written by:
September 27, 2012
While white may be interpreted as an absence of color, it is by no means absent of major impact when used in design. Here, Dwell looks back on some of our favorite homes that center around a white schema to prove that, when done correctly, the lack of color actually translates into an effortless cool.
Modern white bathroom with cabinet decorations on wall

In a combination gallery-and-residence in Antwerp, a pair of artists from Studio Simple assembled a mosaic of white-painted chests and cabinets to create a highly personalized bathroom.

Photo by 
1 / 17
Far end of Palomba living room.

In the cavernous living room of a converted 17th-century oil mill in Salento, Italy, designers Ludovica+Roberto Palomba used various shades of white to create a light and airy living space.

Photo by 
2 / 17
arctic white kitchen with exposed wood grain interior

In a Connecticut kitchen renovation where everything is white, from the whitewashed cabinets to the tile backsplash, a set of Pantone mugs constitutes one of the only pops of color.

Photo by 
3 / 17
Marshmallow sofa, clock, white lamp

A vintage lamp joins a Spool clock and Marshmallow sofa by George Nelson to give a multi-generational California home a clean, white mid-century vibe.

Photo by 
4 / 17
renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen

The renovation of a midcentury home in Austin, Texas, is particularly striking in the crisp white ktichen. The cooktop, refrigerator, and wall ovens are by Jenn-Air; the sink and faucet are by Kohler; and the countertops are from Caesarstone.

Photo by 
5 / 17
Modern laundry room with fiber-optic chute

30E Design transformed a hallway in a Boston brownstone from a cold, dank dumping ground into a clean white space that efficiently houses the laundry, furnace, and boiler.

Photo by 
6 / 17
San Francisco kitchen renovation

In the renovated kitchen of a San Francisco home, a high-gloss finish was achieved through a meticulous process. Painters applied multiple layers of white paint, each polished with very high-grit sandpaper, before topping it all off with three coats of clear varnish.

Photo by 
7 / 17
modern dining space with chandelier and Eames house birds

Barbara Hill designed this modern home in Atlanta, Georgia. Its informal dining space has a slightly rustic feel, sporting bronze and wood in the form of a Lindsey Adams Adelman chandelier for Roll & Hill and a table by Terry Dwan, mixed with folk-art touches like the Eames House Birds and a cuckoo clock from Diamantini & Domeniconi. The PK8 chairs from Republic of Fritz Hansen were designed by Poul Kjærlholm and sourced from Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston, Texas.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Designer Brings Her Bold Brand of Texas Modern to this Atlanta Family Home
8 / 17
Modern box house in Nagoya, Japan

Next to a neighboring schoolyard in Nagoya, Japan, this white cube-shaped structure was designed by Japanese architect Makoto Tanijiri. It triples as a flower shop, art gallery, and residence to Yurika and Takuya Ninomiya. Staying true to the house's minimal and white design aesthetic, a stunning steel spiral staircase links all three floors of the home, which is absent of any interior doors. The Japanese home is made complete with a teahouse located behind the house that is lit by Isamu Noguchi's classic Akari 1AS lamp and also serves as an additional art gallery.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Small Space Live/Work Box Home in Japan
9 / 17
Modern apartment renovation in New York

Located in New York, the ultramodern interior of Svetlin Krastev and Dessi Nikolova's apartment easily houses a family of four. The 620-square-foot home, designed by su11 architecture + design, features a nearly-all white minimal interior that proves to be aesthetically pleasing with pops of color as well as utilitarian with a family room that transforms into the master bedroom. With each piece of furniture performing multiple functions, the secret to the family's minimalist home lies in built-in furniture and hidden storage.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in All Together Now
10 / 17
The wide apertures of Sweden's Plus House crisscross to form a mathematical sign—adding up to a prime residence.

Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune, Plus House is a prefab vision of white that showcases streamlined modern architecture and integrates traditional Swedish roofline design. The home to a family of four boasts an open design, well-thought out design concepts, and plenty of natural lighting.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Sum of Its Parts
11 / 17
Modern waterfront living room renovation

Michael McCarthy and Marcia Meyers took to the internet to find this stunner, a clean combination of white and glass, in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The home--also known as the Douglas House--designed by Richard Meier is tucked away in the hills and provides luxurious views of the turquoise water of Lake Michigan. Meier also designed the optic white sofa in the family's living room that is tied together by a Le Corbusier–designed rug manufactured by Edward Fields. The home offers multiple entryways via footbridge as well as cantilevered stairs.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© Dean Kaufman 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Originally appeared in The Lake House That's a Living Piece of Architecture History
12 / 17
Triem-House dining area with O chairs by Karim Rashid

Growing tired of Manhattan, Kathleen Triem and Peter Franck sought out to build a house of their own in Omi, New York. The two-story 3,000-square-foot home—a nod to Richard Serra's sculpture 4-5-6—features high ceilings and heated stone floors. The natural elements and white palette are balanced by wooden stairs, while an exterior entry ramp leads into the open living room and dining space with O chairs by Karim Rashid surrounding the table.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Escape From New York
13 / 17
The kitchen window looks out to stairs that lead up to a small roof terrace. The kitchen faucet is by Dornbracht. The recessed lighting is by Guzzini.

This grand penthouse in Vienna, Austria, was designed by Delugan Meissl. The kitchen of the expansive apartment is illuminated by Guzzini's recessed lighting and brought to life by hi-fi speakers. The stainless-steel kitchen equipment, like the faucet by Dornbract, offsets the white palette of the futuristic penthouse.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Penthouse Has Landed
14 / 17
guest room transformation with a scenic view

This former fishermen's cottage, designed by Norm. Architects in Vedbaek, Denmark, offers a rustic yet modern charm in unison with floor-to-ceiling white interior. The simplicity of the white color scheme translates into the conversion of the adjacent storehouse into a guest room with a direct entryway into the home's dining room.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Light-Filled Family Home Renovation in Copenhagen
15 / 17
Master bedroom with couch-bed, Ikea desk, and rocking chair.

Armed with a DIY spirit and tight budget, designers Susanna and Jussi Vento sought to renovate their 660-square-foot Helsinki apartment into a cozy home packed with quirky charm. Their white interior palette, complemented by black accents, serves as the perfect starting point for Susanna to display her attention to crafty details. The hints of neon accentuate the clean glow of the white master bedroom furnished with a trestle desk built with Ikea legs, a rocking horse found on huuto.net, and a bed that doubles as a couch.

Originally appeared in Fine Finnish: Master Bedroom
16 / 17
The office, which is a single-level separate unit, boasts Ikea desks and a signed work by Gilbert and George (friends of the couple).

Sandwiched between terra-cotta-colored roofs, the modern block-like Town House, with a glass door offering a glimpse of the inside, is designed by Elding Oscarson and home to Johnny Lokaas and Conny Ahlgren. The optic white office space is outfitted with desks from Ikea and framed artwork.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Contemporary Nordic Town House
17 / 17
Modern white bathroom with cabinet decorations on wall

In a combination gallery-and-residence in Antwerp, a pair of artists from Studio Simple assembled a mosaic of white-painted chests and cabinets to create a highly personalized bathroom.

Photo by Tim Van de Velde.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
amaroso40040
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016