43 white living room ideas to inspire a tranquil space

These simple yet stunning white living room ideas are perfect for creating a cosy neutral space

Published: March 15, 2022 at 8:18 am
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Have you been avoiding using white in your living room for fear that it might look cold and clinical? If you’ve fallen victim to the age old untruth that white living rooms can’t be cosy, we’re here to tell you it’s time to think again!

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Aside from being light-enhancing, space-enhancing and incredibly versatile, a white colour scheme can make your living room just as welcoming and snug as if it were decorated with neutrals from the warmer end of the spectrum. Depending on how you accessorise your space, white can act as a backdrop from everything from classic Scandi to 2022's hottest decor trend, Coastal Grandma.

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Not convinced yet? Check out our gallery below to discover the different ways you can create a cosy white living room, and keep reading to find some expert tips on creating a white living room scheme.

When you’re feeling suitably inspired, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to use white paint, and take a look at our real living room makeovers too if you're after some more ideas!

White living room ideas

Is white a good colour for a living room?

'Put simply, yes! White is clean, classic and doesn't go in or out of fashion. It has a pared back Scandinavian look that is always super stylish,' explains Justyna Korczynska, colour expert and Senior Designer at Crown. 'Using pure white looks fresh, and if you layer white tones with different textures, it'll add interest to your living room. You can even incorporate natural elements and materials with a white colour scheme, and that's great for the new season trends.'

White living room
Image by Cult Furniture

Aside from looking endlessly fresh and stylish, opting for white walls and furniture could actually save you money and time, as it'll provide you with a neutral canvas that you can style and restyle as trends change. White goes with everything, so you can add in seasonal accents and accessories throughout the year. This will allow you to keep your space looking on trend without having to redecorate, or spend much of your hard earned cash.

How do you style a white living room?

The way you style your living room will totally depend on your preferred interior style, but here are some quick tips for giving a white living room character:

  • If you love Scandi style: try pairing cool white walls with whitewashed wooden floors. Choose white minimalist furniture before adding a sense of warmth with natural wooden accents and white faux furs.
  • If you love boho style: stick to warm white tones on the walls, and layer in plenty of earth-toned accessories - think terracotta, rust and a dash of sage. Style up your walls with neutral woven wall hangings, and don't forget to add plenty of houseplants.
  • If you love cottagecore style: don't be afraid to mix and match lots of off-white shades, and team them with lashings of pretty pastels. Add cosy depth by combining patterns and textures. Call upon ditsy floral prints to add a soft vintage character, and add lace detailing for a feminine feel.
white living room
Image by Cult Furniture
  • If you love eclectic vintage: use brilliant white walls as a backdrop for your favourite vintage finds - the dark wood of Mid-century modern furniture will look particularly striking against light walls. Choose retro-inspired shades - like mustard, olive and burnt orange - to finish the look.
  • If you love Japandi style: dress up your white walls with strong black accents and neutral, natural accessories. Japandi style is all about functional yet elegant design, so opt for slick, contemporary touches that aren't too flashy or fussy.
  • If you love industrial style: give solid white walls an edgy look by teaming them with exposed brick, raw wood and concrete accents. Add metal fixtures to enhance the New York studio vibes - we love the steel wall sconces with exposed filament bulbs!
  • If you love Tuscan style: give your white living room a tuscan flavour with sun-baked toned accessories and and rustic Italian accents. If you're looking to go all out, you can even add a colourwash feature wall!

What shade of white shall I choose for my living room?

'White can be one of the most difficult colours to choose because there are so many variations and small differences of tone,' explains Justyna. 'You can have a very clean white, a chalky one, a greyed one, a white that has a hint of green or one with more of a yellow hue. This is because every white has an underlying tone. It might be something slightly warm or cool, like the merest hint of red or blue, for example.'

White living room
Image by DFS

'When deciding on a particular white, its undertone is the most important thing to keep in mind,' Justyna adds. 'Do you want your shade to be crisp and bright or to have more softness and warmth? Start by deciding on this, and go from there.'

Justyna adds that you should always paint tester pot samples on the walls of your living room when choosing your shade, as white paint will look totally different depending on the lighting in your room. 'It’s a good idea to do this at different times of the day, so you can see how your chosen colour looks in both natural and artificial light,' she says. 'Whites can change hue dramatically from room to room in the same house, let alone from a paint shop to your own home, so always use samples to check the exact tone is right.'

How do you make a white living room look cosy?

'Textures really add interest to whites,' says Justyna. 'Light woods, linens, glossy tiles and pale basketweave all work really well together' she adds.

'With white as the backdrop, light and shade will really show up,' she continues. 'As well as all over ambient lighting, bring some lamps and pendants into the room to add more atmosphere at night.'

white living room
Image by Cult Furniture

Justyna's top tip for making a white living room look cosy, however, is all about layering - and trusting the process. 'Keep the faith,' she says. 'The white look is most effective when you go all the way with white, so try painting furniture and accessories. Junk shop finds or inexpensive pieces look sophisticated painted white. This is all about layering up textures and tones, simple styles with more elaborate - just make sure that you keep 100 per cent to the white theme.'

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Looking for more inspiration? Check out our total guide to colour schemes for every room.

Authors

Thea JeffreysDigital Writer

Thea Jeffreys is the Digital Writer on YourHomeStyle.uk, and is passionate about all things home décor. When she’s not scouring the internet for budget-friendly homeware finds, you’ll find her writing about the latest interior trends and handy upcycling tricks.

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