Building a color scheme around white is about as easy as it gets. If you're working with white walls, white furniture, or white bedding, no matter what other hues you inject into the room, you're likely to find a winning color combination because all colors go with white.
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"Stepping into an all-white room evokes a feeling that is close to heavenly enlightenment," says interior designer Allison Knizek. "Add a color, and it brings that elevated state a little back down to earth, grounding and balancing the room."
While a soft white can be considered the ultimate neutral, bright white brings drama to a space — and is anything but boring. "Use bright white with primaries or jewel tones and it creates the same juxtaposed drama as pairing black with white," says Knizek. "Use it with pastel shades and it further illuminates these soft colors like the luminescence of a pearl."
No matter which route you choose, make sure to keep an eye out for undertones. White doesn't come in just one shade, after all; while true white has no undertone, other variations can lean warm (containing a hint of red or yellow) or cool (with a blue or gray cast). A strong enough undertone will take you into off-white territory. Cream is the most common example of this, falling right between true white and pale yellow, but off-whites come in every undertone, from green to orange.
Other elements to consider as you decorate with white include the natural light in your space, and the overall feeling you're looking to evoke. There's no wrong way of decorating with white, but those factors will slightly change its effect — and determine which colors you'll want to pair with it.
Inspired? Read on to find an array of colors that go with white.
20 White Color Combinations
1. White and Black
There's no color combination more classic than black and white. While that pairing can be sharp and graphic, there are ways to mellow the look too. Take note of this wet bar designed by Marie Flanigan Interiors, which incorporates a softer black marble countertop and backsplash to juxtapose with white walls. It's clean, it's classic, and it's inspiring us to pour a drink.
2. White and Beige
No, white and beige aren't boring — and here's proof. Morse Design created this soothing bedroom using soft, calming versions of each of those colors. Going neutral on neutral allows the subtleties of each to stand out and the few colors in the room, like the hints of pink in the rug and the gold light fixture, to shine.
3. White and Coral
Have you ever seen a more glamorous breakfast nook? (We haven't either.) Maestri Studio opted for clean white walls, which glow bright when the sun streams in the windows, and then added a surprising element: a coral couch. It makes for a warm, inviting space to enjoy any meal.
White and navy blue is about as traditional as color combinations come. Pairing the two can evoke various vibes, from nautical to preppy to elegant. For this living room, Georgia Zikas Design aimed for the latter, with white furniture popping against the navy blue wallpaper. Silver accents, in the coffee table and throw pillows, add to the icy, elegant feel.
5. White and Lilac
White pairs perfectly with all pastel colors, but at the top of that list is lilac. Exhibit A: this bedroom, with lilac walls and a white bed and accessories, designed by MBC Interior Design. It's sweet but not too saccharine. While there's no limit to where you can implement this color scheme, it would be particularly relaxing in a bedroom, home office, or nursery.
6. White and Emerald Green
If you're feeling bold, go high-contrast. Pairing the brightest of bright white with emerald green, as in this kitchen designed by JLK Interiors, is sure to get you the effect. White upper cabinets with emerald green lowers provide a balanced and unforgettable design.
7. White and Blue-Gray
There's a relaxing, soft contrast between blue-gray and white, as proven by this beautiful bedroom. To emphasize that contrast, Bria Hammel Interiors oh-so-brilliantly painted this bedroom's wainscoting and trim in Benjamin Moore's Gentle Gray, while leaving the door a soft white. The accent color brings out all the other subtle contrasts in the room, among the different shades of warm white and beige. It's an unexpected, refreshing combination.
8. White and Sage Green
There's a humble earthiness to this sage green that we can't get enough of, especially when it's paired with white. The custom vanity in this bathroom designed by Allison Knizek Design (and painted in Benjamin Moore's Eucalyptus Leaf) provides a dose of spring against the other snowy white elements in this room. There's nowhere this calming color combination wouldn't work, but it's particularly suited for the kitchen, bedroom, and, of course, bathroom.
