Decorating with white – pure, fresh and oh-so sophisticated

From sharp accents to warming layers of differing tones, our gallery of ideas offers a wealth of decorating possibilities.

Evoking purity and cleanliness alongside confidence and sophistication, white is a wonderfully versatile colour for interiors.


Small accents of white are a wonderful way to lift and freshen any colour scheme. Accessories made from mother-of-pearl, white candles and white flowers will elevate the whole palette and draw the eye.

Crisp white works wonderfully in bathrooms. Nothing beats the pure white backdrop achieved with high-grade Calacatta Oro or Statuario marble slabs, which I like to set against chrome taps. Don’t forget about joinery finishes. Crackled gesso, resin and Tabu timber veneers all look terrific in white as the finish is unadulterated by the distraction of colour.

White is best when combined with texture to avoid a flat, one-dimensional feel. ‘I love to work with a blend of white and off-white wallcoverings as a foil for richer finishes such as gilt or dark wood. White silk wallpaper or pearlised polished plaster – something I believe we’re going to see more of as it gives a subtle richness and texture to walls – are great for bringing a contemporary feel to more traditional interiors,’ explains Katharine Pooley, founder, Katharine Pooley, 

See our decorating with green ideas