it more as an accent for other colors, like teal or chocolate or apple green.

  19. I love color. I like to look at pictures of white rooms, but I am terrified of white in my home. Perhaps I should just paint something white and try it out for a while!

  20. Although, I do love white rooms, i prefer a little pop of color for those resting eyes. And I think I will always love a white kitchen!
    Thanks for CG!

  21. I love it – except with my three kids, I would be terrified how long it would really stay white!

  22. I love white… not so much on the walls, but furnishings, duvet covers, cabinets, even white marble floors are beautiful!!!! I think that like all things eventually an all white room will be a trend… but white things in a room… will NEVER go out of style. I agree with needing a place to rest my eyes. Im a lover of contrast… somethings soft to surround me in… then a pop of something to keep me interested.

    I did read recently that white is a good color (or lack of color) to use with children, as you can always bleach out the stains…. hmmmm….. I grew up with brothers and sometimes no amount of bleach would ever get out the stains they left behind for my poor mom.

  23. I think it`s timeless AND trendy ;)

    I love white with a little splash of colour, with that combo you can`t go wrong;)

    Lovely greetings…

  24. There are some beautiful rooms that are all white…but I don’t think I could live in a completely white room. I would have to balance the white with colorful fabrics and artwork.

    Jana Marie

  25. white is a classic, but so are neutrals. i can’t personally do all white, but i think many of these rooms are lovely!

  26. Well, I’ll be brave and admit I am tired of looking at blog after blog of things covered with a coat of white paint. In fact, I’m starting to unsubscribe when that is all I see. So I guess my vote is ‘trendy’.

  27. In theory, they look fab. In practice, I know I’d be better off with everything painted or upholstered the color of dirt.

  28. I love white! It’s both timeless and trendy now! I find myself spray painting a lot of things white. But I like color too (turquoise!) and my hubby likes warm woods. We’re trying to find that balance we like. I’ve got a white duvet and white couches from IKEA. With a 3 and 5 year old, white slipcovers and bleach are the way to go! Love them! Plus I throw a white sheet over the couch when we don’t have guests and that helps me do less wash with muddy paws. Oh, the dog is white too!

  29. I love all white when it is in all different textures. I’ve been accepted to hastings for my final year of law school (yippee) due to husband’s job change, so off to San Francisco we move! It tends to be so so cold and dreary that you need light and warmth. White fur rug, fur pillows, white drapes, might just be the very ticket (second to last photo, love love)

  30. I do love white rooms, but I think everything needs a splash of color! I am in love with Amy Butlers fabrics and their bod patterns. So I try to incorporate small pops of color into my white spaces. Love love all the pics you posted!!!

  31. I think I can’t live in an all-white space… I need the dark floor just in case I spill :P But it does have an ethereal quality <3 and of course children do not live there, CRAZY!

  32. i’m glad you asked this question. they are pretty, but i get easily bored. i love shabby chic, but i’m getting sick of the all white obsession. i prefer color!

  33. I am a huge fan of all white. I actually did a whole series last week and finished today about all white rooms on my blog (

  34. I have asked myself this very question several times over the course of a few months. I desperately want to decorate at least one space in my house all white but I question if I will tire of it come fall. The thing is I love so many different things and right now I have to wonder if I love the look of crisp white because I am seeing it everywhere and because it is summer and everyone is “lightening up”. Thanks for the round up and I’m glad to know I am not the only one dealing with this dilemma.

  35. I am on a “white” experimennt to see how much I can live with it in real life. I bought a white slipcover for my sofa and some white bookcases. The bookcases have done well in my household, but the white slipcover has had a couple of runs in the washer – it attracts all the stains my 3 year old and 7 year old (and husband!) bring/develop/eat/play with. I have now taken to covering my slipcover with a blanket. I don’t think I’m winning this one. I’ve had my eye on a PB slipcovered sectional (in white, of course!) but given the current state of my not-quite-white sofa, I may have to opt for a printed matrial. Not as fashionable as the look I was going for (cottage comfy) but it will have to do. I do not want to live my life yelling at my kids or keeping a hawk’s eye out for any spots.

  36. Color for me please! Or, at least, some contrast in texture/tone/warmth to accompany the white. Otherwise I’d feel I was living in a dream or a hospital or on an iceberg…

  37. I love the clean fresh look of white too. But I don’t think I could live in a white room, it would be like a show room not practical living space for me anyway. Loved all the pictures though. I’m more of a splash of color kind of gal.

