There’s no such thing as too much white.

How was your holiday?!!!  Bottoms up and merry everything?  We had amazing meals, a whole lotta desserts and wine (times twelve.) I spent most of the holidays saying “the wine made me do it.”  I schlepped around the house, all gussied up in my PJ’s, hiding my food baby.   It felt so good.  That kind of good should be illegal.

But then.  Cancer stepped in again.  Pffffft.   In light of being a possible downer (womp womp)  I’m promising you right here and now, the second part of this blog post will turn things around. (Maybe.)   Sit yourself down.   Should I spike your coffee?

I love this white kitchen! Great design ideas for using white from Lynne Knowlton | Design The Life You Want To Live


Cancer is a jerk face doucheasaurus 

You may remember from this blog post that my husband Michael has terminal cancer.  I wrote about it here and Bali bucket list priorities here. We had hit the pause button on chemo.  Over the holidays, that all changed.  Michaels cancer progressed and the leptomeningeal metastasis (cancer on the nerves of his brain) are affecting his vision and other brainy things that I don’t even want to think about.  Talking about a brain is like looking under the hood of the car.  Both perplex me immensely.

Sadly, Michael is unable to drive now.  It shattered my dreams of imagining my life like Driving Miss Daisy.   I freaking loved that he drove me everywhere and anywhere. It’s the simple things in life.  I love those.  I already miss the little things.  I’m doing my very best to not mourn the future of things, but the truth is.. I sometimes feel like I’m coming unhinged.  Unraveling.  Falling apart.

*Hand comes off chemo pause button*

We made a decision for Michael to start chemo again.  He has already had one chemo session and the next one follows a few weeks later.  In addition, he will be taking oral chemo // targeted therapy tablets every.single.day.

I’m speechless on so many levels.

The shit is getting real.

Home should make you happy

Now you’re probably wondering (1) why do I share cancer stuff and (2) what’s next??

[Sips coffee.]

Because I love home.  Because home is my happy place.  Because I truly design the life I want to live.  See how I just threw those words in there? Winky wink.  If I can design the life I want to live even with cancer in it, then you can do anything.

I love this white kitchen! Great design ideas for using white from Lynne Knowlton | Design The Life You Want To Live



Here’s the easiest design tip of all time.  Right here.  Right now :


There’s no such thing as too much white.

There’s an enormo amount of white in my home. Why?  Because it is such a clean slate to work from.  There’s lots of room for colour in decor when your base is white. I love WHITE and the staggering simplicity it brings to a space.

My fave white is SIMPLY WHITE by Benjamin Moore.  It’s so pretty.  It’s a warm white and yet it is white white… if that makes any sense at all.  It makes sense to me. Does that count? 🙂


Don’t overthink it.  Less is more.   Live by the rule that if you only buy things you love, your house will feel like HOME.

Celebrate everything YOU and whitewash it with white and splash it up with your fave colours.

Light trumps dark.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made brown your focal colour in design. (I swear I won’t hit you with a throw pillow.) STAP it.  No no no.  Don’t do copious quantities of brown.  If brown had a face – I’d punch it.  Too much brown shiny laquer-ness is lame.

I honestly don’t know how people go from brown to more brown in their home.  For those of you who say “I love brown!” you’re an alien as far as I’m concerned.  Also, I’m a white paint addict.

Me and white go way back.  Light surfaces reflect light.  So why stop at the walls?  Ceiling, floor, furniture … the dog.  Insert big toothy grin.  Paint them white.

Relaxed trumps formality.

We all have busy lives.  Hurry here. Hurry there.  Home is your sanctuary.  Clear the clutter and have a relaxed comfy clean home.

Our home style is so relaxed, we have a sofa in the kitchen.  And you think I joke.

When Wayfair offered to gift me a sofa, I practically mailed them my house keys.  Okay, truth is… I approached Wayfair because they are in Canada now too!!!!! <–freak out.

Note to self:  The sofa is insanely cozy.  Like,  I N S A N E .  I could nap on it until next December.

