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Photo via Unsplash

Once we hit the July 4th marker, the dog days of summer are officially here. The heat is consistent, vacations are in full swing and as the song goes; summertime and the livin' is easy...

I find myself subconsciously gravitating towards all things white at this point in the season. The absence of color is a welcome relief providing a calm coolness amongst all of the bright hues. White is clean, pure and crisp. As white light contains all the colors of the spectrum, it is the ideal July shade- the contrast against which all other colors look more vibrant.

In color psychology, white is the color of certainty and illumination. It is considered to be the symbol of unadulterated truth and is associated with learning and knowledge.

White helps our minds focus and aids in organization. It often represents morality and freedom; delivering clarity and defining borders. Interestingly enough, too much white can have the opposite effect bringing about uncomfortable feelings of a sterile-like environment. It can also occasionally feel distant, impersonal, and cold.

Historically, white has been considered to be an auspicious color, particularly in Japanese society. Representing cleanliness, it is seen as a "blessed" color and saved for ceremonial ritual.

For most of history, actual white pigment was incredibly difficult to create and therefore used sparingly.

Dating back to Ancient Rome, there are writings describing the dangerous methods of creating "white paint" through lead compounds. Even up until the 19th century lead was the only type of white paint used in Europe.

In the Victorian period, bright white paint didn’t even exist. The closest colors were creams also made with lead or lime.

It was only very recently, in the 1940s, that a pure white color could be achieved through the addition of titanium dioxide which is responsible for creating long lasting bright white colors. Known as the whitest white, titanium dioxide as a pigment is able to scatter light resulting in bright opaque color. With this new pigment, true white could now be achieved in paint, textiles and wallpaper.

Chic and timeless, white interiors have been popular from period interiors to glossy modern architectural spaces

In the 1930s glamorous era of Hollywood, luxurious white sofas and rugs were offset by shiny mirrored furniture. Later in the 1960s, bright white high gloss finishes were essential components of pop-art inspired interiors. Following this modern side of mid-century, Scandinavian design then soared in popularity featuring"white-centric" schemes centered around neutral light flooded spaces and minimal furnishings.

Most recently, the latest trend in white interiors features rich layers where warm white takes center stage in a host of textures like thick woven blankets, linen furniture and shaggy Moroccan rugs.

For a color that is by definition the "absence of color', white is actually the most versatile color to work with in interior design. Classic yet modern, it is the perfect neutral. It can be used to brighten up a space, provide an excellent backdrop for artwork, bring a sense of elegance, or put lend a contemporary refresh to dated design.

The key to working with an all-white palette is to really get the tone right. As noted by Chrissie Rucker, the founder of home retailer The White Company; “Opt for warm whites rather than cold, bluey-white tones. Ivory, alabaster, chalk; there are countless soft whites on the market.”

When using white in abundance, I like to really layer the space through multiple textures, materials, and several different shades of white to keep it warm & inviting.

Creating contrast through mixing hard surfaces and soft textures brings visual interest (think linen with shiplap or cashmere with concrete).

Besides a white on white scheme, white of course works well with virtually every color palette. This summer, I have been pairing it frequently with rich Navy Blue for a very Americana inspired look (for more inspiration take a look at July's Moodboard).

Regardless, whether you are looking to lighten up some furniture pieces, brighten up home accessories or cool off your wardrobe with chic summer white; the timeless classic does not disappoint. Here are a few of my July favorites:

Shop the Board

Pair this with white pants or a skirt for a crisp & cool look

The prettiest pearlized clutch

Petal inspired studs are my standard summer earring

These antique french cream pots could be used for serving or storage

I love the combination of textured ceramic & crisp white

Tassels & linen make everything feel casual yet chic

One of my favorite wallpapers that never tires

Fluted edges add interest to simple shapes

White + wicker is the ultimate combination

These pillar holders bring an element of understated elegance

Coffee Table inspiration for July


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