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color vs. white


I don’t know about you, but when I see a bright, white room on Pinterest, a blog, in a magazine or in a home decorating book, I start to question all of the color in my house and am ready to paint everything in site in Decorator White or Moonlight White or Dove White and slipcover everything in white linen, preferably vintage French.

A few pictures to make my point…

Source – Dreamy Whites 

white living room

Source – Country Living

Source – A Country Farmhouse

 Yes, I love looking at white rooms.

But then I see an amazing fabric like the one on my French chairs in my family room or a great paint color like the one on the Empire dresser next to it…

…or the wall paper that’s in my office…

 …or the curtains in my living room…


…and I know I can never go all white.  I can do a lot of white or mostly white.  I love white.  But when it comes to color vs. white…color wins for me.  How about you?   

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  1. I agree with you Marian! I have white envy too! I think it so calm and soothing to the eyes. I’m in the process of redoing my bedroom and can’t decide to go white with warm linen. Our master bedroom is the basement and it would look beautiful. I’ma color girl and can’t decide. I did score some brocade soft yellow french chairs for the bedroom. What do you think would white and taupe linen look okay with the soft yellow?

  2. Janet Ballard says:

    Color wins it for me! My living room is a sunny yellow and is a great pick me up during thw winter months in Ohio. :-) I do love white and have it in a few rooms.

  3. AnnieVee says:

    Color all the way for me! I’ll tell you a little story Marian. I have 4 children and lived in a big 2 1/2 story turn of the century home and when the last child left we moved into a brand spanking new home we built only to leave it 18 months later and move into a mid century one bedroom bungalow. Yes I know, that was a long sentence. But as soon as we moved into this all “white” walls little house, it was too quiet. So, I painted my living room turquoise blue and my little dining room bright yellow. Shocking as it was to most, it was to me… my children… my LIFE. I couldn’t have the bus-y-ness of my children and I needed it, so I used COLOUR to bring the life back into my life. That was 13 years ago. The colours have changed to soft linens and brown greys on the walls but I still have colour in my BLUE china cabinet and GREEN velvet couches. The 5 grandchildren have replaced the turquoise and yellow, but when they leave, the hits of colour all around me will be the bus-y-ness I miss.

  4. Definitely love color! I think white rooms photograph really well, but I know I wouldn’t be happy living in one. :)

  5. me too!! but then reality sets in – six cats, two teenagers still at home, a house in the ‘country’ w/mud and no sidewalks or driveways… but, one can always dream! Maybe one day…

    I do have to say a great big THANK YOU Marian! I first heard of you while searching how to make a set of slipcovers for my outdated wing backs on YouTube. I watched and re-watched each video in your series and voila! I, too, had amazing slipcovers =)

  6. Carole says:

    I definitely see the beauty in a totally white room, however, I would miss my touches of natural linen, and many shades of blue……as in ticking fabric, and deep blue prints. No, I guess I can’t give up the BLUE! Stick to your color scheme….it’s perfectly lovely!

  7. I know exactly what you are talking about. We are in the process of finishing our basement and I have found me wanting way more white than I ever would have. I am painting alot of my old furniture pieces white. Working on an old desk tomorrow. Still, I have to have a pop of color. Decided that I am going to paint the sliding barn doors in my craft room mustard. I love the looks of all white, but don’t know that I could live with it. Although I found myself drooling over the all white pics and then drooling again over the color in your home. What’s a gal to do? lol!

  8. I like lots of white and naturals with colour too. blues are my favourites and I am inspired by your lovely mix of blues and greens to add some fresh greens too.

  9. I have to say, I live on a farm, so “farm house white” to me is a real oxymoron! Ever see how much dirt and grime is generated on a farm? I love the whites though. So clean and fresh and , well, dreamy. But so not practical for my farm house. I vote like you – for some color ( especially my slip covers!)

  10. I have so enjoyed following your blog for the last year or so. I love your home and your design, and I also love that you are part of what seems like a wonderful Christian family. I live on the West Coast and I am a stay-at-home mom of four that LOVES to decorate. Anyway…This is my first time leaving a comment because I am DYING to know where you got the wall paper in your office! I love it! Please respond if at all possible. Thank you!

  11. Susannah says:

    I would have to agree that I too am soo drawn to all those beautiful whites, however my heart seems to swoon over color every time!

