Cottages of White

Phyllis Décor 26 Comments

What is your personal style? I am often asked that question, and I have to stop and think about it. I love English-style furniture, French fabrics, and antiques. I went through a period in my life where every room was wall papered, and that phase lasted only a little while. Truthfully, I find that I like to make small changes all the time to keep my home fresh.

rimj-2-16-16-bDuring the past five years I have gone from jewel-tone walls to very neutral shades of cream and taupe. I love color, and I love texture. So I find myself adding color to my rooms with accent pillows and rugs when I have neutral walls. Neutral color schemes came from the resurgence of French Country textiles and stone. Aren’t you amazed at the zillions of grey, beige, cream,taupe, and white shades of paint?

Your personal style and colors in your home must really be colors and style that you are passionate about. I used to laugh at acquaintances, in a town where I lived years ago, that would redecorate their homes annually and then call their friends to see the transformation. And you guessed it, they would go home and almost duplicate their friends’ choices, whether they like it or not, just to be “in style.” It was a competition. The first time a painted polka dot mantel appeared in a Mary Engelbreit photo, it only took weeks for all the circle of friends to have one! It was hilarious!And only one of them had a home where the polka dots were sensational.

To me the most marvelous homes are those that reflect the personality and true style of the people living there. I have several friends who have all-white houses, and they are stunning. White is a soothing color and the perfect backdrop for any accent color you choose. This pristine color palette inspired a new special issue of The Cottage Journal, Cottages of White. This beautiful issue truly celebrates the stunning beauty of white. I just love every page of the wonderful use of white in both décor and paint.

What is your favorite style?


Comments 26

  1. Détrompez-vous, Nancy, cette boursouflure de ML-AT se prend extrèmement au sérieux sans imaginer une seconde que d’autres que lui ont un cursus plus solide que le sien.L’enjeu pour lui d’étaler sa petite science sur un blog !

  2. In fact, Rhi just posted this photo of a print she keeps in her bedroom and followed it up with a blog post about “letting go.”  And, a handful of other friends had the same topic on their mind

  3. I've probably heard the term Negro used more here in the blogosphere than I've heard in the long time. I normally use the term African-American or black. African-American is a mouthful at times. I almost never hear the term "colored" and the last time I heard it, it was about 9 years ago was was used by an older white guy. I don't find the "outdated" terms offensive at all, so I'm not inclined to be upset at seeing it one the census.

  4. When I see articles featuring all white décor, I think to myself that I should try that. Then I turn the page and there is a home with COLOR, and I am drawn in. I realized that while all white is pretty in a magazine, I could never live with it. I love medium to deep reds, navy blue, and blue greens. I just have to have color!

    Phyllis, I so enjoy your blog, and adore “Victoria” magazine.

  5. We just built a cabin on the lake in the woods in Minnesota. Swedish Red exterior with black shingles, white trim, and lots of windows. Interior is WHITE, cabinets, a darker shade of white on walls, trim pure white, black touches on stainless appliances, railings on stairs to loft and a terracotta dyed concrete floor. It will have a navy linen sofa, caramel leather chair and a darker shade of the caramel on wood shades. It all blends and makes for an open warm, but interesting room! Can’t wait to see it all done next summer!

  6. With all the beautiful shades of white that are out there, a home painted these colors has to be comforting… Of course if your surroundings were very white as far as curtains, pillows etc. then I would call that sterile… I agree with Mary about gray, I know they consider it neutral, but this color just does not agree with me, never did… Give me a white cottage anytime and I would be one very happy person! I love the idea of making curtains out of French antique linens, how pretty that has to be! I would love to see photos also!

  7. You are a woman of my own heart! I love creamy whites and the use of many textures of textiles. I lean toward French style furniture pieces but I love the juxtaposition of using other pieces with them. I do not think you can ever go wrong with creamy white walls, dark hardwood floors, architectural elements, and a beautiful fireplace with a gorgeous antique chandelier! That to me, paints a very romantic picture! Amore!

