The trend for white remains strong for interior design schemes in southeast Florida. White design elements – floors, furniture, kitchens, walls, lighting fixtures, glass, and other objects reflect and intensify the streams of natural light that pour in from walls of windows producing a disturbing, intense glare.

One solution is to incorporate a soft dark finish on a wall. Shades of brown, blue, and gray all work, but of all the options, gray (especially graphite) is my favorite. It’s a color that goes with every design style and complements any accent color. Another option is to mix different shades of gray in a single room. The use of several shades together is relaxing.   

For a current project where the living room has only one solid wall – the rest are floor to ceiling glass – I’m building a wall unit in soft graphite colored MDF. It will absorb and diffuse much of the glare, making tv viewing more pleasurable.    

In a kitchen project, I used Northern Lights and Metallic Gray paints by Benjamin Moore to unify stainless appliances, cherry cabinetry, gray/black granite, and the smoked glass backsplash. The result is dramatic and elegant, eliminating the strictly workspace feeling and creating a room with atmosphere.

I’m hanging a black/white/silver contemporary wallpaper in an 18’ entry gallery adding a dark graphite ceiling.  The treatment introduces the overall color palette of the apartment. The entry gallery is a low light level space. From the static space of the entry, one enters the dynamic space of the living area illuminated by a flood of natural light. 

White furnishings in a room with a white floor and white walls, creates an unsteady illusion of floating in space. An area rug in soft grays and blacks mixed in with white to keep it light and airy grounds a conversation area, softens a dining room, is cozy underfoot in a bathroom, and quiets outside noises in a bedroom without disrupting an overall white color palette.  

Adding texture and pattern to white upholstery will absorb some glare. In a dining room I’m decorating, I’m having chairs upholstered in two different fabrics, on one side white, the other side a black and white pattern.

 You won’t lose the impact of a white color palette by adding contrasting colors. In fact, the dark color enhances the look you working to achieve. Making a white color scheme work takes a delicate balance of adding other colors. You might need the eye of a professional interior designer who can envision the whole picture while in the planning stages and keep you from making costly mistakes.

A colleague of mine once stated: “You can either pay a designer now, and get exactly what you want, or pay more later to clean up the mistakes to get what you want.” Something to think about.

For an initial consultation call or email Robin Lechner Designs: 631-848-8469 or robin@robinlechnerdesigns.com

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