You Can Decorate With White and Still Have Kids + Pets

Have you always wanted to incorporate white into your home without it appearing sterile or stark? We've got 12 ways to master this light and bright hue.

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Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Fearlessly Decorate With White

White interiors can be practical, durable and bright if you choose the proper elements. This dining room is covered in white accents: floors painted white, stackable plastic, white chairs and a powder-coated steel table.

Wintry Touch

Take your year-round interiors into the holidays with a removable, wintry touch of white. This can be done to chairs, headboards or banquettes by simply draping faux-fur throws over existing seats. Since faux fur can be washed, there's no need to worry about smudges or spills.

Diffused Lighting

Cast a glow on any space in the house with white diffused light fixtures. This midcentury modern globe above the dining table keeps the dark space light and bright, thanks to filtering from the milk glass.

White Floors

While white carpet may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas, white oil-painted hardwoods are durable and bright. If you want to incorporate white-painted floors into your home, be sure to first sand the surface of your hardwoods before thoroughly wiping them clean. Next, choose an oil-based floor paint to ensure maximum durability. You'll need to wait one full day between each coat of paint to ensure proper curing.

White Brick

Painting brick can be intimidating, especially if your home has the type of brick that offers historic charm. If you're working with dated, contractor-grade brick around your fireplace, give it a fresh update with two coats of a paint and primer in one (in flat white). This will make a brick fireplace seem much brighter and larger, plus it will allow for more color pairings throughout the space.

Rich Texture

White surfaces don't always have to be sleek and modern. Add a touch of white to any room in the house with organic sheepskin accent seating. The organic texture of the fur adds tons of depth and also feels great to the touch.

Layer, Layer, Layer

White bedding may seem impractical, but since it can be bleached, it's more durable than you would think. The trick to getting white bedding ensembles right is to layer different textures and patterns between the duvet, coverlet, throw blankets and skirts. With each white slightly darker or lighter than the next, the result looks perfectly balanced.

Sculptural Lighting

Statement lighting can often be a major expense and a big commitment. When all else fails, go with statement lighting in a white finish. This midcentury modern ceiling fixture doubles as sculpture and doesn't overpower the space.

Lightweight Draperies

Committing to colored or patterened drapes can be intimidating. If you're stuck on what to cover your windows with, go with white linen. It's versatile, helps diffuse outside light and can be washed (if needed).

Patterned Rugs

If you want to introduce white underfoot in a safe way, choose patterned rugs with white accents. This will allow the white to enter the room without overwhelming the space. Plus, if it's simply an accent in the pattern, it's less likely to show wear and tear than solid white.

Easy Seating

Stackable plastic chairs are a great way to add that bright, white hue to a seating area while also keeping it low-maintenance and easy to move.

Carrara Marble

While white Carrara marble countertops may be a budget bust for the kitchen or bathroom, they're a good fit for a small area like a breakfast nook. To protect the marble, keep red wine or dark juices away.

Shag Rug

White shag rugs feel fantastic underfoot but seem too risky for little feet and muddy paws. The trick to using white shag efficiently is to choose indoor-outdoor white shag rugs made of acrylic that are stain resistant and can also be hosed off when spills occur.