Cynthia and Co.

Cynthia and Co.
"My Junk Inspired L I F E"


Your Own Style of Dreamy White

Decorating our homes in dreamy whites is in vogue right now and for good reason!

White rooms are easy to live in and they're tranquil...
With very subtle changes in color your mind can float through the space...

Two wildy popular stylists I have mentioned before, Rachel Ashwell and Fifi O'Neill, both design using a predominantly white background with white fabrics and white elements.  Their styles are rich with accents and full of charm and both designers create rooms that look effortless.  A little white paint and a lot of white fabric and voila - dreamy white.

But, if you have ever tried to build your own room, styled after either of these designers, you know it isn't effortless and recreating this look, with your own personal touch, is a process of trial and error.  Bring in a vase, take out a bowl...add a pillow, take out another pillow.
'Aaarg...this doesn't look right...'

cynthia and co. | white ironstone and pottery

First of all finding the right white paint for a room is tricky.  It becomes even trickier when you start to paint all of your junk furniture in whites, too.  If the paint color has too much gray the room becomes cold, too much yellow in the formula and the room can seem jaundiced.  Too much of one shade (only) and the room becomes flat.

Second, what if you want the feel of a tranquil white room but don't want to paint over all of mother's antiques?  Or maybe white slipcovers aren't in the budget?  Room modifications might be easier than you think.

Through my decorating journey here are some tips I can share:
  • When we moved into our current house it was dingy.  The living room walls were beige and the hardwood trim was stained dark.  It was oppressive.  One of the first things, before installing the new tile, was to repaint the whole living area including the wood trim.  I selected Ultra Pure White for all the wood.  Ultra Pure is actually not cold and lends itself well to whatever wall color you select.  For the walls I picked a Martha Stewart paint called Talc.  This was the best choice of white - ever.  In the daytime, when the sunlight hits the walls, the room feels dreamy (sorry but it does).  At night, with just artificial light, the color changes a little and you can see both hints of gray and hints of yellow - still lovely at night.  (It will take awhile for me to tire of  the paint on my walls.)

cynthia and co. | Martha Stewart "Talc" paint color

  • We all know about the tiny paint samples available now - a great idea so you can try a color before investing in a gallon or two.  But, you can also ask your paint specialist to print the formula before they mix.  More ochre in the formula the more yellow the finished color will look in your room.  More black in the formula the more gray your walls will feel.
  • White mats on all of your artwork will bring in more light to your room.  For a formal feeling use the same color mat throughout.  For a more informal look mix up the mats with various shades of white.

cynthia and co. | ultra pure white painted frame

  • White ironstone, porcelain, ceramics scattered throughout.  Do whole vignettes in white and balance three vignettes throughout your area - visualize a triangle when selecting spots for your vignettes. 

cynthia and co. | use white in vignettes

  • White background in your accent fabrics.  If you don't have white upholstered furniture find a fabric with white background that picks up the colors in your sofa and chairs.  Then throw in more pillows, throws, etc. in just creams and whites.
  • White sheers on windows.  These balance with your white background fabrics and when the wind blows into the room they have a ethereal feeling.

country living photograph of sheer curtains

  • White candles - in generous amounts and only in whites and creams.  Do whole vignettes with candles.

As for painted white furniture, I have tried two or three times to repaint my pieces from black to white and it doesn't work for me right now.  My sofa is taupe leather and the white feels too harsh against the leather...however, once I get my Ikea Ektorp sofa (in white of course) I'll be painting over the black wood as quickly as I can.

ikea sofa in white | ektorp style

Now, if you are lucky enough to already have your lovely linen, cotton or denim slipcovers in place and your next step is to paint some furniture and wood accents my suggestions are: 

  • Don't paint everything the same white - have similar paint colors but mix things up so your room doesn't feel sterile.
  • Don't use a flat paint unless you plan to put a protective top coat over the paint.  With no sheen in the paint, again, the room becomes sterile.
  • Do plan to do some sanding and distressing of the wood for a gently used  (or hugely used) look depending on your preference.
  • Don't paint every single junk picture frame the same white...and don't paint every frame - mix things up a little with a hint of stain, silver or gold.  Use natural elements such as grapevine baskets.

cynthia and co. | use white and natural baskets

I hope I've shared something you might be able to use for your own junk inspired decorating.  Junk is good!  Bye for now.  Cynthia

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