Let There Be White

By Karen Parr-Moody


The color white can give any room an air of delicate sophistication. As an added bonus, white portrays an appearance of cleanliness and peacefulness.


White isn't just the absence of color; it's a canvas against which color can freely paint. This month at GasLamp, the Front Collaboration Booth has been artfully arranged by interior designer and antiques dealer Jason Parker Counce in a creamy array of white tones. He calls the look "Let There Be White," and it has customers and GasLamp dealers alike oohing and ahhing.


As seen in the photo at right, the booth is filled with an abundance of white items, from furniture to tabletop items to light fixtures to garden wares. Since white meshes nicely with virtually any home's decor, it is no surprise that items from the booth have been selling at a brisk pace. 


Since items that would get lost in the many colors of a room get full attention in a room that's all white, the color offers an opportunity to play with color. One sees this with the vignette created in the entryway of the GasLamp store (photo, left). Any color placed in a room anchored by white will not only stand out, it will change the mood of the room. This room is enlivened by the crispness of green -- there are pops of the color used in the apple green on the walls, in the linens and plants, and in the large window screen on the wall ($39; Booth B-114). But overall, the room is a confection of white in various tones and textures. There's the vintage lace crochet tablecloth used as a curtain ($74.99; Booth B-209). There's the beautiful painting, "Morning Graze," featuring cows in a milk paint and waxed frame ($795; Booth B-218). And adding weight to the scene is the gorgeous clawfoot sideboard ($695; Booth B-101). 


Seeing a room full of white, such as at GasLamp, gives one ideas on how to have fun with color. Toss in a cluster of green pillows, a pitcher of yellow sunflowers, a blue chair or a red trunk. Bright colors look even more dazzling in an all-white room, or even one that's just heavily reliant on white. 






This corner of the Front Collaboration Booth, at right, is a vision in creamy tones. One can easily envision a bedroom turned into a tranquil and peaceful space by taking some decorating cues from this vignette. By choosing a monochromatic white color palette, it releases the need for matching furniture or accessories. The white creates a uniform look that is Zen-like in its simplicity.


There are so many beautiful items here, and they all create a warm ambience. The resin female bust adds some glamor to the look, as does the Jasperware style urn on the dresser (both $65; both at Booth B-234). Cottage charm is added via the large lantern ($79; Booth B-103), the white wicker desk ($99; Booth B-114), and the white-washed buffet ($295; Booth W-477). And so that the look doesn't get too "precious," there are some grand scale items added in with the wooden grain barrel ($65; Booth S-104) and the enormous white pot ($345; Booth B-134). If these latter items don't fit into the bedroom, they would look fabulous on the porch as planters. 



Shabby chic is painted all over this white cottage-style table with four chairs in the photo at left (on sale for $195; Booth B-115). Topped with more of those beachy lanterns ($45; Booth B-103), this ensemble is ready for a beautiful kitchen trimmed in seafoam green. Surrounding it with plants, such as a parlor palm and Song of India, would give such a room an open and inviting appearance. 


Made in England, this fabulous Johnson Brothers sink, right, could not be left out of a story about white ($895; Booth B-234). Richly traditional, dark blue when paired with white is a perennial favorite (Spode's Blue Willow china, anyone?). Dating to the 19th century, this sink is on its original iron base. Talk about something being both rare and beautiful. 


This Front Collaboration Booth is a wonderful stop upon entering GasLamp. With its "Let There Be White" theme, a shopper can choose all large pieces in white, then add small splashes of color for a refreshing room. Or they can decorate with white accents only, choosing lamps, bookends, trunks, vases, and bowls, all in white. Either way, this sun-bleached palette produces a clean, airy atmosphere, allowing for a summery design just in time for the season. 

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