Is He Right? Are White-Painted Walls Boring?

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Dear Laurel,

I can’t even get my hubby to like white-painted walls. He thinks white walls with white trim looks bare or boring. It’s hard to explain that all the stuff you put in the room breaks up all the white. Its just hard to explain anything to people who are not visual. On a side note we are thinking of installing a wood stove insert into our fireplace and I want to update the look of our 70’s brick fireplace. If you do a post on fireplaces I would be really interested. I know you’ve done one before but most of those were painted white and the hubby is not going to go for that. thanks.

Amy

 

Amy is a real reader and that is her comment copied verbatim.

And anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while must surely know that there are few things that get my hackles up more than reading that white-painted walls are boring.

Or,

 

I NEED color and white-painted walls are just so bland–BORING.

 

No, missy. (not speaking to anyone in particular)

It is YOU who is boring.

You’re boring because you refuse to budge off of a decision based on limited information.  Plus your rigid thinking will not accept the possibility that white might NOT be boring. And that makes you infinitely dull. Sorry to be so harsh. And I realize that some people cannot change. But this one change might do you some good.

So what I thought I would do is to create a post filled with the most boring white-painted rooms gorgeous white-painted rooms I could find to prove that these rooms are anything BUT boring.

Well, at least I think so.

If husband still thinks the rooms are boring and that he MUST NOT have a white fireplace mantel, just because he thinks that’s odd, then sorry, but he’s an… Okay, I’ll refrain from using the *I* word.

I mean, why can’t he just admit that when it comes to decorating, he has no idea what he’s talking about?

rhetorical question.

 

Of course, it IS possible for white-painted walls to be boring.

 

But you could paint the walls ANY color and the room could still be boring.

Like if you put in a bunch of over-scale ugly furniture and wall-to-wall speckly berber with matching end, coffee and console tables and canned art. Add to it some monstrous ersatz designs masquerading as traditional, and I don’t care what color you paint the walls, the room is going to suck.

But before we get into all of the white inspo, there are some posts I’d like to lead you to that do not feature white. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t been through this before. We have and we will again, just because of the nature of things.

 


Many of you have seen this photo taken outside of my bedroom window at the height of the bombogenesis, bomb cyclone, or what we used to call a Nor’Easter. A storm so powerful, it knocked out the T and H in north!

It’s pretty white isn’t it? And despite my hatred of snow, I confess that it’s quite beautiful.

note. Two days later it is not at all pretty.

 

This is God’s room. And if He can have white-painted walls. So can your husband!

The other thing is.

Just because a room has white-painted walls does not mean that there is no color!

 

Far from it.

 

There are a few different types of rooms with white-painted walls

 

From Mark’s gorgeous home in L.A.

 

Photo: Rod Collins

Also Mark D. Sikes and Furlow Gatewood, but Furlow is in a class all by himself and many other designers as well.

 

  • White with lots of beautiful color

 

via One King’s Lane

Mark D. Sikes

 

  • black and white rooms

 

Darryl Carter

Darryl Carter is the first to come to mind above and Below. For more Darryl Carter rooms, click here.

 

 

Nancy Keyes gorgeous living room not-at-all-boring white-painted walls

Nancy Keyes gorgeous living room!

and cool staircase!

Above and below, the sublime bedroom with not boring white-painted walls belonging to Tory Burch and designed by the exceedingly talented Daniel Romualdez.

Images via Architectural Digest

Gorgeous Chintz from Colefax and Fowler.

But can somebody explain to me why the side chairs in the location they are?

I mean, she’s far too wealthy to be using the chairs as end tables. haha!

Are they just standing guard?

I’m okay with that, I guess. ;]

In addition, just because some rooms have white-painted walls doesn’t mean they all must have that.

 

One of my favorite spaces ever. The gorgeous work of McGrath II. Classic and yet, so fresh!

 


The living room beyond.

 

and the library with beautiful toasty grasscloth

If your husband thinks that this is boring, I would take him in for psych eval. Okay. He might prefer something a little more casual, but this is an incredibly gorgeous home IMO.

Then, there are the new traditionalists.

 

Young, stylish designers who embrace white-painted walls like they are the hottest thing since someone came out and truthfully said that pop tarts taste like two pieces of hot cardboard with some melted Flintstone’s vitamins in the center.

Although, I am not sure if Flintstone vitamins are capable of melting or dissolving.

