The Problem With All-White Interior Design

I'm going to sound a bit controversial today because I've been bothered as to why interior designers always go for an all-white interior design. While pondering, I saw this tweet from @aprokodoctor, and I was like, yes, someone is talking about it, especially someone outside the industry.

Now, take a look at what he tweeted. He wrote, "Interior designers need to start doing a better job designing houses. Everywhere white's like seeing a hospital. Too much stimulation. A house is supposed to be calming, and colors matter a lot."

All-white interiors can make a space feel fresh

Drawbacks of all-white design

White can make a space feel fresh and airy.

But have you ever thought about its drawbacks? There are downsides to decorating with too much white, and I'll mention a few and then tell you how to go about it better.

Too much white can lead to a lack of contrast and depth, making your space feel flat and uninteresting. As @aprokodoctor pointed out, harsh lighting, alerts, and bright white walls can sometimes create glare and a clinical atmosphere.

All-white home decor can feel stark and harsh

Let's not forget the lack of warmth.

White can give your space a chilly vibe, especially in cold seasons. Sometimes, you need that warmth and the vibrance warm colors give.

My biggest concern of all is maintenance. Maintenance anyone? With white, every speck of dirt is on display. This means more cleaning than more enjoyment.

How to balance white

How to balance white

So, let's turn things around with some tips for a balanced and inviting white space. Firstly, you need to add contrast. Start by adding contrast.

Bold accents like black or navy blue can add depth and interest to your space. You need to also incorporate warmth. Don't forget coziness. Natural textures like wood or woven textiles can warm up your space and make it feel cozy.

You also need to opt for soft lighting. Say goodbye to a harsh overhead light and say hello to a warm and inviting ambiance because an all-white space with bright white light feels cold and sterile. Adding neutrals is also something to consider.

Neutral shades like beige, cream, and gray can add depth while keeping that airy feel intact because the aim of using white most times is to keep it airy and open. Other neutrals that I've mentioned can also help with that.

How to decorate with all-white interior design

So remember, white can be stunning. I'm not saying you shouldn't design with white. It can be stunning and beautiful, but balance is critical.

All-white interior design

Create harmony with these tips to design better with an all-white interior design if you love it. Do you decorate in all white? How do you decorate in an all-white interior? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Jean Jean on Apr 01, 2024
    I am so against white! I totally agree that it makes a house feel clinical or sterile - hospital-like, boring and unimaginative. I don’t do gray - agree that it would make me depressed as stated above. I also can’t do yellow or yellow tones. I don’t know why, I love the sun and bright days, but not in or outside of my house. I love soft, muted tones and even a mid-tone of colors. If I wanted a darker tone somewhere, it would have to be a lower wall divided by a chair rail and a lighter shade on top. I have never done a darker accent wall, but I think I’d be good with one. I love color!!! It makes me happy, joyful and lifts me up! I’m living in Florida, teals and aquas of all shades are my current passions.
  • Don78884215 Don78884215 5 days ago
    I enjoy my white kitchen, dining room, and bathrooms. When the seasons change, I put white pumpkins with traditional fall colors and white out everything for Christmas. I use warm browns and off-white colors for winter and warm pastel colors for spring. Summer is off-white and green, with ferns and flowers. Never boring...