Renters everywhere face a common enemy: the dreaded white wall. But should you have walls you cannot paint, fret not! These Apartment Therapy renters work with the white wall, not against it. Granted, we are not all blessed with crown moldings or 15 foot ceilings, but the principles ring true for many a space. The key element is natural light.
Jesse's Modern Bachelor Pad House Tour - Jesse's space is a veritable tutorial in how to get the most out of a rental. By sticking to a muted palette and layering whites, textures, woods, and metals, he managed to make an awkward layout feel elegant and intentional. Great photographs make the room shine.
Alana's Brooklyn Railroad House Tour - Alana went another direction: she enriches her apartment with global textiles, warm reds, and personal touches throughout. The wall color here appears to be an off white — an even more difficult color to pull off than true white in my opinion, but she manages well.
Madelyn Baker's Naturally Elegant Abode House Tour - We are not all blessed with Madelyn's enviable architecture, but her adept mix of "masculine" and "feminine" elements (pardon the terms) is universally translatable.
Parallel Pulse's Live/Work House Tour - White walls help to unify disparate purposes in this live/work loft. Soft sheepskins and warm whites play against cold metals for a push-pull dynamic.
Sarah & David's Modern and Sophisticated Brooklyn Home House Tour - A great gallery wall is offset by the simple white backdrop. They also have a keen eye for how to marry different styles — the chairs here, for example.
Jacqueline's Bright and Airy West Village Studio - Here is another example of the gallery wall in a more humble environment to which more of us relate. Her small space feels light and airy due to quiet colors and simple graphics.
Chris & Kristen's Artist's Retreat - Of course, being an artist helps. Every inch of this environment oozes creativity and personality. The paintings and personal objects within are set off by all the white.
Our previous landlords thought we were crazy when we were actually allowed to choose the color, and painted over the cool gray and turquoise walls with white (at our own expense). But the result was calm, bright, and modern. Embrace the absence of color. It might just magnify what you love.
Re-edited from a post originally published 3.28.14 - JL
(Image credits: Jacqueline Marque; Kim Lucian; Sherrie U. and Alana Range; Liana Hayles; Veronica Roth; Andrea Sparacio, Sarah & David; Sherrie U.)