Friday, March 8

Friday's Why In Design Column: The power of using the color white in the home

the color white conjures up many powerful words
photo: gabby stephenson
pure
classic
clean
ethereal
stately
elegant
modern
sculptural
new
enlightened
spiritual
strong
all come to mind... 

wispy drapes hanging in John Rosselli showroom D&D Building


as an interior designer I am literally inundated daily with color. I often help my clients 
 to feel comfortable living with certain color combinations 
 in their home.  However, there are items 
I recommend only using white -

fluffy towels  
there is no substitute for crisp, white bed linens

I thought in depth about the power of the color white today when attending an inspiring lunch hosted by German appliance company, Miele.  I have been invited into their dramatic showroom before, and each time I learn something new about the innovative company.  The impetus for today's lunch and visit was to celebrate the launch of their new "Simply Brilliant" collection featuring white appliances. And, yes, the appliances are a shiny shade of bright white.  Over lunch, we discussed the historical value of utilizing the color white.  From well-known architect Mies van der Rohe to current day artists, professionals often value and highlight using the color white.  

White is a versatile color,
"A white porch or picket fence conjures a nostalgic charm, but white is equally at home in a futuristic spaceship: and when it governs an interior space it's range of moods is enormous."
Linda O'Keeffe, author Brilliant

Miele's new Brilliant collection
offers 30" Convection Oven, Steam, Speed Oven, 
and even a Whole Bean Coffee System and Plate Warmer

I almost always use elements of white in a kitchen as well

Miele also brought in author, Linda O'Keeffe to talk with us about her fresh-off-the-press book on the subject of the color white, Brilliant.  Listening to many in the room who have worked in the design industry for dozens of years, I was impressed with the amount of consideration that goes into our color choices when designing homes. Some view the use of the color white as a blank slate to show off good design elements, while highlighting other colors, while others talked about the color as being strong and forceful, even overpowering at times.  Either way you view it, O'Keeffe feels white used in interiors wields incredible power. She pointed out that with our busy, modern lives filled with electronics and sensory overloads, the use of white may grow in popularity in order to de-stress from these influences.

Miele's double wall oven with a glass front and shiny chrome handle

Brilliant is the sixth book O'Keeffe has published after working for sixteen years as the creative director for Metropolitan Home magazine.  She brings her honed eye and extensive knowledge  to making this book, which is filled with beautiful interiors where designers and homeowners are committed to living with the color white.
 bathtub at Hastings Tile, White bean soup, and , O'Keeffe's  book, Brilliant,
and lovely set table in Miele

One writer in the group stressed the importance of Miele's new white collection to progress  kitchens moving  forward from a time when utilitarian commercial kitchens were the only form of modern kitchens available.  With varying color appliances now being offered in the market, we can advance kitchen design even further.  We also visited German cabinetry maker, Poggenpohl to hear about many of their new white cabinetry and Hastings Tile to see new white finishes and tile they are offering.


 Eero Saarinen's "tulip" table is a popular choice often chosen in white for kitchen tables because of their sculptural nature, 
plus they blend well in both contemporary and traditional interiors
a visit into see Bunny William's Bee Line Collection at
 John Rosselli's showroom 
at the D&D building in NYC
white when combined with metal, wood or other  neutrals can have a soothing influence in a room
Robert Allen fabric in showroom at the D&D building
 my collection of white vintage pottery has strong visual impact when
set out on a table altogether or across the fireplace mantel

Remembering that the kitchen is where we prepare, cook and showcase food, one food photographer in the group stressed white as the obvious color choice as a backdrop to photograph and display food.  
photo:  a recent kitchen project I work on
where white was an important element

Happy Nesting XO