But what makes a white wintery, exactly?
Mostly, it’s what’s missing—a starkness, a harsh brilliance. A winter white has warm undertones (yellow, gray, pink) so it’s not a pure color at all. In fact, it’s off-white. Designers have taken to calling it parchment, ecru, ivory, linen, cream, and well … you get the idea.
Winter white is a great equalizer in all of its glorious iterations—especially when it’s the predominant color in a room. It grants other hues equal footing, bringing balance and harmony to a space. It’s soft, beautiful, even striking at times.
Choose paint with a distinctive cast (like grayish white or whitish blue) as a backdrop for a delicious mix of winter whites. Give trim a high-gloss finish, even if you’re mad about matte. Choose bedding and upholstery in cream or vanilla shades, and add elegance with furnishings in antique white or whitewashed finishes.
Texture is what gives a room depth, visual interest, and warmth. A room without texture—however colorful or high-end it may be—can be flat-out boring. Winter white only elevates the importance of texture in a space.
Go on: Marry velvet with faux fur, wood with metal, and acrylic with coral. Plus, don’t forget to turn to nature for textural elements. It’s easy being green in a mostly white room—just add flowers!
Remember that at the end of the day, winter white is still white. And white does wonders for a room. The science of color tells us that dark colors advance while light ones recede, that white reflects light and reduces shadows. In short, white plays with our perception of space; it makes small rooms look larger, more airy—and some say more refined. How to kick the trompe l’oeil up a notch? Select furniture finishes that complement the hue on your walls.
Isn’t it about time you warm up to the softest shade of the season?