Cover The main living room in this home by Studio Three features a sophisticated and elegant ambiance (Photo: David Yeow)

As the saying goes, less is more. These white rooms prove that the serene shade is still striking in its own right

This story was first published on June 2, 2021 and updated on February 25, 2022.


Rooms with a white palette often exude a serene and elegant ambience. Painting your walls with a fresh coat of white paint has plenty of benefits: a white room reflects light from the windows which creates the appearance of more space; it’s the perfect backdrop for a plethora of decorating possibilities; and it creates a balanced ethereal setting that is restful for the eyes. 

There’s also a common misconception that a white palette necessarily means the use of a single hue. White paint is available in varying shades and undertones, ranging from an eggshell hue to off-white tones. Selecting the right white paint makes the world of a difference; always be sure to test your shade of choice and see how it changes throughout the day to find the right shade for your home.  

Below, we gathered some of our favourite examples.

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1. A calming resort-inspired living room

Tranquil and cosy, this calming living room designed by Istanbul-based architect Beril Khalaf combines chic Scandinavian style with bohemian elements. Designed with decorative plaster on the walls and a micro-concrete finish that adds texture, the light-filled living room boast sweeping views across the beautiful coastline to the Aegean Sea beyond.

A rich mix of furnishings and materials lends the space a serene ambience. On the other side of the living room, a reading area is designed on a large terrazzo plate to face the sea, continuing the home's soothing narrative. 

Read more: Home Tour: A Minimalist Resort-Inspired House That’s Utterly Calming

2. An open-plan entertaining space that's strikingly different

Singapore-based design studio Akihaus uncovered the hidden potential of this 1,600 sqft apartment unit by transforming the original home into a modern haven with ample spaces for hosting guests. The living area features large windows that allow natural daylight to stream in, while mirrored infill panels on the ceilings instantly add depth and enhance the perception of space. 

“We chose a lighter colour palette to add a sense of freshness to the space,” explains Lawrence Puah, the designer behind the home. Puah also cladded the walls with light wood finishings that inject warmth and added a tactile appeal into the dreamy abode. 

Don't miss: Home Tour: A Minimalist Apartment in Singapore Designed Like a ‘Garden in the Sky’

3. A hotel-inspired living room

Well-designed hotels offer a wealth of inspiration; such is the case in this Kuala Lumpur abode designed by Malaysian interior architect firm Studio Three. The design team transformed the three-storey bungalow with a contemporary touch by utilising an understated and restrained colour palette. 

The selection of modern furniture imbues a lounge-like atmosphere in the living room. Materials such as rattan offers the room texture and warmth, whilst adding a tropical flair that's enhanced by the the lush landscape surrounding the abode.

In case you missed it: Home Tour: A Hotel-Inspired Home in Malaysia 

4. A living room with layered textures

This monochromatic living room in a London duplex apartment features a creative mix of furnishings in various textures and materials for a richly layered look. Designed by interior designer Rebecca James, the Parisian-style space is softened with bespoke sofas and a sectional upholstered in an off-white fabric. 

A round Concho coffee table created from Cordova shell limestone and white oiled oak adds depth and texture to the room, while a glamorous gold-leaf side table by Clotilde Ancarani provides a ritzy note. The furnishings are paired with a textured rug from Tai Ping that ties the space together.

Don't miss: Home Tour: A Calming Apartment in London With a Peaceful White Living Room

5. A beautiful marble-clad home

Elevate an all-white interior by showcasing the beauty of natural marble. The stone material adds a grounding quality and brings a classic sophistication to rooms. Designed by EHKA Studio, the Stiletto House boasts a free-flowing design language paired with a minimalist colour palette. 

White marble is used in several spaces, such as the living area and bathrooms, to convey a sense of luxury. The result is a timeless elegance that is dramatic yet understated.

In case you missed it: Home Tour: The Stiletto House In Singapore Is All About The Curves

6. A bedroom that serves as a sanctuary

With a rare tranquility that is not often found in the city that never sleeps, London-based interior designer Nebihe Cihan crafted a calming refuge in a three-bedroom apartment located in New York. The home boasts several large windows overlooking the city, and Cihan’s minimalist design approach highlights the spectacular city views. 

The white palette in the master bedroom enhances the allure of the cityscape. Rich and tactile Flexform furnishings in earthy tones, such as the Grandemare bed, Guscio armchair, and Feel Good ottoman, adds to the cosy atmosphere

Read more: Home Tour: This Minimalist New York Apartment Is Simply Dreamy

7. A living room inspired by theatrical feats

Featured as the cover story of Tatler Homes Singapore’s April-May 2021 issue, British designer Lee Broom’s New York penthouse is a contemporary space influenced by the award-winning designer’s background and love for theatre.  

The living room, Broom’s favourite space in the apartment, is an ideal blank canvas for the designer’s many iconic creations. Inspired by the flood of natural light and the view of the Long Lines Building, Broom selected a monochromatic palette for the room. Wood accents warm the space, whilst a sculptural White Street sofa wrapped in an ivory Dedar bouclé takes centre stage. The sculptural furnishings and lighting pieces create a visually arresting impact and further add to the room’s panache.

Don't miss: Home Tour: Inside Lee Broom's Stylish, Monochromatic Penthouse in New York

8. An apartment that brings to mind museums

This Parisian apartment’s white colour palette recreates the serenity of grand museums in Paris. Keeping to her client’s request for a minimalist interior, Stéphanie Coutas, founder of SC Editions, crafted an elegant home that’s characterised by clean lines and a streamlined look. 

The white living room holds a cosy appeal with Minotti sofas and a custom-made silk rug from Maison Stark. The design team integrated the family’s treasured antique cabinets into the lofty space, adding a historic charm. A glittering bespoke lighting piece designed by SC Editions draws attention to the mirrored ceiling. With 150 glass pieces delicately suspended from the ceiling, the light fixture makes for an eye-catching focal feature within the space.

Read more: Home Tour: A Museum-Inspired Minimalist Apartment

9. A kitchen with varied finishes and materials

White kitchens are a classic and timeless option, withstanding the test of time with their chic ambience. Interior designer Alison Henry adds her personality and depth to her contemporary kitchen by incorporating a mixture of textures and materials.  

Nickel detailing throughout the light-filled kitchen creates a stylish and sleek appearance, while the island and backsplash wrapped in Calacatta Caldia Italian marble amplify the refined aura of the kitchen. Aluminum island stools, upholstered in soft white leather, adds a touch of cosiness. The combination of materials create a statement-making visual even in a white-on-white environment.

In case you missed it: Home Tour: A Light-Filled Georgian House with Stunning White Rooms

10. A living room with an artistic flourish

This historic Geneva property is home to an art-loving couple who wanted to exhibit their extensive art collection. To do so, Barcelona-based interior designer Jaime Beriestain created a backdrop that consists of neutral white, grey, and cream tones. This pared-back palette allows the vibrant artworks to shine. 

The blue mirror, which is the centrepiece of the living room, injects a dose of style into the space. Beriestain took cues from the colour of the artworks in his selection of accent pieces; here, the electrifying blue art piece is matched with coffee tables by Yves Klein.

Read more: Home Tour: A Geneva Apartment Full Of Historic Details and Modern Art

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