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This House Will Have You Hooked On Decorating With White

This might be the house that finally convinces you to decorate with neutrals.

When you live in Montana, a state known as “Big 
Sky Country,” it’s a safe bet that you gravitate toward all things open and airy. At least that’s the case for Vanessa Pleasants, cofounder of the Vintage Whites Market, a 100-plus vendor antiques show with events throughout the West. Unfortunately, the Victorian that caught her eye (those shingles! that gable!) in Kalispell didn’t exactly offer the up the wide- open spaces she craved. (It had been converted into a triplex in a past life.) But Vanessa and husband Caleb, were undeterred.


First, they painted every room white for a more cohesive feel and then incorporated predominantly neutral large scale pieces like the sofa and stove. With a fresh palette that lets antiques shine, Vanessa can now focus her efforts on growing her beloved collections—and the sky’s the limit.

Living Room

While the 300-square-foot room is short on space (note that narrow coffee table), 
the all-white walls give it
an open and inviting feel. Homey antiques, like the light blue armoire outfitted with soft floral curtains and the deconstructed wing chair, keep the space feeling cozy, not cold. At the other end of the room, a vintage piano strikes a soft note thanks to creamy white chalk-finish paint.

Country Classic: Chalk Paint

Coined by paint maven 
Annie Sloan in the 1990s, 
the term Chalk Paint has become synonymous with paints with a matte—almost chalky—look. The thick finish gives pieces both old (like the passed-down piano shown here) and new a timeworn look. Bonus: It requires virtually zero sanding or priming. To get the look, 
try Pure by Annie Sloan.


When you run an antiques market, standard new cabinets just won’t do. Instead, Vanessa topped 
an auto garage storage console with gray-veined marble for truly custom cabinetry. (Originally painted a bold blue, she stripped down the raw 
wood for a less industrial look.) White appliances 
add retro charm without overwhelming the space, and the chippy workbench-turned-island, lit by an oversize pendant, adds a central hit of color.

Master Bedroom

With its intricate carvings, the dark wood headboard takes center stage in Vanessa and Caleb’s room. (To keep the space feeling open, the matching footboard was banished to storage.) The strong focal point allows for asymmetrical vignettes on either side of the bed. On the left, a free-standing mirror amps up the natural light; on the right, floral artwork 
adds a feminine finish.

Eli’s Room

The clever bed canopy 
in Eli’s space is simply a 
trio of humble hardware store staples: painter’s 
drop cloth draped over a wooden dowel and hung from the ceiling with a 
thick manila rope. Vanessa rotates vintage finds, like the oversize plastic E and 
paint palette, in and out 
of the room.


In the mudroom, a glossy black floor (Black Knight by Benjamin Moore) provides a break from the all-white surface throughout the house. Bonus: It can handle snow boot traffic. Lovingly weathered salvaged pieces, like the concrete sink and chippy old frames, add soul to an all-white space. The base of the sink is crafted from hardware store piping.

Vanessa Pleasants

Fifty thousand followers can’t be wrong! Vanessa’s popular Instagram feed 
(@vintagewhites) serves up picture- perfect neutral rooms. 
Here, a few more of our favorites to follow.

@dreamywhiteslifestyle: White spaces with a French country slant.

• @laineandlayne: Endless styling ideas for a neutral space.

• @milkandhoneyhome: Fresh farmhouse style with perfect pops of color.

• @studiomcgee: A go-to for white kitchen and bath inspiration.

@mylittlewhitehouse: Ingenious upcycling from an all-white, 170-square-foot cottage

Originally posted 2016-04-07 12:58:19.

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