5 Tips For Decorating with Different Shades of White & Cream

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Images via Per Jannson &  Nicole Cohen

There’s just something so heavenly about an all-white room. It’s no secret that I love simplicity, and these white rooms are the epitome of simple. It’s sorta like when it snows…everything gets covered in a peaceful blanket of white. It’s like a minimalist’s dream!

Now, before you go and say, Terra… this isn’t practical… let me just say this… sure, an all-white room probably isn’t going to be the perfect option if you have small children and pets, but there are a ton of performance fabrics, carpet, and paint options that are made for real-life… so you can enjoy this heavenly look without sacrificing practicality.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at five tips that’ll make you mix different shades of white like a pro.

Images via Domino & Palazzo Cristo

1. Determine the undertone color of the white you’re using

The first step is to determine whether you’re going to stick with warm white or cool white. Warm whites have an undertone color of yellow, orange, and red, and cool whites have an undertone of blue, green, and purple.

Warm whites will be easier to blend with cream and beige, and white cool whites will mix best with shades of gray. Whichever undertone you choose, be sure to stick with it throughout your space.

Are you unsure about the undertone of something? Hold it up to a swatch of pure white.

Images via Rye London & Pietboon

2. Don’t be afraid to mix white & cream

If you’re working with warm whites, then you’ve gotta mix white and cream! You might think they don’t go together, but they do! Shades of cream will help warm up the whites in your space while keeping it light and bright. Plus, it’ll also bring in some subtle variation.

Images via OOAA Arquitectura & Bein Design

3. Repeat the same colors of white throughout

Make sure to repeat the same tones of white throughout your space. From the big pieces of furniture down to small decorative accents, this will help keep it looking cohesive.

The key to keeping it interesting is to make sure you use different textures. Don’t be afraid to blend all types of leathers, linens, cotton, velvets, and other fabrics.

Images via Alyssa Rosenheck & Alyssa Kapito Interiors

4. Pick your paint color last

Long story short- you can get any color of paint, but when you’re shopping for furniture, you’ll notice that your upholstery options are somewhat limited, so pick those first! There will always be a paint color that’ll go with it because you can bring in a sample swatch of the color you want to match, and they’ll custom-mix some for you. Be sure to get samples first, of course.

Images via West Wing Now & The Savvy Heart

5. Balance it out with a pop of black and wood

Did you notice that every one of the pictures above has a pop of black and/or wood? Yep, they all do! And it was all intentional.

Going all-white sounds gorgeous, but there needs to be a little something that helps ground the space. That’s where a pop of black or wood comes into play.

Think about using black and wood accents with small decorative objects, lamps, hardware, picture frames, or the legs of furniture.

Shop My Favorite White & Cream Furniture & Decor Pieces


There you have it, five tips and tricks for mixing different shades of white! I hope these tips get you off on the right foot for a beautiful and serene space! If you need help designing your space, feel free to check out my e-design services. And if you want more tips like these on the regular, follow me on instagram!

Until next time,


  1. Kathi says:

    Thank you for ideas, I love white and cream.

    • Terra Link says:

      Me too, it’s just so clean and beautiful looking! And you’re welcome! Happy I could help 🙂

  2. Good day. Thank you for your ideas. I really love the white color in all its manifestations)))

  3. It is a wonderful article decorating with different shades of white cream, which can be the best option as per your need. I like how you have researched and presented these exact points so clearly.You must also check out https://foreverblinds.com.au/ it has some great insights too.

  4. Thank you very much for presenting this data about decorating with different shades of white cream, it’s known how to get approved but what are the next steps after getting the approval. Wonderful information, thanks a lot for sharing kind of content with us, great post!

    • Terra Link says:

      Thank you so much, Awnings!! So happy to help! Also, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know how much this post helped you! 🙂 Best of luck on your project

  5. Kay says:

    I’m late to the discussion, but what are your thoughts on furnishings that have more of an ivory color in the same space/room with those that are more of a cream color? (In my mind, they are both somewhat versions of a warm white… and should work with each other, as well as less “dense” versions of warm whites.)

    • terra says:

      I agree! I think they’re both versions of warm white and can go quite nice together. I would just make sure there’s enough contrast between the two- especially if they’re next to each other. Then mixing in some brighter whites would be a perfect!

  6. Thank you for these tips for decorating with different shades of white and cream. These would help a lot to those who are planning to repaint their walls.

  7. Natasha says:

    I wanted to know your thoughts about going from one white room to another. I am planning a hallway to be a light warm white for the walls but going into a bathroom which needs to be a warmer cream white to work with my floor tiles. Will this work? Or is it better to have the same white in both adjoining rooms for the walls ?
    Many thanks!!

    • terra says:

      Hi Natasha! You can definitely combine different warm whites. I’ve done that many times due to different lighting situations or to match the floors better.
      In my home, my hallway and bathroom are situated similarly… I did a creamier white in the hallway and brighter white in the bathroom, and you can’t tell whatsoever! I hope that helps!

  8. Mama L says:

    I recently purchased a neutral beige/cream sofa. I found a chair I love in a very similar fabric and color, but it does not match exactly. I am afraid it will look like I was trying to match the two pieces, but missed the mark. Just wondering if you think it will work. I have a light blue ottoman that will separate them.

  9. Jan Sechak says:

    I’m delighted to have found your tips on combining whites with creams as I have a dilemma! Our new condo, wide open space has stunning white and gray porcelain floors, the kitchen will be a high gloss white, currently with black granite counters.

    I’m painting throughout but have cream/off white couches. I’m trying to decide the best shade of white for the walls that will blend nicely with the couches. I’ve selected a new area rug that brings all the colors together but struggling with the wall color.

    My gut says go linen while (warm) my painter suggests Chantilly Lace (cool)…

    I would love your thoughts.
    Many thanks!

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