The following is an excerpt from Janice Lindsay’s book; All About Colour;
Good white rooms always meet three demanding criteria. They must have Good Light:
and a Few Attractive Objects artfully arranged:
This is why white rooms are a challenge, not to be taken lightly by those not up to aesthetic discipline.
Adding colour to a sunny room is like putting makeup on a beautiful face, totally unnecessary. Besides, why have paint’s one colour when you can have lights many? It is poorly lit spaces that need colour. White will look grey. White is typically used in basement rooms or in windowless or dark rooms in the misguided hope that it will make light but it won’t, so get out the colour.
White is a snob that likes it’s own company best. Interest comes from a variety of textures and sheens and from natural or uncoloured materials – wood, stone, fur, metal, glass. It likes other neutrals and finds black, it’s colour complement, incredibly exciting. If other colours are pale enough, white considers them part of the family. If they aren’t, the white tries to make them look bad: bold and boisterous, like vulgar intruders. Colour gets blamed for being loud but white is the mischievous culprit.
Image Source for above and below
White walls offer no place to hide, no camouflage. They create an art gallery effect, spotlighting attention on every object so each must be worthy. White walls highlight shape and colour and tolerate no chaotic mess. Each object is part of the composition and so has to be selected and positioned with a curatorial eye for arrangement. White walls are not the avoidance of colour. They are the embracing of the most demanding colour of all.
Bad white spaces are those where white is not used as a colour but in the misguided notion that it is the avoidance of colour. This is when white looks bald and empty, cheap and unfriendly. Or it can look unfinished, a beginning still waiting for something to happen! Janice Lindsay
Anyone serious about the colour business, should definitely own this book!
Interview with Colour Expert; Janice Lindsay (Washington Post Blog Watch, July 9)
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