  38. I think that all white appeals more to a younger generation – a sweeping generality!
    People who have been around a little longer and have things collected over the years tend to want to live with them and love the color they bring- another sweeping general statement.

    This is a topic that I have a definite opinion on!!!!
    There is a huge diffference between white and white done right.
    Trendy- an all white room that looks like the a painter and a paint sprayer full of contractor grade white paint were left alone together.
    Trendy- no other color but white, it looks like death!
    Trendy- bright white, it looks to harsh
    Tready- taking a beautiful gorgeous wood piece, like GOOD mahogny and painting it white! YIKES!
    Timeless- Warm white with lovely woods
    Timeless- white with a healthy splash of color
    Timeless- a few pieces of white, like an ironstone display in a wood hutch
    Timeless- white linens
    Timeless- white woodwork and wainscotting

    Many white rooms are etherial and pretty, but I could not LIVE in them. I have a white kitchen with chestnut floors and it works. But I have color mixed with it too!

    I just wonder when this trend passes, and it will over time, if many will have painted some beautiful treasures that are lost under a coat of white paint.
    This is just one girls opinion!

  39. I love white, too (like the Pottery Barn look), but I can never keep it as white as when it was first purchased.

  40. I LOVE WHITE, but I don’t think I can live in an all white room. We are continually updating all of our linens to pure white which I just love. There is something about a fresh white towel just out of the dryer.

  41. I can’t do all white–it feels too institutional! Like an operating room or somewhere that needs to be bleached often. I think its very trendy and we are going to look back on it like avacado refrigerators and say “its sooooooo 2010!”

  42. I need some color. I love the look of the all white rooms, but the ones you shared with the pops of color are the ones I liked best. You’re right—it’s because my eye had somewhere to rest. :)

  43. Good question, Kate! I’ve posted about the all white thing before and I definitely think it’s trendy. I can’t get rid of all my color either, even though I think the white rooms are beautiful. I’m happy with some lighter colors, but overall, color wins for me. I’m not following the trend on this one! :)

  44. I would love to have white room in a dream beach cottage. But, alas, the fact that I have a toddler and a Golden Retriever instantly brings me back to reality. Beautiful eye candy! Thanks for sharing.

  45. It’s funny to read the comments because I remember a conversation I had with friends when I was a teen. We were playing one of those personality test games and it said “Pretend you’re in an all white room with no windows and describe the feeling.” Some of my friends said they’d be totally uncomfortable, but I remember saying I’d love it and would want to spend all day there. Of course, I just imagined a bedroom decorated in all white. I had all white furniture in my room growing up, and always dreamed of having white eyelet-lace bedding. I can’t remember what the answer was supposed to say about you in the test…

  46. I can’t live without color. I like it too much! i DO like the white spaces with the dark floors and/or furniture and splashes of color. I don’t have kids, but I am clumsy enough myself-white is not saafe!

  47. I could imagine, in the right home, living with a space that was mostly white; but never a space that was *all* white. And it could only be one room, never an entire house. I just love rich, saturated colors too much to live in a white-dominated space.

  48. I don’t have 100% white rooms. I like color too much. However, I do have a lot of white and white, to me, is the best color to have whether you have kids or not. Its the easiest to remove stains from. I have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and white slipcovered sofas, chair cushions, curtains, bedding, etc. I think its better to clean things than to hide dirt using colors or patterns. I can’t imagine the filth on things like sofas never cleaned (especially with kids) and pretending like its just not there. By contrast, a spin of the slipcover in the washer with a little White Brite and everything is perfect.

  49. I love looking at other peoples white rooms but I don’t think I could live like that. I have kids and pets which means grubby little fingers and dirty pet paws. I like white for my girls bedroom furniture, serving dishes and plates but thats about as much white as you’ll find in my home.

  50. Timeless! I have four kids so I haven’t made the WHOLE house white, but I decided to make my bedroom all whites and creams and – so relaxing.

  51. Timeless and trendy! With so many different shades and textures of white, I don’t think you can go wrong at all. However I do believe there has to be a splash of colour as a focal point. So absolutely LOVING the pictures you have posted today.

  52. Crossing my fingers for timeless. I love everything about an all white or cream room….except how often I have to wash those slipcovers. :)

  53. You picked some beautiful rooms to ponder. I agree that there needs to be some sort of color…on the floor, the walls, accents, something. Also, I have a hard time believing pets or kids can co-exist in all-white spaces (at least with out a full-time housekeeper!)

