Decorate With Color – Decorating with White: A Romantic Fireplace

Decorating with white can be a challenging endeavor. If you want to utilize the beauty of white by creating a romantic fireplace, all you need to know is some common practices of accenting your decor.

Best Practices with Single Color Applications

There are a few rules to follow decorating a romantic fireplace with white. The typical rules when decorating change quite a bit when using only one color, because there are no other colors to compliment or contrast. Another variance you need to include in almost any decor is to utilize differing heights. The differing heights will create dimension to your project and gives your decor balance.

Where to Begin?

Fabric is the best place to start when you are trying to begin a home decor project. Fabric consists of many different types of things from drapery to carpeting. When creating a romantic fireplace, the type of fabric you use is an important decision. Use of certain fabrics such as satin, lace, and chenille to create a romantic ensemble will soften the look and feel of your decorating project while adding dimension.

Accessories and Furniture

Add a white wicker love seat to your ensemble. This will give you a great place to add a couple of chenille pillows and a chenille throw. The use of wicker in your ensemble will add more texture for contrast.

Decorate With Color – Decorating with White: 4 Antique Ideas

Shades of white always generate a feeling of cleanliness in a room. When choosing to decorate with white, any style can be achieved, including an antique look. Hunt around garage sales and second-hand goods stores to find accessories and furniture pieces that can be restored. But before you take a paintbrush to any treasures that you find, make sure they’re not genuine antiques. These should be restored by professionals to retain their value.

Decorative Cast Plaster

To add instant age in a room, replace original cornices with decorative cast plaster cornices. Use matching cast friezes along the walls, and consider installing decorative ceiling plaques to compliment. Paint the ceiling a shade darker than the walls and use the same shade for the friezes.


Heavy curtains are more old worldly and should be used as a feature. Lace curtains can be mixed in with them to allow light in during the day. Tie the heavy curtains back with extravagant tassels in a shade of white close to the color of the curtains.


Any furniture can be stripped back and repainted. If you’re prepared to put the work in, getting pieces as close to the style you’re after becomes easier. It’s likely, too, that you’ll find plenty of bargains along the way, when buying second hand.


Decorate with white accents only. Lamps, rugs, candelabras, table cloths, cushions, and lounge covers can all be found in white.

Decorate With Color – Country Living: Decorating with White

If you enjoy the country living design style but are now tired of the dark color schemes and heavy look, try decorating with white in a country style.

Country living usually endorses the look of organized clutter using natural tones of wooden furniture, or painted furniture in dark shades of primary colors. Rooms tend to have a cluttered look to make them cozy, and often the windows are covered with heavy homespun fabric curtains. If you’ve been living with this look in your home, you may be tired of the heavy, closed-in feeling and are ready for a change. Perhaps your budget won’t allow for a complete makeover, but with a bucket of white paint, you can update the look.

Reuse What You Have

Rather than discarding your wooden furniture, give it new life by painting it white. Remember, however, that everything in the room doesn’t have to be a stark, hard white. Like other colors whites range from warms to cools, from flat to reflective, with undertones of yellow, gray or blue. Get paint swatches of different whites from a paint store and line them up next to each other. You’ll begin to appreciate the differences.

Paint the Walls White

Painting the walls a shade of white is the biggest step to brighten and revitalize a room and give it an updated look. Paint the woodwork the same color for an eye expanding look. Most decorators feel you can’t put too much white in a room, or too many shades.

Reupholster or Slipcover

Cover your furniture in white slipcovers or if your budget allows, reupholster. Keep in mind textures when using an all white color scheme to keep the rooms interesting. You can also use white sheets or large sections of white fabric you have sewn together to make throws to put over your furniture. The casual country living look is still popular using whites.

Decorate With Color – Bright White

It’s mid-summer, and in many parts of the world this means it is hot. You’re probably longing for something simple and cool, something to soothe your summertime blues, or at least to make you feel a little less sticky.

What’s better for this than white?

Rather than being a color, technically speaking, white is of course the absence of color, which is what makes it so cool. Instead of absorbing light rays, the way everything from yellow to purple does to varying degrees, white reflects light back, so that anything white doesn’t absorb the light, and therefore doesn’t absorb the heat, either.