9. White and Red
There's nothing subtle about a white and red color scheme — and that's what we like about it. Together, a bright white and rich red are enlivening. Take this home office designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors, for instance. The white walls and built-in desk, juxtaposed with the red wallpapered accent wall and accessories, make for a strong design that shows your Zoom meetings you mean business.
10. White and Ice Blue
There's a cool factor to pairing an almost all-white room with an ice blue couch, both color temperature-wise and fashion-wise. It's a refreshing pairing, especially in hot climates. RHG Architecture + Design put that pairing to work in this enviable indoor/outdoor living room situation.
11. White and Lemon-Lime Yellow
With a mostly white color palette, you may feel courageous enough to feature a bold element, like a neon lemon-lime accent wall. Designer Jackie Terrell implemented that approach here, with an unexpected color, oversized art, and plenty of neutral features. It's equally energizing and inspiring.
12. White and Forest Green
There are 100 glowing words we could use to describe this forest green paint color: deep, rich, and lush, for starters. The reason it's such a standout in this bathroom designed by M. Lavender Interiors? Because it's paired with a bright white, which keeps the room light, allowing the forest green to envelop you in its earthiness without bringing the mood down.
13. White and Pink
White and pink is a sweet-as-can-be combination, especially for a nursery or playroom, and we love how Think Chic Interiors implemented the color scheme in an unexpected way. This nursery flipped the script on painting, with the standout pink color on the ceiling and all-white walls. Pink is also easy to sneak in with accessories, from throw pillows to artwork.
14. White and Light Gray
This living room is a beautiful example of how to design with neutrals. The soft white walls act as a glowing backdrop to a just-a-hint-of-gray couch and plenty of wood elements. The white and gray pairing allows the textures and nuances of all the neutral colors to shine.
15. White and Orange
Orange might not be your first instinct when thinking of colors that go with white, but let us convince you to reconsider. Take this bedroom designed by Kevin Francis, for instance. The orange and white patterned wallpaper brings the room to life, while the orange accessories allow you to have even more fun with the color combo.
16. White and Natural Wood
When working with swaths of beautiful natural wood — whether in flooring, furniture, or an exposed-beam ceiling like the one in this lofted living room — the last thing you want to do is pull attention away from it. Instead, with a white color scheme, you'll draw eyes toward it. If in doubt, choose a soft, not-too-bright white.
17. White and Yellow
Whether sunny yellow, muted mustard yellow, or somewhere in between (like the dandelion yellow in this bedroom), the brightest shade on the color wheel makes for a happy color combination with white. Yellow is usually best as a small pop of color, through elements like bedding and accessories. Together, yellow and white create an energetic color scheme, perfect for a bedroom.
18. White and Charcoal Gray
White is the nicest supporting actor there is. It brings out the best in every other color, especially other neutrals, like charcoal gray. In this living room, you're able to see the texture and color variegation of this couch against the off-white walls, and all the other neutrals are able to pop too.
19. White and Turquoise
Sometimes, a pop of turquoise is all you need. If you're not thrilled with the idea of diving head-first into a wild color combination to pair with your white walls — maybe you're renting, or maybe you're commitment-averse — you can simply dip your toe into a color combo. An easy way to start is with a throw, like this turquoise one that adds a splash of color to an otherwise mostly white space.
20. White and Purple
Purple always evokes a regal feel, and this bedroom designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors is no exception. When paired with airy whites and creams, the deep eggplant color — used in the oversized floral wallpaper and bedding — provides a richness and sophistication that very few other colors can replicate.
Colors That Go With White
White is a staple in interior design, in the form of paint, furniture, and accessories of all kinds. Still, there are subtleties to white, and you should be aware of the undertone and how it looks in natural lighting as you're pairing it with other colors. "Utilize warm whites for their cozy, upbeat tempos and cools for their soothing, peaceful sensibilities," advises interior designer Allison Knizek.
Here's a recap of colors that go well with white:
- Emerald Green
- Sage Green
- Ice blue
- Lemon-Lime Yellow
- Forest Green
- Light Gray
- Natural Wood
- Charcoal Gray