Into the white

July 25, 2014

There's a lot of color in my home, but not as much as there once was. And I'm thinking there's going to be even less in the days to come. I'm gravitating more and more to a white/cream palette. 

I don't mean an all-white, stark-white palette; that's way too cold and sterile. I'm talking about using and combining all the variations of white and cream. The paint color samples below were only a fraction of what I could have brought home. There are so many shades. Billowy clouds, cotton whisper, innocence, oyster, powdered snow, Belgian cream, vanilla delight, Victorian pearl, white truffle, soft lace, and cinnamon cake, to name just a few. Just the names make one feel all cozy and comfy. So restful and peaceful, warm and simple.

Hmm . . . okay, I'll admit, a few pinks and dove grays got in there . . . 
I don't get the same feeling when I hear "screaming fire engine red, hot fuchsia pink, sunflower yellow, and passionate purple." Colors are wonderful; who doesn't love a beautiful sunset in wild pinks and oranges and purples? And some people look fantastic in a bright yellow or a bold cobalt blue. One of my favorite bloggers is always full-on color.

But for me to live with it? When I was having lots of trouble sleeping, I tried all kinds of things. One was making our bedroom as peaceful and simple and almost Zen-like as I could. Bright colors and busy patterns were out.

A little too bare, maybe, and now that I'm sleeping better, I might add a few touches, but I really love the serenity of all white.

Even my clothing choices are telling me about my preference for white.

When I was reorganizing my closet lately, I decided to put all my whites together, rather than organize by sweater or blouse or tank top. Look . . . 

Yes, I admit, not a lot of ironing goes on here.  I favor the slightly rumpled  soft, comfortable look for both cotton clothing and linen bedding.

I realized I love wearing whites more than I had thought. Half my clothes are white.

None of this move "into the white" is going to cost me anything as I only have to "shop my house." By putting a few things away and pulling out other things, I'll get closer to what I want. And this all started when we re-did our kitchen floor. One change always gets me thinking about others.

This valence was over the white vertical blinds in our breakfast area. 

I was using colors in my kitchen basically to go with this valence. But the blinds needed to go; with the valence down, the red transferware off the walls (which we had to take off to paint), and everything off the hutch (so we could move it for the floor to be sanded), I all of a sudden saw that I've got a clean slate. White breezy curtains, and white dishes on the walls and on the hutch will transform this room.

Even in the family room, I realized, once I take these down, I'm almost there. 

Change up a few purple and green pillows that are only there to match the valence, and I can go neutral (the sofa and one chair are cream, and so is the carpeting. I have a soft green chair that will still be okay, I think).

Most of our furniture is maple or walnut or darker. I had a serious case of envy over all the cottage-y, chippy white furniture I've been seeing on people's blogs. Okay, not very serious, but still. But now I'm seeing how beautiful whites and creams can look with my dark wood. 

Look at this darling little bowl that I got from Michele at Finch Rest Emporium on eBay. I think it's beautiful against the dark wood of my hutch. My hutch was filled with yellows and pinks and greens before, but I think I will fill it with all my white china, teapots, and pitchers.

So no more color at all? No; depending on the room, accents in my favorite colors, chocolate brown, robin's egg blue, pink, and soft sage greens will all feature somewhere, and I can change that up very easily against the white on whites.

I read once that both Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe did their homes in all white. Sounds very old Hollywood and glamorous. Sounds fabulous in fact, but if my home is comfortable and welcoming and peaceful, I'll be happy.

I will never be in House Beautiful, anyway. No matter how lovely a creamy/white palette with soft muted accents against polished dark wood is, I will always be pulling out something to use that will spoil the whole effect . . . 

I mean, really, how can I not use these old, retro placemats with the 70s orange/yellow/green vibe that grandma made for me? And there is white in them.

Do you have a favorite color palette for decorating and for clothing? Is it bright and colorful or all-white, or is it somewhere in between?


  1. Your dreamy creamy whites look lovely....I have mostly black and greys hanging in my closet.
    Our heritage house is mostly dark fir panelling and I do crave whites in the bungalow. Perhaps that is why I collect matte white pottery.
    Your bedroom looks like an oasis of calm...our bedroom will be shades of white when we redecorate.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Your dreamy creamy whites look lovely....I have mostly black and greys hanging in my closet.
    Our heritage house is mostly dark fir panelling and I do crave whites in the bungalow. Perhaps that is why I collect matte white pottery.
    Your bedroom looks like an oasis of calm...our bedroom will be shades of white when we redecorate.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Hi Deborah! Thanks for the shout out. : - )

    As you are aware I am nearly completely allergic to colour so your inspiration pallet board is awesome - love the soothing neutrals..............but gotta say those placemats Grandma made you rock - love it, made me laugh. You write the cutest posts.


