10 Ways to Warm-up a White Room

Have you ever wondered the secret to what makes a white painted room work?  How do you keep an all-white room from feeling sterile and cold? What if you love white walls but are afraid your space will lack character and charm?

The key is to introducing warming elements that balance the white. Here are my 10 favorite warming elements to try. 


#1 Wood

Anything inspired by nature is sure to warm up any space. What makes wood so special is that it comes in endless colors, textures, and pattern. It can be played up as luxe (i.e. wenge, cherry) or more casual (i.e. white oak, walnut). 

#2 Antiques

There's no singular way to add sophistication to a space then with antique pieces. Mix it up with casegoods, mirrors, rugs, and accessories for a truly beautiful blend.  

Kate Bendewald Interior Design Austin Waco Georgetown

#3 Textiles

Textiles inherently add warmth.  They are also very versatile. In addition to a stack to cosy up with, you can use them decoratively throughout the home.  Drape on a ladder or a headboard, the back of sofas, or hang as art. 

#4 Greenery

Houseplants are a non-negotiable as far as I'm concerned. I believe there's a right plant for everyone even the most reluctant green-thumb. Their organic quality softens a room in addition to cleaning the air.  There are many varieties that are very low maintenance making the choice to have one a no-brainer. 

#5 Art

Art of any style adds character and warmth to a home. Gallery white walls provide a sophisticated backdrop for whatever kind of art you choose to bring into your house. Consider mixing the frame materials like wood, metal and painted.  

 Via  Chairish

#6 Warm Metals 

Warm metals like brass, copper, and brushed gold add warmth especially when juxtaposed to wood, leather, or textural elements.  Use sparingly to avoid tipping the scale to garish. 

#7 Rich textures

Add woven baskets, rugs, chunky throw blankets or pillows to soften and warm any room. I personally have a borderline obsession with collecting woven baskets. I justify it by saying " But it's functional!" The truth is, they are. I use them to store everything from toys and blankets to sunscreen, umbrellas, and the familiar clean-but-worn pile of clothes.  They help beautifully hide the unsightly necessities of life. 

#8 Books

Look at that glorious book shelf! I've had so many clients come to me simply asking for a way to coral their book collection. They looked stunned when I tell them I don't expect them to give any of them away. There is something so romantic about books and I enjoy finding clever ways to show them off. My dream house will have a library inspired dining room with floor to ceiling built-ins bursting with books and of course a rolling ladder. Besides collecting stories and information, they add color and texture to a room. 

#9 Big Color

It takes a little courage when using big color in space. Quite frankly it makes some people uncomfortable (and that's okay...see the rest of this list). But for those who are feeling a little daring, mixing saturated colors with other softer elements (i.e. wood, texture, etc.) can make a white room sing. 

 Via  Chairish

#10 Architectural Details

Finally, and perhaps the most important, adding architectural details like crown moulding, wainscoting, and trim details, can take a room from looking DIY to elegant and sophisticated. I often prefer to paint the walls and trim all white for a crisp, fresh look that doesn't feel too fussy. 


So there you have it. What did you think of this post? I'd love to hear how this list of 10 Warming elements has inspired you. Feel free to comment below.