White Christmas

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If you’re thinking of having a lovely home the colour of snow the good news is that there are many options of white in the spectrum.

White is not limited to stark white or clinical white. The shades of white available today in the form of paint, wallpaper, rugs, leather, carpets, furniture, tiles and flooring are breathtakingly numerous.

Whatever shade of white you choose, a home dressed in the colour of purity exudes chic elegance and luxury while working well in any period and environment. White interiors also give the illusion of larger space. Basically it’s a colour that will never run out of style.

As in everything balance is key to achieve a beautiful look with white. To keep the room from looking flat, use a variety of textures and patterns to create richness and depth.

WARM AND COOL

Whites fall into two categories: warm white which includes yellow, orange and red elements, and cool white with green, blue and grey elements. Both offer different effects under various types of light. Too much cool white will give you the feeling of being in a clinic. Too much warm white will make a place appear a little run down. The trick is to look at how natural lighting and artificial lighting works with your white scheme.

You can combine several shades of white in one room if you vary their textures and sheen. Special formulated glossy whites can reflect up to twice as much light into your room. It may be too harsh if it is an office space or reading room, but will be uplifting for a kitchen or living space.

Try painting a pattern such as vertical or horizontal stripes using two different shades of white. For something more glamorous try using a stencil such as a damask to create a personalised design. Use a matte paint for the background and a glossy paint for the stenciled portion. The result is subtle yet sophisticated. If the walls are wood you can also try whitewashing them for a countrystyle chic look.

SYMBOLISM

White symbolises purity, innocence and birth. It’s closely associated with winter and can also represent surrender or truth. In the colour spectrum, white is the union of all the colours. Its neutrality and conservative nature is widely accepted. Its simplicity and subtle quality makes it an ideal colour for establishing clarity and contrast in your images

TEXTURES

White does not have to be flat and one-dimensional. You can also choose textured finishes so that there is a play on light and shadow on the medium. An accent section of the wall can be
in white marble, white fabric, white leather, white brick, white mosaic, white cement or white wood.

TEXTURED FINISHINGS

Trowelled look – Achieved with a drywall knife. This is usually put on in a semi-circle. They may have high spots and low spots and even be different sizes. The way to vary the look is by using heavier coats with larger semi-circles. The look is one of Spanish stucco. It can also be a smooth semicircle and resemble a plaster finish. This is time consuming and is not for the beginner.

Mud swirl – is another that differs slightly from trowel finishes. The big difference is the semi-circle or swirl that is applied has a uniform shape. When completed the wall should have a pattern that repeats itself. The use of this method is quite time consuming and needs to be done by someone with experience.

Brush textures – look good and are easy to do. Brush textures go by several names, slap brush, stomp texture, crow’s feet, etc. One thing they all have in common is the use of a drywall texture brush. This brush can be used for simple fast textures to unusual and unique texture that are eye catching.

CONSIDERATIONS

When painting a room white ask yourself these questions:

• How large is the room you’re decorating? Small rooms require pale colours to enhance light and space. Medoum rooms need lighter palettes to feel airy and light. Large rooms will look much more spacious with light colours.

• How much natural light does the room get? Is it south or north-facing? Are there outdoor trees casting shadows?

• What look and feel to you like? Do you like it spacious and airy, warm and cosy, calm and relaxing, light and uplifting?.

TOP WHITES FOR WALLS BY DULUX

Jasmine white
Orchid white
Pure white
Brilliant white
Pure brilliant white
White coconut
Moonlight white
Antique white
Country white
Honey white
Iced white
Ivory white
Nearly white
Shale white
Venetian white
Warm white

DID YOU KNOW?

According to Pantone Inc., white is the best selling color for the classic American t-shirt. More shades of white are available commercially than any other color. White clothing typically becomes translucent when wet. The appearance of white in a dream is thought to represent happiness at home. White castles are a symbol of achievement, destiny perfectly fulfilled, and spiritual perfection.

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