A little less than two years ago, I painted our family room Favorite Tan.  It’s a lovely color and after living in white rentals for 3 years we decided it would be ok to paint some walls in our current rental.  Nope, we didn’t ask, we just picked colors that we knew would work with the over all flow of the house {and our stuff as well} and tried to do a decent paint job knowing that if the owner insisted, we would just paint the walls back when we left or, forgo our deposit.

Then a few weeks ago I finally gave into something I’d been considering for the past six months.  Going white.  It’s no glory, hero, staged, finished photo I’m still tweaking…ok, I’m never done tweaking but, you get the idea: MY WALLS ARE WHITE, PEOPLE!

Many times I found myself sitting on the sofa staring into the breakfast room back there {ok, so in this picture I’m talking to my friends but, I may have been a little captivated by the crisp white that is calling me to come sit at the table}.  See how fresh and bright and clean and simple that white is off in the distance?  I also started a white walls pinboard at Pinterest.  Then I started noticing that the majority of the rooms I pinned were white walled–even on my pinboard called Color–many of the walls were white.  I decided to listen to what my pinning was telling me.

cozy minimalist

This house came with pinky white walls.  About two years ago I painted the breakfast area a true white: Benjamin Moore’s Simply White in Eggshell which I unabashedly copied from Trina from A Country Farmhouse.  The best part about this color?  I painted the little bit of trim this builder grade house offered the same color.  So I didn’t have to be careful with the transition from wall to baseboard which ranked up there with getting a shopping spree at Home Goods.  Over the past few years it has been so easy to do a few touch ups and freshen up the trim with the paint I already had. I first used the eggshell finish in the kitchen and breakfast area and assumed it would be weird in the family room but, it really doesn’t have much of a sheen at all and the fact that I could paint the trim with the exact paint convinced me to use the eggshell finish in the family room as well.

One of my favorite parts {and the scariest part} about going white is that your stuff has a lot of room to speak.   Which means if you hate your art and furniture, there’s a good chance you’ll hate it more when it’s surrounded by white.  I learned that from apartment living.  White is like a big arrow that points to everything in the room it’s all “Look over here, now here, see this thing?”.  That can either work for or against you.  Me?  I was ready to actually be able to see my stuff for awhile.  And last year was such a …I hate to say it…it’s my least favorite word…BUSY… year that white somehow helps balance out the craziness that can be life.  Sometimes I’m in a stage where I need cozy, moody, depthy, embracing walls, sometimes I need bright, slow, hushed white.  White walls are the ultimate quieting of the house.

So, the walls look a different color in every photo–that’s just like in real life, every wall looks a little different depending on the natural light it gets.

I took my time with this room.  I did one wall per day over the course of a week or so.  I started with this wall to see if I would even like it.  After each wall I waited to make sure I still liked the color.

My boys helped.  I didn’t ask my husband, I know he doesn’t get the same enjoyment out of the finished painted product as I do so I try to save up my asking him to help me for things that I really cannot do by myself.    I also didn’t really ask his permission. In our family we kind of have an understanding and after 17 years he trusts me with paint colors and I trust him with when to buy tires and change the oil and charging my phone.   He thinks nothing of being surprised with a new paint color.  Actually, for the first time today I asked him if he liked it.  He said yes.  That’s about as involved as he gets with paint colors.  And for that I  am forever grateful.

After the first coat I moved the tv/dresser and stuff back just to see how it was coming along.  It was scary, what if I hated it?  Oh, wait, if I hated it I could just paint it back.  This wall took a total of an hour or so to paint two coats.  Painting is fast.  And cheap.  and contrary to what we tell ourselves, it’s low risk.

The best part about going white?  You can add in just about any pop of color and then change your mind the next day and pick a different color.  In many ways, white is super low commitment.    You know I love me some honeysuckle and copper.  And white doesn’t dictate any undertone like my green Favorite Tan

One problem area with white can be that is doesn’t show off lots of millwork when painted the same color.  Lucky for me we don’t have that so for transitional house styles like mine it’s a great fit.  We do have a fireplace so I painted that two shades lighter than Favorite Tan–Rice Grain.  I’m not crazy about putting a white mirror on a white wall so that’s an issue I’ll deal with over the next few months.  I’m in no hurry.   And I had to un-attach our cable wire and paint it to match–I’ll hot glue it back this week. It’s lasted a year so far and the hot glue peeled off like a dream without damaging the old paint job.

Remember my gallery wall?  I confessed on instagram how many nail holes I filled on this wall.  83.  EIGHTY-THREE NAIL HOLES.  83 Nail holes on one wall and no one came and arrested me and it took me 6 minutes to fill the holes and about 3 minutes to sand them after the filler stuff dried and I left the ones that I was currently using for the wall so I could rehang everything and I totally get that if you have plaster walls you cannot do this but I have drywall so I have no excuses to be afraid of a eensy weesnsy wittle tiny itsy bitsy nailhole or 83 and I have zero regret for making so many holes to visually see my gallery wall even though yes, I know Young House Love is brilliant and makes a template for their walls because they are smarter than I am patient and pin holes don’t bother me.  I cannot stress enough how EASY it is to repair, wait, I refuse to even use the word repair because that sounds like something is broken–it’s so EASY to fill a nail hole.  A nail hole doesn’t represent something broken that needs to be repaired, it represents opportunity and just about the lowest entry level risk taking possible in life besides getting no whip on your coffee or something.

Please, for the love of all that is lovely don’t be afraid to make a nail hole.  Whether you are a templater or not, just make the hole, hang the art, I beg of you. I beg of you.

Forgive me, I got a little carried away….

I admit, I’m a sucker for change, if I painted my walls purple, I’d probably like it for at least a few hours just because it’s different.  So far it has been a week or two and I’m still happy with white as is my husband.  He’s pretty easy to please, when I’m happy he’s happy.  Or so he says and so far it seems to be true.

My favorite thing about white walls is the feeling of the room.  You know how when you get that first snowfall of the season, you walk out onto your porch and you notice a few things–it’s bright,wow, you can see things better and I also ALWAYS notice how quiet it is.  White seems to quiet things down a bit and I’m thrilled to report that it had the same effect in our family room.  It’s like a bright, clean hush has fallen over the space and that’s something I didn’t expect but am now addicted to.

On the downside, I can really see how dingy my white slipcover looks in the new brighter room.  So I guess I’ll be washing my slipcovers a little more often than every 6 weeks or so.