Not all whites are alike. Be careful about the undertones of whites. I prefer warm whites/off-whites with gray and yellow undertones. Pink and blue undertones can be a little cold and soulless.
Use multiple tones of white and off-white. This gives more interest and depth, and you wonâ€™t go crazy trying to match that one white.
Use texture to warm up a white palette. Think white stone, white textured blankets, white fur throws, shiny white ceramics, off-white wicker baskets, etc.
Play shiny against matte to add sophistication. Use white high-gloss paint of wood furniture and white matte paint on walls.
Be aware that matte white looks more country, rustic, and informal. Semi-gloss whites look more formal and traditional. High-gloss whites look more modern.
If your white feels too bright, tone it down with a little black paint in the mix.
Add black accents to make a primarily white room more grounded and sophisticated.
Using a base of off-white or white in a room makes it easy to change out accessories and color for a whole new look seasonally. This room in my home can change personalities quickly and easily (and often does!)
The easiest scheme for a decorating newbie is white plus one color. Just make sure you use various shades of that other one color to give it interest. Look at the beautiful Christmas scene from Country Living. All white slipcovers with apple and foliage green as the accent.