The White Wall Trend: How to Make It Work

Design trends are quite the enigma. What once seemed tired soon becomes the most popular aesthetic in recent years. Kicking off our apartment decor series, we’re here to discuss white walls. You’ve seen them in Kinfolk magazine, you’ve seen ’em on Instagram, and you’ve likely seen them in your chic friend’s living room.

The question remains: how do they look so cool? What’s the formula for perfecting the minimalist, white wall trend? Well, friend, we’ve compiled some handy tips to answer this very question. Prepare to make your Shadyside apartment the hippest hangout around in just a few simple steps!

Don’t Hold Back on Colorful Accents

White walls give your furniture, wall art, and decor accents the chance to take center stage. Bring the pizzazz with vibrant throw pillows, patterned pieces, and bright pops of color. Your living space shouldn’t feel like a perfectly curated showroom — make it unique by putting your special touch on things!

That witty, pink needlepoint that was gifted to you by your aunt? Frame it. Those patterned throw blankets you picked up while on vacation in Mexico? Bring ’em out! Let your colorful personality shine, and your decor will, too.

Plants Are Your Friend

To avoid a white-walled room that feels cold and barren, breathe life into your home decor by introducing lush greenery into your space. Think fiddle-leaf figs, snake plants, lucky bamboo, and more potted succulents than you know what to do with. Green leaves contrast against white walls with refreshing ease, and you know what they say about house plants increasing happiness and fulfillment, right? It’s a win-win!

Play with Texture

While furniture, color schemes, and decor items are certainly essential to a room’s overall components, no interior design is complete without texture. It may play a supporting role in a space’s function, but texture is no less vital to a design’s success.

Texture appeals to our senses by adding dimension to a room, and works in both the visual and tactile sense. Add texture with an eye-catching rug, a statement art piece, a carved wooden table, or unique metal accents.

Matched with University of Pittsburgh Medical School? Move to Shadyside.

Match Day 2017 kicked off just hours ago. Thousands of soon-to-be-graduates learned where they’ll be completing their medical residency. Are you one of the lucky ones chosen to begin your residency at the University of Pittsburgh?

If so: congratulations on your enormous success! Once you’ve finished celebrating, it’s best if you start looking for housing sooner, rather than later. After all, nothing could be more stressful than trying to tackle medical school in a new city while scrambling to find housing, right?

Shadyside has certainly become a popular place for grad students to live in Pittsburgh. What you may not know, however, is that Shadyside is the place to live for Pitt medical students. Here’s why.

Transportation is simple as can be.

Moving to a new city often means new modes of transportation. Maybe you won’t be bringing a car with you, or perhaps street parking’s not your thing. Whatever the case, you’ll find that getting to and from Shadyside is as easy as that chem 101 class you aced in undergrad.

Free campus shuttles run throughout Oakland, which is just a few streets away from the heart of Shadyside. With your Panther Card, you can also ride fare-free on all Port Authority buses. And, if you’re working late in the lab and you need a way home, SafeRider will pick you up and drive you to your doorstep.

It’s home to the best study spots in the ‘Burgh.

We’re almost positive you already know how to study smart. How else would you have been matched with one of the top 20 medical schools in the U.S.?

Even with polished studying skills, ideal learning environments are essential to your success. In Shadyside, you’ll find perfect study spots in spades. Want to escape into Gothic-inspired architecture and Harry Potter vibes while you cram for exams? Head to the Cathedral of Learning. Seeking ultra-quiet environments and cozy studying nooks? Beeline to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, located mere blocks away from Shadyside!

No matter your test-prep preferences, you’ll be surrounded by ideal learning locations year-round.

When it comes to nightlife, Shadyside’s got the best of both worlds.

You know better than anyone: now that you’re starting your medical residency, wild nights on the town will likely take the back burner. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have easy access to Pittsburgh’s best destinations, however!

Oakland, where University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center resides, is often bustling with undergraduate activity. (Think 21st-birthday-friendly bars, outdoor concerts, and house parties.) Not exactly conducive to early mornings at the hospital or USMLE exams, is it? Shadyside masters the delicate balance between quiet neighborhood respites and exciting entertainment.

Think of Shadyside as the crossroads of Pittsburgh’s East End. Living in a community nestled between Lawrenceville, East Liberty, Oakland, and Squirrel Hill, you’ll have access to the award-winning bars and restaurants that put Pittsburgh on the map. And, best of all? You’ll also have immediate access to Mellon Park, Schenley Plaza, Flagstaff Hill, Ellsworth Avenue, and more of the peaceful parks and neighborhoods that make Shadyside so serene.

Now, that’s what we call a win-win-win.

Why Grad Students Are Moving to Shadyside


1. It has a Network of Award-Winning Schools

With world-class universities like Carnegie Mellon, Chatham, The University of Pittsburgh, and Carlow all a few minutes away from one another, Shadyside makes it easy for grad students to explore social avenues via short bus rides or walks.

Shadyside offers a graduate experience like no other. Welcoming students, professionals, and families alike, it’s so much more than a college town — it’s an interconnected, academic-minded neighborhood with a wealth of activities throughout the day and into the evening. And, speaking of activities…

2. Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Events are Endless

Shadyside’s major thoroughfares — Walnut Street, South Highland Avenue, and Ellsworth Avenue — are brimming with unique places to visit. Surrounded by whimsical gift shops, high-end boutiques, vintage stores, art galleries, and more shops to adore, Shadyside residents never have a boring afternoon.

And, when grad students have closed their books for the day, they can head out to enjoy Shadyside’s bustling bistros, cool cafés, pubs, and restaurants worth raving about! Learn more about Shadyside’s must-see destinations here.

3. Its Apartments, Condos, and Homes Are Stunning

The history and unique architecture of Shadyside residences is simply unparalleled. Only minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and all within close walking distance to primary public transit lines, Shadyside apartments allow access to the best Pittsburgh has to offer.

Victorian homes intermix with apartments and condominium buildings full of hardwood floors. All these residences — brimming with old-fashioned architectural character — are woven together on Shadyside’s tree-lined streets, creating a beautiful neighborhood that more grad students are calling home each day.

4. Its Parks Offer Serene Study Breaks

Grad students have important work to do, but they certainly need a break every now and then, right? Luckily, they can take a stroll in Mellon Park that’s as pretty as it is peaceful. Rich in history and nestled in the heart of Shadyside, Mellon Park’s stunning Walled Garden has become a beloved community gathering place.

Schenley Plaza, located just blocks away from Shadyside, offers a similarly vibrant green space, and hosts public gatherings, entertainment, and outdoor events to hundreds of thousands each year.

5. It’s Got The Pittsburgh Effect

Last, but certainly not least, comes a phenomenon unique to Pittsburgh neighborhoods like Shadyside. Grad students can often find themselves feeling out of place as transplants in a new city. In Shadyside, however, small-town vibes offer encouraging comfort in the midst of a dynamic city setting.

Pittsburgh’s uniqueness keeps things interesting, and its tight-knit neighborhoods keep it feeling like home.

As young Pittsburghers told The Atlantic: “It’s much easier to connect with people here than it is in other cities. In many ways it’s like a small village. It’s easier than in other places to meet people who are interested in similar things, to get patched into networks that help you achieve your goals…there’s a small-town feel here.”