Wintery White

By Kate Riley December 30, 2009

I don’t know what it is about January, but the dawn of a new year makes me want to conquer the world with a paintbrush and a gallon of fresh white semi-gloss in hand.  These days, I can’t help but feel an intense desire to paint my entire house white !  Perhaps it’s just the images of freshly fallen snow, but oh to start the year over with a very blank canvas and an all white home.  There’s just something about a beautifully executed all white room that makes my heart go pitter patter, and makes me want to settle in for a long winter’s nap. 

Would it be to much to ask to have my living room look like this ?

 all white family room dallas copy

Swoon !


And my dining room look like this ?

white dining room country lving 

Heaven !


And a bedroom, any bedroom, look like this ? 

layla grace bedroom

Perfection !


Of course, this is completely impractical right now because I am surrounded by pets and children and dark wood furniture and messes and well, real life.  Not that I mind.  Pets, children, dark wood furniture and messes add a certain warmth to a home, don’t you think?  

So as much as I may swoon over these designer rooms, in truth, I wouldn’t trade my family and the mess they bring with them for all the glamorous white spaces in the world.   That is, unless these spaces came with a lifetime’s supply of bleach and free dry cleaning. 

My wish for the New Year?  Simply to have more of the same.  OK, so the economy completely stinks, but I’m looking on the bright side.  The bright white side.  I’m looking forward to more fun projects for this blog, more time with my children, a nice vacation with my family, and good health the whole year through. 

And to be sure, a heck of a lot more white paint. 

Image credit:  1) Cote de Texas; 2) Country Living; 3) Layla Grace

 Happy New Year everyone –

I’ll see you in the next decade !


  1. Ummm- I’ll take anyone of those rooms too! Gorgeous! There is something so refreshing about white…. though not so refreshing with a three year old. Thanks for posting such fabulous eye candy. Happy New Year!

  2. I’m in love with winter white too. And I can’t got anywhere near it thanks to my cats. But I’m really more of a color person so I don’t mind too much.
    Have a wonderful new year!!

  3. Happy new year to you too Kate! To dream of the not-always-possible is not bad thing.Wintery white spaces plus loads of bleach /free dry cleaning?…Priceless!

  4. Loved this post. I totally get it! Delicious, clean white on white fantasy vs. Petaluma country/family living. That’s my life.

    Happy New Year dear Kate.

  5. I have the same feelings as you! I want to paint the whole house over again and do it all in white. I was planning on painting our bedroom white, but I thought I should save some money and leave it beige…but now I am thinking just to do it! hahahahah

  6. I LURVE a white bedroom! Simply magical.

    I am working on being happy where I am too. For three years I’ve been living in this house with the idea that we will move soon and so I should just do what needs to be done to sell it. NOW I am focusing on making this house my home. It’s tiny, but all ours and I need to appreciate it! I just need to get rid of big house envy!

    I’ll be looking to your blog for help in 2010. Keep up the inspiration!

    Happy New Year!!!

  7. I agree. When we first built our home a little over a year ago I went wild with painting the walls. I like the colors, but I now wish I would have painted them all an off white and decorated with pops of color. Maybe someday I will go wild with the white paint as well, but for now that task seems quite daunting! LOVE IT though!

  8. I always love white rooms but they are so not me. I love more color than that. I like to look at them but I wouldn’t want to have one. I had a lot of our house painted before we moved in and I chose a tan color because of the two story great room. I knew that I would never be able to paint it myself so I went with a neutral color. I am already regretting it. I love golds, greens, but I have tan. I am trying to work in some red with my pillows etc. I am also going to paint my double mantel black and I can’t wait. I think it will really make the room pop.

    Hope you have a great New Year.

  9. I think white equates to simple and who would not want a simple life when times get crazy. I actually like color on my walls but Love white furniture. I am painting my two bedroom dressers white this month ( once the kids get back to school). I just like the fact that no matter what my wall color the dressers will always work! Happy New Years!

  10. I too love the white and it has taken over my life, hahaha. Really can’t get enough of it and every single time I get that paint out and look at what I’ve just painted I can’t believe it was any other color before that! My bedroom is next on the list ( we’re always last ) and I can’t wait to get the Christmas stuff put away and begin. I also have three children, two dogs and cats but bleach is cheap and it’s worth the little extra work! Happy New Year to you and your family xxoo

  11. That first room is beeeeautiful! It would stay that way for about 5 minutes in my house before someone wiped sticky fingers on that gorgeous couch. ;) I am trying to convince myself that white walls are okay…after so many years of TV, Oprah, etc. telling us that you have to have color on the walls, it’s hard for me to go there. But I think I really like that clean look. Makes me seriously reconsider the red walls in my Dining room. ;)

  12. The white is beautiful! But totally impractical for me and my sweet little Boston Terrier, Millie. So I say yay for warmth and dark woods and colors in the house!

  13. Once, a long time ago, I thought having a white couch would be perfection. Then I had babies….and the twins were projectile vomiters. They also liked to draw Sharpie murals on everything (including one of my couch cushions). I am now very thankful for my purple couch! If they spill grape kool-aid on it, it won’t matter! (Not that they actually drink grape kool-aid….that’s just a reference to a time when I spilled grape kool-aid on my parents’ brand new couch when I was a kid. I managed to clean up the entire mess….and kept the incident a secret for many, many years!)

  14. You read my mind. I so desperately want a white room… I’ll have to settle for a little white area of a room. Dogs, messy boy (and hubby) LOL
    An all white room doesn’t work in my life right now.


