This article has been written by Miljana Drincic – a professional architect and interior designer – to ensure the content is unique and insightful.
White is a popular choice in bedrooms because it can make the room feel lighter and more uplifting when compared to a bedroom painted in a darker color.
However, white can often appear sterile and too clinical when used incorrectly in a bedroom.
So how do you decorate a bedroom with white walls correctly?
The best way to decorate a bedroom with white walls is to break up the monotony with zoned lighting, accents, contrasting patterns, complementary colors, accessories, grouped wall art, mirrors, mounted lights, wood tones, floating furniture and plants.
In the rest of this article, I have detailed how to apply these elements effectively in your bedroom with white walls.
I have included visual mock ups and a description so that you know exactly how to replicate the look.
I have also included hex values for any major white tones so that you can create your own palette with a color wheel.
15 Ways to Decorate a Bedroom with White Walls
Whilst following several of the steps below can help you to better decorate your white bedroom, you don’t have to follow every single tip for the project to be successful.
I’ve created the list so you can pick out the elements that suit your project for stand-alone value.
1: Hang Grouped Artworks to Create Rhythm
Bone white hex value #E3DAC9
Grouped accessories are a convenient way to unify a space.
Organized clusters are calming because they seem orderly.
The easiest way to incorporate rhythm in your bedroom is by using framed artwork – as shown in the image above.
Other decorative objects such as candles, mirrors, and vases, can also create the desired effect.
Bone white is a yellowish-grey shade of white – its temperature leans towards warmth.
Notice how black and white stand out more because of the pure white used on the canvases.
Images and frames in black and white have a history of success.
However, framed artworks are a wonderful playground for experimenting – they offer endless motifs, formats, and frames.
If you’re making a cluster, don’t use large pieces – instead combine at least 3 pictures.
You can hang them in line to form a linear layout or scatter them to make it seem more casual.
Scattered does not mean unorderly – pay attention to the balance of the composition.
You can combine them with a piece of furniture, such as a storage unit or a table.
Or you can even arrange them above the bed to resemble a headboard.
If there is a strip of the wall that you’d like to accentuate, organize the images in the shape of a pyramid.
In this case, I would use simple frames and artworks.
When introducing accent colors to the space, picture frames can be one of the accessories for color implementation.
In this example, the image frames create a balanced unit with the kentia palm and the arch of the black table lamp.
2: Place Mirrors to Enhance Openness
Old lace hex value #FDF5E6
Mirrors can stand alone or form a cluster.
No matter the size, a mirror is an intimate accessory that easily activates the space.
For practical reasons, it’s good to have a large mirror in the bedroom.
You can hang it, get a rotating floor mirror, or simply lean it on the wall.
If you choose the third option, get a wide mirror frame that won’t slip and turn over.
Depending on the atmosphere you want to create, you can make a cluster of rectangular or irregular, organic forms, with or without frames.
A large mirror with a decorative frame is an immediate attention-grabber.
There are a couple of interesting concepts to explore when using mirrors.
Firstly, things from the outside can be brought in by reflection.
Secondly, objects can be multiplied by their reflections.
Thirdly, mirrors reflect natural light.
White walls and mirrors both bring brightness and daylight in by increasing luminosity.
Don’t place a mirror perpendicular to direct sun rays – it will create an uncomfortable glare.
It’s best to turn a mirror sideways to the window.
White walls will also refract some of the light, which will reach the mirror indirectly.
In my experience, placing mirrors to reflect the outdoors looks wonderful – you can do this by placing it closer to the window.
Mirroring an ambience or a comfortable zone in the bedroom also looks inviting and appealing.
The white shade used in this example is old lace – it’s a yellow-orange white, visible on the walls and the lampshade.
Its warm properties are further accentuated by the late afternoon sunlight.
3: Fit Mounted Lights to Make a Statement
Floral white hex value #FFFAF0
Mounted lights are extremely sculptural.
They can be directly connected to the white wall, which makes their texture and shape stand out.
This relationship can come together through equal treatment or contrast.
If the lamp is neutral, it can seem as if it’s a part of the background.
If it’s contrasting, especially in color, it can create a dynamic combination with the wall.
The light becomes a part of the decor.
Not only does it color the white wall, but its angle influences shadow cast.
The relationship between light and shadow is important, as it creates a dynamic.
