Make a bold statement or a blank canvas with cool, calming white.

White Hot

Written by Leah LeMoine Category: At Home Issue: July 2016
Group Free

In fashion, black gets all the sophistication cred: the little black dress, the all-black uniforms of designers, the noir-heavy wardrobes of chic Parisiennes. In interior design, the acme of sophistication skews blanc.

“White – especially in our gorgeous desert – is definitely a classic,” says Tessa Koch, director of marketing at Feathers Fine Custom Furnishings. “There is something very crisp and clean that plays beautifully off our landscape and views. It’s timeless and always looks fresh.”

Single white statement pieces like a sofa or a light installation can be striking against the backdrop of a colorful home, but the inverse can make an even bigger impact. “Don’t be afraid of an all white-on-white scheme,” Koch says. “Work in different textures and finishes to add depth and dimension to any design.” Or add strategic pops of color for heightened drama.

“I like white paired with pastels, but be careful not to overdo it,” says David Pritchett, general manager of Hacienda Lighting. “I also like white fixtures with wood accents. It adds a warm tone to an otherwise stark finish.”

Avoiding sanatorium-esque starkness is key. “People sometimes think of white as modern and cold, but it can be warm,” Pritchett says. “Think shabby chic and distressed finishes. There are new riffs on proven designs and there are so many different ‘white’ finishes.”

Denica Herman, general manager of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, says white is “more of a reflection of the homeowner’s personality. People who use white as their main color choice tend to be strong and disciplined.” However, “using white can be tricky if not done correctly.” She shares her dos and don’ts for working with white:

 

DO think about your lifestyle. “Children, pets and red wine do not pair nicely with white.”

 

DON’T think all whites are created equal. “Whites are dramatically different and clash against each other easily, so using other neutrals or a color throughout your room can minimize various dye lot inconsistencies.”

 

DO consider sunlight placement. “White will fade just as easily as color.”

 

DON’T underestimate the luxe effect of even budget white items. “White looks expensive and elegant in any setting.”
 
Thomas Design Group
7500 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Scottsdale
480-563-2577, 
thomasdesignllc.com
White “makes a small kitchen look larger and brighter and is easy to accessorize with pops of color,” co-owner Diane Thomas says. The high-gloss lacquer of this Downsview Kitchens show kitchen “is easy to keep clean with just a wipe of a damp cloth, meaning there are really no challenges to having an all-white kitchen.” Prices vary by project.

 

  
Hacienda Lighting
15613 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, Scottsdale
480-991-6767, haciendalighting.net
“I think white is popular because it is flexible and can be paired with almost any design choice,” general manager David Pritchett says. The Broche Crystorama pendant ($798) and downlight Danika Kichler pendant ($150) brighten while they whiten.

 

 

 

 
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Scottsdale Fashion Square
7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
480-444-5790, mgbwhome.com
“Our Scandinavian-style metal Windsor chair feels vintage and modern all at once,” general manager Denica Herman says. The Ansel chair ($2,040) isavailable in two metal finishes and can be adorned with fabric, leather or soft Tibetan lambswool (pictured). The Drummond vintage white pull-up table “adds a touch of texture and pattern to a room” with its resin cast and mirrored top ($745). 

 

 

 

Feathers Fine Custom Furnishings
15330 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
480-905-1396, feathersdesign.com
“Any style décor – from contemporary to country – can be done in all white,” director of marketing Tessa Koch says. The customizablesofa ($8,365), coffee table ($1,375), crystal lamps ($825 each), marble and brass obelisks ($1,100 for the pair), magnolia ($390) and phalaenopsis in the planter ($390) illustrate the drama of an all-white room.