  15. Maybe it is just giving our senses a rest after all the holiday to-do that draws us to the all-white look. I am so ready for a fresh slate. I will definitely lighten accessories and declutter.

  16. Four kids and a dog would make it impossible around here as well. I think I need a bit of color just to make me smile, but the rooms are a gorgeous dream.

  17. Gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to do a cabin in white and sepia, but I agree that white doesn’t equal real life. At this point, I’m just wishing for fully painted rooms! (We have a few half done)

  18. When I saw the bedroom picture I almost started to tear up! That is one of the most beautiful rooms ever. Great inspirational pics. I saved them in my inspirational file for future redesigns.

    I have wanted to go all white as well for awhile, but like Meredith, I am sure my little hairy guy would destroy a white couch. I would be forever bleaching the slip covers to within an inch of their lives.

  19. My dream living room is very similar to the picture you posted. Unfortunately, that is many years away. What should be my formal living room is a wall-to-wall playroom for the kidlets. I’m painfully aware of the fact that time is so short and they will be grown and out of the house before we know it. The white room can wait, but a girl can always ogle.

  20. I feel exactly the same way you do. Surrounded by white would be so calming – quite the opposite of my life – but I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world. I love my messy husband who tracks sand in from the beach after surfing on a regular basis, my two black dogs that shed piles of hair every day – enough to form tumbleweeds in my home, and my two boys who think of the house as their closet and use a new glass everytime they get something to drink. In another year we will be empty nesters (hard to believe) but sand will still be tracked into the house and dog hair will continue to pile up into tumbleweeds and several times a year I will find dirty socks, shoes and sweatshirts thrown on the floor. Thank goodness for that!

  21. Hmmm… I think there is something about the season that makes you want crisp and white – I’ve been feeling that way too!

  22. I think I would be too frightened I would drop sauce or something on the white carpet or furnishings. Give me lots of colour, the nearest I’ve got is an oatmeal coloured carpet on my stair and that after the kids left home and we were down to one cat (none now), it still needs more vaccuuming than my previous multi-coloured carpet, but it looks fabulous.

  23. I’m into white in the beginning of the New Year too, in fact, I just bought some white roses from the grocery store. They will look so good and fresh with a nice post-holiday cleaning! I have two (pretty big) dogs and a baby on the way- no white rooms in this house for a while- but white flowers? For sure!

  24. Love the white, but like so many others, I’m imagining it with dog slobber and fingerprints ALL OVER. Darker colors just hide the dirt of our lives better. Isn’t there a soap opera with that title? Oh yeah, thats “Days of our lives.” :)
    Happy New Year, my dear blog friend! Can’t wait to meet you IRL at BlissDom!

  25. Kate, you are the very definition of good taste, but I fear in reality these rooms would feel rather cold to be in. They just don’t say ‘snuggle’ to me. I could get interested perhaps if I lived in Key West, but even in temperate Nor Cal, I need a bit of cozying from time to time.
    The ironic thing is, my life is a child-free, pet-free zone, so I guess I could have the look if I ever change my mind!

  26. every room in my last house was painted a differend color. in our new house every room is white by choice. i have a crazy dog and toddler and so far so good!!! ps. my bathrooms are decked out in oceanside glasstile, and i always think of your reno:) happy 2010!!!

  27. Here’s to more fabulous projects for all of us in 2010! Happy New Year, Kate!

  28. pretty rooms….. BUT’ they scare the crap out of me, see I am a bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness… and I have three kids! I would be so nuts about my kids and the all white rooms and furniture staying white…. that it would be no life for them or me. ;)

  29. I love it too but the first time I found a sticky little peanut butter hand mark or a lovely crayola drawing on some furniture I would DIE haha! People with homes like this clearly do not have children;)

  30. Happy New Year! And yes, those are some beautiful spaces. My decorating style would be completely different if I was single and sans child. But I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.

  31. I love white rooms. I bought an extra set of white slipcovers for my sofa when I purchased it last year. I’ve yet to use them for some of the reasons you’ve mentioned. Particularly, my dog, Murphy, aka “Tiny Terrorist”, who uses the sofa as a bed when no one is looking!

  32. Kate, congratulations on such a successful 2009. I know I’m just one of many who appreciate your sharing all your wonderful ideas here at Centsational Girl. It’s always a real pleasure to visit your home and to see what you’ve been doing, and I look forward to keeping up with you in 2010!

    Every blessing to you and your kids and your pets and your dark wood furniture and all the warmth therein. Happy New Year!

  33. Love all of it! The same here~ 5 kids = mess and dark furniture! A girl can always dream though;o) Happy New Year!!!!

  34. Love the all white inspiration but it’s too difficult to maintain it. We don’t have any kids or pets! Anyway, love your blog. Ive been lurking for so long and thought to stop by and say hi. Keep up the good job!

  35. I absolutely love this inspiration! But then, I think of muddy paws and sigh, well, not for me I suppose. But it sure is pretty to gaze at! Happy New Year!

  36. I simply adore this look ! I’m a soon-to-be newlywed and I have been searching for some great inspiration for the apartment that we’ll be moving into together.

    What would you call this type of decor? I always called it something like French Country – White theme – ish – ness :)

    Anyways, thanks for the wonderful post !! <3

  37. Naw…. it would be fun for a little while but who lives without color (happily?).

    I like the images I have seen from YOUR home much better. Keep them coming!


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