  54. I definately need a little color in my life! But all white can look absolutely stunning. As long as a space reflects your personality and not a trend you are trying to follow, then it is perfect!

  55. Gorgeous eye candy! I can’t get enough of white. But you’re right, it can be impractical with kids and pets. I have both and decorate a lot with whites and creams. But I tend to like to use it in furniture pieces and fabrics (curtains, slipcovers) and not in wall colors (wall color and some pieces of furniture/accessories is where the color comes in) and flooring. While I do find that they’re a little more work, I still love the comfortable and bright feeling the slipcovers bring to my living room. They just occasionally have kid sized sticky hand prints, that’s all!

    I think right now, decorating with lots of white is very trendy. But I definitely believe it’s timeless at the same time. It’s easy to go modern, traditional and even relaxed and shabby chic with white – so versatile.

  56. Both! some all white rooms are trendy, some timeless, and some are mind-boggling-yet-brilliantly both. :)

  57. I love it, it’s so dreamy and relaxing to the eye! I also believe it is timeless BUT I always have to add a pop of color. I have a few white duvets and they are really easy to clean however they get dirty really fast as well :)

  58. Absolutely love your blog post. Was just talking about this yesterday with a designer friend. We both love the “white” look, but just as you said, it does something so powerful for the single or few non-white elements that are added. It has the effect to high-light the other item(s) in such a powerful way.

    Would love any feedback available about some our projects over at Look forward to other great blog posts to share in the future and to talking about them with other friends who love bringing out the best in older things instead of throwing them out :-)

  59. Timeless or Trendy? Not sure. How many people do you know who actually have an all white decor? I think the better question is “Would you dare or Pie in the Sky Dream?”

  60. It’s like all the life was sucked out of these white rooms. I don’t like tons of color, but I do like some. And, btw, I love white slipcovers, but even bleach has stopped working on getting mine spotless – 2 large black dogs, 2 teenage boys with multiple friends have taken a toll on them. But at least I can get the slipcovers semi-clean.

  61. There’s something so refreshing about white. For me, a white room needs to be paired with a lot of natural texture to keep it from becoming too sterile. Because I’m surrounded by beautiful things all day I love to come home to a peaceful and calming space. For me that means a lot of warm gray, natural texture, and lot of white. I love of pop of color every now and then. I’d love white furniture but unfortunately two dogs and two cats (all brown, white, and black) make it seem impossible.

  62. Both! I think *all* white looks a little too stark. There are a few places that can do it right….but it’s a tricky thing. It’s a little like trying to wallpaper. Good in small amounts, but can be SO overdone if not done right.

    all things in moderation!

    Tell’er All About It

  63. Pretty, but in my opinion not practical. I am a neat freak…it would drive me bonkers!

  64. I love white kitchens, for sure. But, I definitely need color in the room. All-white is too cold for me, most of the time. I’m also terrified that I’ll spill something and add color in a bad way! :)

  65. Forget about kids … what about men! My preference between the two is white with hits of colour to liven things up. But, my husband is a tradesman and we could never ever ever live with all white, or any other pale colour for that matter. I find dirty boot prints on our cream carpet, dirty hand prints on the cream walls where he leans on them to take off his boots, dirty smudges around the bathroom light switch and of course he comes home and sits on the sofa in his overalls so any pale colour is just a no go for that. He’s also a blokey kind of a guy with no interest in or sense of interior style and just doesn’t notice half the time that he’s tracking dirt after him all over the place. Thankfully, most of his work-dirt is easy to clean up, but it’s a constant battle. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be in an all white home!

  66. I believe white is timeless and but also think white is trendy right now. My home has black accents and dark wood furnishing and leather couches with punches of color. I love it…but I must admit that when I see pictures like these and everyone blogging about these bright crisp rooms I find that I want to make everything lighter. Oh the decisions!

  67. Timeless! I adore white, especially in the kitchen. But I also think pops of color are a must, a pretty patterned blanket, or vivid throw rug, some bright glass accents or dark pictures. Absolutely all white needs a little punch of color, or it loses its appeal, it becomes boring. But bring focus to a few unique colorful pieces, and all white works.

  68. It’s pretty, but I couldn’t live in all white with my 3 teenage boys. I also love earthy neutrals, so I would miss having wood tones and greens around. The pictures that have all white with no relief of any color or wood are a bit boring to me, but to each their own!