Here’s the thing about sofas.  There are about 384757635704548907 choices to narrow down.  After one bottle glass of wine, 34 days, 16 hours and 29 minutes… I found this sofa.  To say that I love love love love love it would be an understatement.  I’d put a ring on it.   That kind of LOVE.

Did I mention that I love it?

White minimalist style with great design ideas!!!! | Lynne Knowlton | Design The Life You Want To Live
White minimalist style with great design ideas!!!! | Lynne Knowlton | Design The Life You Want To Live

Go big and then go small in home decor… 

I like to shop in layers.

1.  First, you need to go for the major pieces // the ones we all need to save up for. Appliances, furniture essentials, comfy bed, fave sofa, and area rugs.  If you get the big priorities out of the way first, you’re flying.

2.  After you have the main pieces in place, add your smaller elements… curtains, light fixtures, pillows, coffee//side tables and wine.    Actually, you may need that for every step of the way.

3.   Add the fun personality pieces.  Funky artwork, fave candles, items that you love, books and plants.  Go natural.  When it comes to decorating, nature is the best card in the deck.  Like a big tree trunk growing through your living room floor.  Kidding.

Keeping white CLEAN…

I know what your thinking.  How the heck do I keep it all clean?  I clean it. LOL.

No really….I bought a miracle in a bottle to clean our Wayfair sofa.   I’ve spilled wine on the sofa, permanent ink and a bunk ton of coffee.  GAH !!!!

PS. By ‘me‘ … I mean.. ‘my husband’ spilled on it.

I almost punched him.

I sprayed this stuff.

It saved his life.

I don’t know how this cleaning agent works, other than it is an oxygen based cleaner rather than a water base.  It works so well, I practically hyperventilate into a paper bag with explosive excitement.  Don’t judge me.  When I see a stain disappear before my eyes, I don’t ask questions.  I dance.

Pin it and share xo

White minimalist style with great design ideas!!!! | Lynne Knowlton | Design The Life You Want To Live


Shop the post // Sources

Handcrafted end tables/coffee tables : One One Eleven Designs

Throw Pillows:  Tonic Living

Linen Curtains : Not Perfect Linen

Live edge Shelves / Coasters / Succulent holders : Hugo & Hoby … use discount code: BOURBON&POPCORN for 10% off your order !!

Gold faucet & vanity tray:  c/o Delta Faucet Canada

Let’s bounce

You have the dance floor.  I’m passing the design wand to you.  Give me the straight goods.  What is your biggest design challenge?   I also want to hear about your decorating disasters.  

I need you to FREAK.ME.OUT. with design questions.  


Spill it.


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Toni McIntyre

Lynne, I Love, Love, Love your blog. I found you thru Ravelry looking for knitted afghan patterns. I’ve never read a blog before but I’m sure hooked on yours. Thank you so much for lightening my Friday inbox. I’m looking forward to the next, and the next. And the next…..for as long as you want. My Mom and Grandma both knitted and they taught me when I was 8….yikes, that means I’ve been knitting for 60 years. How is that even possible……I still think I’m 25 or 30. Until I look in the mirror and scream,”who put THAT face in… Read more »


First: I love everything white. I would totally throw everything out and copy everything you have done, but my bank account said I couldn’t. Dang it! It is so clean and bright that I’m sure this is what heaven will look like. (I also ordered your magic stain remover. Amazon says it is on the way.) Second: I am also walking the cancer fight with my spouse. Your posts give me hope that I’m not the only one that disintegrates into hopeless puddle of tears and snot. Sometimes our pain is sort of viewed as the step-child in cancer battles.… Read more »


Good morning. I LOVE your style, I love your boldness. I accidentally unsubscribed and want to keep connected. I HATE cancer. I have not dealt with a spouse with it but have lost my mom and just so want to let you know that I will be praying for you, and putting my battle gear on for you and your family. We are fearless and strong with God on our side! Continue to be bold and courageous. Hugs!


