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Design Recipes: Working with white

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

White is one of the easiest colors to work with, and for some, one of the most difficult. Many are surprised when they browse the paint aisles and discover literally hundreds of shades of white.

One of the many design tips relating to the use of white is that white often takes on a neighboring shade. Ever wonder why some whites appear more green, blue or gray? Transference of color is one of the main reasons. When looking to use a predominantly white or off-white decor, here are some top Design Recipes tips:

1. Pay close attention to the color of the primary pieces in your space. Make sure that the shade of white you select complements the space and helps make it feel bright and fresh.

2. Do consider traditional brighter white shades for walls and ceilings.

3. Be careful not to select a white with too much of a yellow tone, as in some spaces the color may read dingy.

4. Don’t be afraid to use different tints, tones and shades of white. Remember beige and taupe are shades of white.

5. Consider using white as a contrast color. A presence of white in a space can help make darker colors pop.

6. Consider pairing white with metallic finishes. It can create a soft, relaxing look.

7. Don’t forget white is a color, too. A popular designer trick is to use white as an accent.

8. Consider introducing white into a space using texture such as toss pillows or throws.

9. Don’t be afraid to use white furniture. In many environments it can feel luxurious.

10. Consider an all-white or mostly white space. The result can be impactful!

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.