I have a white kitchen and I love it. But, I also have a confession to make. It’s something I have been hiding here on the blog for quite some time, and I am a little embarrassed to admit it to you all. But, here goes nothing:
I have Yukon Gold Granite countertops in my kitchen, and both of my upstairs bathrooms.
There. I said it.
Ok, so let’s be real. This probably sounds ridiculous, but is it? Current design trends that have been taking over my social media feeds and favorite blogs for the last while have had me feeling a little pressured to hide this fact. I stumbled upon an article last week on Design Sponge that really struck a chord with me. It was entitled:
via my domine
I’m guessing that if you read this blog, then you probably enjoy design and frequent other design blogs as well as social media outlets. If you do, then I’m sure you have noticed exactly what this essay is talking about when it comes to the white design trend. It seems like the same designers, showcasing the same design are everywhere. You know the look. As Grace Bonney so perfectly describes “… At least 90% of the homes we see every month (we reach out to and get submissions from hundreds of people around the globe on a regular basis) have “that” look: white walls, a mix of vintage Kilim rugs, lots of house plants and a carefully curated selection of found/salvaged objects.” I would extend that to include white kitchen design and white bathroom design.
(my painted walls and gold granite countertops)
At least 90%?! That fact is mind blowing to me. No wonder it seems like these are the only celebrated spaces on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. My feed seems to be inundated with these all-white designs. I have often wondered if it is simply because those are the people I have chosen to follow, or that Instagram has suggested them to me because they are so popular they think I will like them too. Apparently, my feed is full of that design simply because the world is full of that design right now.
So, why did this article make me feel empowered to share my secret with you? I was having a conversation with my mom the other day. She is re-doing her master bathroom as one of a few projects around her house before she puts it up for sale. As we were discussing what materials she was going to use for the remodel, I suggested that since she was going to try and sell her house, she simply stick to a white bathroom. White subway tile and a marble. Something gray and white, and clean looking. I mentioned that white is by far the most popular color and buyers will want to see that. Her response to my suggestion caught me off guard. She promptly replied that she didn’t want her bathroom to look like every other white bathroom you see on design channels, in magazines and online these days. She wanted her bathroom to show that someone put a little thought into the design and didn’t just go with what was easy and something that anyone can “design.” Everything goes with white, so where does the “design” part come into matching white on white?
via my domaine
Can I be honest? I secretly have felt a bit like this too over the last little while. I see the pops of color brought in to these seemingly blank spaces through kilim rugs, upholstered furniture, pillows and flower arrangements, maybe a gold fixture, but when I see a white kitchen or a bathroom that is celebrated for it’s white walls, white or light gray cabinets, marble countertops and a white backsplash…I can’t help but feel a little bit like, can’t anyone pull that together? This trend has made me doubt my own design style a little and made me feel like my own space with it’s taupey walls and yukon gold granite countertops is a little “less than.” I have wondered if this trend is so popular because everyone really likes it, or because social media is telling us to like it and suggesting to us that we might like it. Don’t get me wrong, I love these spaces and would move into any one of them in a heartbeat, but, I have really felt this almost weird sense of insecurity lately as I have contemplated a make-over of a few rooms in my home. You see, I have a white bathroom. A white tile shower and tub surround in my master bathroom. But, it’s not the “cool tile,” it’s the “I was built more than 10 years ago so I am 4×4 or 6×6 square white tiles” instead of rectangular white subway tiles. It is time for a update. There’s no question about that. It’s been 13 years and bathrooms just need a face lift every so often, I get that, but when I think about changing out my square white tiles for my rectangular white tiles in order to stay on trend, I almost feel a little silly. My hubby probably won’t even notice that there has been a change and will wonder why we just spent a crazy amount of money to have the same bathroom. 😉 But, along with that silliness, I also feel a teensy bit pressured to go that route instead of actually “designing” a space, pulling together unique pieces and materials for fear that it won’t fit in with everything else I see. Isn’t that silly? Does anyone else share that feeling? I love to blend in. I am a behind the scenes kinda girl all the way. That is my happy place. But with my design, whatever I create, I have always felt more empowered to stand out a bit, think outside of the box and take a few risks, and I usually love the results. So to have a trending design style make me doubt that lately has been a weird feeling.
As a photographer I seek light and bright. Light and bright FEELS good. It FEELS happy and clean and open. As much as I feel a silly pressure to re-paint my whole house and adopt that trend that seems so pervasive right now so that I don’t feel out of date or look like I don’t know what is on trend, this article made me realize that I have to stick to my gut. Go with what I love, what makes ME feel happy and realize that this all-white trend is like any other trend. Just like the neon pink I wore in elementary school that my daughter is now wearing 30 years later, it is sure to come and go…and then come back again.
I love to mix color. I love to mix patterns. I love to see other people embrace color and use it. I also love to see people express themselves through their decor and make their home their own. I want you to feel good about YOUR space. Look at all of these trends that come and go and adopt pieces of them if you like them, but know that working with what you have and what you love is awesome! It’s you!
Yes, I love the look of these all-white rooms and an all white kitchen, and I wish I had 15 houses and a bazillion dollars so I could decorate each one in a different style that I love. But, since that isn’t reality, and neither is the chance of me keeping any all white room with a white sofa clean with tweens and teens in the house, I’m going to embrace my yukon gold granite countertops and ride this wave of the all-white trend, proud of my taupe walls and brown leather couch. I’m going to inject some color into my master bedroom and bathroom re-do, maybe even in semi-permanent form like wallpaper, and I’m going to keep an eye out for the next new thing. As Grace reminds me “…color, pattern and new ideas are ALWAYS happening. It’s just a matter of broadening your sources of this inspiration and finding more ways to step outside the current trend bubble.”
I hope you are feeling inspired to enjoy the inspiration that is shared across the web that is always SO beautiful, but also to embrace YOUR space, no matter how “off-trend” you may feel it is, or how much you may long or wish for the ability to make design changes. Your home is where good friends and family gather and memories are made, so it’s just perfect.
What do you think of the all-white trend? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them with me in the comments! 🙂