How-To Do White + Bright When You’re Spill Prone


All white everything is quite the bold statement in home decor.  Monika Hibb's bedroom is the perfect example of one of those enviable white bedrooms. It's calming and peaceful while at the same time leaves you wondering how in the hell does she keep it clean. Just me?

When I decorated our home, I wanted to bring that bright and airy feeling into the decor and started looking at white sofas as the focal point of the living room. I collected what seemed like 50 samples of white fabric and perennials performance fabric that promised durability and stain resistance. On a whim, I ended up with a navy sofa at ADAC's annual sale ( this year's sale is coming up). Spilling an entire Starbucks coffee on said sofa a few months later, I was happy with my impulse buy and that my main repercussion was a just lost coffee.

Turns out you can make a room feel white and bright without sacrificing functionality or making it a cleaning nightmare with a few key tricks. The main trick is to keep the white to the low-traffic areas likes walls, art, accents, even accent furniture or non-upholstered furniture. A rug can make a big difference in the bright feel of the room so scroll down for a few user friendly options there too.

#1 Paint The Walls White

Source: Lonny Source: Lonny

There is really no way around a white and bright room without white walls. It's a great place to put white from a cleaning standpoint just pick a gloss or semi-gloss finish for durability and keep a magic eraser for scratch marks nearby. If it works in your home, painting the floor a shade of white can also be a great trick to brighten up the space. Sherwin Williams' Shoji White has been my favorite white paint to date that I've used in nearly every room in our house although I have a few other favorites...

#2 Lighten Up With Art

Oversized art has a big impact and is another way to bring low-maintenance white to a room. Keeping the picture to a light and neutral color scheme helps make the room feel bright and airy, but decorated and polished at the same time. It's one of the tricks I used in my own home with an over-sized photograph of Paris rooftops (#7) over my mantel. Because you can't spill on art, right? Add an extra white matte for a bigger effect.

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#3 Soften with White Washed Furniture

Furniture with a white wash really softens a wood piece and it a great way to add white that's also spill prone or at least easy to clean up. It's a toss up between the console with the wood carved detailed doors (#1) and the bed (#4) below on which is my favorite.

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#4 Choose A Light Rug

Your rug choice like your sofa has a huge impact on the feel and color read of the room. For rugs in high traffic areas my favorite option when you want something light in color without the maintenance are seagrass, sisal or jute (1, 4, 10 ,14). Adding a white, cream or metallic border to a seagrass rug brings the white color to the room. Layering lighter rug on top of a sisal in an area that's not walked on a ton like under a coffee table is another great trick to get the white room look without the hassle.

There are a lot of great options out there for light rugs with patterns that help with hiding normal wear and tear. My favorite are the subtle geometric patterns or a moroccan like number 2 that we have in our living room. It has held up pretty well in the last year although it sheds a TON!

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