Unpopular Opinion: 5 Reasons White Walls Are the Best

a living and dining area features white walls

Amanda Thompson / ALine Studio 

Move over, color lovers—white walls are most definitely a viable option, and before you shake your head, note that they’re certainly not blah. In fact, some designers just love them! “There is a misconception that white walls are boring,” designer Richard Medina said in an email. “I think there’s a difference between dull and understated. There are hundreds of shades of white, so that’s pretty cool and not boring. Also, a white wall can be multifaceted and dynamic depending on application, so also not boring.” 

Before picking up just any can of paint, though, you’ll want to consider the message that a specific shade of white is sending. “I like to use a white with slightly warm undertones especially in home design; too pure of a white and it makes a space feel uninviting or like you’re walking into a grocery store,” Medina added. 

Still on the fence about coating your walls in a cream colored hue? Read on to learn more about why designers think white walls are pretty amazing—you may just find yourself jumping on board with this look if you’re not already. 

  • 01 of 05

    They Can Make a Space Look Larger

    the dining area in this home features white walls and huge windows

    Amanda Thompson / ALine Studio 

    Decorating a space that’s short on square footage? White paint may just be the winning solution if you’re looking to make a room seem more expansive, designer Savannah Phillips said. “The best thing about white walls is that they can make a space look larger—as a bright and light color, white walls can give the illusion of a larger, less cluttered room.”  

    Additionally, white walls are excellent in transforming dimly lit spaces, such as basements. As designer Amanda Thompson explained in an email, “They are also instrumental in helping brighten and lighten up a room, especially one that may not have too many windows or natural light."

  • 02 of 05

    They’re Simple and Timeless

    a nautical themed sunroom features white walls and arched windows

    Malka Helft / Think Chic Interiors 

    White walls are calm and chic—and who doesn’t want their space to encompass those qualities? “Neutral and minimalistic-inspired spaces are always a go-to in any era,” designer Eilyn Jimenez shared. “The use of alternating textures in monochromatic color palettes always delivers a timeless, inspirational approach that feels pure and welcoming. This tends to be the most requested aesthetic from clients who want their spaces to breathe simplicity in an organic, yet refined way.” 

  • 03 of 05

    They’re Versatile

    this kitchen features white walls

    Jamie King / JLK Interiors

    No need to worry about coordinating your decor to your wall color when you go with a white hue. “White walls are extremely flexible in the sense that the space's accessories will always match,” Phillips said. “Furniture and décor can come and go, but white walls can be the most stable part of any space.” 

  • 04 of 05

    They Don’t Steal the Show

    the white walls in this kitchen help the blue of the shelves pop

    Rebecca Johnston / R Johnston Interior Design 

    White walls are an excellent option in cases where other elements in a space are the true stars—they blend into the background easily. As designer Rebecca Johnston put it, “We use white walls often in our projects because it enables us to put more emphasis on other design elements in a space, such as a kitchen backsplash or an interesting architectural detail, and doesn't compete for attention in a room." 

    For example, maybe you feel like celebrating your ceiling by adding a pop of pizzazz up high. “White walls allow you to have fun with your ceiling, without overpowering the room,” designer Malka Helft shared. “I always encourage clients to not forget about their ‘fifth wall’ in a room. The ceiling can be juxtaposed against clean, white walls for a unique and unexpected design twist!” 

    Alternatively, perhaps you’re an avid art collector and really want your pieces to make a statement. As designer Jessica Davis stated, “Art is one of the most important parts of an interior. White walls allow art to stand out and gain the attention it deserves.” 

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    They’re Great for Layering

    a nursery features white walls and a hot pink ceiling

    Malka Helft / Think Chic Interiors 

    Plant parents, this one's for you! “White walls are also the perfect backdrop for layering natural wood, stone, and real plants,” designer Leigh Spicher said. But even if natural touches aren’t your thing, you can layer in other elements, too. “White walls are also a great foundation to add texture,” Spicher explained. For example, she added, try brass, copper, a sisal rug, or a knit throw.