  69. Although it may be a trend now, I think it’s timeless. I’m in love with all white!! These pictures prove it!

  70. I love the radiance White brings to a home, but I think it can be overpowering and even a little invasive. It certainly is a timeless look, but I like to mix it up a little with natural finishes and feature pieces of furniture!

    Thanks for the white kitchen image – that is so my dream kitchen! Love it!

  71. I love the look of white rooms, but I need to have some color. I was planning on going all white and neutrals in my guest room, but when I threw the red toile fabric in there, it was clear this room needed it. I also like dark wood floors or furniture contrasting the white.

    The way I figure it…no one is ever going to walk into a white room and say, “wow, this looks really dated!” You cannot say that about avacado green, harvest gold, or mauve and baby blue. Right?

  72. I will always love white! Never before have I felt so at home in my own house.I have kids too. Granted they are older but believe me that doesn’t change. It might be a trend for some but I’ll never go back. It’s so relaxing to come home to. I did my bedroom first to see if I liked it. From then on little by little I found that was all I was buying! Yup. It’s a keeper for me! <3

  73. The white really does make fabulous pictures, but trying to live with it in a real world is tiring. If you have children, you know the oops messes they create and mine is gifted with the ability to magically levitate a glass 10 feet away (tehe). Also, after living with white kitchen cabinets, I will NEVER have them again. Pretty? Oh, no doubt. Easy to keep clean? Heck, no – everything and I mean even the tinest little splatter shows up on them. I slowly grew to hate them after only one year – thank goodness, it was a rental and my new house has some nice dark wood cabinets.

  74. my daughter (6 y.o.)saw me painting our bannister white today and commented…”Mom, more white?! You sure do LOVE white! Don’t you think it is a bad choice since you have 4 kids”. :) :) I love kids and white….they are both worth a little extra cleaning!

  75. LOVE white, especially cream. But, alas, with 2 kids, 2 cats and a dog and hubby, nothing woudl stay white. I do have one Ikea chair with a white damask slipcover – I wash it all the time and presently it has orange streaks (I suspect a Cheetoh attack). It’s frustrating, but I love it too much to throw it out. I also love my kids too much to throw them out…most days!

  76. White is crisp and clean but really like white baseboards, doors, and of course my dishes! White towels are a must and easy to bleach out too! I personally don’t have white walls or furniture because I have a black dog and of course children but someday I might introduce more white into the picture because it brightens everything around you! As a decorative painter I adore colors but believe accents of white pull any room together!

  77. I love white, but I do not have an all white room in my house. I love white dishes. I collect white milk glass. And I especially like an all white kitchen. I like a pop of color in an all white room. No, I don’t think white is trendy. It is clean and crisp and fresh looking. It is very soothing. Enjoyed your beautiful pictures. Love & blessings from NC!

  78. this appears to be an appealing topic. i’ve recently moved to a home built in the 80s and as i stand and gawk at the powder blue shag and the flower dusty rose and blue wall paper i wonder 25 years from now, what will we look like? seventies puke green and gold, eighties see above add a dust ruffle valances, all i have to say is if we get pinned with white i think it’s very forgiving of whatever trends come next!

  79. It’s timeless, but I have to admit that I only found one or two of those pictures to my personal liking. Yes, they are all beautiful, but I wouldn’t go there myself. I’m afraid if I had a room like one of those that I’d lash out in a spasm of color one day and the white room would be no more. :)
    Neat decor ideas though… love that!

  80. I lean more towards the creams and what i have been drawn to more and more is the way texture can be accentuated with so little color.

  81. Such a beautiful selection of photos!
    A pop of color – preferably flowers- would be my choice in an all white space.

  82. I absolutely love looking at all white spaces, but don’t think I could ever live in one. I love pops of color in a room!

  83. I remember being in high school and encountering my first all-white room in a small antiquing town. I became obsessed. However, I shudder to think of what the recent rain and my puppies’ paws would do to an all-white room!

  84. I just bought a beautiful new design mag (can’t remember the name now) and counted NINE white kitchens in a row. Not a single home with anything BUT an all-white kitchen. I get it, I’d love a Barefoot Countessa-Hamptons-esque kitchen, but what about those of us in a craftsman bungalow, or a cabin-y lake house (like me)…? No one loves warm, beautiful wood cabinets anymore?

