Can a home be both pretty and practical? The answer is yes! The team at Paperwhites Interiors shares how to make it possible.

Photography by Suzy Thompson

Crunch, crunch, crunch…..remember the plastic sofas in your grandmother’s living room? Or only being allowed to sit on certain chairs in your great aunt’s home? Thankfully, textiles and furnishings have come a long way since those days and it’s only getting better!

While we are lovers of beautiful fabrics, textures, and a home layered with special details, we also understand that practical living is an important part of what matters to families. The well decorated home is an investment, so why not make choices that will give you years of enjoyment (and a few less gray hairs!)? You should be able to have beautiful furnishings and the freedom to enjoy them! Here are some ways that we love to accomplish this:

Fabulous Fabrics

Chintz, velvets, linens… we love them all! But whether you have a busy family with young children or are empty nesters who love to entertain, it’s important to feel peace of mind that at the spill of a spaghetti plate or a glass of red wine, your beautiful new chair or sofa will not be ruined. This is why whenever possible we opt for Crypton and stain resistant fabrics, especially on the big items that get the most use such as sofas, chairs, kitchen stools, and pillows. Many companies offer pre-treated fabrics now, and you would never know the difference in how they feel! However, when these fabrics are not an option and we just HAVE to go for the luxurious linen, we choose to have them treated by a local company who can safely protect furnishings, draperies, rugs… practically anything stands still!

Another way we help eliminate worry is by the placement choice of certain fabrics. For example, valances and Roman shades are a great place to showcase special fabrics, as they are kept safe from sticky fingers and puppy paws.

Well-Loved Antiques

Whether you have inherited your grandmother’s old farm table or you purchased the prettiest 18th century buffet at an estate sale, antiques of all kinds are so special! The patina and character of antique pieces offer depth and interest to a space, and can also be great choices for practical living. A well loved coffee table may be just the perfect racetrack for your little boy’s cars and trains ~ you won’t worry about marks as it will only add to the many stories the table already has to tell.

Marvelous Marble

One of the most common questions we are asked by clients is whether or not marble is a practical choice. Can you guess our answer? YES! We are firm believers in not being afraid to use marble. While it is certainly a personal preference and somewhat dependent on how particular you are about imperfections, marble is one of the best choices for kitchens and bathrooms. Most anything you spill can be easily cleaned up with your favorite product (thank you Magic Eraser!), but should you have something that leaves a little mark or etch, it will only add to the character Like we always say, “If marble has survived centuries in Italy, it will survive 20 years in your kitchen.”

As mamas of 7 children between the two of us, we understand the importance and value of practical living while also wanting to have a beautiful home. Our goal is to help create spaces that beautifully reflect those who live there and one in which warmly welcomes all who enter. A home to be truly lived in, where sweet memories are made, and no one is afraid to curl up with a cup of coffee and good conversation. With some good planning, we say you can have it all…eat the cake, drink the wine, prop your feet up on your sofa, and enjoy what you have!

Southern charm, gracious hospitality, and a fresh take on classic style- these are the things that inspire Paperwhites Interiors! We are Juli and Mary Elizabeth and we specialize in all things Southern, traditional, classic and just plain pretty! Based just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, we joined together in 2015 to share our love of interior design and passion for helping others not only make their homes a place of beauty but also comfortable for living. Inspired by the blooms of Paperwhites, our hope is to bring new life into the spaces we create for our clients. We believe homes should reflect the heart and personality of each family, as well as an inviting space of beauty and refuge, and ultimately a reflection of the families that live there. As we say in the South, hope to see y’all soon!