Without the infusion of leafy greens, this all white room might feel sterile.
White is a perfect backdrop for this blast of blue and delightful artwork.

If you are committed to white walls for whatever reason, be it renting and not allowed to paint, or it’s a safe, unobtrusive choice, or pure conservatism, take note of the newest design trend. White box syndrome has been around for a few decades now with the intense rise in the number of apartments and condos sprouting up overnight. Built for function and affordability, they are hugely popular through necessity, but they don’t feed the soul as a home should. A personal touch is needed. This is where you can add colour, texture and your own charisma through fabrics, fixtures and fittings. You don’t have to paint. A few additions and adjustments will make all the difference.

Thankfully, today we are bringing back warmth and uniqueness to our living spaces. You can begin by filling a wall with favourite photos in a variety of frames. Wallpapers and fabric mural art are all the rage. Go big and witness the change in mood as a stunning mural lights up an all-white room. Fabric cushions and throws radiate as colourful accents against a white sofa.

What’s your favourite colour? Why not splurge out and transform a single piece of furniture, a chair or an upholstered bench? A peaceful living room, shown here painted in the softest grey remains sophisticated but gets a character burst with touches of green. The window bench and occasional chair are fresh and sofa cushions link up with the natural hues. The room’s quiet backdrop gives the colours room to breath. Introduce colour and texture with plants; their leaves and blossoms supply motion and life, always dramatic against a pale wall. Shake up that white box and you’ll feel better every day.

Dear Debbie;

What would you say to buying one bright, bold piece of furniture that is expensive and doesn’t match the rest of the stuff you’ve got but you love it? A chic raspberry sofa has caught my eye and I can’t stop thinking about how I’d love to curl up on it and read a book. But I’m not the only one who lives here.
— Patricia

Dear Patricia;

This is an interesting question. Your situation poses two challenges. Looking at the second point first, living with another person takes compromise. Find out what it is that rankles … is it cost, colour, style? Are you combining households? Try bargaining in the kindest of ways. Don’t get personal, instead agree to disagree on a few style pointers and then move on to the cost. On your side I would say that buying a good piece of furniture that will last for years is a sound investment. You have to start somewhere, and everything is not going to be the best or match up in terms of quality when you first set up house. Raspberry is a happy colour that makes you feel good and that’s what home is all about. While you work out your solution, settle for a rosy pink blanket … it might just sow the seeds for a future agreement.