  85. I think it’s trendy, but it’s a beautiful trend! It just seems so impractical! If you were single with no kids, maybe, but I see it from the vantage point of a mom with 6 kids, a dog, and 2 cats. No amount of bleach will keep white from going gray in my house. Heck, I won’t even buy white shirts for my kids!

  86. Thanks for these beautiful photos. I’ve always loved white also, but will three sons–I just didn’t have the courage!

    Warmly, Michelle

  87. I love a white room, but as with anything, it’s about finding the right white for your room. I find white to be one of the few colors (the others being blue and grey) that can either be warm or cool to the eye. Our house as tons of white walls (thanks to 15 ft high ceilings and lofts). I focused on adding color to the rooms and left the expansive spaces white. To be that really made the places where there is color really pop and become focal points. Additionally, I was lucky that our builder used a wonderful buttery white with a hint of yellow rather than builder’s grade paint.

    However, I do have a thing against white bathrooms….they just seem sterile to me. A white kitchen it a thing of beauty, but a white bathroom just give me a bit of the creeps.

  88. I love white kitchens and I agree, wood floors with pieces is gorgeous, but I have to have some color in the room or I feel like I’m going cross-eyed. I have seen some rooms that make me say, “Oh! Pretty!” but they are best kept in the magazine or online and just wouldn’t work for our home. I also don’t know anyone who has a room decorated with a majority of white decor. Our home, which we bought in October, has a very light cream colored carpet and I can’t stand it. Wood flooring is going in after the wedding!

  89. Gorgeous photos that you posted! I love all white alone and I love all white with a little pop of color here and there. It just depends on the room. I think white is a very timeless, peaceful, clean and simple color. I think right now it tends to be a bit trendy but overall I think it is a timeless color…if that makes sense. Right now I’m kind of into white with beige, ivory and turquoise accents. I do love those photos…lots of inspiration!

  90. Great post! I LOVE the look of all white but would never ever have it in my house. Not even because of the kiddo — I just think it can come off so cold and void of character if not done really, really, REALLY well. I NEED warmth and color. I need a room to hug me — and although I love to look at all white rooms, they don’t give me that hug. ;)

  91. I’d say many of the beautiful photos used on this post totally fall into the trendy category. They simply look enforced to show as much white as possible. I personally feel the rooms that fall together by trial and error over time will maintain the timeless quality moreso. They’re warmer because they’ve come together naturally.

    And to someone that asked… I’m raising my hand to loving warm rustic woodsy interiors. :)


  92. I believe they are both timeless and trendy..but like everything else the trend will die and the timeless part will keep kicking. I love ALL of the rooms that you posted and could easily spend my night, day, afternoon, what have you, in them.

  93. WOW!! I like I like a lot this is beautiful. Very trendy especially with some colours added in there to really stand out. Excellent photos thank you.

  94. Definately timeless….but trendy right now. I find it to be very calming and relaxing after working
    in a bold colored office all day.I have white slipcovers and LOVE them…..also a clean freak. Some
    will say with kids or pets no way,but they get dirty regardless of the color. So I enjoy having something I can wash on a regular basis and know it is clean. All white with pops of color,texture
    and pattern for me.

  95. I think that white rooms photograph well and are lovely. But I cannot see them as practical. We just primed our kitchen walls white and have all white cabinetry and it was SCARY! I thought at that moment, that no matter how trendy it is to do all white, I could not do it. I love the coziness of color… Too much white feels sterile in my opinion. (Of course this is coming from a mom of 4 too.)

  96. i love all of these images, and have recently been wondering the same thing. i love bursts of white in a room, whether it is with accessories, a piece of furniture or pillows.
    love this post!!

  97. Feels trendy to me. I mean all the mags are currently dominated by this theme, whereas a few years ago it was all about color. And yes, what children can live happily amongst a house of white? “Don’t touch that! Don’t eat that there! Don’t spill!” Etc, etc, etc. Its beautiful and lovely, but it almost makes me think of a home that has no life within.

  98. I think it’s classic. I had an all white den for 10 years. I enjoyed the cool, serene environment and, contrary to popular belief, it’s easier to keep all white clean because you can see where the dirt is. It can’t hide. However, my children are grown. But many years ago, when I did have children at home, I made a white slipcover for our old sofa. When it got dirty, I just threw it in the washer and popped it back on the sofa.

    I love all white!!