 

One who has the casual easy west-coast style down with white-painted walls is Amber Lewis.

white-painted walls - summer Thornton living dining room

Also Summer Thornton. I love everything she does! For more of Summer’s work, click here.

 

I adore the work of Studio McGee. And they have the most gorgeous shop on their site, too! For more posts featuring Studio McGee click here. You will also find lots of white-painted wall inspiration.

white-painted walls William Mclure living room

This the incredible interior and art-work of the self-proclaimed “mama’s boy” the AMAZING William Rankin McLure IV. For more of William’s most impressive work click here.

And there’s more…

Oh, and we went through the painted brick and the painted stone issues.

Anthropologie cool black and white art collection

Artfully Walls at Anthropologie

Artfully Walls Website with more great art prints!

Above shows a great example of how chic white-painted walls can be in contemporary spaces too.

white-painted walls with mouldings

However, there’s no mistaking that the addition of tasteful mouldings can make white-painted walls the most glorious thing ever.  You can see more mouldings here and also read about hallways, many of which are painted white.

From a post last year about libraries and plenty of white walls here too!

 

For me, the most sublime kitchens are pretty much all white.

white-painted walls and cabinets kitchen Sophie Burke

Sophie Burke’s delightful kitchen can be seen here.

 

 

For more gorgeous white kitchen inspo click here.

 

 

Yes, indeed, we went through the “boring” white kitchen at KBIS. Not

Speaking of which, I am heading back there on Monday and very excited to be going back.

FLORIDA!!!

I will be reporting back on Tuesday evening with a little surprise too.

In the meantime, please enjoy a widget that’s not only white on white, but includes some color and accents which I think would be beautiful in a room with white-painted walls. For more info, please click on the individual images.

 

 

 

So Amy,

I hope that I’ve given you and others in a similar situation plenty to work with to SHOW spouses who don’t know or can’t visualize your vision.

And I have to tell you; there has been many a husband in my years as a designer who balked at painting something white. And I can tell you that every single one of them hung his head in shame because when it was all done, LOVED IT! Every one!

But, in my experience, most of the husbands quite cleverly abide by the golden rule.

Happy Wife. Happy Life.

It’s true.

xo,

 

PS: Lots of new things in the hot sale pages including an updated rugs and bed and bath pages.

 

  • Renee - January 14, 2018 - 10:45 AM

    Great Post as always. Thanks for pointing out great examples of white rooms adjacent to rooms with color on the walls. I love that.

    Quick question… Should the white on the walls be the same color as the white of the trim and millwork? Or can you do different colors of white on trim and walls?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 14, 2018 - 12:05 PM

      Hi Renee,

      I’m often asked that question. It depends. But I’ll say that my kitchen has a completely different white on trim and cabinets. The trim is plain white which is pretty white and the cabinets are Ikea which is close to Ivory White. But I only have the one window and a very tiny amount of baseboard. The doorway also has very little cabinetry close to it.

      would i have chosen this? No, but it doesn’t bother me either. It probably would if I walked into the kitchen every day and stared at it, but after a while, we don’t see these things. It’s true.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - January 14, 2018 - 7:41 AM

    On the day this post came out I was painting my kitchen walls and trim BM Simply White. My husband said he didn’t like the idea but I wanted something different.
    My cabinets are painted SW Pewter Green and The walls were painted SW Oyster Bay. Trim Simply White. I was tired of all the green and thought hey I will just paint my kitchen all white! Well I love the trim color on the crown molding and it looks real good with the dark cabinets but I didn’t think about the paint color going with the white subway tile. I only have one small wall where the subway tile and white wall meet and it looks horrible! Have I made a bad mistake? Do I have to go back to a darker color? I thought about SW Spare White it looks like it has a small amount of color in it and would look good with the tile.

