One of the most common colors we see on apartment interiors is white. I’d like to go over some white apartment design ideas while I show you a few apartments that I worked on where white was a major element in the design.
White Apartment Design
White, Off White, Or Light Grey
This first white apartment is a 4,000 SF loft in Tribeca, New York City. The walls, materials, and finishes are all very light, including white, very light grey, and some off-white. The loft has a very pristine and luxurious feel. It’s clean, minimalist, and simple. The owner put a lot of color into the furniture and artwork to contrast the rest of the space.
Translucent Sliding Panels
This is a 3-story loft with a mezzanine level. We used glass and white translucent panels to bring light into the mezzanine and tie the entire design together. The sliding translucent panels at the mezzanine open and close to allow privacy and openness as needed. The translucent door design works very well in this white apartment.
The stairs going down form the mezzanine are all white and have small modern recessed lights in the walls. The industrial stainless steel handrail adds character to the white stairs, while fitting quite nicely. Metal and white really goes together.
Lighting plays a major role in architecture and interior design. You shouldn’t be afraid to get creative with it, like in this decorative pendant light or this blue linear cove light in the ceiling.
Here’s a modern molding, on a white on the white ceiling.
Keep It Simple
Here in the living room, we see some color in the furniture and the photos, but the white marble fireplace is what I really want to look at. The white on white blends in, but the marble veining adds detail. I really love the simplicity of this modern fireplace.
Bleached Wood Floors
These are bleached wood floors. The bleaching takes a lot of the color out of the floors, giving a very desaturated wood look. This ties into the white apartment really well. If you want the floors to disappear and blend in, as opposed to providing contrast, then bleaching could be a really good idea in a white apartment.
The upstairs mezzanine level has completely white floors. We also see here some simple recessed wall niches where the owner put plants there really bring life, warmth and color to an otherwise dark hallway.
Metal Details and White
This is the front entrance hall with a few hints of color in the brass at the mirror and the furniture. Metals go really well with white.
Relief From An All White Apartment
Here is a sitting nook with colorful art and furniture. Some people love all white, but an all-white apartment is not for everyone. Leave comments below and let me know if you would want to live in an all-white apartment.
Offset and Tie In The Furniture
This is my favorite piece of furniture in this entire loft. It has a bronze frame that pops and gives a hint of color but it has a white marble top that comes together with the rest of the apartment.
White Open Kitchen Design
Now of course this loft has an open kitchen. Now it is an open kitchen is almost standard and of course the kitchen is all-white in this all-white apartment, except for the stainless steel appliances. It has white marble countertops and matching backsplash. Here the countertop and backsplash are the exact same type of marble.
The peninsula has a white marble counter with a marble waterfall. The waterfall is the side panel. This is miter cut for a clean edge and the marble is continuous . You can see the veining at the top of the countertop, flowing down the side panel. It has a very nice modern continuous look.
Wood With White
This next apartment is in upper Manhattan and has a more modest kitchen but is quite elegant in its own way. Here you see more color in the wood floor and in the peninsula wood.
The kitchen faucet is a copper goldish color which really pops out against the white subway tile backsplash.
The appliances are stainless steel, which adds a sharp touch to the white kitchen. Subway tile is a good go-to for a white backsplash or for a white bathroom, especially if you are on a budget. The white on white here really works especially with the extra pops of color from the appliances, from the fixtures, and even from the little plant on the countertop, adding a bit of life and vibrancy to the otherwise white kitchen. The subway tiles have butt joints, making the backsplash even more minimalistic, and making the kitchen overall more minimalistic.
Black and White Design
Here you can see a two-panel wood doors painted white with a black door lever. As I said before, metal goes great with white, and so does black.
The next picture is not in an apartment, but from a Brooklyn townhouse that we renovated. Here you can see the black bedframe against the white walls, and once again, there are plants warming up the space.
Accent Wall Design In a White Apartment
This is a loft in Chelsea where we, among other things, added a home office with black metal and glass doors. Black metal and glass always goes well with white walls. This apartment has all white walls except for this red accent wall in the office.
White Apartment Design and Transparency
Here is another home office that we added to an apartment but with white wooden glass doors. This is on Park Avenue where the owner wanted to add a home office and cut it out of the existing living room. Here you can see a contrast in the floors and the hardware and the furniture against the rest of the white walls and ceiling.
In this next apartment, you can see that putting a pop of color can be fun in an otherwise white apartment. Here we have an open closet with white and blue shoe cubbies. This is in a West Village apartment that is pretty much white, even the furniture is white, but it has this real blue rush of color that really stands out, even if it’s just in the closet.
White With Other Colors to Mix It Up In a White Apartment Design
Moving on to bathrooms, we have a white marble bathroom here with a blue mosaic floor. This is on the upper west side of Manhattan. The white marble has no veining at all. It is uniform, and completely lacking in any detail, but the floor adds plenty of detailing and color with the blue mosaic marble. The polished metal fixtures and towel warmer also add to the bathroom, while also blending in with the white. Notice the mirror. It has a little mirrored color plate on the outlet to blend in. Little details like this can really help with a design. The shower is all white with a vertical floor to ceiling niche. The entire shower is that uniform white marble, as well as the niche.
The second bathroom is also all white and even more simple.
This bathroom is in Riverdale. It has white marble walls and white Corian at the tub and countertops. This is a custom white vanity with a Corian countertop and an integrated sink. The vanity has finger pulls to avoid the need for handles. The fixtures and lights are metal, which looks great against white marble.
The shower door is frameless and has polished metal hardware matching the fixtures.
Monolithic Bathroom Design
Here is another white marble bathroom in an apartment renovated on the upper east side. This marble has dark veining which creates a lot of detail on the walls and floors. In this bathroom, the dark veining really pops out.
You don’t have to use marble to make a white bathroom. This next one is porcelain. The entire bathroom floor and walls is one type of porcelain tile with butt joints. The tiles are vertically oriented and you can barely see the seams. It’s very seamless and simple.
This bathroom has a sculptural white tub. Here, the shape of the bathtub is the feature and the off-white bathroom tiles blend and disappear. The use of color is a critical design decision white apartments.
It’s Your Apartment You Can Do Whatever You Want
No matter what color you make your apartment. You have to make your apartment your own. As I always tell my clients, it’s your apartment, you can do whatever you want.
Let me know what you think about white apartments in the comments below.
White Apartment Interior Design
As an architect, I study design and construction, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article, we reviewed some tips and ideas for white apartments but there are many others to consider. Every project is unique and must be assessed on its own unique characteristics. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.
Thank you for reading our blog post on White Apartment Designs.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect, you can contact us directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.