Lighten Up.

The other day I had a little panic- that maybe my whole lack of color in my house was bad. Everything is very neutral right now and I got all “maybe I should have done bold color?! What am I doing?”. But then I was on Pinterest and found myself so drawn to everything light and bright that I simmered down.  Especially with spring coming, at some point, it’s so nice to lighten things up.  Even if you just swap out a set of drapes for white linen or ditch your dark denim for white.  Crisp, fresh and hopeful.



(Emerson Fry)




(I die for this Walker Zanger tile- bookmarked for my master bath).



I wanna be here NOW.





My favorite kitchen ever. EVER.


1. White jeans should be a staple in your spring wardrobe. These by MiH have a 60’s feel.

2. These wedges look a lot more expensive than their $90 price tag.  At first glance I thought they were Jimmy Choo.

3.  My favorite white paints- Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White and White Dove.

4. I’m trying to undo sun damage and brighten my skin with Shiseido’s White Lucent Masks (and scare the bejeesus out of Andrew in the process…)

5.  A sweet off-white mini bag for warm nights out.

6. Have you seen the Jasper Conran line for JCP??? Awesome- especially this chair.

7. Enough with the black/grey/navy nails- Essie’s Like Linen freshens tips.

8. I love this crisp white matelasse bedding.

9. A bohemian top from Calypso.

10. I got these lamps for my living room and love them- especially the price!

11.  Top off spring dresses with a crisp white blazer.


  1. That really is crisp and refreshing! I long to do something light and airy in our house, but with two giant Labs (one who is black and shedding), it just isn’t practical.

    I love the neutral colors in your home. It looks like such a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The novelty of bold colors could wear off fast. You have excellent taste, trust it!

  2. I think it is time I spring for a white blazer….they are just so classic. Aaaaand Madewell is having a 25% off sale. Win, win. :-)

  3. Lovely as usual and such a great afternoon pick-me-up (I live in Europe so I get to see your morning posts after lunch). Ordered the blazer, but confess that I picked the bright pink snapdragon instead of white!

  4. I think one can always lighten up and add color accessories for warmth. I think if it is too dark, it is harder to do.
    My aging eyes love all the light, white and bright.

  5. Love it. That kitchen is divine. Wow on the JCP stuff. I bought a white denim Gap jacket earlier this month. Can’t wait for Spring weather.

  6. That kitchen from H&H was what inspired us to use those same Ikea cabinets in our reno. We used walnut surrounds and kickplates instead of brass and only our island is marble – we have black soapstone counters. Looks great, but every time I see this kitchen I still think about trading it out for brass!

  7. I wouldn’t worry one little bit. I love neutral homes as they are very calming, and I especially love them when there is a lot of natural sunlight adding to the light and bright feeling. If you really are craving some bold color then bring it in through some brightly colored flowers, paintings, and accessories – items that can easily be swapped out.

    I love the white blazer, by the way. I had one that I need to replace (I stained beyond the point of repair). A white blazer is a wardrobe staple for spring time.

  8. I love what you’ve done to your kitchen. The skylight is soooo cool and the gold accents are a tasteful upgrade. Color is such an important freedom of expression because otherwise it’s just 50 shades of grey!

  9. Light and refreshing is the best – it just leaves room for more pops of color in little doses! Love these images so very much! Very inspiring!

  10. Hi erin,
    I love your blog. I check it everyday and miss it on the weekends. I am pve’s sister and I painted my fireplace brick black after seeing yours. It solved my 18 year dilemma attractively and inexpensively! Please let me know how you like the skin lightening facial masks if you have time.

  11. I wrote a similar post a while back after my son asked me why everything in our home was “pitch white.” Lol! It is light and bright, and I love it!

  12. I had the same freakout recently… but decided to go in the bold direction! I am going paint the hallway coral. It is a lovely Farrow & Ball color now, but just so… safe. I walk into it and don’t feel the jolt of happiness that I want to feel. Coral will get me there.

    I’m even thinking about painting the currently-blue dining room chocolate brown, based on a recent spread in Architectural Digest. Or wallpapering it… I dunno, I am tired of white, pale, and neutral!

  13. I love your neutral and bright new kitchen! I was just showing off to a friend who doesn’t read your blog. But, boy– I love that kitchen that you posted today too! Fireplace in the kitchen?!? YES YES YES!

  14. I love this post!!! We are repainting our condo and I want to go all white! BM White Dove. A few people have had STRONG opinions against that and had me doubting our choice. After seeing this, I feel so much better…maybe I am ahead of the game with no credentials. Now the choice for me is changing from BM White Dove Walls and Trim to the Trim being another shade of white!????

    First blog I read each and every morning when I wake up! Keep it up!

  15. There is just something so pure and right with white. Thank you Erin for this amazing insight.

  16. I’m never scared by a lack of color, I appreciate it in other people’s spaces but in my own I like the calmness of layering neutrals. BTW that kit hen is my inspiration for my next one as well by far my favourite.

  17. I love the feeling of crisp clean white. Combined with lots of natural light on a bright sunny day, it makes you feel extraordinary.

  18. I first want to say i am new to Elements of Style and am an INSTANT fan! I too love fresh breezy rooms and lots of white! Thank you for the constant inspiration photos and cheery tone in your posts! I also love that JA at JC Pennys- that is a fantastic resource!


  19. Ah, white. So fresh and clean! I remember watching the Christopher Lowell show 10 years ago and if my memory is accurate, he shunned white walls. I’ve never had them in my own home, but I do love so many of the Scandinavian rooms I see in magazines and online. They most always have white walls, and simple furnishings, like in your third photo.

    Wardrobe-wise, I love my white jeans. It’s still a bit too cool here to pull them out, but I look forward to it. They’re such an easy way to be chic and easy at the same time.

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