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Ask an IKEA interior designer: adding warmth to a white home

“I really like the look of a tonally light home, but don’t want to make my space feel stark or cold. How can I add the cosiness I crave?” We caught up with an IKEA interior designer and got advice on how to make a home feel warm and inviting, even with a very strict colour palette.

A person folding a grey-beige GUNNEMOR throw on the arm of a light beige SÖDERHAMN 1-seat corner section.
A person folding a grey-beige GUNNEMOR throw on the arm of a light beige SÖDERHAMN 1-seat corner section.

What is the quickest way to add warmth to a mostly white home?

“The easiest way to soften a space is by adding in literal softness! In this home, rugs add some underfoot comfort and little additions like throws and scatter cushions in different tones and textures make communal spaces feel inviting to everyone who steps through the door.”

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An off-white EVALI throw on top of cushions in an off-white HEDSÄV cushion cover and a light beige KRYDDBUSKE cushion cover.
    A grey-beige GUNNEMOR throw on the arm of one of two light beige SÖDERHAMN 1-seat corner sections on a white VOLLERSLEV rug.
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      A lit MOLNART LED bulb suspended from a white SUNNEBY cord set next to a window with a beige SANDVEDEL roller blind.

        How can you make a space feel warm throughout the day?

        “Consider installing two sets of blinds for different light intensities. Here, natural and filtered light can be enjoyed in the day, while a second set of blinds creates total darkness for sleep.”

        And how do you create cosiness in a white home at night?

        “Without the sun warming the space, candles and lamps take centre stage! Of course, more functional lighting is necessary but in this apartment an expressive pendant lamp next to the bed adds softness with its moody atmospheric glow as do the many candles dotted throughout the home.”

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        A black HULTARP rail with hooks above a lit candle inside a frosted glass/black HEDERVÄRD lantern next to a DEJSA table lamp.
          A bedroom with a lit white VINDKAST pendant lamp suspended above a dressed blue TUFJORD upholstered bed.
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            How can you use more functional pieces to add warmth?

            “Ideally, search for pieces that offer both function and homeliness. This studio apartment called for a division between the sleep and dining/work area. Rather than picking solid dividers, soft, light textiles have been used to separate these spaces. Cosiness and functionality in one!”

            White DYTÅG curtains separating a work area from a sleeping area, with a white VINDKAST pendant lamp above a dressed bed.
              A white VINDKAST pendant lamp above a TUFJORD upholstered bed dressed in a white ÄNGSLILJA duvet cover with 2 pillowcases.