  99. I am leaning a little to the trendy side when white is the main or only color in the entire room. The picture of the dark wood floor and white bedding looks quite classic to me, I think it may come down to the variety of texture and classic forms or details. Lovely post!

  100. It’s hard to say really. I think it’s pretty trendy right now but white always makes me feel calm and peaceful. I would live to slipcover my dark couch in white, but I don’t have any children so I can’t speak of the dirt that may show. Overall, I love it and wish I had more of it.

  101. It’s gotta be vanilla. That vanilla-custard feel of the girly bedroom pictured, it’s warm, inviting, comfy and not so icy and sterile and cold as the stark-white modern look. I love being able to bleach my white slipcovers, and I’m moving into a house now and have chosen an almost all white palette with ivories, vanillas, and creamy golden whites. It gives me SO many quick and inexpensive options to totally change the color scheme of a room–don’t have to repaint or anything, just add new curtains, pillows and throws, maybe a colorfully painted or repainted end table or accent piece! I could change my decor once a month if I wanted…oh, hmmm….maybe that’s exactly what I’ll do!!!

  102. The white kitchen you’ve shown is classic so it will be around forever. It has always been my favorite. The truly all white kitchen (white Corian counters) didn’t last. Personally I like dark floors, true white walls, plenty of texture and a strong contrast color, be it red, turquoise, something!

  103. I am not a fan of all white rooms. I find them cold and uninviting. However, with some soft color, they can transform, but only a little bit. The truth is, I am a girl of color.

  104. I agree it looks very crisp, bright and airy. However, I’m disliking how “trendy” it’s gotten and no matter how pretty it looks, I doubt a real family can really live on a space dominated by white..
    Hello.. white couch, area rug, cushions in a house with children? I like a mix of browns, blues and whites.. but I couldn’t phatom an entire white spectrum in a house.. it’ll feel so cold and even uninviting (as I’ll be afraid to even sit on a white chair to avoid getting it dirty)

  105. They are beautiful to look at in magazines, but I could not handle living in an all white space! It would drive me crazy to be constantly worried about how visible dust, smudges, spills, etc. are. Plus, color is just too fun and expressive to live without! What would I do without peacock blue?!

  106. As much as I love a white room…I’ve never been able to reign myself in and avoid color. I’m making over my son’s room and painting three of the walls white (such an odd feeling!!), but the 4th wall will have chocolate and orange stripes, so hopefully a good balance!


  107. I am totally on the white bandwagon, I find it classic. But I doubt any “real” house can do it with kids. Wait, strike that…my husband is just as, if not more messy!

  108. This is a great question Kate! I really love white and white rooms, but I know that would not work for me in my house at this stage in life. I have white kitchen cupboards and I am constantly wiping off ketchup and mustard fingerprints and black fingerprints from newspapers. I can’t imagine having an all white living room…I have other things to do with my time besides wiping fingerprints and washing white slipcovers all the time. I have 2 brown leather sofas in our living room and the kids and the dogs can sit there as much as they want and I don’t have to wipe up afterwards, or wash, or get cranky with them! I prefer Sarah Richardson’s formula of a neutral background pallette with the color in the furniture and accessories. Wonderful post!

  109. Still can’t convince me! Don’t mind the ivory shades too much but plain white just looks like the inside of a white-washed out-house.
    Sorry everyone, it just does to me.
    AND these people who “swear by white slip covers and bleach”….. they neglect to mention HOW MUCH bleach and HOW MANY WASHES they go through, just to keep up, don’t they??
    NOPE! Never me.
    Love all the shades of the rainbow.

  110. I like the look of an all white room but I think they really live in the magazine spread dream world. Not in people’s houses who have children or dogs unless you are Jonathan Adler. I’m sure he’d cut you if you messed with an all white room in his home!

  111. White is timeless! I love my white slips and could totally live in a room void of color! It’s so peaceful to me! Although my living room has a few turquoise accents.

  112. I love, love, love an all white kitchen. No matter how many design magazines I look through with kitchen makeovers, I pass over the brightly coloured ones and return to the all white kitchen. I also find white bedrooms to be so calm and serene just as they should be for a good night’s sleep.

  113. =( white is a no-no in our house; 3 cats and a multi-coloured parrot (and an unreasonable injuction against Roombas from my husband!) mean that white would be VERY, VERY difficult to maintain. As much as I dislike brown, most of our furniture is taupe or cafe-au-lait – hides enough of the fur. How on earth do you keep it clean with so many kids in the house???? We have reserved a special cat-free guest room, painted white and soft sage green, and I am looking for a comfy bright white pull-out sofa for it to turn it into a reading/guest room – as of yet, no luck.

