What’s so unusual about the thought of an all-white interior (aka an achromatic interior)? Well, for one, it’s not an entirely practical idea, especially if there are children, animals and artists lolling around. Secondly, it’s quite an overpowering colour: all-white interiors conjure up images of forbidding, authoritarian futures often seen in sci-fi films. The third reason is perhaps the most interesting: an all-white interior represents a challenge, and a challenge can be intimidating.
White is an extremely striking colour, one that screams ‘blank canvas’. This makes white an ideal base colour to work other colours into, especially as white is at the extreme end of the visual spectrum. Hence a colour like black will often be coupled with white as it’s also at the extreme end of the spectrum – even in an otherwise ‘all-white’ interior, black lines can give a mostly-white room a greater sense of depth.
When thinking of depth, it is impossible not to also think of other challenges associated with an all-white interior. One must consider shape, design, colour temperature and lighting if they are contemplating an achromatic interior, and how colours can often distract from or cover up such concerns.
Indeed, adding a small amount of colour to an all-white room can change the feel of that room. A little bit of light blue or another such pastel colour in an all-white room can make the room feel cool and relaxing, while a small amount of cream, light brown or beige can make a room warm and inviting. Off-white hues are great for contrasting with solid, organic objects such as plants, trees or wood crafts. Bolder colours such as reds, oranges and certain types of blues and greens in an all-white backdrop create a more striking environment.
White is interesting as a colour because there is a lot of symbolism behind it. White gives the impression of purity or cleanliness. Hence, it is quite a common colour to use in kitchens and bathrooms, or small spaces that need brightening up. White can make a space seem larger, or even almost infinite with the clever use of light and mirrors. White brightens up and diminishes the effects of long, dark winters, so is a particularly useful colour in countries with climates similar to the UK’s.
Some designers and architects have gone further when it comes to using the colour white, making whole houses where white is the main colour scheme. This gives such houses a sleek, modern, and fresh feel. The main idea of designing such a house is that it feels free, a place where a person can breathe. Should you take a look at an all-white house, you will also notice the use of geometric patterns and the balance between straight and curved lines. Again, much like the colour temperature, how straight and curved lines are used will determine the effect an all-white room will have. The balance of lines is important as an all-white space may otherwise end up being cold, lonely and uninviting.
And, wherever there is white, there is often black. Black is particularly important in relation to white, not least because the two colours hold so much in common – one of the main ones being the question “are black and white even colours?” Black is like salt to interior designers, bringing out the full impact of the colour scheme. This is especially true of white due to its contrast and symbolic dualism with black.
So, the general rule is that you can have an all-white interior, just as long as you splash a little colour on top of it. An all-white room is capable of constant change, and can be used to display the designer’s creativity and personality.