Christina El Moussa, along with her husband and business partner Tarek El Moussa, is an experienced real estate investor and reality TV star. Since founding Success Path Education, a program that provides real estate investment training, the two have helped students all over the country successfully find and flip houses.
If you’ve ever watched our show or if you’ve followed our blog, you know that – between my husband Tarek and me – I’m the big design enthusiast. I design all of our flip houses to create the most timeless and beautiful results possible for our buyers, and that means that I spend a lot of time keeping up with the latest trends in home décor and design.
When Benjamin Moore announced that their color of the year for 2016 would be “Simply White”, I didn’t see any jaws drop, but I definitely saw some eyebrows raise. Designers and regular people alike were a little bit skeptical for a number of reasons, but mostly because white is a pretty intimidating color to decorate with.
People avoid white because it gets dirty easily, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can just make a room look cold, sterile, too bright and unwelcoming. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re thinking of these issues, and you’re probably also thinking, “Is white even a color?”
Well, while you might’ve learned in science class that white isn’t actually a color, it’s definitely one of the colors for the upcoming year, so let’s talk about how you can decorate with it without making your home (or your client’s home) look sterile or generic, and how you can best use it in your design.
Glam and Sleek
One of the great things about designing a room in white is that you can create a really interesting and glamorous effect by playing with textures. Imagine white-striped wallpaper in different gloss tones, a white leather sofa and a white faux-fur throw rug. Just these three elements alone already bring to mind a luxurious setting. Add some glam lighting and a few accessories, and you’ve got a room that’s sleek and stylish in a way only white can pull off.
White Walls and Cabinets
Be choosy about which rooms you paint or wallpaper in white, though. In a room that doesn’t get much natural light, white can look clinical and uninviting. In a room that has great natural light all year round, however, it can look warm, sunny and absolutely welcoming.
If you’re redesigning a kitchen on a budget, you might want to paint both the walls and the cabinets white. A fresh coat of semi-gloss white can make your cabinets seem to recede, making a narrow kitchen appear more open and airy. A coat of white paint can also give your cabinets and drawers a facelift if they’re looking worn, as well.
White Details and Trim
Now, like I said, you might not want to paint the whole room white, especially if the space doesn’t get a lot of really great natural light. However, you can brighten up and update just about any space with a few white accents. If you have a piece of wood furniture that’s looking a bit tired, try painting it white. You can also add 2016’s color to a room by painting picture frames or trim white, too. Doing this will add a pop of clean white for a fresh look that you won’t be able to resist.
Play with Shades and Textures
While you’re playing with ways to decorate with white, don’t forget that there are a lot of different shades of white to choose from. If you want to add texture and warmth, play with eggshell and ivory shades. If you’re looking for a sleek, modern look, go with a more pure white. And don’t forget to play with gloss and matte options. The level of gloss you choose can make all the difference in your design.
See? White isn’t as intimidating or plain as you thought. Try a few of these suggestions and see what white can do for your next decorating project.
Want to learn more? The New York Institute of Art and Design’s interior design course can help you reach your goals. Request your free course catalog today!