    Just waiting for my husband to say, I told you so!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 14, 2018 - 11:44 AM

      Hi Michelle,
      I’m sorry that you’re having paint issues. It isn’t easy, is it? Perhaps consider hiring a consultant? My colleague Maria Killam does do long-distance consults.ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi - January 12, 2018 - 9:40 PM

    Personally, I love white painted walls! They are a beautiful backdrop to show off accent colors and textures in a space. I’m running into a similar situation as your reader. My husband does not want me to paint our outdated dark wood cabinets white. Sigh!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 13, 2018 - 1:53 AM

      Hi Bobbi,

      The situation is as common as cornflakes which is why I wrote about it. I will say this, though. It is a lot of work to take stained cabinets and make them white. Lots of sanding, priming, sanding painting, sanding, painting, sanding painting. Or some painters get a good effect spraying on the paint.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - January 12, 2018 - 7:21 PM

    Wonderful post, Laurel. Last summer, my family and I moved from a custom home into a big box builder-cookie cutter-open concept house (location, location, location haha). After spending many hours on your blog, I chose BM Mayonnaise for the walls and ceilings and Cotton Balls for doors and trim. The primary windows are north facing, encumbered, and bordered by a huge forest/bird sanctuary. We did the same combo in all bedrooms and aside from some tile have very dark wood floors throughout. The decor is all very much a looong work in progress, but I could not be happier with the paint colors. The main portion of the house is kitchen, breakfast, living, dining, and entry, and the wall color changes just enough in each to add a little demension. I absolutely love it in our bedroom. It’s warm, enveloping, and restful. Thank you so much for arming me with the knowledge and confidence to make a great choice!

    NicoleReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 13, 2018 - 1:48 AM

      Hi Nicole,

      Those are great colors. I’ve used/seen Mayo a couple of times and like it very much. Now, there are some who are going why isn’t Mayonnaise part of your collection? It’s because there are only 144 colors including 12 whites and Mayo would’ve been redundant with a couple of the other whites in the collection. ReplyCancel

    • Nicole - January 12, 2018 - 7:25 PM

      *dimension*

      I also have three very young children who run wild, and the white stopped making me catch my breath after about a month lol. They are (becoming) well trained about touching/crashing/marring the walls.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - January 13, 2018 - 1:50 AM

        Hi Nicole,

        My children were not well-trained. Oh, I tried. Believe me!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - January 12, 2018 - 12:05 PM

    When I was first married we lived in an apartment with white walls and I could not paint them – not even another shade. Then came military housing. No change in dead white walls. Swore when I got my own house I would never have white walls! And for years of raising 3 kids, dogs etc we had color everywhere. It seem to work. Now I am older, tired and needing some peace and the walls are getting some shade of white. Maybe I don’t see as well and need the light but we won’t go there. Yes I still have color – pillows, rugs,, and what my mom would call sit around stuff. So maybe you have to grow into white walls – but not dead white. Lots of petty whites out there.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 13, 2018 - 1:43 AM

      Hi Linda,

      I have come to realize that it’s not the color white that can go south, but what is put WITH the white. White walls need lots of other white things in the space. And also some black and/or very dark brown or navy.ReplyCancel

  • dina - January 11, 2018 - 11:46 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    Just found your blog not too long ago, looking for inspiration so that I can one day pull the trigger and perform an exorcism on my “new” 1970s colonial. Would you by any chance know the name of that fabulous grasscloth wallpaper in the entryway of that McGrath II project? Drool-worthy.

    My sister and I think you are hysterical AND talented. Big fans of the blog!!
    Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 13, 2018 - 1:35 AM

      Hi Dina,

      I’m sorry I don’t. If this was a couple of years ago and it wasn’t 1:30 AM, I’d take a stab at it. But maybe try googling McGrath II entry grass cloth. Miracles can happen.

      My other trick is to take the photo and crop out the most clear portion of the paper and put it in google images. If that doesn’t work, put the descriptive terms in google images. One of those usually works.ReplyCancel

  • Jan - January 10, 2018 - 2:46 PM

    Arrived here in 1993 – and promptly had all of the dark wood paneling and the very dark wood covered fireplace in our one-and-only living room painted in high gloss Super White!
    Also had all of the bathroom cabinets and all of the kitchen cabinets painted in that same glossy white!
    Shock and Awe (and so called “helpful criticism”) ensued from our friends and visitors …
    But I’ve never, ever regretted that choice! Not. One. Day.
    That glossy bright white paneling reflects sunlight, firelight and candlelight.
    The VERY white kitchen is still fresh and happy! And the white cabinets in the bathrooms allow for any and all colors of towels!