This works not only in your clothing (which is why there remains the tradition of wearing white pants, shoes and jackets only from Memorial Day to Labor Day) but it also works in your home.

If you’re feeling dopey with heat, and yet you have the energy for a big home project, you may want to give one of your rooms a vacation from color, and try painting the walls bright white.

You can see in this first photo how striking a white-on-white room can be. Here, we see the white furniture placed against a white background, creating a clean canvas to which just a bit of color can be added. The look of this room can be changed just by adding throw pillows and an area rug; the color and style you choose for the accessories will then dictate the look of the whole room.

Imagine how this room would look, for example, with brocade throw pillows in a pastel floral pattern and a pink and white hooked rug. Then, imagine how it would look with square, bright orange pillows and a rug in a modern, geometrical orange and yellow print. You can see how the addition of accessories to an all-white room will give you a completely different look, offering you more control and versatility than if you’re committed to a color scheme dictated by the color of the walls and furniture.

An all-white room, of course, requires a great deal of care, so if you have kids, or pets, or even if you just lead a more casual lifestyle, you may want to opt instead for just painting the walls white and maybe having a white floor in a washable material.

In the photo on the right you can see how the green fabric of this chair stands out in the white room, giving a refreshing, springtime feeling to the room. And yet the chair’s slipcover is removable and washable, and any pet hair or spills won’t jump out as much as they would on a white slipcover. The same is true with this striped chair in the photo on the right.

The mattress-ticking stripe gives an old-fashioned feeling, which, when paired with the white walls and modern design of the chair, creates a look that’s both old and new at once.

Tip: Even if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of re-painting the living room, you can still bring in white’s cooling influence with just a few changes in your accessories. Try filling a tall glass vase with white stones, or swap your maroon or navy lampshades for simple white ones.

However you decide to bring white into your home, it’s sure to offer a cooling breeze on a hot summer’s day, and that and a tall glass of lemonade will get you to September in no time.

Decorate With Color – Black and White

We’ve chosen to look at a combination of colors – a combination that’s so popular, it’s seen everywhere from the kitchens of the humblest cottages to the entryways of the grandest homes.

Black and white is so popular, and has remained popular over the years, in part because it’s almost a neutral; you can use it as a backdrop for many different looks. Just as cream or off-white walls can look good with various styles, fabrics, and colors, so too does black and white. It lends itself to a variety of looks, and therefore it’s a good investment.

Not that you necessarily have to invest a fortune to get it right; you do find it in marble or ceramic tile, but you can, with a bit of preparation, paint a wood floor in the classic checkerboard pattern, or you can work with black and white with fabrics and other materials.

The classic use for black and white, of course, is in tiles, most often in a checkerboard pattern. It’s still found in the bathrooms of the great old Art Deco apartments in Paris and New York, with small ceramic floor tiles, usually no bigger than a half inch square with black or white trim.

Black and white is also seen in foyers of grand old homes around the world, which often utilize large tiles, sometimes made of ceramic, but more often marble or stone.

But just because that’s where you’re most likely to find black and white doesn’t mean you’re limited to using it in these rooms. Black-and-white tiling for a kitchen floor will give the room an old-fashioned, yet clean look, which can be repeated in tiling on the counter and backsplash.

Tip: In a living room or bedroom, you can work with black and white in fabrics, as well as with flooring. How about a white carpet, and a settee upholstered in black and white toile? Or for a modern, dramatic look, try using black-and-white striped drapes and matching wall paper, with white trim.

One thing to consider when planning for black and white is whether you want a true white or a cream. The brighter white will make the room a bit brighter, of course, and will be best for setting off bright colors in combination with the black and white motif. You can see here how the bright red chair pops right out against the black and bright white tiles.

However, if you’ll be using more subtle tones, such as peach, pale blue, or sage green, a cream or off-white for your “white” will provide a more soothing, elegant look to the room.

Whatever shade of white you use, black and white can give you lots of room to play, as anything else in the room – anything with a color – will really stand out. It’s the perfect way to show off a red chair, or a bright green rug, or a favorite brightly-colored vase, while giving the room a polished, pulled-together look.