Monday, January 23, 2012

Decorating With White...

Decorating with white can be a little scary sometimes, I know....especially if you have pets or children. But if you choose your white pieces carefully, you'll have a lot of fun with your choices and be able to add pops of your favorite colors throughout each season. Over the years, I  taken a few home decorating tips from Rachel Ashwell so I thought I'd share a few with you. 

WHITE IS NEVER BORING. Beige can be boring, but not white. It's a very dramatic color. That's proven over and over again by weddings — we never tire of looking at them. 

WHITE CAN BE COZY. People think of it as cold, because they believe a white room must be neat and uniform, with chairs lined up like good little soldiers. I avoid hard, modern pieces and use fluffy cushions and distressed finishes — so you still get that airy feeling, but with warmth to it. 

WHITE MAKES FOR A FLEXIBLE AND FORGIVING FIRST STEP. Paint a room white and you have a blank canvas for anything. Start with bold wallpaper and you're already committed.

WHITE IS INDEED A COLOR — WITH LOTS OF RANGE. Benjamin Moore alone offers over 200 different shades. If you look carefully at the undertones, some are blue, pink, green. You really need to paint a wall and experience the color at different times of day to see how the light changes it. 

WHITE UPHOLSTERY CAN BE PRACTICAL. I often use outdoor fabrics inside. Faux leathers and suedes are also very forgiving. Once, I vinylized a linen kitchen banquette to give the sense of texture without sacrificing stain resistance.

Shabby Chic Living Room 

WOOD WARMS UP EVEN THE MOST SPARSELY FURNISHED WHITE ROOM. There's a lot of movement in wood. In effect, it starts to feel like a print — just a very subtle one. Other low-key ways to add interest and depth: fabrics with woven tone-on-tone chevron or herringbone patterns, marble countertops, and antique rugs on the reverse (just flip the rug over so the muted side shows). 

WHITE HAS THE POWER TO UNIFY DISJOINTED SPACES. Rachel's country home in Virginia is an old farmhouse that had been added to over time; even the floors didn't match. White — on the walls and underfoot — harmonized the space and established continuity from one room to another. It encourages flow whereas an abrupt color change can destroy the sight line. On a more prosaic note, an all-white decorating scheme lets you move furniture around: A chair pulled from the living room can also work at the dining table.

NOT ALL WHITES MATCH. Once you start layering different tones, you can't assume they'll all go together. You've got to look at them next to each other to see if they blend. 

WHITE ALLOWS YOU TO APPROACH DECORATING AS YOU WOULD FASHION. You can freshen up a white room just by swapping out throw pillows: blue ones for summer, orange ones for winter, and so on. A rug or work of art is another little way to make a big difference. 

DRAPES DELIVER THE WOW OF WHITE UPHOLSTERY WITHOUT THE FEAR. If I were working with a young family, I'd never cover a sofa or any other everyday piece in white linen. It's unrealistic. But white linen curtains are much less likely to get stained — especially if you add a colored border to the bottom where the fabric grazes the floor.


Are you ready for a crash course? Here are a few ways to add a little white around your home...

Create a great little space to display some of your favorite pieces of jewelry with these white ceramic door knobs. Great finds like these can be found just about anywhere...I got mine at Urban Outfitters a few months ago. (They look very similar to these, but only half the price). If you're looking for one that's really unique check antique and salvage stores. You can usually find some amazing pieces...just sand them a little, prime and paint with a spray paint suitable for metal and you've got something special with lots of personality! 

Mix and match white linens. Add texture and depth with different
 types of fabrics and styles!

Group together a collection of white candle holders, all in different sizes, with cream/ivory colored candles for a more casual coastal look. If you're going for a classic and pure look, use white pillar candles instead.  It's a great way to add a little drama and ambiance to any room. Think about how gorgeous they would the look all lit up with the lights dimmed down low? 

Mirrors are my absolute favorite way to accessorize ANY room! Not only do they add impact to the room, they also make any size room appear larger. Decorating Tip: Hang your mirror on a wall that reflects the most natural light (or in most cases across from a door or window. It makes your room appear larger and brings more beauty in from the outside.

Don't forget tablescaping!  When you have company over, set your table with all white dishes. The beauty is you can invest in a great set of dishes that go with any color decor you add throughout the season. If you break a piece or two throughout the worries about matching the pattern. Just buy a few new white pieces to add into the mix. Mixing different shaped dishes add a nice relaxing, shabby chic feel to your home. 

I found the best set of dishes to own (in my opinion) are Pfaltzgraff. They're chip resistant and can be heated in the oven up to 400 degrees or so. Also, no more burnt fingers when picking up a bowl, plate or mug out of the microwave....that in itself is soooooo nice! So here's the deal, I know place settings can be expensive so I did a google search to find the best price. Turns out, I found three sixteen piece place settings on for just slightly more than a full set on Pflatzgraff's website. Service for eight on was $159.99....I found service for 12 on for $133.63!! So you does pay to shop around and search out the best deal. Here's the pattern I chose:

Pfaltzgraff Filigree 48-Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 12

It's called has just enough detail to add a little of that coastal shabby 
feel to my table settings...but not too feminine for hubby to eat off of. 
Apparently, that's a really important detail  to some men, huh...who knew! {lol}

Even the tiniest details get noticed! Try these embellished
 iron switch plate accessories to add a little chic to your shabby!

 ($18 each;

Tables are always a great way to not only fill a space but to add a little personality to your room. Go for a table with more character like this one....carved legs and curved architecture really make this table something worth adding to your home collection. Since I live in a small town, it's hard to find unique furniture (within my budget) that has a lot of personality and character. So what do I do? SHOP ANTIQUE AND SALVAGE STORES!!  If you don't mind putting a little TLC into your piece by sanding and'll score every time! In fact, most pieces of furniture in my home are salvaged and re-purposed.

My new favorite motto when it comes to home decorating...

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Have a beautiful day, Everyone!
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