Whitewash lends itself to numerous decor styles, but it may appear cold and unappealing if there is too much blue or gray in the mixture. Warm up whitewashed interiors with touches of color from subtle to bright, using nature and found materials or objects to balance a room.
Whitewash typically is uncolored, although it may be tinted with paint hues to resemble old limewash, earth-stained by metallic oxides or pinked with animal blood. Unbleached linen upholstery against whitewashed walls or artwork frames warms the tone at a room as does a natural sisal carpet, sand-colored ceramic-tile floors or big woven baskets made of rush or split-wood strips. Adding architecturally-inspired contemporary furniture such as layered chairs made from unpainted cardboard is another way to remain minimalist without being stark.
Peach warms any surrounding and may take on vintage character with a whitewashed armoire repurposed as a kitchen pantry, or even a four-poster bed and hand-me-down whitewashed dresser at the guest room. Apricot adds the barest hint of sunshine while full-blown ripe peach subtly tints light. Rose and blush additionally cast flattering tones over a whitewashed wall or table and seats; blush walls at a breakfast nook work with antique flowered china on a whitewashed booth along with seat.
Rust and Stone
A old stone fireplace warms a whitewashed room with the diverse stone colors that change with the lighting. For a warmer sense, look for stone that has browns, creams and orange in it rather than a blue slate or cool-gray granite. Weathered brick balances the severity of white. Faux rusty metal is just orange enough to highlight the warmer side of the color wheel. Use small pieces of rustic farm gear covered in a patina of rust spray it with a clear fixative to stabilize the end — as wall art in a whitewashed living or dining room. Lacquer rusty metal shelves or old lockers to get country-kitchen storage alongside whitewashed cabinets.
Whitewash and Wood
The heat of timber is a natural with whitewashed walls and furniture. Bleached wide plank floors have just enough color to mitigate the austerity of the all-white room. A cherry hardwood sideboard is just a foil to a whitewashed dining table. Maple cabinets change a whitewashed kitchen in “cold” to “country.” A burl or birdseye maple nightstand enlivens a shabby chic-style whitewashed bedroom. A lacy sandalwood screen in the corner adds visual texture to whitewashed walls in a living room or den.