Rooms that prove white walls can be pale and interesting.
Far from boring, white walls offer a great backdrop against which more colourful choices for furniture and accessories can stand out. If you already have statement furniture and artworks, then white walls will create a calming backdrop that allows them to pop without overwhelming the space.
White walls are endlessly versatile, lending themselves to both rustic and elegant styles. Paired with plain white walls, linens and natural materials help evoke a country look, while modern or mid century furniture creates a more classic and elegant space.
Plus, white paint can make a small spaces feel bigger and brighter – especially when paired with a mirror.
These rooms showcase how white living rooms can suit a whole manner of styles that are not the least bit minimal.
Wood panelling, linens and natural materials work together to create a relaxed and rustic-inspired space. A squishy sofa and rustic bench subvert the grown-up panelling to give a relaxed take on Edwardian style. Chunky oak floorboards prevent the space from feeling too austere.
Get the look: This is the Otto chaise from sofa.com. The rustic oak flooring is from AJ Rogers & Sons.
Floor to ceiling glass windows flood this space with light, while the cream walls, matching cream ceiling and soft grey palette of the furniture create an calm and inviting atmosphere.
Get the look: The wood burner is from Rais. These are Designers Guild sofas. The pebble chair is by Australian designer Roslyn Campbell. The Eames elliptical coffee table for Vitra is available at Skandium. The rug is by Luke Irwin.
Neatly arranged shelves with a few pops of artwork add interest to this bright corner.
Get the look: The shelving is by Tamzin Greenhill Designs. The butterfly artwork is by Damien Hirst. The vintage chair is by Hans J Wegner.
Mid-century shapes and a classic Berber rug give this white living room a retro-inspired vibe.
Get the look: This is the William sofa by Damian Williamson for Zanotta at Twentytwentyone. Find the Vitra Noguchi coffee table at Heal’s. The armchairs were brought over from France. The graphic black and white artworks are by Pierre Soulages. For a similar geometric cushion, try Lindsey Lang.
Without the distracting details of period features on the walls, artwork can get top billing. The art and photography collection injects extra dashes of originality into this light, bright space.The large pendant light doesn’t feel overbearing – it just hovers elegantly, beautiful and poised.
Get the look: The lounge chair is by Martin Eisler. The paintings are by Jessica Dickinson. The photograph is by Nan Goldin. The mid-century light is from Caira Mandaglio – try 1stdibs for similar. The coffee table is by Fernand Dresse.
Clean-cut interiors are punctuated with covetable furniture and contemporary art. This family room mixes luxe seating with conceptual art from LA.
Get the look: The sofa is by Minotti. The cushions are from The Conran Shop. The Delay artwork is by Shannon Ebner.
Straight lines in the form of an angular floor lamp, the diamond chair, the shelving unit and the modern sofa all work to make this light space feel modern and sophisticated. The urban garden room is an inspired way to bring greenery into a slender city space.
Get the look: The Krossing modular shelving unit by Kriptonite is from The Conran Shop. This is the DLM side table by Thomas Bentzen for Hay. The plants were all bought at New Covent Garden Market. The mirrored panels in the garden are from Pure White Lines.
White panelled walls, wood floors, a jute rug and rustic style coffee table create a relaxed and informal living space.
Get the look: The screen and sofa are by Jaime Beriestain. The coffee table came from Jaime Beriestain Concept Store. This is a vintage Stilnovo floor lamp. On the desk is the JWDA table lamp by Jonas Wagell for Menu. The photographic prints are from The Keyhole series by Erwin Olaf.
Although a taxidermy lamb might not be to everybody's taste, it's this eclectic collection of decorative 'objets' that create wit and whimsy in this white living room. It's a masterclass in how to add colour and interest in rental properties.
Get the look: The Jean-Michel Basquiat skateboard tryptch is from Tate Shop. The taxidermied lamb was found at a flea market in Paris.
The inside and outside merges in this gorgeous extension, where the comfortable window seat is an ideal spot to perch and chat. Furnishings are spare, but not spartan, with pieces – such as the vintage leather sofa and the bench designed by Pinch – chosen for warmth and texture.
Get the look: Amara has a range of cube footstools. This is Blu Dot’s Free Range coffee table in Marble from Heal’s.
An animated video artwork, The Night of Perpetual Day, hangs over the sofa. It’s a rework of ancient Chinese landscapes – you can peer at it and see a different tiny event unfolding each time. A portrait of Philip Glass takes over the wall next to it.
Get the look: The animated artwork is by Yang Yongliang from Galerie Paris-Beijing. These are Nepal chairs by Paola Navone for Baxter. Andere Monjo’s Rain coffee table and the standard lamp are from Mint. The Philip Glass portrait is by Chuck Close at Barbara Krakow Gallery.
Throughout this apartment, the original oak parquet floor was painted white to enhance the low-key mood. The space is designed so that all the key living areas lead to the terraces at the back of the flat – it adds to that easy living feel.
This flat has minimal possessions, and is all about space, luminosity and tranquility rather than objects. The less is more aesthetic stretches to every detail – the large white panel, for example, is a period roof tile discovered in an antiques market in Girona.
Get the look: For unusual architectural salvage, try Lassco. This is Jan’s New Sofa by Paola Navone for Linteloo. The Brick stools are by Paola Navone for Gervasoni. This is the 265 wall light by Paolo Rizzatto for Flos. The sculpture is from Objeto de Deseo in Barcelona.
The living area was inspired by The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana, known for its cowboy-luxe aesthetic. The hide rug, leather armchairs and an antique water buffalo head help to recreate that look.
Get the look: These are Saddle Up chairs and the Tux sofa by Stuart Scott. The Diana table lamps are by Santa & Cole. The bespoke cowhide rug is from Whistler Leather. The black-stained engineered-oak floor is from Pietra Wood & Stone. This is the All This Love sculpture by Anne Gillespie. The vases and faux flowers are from Abigail Ahern. The decorative dog is from Graham and Green.
These interiors radiate serenity, with design inspiration from Brazil’s Jader Almeida and 19th-century France reflected back in sumptuous leather and antiqued mirror glass. Antiques mix with contemporary designs such as the high shine rocking chair with butter-soft leather. The antiqued mirror and crystal chandelier compliment the original marble fireplace and classical cornicing detailing.
Get the look: This is the Licce Lounge chair by Jader Almeida for Sollos at The Conran Shop. The sofa is from Loaf. This is the Pedrera coffee table by Barba Corsini for Gubi. Larusi sells a similar Beni Ourain rug. The chandelier is from Agapanthus Interiors. These are Tom Dixon’s stone wall lights. The sculpture is by Jonathan Page. The Casper vase, on the mantelpiece, is by Astier de Villatte.
The design of this living room was approached like an exercise in geometry. Shapes are perfectly balanced, so that the corners of the day bed are softened by the rounded mirror and the pastel rugs. The fireplace is inset with black tiles in a herringbone pattern, giving a traditional focal point with a twist.
Get the look: The daybed is by White Arrow. This is the Multi-Lite pendant by Gubi. The Semicircle rug is by Ferm Living.