Lynne, I love your style, your heart, your YOU. I cried when I found out about Michael’s cancer. Damn cancer. It sucks. You don’t even know me, but I feel like you are my best friend because of the way you share your life. I wish that more people did that like you. If we all shared so much, the world would be a better place. Positive vibes and prayers for you and your hubby. I believe in miracles. And even if you don’t get the miracle you want, you might get the miracle you need. I wouldn’t presume to… Read more »


Where do you buy the magical Bissel Power Shot from? Amazon.com won’t ship it to Toronto, and for some reason it’s not available on Amazon.ca! This spilly girl NEEDS that fairydust in her life stat! x


Funny thing that I came across this post. My “tween” is going “teen””. Turning in the colorful daisies for a black and white chevron bed and WHITE walls! Thank you for the paint color name. However: it’s got to be a Sherwin Williams color for us! Got a favorite, a potential “match,” in white and warmth with a Sherwin Williams? If there’s one thing I learned, staring at those swatches….white is not just white. I find myself drawn to the name more than anything…. Gentle Cotton, Marshmellow World, Soft Puffy Cloud. Now, I made those up of course but who… Read more »


I too LOVE white !!!!!! 🙂


LOVE the white! Your entire house is gorgeous, you are absolutely fabulous at the whole home decor thing 😉

Also I’m sorry to hear about Michael. My thoughts are with you, Michael and your family. Sending love and good thoughts your way! Stay positive, miracles really do happen when you believe they can. 🙂


Annette Annen

Love, love, love your design genius! Thank you for all the creative energy pouring forth! Just wanted you to know that from a small town in the Texas hillcountry, I am sending love & light to you and Michael. Keeping you two in my prayers. Annette

Big hugs to you and Michael and wishing him a tolerable chemo treatment this go. Praying for you guys.

Colleen Finnegan

Love reading your blog, website whatever it is I’m reading. It makes me want to have you as my bestie, haha! I too love white, but am very excited to have black mixed in with my white. I just did a white kitchen with black accents and its very awesome! Would send photos but don’t know how to add that to this email. Love your writing and decorating, keep doing what your doing and sending positive vibes for your husband’s health.
xo, Colleen

Maureen Carman

Hi Lynne,

I SO love reading your blog!
Although we never met, I feel like you are a friend.
I rarely comment on the web, but I wrote to you when Michael was first diagnosed.
I continue to pray for you and Michael and send hugs and hope.


I love the white, it is so calming. I am new to this blog, but love the way you write, you always seem to see the bright side, even when things are dark. So sorry to hear about Michael, it is a tough road, but with someone like you by his side, all is not lost.


Your home is lovely, love all the white colors!
Enjoy your writings, makes me smile.

My thoughts and prayers with you both. Love all your honesty and sharing.
There are no words I can offer but thinking of you. You don’t know me but I just recently found your blog. Hugs and prayers to you both!


Hi Lynne,

I first read your post this morning at 5:45 a.m. drinking coffee (unspiked) Tonight I reread it while drinking wine. Both times filled me with the same sense of friendship for you. I obviously don’t know you but really feel like I do. So many prayers for you & Michael. Cancer. sucks. period. You have a tremendous talent in writing and obviously decorating. All of it so real.
Internet bFF forever!
Pam PJ


Write about the cancer. It is your family reality and we can take it. Your house is lovely. I asked my husband what color he wanted in our bedroom years ago. He said brown so I went all out. I hated it every second so finally I told him and he said, “oh yeah, I never notice.” Immediately changed it. Have evolved over the years to mostly white.

So beautiful, Lynne. Your house and you. 🙂 I love the wood floor with all the white. It really warms up the space. The coffee table too, with its wood top. I have a white slip cover sofa that I love. I can throw the covers in the wash. Sooooo, I hope Michael is keeping that c-shit at bay with the chemo. It really sucks. You’re both amazing. Prayers and love are going out to your from the West Coast. xo

Lynn Jordaan

Sending so many hugs and light. Remember to take care of you too. Enjoyed your post, I like white too.