  4. The white looks really really nice. How about the cleaning? Sticky fingers? Dirty jeans? Dust storms? Smoke? Shoes inside the house? Pets? Be beautiful, but do not make a rod for your own back.

    1. Believe me, I'm all about keeping it simple. Shoes are always off at the door, cat hair doesn't show up as much on lighter fabrics, and I'm not afraid to use bleach once in a while. My kitchen cabinets are white (they were here when we moved in). They are my only issue. They show everything and I'm always wiping them down. At least I know they're clean!

  5. Dearest Deborah,
    No not all white but I've always shunned the loud and colorful things, especially with flowers on and such... Never had any wall paper for that reason, except in our bathroom a very soft pinkish kind of Cacharel flower.
    For a bedroom I always kept the ceiling and wall soft and relaxing and no dark and loud down duvet covers. It has to be relaxing and I cannot imagine being in a room with a headache and surrounded by such loud and wild colors...
    But we surround ourselves with what we love in general and a home has to reflect who you are!
    Enjoy your weekend and your newly done floor.

  6. Hi Deborah, You will love shades of white. I am loving the tone on tone of shades of whites, creams and ivory and started to add them several years ago into my home. Love your pics. Your bedspread is gorgeous.
    Love your grandmas placemats. Perfect for the fall.
    Have fun with white and your new kitchen look too.

    Happy Weekend Blessings~

  7. Beautiful choices of whites, Deborah. You'd never know it from my colorful blog, but our coastal home is completely decorated in neutrals, with the exception of my "imaginatory" which you've seen has some punches of sunny yellow. When we moved to our transitional house in 2012, I got rid of all our furniture and started fresh. We've been acquiring special pieces for our dream cottage. I don't want all white furniture because I love the warmth of maple and wicker, and I do not like painting over fine wood, but as far as the walls, the linens, dinnerware, etc., all is white. I love gray too. We want to save color for the view outside our windows, the flowers in our vases, and the paintings on our walls.
    I have a maple hutch (who goes by Miss Maple) that is filled with white ironstone and china. Show us when you redo your hutch.

  8. Your white themes are so refreshing Deborah and I love the subtle colours you have teamed with them. For me it's always white bedlinen-I can't bear duvet covers in colour! I like colour in other areas as accents but neutral themes are always the most relaxing-white shabby chic French style furniture is gorgeous! I adore your Grandmother's 70s placemats! Alison xx

  9. Whites can be very calming. I have followed a number of blogs where the blogger does all whites.

  10. Love all your whites. The bed in the master bedroom has been white for quite awhile now and I like it.

    Kitchen is blue and yellow.

    Living room pinks and off white with one burgundy/cranberry sofa and one off white one.

    Clothes are colorful. While I love white, I'm big and when I wear white, I feel bigger. Susan

  11. The whites and creams together are quite lovely and a soft pink thrown in once in a while is absolutely dreamy! I can see why you're gravitating towards theses colors - they really are perfect :)

    And your closet is beautiful! You wear such feminine, pretty clothes. Hugs to you, sweet lady!

  12. I like the old Victorian look of dark wood but admire the bloggers with white. One of the tea bloggers has been painting all her things white and they look very nice. My whites are only linens and accessories which include a lot of lace.

  13. my color palette is "clean"; what with all I have to do, clean is an amazing accomplishment. I used to say I had high standards and low expectations and was seldom disappointed. now it's all just enough to get by.

  14. I have to agree with you completely on color choices and white. ( although technically white is not a color but the inclusion of ALL color ) I love color, and am often impressed with what some people do within their homes using brilliant colors, but when I go home , a soft palette, an almost all white palette helps calm me and allows me to think , be at peace, etc. Not saying one cannot think and be at peace with color, because often that inspires me in such a way I am all a-tingle with creativity, but more often, I need to be ale to be at peace at home. At ret, a rest that gives me the energy to go after all that creativity inspired by color !

    I love what you've done with your places of refuge and tranquility at home.

  15. Your bed looks lovely! I was surprised to see how many clothes you have, and how many white/off white! I have a lot of black in my wardrobe. Different strokes for different folks! :)

  16. Love your post about 'whites'. I have the same doilies you have... and the little white bowl... I have one just like that too. It was my grandmother's. It has a glass top with holes so that you can arrange short posy-like flowers in it.

    I am drawn to the lovely whites in your wardrobe. Such feminine pieces. My own wardrobe hosts mostly blue/sea green/aqua/turquoise which I love to wear.

    I could totally live with either of your valance fabrics and colours.

  17. I do love your white palette ideas, Deborah. So fresh! I've always been a rather "mocha palette" person. I like brown wood furniture and soft tans, browns, creams, etc. in fabrics for around the house. Our master bedroom is a soft mocha color and the woodwork - trim around doors & windows - is a fresh cream color. It's soothing. What an interesting idea to arrange your clothes in color groups! I'm going to have to give that a try to see how it turns out.


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