  114. I prefer to stick with the white for crown molding, baseboard, and other trim to make a nice punch against the wall coloring. But yeah, all white rooms are the trendy, photgenic stuff of glossy magazines. Real people don’t live in those spaces. Certainly not real people with children.

  115. I cannot tell you HOW GREAT this post is! All my friends tease me because everything I like to decorate with is white. white white white all the time!

    FABULOUS POST. Thanks for the inspiration :D

  116. I love white bedrooms, it’s very relaxing, and white cabinetry in the kitchen, but some of these rooms are too kitschy.
    I like white with bursts of color, such as yellow, or white and black.

  117. I love the white with a pop of colour & a dark floor with different textures so much you can do to change it up modern yet so classic at the same time beautiful!!

  118. I am a fan of many shades of white and cream with some color either on the walls or in the accessories. Just stark white is too sterile for me. I hope it will be in vogue for a while though because it is quite lovely. I’m guessing it is timeless enough to hang in there.


  119. Hi Kate, I think white can be timeless, if treated as you suggested, with pops of color, dark floors, and something other than white to rest your eyes upon. Thanks for your ideas, as always, very inspiring. Happy Mother’s Day!

  120. I have a hard enough time keeping white clothes white – bloody handwashing! As much as I love white, I’m lazy, sloppy and not refined enough to manage the up-keep of white furniture.

    Though I have heard that you should always buy white towels cos it’s easy enough to bleach the suckers clean. But I’m lazy. I don’t even add fabric softener. And I hate crunchy towels.

    As for our furniture, we’ve got brown leather couches for the living room and the easily-dirtifiable stuff in the formal where there’s no traffic. The leather’s great cos crap seems to buff right off. Sweeeet.

  121. From what I’m gathering, people who have white furniture and kids seem to think that white slipcovers works, whereas the people who are saying white slipcovers wouldn’t work haven’t necessarily tried them with kids. Since I have been long contemplating white furniture, I’d love to see some clarification from either side. Has anyone with kids purchased white slipcovers and regretted it?

  122. White rooms are classic, at least in the deep south. My grandparents’ house was built in the 30s and she had white rooms with colorful accents (pops of color). we were all over her house and furniture as kids. I also use lots of white in upholstery and slip covers in my house. I like the walls to be bright and happy and tone the color with white furnishings and woodwork. It’s so much easier to change paint and not so easy to change upholstery or slip covers. I find that white works with kids as long as you don’t allow them to eat on the furniture. That said, I could have a navy blue sofa and I still wouldn’t let them eat in the living room. Food belongs in the kitchen, dining room or patio. I’ve never let them take food to other parts of the house…but, there was that time I found a near-petrified apple core under my daughter’s bed when she was about six. hahaha.

  123. Remember when Wal-Mart came out with revamped packaging for their Great Value store brand? The mostly white boxes and labels really stood out on the shelves. Clean crisp and classic, but after a while, and if not done right, it just goes back to being boring.

    Definitely tough to actually live in though.

  124. For those seeking clarification as to the white slipcovers with children, I will offer my experience. I live in a 1200 sq ft ranch home with 2 children (now 14 & 12), my hubby, 4 dogs (2 – 100+ lbs; 2 tiny) and 11 cats. Yeah, I know…I have issues.

    I have used slipcovers & throws in red, taupe, brown tweed, grey, & white on my sofa and chairs; as well as many multi-colored quilts. As it is impossible to keep an army of cats off the furniture, I allow all the dogs on as well. My kids can have food & drinks while on the furniture, because, frankly I felt they couldn’t do any worse to it than the animals.