Lynn … I am sorry your life is not all wine and roses as you would probably wish/want/desire and do rightly deserve. I have followed your blog since the early days and your irreverent-quirky style helps push me out of my ordinary zone every time. Thanks for the tips. Thanks for the light in the darkness. As soon as the weather allows … I will grab a roller and Simply White cover 4 or 5 walls that are way overdue. I am already ordering the Power-Shot-Oxy on your suggestion. One of my quotes is “Everyone has inside them a piece… Read more »

Sharleen Bergman

I am so sorry about your husband’s cancer. I am sure there are days when you want to just lock yourself in a closet. You are a very strong woman and I wish you only the best. Continue your blog. It has to be your saving grace.

I absolutely adore your home and am lusting after your kitchen. Everything you do is so fabulous. I am dealing with a large space 20 x 25ft with orange wood cabinets and orange wood paneling on every wall ( circa 1970 ) in addition to yellow floor tile – get the picture! Can’t wait for my simply white kitchen – my favorite color other than Moonlight white in my living room. Just waiting for some money ?. You are amazing. Thank you for being you. Love and support for your journey with Michael ??


Your place looks so nice, Lynne! Sorry to hear the latest about your husband. Cancer sucks… big time… Wondering where you bought the BISSELL Power Shot Oxy ? Please take good care. Rgds, Kevin.


White is my FAVorite color!! And, cancer stinks.
Sending you love and hugs and a few kisses on your forehead.

Mary W Bruder

I too love white!!!! What is this magical cleaner you speak of?

Chuckles + Sighs = Inspiration
Thank you.


Lynne – your blog radiates such inner beauty that it’s become one of my favorite things to read. I’m a pediatric oncologist (so I have to keep it PG although cancer deserves every swear word in the book). Cancer does a lot of terrible things. But you’re showing a different side – that cancer can bring people together, can illuminate the things that we would normally gloss over in day to day life. I commend you for the courage you and Michael have shown. Thank you for being real, raw, inspirational. Thank you for giving us all the guts to… Read more »


I just bought a white sofa too. Once I lived in a teeny tiny room and I painted everything white.
Cancer sux, I am terribly sorry and honor your falling apartness and keeping on-ness too.


My biggest design challenge? My two boys (7 and 10). I could *never* have that much white in my home. I don’t even own white clothes. I’m a klutz and they have their heads in the clouds. Pizza fingers, chocolate mouths, holes in lips (because they always miss when they’re drinking anything)… I’ve resigned myself to not owning anything nice until they move out. And just when I think to myself, How on earth does she keep everything clean? You answered my question. Get out of my head. Feeling unhinged is not surprising or atypical given what you, Michael and… Read more »

Hey Lynne!
You’re beautiful! Love you! Big HUGS!
Don’t know if you’re still doing your own photography – but it’s stunning! Well done.
Thinking of you and Michael <3 – always!

I an so happy I signed for a little bit of Lynne in my mailbox. Even when you are sad, scared or frustrated, you are still funny, loving,, optimistic and super cheeky – and I guess that’s the part I like the best! “Laughter through tears is my favourite emotion!” Steel Magnolias remember? Anyhoo, I love you, your design ideas, and your creative way of looking at yard sale objects and turning them into art. On another note, I am so sad to hear about your cancer nightmare with your husband. Cancer is a real seeyounextuesday. I watched the video,… Read more »

HI Lynne!! Firstly – I’m sending you and Michael all of my positive vibes times infinity! I’m also praying. And praying that the wine gods show up daily. I guiltily raise my hand and fully admit I royally f’d up and thought brown was the greatest thing ever. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Knowing what I know now, I would do everything entirely different. Brown is heavy, annoying, shows every single piece of fur and wine stain *unless you drink white – pro tip*. Several times I have contemplated dragging my couch and area rug outside into the backyard and setting it… Read more »

Yvonne Cannon

I absolutely love your decor and I love WHITE!! ? Your positive attitude is simply contagious and refreshing!!!
if you only knew how much I need that in my life right now. (On another note) I watched Michael’s video and although I was crying my eyes out – Michael was so right with every word.. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.!

Rhonda MacDonald

You are a strong woman Lynne, remember that. I’m sorry about the chemo hiatus being over, but I know you gotta do what you gotta do. I have a design debacle to tackle. A basement apartment that has been rented out for too many years (only two!) by two bachelor men in their early twenties. Think, holes in the walls, mushrooms growing on the bathroom floor (THAT’S what happens when you regularly hang your wetsuits to dry OUTSIDE of the shower!), and a washer and dryer in the middle of a bedroom! And don’t get me started on the kitchen.… Read more »


Sending you all of the love and peace and strength to walk this bumpy road. ((hugs))


Love you. Done the Big C too-13 year old son who is good now (24). You are FUNNY-that will save your life by the way. Looking at your stuff makes me say “want” way too much. I have a white slipcovered couch AND three dogs. It can be done. Keep doing what you do, you make a lot of people happy! Most importantly-me. We are all in your corner with your husband, always feel the ❤


I am so sorry to hear about the !#?*~cancer raising it’s ugly head again. My heart & prayers go out to you and yours. I love your attitude &outlook and your white home! Please know you are not alone.


Lynne, I just joined your blog recently. It began with the knitted blankets, love them. I watched your how to video and loved you as well. So funny and so like most of the women in my life that I felt like I knew you. I was so sad to read this post this morning. Like you I have had a lot of cancer in my life. I hate the word hate, but, I HATE CANCER!! Your family is amazing. I went back and watched your husbands video and it is beautiful. I pray for peace for all of you… Read more »


Hi Lynne
I love your blog, your design, and the heart you share. White always trumps Dark.
I feel your hurt. Cancer, I don’t know how you feel but I know what it has done to me. The friends at Crossroads have a good listening ear if you ever need I – 1 -866-273-4444- they can help you with some life design tips too.
Up lifting you. In my prayers..

Jan Kolodge

This is my first reading of your blog! I don’t get pulled into reading many blogs these days but you are a “white” design lover and a great writer. Me too – not a great writer but a lover of “white” home design. Well, I think you guessed that already! White makes me think clearer, it gives you the opportunity of adding different colors to highlight when you feel like it. I also shout, I shout at those who are now saying “white” is passe. I will always want my home to be “white!” So this brings me to ask… Read more »


Thanks… ??
Eat ?
gotta go…


Lynne, I adore you! And we haven’t even met. 🙂 One of the things I love about the fact that I live in the US now is the ability to order anything off the ‘net without worrying if they ship to Canada. I have a white bathroom and the response of a lot of folks is “it’s very white!” It’s a bathroom, being able to bleach it is a benefit (especially if you dye your own hair, as I do)! My parents have a brown dining room (dark brown, with a high sheen to the walls) and it actually is… Read more »


And…..I spelled your name wrong. Sorry Lynne. My only excuse is that I haven’t had my coffe yet


I’ve been a lurker for a while without leaving comments but today I just had to say thank you for sharing your journey. I do love your writing style and I want you to know that many times while reading something that you wrote I will laugh out loud but it’s how you share that keeps me coming back. I’m so sorry that you are going through this horrible cancer journey and I’m sending you a virtual hug



I love reading all of this, except the news about Michael. Prayers galore from my heart to all of yours.

Now, when are you coming down to “Lynneyize” my house???

I’m sharing my coffee with you right now. Nice way to read what you put out there in the universe to start my day….

Never stop. Ever.


sharon lamonica

Wow Lynne, you are amazing. I delight w joy as you share from your broken heart w a chuckle. You make me laugh and hold my heart at the same time♡. I truly wish you grace as you battle this cancer bitch.. Btw, which sofa did you choose?
Sending a boat load of prayers and love to you and your beautiful family☆•♡•☆

Oh Lynne, I missed your other post and reading this I wish there was something else I could say beside I’m sorry that this is happening. I love your outlook in your space and wish my husband wasn’t adamantly anti all white. Your home is wonderful

Sending you all the love


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