Now that you’re into decorating, you’ve probably noticed the amount of white that goes into the design in every living space…it’s on the walls, the ceiling, the trim, the doors…everywhere. If you’re into the classic white look and know how to appreciate the color, that’s great. But if you’re tired and ready to experiment with something new — something you’re most likely looking for anyway if you live in a college dorm or apartment — then perhaps it’s time to purge the amount of white things in your home and go for something more wild. So, without further ado, I present to you 5 items below which you can alter to do just that:
Most people tend to paint walls a neutral color, especially if it’s a rental that many people are going to move through. Neutral shades are agreeable and tend not to clash with whatever furniture you put in the room; however, they’re also incredibly drab (especially if they’re whitewashed, or God forbid, a sickly shade of yellow). Feel free to stray away from the dull stuff and paint your walls whatever color you like, and don’t be afraid to pick bold colors. Just make sure to flip through some design magazines and look for pictures with similar color schemes; that way you can get a feel for furniture to match it to. Have an apartment? Some apartment complexes will let you paint your walls to your preference, as long as you repaint them to their original state at the end of the year.
An even better suggestion is to use wallpaper. Wallpaper is usually easier to put up, and the beautiful patterns and colors you can pick out offer more vibrance and creativity for your home than the standard coat of paint. Nowadays, temporary wallpaper has been invented, which means you can paste your favorite designs over any hideous wall (like, say, the white cement block walls in a lot of dorms), then remove it at the end of your stay. And there is some seriously awesome removable wallpaper available these days (like this Victorian blue pearl wallpaper)
One last option you can use is to add a mural to your wall; there are some really amazing wall stickers (some of which will take up an entire wall) that can create some elegant designs for your room. If that’s not up your alley, wall tapestries are always a good failsafe, especially for dorm rooms.
Towels are a really easy change to make for your space. I first got the chance to do this when I moved into my first dorm (which came right before the revelation that I was much more suited to an apartment life — then again, who isn’t?). I was shopping with my mom, who suggested I pick out a different colored set of towels. Having grown up in a French country house, where white is a staple for elegance, I had never even considered this possibility and was surprised at the prospect — then excited, because there are so many beautiful blood red and blue embroidered towels you can buy to add some extravagance to your bathroom. Now, I usually set up towels to accent the theme I’m going for in my apartment: red for my classic Belle look (think deep, glittery reds and dark browns), then blue for my Grimms brothers’ little mermaid look (which makes use of different shades of blues, white, and pearl gold in a Scandinavian style). There are lot of ways to have fun with this; just pick out your favorite and go for it. Quick note: Tassels for towels are also a trend now, so if you really want to glam up your towel rack, then feel free to add them into the scheme.
Doors are often (almost always, really) a boring, white color which is easily fixed by painting the surface something other than white: silver grey, barn door red, a nice blue — just make sure that whatever color you use works with the rest of the house. Alternative options: sticker decals or, if you’re afraid to damage the white surface, you can spruce it up with decorations over it, like lavender sprigs hung over the door or a cute sign with your initials.
4. Outlet covers and switch plates
The standard, white wall socket is pretty common everywhere, and as a very functional item it usually goes unnoticed, but if you’re searching for more ways to really make your home an awesome decorating space, changing out outlet covers and switch plates for a more decorative style can provide some very nice accents to a room.
5. Dish ware
A lot of people don’t think to use their dish ware as a decoration, instead opting for plain, white dishes or a mix and match of whatever they happen to collect. However, buying an elaborate set of dishes that purposefully adds to the look of a kitchen can go a surprisingly long way in improving it. If you get the chance to buy dishes or want to replace your old set, try to buy dishes that can be coordinated to a certain style: a cobalt blue set of farm style dish ware or a Victorian set with black toile patterns.
Trim’s a difficult thing to change, unless you have a place that you can do extensive work to. If you have the option of adding or replacing trim, consider going with a unique look, such as an ornate black trim (which is coincidentally very in right now) that could complement whatever decor you have in that room. Other, slightly similar options involve, again, decals — you can add small decals or put a border decal around the base of the room.
7. What else?
Odds are there are other things, specific to your home, that might also be white or even just too plain. Take a glance around your living space and see if there’s anything else you can think of to change. Even the small things can make a big difference. Also, if you have the chance to redirect your decor a little bit along these lines, then you can try to bring white decor into the foreground as an accent to the room, rather than pushing it into the background as usual. This will create a unique space with multiple, striking elements the eye can enjoy.
Have fun, and don’t forget to be as creative and wild as you want!