A mounted light can be used as a task or ambient light.
By being elevated and disrupting the linearity of the wall, it serves as a bold statement and enhances the character of the room.
This light can serve as a reading or working area.
It should be positioned so that the source is not directly visible to the user.
It can be adjusted to the optimal height, so as not to cast shadows while the user is reading.
You can use an adjustable lamp for more flexibility.
I usually advise my clients to use simple forms and thin construction for the mounted light.
Floral white is another shade leaning toward yellow, like the lampshade in this example.
4: Leverage Dramatic Lighting to Create Zones
Alabaster white hex value #EDEAE0
Another effective and easily applicable lighting solution in a white bedroom is dramatic light.
The lighting itself can stand out by the size or shape of the lamp or chandelier, the distribution of light, the orientation and width of the light beam, or the color and temperature of the source.
Lighting is very efficient when you want to delineate a zone.
It is possible to create an atmosphere in your white bedroom through zoning.
You don’t need to have plenty of space to create it.
You can use light for the bed area, or an interesting piece of furniture.
A compelling and extraordinary zone that requires little space is indoor plant nurturing.
Combined with the white walls, they stand out immediately, creating a dramatic effect.
Built-in lights are often used for dramatic effect.
They can be installed in the ceiling, structural elements, or pieces of furniture.
Floor lamps are another localized light that can be a great choice for zoning.
They’re movable and can serve as both task and ambient light.
Alabaster is a pale yellow-white tone, that can be nicely combined with colored light, as in the example.
5: Integrate Complementary Timber to Create Contrast
White hex value #FFFFFF
In a room with white walls, colors and textures produce contrast.
In interior design, black is the most obvious and most popular choice to be combined with white.
However, the black and white combination, although effective, can be slightly cold to use for the whole bedroom.
When it comes to furniture, I usually advise my clients to use complementary timber.
Wood is a warm, natural material – it provides enough contrast to make the room layered and exciting, but not tiring.
Wood can easily be incorporated into any color scheme.
In addition, you can use black and white details with wood.
If there are visible structural elements, such as wooden beams or roof construction, you can give them a natural finish, and incorporate them into the design.
To keep the space structured, use two or three kinds of timber.
I suggest using two different tones of wood, along with the wooden floor.
Surface roughness and the width of the planks offer lots of opportunities.
In a bedroom, however, it might be best to implement smooth surfaces and different tones.
If you want to create contrast with texture, you can use a piece of wooden furniture with live edges.
Its organic irregularity blends in beautifully with polished tabletops or floor boards.
For example, beech and oak have slight pink and brown tones.
Combined with spruce or pine, they make a well-balanced, tasteful combination.
You can introduce wood to your design through furniture, flooring, decoration, and structure.
I have used a basic white shade for this design.
If you’d like a slight tint, you can use one of the yellow-white variations.
6: Include Floating Furniture to Create Free Space
Floral white hex value #FFFAF0
To make your bedroom feel lighter, use floating furniture.
Floating furniture has a thin construction, which makes the upper parts of the furniture seem like they’re floating in the air.
These can be tables and shelves, as well as lamps and chairs, as in this example.
The easiness that white walls create is further accentuated by such furnishings.
If there is a carpet in the room, it can create visual levels, because of the different elevation of elements.
You can see this in the carpet, table, and shelf in the example.
The surfaces of the furniture will be easier to keep clean since there is less contact with the floor.
If the surface of the furniture is seemingly large, I would advise using lighter color tones.
Otherwise, it can look heavy and uneasy, which is the opposite of the effect that you want to create.
7: Install Built-in Storage to Create Functionality
Old lace hex value #FDF5E6
Most bedrooms are planned in such a way that the storage units fit into a niche in the wall.
You can use a neutral-colored storage unit to make an impression of continuing walls or customize your dresser by using texture and color.
Built-in storage is also a great asset to bedrooms that have a sloping ceiling.
This space is too low for everyday use, which makes it perfect for your wardrobe, or a place to put away bedclothes and blankets.
These pieces are usually custom-made, which allows you to make them a remarkable part of the bedroom.
I prefer wooden pieces, which are easy to shape.
Carved frames are an intimate, subtle detail.
You can paint gentle color decorations, such as small geometric patterns or flowers.
