Probably the first lesson in style that any of us learned growing up was the golden “no white after Labor Day” rule. In a nutshell—if you put on those white pants past that first September Monday, then you somehow entered the territory of tsk tsk tacky. But now, that fashion mandate has become an antiquated notion because people finally figured out that white has so much more going for it than just a summer statement. And we’re not just referring to clothing.

In home decorating, white is the freshest trend out there—probably because it’s so incredibly versatile. Depending on how the technically “non-color” is used, it can create a Zen paradise, a comforting cottage, a model of modernity, or an elegant masterpiece—it’s all up to you and your creativity. Feeling inspired? Then take a look at a few of our favorite ideas and get started on your new light and bright path.

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Bedroom Zen

Nothing says “tranquility” quite like a white master bedroom. Choose a soft white for walls and adorn the windows with billowy white gauze curtains. Keep the theme going with a white bedside chair and bedding, but add a touch of contrast with a slate-colored accent blanket, brushed-steel lighting and a few blossoming branches in a vase. You can almost feel the tranquility already, can’t you?

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Modern Living Areas

It’s amazing how something can be the essence of Zen in one setting, and futuristic-luxury in another. But that’s the beauty of white! Choose white sofas and chairs with clean, contemporary lines and if possible, make sure to have plenty of natural light beaming in to energize the atmosphere. For fun, mix in a colorful piece here and there like the ultra-cool Swan Sofa in magenta or a mix of Kaleido Trays to dress up the coffee table. And if you’re not ready to trade in your current sofa? Don’t worry—you can always opt for a minimally white slipcover.

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Elegant Dining Spaces

Elegance comes in all shades of white, which gives you a host of choices for your dining room style. For an antique flavor, choose a soft yellow-white on the walls with a small crystal chandelier to complement the vintage tone. Traditional wood tables work wonderfully in this setting topped with a vintage floral jacquard tablecloth. Modern styles can easily go with brilliant white walls, a sleek table with contrasting chairs and chic fixtures like the Sputnik Style Light.

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Cool Kitchens

Remodeling your kitchen? Skip the stainless steel appliances this year and opt for white—which is making a comeback thanks to the folks at Whirlpool. Their popular Ice Collection of appliances brings minimalism back into the kitchen with brushed metal handles and sleek white surface for a completely clean look. But if you’re determined to go for cozier, more traditional looks, don’t be afraid to explore the world of softer country whites. For walls, try a texturing technique on a soft white hue and complement the look with slightly contrasting trim. Add a charming kitchen island or cart with open shelves to display your favorite dishware and don’t be afraid to add a pop of color with a red vase or an array of ceramic bowls. Also, remember that in this welcoming style, the “unpolished” is your ally, so weathered paint on the chairs and table actually add a splash of vintage chic.

Are you a fan of white? Let us know your favorite white decorating ideas in the comments section below!