August 12, 2012

Lesson 27: Introducing White (The White Series)

I love color! I love almost every color. I love blue. I love yellow. I love various shades of green and pink and gray. That song from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" could easily be a list of my favorite colors.

"It was red and yellow and green and brown and
Scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And blue"

This love of color very obviously translates into my decorating choices.

My last few home purchases have included this quilt and this rug.

Clearly, color was involved.

When Mark and I moved into our first house, all I could think was color, color, color. In my defense, amazing color is everywhere right now. Order an Anthropologie catalog, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. 

Our house was an explosion of color! The main family room rug was a hand-me-down and featured at least 10 different colored squares. This I paired with super patterned curtains, pink, purple, striped, orange and red, and flowered pillows. There was artwork everywhere! I also had tons of colorful flower pots, striped chairs, and another, very colorful rug, under the kitchen table.

Looking back, I think all the color was compensation for the stark white walls of a rented townhouse. At the time, I envisioned that I was creating a sort of "gallery" space. Turns out it was really, really busy.

Though our home felt like an exciting place to be, we often found ourselves wondering why we could never calm down it in. At times it is awesome for your house to say, "yes, come on in and start a dance party, right now." But at other times, you just want to sit in the same room and quietly read a book.

My mother-in-law's house is the perfect place to read a book. 

Now, don't get me wrong. She has a lot of color as well. But after numerous, comfortable visits to her home, I began to notice something amidst all the color that seamlessly tied all the spaces together and calmed the entire place down.


Ahhhh. Just writing that word is like breathing a sigh of relief. 

How can you as a decorator have all the color you want in your house, and yet still create a calm atmosphere? 

The answer my friends is white! 

I read somewhere that the physical effects of white include:

1. Aiding mental clarity
2. Encouraging us to clear clutter or obstacles
3. Evoking purification of thoughts or actions
4. Enabling fresh beginnings

Whether you are booked eight to eight with a grueling work schedule or you wake up to dirty diapers (the first of ten in one day), I think we can all appreciate coming home to a place that clears our minds and freshens our spirits.

Thus, this week at "I Don't Have a Clue," I'm going to be exploring the wonderful world of white.

The lesson of white has been a difficult one for me to learn, and one that I continue to fight against. But, I am excited to let you in on a few secrets I've learned along way.

Lesson Learned: Is white right for you? (Say that five times fast.)


  1. I loveeeeeee your new quilt! This explains a lot..maybe the reason I want to clean out is because of my white walls!

  2. LOVE your quilt too. And my first house was a color explosion as well. I am like you, trying to find that perfect mix of color and a relaxing neutralness too! Looking forward to reading the rest of your series!


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