If you think white-painted rooms are boring, it might be YOU that is boring. Harsh, I know, but it has to be said.
If you think you need color on your walls to make the room “complete”, I’d like to show you another way. White! White walls can be chic, fresh, clean…even warm. Crazy, but true.
Color on your walls does not insure a beautiful room, I promise. White on your walls does not unsure a boring room, I promise. You can paint the walls any color and still have a boring room. Like, put a bunch of matching furniture in that room, add some crappy art from Bed, Bath & Beyond and boom, you’ve got a boring room. Colorful walls, but still, a boring room.
Let me show you some AMAZING rooms, all with white walls to further convince you. Some are all white, some have lots of blue and white mixed in and some have bold, fun colors added. Each one chic and fresh. Each one NOT boring.
Before we start the tour, here are my favorite 8 white paint colors that look good every time.
We’re selling our house! With three of our five kids gone, the idea to sell and rebuild had been on the table for a few years. But…we love our neighborhood and didn’t really want to move. There were no new lots available here. But then, I caught a glimpse of a red FOR SALE BY OWNER sign one night on my run. A new buildable lot, a beautiful piece of property, on the other side of the neighborhood was available. What?!? I called and made an offer right then and there. He laughed and said the sign had been up for two hours. I discreetly took it down for him and went home and told my husband what I’d done. He was in full agreement. You’d do the same right?
Fast forward…our house went for sale in April and this week we received a contract. A lovely couple will take over this dream home I created in my mind and make their own memories here.
Before we let it go, I thought we’d take a last look at it. This was our family’s dream home and I created this floorpan over many sleepless nights. Thought was put into each and every square foot, literally. The selections were painstakingly made item by item. I channeled my sister-in-law, the best cook I know, to create the kitchen of our dreams. Nothing was left to chance. What started as a heavily wooded five acre lot soon became our family’s home.
A few reasons behind the details:
-My girls wanted to be together, so I created their little pod to have their beds face each other through pocketed doors.
-Groceries for seven were a hassle, so I created a walk through pantry right off the garage to minimize trips.
-The kids’ playroom had the sofa in sight of the glass doors from the family room, so we could easily see what was going on. Computer area was allocated to the wide back hall so we could walk by and see what was going on, too.
-The laundry room received custom “garbage pull outs” in the cabinets, which I replaced with laundry baskets for colors, darks and whites.
-My husband makes a mess with his coffee area, so we created a built in coffee area for all of his “stuff” thereby keeping the countertops clear.
-The kids wanted a trampoline, se we dug out a HUGE hole and recessed into a custom built home.
There are too many details to mention! Let’s dive right in and take a look!
Brick, copper roofing, siding and black shutters.
Living Room, Entry and Dining Room
Warm paint, cream trim, extensive moldings and 12-14′ ceilings
Family Room, Kitchen and Breakfast Nook
Custom cream glazed and walnut cabinetry, black and delicious granite. Contrast ceiling color.
Master Bedroom and Bath
Travertine floors and walls, marble countertops and tile details. Polished nickel plumbing.
Four Kids Bedrooms Plus Playroom
Front and Rear Powder Baths and Laundry Room
Alligator wallpaper, reclaimed wood mirrors and polished nickel plumbing
You’re excited, you’ve got your ducks in a row, your Pinterest boards are full, your Houzz account is overflowing with images… you’re finally building your dream home. Exciting! What could go wrong?
I’ve been in the home building business for 20+ years now (please, don’t do the math) and I must tell you the 3 things that happen EVERY SINGLE TIME we build a new home that surprise the client. Seriously, every single time.
1. Your slab is going to look too small
I know this, I preach this, but guess what? When we built our last personal home, I went to my lovely husband, the General Contractor extraordinaire, and informed him that our slab, was indeed, too small. He laughed. I cried. We measured. Guess what, it was exactly correct. How could I doubt my dear husband? The lesson here is, for whatever reason, the slab will look tiny, but it’s still correct. I know, I know. How can you possibly take a shower in that teeny tiny rectangle? It’s going to feel much larger once the framing goes up. I promise.
2. Your interior paint color is going to look too dark. Like way too dark.
Color is funny. By funny I mean tricky, mean-spirited, and anxiety inducing. You’ve researched this color, pinned this color, bought samples, dreamt about it…why does it look so different now that it’s on the walls? Several reasons.
First, looking at a color in FRONT of you is very different from having the same color SURROUND you. Imagine looking AT a large red wall, now imagine being INSIDE an all red room. It’s a completely different experience. Give yourself some time to adjust.
Second, you’ve gone from the whitest-white plaster everywhere to a rich, beautiful color. The shock of that alone is enough to put you in panic mode.
Lastly, there’s nothing in the house to help balance (aka suck out) the wall color. Cabinets, flooring, tile, fixtures, trim paint…they all bring color into the space and help balance out the walls.
Take a breath, stick to your original choice. You’ve researched it to death, remember? 🙂 Once everything goes in, it will become the beautiful masterpiece you’ve envisioned. Pinky promise.
3. Your sod is going to look dead
Lovely image, isn’t it? You’ve worked with the landscape designer, selected just the perfect amount of shrubs versus flowers versus trees. It’s going to be a garden for the ages!
Then they deliver the sod. What is this shit? Why are you ruining my dream home with this? Take it away! Get it out of my sight!
Relax! It always looks a little, umm,“less than perfect” when delivered. Maybe it was the long trip, maybe it was the installation, who knows. Once it’s laid in place, watered, and starts to “take,” it will magically transform into the green lawn you’ve always dreamt of picnicking on in a few short weeks. 🙂 I swear.
Well, there it is. These three things have happened on every single house we’ve built. I even fell into the trap of the slab being too small after preaching this for years.
