Simple White

By Kate Riley May 21, 2009

It happens every May.  I can never wait until Memorial Day to bring out my white slipcovers in anticipation of summer.  I adore crisp summer whites. 

We have one dining space that sits in the exact center of our home.  It has to function as both a casual and formal space, depending on the occasion.  It has a great view of the rear yard through the French doors, but it was definitely in need of some freshening up. 

I was inspired by this photo of a “casual” dining space featured in this post, where the homeowners chose to formalize their breakfast nook adjacent to their kitchen.  How lovely is this?

traditional home may 08

And of course we all love the mixture of white and dark in this dining space from the movie “Something’s Gotta Give”. 

sgg dining room

Yesterday, I learned (sadly) that our local Villeroy and Boch outlet store is closing.  Sigh.  But I was able to score a great deal on a beautiful cream table runner and an incredible bowl for the dining room table.  

apples and roses

I also stopped by the local Goodwill store, and would you ever believe that this vase and these two hurricanes came from a thrift store? I am not joking here.  They were each $5.  I think the only reason no one had bought these hurricanes was because they were on opposite ends of the store.  I did the happy dance as they were “reunited, and it feels so good…”.  [Is that bad 80’s song stuck in your head now?] 

goodwill hurricanes

I also freshened up the dining room hutch with a medley of some of my favorite white and green objects. 

I absolutely love this buffet and hutch that I purchased five years ago from Crate and Barrel.  It was made in Italy and has a European feel.  It is just about my favorite piece of furniture in my home.  The piece has formal elements, like dark woodwork, glass doors and antique keyholes.  Yet it also has a casual appeal, with its painted interior.  I invested in it because I knew I would love it for years. 

dining hutch from afar 

dining hutch

inside cabinet

Here is the dining space all freshened up:

dining room freshened up

And my lovely little tablescape:

roses and apples 

Those flowers came from my rose tree and some hydrangea buds in my front yard.  I highly recommend this ‘Iceberg’ floribunda rose for gorgeous white blooms year after year.  Plant it in a large pot if you’re renting your space. 

rose tree

roses crop 

But after all of this fresh white, I think I prefer my daughter’s designer touch.  She will grow up to be a great decorator because she certainly knows how to make a space feel like her own:

bellas decor

Nothing ever stays perfect in a home filled with children.  But I like it that way.



  1. The tablescape is so pretty! I’m just going to have to plant me some of those pretty roses.
    I especially liked the stuffed animal display. How is it when you get rid of acquire so many more?

  2. Ok, I CANNOT get over your flower arrangement – and the fact that those blooms came from your yard blows me away!! That’s it, I’m sorry, I’m going to have to steal your rose tree – it’s awesome!

  3. love it! did you make those adorable slipcovers? if so…tutorial please!!! haha

  4. Found you while researching upholstered headboards. I like you! lol! I’m rushing off but I’ll be back. Love the re-do in your dining area. I’m feeling the itch to re-do some stuff, too. Want to sell some furniture and open the space up more. I’ll be back! (I’m in SoCal.)

  5. You’ve given me the bug. Although I have less “redecorating” and more… “actually hanging things on walls” that I need to work on. I’ll be posting about one obstacle that keeps getting in my way, though. Maybe you’ll have a suggestion? =)

  6. The dining chairs' cushions used to be white in my house! I'd like to blame the kidlets entirely, but I'm afraid the adults have done their share of spotting and staining. Yours look brilliant white…..and wonderful! I do love your daughter's touch! :>

  7. tee hee, I love the addition of the animals to the center piece!

  8. It’s amazing what you can find at a goodwill! How nice of you to reunite the two pieces and put them to such good use.

  9. Hi, Kate, came over from Kimba's & I have to say wow, what a pretty blog. And I will def. add you to my reader. Love your style & all these pics & can't wait to see more. I think you would enjoy my blog as well, so drop by for a visit.

  10. I had planned to go thrifting tomorrow morning, and now I can’t WAIT to go. I hope to find scores such as yours. Your room, table, chairs and tablescape looks so pretty.


  11. Wow! Love the white slips for the parson’s chairs. The ruffle is perfect touch. Made a sketch and will attempt to make my very own asap, your’s are soooo pretty.

    Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star’s Fault

  12. I love the house in Something’s Gotta Give. I’ve trying to find some of the artwork from the movie, especially the beach scene in the living room. I think it’s called rockaway beach. I can’t find anything. Can anyone help?

  13. I have been looking through all your rooms and wondering if you had listed somewhere all the paint colors and combinations you used in each room. I know the master bath was your own blend but I’ve got to know what you’ve used all around your house! My husband and I are choosing paint colors and I am not good at decorating so that everything is co-hesive. We have a dark brown couch what color should the walls be and the floors?……….oh I wish i could borrow you for a weekend to make my house a home!

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