How To Tone Down White Furniture [With Styling Tips For Your Home]

Finding a healthy balance of color throughout your home's design isn't always easy. Do you have a ton of bright white furniture you want to tone down but don't know how to do this? What is the best way to make less furniture stand out less? Should you add more colors to your space?

Well, we've done some digging and have the answers to these questions.

One of the best ways to tone down white furniture is to "neutralize" it. Some designers refer to this as 'graying it down,' which means using similar undertones to take some attention away from your super bright white furnishings.

For example, you might want to add shades of beige, grey, brown, or even other vibrant colors like blue or green to tone down a super-white piece of furniture.

As we start this article, we will cover all things white furniture and show you how to tone it down. Whether you went too far with the all-white theme, need to add some character to your space, or have additional design questions, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic below!

living room and balcony on green tone in apartment or hotel, How To Tone Down White Furniture [With Styling Tips For Your Home]

How Can I Tone Down White Furniture?

Blue and white abstract painting and mirror in wooden frame in elegant living room interior with corner sofa and coffee table

One of the first things to do with super white furniture is neutralize it with other complementing shades. Since white has a cooler undertone, you can try adding colors to your design with that same vibe.

Suppose you have a white sofa and want to tone it down a bit. The first thing to try here is to add color to your surrounding area and even some pillows or a blanket.

Beige, grey, brown, tan, and even green and blue hues can work nicely to tone down white decor and furniture. So, try and accessorize your space with these colors to take the attention of your ultra-white furnishings.

On top of that, you can try adding artwork and other metals into a space with a super white piece of furniture. Silver and gold both work well with white, so those are two options to consider.

Again, white pairs with just about everything, so figuring out how to tone it down won't be hard.

Will White Furniture Overpower A Room?

No. White furniture won't usually take over a room. However, with too many white pieces, that's when it can become an overpowering color in your design.

You often want to choose white for the walls and ceilings in your house. So, if you also add multiple white pieces of furniture or decor, it can become too bright and distracting.

For example, if you have a white sofa, accent chairs, and white wall paint, you need to add some color to your room to give it life. One common issue with white is that it feels sterile and uninviting.

Some designers use white for their base, adding unique colors and patterns afterward to finish their space. However, it is a good idea to choose white for your primary furniture color if you want a clean, modern aesthetic.

So, having white throughout your furniture isn't bad either: you need to moderate.

Does White Furniture Make A Room Look Bigger?

Yes! One of the main draws to using white furniture is its ability to open a room up. Typically, white and lighter furnishings can give the illusion a room has more space than it truly does.

That goes for most light colors, although white reigns supreme for optical illusions. According to design experts, if you place white furniture into a room with natural light, it will feel much larger.

That's because the white furniture will work to reflect the natural lighting throughout the space. Suppose you have a super bright living room with large windows.

Adding white furniture to that space will be stylish, reflect more light, and give your living room an almost angelic aesthetic.

Furniture can make or break a room. Therefore, you want to find pieces that will go with your other art and decor. So, white furniture not only makes a room feel larger, but it also goes with everything.

How Bright Should White Furniture Be?

In general, you want your white furniture to be white enough to look clean but not so bright it gives you a headache. As we said before, white furnishings have many benefits to your home's design.

However, too much of a good thing can turn sour if you aren't careful. In recent years, the off-white furniture and decor aesthetic has taken the design world by storm, giving space more warmth than standard white pieces.

A good way to imagine off-white would be thinking of a very light, cool-tone beige. Even though your sofa may be white, if it has some warmth, it may not be as overpowering.

There are endless options available for white furniture, whether you prefer something super bright and reflective or something cozier and warmer-tone.

Every home is unique, so don't feel like your furniture needs to be glaringly white to look clean and modern. Warmer white shades are trendy and hide dirt/age better than glistening white tones.

How Do You Tone Down A White Sofa?

Creative minimal paper idea. Concept white sofa with white background. 3d render, 3d illustration.

Moving to the couch, if you have a sofa with a super white hue, decorating it can be tricky. As we said above, you want to neutralize an ultra-white piece of furniture using similar undertones.

However, that doesn't mean you always need to play it safe. For example, if your sofa is brilliant white and you want a pop of color/pattern, nothing is stopping you from adding a few vibrant pillows.

Generally, throw pillows and blankets are the best way to tone down a white sofa or at least take some attention away from it. If you want to add a black-and-white striped pillow to your white couch, that could be a nice transition to a different color scheme.

Additionally, throwing on jewel-tone pillows might tone things down, drawing the eye to the pillows rather than the brilliant white sofa.

For surrounding furniture, we recommend using neutral finishes and colors as well. So, for your coffee or side table, try choosing a light wood option to help pull attention away from your white sofa/other seating.

Round Solid Natural Oak Wood Storage End Tables

Interior of living room with coffee table and white armchair, home design 3d rendering

This set of round oak tables has a modern design, can nest into each other, features non-slip reliable support, are adjustable in height, is made using solid wood, and are easy to assemble.

Follow this link to see them on Amazon.

What's The Best Color For A Sofa?

For those unsure of what sofa color to choose, this comes down to your design. Most times, the sofa in your house needs to be ready for heavy usage.

So, a white sofa isn't always practical for people with children or pets. However, choosing a warmer white sofa for your living room could help better camouflage the wear and tear.

One of the more popular colors for living rooms is grey. Therefore, a grey sofa might be a nice transition from white while still giving your design that modern edge.

On top of grey, beige and light brown are two other ideas for the sofa. Generally, the neutral color palette is a hit for living room designs, regardless of your house's theme.

Again, you can always mix and match your seating. If you want a white couch and grey accent chairs, that's entirely fine. If you want a cream-colored sofa and brown leather accent chairs: this is also okay.

Just choose something durable and comfortable!

What Color Should The Walls Be If I Have White Furniture?


Moving to the walls, you need to be careful with the color you choose. Especially since too much white in a room can cause glare and be overpowering, it's best to find a neutral complementing shade.

According to design experts, there are endless paint colors for white furniture. These include:

  • Grey
  • Beige
  • Cream
  • Pastels
  • Navy blue

Of course, you don't have to get crazy with your choice, but that option is available. As we mentioned, white furniture goes with everything, opening the door to more whacky and whimsical wall colors.

However, if you want to stick with a bright, neutral aesthetic, beige, grey, cream, and even certain pastels are the direction to follow.

Sometimes, throwing super dark, dramatic paint on your walls can cause the white furniture in your room to stick out even more: so be careful with deeper palettes.

On that note, deeper wall paint can also make a room feel smaller, so unless that's your end goal, we don't suggest going too dark with the wall color.

Do White Walls Go With White Furniture?

Yes! As long as you include a few warm shades in your space, you should be fine to have white walls and furniture. In general, white-on-white color schemes will give your room a modern, classy feel which follows current design trends.

If you want to tone down your white furniture, your white wall paint needs to be on the warmer side. For example, a warmer beige wall with all-white furniture will pair well while adding comfort to your design.

Too many cool tones can give your home a sterile feeling, which you want to avoid.

To Finish

Whether you have white furniture throughout your house or want to restyle a particular room, it's always good to know how to tone things down. We found that toning down white is as easy as adding neutral colors to neutralize it.

Generally, white responds well to cool tones, although a warm off-white can also do the trick. Finding colors for your walls and accessories that draw attention off your white furnishings is vital.

Remember, too much white can sometimes feel sterile!

Made it to the end? Here are some other related articles to read:

Does White Go With Brown Furniture? [How To Pair These Colors]

What Color Couch Goes With White Walls? [5 Suggestions Inc. Pictures]

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