    Cheers! JanReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2018 - 11:27 PM

      Hi Jan,

      Haha on the “helpful criticism.” But I love that you followed your heart. One can never go wrong. Super White is Vicente Wolf’s favorite white and he is one of the kings of white!ReplyCancel

  • Tonya - January 10, 2018 - 7:19 AM

    I think Tory Burch has the chair there for the dog to easily get on and off of the bed. Lucky dog.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2018 - 11:25 PM

      Thanks Tonya. Lucky dog indeed! And Elliot just before you, made the same observation, so probably right.ReplyCancel

  • Elliot - January 9, 2018 - 5:40 PM

    Hi, Laurel.
    Perhaps Tory Burch has the side chairs placed near the foot of her bed to help her dogs reach the mattress. I’ve placed side chairs where they’re convenient for robes and pillows and blankets — and for the well-loved dogs who might appreciate an assist.
    In the second photo, the placement of the side chair on the far side of the bed could satisfy the stylist’s or photographer’s idea of a more well-balanced shot.
    Hope your KBIS experience is great.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2018 - 11:24 PM

      Hi Elliot,

      That’s quite a fancy step stool for poochy but I’m sure that he/she deserves it and more. And thank you. I’m having a fabulous time. It’s the group of amazing designers I’m hanging with. This sort of thing didn’t happen until recent years and it’s been one of the best things that’s every happened to us!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - January 9, 2018 - 11:08 AM

    Laurel, I love this post. Thank you so much. Your post made my day. 🙂 Although, they always make my day better.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2018 - 11:21 PM

      Hi Amy,

      Oh, that’s so sweet of you to say and very much appreciated!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - January 8, 2018 - 7:57 PM

    Hi Laurel, as I move towards having a white and cream bedroom, inspired by your posts and Charlotte Anne’s home, is there a formula for knowing the proportion of cream and white to use in a space? It might come easy for some, but I get hung up on deciding when to use white or cream for walls, window treatments, pillows, bedding, chair, lamps and shades, etc. Maybe you could do a post on the topic? Thanks for all of the beautiful inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2018 - 11:20 PM

      Hi Kelly,

      That’s a very good question. I’m not sure of a formula. But I think that if the whites and off-whites coordinate that you really can’t go wrong.ReplyCancel

  • Lalagigi - January 8, 2018 - 8:31 AM

    I love the look of white walls…in photos and magazines. So fresh and soothing. But when I tried to go white in my own home, I absolutely hated the look. It looked unfinished, cold and just… generic. I don’t know how else to explain it. I have a mix of antiques and painted pieces, slipcovered furniture, colorful pillows and fine artwork, so there is no lack of color. Is it just me and am I doing something wrong?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 8, 2018 - 1:53 PM

      Hi Elise,

      (Took the name from your email addie.) That is quite interesting, however, without actually seeing what’s going on it would be difficult to ascertain what the problem is. Since you love the look in magazines, it probably isn’t you.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Lopez - January 8, 2018 - 7:16 AM

    After having switched from rich color to all white in a modern space (after 10 years) I did notice that in an all white space one has to pay much more attention to color value, shape or form than I had to do with deep color. Somehow the color ties disparate furnishings together and hides their flaws. In an all white space things can look shabby if you’re not careful. In an all white space each piece has to stand on its own and too much going on can easily read as messy rather than as adding texture in a colored space.

    I do like the change but I become much more of an editor rather than a collector in an all white space.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 8, 2018 - 1:46 PM

      Hi Susan,

      That notion does have some validity. In fact, I read somewhere, Alexa Hampton saying that when her apartment was painted a deep brown, the place could be a mess and it didn’t read as messy.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - January 7, 2018 - 9:11 PM

    Laurel,
    I’ve always loved your blog and how you help me understand different decor dilemmas. But your response to Amy just makes me want to hug you. Your explanation made me want to give you a virtual high-five. I loved everything you said.
    I have never had very good communication skills. Reading what you said makes me want to memorize it so I can repeat it the next time my husband gives me a hard time about doing something different in our house.
    Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!
    And have a safe trip to Florida.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 11:04 PM

      Hi Mary,

      Of course, I had some time to think about what I was going to say. :] But years of raising two very high-maintenance boys honed those skills, I guess. Funny how things work out.

      But I really appreciate your saying that. Oh one other thing I learned. If you’re writing something nice, it’s fine to say “you.” But if you want something from someone or there’s an element of criticism, avoid saying “you” as it sounds confrontational and be sure to sugar-coat your message with lots of praise.