Take a breath, relax, stick to your guns, and trust those pinterest boards full of ideas you’ve been creating over the years. You got this!
What surprises have you encountered while building your new home or remodeling? Please share below! I’d love to hear or talk you off the ledge if needed. 🙂
Meditation room? Chef’s kitchen? Mother in law suite? Cinema room? Evans a laundry chute?! Name it and this dream home in Gainesville, Florida has it! Built by Evans Construction & Design for a fun family of five, this home has it all. Travertine floors, stacked stone accents, two story ceiling ad much, much more. Let’s take a look!
Did you know you can print out A LOT of prints for FREE online? Yes, it’s true. Good quality, designer prints are yours for the taking. A few of the best sites are here, here and here. Print them at home or take them to a local printer. Either way, you can create a wall full or artwork for super cheap.
Now, for the frames. You don’t have to spend much for great frames. Target, Wayfair and other online retailers have every option imaginable. I like to stick with clean, authentic materials. If it looks like wood, it should be wood, metal should be metal, etc. Light or white frames put the focus on the print or art inside. Dark or black frames put the focus on the structure and layout of the arrangement. A few of my favorite with links below.
Perfect frame in white or black with nice, big mat, here
So, you have the artwork, you have the frames, now where are you going to hang them? You need a plan! If you’re feeling super ambitious, you can cut out templates of your sizes with paper and try a few arrangements on the wall. Here are a few to get you started.
Family photos instantly tell a story. To keep things current, try frames with an extra wide mat and keep the photos either all black and white or all color. Consistency is key. Another way to go is blow them up nice and big, with no mat. Both look fresh and not like your Mom’s house. 😉
So, no excuses for a big empty wall! Calculate a plan, buy some inexpensive frames (my favorite are $18.99!) and print out some artwork online. Mix in a few of your existing pieces and boom, you’ve got a super chic wall!
Have you heard of Christopher Peacock? Many people have not. If you love Kitchens and Baths like I do, you may want to get to know him. Love the striking white on white on white Kitchens you see everywhere? He started them. Designers and homeowners use his designs for inspiration every day, myself included.
Always made in the USA, Christopher Peacock Cabinetry was launched in 1992, beginning with a single kitchen display inside a small store in Greenwich, CT. The vignette drew the attention of architects, designers and a discerning clientele. The rest is history.
Peacock Home now encompasses everything you need for a stunning Kitchen, Bath or really anywhere in your home. Check out a few of my favorite rooms below.
Kitchens, my favorite. Notice the details in the hardware.
Bathrooms, too. Fresh, clean and understated.
Dressing Rooms to die for.
It’s easy to see why Christopher Peacock is an industry leader. Which is your favorite?
I know, I know, you think warm colored rooms are out. You want gray, it’s everywhere. But, warm is not a bad word. A warm room can look chic, inviting…cozy….while still being fresh and current. I promise! I have a trick, so stick with me.
When you think of a room with a warm color scheme, you likely think of the 1990’s “Tuscan” look that was prevalent. It was bad. Really, really bad. Let’s take a look.
So, what was so bad about these rooms? Let’s break them down before we look at how to do a warm color scheme successfully.
Each room had
-huge bloated furniture
-matched sets…bad ones
-dated furniture pieces
It’s not the coloration that’s wrong with these rooms. It’s the items IN the rooms. Dated, ugly and just tacky.
What To Do Instead
Let’s take a look at some rooms done in a warm color scheme done “correctly”. Timeless, classic, and WARM. Then let’s talk about that trick. 🙂
What is so great about these rooms is that they are warm AND fresh. Hard to pull off? No, not really. I have a trick.
MIX WITH WHITE
Do your thing with the warm furnishings…leather, cinnamon fabrics, rich brown accents, you name it…but mix it all with white. Keep the walls fresh and clean, slightly bare. This keeps the warm palette from becoming too much and will definitely never look dated. My favorite white paints EVER area all in a nice little chart for you here.
Let’s look at some more.
Do you see what I mean? The rooms are fresh and still warm. This whole gray fad is going to go away, I promise. A warm, cozy room will stand the test of time. Mix with white and you’re golden!
Here are my favorite white paints again for your reference. Plus not to pin to your Pinterest boards for future reference.
Your bath should be a retreat, an oasis. Something you look forward to coming home. But, what if it just isn’t? This fun couple in Gainesville, Florida had this exact problem. They called us to help and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Fresh, clean and traditional. Perfect for them!
Check out the before, the process and the after below. Click on the links at the end for all the sources!
Mixing styles can be tricky. Too much and you look like a crazy person., not enough and it’s boring. But it can also be AMAZING! Interesting, unique, designer-y. It’s what takes a room from a furniture store set to a well thought out mix of collected pieces.
Yes, it’s tricky. But, good news, I have a trick!
I typically abide by the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the room is traditional, then add twenty percent modern. It’s just my little rule, certainly not set in stone. It works for me. Is it always exactly 80% and 20%? Of course not. But it’s something to keep in mind.
A few more things to consider:
COLOR – Keep it consistent for cohesion. It keeps the room from looking mesh-moshy.
SCALE – Try to keep things in the same realm. An overstuffed chair shouldn’t sit next to a dainty antique table.
DISTRIBUTE EQUALLY – Keep it moving throughout the room. One side can’t be modern and the other traditional. Keep it balanced
PAIRS – Give each piece a similar companion. It’s a quick and easy way to achieve balance.
MOOD – Keep in mind how the room is to be used. If it’s a kick back and relax place, keep the pieces in line with that feel, no matter what their style is
80/20 – Remember the 80%, 20% rule. Keep the strong majority traditional and interject a few modern pieces and you’ll be golden!
Let’s take a look at a few rooms and see how they’ve approached it.