The realilty of living with white

On this blog, through emails, and most often in real life I am constantly told "Wow! You are brave! I could never keep it all clean" in reference to our white house. I have to agree that to someone who does not live in a white house it must look like a daunting amount of cleaning, scrubbing and perhaps even a waste of money since it will inevitably all be ruined within a week, right?

Below are images of things from around our house and yard I have collected over the last couple days as I thought about addressing this issue, all of them white or variations on white. Out of all these images, only 1 is of a piece of upholstered furniture. It illustrates how so little of our actual "whiteness" is of chairs, couches, etc. and these seem to be the things people think are not practical.

White is obviously not for everybody, and while I am attempting to illustrate that it is probably the easiest color to live with these images show that you can easily incorporate it into your home if you really want to in ways that will match your comfort level.

My first thoughts on the subject start with one simple fact that we are well aware of: Life is short! Why not enjoy it to it's fullest? If that means you want to paint your entire house neon green from floor to ceiling go for it! Or at least try one room and see if it makes you happy. Our home is somewhere we spend most of our waking moments and where the majority of our best memories happen so shouldn't it be a place that you love? Personally, white seemed a little scary at first but after a small taste I wanted more!

As far as the furniture goes I would be lying if I didn't say that sometimes it gets dirty. In fact, sometimes it looks down right scary. But what I actually find even scarier is that many people have dark furniture that they cannot see these dusty paw marks or raspberry jam spots on. I am a firm believer that once you go to slipcovers (good, tailored, proper fitting slipcovers) you will never go back. Do you sleep directly on your mattress or pillows? No, you have sheets and pillow cases that you can wash when you need to. In a busy family room or living room a couch is definitely a well-used item and particularly if you have pets that are allowed to hang out on the couch with you. I like seeing that it is getting a few little marks and that it is time to go into the wash vs. not knowing when it is getting dirty with dark slipcovers, or even worse no slipcovers...

Which brings me to stating the obvious. Can you bleach any color but white??? NOPE! I have not spent 5 minutes out of my life worrying about eating spaghetti or chocolate on the couch (which I do daily), or babies spitting up on our furniture. I think that the first instinct people have about owners of white furniture is this: they must only serve light colored food, keep all guests and children off the furniture, and guard it from the pets with their life. That could not be farther from the truth. In our house, and most others I have seen with white furniture, the kids are encouraged to jump on couches, pets are welcomed to cuddle with you while you enjoy a movie, and guests are encouraged to put their feet up.

The point of this rambling is this: if you LOVE white furniture or the feel of a white room don't let "life" stop you from enjoying life. There will always be spills, splashs and spit-up. It doesn't matter what color your furniture is. I personally find it easier to wash a slipcover with some bleach once in a while instead of calling a steam cleaner in to do the job, but at the end of the day it has to work for you and your family.

Now down to the actual numbers, because I know that is what most people are interested in!

How often do I wash the slipcovers? On our most heavily used couch the slipcover is washed once every other week, which I will admit is twice as often as I washed it before Wren came along LOL. The dining room chairs: once every month or two. Various living room chairs: once every 3 or 4 months.

I hope that was informative in some way or another, but if I missed anything please give me a shout in the comments and I would love to expand on anything or touch on anything I missed.

Most of all, I hope that it inspires somebody who has been hesitant to do something they've wanted to do to go ahead and make it happen and stop letting life get in the way.