      My mom was a shrink. I learned a lot from her too!ReplyCancel

  • HeidiP - January 7, 2018 - 3:52 PM

    We are completely redoing our kitchen and expanding our great room,,, and guess what— everything including gorgeous trim— cotton balls. COTTON BALLS TO THE WALLS! haha.
    I literally roll my eyes whenever anyone comments about boring white walls and I don’t even bother trying to convince them to think otherwise.
    I’ve always had white walls in my nyc apartments growing up and then white shades selected by me as an adult but then fell for that “boring” comment when We first bought our house in CT. Since then I’ve regretted not following my gut. But now I can’t wait to remedy it!! Thank you always LaurelReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 10:56 PM

      You’re very welcome Heidi. There are many designers who not only embrace white, but use it almost all the time for at least some of the rooms/spaces.

      It’s a lot like that word “vanilla” which has become synonomous with bland/boring but my answer is to go and have some vanilla ice cream without the vanilla and then let’s talk. ReplyCancel

  • Jean - January 7, 2018 - 3:31 PM

    Dear Laurel,
    First, a big thank you for all the beauty you share with us and your smart, smart ideas for achieving these looks on our own. I’ve been creeping on your site for a few months, since downsizing to a detached townhome. I have purchased all of your resources ( highly recommend ) but my trim is Spanish white. Yup, the exact color of cat pee. I used Elmira white on most of the main floor and I’m pretty happy with it. It seems to de-emphasize the yellow.

    Now I’d like to have my cherry kitchen cabinets painted white/cream. But I don’t want Spanish white and I don’t want to redo the trim. How far can I veer from the trim color without it looking like a mistake? I know you can’t make a diagnosis without being here but I’d take any thoughts you may have.

    Also, as I use your palettes for planning I’m “pretending” my trim is ivory white, does that make sense to you?dont worry, I’m the queen of testing colors. Just ask my husband haha. Have fun looking at all the new stuff in Florida,ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 10:52 PM

      Hi Jean,

      It depends if there is a crown moulding butting up against the cabinets or not. And sometimes a window or door casing. But what I would do is get two or three samples and see which one works the best in your light. Ivory white might be the ticket, but I can’t be sure from here. But what you don’t want are any whites with cool/blue overtones. The only one that has that is decorator’s white.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - January 7, 2018 - 2:04 PM

    I was searching for Tory’s canopy bed and found this, Tory’s bedroom bears a striking resemblance to the former Fifth Avenue bedroom of Lee Radziwill. The Fuchsia chintz, flooring, and Renzo Mongiardino botanicals. The image can be found in the July/August 1975 issue of Architectural Digest.

    They look almost identical~ReplyCancel

  • Laura Black - January 7, 2018 - 1:16 PM

    For those of you celebrating, Merry (Ukrainian) Christmas!! Thank you Laurel for this rather timely post. Needed wall colour to complete main floor reno of my relatively small, late 50s’s built house with plaster walls, crown mouldings and detailed ceilings. Smallish yes, but as the single colour is throughout front part of the house (vestibule, front hallway, now open concept living room/dining room/kitchen and the back hall) it would mean a boatload of repainting if colour was chosen unwisely. Fortunately, I’m back in my childhood home and I know much natural light each area gets, how the light travels during the day and with the seasons. Having that knowledge in my back pocket makes for an easy choice, right? Not so much. After running the gamut of colours, the clear winner is SW 7012 Creamy. Most of the wood trim will remain (because I like it) but where it will be painted – it’s going to be the same Creamy colour but in a semi-gloss. Moulding and ceiling in a pure, extra or ceiling bright (the next decision). I’m extremely happy with wall choice – and IMHO, boring it is not.ReplyCancel

  • Angelica K. - January 7, 2018 - 10:57 AM

    I love this blog post! Thank you! It goes against all the articles I’ve read on why we should chose color for our walls. All our walls are white and whenever I consider painting a wall, I always conclude that white is the best choice. Color is added in our home with wall art, fruit on display and flowers or branches from the yard and decorative pieces. All our sofas are also white and the kids (as well as the grown-ups 🙂 have done pretty well over the years keeping them that way.
    I have to say though, that I do appreciate seeing spaces with color – I just think that color is too big of a commitment, that it takes away my freedom to easily change things around. Thank you!
    Angelica K.
    mydearirene.comReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 11:06 AM

      Hi Angelica,

      This reminds me that I am in the process of doing a website refresh. No worries, nothing radical but it will be better because there won’t be a different mobile theme, etc.

