Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lake House Dreaming

Last night, I turned to Scott and said - let's paint every wall in this house antique white! He looked back at me and said simply, "No."

Let me explain. You see, when we moved to New York from Texas I had made it perfectly clear that not a room of my house would be white, not even the closets. Nor would they be a variation of white, or a cute name for white, like antique, linen, parchment, ecru, or mother of pearl. No - I wanted to make a statement, a footprint. It wasn't until recently that I realized white, or those fancy names for white - can do just that!

These pictures of a lake house styled and decorated by an Atlanta based Interior Designer are a perfect example of how white walls can help to give a space endless potential, or make a bold statement. The soft and subtle texture and tone of the upholstery in this space, along with the rough natural color of the fireplace stone are accentuated beautifully by the absence of color. The white provides a soothing finish, and a sophisticated touch that allows you to focus in on the supreme selection of finishes and accessories.
Take for instance the mirror above the mantle. Antique? Architectural Salvage re purposed? New - made to look old? It's hard to tell from this angle and at this distance - but it's these little pieces that make a house a home. The smalls that tell a story, and provide a history to a space that may or may not have one.
Seeing these photos made me long for white walls, cream, ecru, linen, parchment - you name it, so long as they're white. But Scott held firm, "I like, no - I love the way the house looks just like it is." Now, I know - and many of you know, that is code for: "I don't want to paint these walls! It's a pain in my neck!" And even though I knew that there was a part of his compliment that held his own best interest in mind, he was partially honest, too. We do love our house. It's us, it's cozy, it's comfortable. There are a few unfinished rooms and those are what I should focus on - not a complete upheaval of the finished space just to have white walls.
Scott's suggestion? "Let's move!"
Moving, I'm not ready for - but second house? Definitely. And with inspiration pictures this lovely, who wouldn't want to jump ship on the weekends and spend a relaxing day on the lake?


  1. I am always inspired by your blog....Love it...Hope you will stop by for a visit..

  2. Hi Artie,
    Was talking about you and Brimfield today , were your ears burning?! Only good things though. Actually talking to a lady with an Antique shop downtown who I know and I buy alot of things from.
    She and I were both drooling about wanting to go to Brimfield one day!
    Oooo I like these photos, I am usually a color person, being not white that is. But I know what you mean , sometimes it is just so yummy. Like the house in movie
    " Something's Gotta Give", I am in LOVE with that house!!!

    Hugs, Linda

  3. I kinda agree...the first thing I noticed in the first picture was that mirror. I thought, "oohhh....aaahhh...fab mirror!' Sometimes in houses all I notice is the color. (Especially if it is the wrong choice!)

    And, I LOVE the rope going up the stairs. OMG, that is so yummy. I love the chandelier, too. And, surprisingly, love the huge plant in the old bucket. It really would have not popped if the walls were colored.

    You want me to call the moving truck for you? Ha! Ha!

  4. Oh...How could I forget the old...hay forks? What are those? Gosh, I could make my husband build me some of those and make them look old. And, love how the owner put a modern light above them. Almost out of place, but yet, so perfect.

    Very cozy home.

  5. paint! he he - you know you are dying to!!! go check out Absolutely beautiful things - her entire house, walls, floors is white. gorgeous! ok, buy a second house! that sounds good too.

  6. you're right - a lake house is magical!
    can almost smell the crisp sheets & hear
    the afternoon sheers tickling each window.

    i would say that - for you - a second house may be in order! you certainly have enough talent (spilling over!) to fill two abodes with beauty and meaning.

    to rooms, dreams, spaces inside & out!

  7. I have always been a no white walls girl but lately I have seen some beautiful homes with only white walls and I love it..I think a second home would be the perfect way to experiment!

  8. Ahhhh, what a perfect idea. When you run out of walls to decorate, you need another house. I say to my husband all the time that I need about 10 houses to try out all the decorating ideas floating around my brain.

  9. Aren't we funny! A couple of years ago nobody at RMS would have posted a room with white walls. Now, white is the rage! It's a good thing a can of paint is cheap. Maybe you could just paint one room white while Scott is at work. That's what I do. My dh always says no when I ask. If it's done when he gets home he always loves it. I don't think he likes the idea of change. I guess that's a good thing for me. LOL

  10. the banister is the best !!

    love !

  11. I know what you mean when you long for white walls. Every time I do research on interior design in the Swedish style, nearly every room has white walls and many have white floors and furnishings. They will add a pine piece for a kick of color and texture and it really offsets the white.

    To make you feel better about not being able to paint, think about how high maintenance white can be. I could never have it because of my huge black Bernese Mountain dog but he is totally worth the sacrifice.

    Tricia - Avolli

  12. I enjoyed your post today. I had to laugh because all my walls were White Linen before we painted, and of course I used that paint because of the name. I have a rose I bought for the name too it's call French Lace. OH~~~ A second house that would be such a blessing. I told my husband at this point it would be fun to have an apartment somewhere for our little hide out.
    I enjoy your blog, thank-you for being such a devoted blogger. Me on the other hand it's a hit and miss.
    Have a beautiful day,

  13. out visiting...
    beautiful blog..
    tooooo funny....
    brings back memories for me...
    took 8 years to talk my guy into color :)
    mona & the girls
    have a great weekend

  14. A second place is very tempting, but one must consider reality....more WORK 'n TAXES Artie! Much cheaper and easier to opt for an occasional vacation away from home. It's the best of both worlds as someone else can also decide 'white walls or not'....grin. I'm afraid I have to agree with Scott this time. Sorry!

    Inspiring photos!

  15. Niartist,
    Our family room has a floor to ceiling fieldstone fireplace, just like your photo. The walls are painted green tea color, which looks nice, but I really like this look! So crisp, clean looking. The white definitely makes the stone of the fireplace stand out.
    I may have to add this to my list of projects!
    Great post!

  16. You have such nice style, with home and in writing. cheers, -susan

  17. what a gorgeous lake house! But don't you live in a waterfall house?

    Paint it!!! Do it!!

  18. The first picture is GREAT. I love the light fixture with the spotlights over each pitchfork and would love to see it lit at night. With this owner though, I would obey the "stay in or stay out" order because of their pitchforks!

    I went from all white years ago to Spanish Olive, Stonington Grey and light blues. I've been rethinking white again too but I still love grey with white trim.

    G in CT

  19. Oh, there's nothing prettier to me than creamy white walls and trim. It is a background that makes every single thing in your home a star !!
    A second house ? Oh, wouldn't we all just love THAT. I am just blessed to have one home, paid for, and no mortages!! :O)

  20. Two homes to take care of? I think I'll pass on that. You'd never stop!! How about just moving to the lake? I think you have a "Great" one or two near you.

  21. Don't you DARE paint that cozy little house white! Not one drop dammit! Not even the ceilings! For a lake house, yes, for your cozy Niagara bungalow? No way!!!!

    Justine :o )

  22. Love these pics but I'm a color girl! I just couldn't live with white day in and day out! Love, love the huge table in photo #2. Who is the Atlanta based designer you are referring to? Please share!

  23. Sorry Artie, That would be photo #3!

  24. I LOVE the wood rakes, the old bucket, the chandelier, the coffee table, all of it.

  25. I love Scott, If you too break up, let me