Decorating With White

October 21, 2010

I am sorely lacking motivation these days. Possibly because life with 3 kids is so busy or more likely because I know how big the task at hand is. My home is open plan and the entire main area – kitchen, living room, dining room and hallways – needs to be repainted. Soon. That in itself isn’t so daunting, since I’ve painted many a room in my day! The downside is, previous owners painted everything with oil paint. Durable, yes. Easy to cover with latex, no. Thank goodness for the new self-priming paints! At least now I just have to sand and wash every wall down and can skip coats of primer! So, to motivate myself, I’ve put together some inspiration pictures of spaces decorated with white. Yes, white. My friends and family can attest that I’ve painted my personal spaces all colours of the rainbow but never white. Until now…

The June edition of ElleDecor featured Meg Ryan’s Martha’s Vineyard home and I fell in love with her simple yet comfortable style. I am especially drawn to the industrial lighting, barn-style doors and warm wood floors and accents throughout the home. Stunning photos by William Waldrun.

And her kitchen? Oh, I can imagine the feasts I’d prepare here, with friends propped around the island and kids running around like mad! The windows through to the great room are such a unique idea…letting light flow through the rooms and perfect for entertaining!

Warm woods and natural textures are the perfect compliment to white walls. While I appreciate the look, I could never live in a slick modern box. There’s a certain warmth that organic materials bring to a room and I never want my home to appear to precious…believe me, my kids and their friends touch everything! I’m thinking of wallpapering my living room’s feature wall in grasscloth…natural, woven and no pattern matching required!

1. Country Living 2. Houzz 3. Elle Decor

Some may equal white rooms to boring but I disagree. Think how simple it would be to change colour schemes seasonally and without much effort. This room, with it’s rust, black and mixed wood accents is a perfect example of a white space that is anything but bland!

Women’s Day

I love how bits of colour can make such a dramatic impact in a space. This yellow chair brings a shot of sunshine into this room! And raw wood crates…well, you are starting to know how much Rachel and I love them! This dining space is so dreamy yet I love the subtle industrial addition of the metal chairs and the raw, unfinished wall. So French!

1. Martha Stewart 2. Me and  Alice 3. House Beautiful

And since I’ll likely reward myself with something new and colourful once I’ve slathered on all that white, I  found these lovelies on Etsy. The beer crate would be for my husband!

1.UnExpectedParTie 2. Farouche 3.Leah Duncan 4. Haven Vintage

Well, I think that’s enough to get me to the paint store…wish me luck!


1 unExpected Partie { 10.21.10 at 7:38 am }

We wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on painting your backdrop white. What better way to show off a constantly changing array of accessories, fabrics, colors, styles . . .

We tend to get so easily bored with one particular color and are not motivated enough to continually repaint–much more fun to go looking for a fab new accessory.

(Love that shot of yellow in the Martha Stewart chair.)

2 Jen Rodgers { 10.21.10 at 3:06 pm }

I’d just like to say that it was the owners Before us that used the darn oil!!

3 rachelandlily { 10.21.10 at 4:18 pm }

Hehe…I was thinking I should’ve clarified that, Jen! xo Lily

4 Famous Amos { 10.22.10 at 8:24 am }

Wow! What a stunning collection of photos! You should post some before photo’s of your home for inspiration so that all of Birch and Bird devotee’s can see the dramatic changes that white will make when you paint it! It will also serve as inspiration…. can’t leave before photos on too long without starting the transformation….just ask my spring bikini body….

xoxo Famous Amos

5 Birch + Bird Vintage Home Interiors » Blog Archive » Luxe Bathrooms… { 12.01.10 at 1:31 am }

[…] are nothing like these dreamy bathrooms.  Lily featured the kitchen of the lovely Meg Ryan in her Decorating with White post awhile back and her bathroom or one of her bathrooms is just as nice.  It’s industrial, […]