      So, I was playing around with colors and trying out different link colors and in the end, I went back to what I currently have because everything else looked wrong.

      I think that we have to do what works best for us. ReplyCancel

  • nancy keyes - January 7, 2018 - 10:52 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    Wow, thanks for putting us in such great company! Of course you know I agree with every word about white. Have a wonderful trip!
    XOReplyCancel

  • Sandy Cervenak - January 7, 2018 - 10:39 AM

    Not a fan of stark white white walls; I prefer a creamier white. But any white room without a touch of green, preferably spring green, leaves me cold and/or bored.

    Regarding the chair at the foot of the bed, passed over the first pic and didn’t notice the second until I read your comment.

    My immediate thought was maybe the owner had lived in a convent.
    When I was a nun for nine years, we had large dorms and our individual “bedrooms” (they actually called them “cells”) was composed of a single bed with a metal rung headboard, a small oak chest of drawers and a small oak chair in that same position at the end of the bed. There was a curtain railing system throughout and at night or whenever we needed privacy, we pulled the curtain around our cell (similar to what they do in hospitals. The chair was useful for sitting on to put on your stockings and shoes, or to set something on. Of course, seeing the first pic with the little writing desk, I could see it’s use. In fact, one of my “end tables” in my bedroom is a small old desk and I’ve placed a small slipper chair designed and made by my grandfather beside it for the same uses.

    Another fun and interesting post and always filled with takeaway points and pics.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 11:01 AM

      Hi Sandy,

      Agree completely with the green, particularly a lovely spring green or chartreuse, hence the plants in the widget.

      Interesting story too, but unlikely in this case since Tory is Jewish. hahaReplyCancel

  • Jana - January 7, 2018 - 9:43 AM

    Oh Laurel, I so agree with your thoughts. I’ve always thought that the very best rooms start out as a big, beautiful white canvas on which wondrous things beg to happen. And that “mood board” you’ve included is one of your best! I see several things to love there. Here’s hoping you stay warm, favorite blogger of mine.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - January 7, 2018 - 8:41 AM

    Laurel,

    Living here in Florida, not far from Orlando (typically the site of KBIS)you are fortunate to be visiting when the weather is returning to normal! We have experienced a week of freezing cold here but fortunately no snow to clean up…. As always, enjoyed your beautiful post today. I learn something each time. Also,after your post of the “hot sales” I purchased a pair of the lovely rustic “swedish-type” chairs in the Spa Blue from One Kings Lane. Just happened to see one of them (beige linen)in a beautiful store marked up to $650 for a single one. Talk about a profit! Thanks again for your blog, and excuse me now, but must return to the hot sales page again!

    KarenReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:57 AM

      Hi Karen,

      “Freezing cold” is a relative term. For Florida, yes, but for here, 40 degree temps would be most welcome and it IS going to be that tomorrow, so it will be sublime for us in Florida. Can’t wait!

      And fab that you got those chairs on sale at OKL! The normal price is higher than what you paid. $625. However, I just went to my Sarreid price list. (the vendor) and the full retail price is $936. So the store’s price of $650 is not out of line at all!ReplyCancel

  • Denise - January 7, 2018 - 8:39 AM

    Thank you for this heavenly post! Do you have any idea if Tory’s bed is available? Probably not, and if it is, it’s probably (too) many thousands. It’s so perfect. And I love that Colefax chintz…if you know its name.

    Have a great time in FL — sure is a great time to be getting out of the Northeast.

    DeniseReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:48 AM

      Hi Denise,

      Normally, I would be happy to track down the bed and chintz, but I have everything I can do just to get out of here– intact, tomorrow.

      ReplyCancel

  • Katy - January 7, 2018 - 8:38 AM

    Lots of nice examples and you didn’t even get to my fave…white walls with bright accents…often country or maybe Swedish.

    The Amber Lewis and Summer Thornton rooms are my favorite. Some are too cluttered or too “done” for my taste.

    I think the struggle is hitting what you really want from white and avoiding what you don’t want.

    I like white to be fresh, bright, and clean. Calm and tranquil is good too.

