Who doesn’t long for a bedroom that acts like a lullaby? If you’re sleep-challenged—isn’t everyone these days?—consider creating your own cloud chamber. Fans of all-white bedrooms use words like “tranquil,” “blank slate,” “no distractions,” and “Zen” to describe the appeal. There’s also an automatic tidy look that comes with opting for all white: a single color creates cohesion and, like a T-shirt, can stylistically go in any direction.
Too much etherealness, however, can be chilly and soporific (not necessarily in a good way). The key to a successful all-white approach is to introduce texture, slip in subtle patterns or varying shades of pale, and to accessorize with books, art, plants—or simply a wonderful view. Here are 27 standouts that demonstrate the great versatility of all white.
Under the Rafters
Above: White on white in Rivka Baake and Wilfrid Kreutz’s bedroom in a converted industrial building in Hanau, Germany, where the couple make Calder-inspired mobiles. See Living Above the Studio: At Home and Work with Lappalainen. Photograph by Marc Krause, courtesy of Lappalainen.
Above: Architect Sheila Bonnell designed a whitewashed aerie for herself and her husband, Mon Cochran, in their house on Cape Cape. Note the bed’s built-in drawers, which enable them to do without bedside tables. They don’t have shades either: the couple like to wake up at sunrise.
Above: Interior designer Claudia Zinzan, owner of one of our favorite browsing spots, Father Rabbit in Auckland, New Zealand, is a master of the all-white bedroom. Shown here in Zinzan’s own house, a [product id=”994502″]Father Rabbit Linen Duvet Cover[/product], $249 NZD ($197 USD), and [product id=”994503″]Father Rabbit Cotton Nautical Stripe Pillowcases[/product], $39.90 NZD ($31.57 USD), on a Father Rabbit Steel Bed Base, $2,210 NZD ($1,749 USD).Her advice is to take stock of your shades of white and make sure they “marry up” by holding them against each other: “You may not realize it, but your white bed linen could be a very warm white and your white joinery might be a very blue white.” Her paint of choice for bedrooms is pure white pigment (titanium dioxide), “the base they use for mixing all whites: it’s a fresh, glowing white that works with everything.”
Above: This metal [product id=”994504″]Four-Poster[/product] by Zangra of Belgium is designed so that the bed almost appears to be floating. Slits just above the headboard contain LED lighting. The frame comes in white or black and in two sizes starting at €2,400 ($2,927).
Above: A shiplap-paneled perch on the top floor of a vacation house in Vega, Norway, designed by Kolman Boye Architects. See more in The Outermost House: A Norwegian Island Retreat. Photograph by Åke E:son Lindman, courtesy of Kolman Boye.
Above: A white platform bed and inventive art arrangement at home in a Fantastic Frank apartment in Sweden styled by Josenfin Haag. Photograph by Emily Laye, courtesy of JH.
Above: Designer Michaela Scherrer entirely sticks to shades of white in her own Pasadena, California, home—see the Remodelista book for a full exploration. In our post DIY Paint, Scherrer explains how she carefully mixes her palette. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: This Studio Oink-designed plywood platform bed in Wiesbaden, Germany, incorporates seamless storage, so there’s no need for additional furnishings. Intrigued? Go to Happiness at Home with a German Design Duo. Photograph courtesy of Studio Oink.
Bright (Removable) Accents
Above: White offset by jewel-toned throw pillows at Paris cool-girl Lucile Demory’s rental apartment: See Modern Thrift in Paris. Photograph by Claire Cottrell for Remodelista.
Above: A marble niche and bedside table in a Lisbon apartment designed down to the furnishings by architectural collective Fala Atelier. We featured the project in A Narrow but Glamorous Marble-Clad Apartment. Photography by Fernando Guerra, courtesy of Fala Atelier.
Above: In her London Victorian house, British style authority Jane Cumberbatch poetically pairs bright white with market baskets and a favorite dress. Photograph by Rachel Whiting, courtesy of Jane Cumberbatch.
Above: In an elegantly furnished Kid & Coe Seaside Rental in Cornwall, England, the bedrooms are all cloaked in white, and this one has its own brick fireplace.
