It happened to the color gray, and black has always been a staple. Now it’s time for the color white to shine.

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White is often ignored as a “color,” being considered more of a background shade. However, white is a color that can create not only a soothing and restful atmosphere, but also an impressive statement.

SHADES OF WHITE

As anyone who has tried to paint a white wall knows, it’s a complex color with dozens of shades. One of the potential challenges is that even a slight change in tone can have a big impact on a space.

Some whites have cool undertones, such as gray, blue or green, while others have more of a warm undertone, such as yellow. When selecting a shade of white for your space, be sure to pay close attention to the colors you plan to place around it.

White can also absorb color. For instance, when certain colors are placed next to white objects, they can take on a hue similar to that of the neighboring color.

WHITE AND TAUPE

When using white, remember it’s OK to use tints, tones and shades. Consider taupe, for instance.

Joval White Round 
 Side Table, $305 at 
  abchome.com; Ikea PS Vago Chair, $30
Joval White Round Side Table, $305 at abchome.com; Ikea PS Vago Chair, $30

White and taupe are closely related to each other, and combing them is popular because they blend well with other colors, while also acting as great foundation colors on which to build an entire color palette.
The result is one that feels sophisticated, fresh and luxurious.

Try mixing white and taupe with rich chocolate brown or caramel to create a warm feel.

Want to make a bolder statement? Black is a great choice for bold contrast. Black, like white, is a neutral and adds an element of luxury and elegance.

IDEAL ROOMS

White is perfect for spaces in which you want to create a soothing atmosphere, such as a bedroom. When looking to create a versatile bedroom, you will never go wrong with pure white bedding.

White bedding doesn’t have to be bland. In fact, white or neutral bedding is the darling of the design world in large part because it allows for so much creativity.

Clockwise from left: West Elm 
Pintuck 
Quilt, 
$189–
$229; Crate & Barrel Pelliccia Ivory Pillow, $90; Crate & Barrel Ella White Table Lamp, $100
Clockwise from left: West Elm Pintuck Quilt, $189– $229; Crate & Barrel Pelliccia Ivory Pillow, $90; Crate & Barrel Ella White Table Lamp, $100

Add faux-fur toss pillows for an elegant feel. Or mix white with bold bursts of color for a more lively look.

Beyond the bedroom, the living room is another great place to incorporate white and taupe and use them to begin your color or design story.