leave the white to the coconuts

white walls are trending.


brandi and mikkelsen / lonny magazine / dec 2012


gert wingardh / elle decor / jan-feb 2013


emily henderson / stylebyemilyhenderson.com / jan 2013

yeah i get it.  there’s an easy freshness in these spaces that is painfully lacking on mmmmm say an episode of colorsplash.


david bromstad

…terrifyingly lacking.


david bromstad

(dear god, mine eyes ! ! !)

yeah i get it but i hate it.   the underlying injustice of this trend is that white walls only work in spaces with beautiful floors.  so hey there, people with beautiful floors.  stop waving your beautiful floors around in my face.  it’s rude.

and despite the visual eyescraping you just suffered at the hands of david bromstad, credit where credit is due for his fearlessness.  no mountain is worth conquering if you piggyback to the top on a sherpa dragging your oxygen tank.  i think that the greatest design heights – the kind with a gravitational draw on your deepest core emotions – are achieved only with great risk.  color expresses a joie de vivre that white is incompetent to produce.

ipso facto, i could give a shit whether or not white walls are trending.  there are other ways to freshen up a space without throwing in the towel on your design ballsiness.

for example:

1)  using cottons and linens in light neutrals.  i have two white denim slipcovered couches, so… check.

2)  using natural and distressed wood.  i have… none of the above.  years ago i loaded up on ikea brown-black and now find myself turning to unfinished light tone woods for that injection of freshness. usually, though, these wood finishes live in a stark white aesthetic.

Picture 86

herman miller

i’ve been puzzling for weeks on how to fit these lighter woods into a space embracing color.

enter austrian ski lodge, stage left.


hutter bonan / lonny magazine / jan-feb 2013


hutter bonan / lonny magazine / jan-feb 2013


hutter bonan / lonny magazine / jan-feb 2013

savor the play of those wood tones against navy, red, gray, and green.  note the hat trick of warmth PLUS lightness PLUS contrast.   just lovely.

you better believe that i have a queue of shiny furniture ready to be stripped to the bone this week.


6 thoughts on “leave the white to the coconuts

  1. White walls make everything seems so airy and spacious, but I have to say i love the warm tones of the green ih the Lonny Magazine photo… and that purple chandelier…oh, my!! How glam!

    • there are so many options when it comes to decor that i find it hard to settle on one – i think that’s why i lashed out against white. but you’re right, white walls can add incredible openness to a room. wish i had an endless supply of spaces to experiment with 🙂

  2. Pingback: going all bill-nye on my den | raging sea. cool eye.

  3. I liked reading through your posts… Last year we moved into a new house in the Seattle area where the weather is very dreary and gray most the time. I went so over board with color! I ended up painting the walls in our walkout basement family room aqua blue. Sure it was crazy and this room IS NOT Architectural Digest worthy, but I like it. The room makes me feel happy and relaxed and I could care less about all the design rules I broke. I love color!

  4. Pingback: an interiors kool-aid drinking buddy | raging sea. cool eye.

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