Before we moved into our new home in Los Angeles, I had every room painted white. Under the previous owners, the house was a bit of a hodgepodge: some white, some tan, one teal bedroom, another grayish purple. I craved a clean slate, a blank canvas. Let’s start fresh, I thought.
Only now, after living here for a few weeks, have I realized that maybe I’m not a white wall person. Ha! Oops. Our two previous homes, in Brooklyn and the Bay Area, were painted shades of gray and blue. White is light and bright, yes! But also it feels a tad sterile in comparison. Plus, I hate that I shout at my kids: “Don’t touch the walls!” (Matt had to remind me that we don’t live in a museum. GOOD TIMES.)
Luckily, this is a very solvable problem. For starters, I need to get over my preciousness around the just-patched-and-painted walls and start hanging stuff up. But I also have high hopes for what wallpaper can do. I’ve wanted to try wallpaper for years but it wasn’t possible on the textured walls of our old home. Now that I can have it, I’m overwhelmed by choices. Gah! I make life so fun, don’t I? LOL. But really: There are light colors, dark colors, big patterns, busy patterns — so many options. I’ve gone down some deep wallpaper Internet holes lately and come out with my thoughts swirling.
I would love your help. Is there a brand you recommend or a pattern you like? Peel and stick or permanent? DIY hanging or hire an expert installer? Have you done one wall or the whole room? Any suggestions for mixing and matching different prints around your home? Please scroll down and share your wallpaper tips in the comments!
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My Thoughts on Your Questions
This is a great question! White sneakers are a year-round shoe for me, especially with jeans. It’s easy for me to say this, perched at my desk in Southern California, where there is very little in terms of precipitation. But I do think sneakers in white — or another color — can work wherever you are. Three thoughts for you as you do your seasonal shopping:
Leather sneakers. White leather is much easier to clean than canvas, which seems to absorb — even attract! — the dirt. I wore my white leather sneakers to a dusty pumpkin lights trail and, to my relief, wiped them off without a problem afterwards. If you are looking for options, I love this pair by Veja, a brand that’s both sustainable and Meghan *and* Kate-approved.
Weatherproof sneakers. Silicon Valley loves nothing more than a sneaker, so it’s not surprising a few brands have tried to “solve” for weather with heartier (and sustainable!) options. Allbirds has a super cozy pair with thicker wool for warmth and a more substantial sole to keep the water out. I’ve also heard wonderful things about Rothy’s washable sneakers.
Navy or black sneakers. The darker the material, the easier it will be to camouflage the inevitable dust. Plus, I love how they look with a pair of dark jeans. With not-white sneakers, I lean toward a slightly chunkier silhouette because it makes them less cutesy. For fall, a bit of bulk also goes well with the volume of sweaters and jackets. I’ve got my eye on this pair of Reebok navy sneakers — I already have them in light pink and have worn them all spring and summer. If you’ve got more black in your wardrobe, then go that route.
As for socks! I still very much love a bare ankle but I know that look has been on the way out. Plus, it's not exactly practical as winter nears. The easiest way to rock taller socks is to have the hem of your jeans skim the top of your sneaker, limiting the amount of visible sock. If you are feeling braver, you can pair a cropped pant with an ankle sock. Either way, I prefer a solid sock that matches the shoe or the jeans (instead of bright colors or patterns). Hope this helps!
Note: I use affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase I may get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my work!
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Five Things To Check Out This Week
READ: A nuanced remembrance of Colin Powell by Robin Givhan. (Washington Post)
SHOP: Hill House’s Holiday Nap Dress drop is tomorrow (Wednesday!), Oct 20 at 12pm ET. Here’s a look at what’s coming and here’s why I like ‘em. Yes, of course, I set an alarm — I am dying for a velvet Akilah. I already have (and highly recommend) the navy tartan; it’s a perfect piece for holiday parties. If you’re shopping the drop, please click on this affiliate link just before! (Hill House)
READ: My friend Rachel Dodes profiled Succession’s Sarah Snook — aka the one-and-only Shiv— for this November cover. “While the Roy men are bloviating, Shiv looks on silently, registering disgust, affection, and amusement, sometimes all at once.” SMT, indeed. (Town & Country)
READ: In defense of the ponytail. (New York Times)
SHOP: Matt found himself the perfect pair of joggers (much sleeker than sweats). I was seriously so impressed when these arrived! Ideal WFH and/or school drop-off attire. (Vuori)
Please share your wallpaper tips in the comments below! Have a wonderful week, friends. I will see you back in your inboxes on Friday with a royal deep dive.