We talk to Wendy Moore, Editor in Chief at Home Beautiful magazine, who shares her expert tips for styling elegant white interiors.
White throughout the home.
A monochrome palette, particularly one with a white base, will always be in fashion. White is soothing and relaxing, with such fabulous connotations: fluffy white clouds, crisp sheets on the line, gorgeous white sandy beaches! White reads as the ultimate base neutral, so I opt for hints of white throughout my home. It’s the touch point that brings my entire decorating scheme together. White skirting boards – a nice, crisp modern white – to offset the character features of the home, paired with fresh white bedlinen, blinds and curtains. I use touches of white in soft furnishings too, like cushions and throws, depending on the season.
Summer and winter whites.
In winter, I pull out the warmer whites: chunky Corrigin Knits, a textured woollen Vachon Throw or my favourite woven Windermere Cushions you can sink right into. I then pair them with natural tones of tan and deep indigo.
In summer, I switch it up for a fresher, lighter look. I love sleeping on crisp white Abbotson Linen sheets, and favour lighter layers and the floaty feel of pure cotton Nashe sheets in my other rooms.
Early spring is one of my favourite times to be at home, when everything feels renewed again, and the darker, warmer tones get stored away. I love embracing the light, fresh palette of the warmer months and opening up my home to the outdoors, and white is perfect for that. The beauty of white is that with a little care you can keep it fresh for years – it’s an instant room refresh all year round.
Layering with white.
The key to working with a single colour palette is to offer variation in different ways. Layer pattern on pattern (yes, even with white!) or try mixing up different textures. A jacquard woven Comar Cushion plays well with the textured knitted Arkley Cushion, and so on. In the bathroom, I love the tasseled Stevie Towels paired with the Luxury Retreat collection in crisp white. Try not to be too matchy-matchy – the single colour will deliver that uniformity – and just go for it. Just make sure your whites are all a similar tone, so you’re not clashing cool blue-whites with warm yellow-whites.
Relaxed styling with white.
To create a relaxed yet refined look in the home, choose fabrics like high quality cotton and linen, which look amazing when they’re a little bit rumpled. There’s nothing quite like that gorgeous, relaxed look of luxurious Belgian Abbotson Linen on a bed. It’s important to choose washable textiles that are easy to live with as well as look the part. The look will fall down if you can’t toss it in the wash when the kids get their hands on it!
Any fabric you choose should always feel amazing against your skin. Now that I have started styling with linen, I can’t see myself ever using anything else. It just gets softer and softer with each wash. Casual layering is another trick in my repertoire. An artfully tossed throw will visually soften any space, as will a few scattered cushions – just not too many! Pair white with soft blues and chambrays for a relaxed coastal vibe that really melds with the Australian lifestyle. To make the look more refined, add hints of navy.
Structured, formal styling with white.
If you’re looking for a more formal aesthetic, white will not let you down. I recommend white for architraves, ceiling roses and other architectural details, such as window frames. For a more traditional feel, I lean towards a warmer palette. In the bedroom, opt for white tailored pillowcases with details like piped edges and thicker, woven Matelassé style quilts, like the Herschel Quilt Cover. The polished sheen of 1000 Thread Count Hotel Luxury sheets will up the ante, too. For that buttoned down, formal feel opt for symmetry. Try mirroring the placement of a structured white Juncture Cushion on each side of the bed or couch. Formality is often about precision, and when you have a crisp white contrasting with a darker colour (like navy), it instantly feels more formal.
Styling with white for Australian interiors.
White resonates strongly with me for our Australian lifestyle. Matched with blues, olive greens and rusted ochres, it completes a palette inspired by our surrounds but also completely of-the-moment. Fresh, relaxed, stylish: white is a timeless choice for Australian interiors.
My home styling philosophy.
Being surrounded by gorgeous, inspiring homes and working with the incredibly creative team at Home Beautiful has definitely affected the way I’ve decorated and designed my own home. I get to see and share the latest trends, ideas and products on a daily basis so it’s very hard to resist hitting the shops every month! For me, home is about having a place that reflects my family and all the things we love, giving us a place to connect, relax and just be together. I believe a home is not just about looks, it’s about how it makes you feel. That philosophy informs every choice I make when I choose to bring something into my home, just as it does for our Home Beautiful readers.