Friday, July 29, 2011

White on white decor

I was wandering around some antiques shops and found myself drawn to the white palate that is often characteristic of Scandinavian design. It's not really all white, but shades of whites and creams with a bit of natural wood color thrown in.

This antique Swedish sofa says it all. The white painted frame looks terrific with the contrast of the natural wood back and sides. The white cushions go perfectly. 

This elegant corner cabinet is that almost white cream color that would be so wonderful in a kitchen or an all white living room. Pair it with cream colored dishes, and you complete the look.

The decor of Lars Bolander for his own houses is the perfect example of how to put together a white on white look. It's about subtlety of shades with just a touch of color. Adding some pillows in a pastel color, or a painting, or a touch of gold set off the white and creams. 

In another Bolander room, just look at details. The white walls have added interest in the detail of the paneling. The white upholstery is a whiter white than the painted frames of the furniture. The floors are almost a gray white shade.

This combination console table and mirror would be a wonderful way to decorate an instant entryway. All you need are a few cream vases on the console table, and you establish your look as soon as guests enter your home. This table and mirror is being offered at the Bonhams auction in San Francisco August 14th. This is is Lot 2487, and is described as a Louis XVI style painted and parcel gilt console table with mirror. It has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. The white paint is set off by the gold and color insets.

This lovely little writing table is also in the Bonhams sale. I love the white on white painted detail with gold accents.  This is Lot 2445, and is described also as Louis XVI style. It has an auction estimate of $400 - $600. This is the kind of size that it would fit anywhere - a living room, bedroom, even a bathroom.

This commode with marble top would add that element of cream to the 'white on white' look. It is a warm shade and the top adds that extra subtle element of color. This is Lot 2482 in the Bonhams sale and is described as Louis XVI style. It has an auction estimate of $300 - $500.

We will need some seating, and this delicate George III Adam style chair would be perfect. The white painted frame is set off by a pastel pink upholstered seat. The Prince of Wales feather on the back is a great detail. This is included in the next New Orleans Auction 30 and 31 July. It's Lot 5, and has an auction estimate of $300 - $500.
I was taken by these Chinese stools in the New Orleans auction. I always love adding an Asian element to decor, and one doesn't often find white painted Chinese stools like these. They would add an element of surprise to your white on white decorating. These are Lot 39, and have an auction estimate of $50 - $80. I would use them as extra seating, or even as end tables next to a couple of chairs.

This painted metal garden table would work inside as well. I love the design details of the twisted branch legs and the birds at the edge of the top. This is included in the next Copake Auction in Copake, NY 30th July. It is Lot 21 and has an auction estimate of $100 - $150.

Spend some time looking at paint colors in your hardware store, and there will be a mind boggling selection of 'whites'. Get inspiration on how to mix them for a classic white on white decor. You can build a room with lots of warmth, without the risk being cold.Then add some texture and subtle color, and you have the look!

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