23 white living room ideas for an elegant neutral space

These white living room ideas prove that neutral never goes out of style...

Rustic white living room with white sofa and gallery wall
(Image credit: Davide Lovati)

White living room ideas just never go out of style. Whether you are unsure of where to go with your color scheme or a neutral lover that's now willing to give in to the recent trend of more color, you just can't go wrong with white. 

Far from boring, white walls are a blank canvas that can lend themselves to any style, whether that be maximalism or modern country rustic. Plus, we all know white's space expanding and light enhancing abilities, so it's the perfect shade for any sized room too. 

But as anyone who has ever typed 'white paint' into Google can tell you, white comes in more forms than imaginable. Off-white, pure-white, ivory, grey-toned whites, blue-toned whites, pink-toned whites, we could go on. And is it important you pick the right white for your living room, so be sure to look at the aspect of your room, which way does it face? How much natural light does it get? Before deciding on a white. And make sure to order samples too so you can see exactly what a shade looks like in your living room

White living room ideas

Be inspired by our round-up of gorgeous white living rooms, that prove this classic shade can be as striking as any bright...

1. Use a white backdrop to make stand-out furniture pop

White living room with colorful gallery wall

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen)

This white living room is a calm, serene space, with white walls and edited furniture. The pops of primary colors give the all-white space a focal point while not overly interrupting the neutral scheme. 

2. Use white walls to perfectly showcase black & white photography

White living room with blue velvet sofa and monochrome prints

(Image credit: Future)

Striking black & white nude photography adds a refined look to this white living room. On skinny legs, the furniture in this room seems to float above the floor, bringing a sense of weightlessness to the lofty space. 

Explore more of this luxe Scandi villa apartment for plenty more neutral interior inspiration.

3. Hang foxed antiqued mirrors for timeless elegance

elegant white living room with antique mirror and fireplace

(Image credit: Future)

Aged, foxed mirrors give this white living room a sense of grandeur and work perfectly with the room's plaster work, while modern furniture and a new fireplace keep the space looking fresh. This plays into the New Pretty trend.

4. Punctuate a white scheme with black furniture

White living room with simple black leather furniture

(Image credit: Future)

Black pieces punctuate this all-white living room. Found objects make this place a home, such as the painted Afghani chest, which rub shoulders with heavyweight Danish designs. 

5. Add interest with oversized lighting

Georgian terraced house in southwest London

In this white living room a classic sofa is teamed with a funky pendant and a sleek glass table. It makes sense to mix old with contemporary here. The pale wood flooring brings the whole space together. In addition, a monochrome palette forms the backdrop, and a tactile mix of natural materials, including linen, sisal and marble, features throughout.

Find both traditional and contemporary living room seating ideas in our guide to the best sofas of the year.

6. Go for linen upholstery for a relaxed and rustic space

Minimalist white living room

(Image credit: Future)

White walls, a tall, white ceiling, white linen sofa and sanded floors create relaxed and rustic vibe to this living room. The texture are what adds the interest to this minimalist space.

7. Incorporate sculptural shapes for softness

White living room with curved sofas

(Image credit: Future)

A simple white theme is made interesting through sculptural, rounded furniture and accessories that echo the curves of the living room. The sinuous pieces of mid-century designer Vladimir Kagan inspired the design of the bespoke sofa. 

8. Go for sharp angles and bold colors 

white living room ideas with pops of blue

(Image credit: Future)

The design of this white and blue 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. 

9. Add wood paneling for texture

White living room with linen grey sofa

(Image credit: Future)

Wood paneling, linens, and natural materials work together to create a relaxed and rustic-inspired space. A squishy sofa and rustic bench subvert the grown-up paneling to give a relaxed take on Edwardian style. Chunky oak floorboards prevent the space from feeling too austere. 

10. Modernize a rustic scheme with metallics

house in Connecticut

Brass wall lights lend a glam touch to this modern rustic living room scheme, contrasting against the stone fireplace, rattan chairs, and fluffy sheepskins.

11. Welcome Scandi-inspired style

White living room with dark sofas

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows flood this space with light, while the white walls, matching white ceiling and soft grey palette of the furniture create a calm and inviting atmosphere.

12. Use a white backdrop is a blank canvas

terraced house in north London

What's so great about white living rooms is they are a blank canvas for you to throw whatever colors and styles at it you like. So if you are fickle when it comes to interiors and like to switch up the look of your room frequently, white walls are the way to go. Mid-century shapes and a classic Berber rug give this white living room a retro-inspired vibe. 

13. Add bold color through artwork

white living room with modern art and grey furniture

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

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. 

14. Stick to grey accents for a calm space

white living room ideas with grey sofa

Get the look: The sofa is by Minotti. The cushions are from The Conran Shop. The Delay artwork is by Shannon Ebner.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Grey and white are a match made in interior design heaven, a total classic that works in any space of any size and suits any style too. Pair clean white walls with a soft grey sofa for a living room color scheme that's never going to go out of style. 

In this white living room, clean-cut interiors are punctuated with covetable furniture and contemporary art. This family room mixes luxe seating with conceptual art from LA. 

15. Punctuate a calm white scheme with angular pieces

narrow white living room with blue and grey scheme

(Image credit: Future)

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. 

16. Add white tongue and groove for a rustic backdrop

rustic white living room ideas

(Image credit: Future)

Nothing says rustic white living room like shiplap. Be inspired by this white living room idea, and opt for wood-paneled white walls, jute rug, slubby linen textures and vintage furniture. 

17. Mix and match curated finds to add interest

White living room with fireplace and eclectic decor

(Image credit: James Merrell)

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. 

18. Keep things simple but textured

White living room with Crittall style windows

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

The inside and outside merges in this gorgeous white living room, 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 – chosen for warmth and texture. 

19. Let statement furniture do the talking

modern white living room with fluffy chairs and glass coffee table

(Image credit: Frenchie Cristogatin)

Keep it simple, and let quirky furniture and statement artwork be the focus of your living room. In this space 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.

20. Paint the floors white

reading corner window seat

(Image credit: Montse Garriga Grau)

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.

21. Or paint the brickwork

open-plan Barcelona apartment with rustic white living room

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.

22. Go for a Western inspired theme

White living room with bay window and western style decor

(Image credit: Paul Craig)

The white living room 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. 

23. Add traditional details to a white living room

white living room in Victorian home with blue sofa and Berber style rug

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

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 complement the original marble fireplace and classical cornicing detailing. 

What colors go with a white living room?

By it's very nature, white goes with any color you pair with it, so the best color to go with a white living room depends on the style you want to go for. For a soft and neutral look, white can look lovely paired with other neutrals like creams, beige and grey. Layer them up and add plenty of textures too for a lovely rustic vibe.

If you want a bolder look, white is perfect for contrasting with dark or bright colors. Pair it with a deep navy for a very clean style or a blush pink for a soft look, you could go for a sage green for a classic combination or even primary colors like sunny yellows and bold reds would work too. 

How can you make a white living room cozy?

White can be quite a stark color, especially if you are using it on all the walls and ceiling, so to soften it and make the room more cozy, bring in plenty of texture. We're talking rugs, blankets, throw pillows, all which will make a white living room appear more inviting. 

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.