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Temper a white theme with details

Decorating a house with white as the main theme can be quite beautiful but only if executed with care and great attention to detail. The secret is in the detail.

A living room might start out with white marble floors, white painted walls, white shutters on the windows and white upholstery on the sofa, love seat and chairs.

That alone looks too sterile, doesn't it? Well, it is _ the details have yet to be added. Let's put in a cocktail table that is oversized. The top is glass, and the base is thick wrought iron. The iron is black and slightly ornate.

Under that cocktail table is a fluffy, white area rug. On a big wall is a wooden china cabinet painted a forest green. See the drama in the contrast? The room is coming alive.

Add a tree or two to the room. Put a large black bowl in the center of the cocktail table and fill it with green apples, then add crystal inside the china cabinet. Finish off with pictures on the wall, perhaps with black and gold frames and green matting.

The room is predominantly white and beautiful, but it also has overcome its flatness and come alive through the details.

White bedrooms are always attractive. Start with white carpet on the floors, white walls and white window treatments.

The bed is four poster with side boards and is tan or a shade of off-white. The night stands and dresser are also the off-white color. The bedspread is white, the dust ruffle is white with a lacy theme, and there are several pillows on the bed that are also white and lacy.

The chair in the corner is a rocker, and it is white. Another lacy pillow is thrown on the chair.

There is a picture over the headboard that is framed in the same off-white hue as the bed. A bouquet of white flowers in a white vase is sitting on the dresser. The lamps on the night stands are off-white bases with white shades. There are several framed family pictures on the night stands and, of course, the telephone is white.

A white theme can be very attractive, and, with the fabric protectors available these days, white should no longer provoke fear in those who want to surround themselves with it.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers.