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The Princess and the Peeve

Photo by Barbara Clare

White is ubiquitous in interior design. For decades, anytime you pick up an interior design magazine or browse a design zine on the web, you'll find white interiors everywhere. White living rooms dressed in white carpeting, white upholstery fabrics, white drapes, and white walls.

Who actually lives here? Let me guess. Folks who have no kids, no pets, and who employ daily cleaning services.

Then there are the endless white kitchens: white cabinets, white counters, and white walls. Turn the page and you'll find the all-white bathrooms. They're fitted out with white fixtures, white cabinets, white counters, white walls, white floors, and, you guessed it, white towels.


White does give a space a fresh, clean look, that's true. But does it express personality? No. Only color can do that. But creating an interior color scheme can be daunting. So many folks avoid that challenge and simply default to white.

However, I have found one use of white that really worked for me.

Last spring, I de-cluttered, cleaned, and painted some of our dark, dirty shed. Here's what the shed looked like before I began my revitalization project. Yikes!

Photo by Barbara Clare

I cleared the space, washed it down, and prepared to paint. But one more thing had to happen before I picked up a paint brush.

Photo by Barbara Clare

See the loft in the upper left corner of the photo above? I wanted more vertical space and more light. The loft had to go.

One day when our friend Voitek stopped by, I showed him the loft and explained that I wanted to get rid of it. He tried to talk me into keeping the loft as a storage space, but I was determined. We didn't need it. He paused, and I could see his wheels turning. He looked up at the loft. Then he grabbed a sledge hammer and started hacking away. In minutes, the loft was history. Hooray! Now on to paint.

My aim was to bring in as much light as possible, so I painted the walls the color that reflects the most light: white. Soon after I painted the walls, Voitek returned to help me finish the project. It was time to add some personality - sturdy orange hooks would do the trick. Those splashes of bright orange against the white instantly infused the rustic shed walls with happiness.

I love walking into the shed now. Gazing on to its clean, bright walls adorned with my tidy tools hanging on the happy hooks is such a cheery sight. My She Shed Sings! (Say that 10x fast.)

Photo by Barbara Clare

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