Pretty in Pale
- Build drama. Create a layered wall display by nesting a series of smaller frames in various shades of white inside larger ones. The frames themselves become the art.
- Stay the coarse. Use natural fibers with lots of texture, such as jute and sisal rugs, wicker trunks, and burlap, linen, canvas or homespun materials. These add visual and tactile appeal to rooms.
- Salvage style. Incorporate architectural fragments, such as pedestal bases, corbels, shutters and window frames. "I think they make great backdrops and wall hangings instead of artwork because they are more flexible," Susan says.
- Be industrious. Add in a few touches of industrial style, such as metal shelving, old lockers or a factory-cart table. These items will infuse a bit of contemporary flair amid older primitive and vintage pieces.
- Open the shades. Don't worry about trying to match various shades of whites and creams or the types of finishes on your furnishings. Even if they differ slightly, the overall look will be cohesive. One way to experiment with pale paint colors on the cheap is to snap up some "mis-tints" at the home center. Use them as-is or have them tinted lighter or darker to suit your style.
- Invest in ironstone. White china is readily available and often at an inexpensive price, says Susan, who likes both small pieces, such as creamers and sugar bowls, and larger pieces, including tureens, which are great for holding plants or floral arrangements.
- Go with the grain. Grain sacks, which are mostly white with the occasional stripe of color, are perfect as make-do table runners and pillow covers, or they can be simply folded and stacked into baskets. The textiles present a clean look while adding vintage charm.
Styled and Photographed by Gridley + Graves