  8. We have been intentionally decorating our precious home with white since Victoria’s “At Home with White” came out. This process started with painting all of the walls and ceilings with the same white base with other color tints of the bedrooms and bathrooms mixed into the warm white base-with intention-and the entire house painted prior to moving in, for a fresh palette in every room. We painted all of the ceilings with a whiter white to lift the ceilings and to provide more light to each room. We live in the Seattle, WA area, in a forest, and on a ‘horse-acre,’ so the warm tints in the white base give a white warm hue in all seasons, and when the sun shines, the tints of the various rooms create a warm glow of the selected tint to the decor of the personality of each room.
    The Victoria book is on display in our living room to review and study throughout each year and across the seasons. I enhance the white palette with red poinsettias and decorations of the same, at Christmas, and colors and themes of holidays and seasons throughout each year.
    We continue to simplify, feng shui, and add, delete, replace, enhance, and celebrate our white palette in the living and dining rooms, and our blue and white palette in the family room, kitchen, home office, and powder room. Wall paper patterns enhance these themes, as do all accessories, dishes, etc.
    We describe our lifelong collections and decorating style as “early attic” “shabby chic” and “dearly loved.” These labels describe our collections of antiques, passed down heirlooms, fabulous finds, and a home that allows us to comfortably entertain in every room, as well as outside, with warmth, love, and hospitality. I look forward to the ‘white’ and ‘blue and white’ issues of Victoria, each year, for new ideas, validations, and discoveries. Plants, flowers, pillows, linens, and nick-nacks add whimsy, texture, fun, and color, as well.
    Our home is one of my hobbies, and it is an ‘on-going,’ ‘ever- changing,’ and ’emotionally enchanting’ hobby that daily delights.
    Thank you for sparking these conversations that invite us to pause, reflect, share, dream, and go into ‘flow’ for a few minutes.
    Dr. AnnRené Joseph
    “Our lives are an artwork in progress.”

  9. The white is beautiful, just beautiful. I love white rooms. I live in the Northwest
    and we c an have some very grey days. I have my kitchen in blue and white and
    it’s is so cheerful.
    Lucille Johnson

  10. I find the new interest in all things gray a bit off-putting. I can’t imagine having gray walls and gray furniture, yes it’s a neutral but the tones that are being advertised are so depressing. I live in the Pacific Northwest, if I want to see that much gray I can just look out a window almost any day from November to May (and sometimes into June).
    I like a neutral backdrop as long it’s warm and inviting; my favorite white is ‘Pot of Cream’ that seems quite inviting to me.

  11. I would go bonkers in a room of all white. I have noticed this trend in so many magazines and I usually flip on to the next page if everything is all white or all neutrals. It may be for some people but not for me. I have got to have color!! Color on the walls, curtains, pillows, etc. I do like a spot for the eye to rest but I couldn’t stand a white, sterile, cold environment. I love black and white and strong colors mixed in, especially reds, greens, and intense yellows. It’s probably a good thing because most of those colors are good at hiding cat hair !!! Enjoy reading “Ribbon” and love Southern Lady and Tea Time!

  12. I have loved all white rooms for as long as I remember…I think it all started with Victoria’s book At Home With White, but also as a complete opposite to my parent’s house that while very homey, was all green, orange, brown…the colours of the seventies!

  13. I enjoy seeing a white cottage, but I could never live in one. Too many activities and busy children. My style is transitional – a touch of traditional style mixed with modern sensibility. I enjoy neutral colors on the walls because I can add flair to a room with unique decorative pillows, artwork and colorful home decor!

  14. Oh dear……I could never live in an all white house. Eighty percent of the walls in our home are wallpapered or cranberry red with the last 20 percent black (bathrooms) or grey/green (guest room). When we moved to our present home 10 years ago, we decided to use the same red as we had had in our home the 16 years prior. It is such a comforting color to both of us. In fact, I just picked up my latest issue of Victoria and commented to my husband that the homes featured just don’t have enough color. Still a lovely magazine though.

  15. All white is just too stark for me. I would prefer mixing in some taupe and soft blues. I also cannot do bright colors. I do like jewel toned hunt print colors. I enjoy your magazines and blogs. Marie Evans

  16. Although they are so lovely to look at, an all white home is not practical to me. I like decor that can withstand everyday life without showing it easily. I love the simplicity of the Mission and Prairie Style homes, with their colors in harmony with nature, as well of lots of wood accents. I like to keep my decor simple and comfortable and bring in bits of nature through art or fresh flowers. I use somewhat bolder accents in my living and dining room, but my bedroom reflects a sense of serenity with soft blues, greens, and purples.

  17. My style is eclectic. I love patterns and colours and textures. To be a true home, a house has to have walls of books and a piano.In my bedroom I have green curtains with quite small leaves and flowers in a different shade of green. To reflect this, curving over my bed, I have wall paper that reflects my curtains.On my floor I have a Persian rug with many different designs on it. I could never have an all white house. I much prefer warm colours that give a cosiness and a character to rooms. My bedroom walls are a soft peach which complement the curtains and wallpaper and rug, bringing everything together. I love the different textures of the books, carpet, curtains, and pictures,and lampbase. My chest of drawers and rug are old,my desk and bed are modern, but in a classic style. My green chair is also. I love to be in my room, especially at night,with the curtains drawn, looking at the pictures I have on my walls, the colour of the walls etc.

  18. I got a copy yesterday! Can’t wait to sit down and enjoy it. I’m sure I’ll find inspiration for the farmhouse we’re renovating! I’m making curtains from antique French linen sheets.

  19. I have always been a fan of Thomas Jefferson therefore I love Monticello and his summer home Poplar Forrest. My home reflects his colors and style.

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