Let there be white. If you want your furniture to glow in pristine beauty, it has to be finished in white. A white wardrobe in the bedroom can transform it from a dreary place to a vibrant place to wake up in. In the living room and dining room, white furniture sets off the mood, especially when placed against darker floors and walls, but even against light surroundings, it will still shine brighter. It’s partly its self-contained brightness, and partly its ability to reflect and enhance the light that surrounds it, but white really does work in more or less any context when it comes to furniture.
Imagine the Shaker style of furniture without that distinct white finish, for example. The contours and the shadows they cast rely on that contrast to make them three dimensional. In fact, any furniture can be given an antique look just by its being white. French style, Victorian, Art Deco, and classical Mediterranean looks can be achieved in more or less any piece of furniture just by that simple coat of paint.
By definition, white is the purest possible shade, devoid of any hue. But in reality, it’s often best when it’s not quite white, especially when you’re aiming for a period look. A cream finish is just a bit warmer than pure white and is, therefore, more homely. A touch of blue in the white can give it the appearance of marble and complements dark browns and reds like a dream. Impurities can also bring huge amounts of personality to white furniture, too. Think of cracked, scratched and distressed white paint on a cabinet, for example, giving it that seaside driftwood look that’s evocative and beautiful.
So when we describe white furniture, you don’t have to think of white as being the purest type you can imagine. Think of white in terms of the shadows and contours it emphasises as the light falls on it; the way it absorbs and reflects the warm glow of indoor light and the brilliance of sunlight; and the way that not quite white is often a much more interesting and powerful interpretation of colour than white itself could ever be.
White is the ideal canvas for setting off contrast in your room. It enhances everything around it, making decorations and ornaments more real and vivid. For a taste of Dunelm’s brilliant collection of white furniture, have a good look at these pages.