Wonderful white. What can we say, as the little black dress is to fashion, white is a staple for interior design. Whilst many associate the look of crisp white sheets with hot, summer's days, white can make a great choice for winter too. We’ve asked stylist, Laura North, to share with us how to style white for winter without it looking cold.
Over to you, Laura...
I genuinely believe that snow is a thing of magic. It’s the way it so gently coats everything in its marshmallowy roundness, the sparkle of it, perhaps the sense of anticipation of a pristine patch unmarred by footprints and the absolute quiet it seems to bring with it. And as I ponder this love letter to snowiness, I wonder if exactly the same could be said of a freshly made white bed: it seems to be, after all, still your favourite choice for a beautiful bed. So as Christmas time approaches and snow (hopefully) begins to fall, here’s some ways to style your white bedding to add some extra sparkle.
The all-white look
Going for just one colour on your bed can look really beautiful but can perhaps appear a little cold. Instead of sticking to the same white, layer with faded ivories, parchment and chalky tones creating a harmonious contrast. Whilst many yearn for that hotel-bedroom look, it can come across as quite austere - even un-inviting - so by mixing tones of white you can still achieve the boutique look but in a much softer way.
The colour pop
I love using white as a base to really show off cushions and throws - almost like a gallery’s walls are white to best show off its art. My favourite pairing is white and green because it can look super smart, or really laid back and vintagey depending on how you style it. If your bedlinen is a beautiful rumpled white linen, a chunky block of colour will look super - be it on your walls or on a lovely big quilted throw. It’s a bold and confident scheme but here’s the secret - it will always work, because white simply can’t clash with anything. Play away colour hunters!
All the feels
My favourite approach to using white successfully is to really layer up the textures and shapes. Pile up the fabric choices and think about the little details. I love the Violet white bed linen because the frill makes it so vintagey and romantic but that frill also adds interest to an all-white landscape. Layer with a quilted throw (again, a different shape and a change in texture) and don’t be afraid to mix up pillows. Yes, it’s nice to have everything matching, but there are no rules so you could have a super soft cotton behind which will bounce light in a different way and therefore give your bed a little more depth. So sumptuous.
If all you really, really crave is a crisp hotel bed using the finest white bedding then you’ll need some tools up your sleeves. Make sure you iron your bedding before making the bed so there are no fold marks and if you want it super crisp, you can use a spray starch to get those edges straight and the corners tight! Don’t forget a flat sheet (that goes under your duvet) and make sure it’s on really straight so that when you fold it over at the end, that line is smoooooth. And finally…the hospital fold! Eeek! Scary but it is what takes this bed style up a notch to real boutique hotel luxury. There are tonnes of tutorials online and once mastered, will feel like you live in a suite at the ritz.
If, like me, you follow the ‘beautifully imperfect’ school of thought then you’ll want white linen on your bed. No ironing, no particular folding, just loose and crumpled textile joy. Linen lends itself to loads of styles but when it’s set amongst vintage ephemera I feel it is most at home. To achieve this look you want to almost go out of your way to mismatch everything - It needs to feel ‘collected and curated’ rather than overthought. Aged wood tables and rusted patina picture frames seem to have a new life when paired with fresh white. Display found treasures around your bed such as a pretty feather or a knotty twist of driftwood and add unframed drawings, photographs and notes to your walls. This way your white bed becomes your own little cloud of treasures.
There are so many ways to style with white - the main take-home being that it will happily let you pair it with anything you like. Yep, anything. It’s timeless and classic and almost impossible to get wrong. Try adding some extra sparkle to your bedroom this Christmas with a tweak to your styling - it’ll make snuggling up under your own blanket of snow that much more special, I promise.