Embracing Your White Walls

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iStock_000016525798SmallNearly every apartment is painted white. And often the option to change that is not an option you have. Instead of being disappointed or bored, embrace your white walls – think of them as a blank canvas in which to do some artistic decorating. Here are some ideas.

White walls can makes a room look brighter, cleaner and bigger. So it’s actually a great backdrop to show off some colorful art pieces or a really nice piece of furniture. A few well-chosen art pieces should be your first step. These don’t have to be expensive – choose something you personally like (you’ll be the one looking at it every day!), make sure it is a good fit for the wall space (not too big or small) and have it nicely framed. Etsy and e-bay are great places to look, and you can sometimes get lucky at a second-hand store. If you are unsure about art, you can also group photos together in matching frames. Frames are important if you decide to go with a picture grouping on one wall. Make sure they complement each other, and maybe go for a brass or other metal frame, or mix up the shapes. If your room is small, mirrors give the illusion of a bigger space.

If you are afraid your white room will feel cold or lack personality, get yourself to the fabric store. Using a mix of textures in your furnishings and curtains will give you the warm vibe you are looking for. Add throw blankets over the back of the couch, chair and at the end of your bed. Pick a brighter or complementary color to the color of the furniture. Curtains are a chance for you to go a little wild; if you find a print you love that may be a bit bolder than you’d normally go for, hang it by your windows. Big cushions for the floor will also contribute to a comfortable atmosphere, as well as provide extra seating for guests.

You can also make your white walls work for you. If you have a home office area, hang bookshelves behind your desk space, or a cork or chalkboard to help you stay on top of things. Ledges also provide architectural interest while still being useful. Vertical gardening is catching on – check out your local home improvement store or garden center to see if they have ready-made systems.

If you are one who likes to decorate with the seasons, white is an excellent base. Bringing in bright yellows and greens for spring is a cinch, as is adding some rustic hues for when autumn rolls around. Flowers are a great way to add color and warmth to a room. Buy a couple pretty vases in different shapes and sizes and you can ‘decorate’ with whatever bloom fuels your imagination.

If you just can’t bear the endless white, wall decals are growing in popularity and promise to be easy to remove when it’s time to go. Having a blank slate like white walls actually gives you more freedom to decorate and lets you change-up and play with the color and look of your rooms.

Jacy is a freelance journalist specializing in art, design and culture. When not writing, reading or traveling she enjoys torturing her husband and dog with extremely long walks. Follow her on Google+.

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