    My take: The all white slips were by far the most attractive…I loved the look of them. And if you are a NORMAL pet owner, it is super easy to use a tape roll to de-fur the sofa. I didn’t care for dark colors that hid the fur, because everyone is then covered in it. Muddy dog paws have to be cleaned after going out, but that’s usually a seasonal issue. As far as the kids were concerned, the white slips were a NIGHTMARE. Even when you don’t allow them snacks/drinks in the room, you will inevitably have a little boy who has been playing outside all day come in and plop down on the lovely white sofa, leaving multiple smudges of dirt/snot/juice/popsicle/ice cream/candy/lunch/& God-knows-what-else all over the place. My daughter was good for pencil/paint/marker/make-up/glitter. Of course mom is always in the laundry, kitchen or bathroom when the dirty brats start rolling all over the furniture so there is only a slim chance you”ll catch ’em in time to have them clean up and remove their shoes. White slipcovers do wash up beautifully with bleach. However, REMOVING & REPLACING them is difficult and time consuming…those things don’t go back on THAT easily. All the tugging, stuffing & adjusting is a real workout. I found I needed to wash them at least once or twice a week (never less; often more frequently); several hours of extra work each week. Even though my kids are older now, they are not much better at keeping their feet off the furniture, washing their hands after handling messy things, or keeping pens/pencils/art supplies clear of the furniture. If you have a large enough home to provide your kids with a playroom or study/art and media room–and if your kids are EXCELLENT re: no shoes or food on furniture, and frequent hand washing–you might be happy with white slips. Otherwise you’ll just end up freaking out on the kids all day long, and constantly fussing with your furniture. I think white is best suited to childless households or those with older teens.

    **If anyone is curious, my best Crazy-Cat/Dog-Lady-With-Kids furniture solution has been a leather sectional. I don’t personally care for the look of dark leather furniture (though my husband and kids love it), but it is soooo easy to clean. Pet fur brushes right off, and kid spills, muddy paw prints or doggie slobber I wipe up with cleaning wipes. A little Pledge now and then keeps the leather soft and shiny. The only downside: the cats love to sharpen their claws on the back and sides of the sofa…it’s getting pretty shredded. But I love my little kitties more than my furniture :)

  125. I could *definitely* live in an all-white house…for a time. I don’t know that I could ever tire of the look it, but I would maybe grow tired of having to keep it so pristine. And I would certainly feel as though I didn’t match. Could I wear my hand-dyed socks? Indigo jeans? The people that I know who have all-white slipcovers and weathered white washed wood seem to forever be in ecru-and-white linen. Even in winter!

    If I ever have a cabin, though…

  126. I couldn’t live in a home where every room is white but to have one room say the bedroom or office would work for me. A white room is like sniffing a bowl of coffee beans to clear the senses, it’s restful and centering.

  127. My undergrad degree was in Studio Art and looking at an all white room is like looking at a huge blank canvas. It’s just screaming for some splashes of color. I really like white chair rails, panels/wainscoting and trim, but I need colors in other parts of the room. Otherwise, it feels like a hospital or asylum to me, not enchanting AT ALL. When I think of dreamy and enchanting, I think of a forest with colored leaves, colored lights, and colorfully dressed people. Besides, if you decorate your house in all white, you’re discriminating against all other colors!

  128. I love love all white kitchen. Yes, that’s because I have one. You can accessorize with color and change the color scheme so easily. I have two pictures with lots of colors that just pop with the white background. So bright and cheerful. I have 2 teenagers and a dog not to mention a hubby that never takes his shoes off. You can soft scrub the walls as long as you have matte finish.

  129. I have had WHITE slip covers for over 15 years and wrote a post on how to make slipcovers your friend …i love my slip covers i had to have them made as there was no one who was mass producing like we see today ..but i give a lot of tips on how i bought the fabric and tips on check it out ..but i am in love with this whole post as i am a white interior Lover!!!

  130. I am LOVING white. I think it is so crisp and fresh and can be translated to any room of the house. I think that, when done correctly, white can still feel as warm and cozy as browns and other rich colors.

  131. “Are they practical? Do children really live here?”

    LOL! Your caption made me laugh! It’s so true! There is no way we’d be able to keep everything white with a couple of toddlers running around being toddlers.

    I love the compilation of white interior design you have! I think the just white look is a bit too much for me and reminds me a lot of an asylum or a hospital because it looks so hygienic. On the other hand, I like the accent colors because it gives it more warmth.

    Thanks for sharing!


  132. For years I would never paint any color other than white in a room because I love so many colors I could just never decide on one or even a few colors to work from — so White it was. And as it seems, White it still is. Even after the better part of 30 years living on my own in multiple houses I have still never wondered very far from the love of white, the simplicity of white, the ease of knowing that when I open the can of paint it will be the color I know and love on my walls — not some strange thing that has happened at dusk to the paint that I might have chosen. So White will be around for the remainder of my years and like you I like a well grounded room so you will find dark floors or a black piece of furniture thrown in to keep the room from floating away — but trendy — Never. White will always be a staple in this house at the very least.

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