Having grown up in a home with a strict “white walls only” rule, I can’t say I was very excited when I read that Benjamin Moore chose “Simply White” as its 2016 color of the year on  Architectural Digest.  But such is life.

Admittedly, white offers a sense of serenity and implied cleanliness.  And so many fantastic, on-trend materials are inherently white like: mother of pearl, sheepskin, plaster, papier-mâché, Carrara marble, and opaline glass.  Also, an all white (or largely white) palette also allows for more intense contrasts in styles and textures without being overwhelming.  And, of course, I have this thing for albino animals.  There’s gotta be some exciting opportunities there.  OK, I’m on board with white playing a big role in 2016’s interiors.  So, naturally, I scour the internet for the most exquisitely designed white rooms.  Here’s what I found…

 

remarkable white living room in Stockholm

Mats Gustafson’s Stockholm living room via NYTimes

With an oversize paper lantern, sheepskin throws, and white swan; this living room has me loving white.

 

a peaceful white living room

Architect Daniel Romualdez’s home via WSJ.com

A first glance, this room is calm and peaceful…but interesting!  The neutral, white palette allows the forms and shapes of the room’s eclectic furnishings to take precedence–from the Danish chairs to the old world and contemporary sculptures.  White definitely seems like the right choice.

 

Karl Lagerfeld's all white dining room

Featured in Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People Karl Lagerfeld’s all white dining room is just beautiful

Leave it Karl Lagerfeld to make an all white room this luxurious and chic…marble floors, a plaster sunburst mirror, and white washed caned and gilded dining furniture…

 

chalky white sitting room

A white wonderland by Anne Pyne of McMillen via Elle Decor

In this Manhattan townhouse, a chalky white (seldom found in nature) palette acts as a foil to the botanical themes found the in the wallpaper, light fixture, and faux bois furniture.  Geometric shapes and patterns reinforce that tension and make the room feel fresh and up-to-date.

 

a white-hot dining room

A white-hot dining room in Madrid via Nuevo Estilo

Old and new collide with fantastic results in this Madrid dining room.  Mod furniture and a sputnik chandelier marry beautifully with ornate mouldings and traditional urns thanks to a restrained use of color.  The dominance of white also makes the art and colored glass really pop.

 

A glamorous white living room

A glamorous largely white living room via Elle Decor

In this fantastic living room, white is less about calmness and more about glamour.  Mixed metals and crystals sparkle a little brighter in this light-filled space.

 

white living room with character

Alex Hitz’s stylish white living room as featured in House Beautiful

Shades of white permeate this living room, accompanied by leopard print, gleaming metallics, and a towering stylized painting.  The result is unique, eclectic, and very chic.

 

As it turns out, white is pretty versatile and far from boring.  It’s an excellent vehicle for imparting a sense of calm or for showcasing texture, sculpture, or luster.  It can be understated, glamorous, or even quirky.  I guess the folks at Benjamin Moore know what they’re doing.  Keep an eye out for stunning “Simply White” interiors in 2016 and check out Motley Decor’s top shopping picks in white to get a jump start on crafting your own.

 

Looking for a little more color in your life?  Check out Patone’s 2016 color of the year.