white on white on white

Marian ParsonsAntiques, Decorating, Favorite Finds, Tips and Tricks25 Comments

Soooo…I am really starting to love white.  I’ve been moving in that direction for a while, but lately, it’s what I’m drawn to the most.


The key to whites being successful is texture and tone.  The shades of white you use in a space can either look warm and intentional or stark and bland.  It’s a fine line.

I love mixing crisp whites with those that are creamy.


On the white slipcovered Ikea sofa, I layered a nubby antique hemp sheet on the back with a lace-edged runner on top.  I mixed white cotton channel-stitched pillows with a cream linen knife-pleated pillow.  The contrasts are subtle, but pretty.  Anything but stark.

If you’re afraid of whites because your family and whites don’t mix well, then try using more creams and off-whites and don’t use white upholstery on the pieces your family sits on the most.  I can get away with having a lot of white slipcovers and upholstery in my house, but my boys rarely sit in those chairs.  They aren’t off-limits, they just don’t usually sit in them.

I’ve also found that white vintage and antique textiles are a bit more forgiving of stains.


I think another key to decorating with whites is to be very choosy about the non-white pieces that go into the space.  Anything that isn’t white is going to stick out, so each piece should be special.


I absolutely love this little stool!  I picked it up yesterday for $20.  I thought it would be rickety, because the legs are at such an extreme angle, but it’s very sturdy.


Now I’m ready to paint everything white.

Well, almost everything.


I was feeling stressed and worn out this morning and working on this, which wasn’t a priority at all, was soothing and rejuvenating for me.

And I’m just a little in love with it all.


Oh, and this Ikea sofa is actually my old one!  Kriste got a new sofa courtesy of La-z-boy, so we brought this one to the studio.  I bought a new slipcover for it and it looks like new again.  It’ll be a great place to lounge and it’s a nice, neutral sofa for photo shoots and for styling things we have for sale (coffee tables, pillows, quilts, etc.)

While I was playing with the sofa, I collected other things from the studio…some things that are for sale, some that are props.  We’d like to have the studio open more, so readers & customers can feel free to stop by and shop.  I’ve learned that pieces don’t sell well if they’re just hanging out in a pile.  

If they are styled, well, that’s another story.  


I mean, I want to pick up half of this stuff and move it over to my house!

And, speaking of great finds, I’ve added a new page to my blog.  It’s called “shop my style” and it’s under the inspiration tab on the navigation bar.

shop my style Collage

It’s filled with new things I’ve bought for my house or the studio (like some pretty drawer pulls from Anthro that are on clearance for $2.95), some well-priced antique pieces I spotted on Etsy (a few great ironstone milk pitchers), some MMS products sold by my retailers, and a few things that are wish-list sort of pieces.  I’ve had a fun time doing some “shopping” for things I love and hunting for some bargains.

I’ll continue to add new things to the page as I find them.  (As a disclosure, these are affiliate links.)

white on white on white

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25 Comments on “white on white on white”

  1. I was confused for a minute! I was like wait..Marian has a leather sofa and that white sofa was given away lol. Well I have to say your new old sofa looks good in your studio. I’m going to go shop your style now, fun fun fun!!

  2. The white sofa looks so great in your studio the way you styled it, Are the metal stools that are under the table new or old, I love them!

  3. How fun to have a sofa in your studio to plop down on. And yay for Kristie’s new house new sofa! So fun. I came home from Luckett’s the year I met you and had a style heart to heart chat with myself. I spent the rest of the weekend looking at design pics and realized I LOVE white walls. Love them. I was shocked, because color is my thing. But sure enough, I started using way more white, and my house feels like me. It’s funny how things work sometimes. Plus when you use white, you really see the color.
    Have a happy day,
    The Other Marian

  4. Many people think of “white” as boring but really its anything but because the re are so many shades of white. It doesn’t have to be stark and bland.

    As far as white furniture goes you can pair it with almost everything.and it looks great. In summer, I use lots of navy and corals and the white backdrop is gorgeous against it. In fall and winter, I switch things up and bring in some leopard prints and that too looks great with white. What I most like is you can dress it up or down whether you style is farmhouse, cottage, industrial or vintage glam.

  5. I have always decorated with whites and every time I post something on my Facebook page I get the comments of disbelief! It’s the best backdrop and with slipcovers it can all be washed and bleached as we know. Yes…it does work with pets and kiddos and goes with so many styles:-)

  6. I love white too, and have for many years been moving that way. Wood and white, such a great combination! Unfortunately, I cannot get the sofa slipcover on and off by myself so the couch doesn’t get washed as often as it should. Now would somebody please explain to me why the jean manufacturers can no longer make jeans that don’t bleed blue everytime someone sits down!

  7. White has always been my color of choice. When my husband is asked what color I am painting he says, “oh dirty white”. Texture and subtle variations are key like you said. You have a great inspiration for all of us. Thank you.

  8. When we redid our bedroom I can’t believe I painted it WHITE! Not just any white, oh no—it took me almost 2 weeks and at least 10 sample jars to decide! I wanted a warm, easy white. I found it in Dogwood. I still can’t believe I have a white bedroom, but I love it.

  9. Thanks for the shop my style link. Found out Anthropology had 30% off sale merchandise when I looked up the silver pulls. Scored a ton at a fab price. Love your designs always.

  10. Love the design of this stool. White on white is still my first love! Amazing, My husband Jacob found my hefty journal that had been misplaced over the years. It is sort of a vision board. Looking through the pages , there were some magazine cutouts and pasted on the journal. I still like some of them. Yet, there are plenty of pages that I should add to from now on.

  11. Tell us where to shop the slipcover!
    Always love whites. What is the secret to using shades of white together.
    Waitingor next post.)

    1. I have that couch and you can get the covers online at Ikea. the white bleaches. I also dry then in the sun to help prevent shrinking and to whiten.

  12. Wow this post could not have been more timely, just like the “in the works in the wings” post!
    i have always loved white, I ordered two bags of MMSMilk Paint in Linen to paint a China hutch in my kitchen, I can’t wait to get started. Yesterday I purchased dining chairs from restoration hardware, the vintage French Cane backs, in white!!
    I had been searching for French cane chairs on Craigslist right when your “in the works” post came out. I found one, bought it. Found a set of 6 but they seemed rickety and too much work. Took the plunge and bought 8 from RH. They’re gorgeous. White white white all the way:)

  13. Can I purchase that cute little black basket with the Miss Mustard Seed tag on it? 🙂


  14. I was looking at the white sofa and and the whole set up thinking where in the world is all that in her house? and then i realized it was the studio! I agree, i would want to take all of it home with me too! I love the lawn mower repair sign too… how cute is that!
    Shop my style is really fun too. I love those little drawer pulls and saw several cool things over there including your german glass glitter which i had and finally broke out and used. It was a treasure for me, it looked so pretty in the little jar i just kept hoarding it . I finally spared a little and did a few pine cones and they are so cute. The sparkle from that stuff is amazing, and a little goes a pretty long way!


  15. Love this and I have been LOVING everything white lately too. Some great tips also for decorating with white as it’s not always easy.

    Great new addition to the site! Can’t wait to search 🙂

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

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