You could also cover it with a warm-looking, patterned textile or wallpaper.
For a more seamless look, install white sliding doors in the niche.
If direct sunlight comes from the opposite wall, I would suggest a matte finish that diffuses the light.
Built-in storage is highly functional, as it leaves the space uncluttered, and maximizes use.
You can make a distinctive element, or support the continuity of the white walls.
If you use black in the design of the unit, I suggest using a black and white carpet to ground the composition of the room.
8: Set Up Vintage Furniture to Add a Personal Touch
Baby powder hex value #FEFEFA
Whether you like to keep things simple or lean towards an eclectic look, vintage furniture pieces enhance the character of the room.
White walls might seem like they lack character, while in reality, they support any style you choose.
This allows you to get a piece of furniture you like without thinking about whether its color or pattern fits in the room.
However, a color palette is still to be followed if you want the design to look coherent.
Vintage furniture is also suitable for lifting rooms with neutral colors.
This means that introducing one extraordinary piece of furniture in a neutral room will immediately enhance the space.
I strongly encourage this step for several reasons: it’s cost-effective, it’s ecologically responsible, and it gives the room character.
You can combine it with zoning, and use it to make a unique ambience.
In this example, the carpet lifts the liveliness of a neutral room.
If there are more custom-made pieces, such as the storage unit, consider restoring the vintage furniture piece to match it.
This can be done with finishings and decoration.
Compared to the rest of the given examples of white shades, baby powder is very close to basic white.
9: Use Leather to Add Character
White smoke hex value #F5F5F5
Leather armchairs or cushions lift the character of a space – it appears strong and sophisticated.
It also has a structural quality and brings refreshing new textures.
Leather accessories make the surrounding white areas seem warmer.
It is most elegant as upholstery on small areas that won’t dominate the bedroom.
It also looks good combined with wood as a natural material.
What I often do is combine it with wool, oriental rugs, or rugs with fringing or long hair.
These materials look warm and offer contrasting textures.
Similar to baby powder, white smoke is another white tone that is close to neutral white.
Baby powder might seem slightly more yellow compared to white smoke.
10: Hang Track Curtains to Create a Pattern Wall
Ivory hex value #FFFFF0
Track curtains are hung on a conceived ceiling rack.
They are a unique choice for equipping a bedroom, especially with white walls.
For the full effect that they offer, use colored or textured material.
The benefit of using this type of curtain is that the rack can be mounted in multiple directions.
You can fix it in a corner of the room, for example.
It can slide on two perpendicular walls.
This option is perfect for large window areas next to a white wall.
You can use them as wall décor on one wall, or for light and privacy regulation over the windows.
The area of the white wall can become an exhibition canvas for patterns and colors.
Track curtains provide white walls with texture while regulating the relationship with the outdoors.
This method of decoration is great if you want to keep it minimalistic.
You can also combine it with nice pieces of furniture, like the credenza in this example.
The floorboards amplify this look – they are oriented towards the curtain, following its folds.
The shape of the credenza corresponds to this design.
Ivory is a seemingly popular white tone with a tint of yellow.
In this example, it is lit with white light.
With warmer light sources it will look more yellow.
11: Fit Sheer Curtains to Create a Romantic Atmosphere
Alabaster white hex value #EDEAE0
For a more basic, equally sophisticated look, use transparent sheer curtains.
They maximize the light breakthrough, fully activating the luminous power of the white walls.
For a subtle cast of color, use colored transparent curtains.
If there is a need for more privacy, you can add another pair of curtains to regulate the view.
There are special curtain rods for this purpose.
If you’re aiming for neutral patterns, you can pick out black and white curtains.
While choosing your furniture, keep in mind that black absorbs light.
I would suggest choosing a design where white dominates over black.
Black details can be combined with bedclothes, pillows, and similar accessories, to unify the design.
12: Set Up Perforated Shades to Create Texture
Floral white hex value #FFFAF0
Curtains are not the only available shading elements.
Truly interesting shadow patterns can be cast by perforated shades.
For a bedroom design, I would advise using wood or plastic, although they come in a variety of materials.
Metal is usually used for exterior shades because of its durability.
Even the simple Venetian blinds produce a patterned effect.
Perforated shades offer a wider selection of patterns.
When the light hits the white walls, shadow patterns create the effect of a textured surface.
