Living with White

Living with white.  White walls, white furniture, white pillows, white ottoman.  Yes, I like white and I am so very happy I switched things up to all white.  I’m still in the process on making my home even more white too.

I didn’t always have all white.  My furniture was upholstered in a green and dark red floral.  Which was a marvelous choice of upholstery with kids.  Nothing showed on that stuff.  No spots and stains like you get with a solid color upholstery.

So how did I arrive at my all white home?  When I would look at magazines and at home decor on blogs I noticed that the ones that really stood out to me were the rooms that were all white.  The color some homes feature is amazing and lovely and I really liked a lot of it.  But then I would turn the page and there would be an all white room and I would sigh a long ‘aaaahhhhhh’.  That was what really resonated with me and what I wanted to see when I relaxed in my own home.  And so the journey began to all white.

living with white (18 of 7)I did wonder in the beginning just how a home could stay looking nice in all white if there were kids in the picture.  Since I had 3 girls would I constantly have dingy, dirty looking furniture instead of the pristine, all white I wanted?  But after reading multiple accounts of women who had a lot of white in their homes and reading how easy it was to keep it looking nice when there were kids and even pets in the home I decided if they could do it I could too.  The one that completely convinced me was in a magazine years ago – the woman said she had 2 little boys who loved to play outside and 2 dogs who were house dogs.

And so I started making white slipcovers for my furniture.  And painting end tables and coffee tables and anything else that could be transformed to white.  And I have to say that it doesn’t always look dingy and dirty 😀  And if and when it does – into the washer it all can go and it all cleans right up.  And if hot water and detergent is not enough you can always bleach it.

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 One thing I want to insert right now – slipcovers on furniture are wonderful.  A couple of weeks ago I stripped my furniture down and washed the slipcovers.  This is what I found when I pulled the seat cushions off the couch.  With slipcovers all this is kept from being pushed down into the crevices of the couch.  The large stuff can be picked up and disposed of and then I carefully remove the main cover, carry it outside and shake it out good before it goes into the washer.

living with white (7 of 11)Items the kids have ‘lost’ can be found!  Instead of being forever lost in the black hole of the couch.

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All the crumbs and particles that manage to find their way under the cushions – in spite of the ‘no food in the living room’ rule can be tossed outside.

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My furniture slipcovers were in dire need of being washed this time.  I had managed to spill coffee on my chair – the ‘no food in the living room’ doesn’t apply to Mom I guess.

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It’s hard to see in pics but the back of the couch was looking less white than I like.  But honestly it didn’t show up that much till you looked close.  I’m amazed at how long you can let white covers go before washing them!

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The front edge of the cushions was looking a bit dingy from little feet that didn’t always have socks on and got dirty and then propped themselves on the couch.

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Just trying to get some pics of the dirt and stains that had accumulated on the all white furniture.  It really wasn’t horrible.  Other than the coffee stain someone coming in the house would probably not have even noticed.  And I could have turned the chair cushion over but I never took the time.

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My ruffled ottoman was looking a bit tired and in need of refreshing too.

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So to the laundry they went – hot water, homemade laundry detergent, and oxyclean and they are white and fresh and clean again!
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I love how the freshly washed slipcovers look when they have been put back on.  I don’t iron them usually – if I remember I pull them out of the dryer when they are not quite dry and put them on immediately.  It helps them form to the furniture and the wrinkles come out better when they are just slightly damp-ish.
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The raw edges do fray just a bit each time they are washed.  I just pull of the long strands, cut any that need it and put them back on.  Works for me cause I kinda like the shabby chic with white (13 of 7)

I do iron the ruffles on the big couch cushions.  But the ruffle on the bottom of the couch doesn’t usually need with white (14 of 7)

White, bright, clean, and with white (15 of 7)

I like my all white – very much.  Yes, dirt or spilled coffee shows up.  But it can be washed clean and new and spotless!living with white (16 of 7)

The wingbacks are new-to-me and are vintage.  I have fabric to slipcover them white too and will be doing tutorials on how to make slipcovers with these.  I hope to do photos and instructions with one and a video with the second.  I’ve not done much with videos before so cross your fingers I can figure it out!

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The chair to the right needs a seat put back in it.  The corner cupboard was painted years ago with latex paint so I plan to repaint it white instead of grey with Milk Paint.  And I’ve already said I plan to paint the piano too.  That’s not wood – it’s a faux painted finish.  A very good faux finish but I really want it white.  It looks great in pics but in real life I want it white!


  1. says

    I’m a huge fan of white myself so I love the direction you’re taking your home in. I have 2 sons and a husband and dog so I can relate to the messes on white slipcovers too. I do spot clean in between washings because it is a hassle to put slipcovers back on. So, I try to wash them when they really need it and not just for one small spot. I find my white ottoman needs washing the most since we put our feet on it. Looking forward to seeing your tutorials of your wingback slipcovers. They will look so good once they’re finished.

  2. says

    Yes I have to agree with you about having white slipcovers. I have let mine go months without washing and they seem to turn out just fine. When family question my choice of color and that they are slipcovers, I always ask when was the last time they put their couch in the washing machine. I too had darker furniture but was drawn to white. I do have color on the walls but mostly white. Have a wonderful weekend. Alaina

    • says

      Exactly! The couches get so dirty – even if the color is one that doesn’t show the dirt it’s still there! And slipcovers – whatever the color – can be washed and sanitized!

  3. Susan Smith says

    I Soooo want to go all white, or mostly white. I have a huge restoration hardware rolled armed sofa, and totally afraid of attempting to slipcover myself. I slip covered a chair for my daughter, and we affectionately refer to it as ” sponge bob square chair”. Not the best job! But your post inspires me to go ahead and try to do it!

    • says

      Susan if you can sew – and are not afraid of a sewing machine! – you can make a slipcvoer! I really must get at mine and get some tutorials put together. its so much easier than it seems like it would be and it doesn’t have to be as hard as some published books on slipcovers make it!

  4. says

    I so wish I could slip-cover my new couch and chairs!! My dear husband bought them for me last Christmas and I totally hate them…brown leather that looks like they belong in an English men’s club! I’m stuck with 2 recliners and a couch that both ends have the recliner foot thing…did I say how much I hate them?? All I can do is swath them in quilts! I’m off to have a glass of wine, my blood pressure is going up! I love your room, so very peaceful!!!

    • says

      Susan, I have thought many times that there has to be a way to slip cover a recliner. I’m sure it can be done – somehow. It would take some thinking and figuring and probably a lot of ‘winging it’ when making it but I know there is a way if you wanted to take the time!

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