Banishing the White Box – My Plans to Follow my Heart into the Bold Unknown

You guys – I can’t EVEN right now. I feel so pumped about this gigantic design decision that I honestly could die laughing with delight. I’ve been talking and blogging for months and months about my love of colour and it’s time to pay the piper, kick butt and chew bubble gum, it’s time to walk the walk and be SASSY.

For whatever reason  for the last couple of years, I felt boxed into doing ‘what was expected’ of me as a decor and home blogger. (I feel like I know the reason why this was happening, read on and I will explain).

And what was expected was white walls, farmhouse style, muted tones, a little boho, a little industrial – you know the look, right? I mean, I do love the way it looked in theory – but in practice my home always felt sterile to me. Nothing popped. My home didn’t match the way I dress (if you’ve seen my closet, then you know why I adore that my blogging colleague Stephanie Fusco insists that leopard is a neutral). The bigger problem was that if I ever tried to inject colour, it felt out of place.

I tried – *VALIANT EFFORT ERIN* – to add colour for the $100 Room Challenge and IF I’M BEING HONEST… I felt like it just fell SO FRIGGIN’ FLAT. 

^There I said it. The whole thing felt wrong. It felt like I wasn’t brave enough to go all the way. It felt like a rush, patch work job that had zero charisma and a barely-there pulse. Plus, I was stuck with only a $100 budget and the walls in the room would have cost at least $50 to paint. So I STAYED SAFE and dealt with the less than stellar results.

^^Dumb Erin. Dumb Erin.

*cue emotional music* Hindsight is definitely 20-20. I have had some long internal conversations with myself about how I let the main floor of our house stray so far from the vision I hold. It goes back to a fear that bubbled up in me back when I left my job in television and radio. I left the security of my ‘best known’ world for the perceived insecurity of a world that felt foreign and strange and where I never felt I really fit in. I guess my need for security manifested in my making super safe  and rather boring design choices. If nothing else, I knew white and grey matched everything. It was like avoidance via design.

What should I have done? As a steadfast lover of all things cohesive? I should have asked myself what story I wanted my home to tell. I should have talked to Dan about the bigger picture for our family. Our main floor isn’t open concept,  but the rooms do all flow together and you can see every room (foyer, kitchen, dining room, office) when you’re standing in the living room.

So as my feelings bubbled to the surface about our home feeling ‘unplanned’ and piecemeal, I cornered Dan into having a heart to heart  where we made some very real decisions about what we want our main floor to feel like. We’ve been here four years now, and we have a great sense of how we use the space, where the light falls, the challenges with furniture placement and flow.

IT’S TIME TO MAKE SOME REAL CHOICES! And it should come as no surprise that we both want (perhaps need?) colour!!

The first space we’re tackling is this foyer area. It’s not really a foyer. It’s the top of a short set of stairs and if I could go back thirty years and give the builders of our home a piece of my mind about how stupid this design is – I WOULD DO IT. GET ME A DELOREAN AND MICHAEL J. FOX, STAT. 

That glass door leads to our powder room (which is a tale for another day – let’s just say it was Hashtag-Demo-Day about four months ago and then we closed the door and walked away). We definitely need to finish framing up the planked wainscoting too.  I want this corner to set the tone for the space. So it’s going …. NAVY! And if you’ve watched my InstaStories lately, you’ve seen a sneak peak. I’m using the same gorgeous navy tone I used in my Master Bedroom Closet. It’s such a stunning tone and I can’t wait to see how it brings the space to life. It has already made a giant difference. I’ll work on getting some real pics and posting them soon.

The next wall we will tackle (I’m not sure when), is going to be the LOOOOOONG wall by the fauxdenza. Dan has always said it could handle a colour and I agree. Also – the art is now being hung strategically to hide all the screw and nail holes in the wall (left over from me being obsessive about rehanging art and not always being obsessive about accurate measurements)….so it’s time to repair and repaint anyways. 

I’m moving the succulent print into my office (which is also part of this grand master plan!) and the memo boards are now in the laundry room – where they were always intended to go. I’m considering the idea of removing the table lamps and adding in wall sconces to highlight a big piece of art over the fauxdenza. What do you think?

In any case, this wall will be some sort of watery blue tone. (Any suggestions? Let me know! I have about eight zillion swatches on my desk right now) Then we’ll use a more saturated version to add some pop to the glass bathroom door and that tone will likely end up in my office! This space also flows into the dining room and kitchen , but this post already feels super long, so maybe I’ll post about the plans for there when we’re a little closer. Dan and I both have a feeling that all this fixing up the foyer and living room will result in us finally painting the lower cabinets in the kitchen too – so we’ll be using that as an opportunity for colour. Green? Ochre? Something to hide dog drool better than stark white?! 🙂

The Kitchen

All this to say I AM PUMPED TO HAVE MADE A DECISION!!! NO more white box. No more being afraid. No more adhering to expectations I perceive to be real but that aren’t.

Also – I’d love to know that I’m not alone in having a two-year detour where I just didn’t love my house. Tell me it’s not just me! I am seriously so pumped for this new direction. I already feel more like myself when I’m at home. I’m sure these new colours will lead to lots of new projects…. but right now I’m just proud that I’ve made it through ‘the white phase’ and I’m evolving to something a heck of a lot brighter 🙂

-E

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9 thoughts on “Banishing the White Box – My Plans to Follow my Heart into the Bold Unknown

    1. HAHA! SO true!! Just the other day, she smeared broccoli or something all over the cabinets… Not that I wouldn’t have cleaned it anyway, but it was so filthy on the white paint LOL Operation – hide the dirt is in full swing! 😀

  1. I loved this post! I love white but sometimes I wonder if I just love it because Instagram and Pinterest are telling me to. I think my ideal house would be full of navy’s and rich jewel tone greens. Can’t wait to see how your projects turn out!

    1. I love the jewel tone greens too!! I kinda think we might try to intro that colour somewhere on the main floor…maybe in fabric on the dining chairs? Either way, it feels quite empowering to abandon the all white. 🙂

  2. Good for you, for biting the bullet and introducing more colour and pizzazz to your personal spaces! I am all for colour and this trend of white on white on white has me yawning sometimes. I love a LOT about things in neutral white, gray and cream spaces, but not all of it and I’m always looking for pops of colour to brighten my mood. I am loving that you’re introducing NAVY! Woohoo! I can’t wait to see more. Have fun, guys! 🙂

    1. Marj – the navy in the foyer is SO GOOD. Why did I wait?! haha I am all about having fun now… life is too short, right?

  3. We moved here in February 2016 and every where, except the main bathroom, was white with black cord flooring. I’ve always loved the look of a white house but within 2 weeks I hated how sterile it felt. The good news was that house needed total renovation anyway so gradually the colours have moved in and I feel joyous every morning when I see it all. It doesn’t show all the dog drool either as the paint is that easy wipe one that is durable. That main bathroom was stripped of its 1970’s pink tiles and pink everything else and now is gold, black and white.

    Have lots of fun with those colour charts.

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