Imagine that you are in a white room – what does it look like to you? How do you picture it? Is it large or small? Is there anything (or anyone) in there with you? What are you doing and what are you wearing?
As little mental exercise, I tried picturing this scene for myself, and in my mind’s eye, my “white room” is vast. The walls and ceiling are so far away that I cannot see them, and the whole enormous space is suffused with a bright, diffuse light. There is no furniture and there are no other people – I am seated cross-legged on the floor, which itself is white and slightly yielding, like a gym mat.
The temperature is very slightly cool and air is fresh, but there is no breeze. I am barefoot and wearing loose white cotton trousers and a similarly loose, collarless white cotton top. My hands are resting loosely in my lap and my eyes are closed, and I am focusing on my breathing. In all, the whole scene is quite relaxing, serene and meditative, but I realise that the same may not always be true for everyone.
If you’ve ever read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (hilarious read, BTW), there’s a description of a character’s London apartment that I imagine. White walls, white floors, spotless long white couches, very modern white furniture, and various fancy electronics. Lots of natural light from large, polished windows, and an almost obsessively clean look to everything.
The room I’d imagine would be similar, with a few additions - the sound of running water from a nearby fountain, the same light, cool breeze you describe, and a “doctor’s office” disinfectant smell (I know some people can’t stand it, but I find it very calming). The tiniest fly on the wall would stand out immediately.
When I read the title, mine immediately turned electric blue, with the David Bowie song stuck in my head. My rooms, in my apartment, are all White, by default, and each one is different according to its intended use.
In my particular case, as I have 10-degree peripheral vision, (smaller than my fist at arm’s length), I see nothing unless I am looking directly at it, so I no longer have a visual sense of contents occupying a space.
Not very large, probably about a 12x12 room, somewhat high ceiling with some kind of projection into the top of corner of the room, an airduct maybe. There’s a window frame built in there, but no window. And it’s all just sheet rock painted flat white. The door is a simple raised panel, painted white also, and it has a white knob. No furniture, nothing else. Mixed feelings about it, it’s a little bleak, but it’s also a fresh canvas.
Until you mentioned all the ideas for other stuff, my white room was just a white room, about 20 feet square in all directions, and perfectly featureless but lit evenly. The walls are solid and make little sound when hit upon but the material is indiscernible and neither cold nor warm. Inside I immediately pictured myself as THX 1138. I would sit cross legged and think of things and eventually go mad, since there was nothing else to do.
Now that you tell me things can be in it well I just don’t know. There are too many options. My initial thought is probably the most pure. Maybe the lights would go out from time to time and water would halfway fill it up and it’d turn into a sensory deprivation chamber.
Mine is a three-quarter geodesic dome (the bases of the walls extend outward) where three of every five panels are windows and the roof/ceiling is all glass, elevated slightly from the frame for ventilation. There is a soft breeze that moves in a slow gyre. Random amorphous objects, like some kind of odd art project, provide places to sit. From where I sit, I can see the mountain out one of the windows, lifting its own white mantle into the blue sky like some sort of heaving breast, attended by the inevitable lenticular clouds. If I am wearing anything, it would be a white silk robe, as I wander about, lost in thought.
(Obviously, I despise rectangular corners.)
ETA: all the while, I am being studied by a large, silent raven.
Mine looks like a traditional tatami room, except the tatami are white & the shoji are all-white. It is a 4½ mat tea room, the main door is open and it looks out over a tranquil garden of moss and grey stone.
I am alone, wearing grey kimono and hakama, and there is a kettle on the furo. Soon, I will have tea.
It’s a large, spherical space with me floating in the center. The air is slightly cool, with a hint of mist in it. It is suffused with a soft light coming from all directions, as if the walls glow slightly. There are no other objects, no scents, no air movement, unless I will them to be.
A moment’s thought conjures the scent of roses, the sound of a violin. Images. Memories. Numbers. Information made tangible, discrete blocks that can be rearranged and assembled with a touch.
Loft apartment-sized, filled with warm color. Camel colored sofa with a brick red throw, deep chenille chairs. Pools of glow from kerchief covered lamps. Soft cream carpet to curl your toes in. Wind soughing through green branches, barely stirring sheer panels at the open windows. Leftover music from spent nights climbs the walls. A solid door hangs open to the hall.
The image in my mind’s eye of a “white room” starts off with me lounging comfortably on a large, plush armchair/couch with white upholstery holding a white cup of (cream colored) coffee in my hands. My skin is very clean and fresh feeling and my hair is equally soft and clean, and I’m wearing a relaxing white outfit of loose cotton pants and a cotton tank top. As I look ahead I see the floor beneath me is a white knit area rug and there is a white-ish, beach-wood coffee table with a glass inset surface. There are a couple of large round candles burning peacefully. There is a duplicate couch to the one I’m sitting on directly across from me on the other side of the coffee table, and directly behind that plush white couch is a large, centerpiece type of fireplace, with a warm orange fire glowing inside of it, the fireplace is in the center of the large white-themed house that I’m relaxing in, and the bricks going up to the ceiling are an off-white, slightly sand colored. Most of the walls are white, and some are a very light, baby-blue color, but every wall has the half-height white-wood crown molding baseboard, I have no idea what that’s actually called. There are a couple of very light blue and very plush throw pillows on each couch and a couple of white ones. Behind the fireplace is the kitchen which is immaculate and clean with white marble counter-tops and white tiling throughout, with the same light sand colored cabinets. The windows of the house are all open, and there is a cool, beach-side breeze blowing the thin, white curtains lightly around. It is mid-day and the entire room is lit by the cool, natural light. And the floor that the area rug does not cover is that light sand color as well. I can’t see much outside, because the white curtains cover my view except for the light blue sky, but through the far window by the kitchen I can see water and sand. The window to my right is about ten feet away and leads to a patio with a patio table and chairs and some potted plants, and the walls inside have very minimal, but some lightly themed artwork of plants and flowers. It is incredibly bright and relaxing, and I imagined this before I read what yours was. This is a cool mental exercise! As I began reading yours, it almost felt very desolate and possibly scary to me, and ended up slightly surprised that it was a meditative, relaxing room for you!