White rooms: a little bit minimalist, a little bit magical
Slide 1 Of Showhouse Rooms Bathed in White
White . . . minimalist, magical, or a little of both? The question remains if white qualifies as a real color or not. Some designers wouldn't think of creating a room sans pigment-laden appointments. Others use it as a foolproof mechanism for sophistication. In bedrooms, white and variations of it lead the way to a restful snooze. Dining rooms with white as their palettes sing in refinement and class. Teamed with black, and high-glass elements, the color reads glamorous and seductive. Warm white offers comfort. Feast your eyes on these colorless treats from showhouses across the country.
The room's focal point is the bed, imposing in its mass yet inviting because of the delicacy and warmth of the paint and intricate carving. The charm that the designer creates for this space lies in the finer points. For instance, a striking swath of ivory-and black grosgrain ribbon found in a posh London shop is used on the bed coverings and draperies.
In soft impressionistic strokes, the painting above a settee and two chairs in the room's gathering area introduce the only note of color--a delicate lilac--in an otherwise tightly composed symphony of ivory and gray.
A contemporary Parsons table at bedside not only doubles as a useful desk but also manages to fit right in with a traditional bed, a rustic stool, and an antique ladder-back chair in this restful retreat designed by Susan Stacy and Jim Gauthier.
The modern walnut Parsons table, a trio of sleek steel pendant lights, and a pared-down tablescape are blended with grand wing chairs. "Balancing old things with new things gives a room great energy," says designer Michael Roberson.
Designer Dennis Duffy blanketed this dining room in a warmed-up oyster white with layers of varying tones and textures that produce contemporary elegance and a respectful update to centuries-old architecture.
A shapely "Zeus" chair adds a touch of whimsy in this sunroom. Designer Beverly Balk contrasted the ornate details of the architectural gem with a fresh, stylish approach unaffected by period constraints.
A total of 50 black-and-white photographs of early-Hollywood stars hang around the room in tight grids. On fine oils and charcoals, the artists' signatures may be recognizable only to art connoisseurs, but the names signed on the original photos in this room in the Lake Forest Showcase House are well-known--Bogart, Bergman, Gable, and Garbo.
This room was grand, with a heavy fireplace and travertine marble floors," says Day. "My goal was to tone it down, keeping the grand qualities but making them fresher." A billowy, ivory-colored sheepskin rug grounds the furniture arrangements. Its softness is contrasted against the sharp angles of a high gloss Lucite cocktail table.