    What I don’t like is white that is cold, sterile, or dull and I think that is what a lot of us have seen most in older tract housing and apartments, hospitals, and offices.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:46 AM

      Bingo Katy! There is no color that looks good in a hospital or a plain box devoid of any character whatsoever!ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - January 7, 2018 - 8:23 AM

    Laurel,
    Every time you show that Horchow rug it just slays me! So beautiful and would be perfect for my space over seagrass….but not practical when my husband is determined to payoff student loans and we need a new car…..hopefully it is still around in a few years:) I love the colors, they are glorious!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:44 AM

      Do you really need a new car? lol But I understand completely!ReplyCancel

  • The Slipcover Maker - January 7, 2018 - 8:19 AM

    The last time I put color on my walls was in 1969 when I painted my(childhood)bedroom split pea green — groovy! Since then white is my go-to color for all of my rooms in my home and workroom. White walls make the best backdrop to my ever changing decor.
    Have an inspired trip, Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • Diana Bier - January 7, 2018 - 7:51 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    As usual, your posts are full of sage advice, laugh-out-loud comments (pop tarts anyone?), and beautiful rooms that would look great even if totally empty!
    It’s so important to keep in mind that if you get the architecture and proportions right, you are well on your way to a beautiful and livable room.
    Keep on writing!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:41 AM

      Hi Diana,

      Amen to getting the architecture and proportions right!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 7, 2018 - 7:05 AM

    Laurel, you’ve done it again! I LOVE everything about this post, and for me, it couldn’t come at a better time. I just moved from my 90 year old colonial yesterday into a 3 year old town home on the Hudson River. My painter shows up Monday to paint all the main spaces white, and you gave me so many good ideas about how to warm up and make my new white rooms interesting and cozy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:41 AM

      Hi Kim,

      So glad that the post is helpful for you! Good luck with your updates!ReplyCancel

  • diane cisco - January 7, 2018 - 2:58 AM

    Love this post! I have spent the last week looking for the perfect white paint to use. Are there any you would suggest?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:40 AM

      Hi Diane,

      The links to the main white paint posts are in the post, OR you might consider purchasing my nearly 500 page collection of 144 of the best Benjamin Moore paint colors – along the companion guide of 40+ palettes with presentation boards showing the colors used in furnished rooms. You can read more about it here. ReplyCancel

  • Lori Payton - January 7, 2018 - 2:41 AM

    I think that white walls look fine as long as you put a lot of accessory pieces and bring in colour through other avenues, such as furniture…otherwise they can look boring. I am not sure if I would want an entirely white house though. It might look okay, but there are so many nice soft paint colours that can create a flow from room to room too. What I hate is when people think they have to bring in colour by painting the walls a bright orange, red or blue etc,… which I can’t imagine you wouldn’t tire of very quickly…and do you really want to make walls the focal point of a room? A friend of mine painted her dining and living room red. Whenever I went to her house all I saw was red as opposed to her nice furniture and area rug etc. Colour can be brought in through a bright accent chair, cushions or art work. Do you agree Laurel?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:36 AM

      Hi Lori,

      I do not necessarily think that one has to bring in color to make a room look interesting. It’s one of the options I listed and have posted examples, plus Charlotte Anne’s beautiful home is just whites, creams and neutrals.

      And I saw a beautiful warm red in an antiques booth at high point. It was gorgeous, but 9/10 of the wall was covered. But it made a beautiful backdrop for the antiques. I’ve posted the pic here a couple of times. You can see it here. https://laurelberninteriors.com/2016/12/28/favorite-benjamin-moore-paint-colors/

      But yes, a long drink of ANY uninterrupted color on a wall is going to look not-so-great.ReplyCancel

  • Kiera - January 7, 2018 - 2:01 AM

    I love white on white. It somehow manages to be both exciting and restful at the same time. It’s just that I can never seem to do it myself – I love colorful walls too much. I wonder if that’s because I spent so many years in rental apartments where you couldn’t paint any color other than white? Maybe that’s what so many people have against white – they were forced into rental white walls!

    The thing I really wish I could have is white furniture, but that’s not happening until my kids are older and less prone to making everything they touch dirty and sticky.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 7, 2018 - 9:29 AM

      Hi Kiera,

      That is an excellent theory and I think that you are right! As for white furniture. I put all white furniture in my living room when my kids were 5 and 1. I trained them to wash their hands AFTER they ate. It helped for many years until they got out of the habit.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Pressman - January 7, 2018 - 2:00 AM

    In the Daniel Romualdez room, the one side chair I can see seems to be in a perfect position for someone to come talk to the person who is in the bed, maybe working or reading, but spending a considerable amount of time there, whatever. Bed as office. lol.ReplyCancel

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