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7 ways to decorate your white walls

Shot of a brick wall, a TV and a table in a modern studio

26 May 2017

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One of the go-to sayings for DIYers is that the only paint colour worse than (the landlord favourite) magnolia is white. So boring, so cold. And yet, flicking through interior design magazines or our Pinterest boards, white walls are everywhere.

And they somehow mysteriously look amazing and, weirder still, interesting. How could this be? How do we know what to believe anymore? Well, decorators, here are seven doable ways to make white paint look perfect in your home.

1. Layer textiles

All-white colour schemes catch a bad rep because people think they’re boring. But really, too much of any colour without varying shades, shapes and texture is boring. When using white materials, make sure you layer a few of each.

Textiles are a wonderful way to find a practical use for your design elements. Linen, texture-heavy knits, lace, faux lambskin and dyed leather are all comfortable yet beautiful options.

2. Enhance textured walls

Another place to look for texture and shape is in your walls. A few coats of white paint really make a feature of your brick, panelling or architectural mouldings. If you don’t have any, why not create an interesting white wall with shimmering faux mother of pearl or marble tiles? Or why not give a period look to your home by adding wainscoting?

3. Welcome nature

The most effective ways to make white walls look less sterile is to balance it with natural elements.

The organic shapes, colours and textural inconsistencies add warmth and personality to any room.

Plants, natural finds, faux fur textiles, leather seating and bamboo or wicker furniture are all timeless and inexpensive go-tos. The use of white paint allows each piece to breathe.

4. Add some personality

If you like the cleanliness of white yet crave the contradiction of clutter, then this laid back idea is for you. Approach your walls like a scrapbook! Start off with clean white “pages” and use washi tape and decorative hooks to add some personality to your walls.

To avoid it looking like your childhood bedroom, think less Smash Hits! tear-outs and more wall hangings, Polaroids, ornate kimonos, dried flowers and brush-lettered quotes. The finished look is bohemian and collected, and yet can be easily adapted to how your mood changes.

5. Take a shelfie

Shelving is by far the most practical way to jazz up a white wall. One or two can be hung on ornamental brackets for display purposes, or you can add an entire wall of load-bearing shelving for storage.

Remember, to avoid your home looking messy, use storage boxes and baskets to corral clutter and group items according to type. If you really want to embrace the unified, neutral theme (and create a fun guessing game), stack your books with the spines facing inwards.

6. Sky’s the limit

Your walls aren’t the only thing that need painting, so why not get creative when it comes to your ceilings and doors? A painted ceiling adds sophisticated drama to a room without compromising on floor or wall space.

It’s also an extra special way to show off a cool light fixture. Painting your doors is also a great way to add a pop of colour. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and easily updated should you change your mind.

7. Create a gallery wall

This is the most obvious yet most creative way to decorate a white wall. Use the wall as a blank canvas… for more canvases! There are endless opportunities for this one, and you can pick up inexpensive artwork and frames in charity shops, Ikea or even by carefully pulling out some editorial shoots from magazines like National Geographic, Conde Nest Traveller and Vogue.

Gorgeous! Who says white walls have to be boring?

Are you thinking of buying your own home?

Want walls of your own to decorate however you please? Why not call into your local EBS office to see if you’re eligible for a mortgage.

Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer guide. You can also use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow, or book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our mortgage experts.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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