Dance to a different decor tune and go for white

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Colour may be cool currently - but if you prefer to dance to a different decor tune, and yearn for light-filled, calm, easy-on-the-eye rooms, then a white palette’s the obvious choice.

Ignore the ‘white is for wimps’ wisdom; that only the brave stylishly splash on fashionably bright shades and enjoy a technicolour world, while the rest of us scaredy-cats pale at the sight of colour charts and scurry back to the safety of neutrals.

What this theory fails to recognise is the simple fact that white works.

What’s not to like about a palette which makes spaces appear lighter and larger - and with such a huge variety of shades on offer (yes, really!), from subtle and warm, to crisp and sharp, there’s bound to be at least one, or more, that suits.

“White, combining all the colours of the visible spectrum, is a dramatic, affirmative choice, rather than a passive one,” declares Karen McCartney, champion of a white palette and co-author of White Rooms: Decorating With Style, Pattern And Colour.

“White creates the sense of a blank canvas, a fresh beginning upon which we can impose our decorative style,” she adds. “Light reflects off white; it bounces around and has the effect of lifting the spirits.

“And its credentials have been proven over time - white’s been used for generations and in many cultures, to symbolise honesty, purity, perfection and spirituality.”

She firmly believes white has the power to “set rooms free” and suits any style of home, from modernist to Moroccan interiors, country cottages to industrial lofts - examples of which all feature in the beautifully illustrated book.

“It may be, of course, that other factors are needed to make a white scheme work - textured neutrals against a soft white background, a hint of pink in the paint to tie in with a key decorative feature, or being clever about the way in which gloss and matt contrasts. There are all sorts of additions which can enhance a white space, whether its sheer white curtains or shutters at a window, or lighting, from natural light to LED.”

Sound all-white to you? Time to freshen up those rooms...