Because of the contrast, white walls are best for shadow patterns.
Perforated lamps and candleholders create the same effect.
They can be used as a nice ambient light.
I would place them in a corner of the room to localize the shadow patterns.
They are calming and visually pleasing, but coming from artificial sources they can be tiring.
Shades let through natural light, which immediately looks inviting.
13: Activate the Space With Accents and Focal Points
Seashell hex value #FFF5EE
Accents and focal points activate the space.
They are an extremely important element in interior design.
Even if they vary in colors and patterns, the choice of the accessories shouldn’t be random.
There are several basic approaches to choose from.
They are all equally effective in a room with white walls.
The first option utilizes contrasting patterns.
The easiest way to incorporate this in your bedroom is through textile accessories, such as blankets and cushions.
They are cost-effective and easy to move around.
You can use different tones of the same color, or complementing colors, to enhance the contrast and authenticity of the accent.
The second option is the complementary color décor.
Complementary colors are on opposing sides of the color wheel.
They are pleasing to the eye, because of their different physical properties.
When next to each other, they make an effective, yet very pleasing impression.
Vibrant cushions or décor are some of the examples of such accents.
The third and last suggestion for a bedroom with white walls is to use neutral accessories.
Black and white instantaneously attract attention.
Contrasting patterns provide additional charm.
Such accessories can be black and white curtains or bedclothes.
Seashell white resembles pale pink tones.
In this example, it goes well with the purple artwork.
14: Connect to the Outdoors With an Integrated Bench
Baby powder hex value #FEFEFA
Window seats look dreamy and sophisticated.
They are an easy addition to any space, because of their technical simplicity.
The upside of white walls in a bedroom is high luminosity.
To enhance the connection to the outdoors, make a contemplative, sunlit zone by using a window seat.
I prefer using a wooden board for a natural look.
Add some cushions to make it comfortable – they can serve as a room accent as well, introducing refreshing colors or textures.
A window bench is often used to cover the heating bodies.
Make sure the finishing is resistant to high temperatures in this case.
Having a heating body nearby can enhance comfort, and enable you to use it at any time of the year.
The functional quality of this detail lies in the additional seating area and fresh air.
It can serve as a casual reading area, leaving you with more free space for other furniture pieces.
15: Arrange an Indoor Garden to Bring the Outdoors Inside
Baby powder hex value #FEFEFA
An indoor garden is one of the most replenishing ways to decorate your bedroom – it can be incorporated in apartments as well as houses.
Having a white background and green plants creates a calming effect.
If the room is not properly sunlit, use indoor plant lamps – they offer additional light that plants need.
This allows you to elevate them on shelves and storage units – it becomes an attention-grabbing zone that works with any design.
Indoor plant lights come in white or colored variations.
If there is a corner with enough sunlight, you want to arrange your indoor garden there.
Keep in mind the varying handling that different houseplants need.
Pots and pot holders are also interesting details that become room accents.
They can be combined with other accent accessories and focal points.
Certain types of plants can be mounted on the wall.
Most of the tips provided in this article require minor adjustments and introduce new accessories or furnishing pieces.
This makes them adjustable for any room with white walls, regardless of the size and current furnishing.
Grouped accessories and accents are the easiest methods to achieve a harmonious design – they are also fitting in spaces already containing various furniture pieces.
Lighting alone can completely change the impression you get upon entering the bedroom.
Adding a floor lamp as ambient or task lighting can completely transform the room.
Warm materials, such as timber and leather, bring a sophisticated note.
The furniture can dominate the space or fall into the background.
This depends on whether you wish for an energizing bedroom with character or a soft and neutral one.
With contrasting wood, you can create several visual layers by using only furniture.
Window seats, shades, and built-in storage units are adaptable to certain rooms.
Nevertheless, they are very effective additions that are not hard to implement if you have space for them.
If you’re using clean white pieces of furniture, especially with polished surfaces, paint the walls clean white, as well.
Artificial materials, such as plastic and paint (on window frames or radiators) in slightly toned white, look aged against the basic white walls.
Each bedroom has qualities that can be improved through interior design.
Don’t push a design if the conditions aren’t fitting for it.
Search for the opportunities the space provides you and promote them.
Image Attribution and Licensing
Main image: ‘White Bedroom’ by tulcarion (Getty Images Signature) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.