Living with White

I know it’s normal for woman my age to be reminded of the fact that they are of childbearing years, but geez peeps!!! You wouldn’t believe how often I get, “Just wait until you have kids, your house won’t be so nice then.” Or I’ll get the, “You better enjoy the white now. You won’t be able to have it for long.” I know it’s only natural for people to be thinking ahead, but we just aren’t there yet and probably won’t be for a few years. So, yes, my house has a lot of white in it. I love white, and I don’t have kids to dirty it up.

With that being said, I do have three (yes, THREE) indoor dogs.

Ginger

That’s Ginger. She’s the smallest of the pack and the one that’s been with me the longest. I’ve had her for close to 6 years. She’s a sweetheart and doesn’t cause much trouble, but last week she puked on our duvet. You can often find her dancing around on the couch with muddy paw prints, and flattening all of my pillows so she can rest on top.

Tulip

That’s Tulip. We call her Tuli. She followed me home from a walk almost exactly 2 years ago. She also threw up last week, but luckily she kept hers on the floor. She spends a good portion of her time putting muddy paw prints on our bed, but in-between she’s typically begging for belly rubs. You can also often find her bunching up the living room rug as she runs from room to room, shedding on the couch (and, well, everything), and slopping water in a good 4ft radius around the water bowl.

Rosie

Meet the newest family member, Rosie! We just inherited her about a month ago. She lived the first 8 years of her life outside, so housebreaking this sweet thing was a little bit bumpy. I nearly cried the first time she peed on my white rug, but the good news is…life happens, and life is almost always cleanable! She’s pee free for 2 weeks now, so the adjustment is getting easier. You can typically find Rosie wherever Shane is. Her nose is basically touching him most of the day. If she’s not following Shane around, she’s usually leaving clumps of fur on the rug by the front door. She really thinks this rug belongs to her.

Isn’t it funny that all my dogs are white?! It’s totally just by chance. I didn’t seek out a single one of our dogs. They all found me! Maybe white loves me, too! πŸ˜‰

I adore my dogs, they bring more joy to my life than imaginable, but it isn’t always easy keeping things paw print free. So what do I do to keep my house bright and white?

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1. We paint the walls with satin paint. While I like the look of a flat paint WAY more, the satin paint is much easier to clean. I always have a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on hand to help with cleaning. This week we noticed weird blood looking spots on the wall by the bed. Who knows what they did or how they did it, but I do know how to clean it up!

2. The couch cover is washable and is scotch guarded. I used to have a black sofa cover, but honestly it was worse. With white dogs, it just showed too much hair. I even think the black cover showed more (much more) dirt. With this new cover all I have to do is take a little carpet cleaner and a rag and the dirty paw prints come right off. I’ve had it for several moths now and I haven’t even had to wash it yet. A few weekends ago I missed my mouth with my coffee (mornings are’t my thing)Β and spilled dribbles all down the couch. They just sat on top of the fabric and I soaked them up with a paper towel. Problem solved…that was all it needed. Buy a can of Scotch-Guard. It really can be a great defense for upholstery and rugs.

3. I’ve forced myself to chill out.Β I’m extremely protective of the white rug in the living room, but I have to force myself to chill out. It’s a rug…we walk on it… it will get dirty. When I said I nearly cried when Rosie peed on it, I meant it. It about ruined my whole day, but I sucked it up, chilled out, and worked fast on the clean up. Here is my clean up routine: Grab an old towel and soak up as much of the stain as you absolutely can. I take this to the extreme sometimes. I walk on it, I dance on it, I jump on it until nothing else wet is soaking into the towel. Then, I get out my trusty spray bottle of half carpet cleaner half water. I soak the spot through. I have no idea what the experts say about cleaning spots. All I know is what gives me peace of mind. In the same way that I don’t just kind of get my hair wet when I shampoo it, I don’t want to kinda just wet down a stain on the carpet. Call me crazy, but I just feel better about soaking the crap out of the rug, and since its a rug I can fold it over and make sure it dries on both sides, unlike carpet. After I’ve soaked it through and given it a gentle scrub, I use a new towel to dance, walk, and jump on it all over again. We avoid walking on the spot until it’s fully dried. Once it is dry, I give the spot a good vacuum. I can’t say enough about getting a quality rug. They just clean up better. Even though Rosie is a big dog that peed a big puddle, you can’t tell. I also tend to do a few other little maintenance things to my rugs. I vacuum them often! I probably vacuum them twice a week, at least. Even when they don’t look dirty, they get vacuumed just to get all the hidden dirt out of them. It keeps the rug looking brighter. I also try to rotate them to keep them wearing more evenly. A rug looks a lot better when it doesn’t have a big worn spot in the middle. Every few months I’ll turn it.

4. I wipe paws at the door.Β Yep, I do it. I really do. It’s probably one of the biggest things that keeps my house clean and white. We have a towel hanging by the back door, and If I have any suspicion that the dogs have gotten dirty outside at all, I individually wipe 12 paws. It is totally a hassle and their patience (and mine) often wears thin as they are waiting their turn to get their paws wiped, but I know that if I don’t do it it will be more of a hassle! The extra work is worth having a house I’m in love with.

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5. I wash things often. The white pillow covers in the living room and the white pillow covers on the bed get washed often. They get dirty, but then they get washed, no big deal.

6. Often, I compromise. I’d really love all white bedding, but I love morning cuddles with my dogs more. I want the dogs in our bed, I love them! I know that having all white bedding isn’t practical, though. I compromised with bedding that feels bright and light, but will hide dirt a little better.

So, here is where I answer the real question… What will I do once I have kids and so much white is out of the question?

The truth is… I might try having white anyway.

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There are ways to protect your white from the abuse of everyday use. I love this cream colored couch covered with sheepskin. (Although, I’m more of a faux sheepskin type.) Faux skins can be thrown in the washer and the couch is fairly well protected.

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I wouldn’t mind having my entire house covered in faux skins, but that’s just me.

Ok, moms, I know you are sitting there thinking about how projectile vomit knows no bounds.

Maybe just a little protection won’t be enough for me someday. Maybe it’s not enough for you…

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Option 2 for me is to have the more permanent pieces be easier to maintain, while still incorporating a lot of white. At this point in my life, I wouldn’t be willing to give up the white walls. I love the clean look of them, but I can see myself compromising white in other areas, like the furniture and textiles.

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I love this one.

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I honestly love these looks just as much. They are still bright and light. They still feel like my style, but it isn’t a whiteout zone. I can imagine having kids in some of these places.

Ok, so let’s say you have kids that throw spaghetti on the regular…I know it happens. Sometimes, all white walls just don’t work for people. It’s not that I just absolutely love white walls. I don’t. I just absolutely love BRIGHT spaces! Our current house just doesn’t get the light I’d love to have, so it needs white walls to help reflect the light it does get. If you already have a bright house and you have spaghetti throwers, you’re in luck. You could pull off something more like this…

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Or this…

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Heck, in the right space, I even adore black walls!

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Fear not, moms! Having a beautiful house, with little ones, is totally possible! I think sometimes people think I should feel intimidated about keeping a beautiful house, while raising kids. I’m just not intimidated by that at all. I know it’s possible.

Now, learning to raise children to be good, productive, giving, caring, responsible adults. EEEEEEK! That’s scary to say the least!

I know that was a long post, but hopefully it helped answer some of the questions I’ve gotten, and hopefully it gives you moms (and dads!) some more ideas!

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