How to Make “White” Warm and Cozy

One comment I get all the time from people who come by the Shady Grove is “With white walls, white floors, white furniture, white cabinets, white ceilings… it still feels so warm and cozy!”

I’m not a professional decorator but I just know if something “feels” right…you know what I mean?  I love a clean and clutter free house but I want it to feel like a home.  I try to keep all the big ticket items in my home as neutral as possible because I tend to get tired of things quickly.  How can I change things up easily and on a budget?  I have found that fabric is the key!  I have tried to incorporate soft pillows, quilts and curtains in my decor to help add some softness and personality.

Let’s look at some of the areas of the Shady Grove where pillows have not only added some pops of color but some much needed softness.

Pillows on an all white sofa are great for adding your personality and giving people something soft to snuggle with while they are watching their favorite show or taking a little afternoon nap.  I try to use only feather pillows because they are soft, they don’t get lumpy and they fluff nicely.



I used multiple quilt layers on my large ottoman in the family room.  I love the color and pattern it brings to the space but it also keeps the room soft and cozy.  Since everyone’s feet end up on the ottoman on a daily basis, a washable quilt is so easy to keep looking fresh and clean.


I used more pillows on the sofa in our keeping room but I also used a quilt.  This antique sofa is for my 18 year old daughter when she gets her own place.  It was my Nana’s and is covered in a lovely light fabric.  I just don’t trust the dogs and people in my family to keep it clean for my daughter so I have covered it with an all white quilt that serves as a slipcover of sorts.  It is super soft and easy to clean.


I keep quilts on the back of my wicker chairs for several reasons.  They are soft to lean against, the add beautiful color and they are nice to lay over you on cold nights.


I wanted to cover my small appliances in the kitchen and at the same time, add a little softness and farmhouse style to the kitchen.  My appliances were sitting on open shelves, so I simply made some panels out of a nice red ticking stripe and added a curtain rod for easy open and close.  It is so much prettier to look at and it cost less than $20.




Even just a little checked basket liner helped soften all the hardness of the granite, cast iron postal scale and vintage metal signs.


Any area of the house that I want to add a little cozy, I just add some fabric.  Here is used an old flea market quilt and draped it over a little buffet.  I just love the way it looks and it gave new life to a quilt that was too worn to use otherwise.


We had to special order extra tall barstools when we knocked out a wall in the kitchen.  The only ones I could find where dark brown wood with faux leather seats.  A little chalk paint and a nice fabric turned these ugly stools into something I love.


Table runners can also soften up the hard surfaces of tables.  I pull them off if we are having a messy meal but most days they stay right where they are.



And of course curtains really soften the entire feel of a room.  I found these fun red tablecloths on clearance at Pottery Barn for $5 each!  I have tall windows and they were the perfect size!  No hemming, just add some clips and hang them on a rod.


I get questions all the time about my red buffalo check curtains!  I bought the fabric at and made the long panels myself.  They are bold and fun and definitely not for everyone but I have come to learn…if you love buffalo check, you really LOVE it!  And I do!


I love to use pillows and blankets to soften some of the benches in my home.  These benches are not used on a daily basis but are essential when we have large gatherings at our home.


I hope I have inspired you to add some fun personality to your neutral spaces and add some soft, warmth at the same time.

Until next time.  here’s to cuddles and naps on the Shady Grove!



12 thoughts on “How to Make “White” Warm and Cozy

  1. Where do you find all of your pillows??? Especially the 1989 est pillow? I just found your site and absolutely can’t get enough! I have a builder grade home that we built in 2005 and I’ve been trying to Farmhouse style for the past couple years. I’ve always loved the buffalo check and you’ve really inspired me to bring in some of the reds! I have many quilts, and the white sofas! I’m heading that direction. Love it (And all your pups!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Morning Wendy
    Your home is stunning. I love the look of all white – but a bit afraid to do it.
    I am also a fan of dark colors which I have used in my home – I was alway afraid to do that too, but did and I love it.
    Maybe next time I’ll use all white.
    Much love


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