How to use winter white for a bright, minimalist look

White has long been viewed as a formal color, typically reserved for seldom-used living and sitting rooms. These days, those looking for a light, bright and minimalist look are choosing winter white. Unlike stark, bright white, winter white has cream and taupe properties that can serve as the ideal foundation color for a neutral color palette.

If you want to incorporate the beauty of winter white into your home, here are some tips.


1. Blend different shades and tones of white in a single space. This is no longer considered taboo.

2. Consider neutral or mostly white artwork. Artwork helps to make a statement as well as introduce or complement colors in a room.

3. Pair winter white with other soothing colors such as soft gray or deeper shades of taupe.

4. Consider metallics to complement white decor.

5. Look for ways to bring portable design into your space as far as adding winter white, in the form of toss pillows, throws or accessories.


1. Pair bright shades of white side by side. Slight off-hue tones may potentially look dirty when placed next to each other. Instead, pair slightly different shades of white with darker or more winter white shades of white.

2. Place white furnishings in high traffic areas in which they may be susceptible to frequent staining. A more winter white or taupe color palette may be best, as it helps to better to conceal.

3. Forget white is a color. Often the color white is ignored, but it can be used just like any other color, either as a primary color for furniture and walls or as an accent.

4. Overlook the opportunity to create a strong visual statement through the use of contrast. Black is a bold color that adds the perfect sense of contrast.

5. Ignore lighting. Lighting can be another opportunity to incorporate winter white into ones space.


Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at .

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