  12. I have loved the look of all white, or very nearly all white rooms for many years.loved a white shabbychiclooksince before rachael ashwell made it popular. But. Somerhing i have noticed over the years, the great looking allwhite rooms in magazines and pinterest allhave wonderful architecture for texture and interest. Even if it is just wood floors and nice windows, but many have so much more,like beams on the ceiling, arched doorways. French doors etc. My home with carpet and builder plain windows needs some color and pattern, i feel.

  13. I love white because of how fresh it looks. I am always drawn in by a touch of color added to a an all white room.

  14. Jill Palumbo says:

    I love, love the whites. But I need little bits of warmth, like wood floors and some wood or painted, distressed furniture. And I do love my ticking. Otherwise, white!

  15. Dianne says:

    Color was one of the things that attracted me to your style. I love it. I especially love to see your use of blue as I use blue a lot in my home. I do love seeing the all-white look too. For a change I filled my blue pie safe with all white objects: plates, pitchers, vases, candle sticks, window frame, etc. Thanks for all of your ideas. Love your book . . .

  16. I feel the same you do…when I see white rooms I think wouldn’t it be great to have clean crisp white rooms, then I see rooms decorated with color, like your rooms and I think Wow I love colors…so colors always win for me

  17. I couldn’t have expressed the same sentiment better… I use or strive to use , and I buy, white as far as I can, but when it comes down to white vs something, lively, beautiful, alive n with dimension, guess what does the trick…

  18. Classic and Vintage Furniture looks Amazing :) *Thumbs UP*

  19. Helen says:

    I’m done with white or distressed white or Gustavian white. I live in France where in all the decor magazines and modest decor stores – white with griege is the ONLY look. Totally boring by now. – it’s been YEARS of it with no signs of abaiting. The thing that saves the gorgeous white room on your digital ‘calling card’ are the punchy blue and white curtains. ABSOLUTELY forbidden in France – not monochromatic enough! That’s all you’re seeing over here.

    I love this saying: “Nothing is so dated than the immediate past”.

  20. All white for me of course (my blog is about white decorating) ! I do love colour but I prefer to live in peaceful white…
    Trudy xx

  21. Sabine says:

    I looooove white, everything white, of course all different shades, but when summer comes I crave color, preferably blues and greens, as soon as Halloween approaches I like browns and oranges and for Christmas I keep saying I’m gonna go red, because I love traditional. Usual it ends up being whites with burlap and light green….I have to say I am a little afraid of color and I get tired of it really fast, for me white and all shades of white seem to give me peace…for now the only color I have that provides a little punch is turquoise, only accessories though, they can be removed. But when I see your gorgeous Milk paint colors I know that one of these days I have to paint some of my furniture!! Thank you for your inspirations and for sharing your beautiful home!

  22. Carmen says:

    I agree – I love the idea of a restoration hardware home, but then I remember how much I am inspired by spanish colors and textures…I couldn’t have a room without orange and red or dark wood with some colorful accent pieces.

    The white lifestyle is gorgeous…but the colored covers up my 2 year old a lot easier. lol 😉

  23. Donna says:

    I love the fabric on your chairs and have been looking for it for my daughters curtains in her livingroom, is exactly what we are looking for. What is the pattern? Thanks,

  24. Wandalee says:

    Years ago I was a fashion buyer for Belk stores.. we would constantly ask the sales reps,,,where is your color?
    …It took awhile to get them to understand, turquoise , red, royal, ect were colors that southern women gravitated too. Even if they bought the white or black item, the color made the customers want to look.. I think color will always win over just white. Except for wedding dresses and ceilings

  25. Thank you for posting this! I’m aware that it was awhile ago, but I have been struggling since I love all the white pictures. But I have seven children, so to keep that clean would be unrealistic. Also, I’m so drawn to color and love so many beautiful patterns. It wouldn’t reflect me if I didn’t decorate with it. Thank you for helping me be happy with decorating the way I feel I want to! 😉

  26. Dolores says:

    Color! It makes my home look warm and inviting and covers a multitude of sins! I have two little grandsons, and two big standard poodles and neither ‘set’ would allow the luxury of an all white room.I do love the ethereal feel of a white room- but there wouldn’t be much serenity in my house if I was always stressing out on when the next spot would happen.:-) Maybe in my next life? :-)

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