It’s cool, clean and classy – and for those reasons and more, we always love white in our homes.

Ice white has particular appeal, because it reflects back the available light to help create an impression of spaciousness and luxury in rooms of any size.

But that’s not to say using white as keynote can’t go wrong. Done well, it creates a bright and stunning vision – but overdone, it can tend to be a touch stark.

So what are the guidelines about making white work in your own home? First, choose your look.

One of the great benefits of white is that it works with many kinds of décor – we naturally think of contemporary, but as an alternative, antique white gives a French country-style appeal to your room.

For instance, the Simply Chic mindi wood-framed mirror from Barker and Stonehouse has a gently distressed white finish that immediately creates a sense of elegant romanticism.

The mirror is part of a full white range including dining tables and chairs, sideboards and display cabinets, making it easy to extend the look to the whole room if you wish.

For more contemporary tastes, though, Barker and Stonehouse has the Kai dining table which uses ice white to ultra-modern effect, teaming an unusual cross-leg base in high gloss with a clear glass oval top.

Perfectly matched by white high-back Lucca chairs, there’s no doubt it’s a chic statement that will create a striking centrepiece and impress dinner guests.

In living rooms, white’s versatility means it can work well in either a minimalist setting or a busy family environment.

Take the Sebastian corner group sofa with matching shaped ottoman footrest – in sturdy ice white leather, it’s robust and comfortable enough to stand up to child’s-play, but will also look amazing in a spare, grown-up setting with other key pieces.

Once you settle on the style of white that suits your tone of living, the secret is to mix and match it with other statement items that complement the theme without being overwhelming.

The good news is that ice white naturally also works with every other colour, helping you create a framework for your room which you can then customise and revise with the simple addition of accessories.

It means you can easily revamp your room at any time simply by picking out a new colour to highlight; you know your whites will form the perfect backdrop to keynote additions such as rugs and cushions.

But what’s white like as an accessory? In any setting, it can be a real eye-catcher. We love our Scottie dog cushion in white with a cuddly motif – it’s quirky and tactile, and adds a note of smart fun to any room. Adding texture is a useful way to prevent white becoming stark.

Think white, too, in terms of lighting – white shades naturally give a clear, bright light, while white lamps can add a further element to the contemporary or country ambience, depending on the shape you choose.

So welcome to the world of white; it’s striking, adaptable and versatile enough for you to shape to your own design scheme. All white? Totally all right…

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