Above: Get some headspace: In Jane Cumberbatch’s vacation house in Olhao, Portugal, a simple four-poster occupies a small room with a soaring arched ceiling. Photograph courtesy of Jane Cumberbatch, Pure Style.
Above: Taking inspiration from Shaker design, architect Rafe Churchill outlined this white room’s windows and ceiling in robin’s egg blue. The Original BTC [product id=”618420″]Hector Wall Sconces[/product] with porcelain shades are a Remodelista favorite.Explore the rest of the project in The Architect Is In: The New Connecticut Farmhouse, Sustainable Edition. And find more Shaker inspiration in 16 Ideas to Steal from Canterbury Shaker Village.
Studio Apartment White
Above: Monastic chic: A curtained bedroom in Milan by Casatibounsante Architects. See The Small-Space Bedroom: 8 Ideas to Steal from a Stylishly Efficient Apartment. Photograph by Francesca Iovene, courtesy of Casatibuonsante Architects.
Above: Photographer Maria Hennechart’s Paris bedroom—divided from her living space by a partial wall—is just big enough for a bed. Read about her small-space solutions in A DIY Parisian Studio Apartment Makeover. Photograph by Marie Hennechart.
Above: Interior designer Karin Montgomery created a studio apartment atop a two-car garage in Auckland, New Zealand. See more in Small-Space Living; An Airy Studio Apartment in a Garage. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
Above: The White Retreat in Sitges, Spain, was designed for a French art historian who requested a clean slate, disappearing kitchen included.
The 36-square-meter (387.5-square-foot) vacation space, explain architects Matteo Colombo and Andrea Serboli, is all about “silence and light.” Photograph by Roberto Ruiz, courtesy of CaSA (Colombo and Serboli Architecture).
Barely Noticeable Built-In Storage
Above: “My husband and I maximized space by building our bed into an awkward niche and creating built-in storage above and pullout drawers below,” says Remodelista London editor Christine. See more of their solutions in Living Small in London.
Above: Another favorite clean-lined design by Claudia Zinzan of Father Rabbit features a shallow open closet.
Above: A ledge and bedside shelving take the place of tables in a small Paris bedroom designed by architect Philippe Harden. The midcentury desk is by Pierre Paulin.
See the rest of the space in The Perfect Two-Room Paris Pied-a-Terre, Ikea Kitchen Included. Photograph courtesy of Philippe Harden.
Above: Michaela Scherrer’s guest room incorporates a wall of built-in cabinets—and comes with The World’s Tiniest Spa Bath.
For more bedroom storage ideas, take a look at Architectural Built-Ins for the Bedroom. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
The Paneled Chamber
Above: Architects Solveig Fernlund and Neil Logan refurbished a Brooklyn brownstone for a Swedish family. The top-floor guest quarters include this shiplap-paneled room under the eaves. “There was some existing paneling,” the architects tell us, “and we decided to go with it.”
Tour all four floors in Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Brownstone Reinvented with Style—and Restraint. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: A shiplap-paneled accent wall at Salt House Inn in Provincetown, situated in a historic cedar-shingled building—see The Hamptons Come to Cape Cod.
Above: Fashion stylist/shop owner Tiina Laakonen’s Hamptons bedroom is a tour de force of shiplap paneling. Explore her home in Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home and Rhapsody in Blue, and read about her shop in Finnish Modernism Comes to the Hamptons. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: UK stylist Twig Hutchinson’s summerhouse in the back of her London garden is used as a guest room, office, and photo studio. See more in Designer Visit: Rough, Rustic, and Refined with Twig Hutchinson. Photograph by Rahel Weiss, courtesy of Twig Hutchinson.
Above: A paneled guest room beckons at the Spruceton Inn, Casey Scieszka’s DIY Motel in Catskills, New York. Thinking of putting up your own paneling? Read Remodeling 101: The Ultimate Wood Paneling Guide with Jersey Ice Cream Co.
The flip side of all white: 10 Sexy Monochrome Bedrooms in colors from pale pink to black on black.
Still awake? Here’s 10 Secrets for a Better Night’s Sleep.