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Why Steering Clear of White Walls is an Interior Design Win

Colour is a powerful element in interior design. It can create mood, define style, and influence our perceptions of space. As an experienced interior designer, I've discovered that one's colour choices can make or break the overall aesthetic appeal of any room. Yet, even with this knowledge, many people tend to limit their palette to a predictable and often uninspiring hue – white.

opening door to home office
White, white and white home office

The use of colour in interior design is not just about aesthetics. It's a reflection of personality, a means of communication, and a powerful tool for creating ambiance. It's art and science, psychology and personal preference. Crafting a space that not only looks good but feels right is a delicate balance of these elements, and colour plays a pivotal role.

Over the years, I've seen the impact of colour choices on countless homes and offices. I've witnessed how a strategically chosen palette can transform a dull room into an inviting space, or how a poorly chosen colour can drain the life out of an otherwise beautiful design.

minimalist white kitchen
Plain white kitchen

The Common Misconception About White Walls

White walls have long been the go-to choice for many homeowners and designers. This popularity can be attributed to the perceived simplicity and versatility of white. It's seen as a safe, foolproof option – a blank canvas that allows the furniture and decor to take centre stage.

white designed living space

The problem with white walls is that they can often feel cold and clinical. They lack the warmth and personality that a touch of colour can provide. This misconception that white is always the best choice stems from a lack of understanding about the power and potential of colour in interior design.

White walls can create a sense of sterility and impersonality, which can be off-putting. They lack the character and individuality that can be achieved with thoughtful colour choices. Furthermore, white walls can highlight imperfections, making scuffs, stains, and wear more noticeable.

Why Steering Clear of White Walls is a Design Win

Steering clear of white walls opens a world of design possibilities. By embracing colour, you can create a space that reflects your personality, suits your lifestyle, and brings joy and comfort. Coloured walls can add depth and interest to a room, create a specific mood or atmosphere, and serve as a beautiful backdrop for your furniture and decor.

wicker furniture against green wall

Colour choices can also influence our perception of space. Darker colours, for example, can make a room feel more intimate and cosier, while brighter colours can make a space feel more energetic and stimulating. By understanding the impact of colour, you can make strategic choices that enhance your interior design.

Overcoming the White Wall Syndrome: Tips and Tricks

Overcoming the 'white wall syndrome' involves stepping out of your comfort zone and experimenting with colour. Start small – perhaps a feature wall or a small room. Sample different colours and observe how they change in different light conditions. Use colour swatches, paint chips, and digital tools to visualise how your colour choices will look in your space.

couple painting a wall pastel orange

Don't be afraid to play with different shades and hues. Remember, you can always paint over it if you're not happy with the result. Consider the mood you want to create, the style of your furniture and decor, and the amount of natural light your room receives.

Breaking the Monotony: Introducing Colour Choices

The impact of wall paint on interior design is significant. It's one of the first things people notice when they enter a room. A well-chosen paint colour can enhance architectural features, influence mood, and create a cohesive design scheme.

Modern Victorian bedroom with panelling

Breaking the monotony of white walls involves introducing colour choices that reflect your style and personality. From bold and dramatic to soft and subtle, the possibilities are endless. Experimenting with colour and style involves exploring different colour palettes, textures, and design elements. It's about pushing boundaries and stepping out of your comfort zone.

pink toilet underneath staircase in period home
I have added pink pops of colour to my toilet space

Consider the mood you want to create – soothing and calming, energetic and vibrant, warm and welcoming, or cool and serene. Your colour choices should resonate with your personal style and the overall aesthetic of your home. Consider the colours that resonate with you. Do you gravitate towards warm or cool hues? Do you prefer bold, saturated colours or soft, muted tones? Understanding your colour preferences is the first step towards creating a space that feels uniquely you.

pink bathtub in tropical bathroom

Experimenting with colour doesn't stop at the walls. Consider your home decor, furniture, and accessories. These elements can either complement or contrast with your wall paint, adding depth and dimension to your space.

Playing with colour in home decor allows you to change the mood and look of your space without committing to a complete redesign. Decorative elements such as throw pillows, rugs, artwork, and even lighting can introduce colour and personality into your space.

transitional style living space with blue wall

Conclusion: Embrace the Colour, Ditch the White Walls

Ditching the white walls and embracing colour can revolutionise your interior design. It allows you to inject personality into your space, create a specific mood, and make a design statement.

burnt orange sofa against grey panelled wall

Remember, colour is not just about aesthetics; it's about emotion, personal expression, and creating a space that feels good to be in. So, step out of the white wall comfort zone and experiment with colour. Your home will thank you for it.


Would you like to learn more about Interior Design? Or perhaps become an interior designer yourself? Follow my footsteps and study Interior Design with The Interior Design Institute where I could be your personal tutor. Click here to read more and receive a discount.

colour blocked wall with turquoise sofa



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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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