Tag Archives: interior decorating

The big whitewash

I am in a state of domestic limbo at the moment as I am waiting to move house. The big day is in about four weeks and I have a grand fantasy of being super-organised and undertaking a large-scale, Oprah-style declutter. But actually, despite my Goody Homemaker sounding pseudonym, this is unlikely to happen. I’m not great at domesticity. I’ve just posted some pics of my slovenliness on my fellow-blogger NDM’s Gallery of Domestic Godlessness, if you want to see the evidence.

Nevertheless, what with our new house’n’all, I’ve been indulging in some big-time, home-beautiful, backyard-blitz fantasising. I confess: I’ve been leafing through glossy magazines with pictures of fashionable rooms furnished in neutral tones, buffed wooden floors and low-backed leather couches. It’s all futile of course because now that we’ve swapped rent for a morgage, we won’t be able to afford any of this. But that’s not really the point. Because to be honest, these picture-perfect magazine homes are starting to get on my nerves.

The main thing that bugs me is the obsession with white. Walls, drapes, ceilings, ornaments, you name it: if you want to have a nice home, according to the style gurus, they’ve got to be predominantly white. There are dozens of online interiors stores dedicated to white homewares. I even saw a feature on white floors. I had to laugh. For someone like me, who mops the floors maybe twice a year, this is the height of lunacy. The hours spent on maintenance would be a kind of poetically just punishment for anyone crazy enough to want such a thing.

I suspect that the trend for hospital ward interiors is rooted in masochism. The more white, the more obvious your guilty housekeeping sins will be for all the world to see, and of course, the more washing and cleaning. Or perhaps it’s a conspiracy to give women more housework to do and get them safely back in the home… Starved of colour and surrounded by the fumes of bleaching agents, our brains will slowly decompose. And it’s strangely alluring, isn’t it? All that soothing, relaxing white, just like a fluffy white cloud waiting to swallow you up… reminds me of The Stepford Wives.

I for one am going to resist it. I pledge to you, my reader(s), that I will not indulge in this whitewashing madness. And if you see me getting a slightly vacant look in my eyes as I clutch a paint swatch with names ranging from Dove’s Song to Marble Mist, you’ll know what happened. Just throw a bucket of purple paint over my head. That should do the trick.


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