1. Build a Bold Niche. Create a focal point to contrast the white walls. This cozy niche, concentrated in the corner, feels warm and inviting. The rich colors and patterns in the sofa play off the crisp simplicity of the space, giving the illusion of a niche floating between the white walls.
2. Get Graphic. Make a statement with black and white. Focus on incorporating elements with pattern and texture to build interest. If you can't stay away from color, add a few accents of a bold hue, like yellow or orange.
3. Warm It Up. Avoid the cold, stark feeling that some shades of white give off and add warmth through the use of wood. In this workspace, the touches of maple, in the frames and the desk, give the room a feeling of comfort and serenity.
4. Focus On The Floor. A darker floor has the power to ground a room. Keep the walls light and airy and the floor dark, to establish a sense of elegance. If you're dealing with ugly wall-to-wall carpet, considering adding an area rug on top of the carpet to better define the space (and hide the yucky carpet.)
5. Let There Be Light. Play with light and shadow on the walls. Lighting is very powerful in transforming the way a space feels. Diffused light and multiple light sources can soften a harsh atmosphere for a more calming vibe. Ceiling fixtures, like the pendant in this living room, also double as sculptural elements, used to add dimension.