Monday, January 18

Luxuriously simple

My husband and I had a wonderful time in Florida last week. I must say, there are a couple things about a vacation that I find really luxurious: (1) not having to cook and (2) not having to do laundry. Now I'm back at home, where my job as a wife and mom requires a great deal of (1) having to cook and (2) having to do laundry. Oh, well.

We stayed at a very nice hotel called The Brazilian Court. I would show you some photos if I had remembered to take my camera. My husband did snap this photo of the hotel courtyard with his phone:

I found myself looking at our hotel room with analytical eyes, trying to figure out what made it so luxurious, so relaxing, so soothing. I think the most important factor is one that I hate to admit: the absence of clutter. I'm going to be brutally honest here and say that a certain amount of clutter doesn't really bother me. That's probably the #1 thing my husband would change about me if he could. Clutter drives him crazy. Sure, I like things to be clutter-free, but I have a pretty high tolerance for it. After spending several days in such a serene space, I'm thinking that I need to move toward my husband's position on clutter. Sigh.

Another thing I noticed, though, is a bit easier to implement. The linens. Oh, the luxury of beautiful, clean, sweet-smelling sheets and towels. Yummy. Now this is something I can do without much trouble. I can wash my sheets often. Check. I can tuck a bit of lavender or a nice sachet into the linen closet. Check. And I can correct a problem in our bathroom: the towels.

Last summer, I spent some time working in our bathroom, and I succumbed to the siren song of colored towels. I found some pretty towels that were just the right color to complement the new bedding I had just made, and I couldn't resist. They looked so beautiful and lush when I hung them on the racks. Well, look at them now:

See those cream-colored smudges? That's not the light. You'll find that on all my colored towels. What's the deal? Do we exude bleach from our pores? Do I not do a good job of rinsing the shower after cleaning it? I don't know the answer, but I do know that all my towels are irreparably discolored.

So I'm going to take a lesson from our hotel and go back to snow-white linens. For years, all I bought were white towels. The newest and freshest would go in our master bathroom and guest bath. Once they were a little worn they'd go in the kids' bathrooms. When they were more worn they'd become dog towels. And once they were threadbare, I'd cut them up into rags.

Sometimes I added a monogram to the hand towels, like these in my guest bath:

Our hotel experience has prompted me to go back to that system. Big, fluffy white towels are luxurious and simple. And if bleach gets on them, it won't matter at all.


  1. I've been thinking of doing the SAME thing! Just moved, so just bought all new towels and accessories, but luckily I already bought half of the towels white, the other grey, but from now on, will only purchase the white ones! They look so much nicer!

  2. I am with you. White is now the way to go for our house too! My colored towels all have bleach marks too! Big white clean and fluffy towel from now on! Thanks for reminding me.

  3. Girlfriend we are singing the same song. I finally made a switch to all white bath sizse towels and I'm loving it. They always look good. I wasted a lot of dollars on color coordinated towels that looked icky after several washings. I think I own only a few colored hand towels now and that's all.

    I have the same system for towels as they age. :)

  4. So I bought white towels thinking I could just bleach son got red stuff on them that won't come out. Hmmmm. Can't win either way I guess. So the white spots on your colored you or your kids use any kind of face creams with peroxide? My daughter ruined a few of my light blue towels by not washing her hands with soap, just rinsing them and then drying them on the towel. Just a thought. :)

  5. I am such a linen snob. But it is back to white for me as well. They just last longer and look fresh longer.

  6. I changed all the towels in my kids' bathrooms because the creams and treatments they use on their faces bleached all of my colored towels. White is a classic and is always in style!

  7. I love white fluffy towels! Not that I have them, but I love them! And you and I kind of think the same about clutter...I have pretty high tolerance for it if I'm the one who made the clutter. My husband HATES it, too, like yours does.

    Now, send me to someone else's house and I have to hold myself back from trying to clean up their piles! I'm so weird! : )

  8. It's been so long since I've been in a nice hotel without children...I forgot about the luxury of fluffy, clean white towels....aaaaah. And I will ditto you on the clutter thing. After the kids, I think I've built up some sort of forcefield defense system. Sometimes I don't even notice it anymore!

  9. I also have a high tolerance for clutter, and I'm not proud of it! Paper, especially, just piles up. I am trying to get better about getting it under control. I have been kind of brutal about throwing out kids' school work & such...

    I buy white wash cloths in bulk at Costco. I have the same system as you... I use the nice ones in our bath. Once they are sort of grungy, they go to the kids, then my husband's gym bag, then become rags.


  10. I love white towels and sheets too. It makes things much more simple to have the same color for throughout the house, and you feel like they are really clean if you bleach them.

    My favorite white towels are from Sam's...they are very fluffy!


    I can't stand it. I thought it was from me drying my face on them after I wash it.. who knows.


  12. We switched to white towels a couple years ago, and I don't think I could go back now! So simple & so pretty! Glad you enjoyed your time away!

  13. Hi Richella,
    I'm with you on that! White towels are the easiest in the long run, and if you buy good ones they can be very luxurious. It's almost time for me to replace all mine - but I can't afford to buy good ones right now! So off to Ross I go...
    I'm so happy to have found your blog through DIY day - very glad to have met you! I'm adding you to my favorites and have become a follower.
    Have a wonderful week. I hope you can stop by sometime.
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  14. I'll tell you what sounds luxurious: a getaway with husband to a hotel sans kids!

    So glad you got a break from the laundry and the meal prep and the clutter... I am now feeling very wistful.

    Oh and after the Nester did her bit on 10 Minutes to a Room You'll Love and she talked about white towels in the bathroom, I sure did go out and get some the next day. : ) The power of suggestion!

  15. Richella it sounds like you had a wonderful time!

    Thank you for your kind words on my new healthy life. I do appreciate it. I really feel grateful and blessed these days.

    Have a fantastic week. ~Melissa :)

  16. I've never had a problem with discoloration on my towels. I currently use medium green towels in my bathroom for a few reasons.
    a) I like green, it makes me happy.
    b) I live in an apartment so white walls and white towels gets mind numbingly boring.
    c) I work in a hotel on weekends and I've seen what makeup does to white towels and that sometimes bleaching them won't even get the mascara out.
    d) I know that what tends to bleach my towels is my face creams so I have a ratty hand towel that I use to dry my hands after I do anything with my face. The towels on the bar only get used after I shower.

  17. I'm with ya girl! I just changed all my towels to white towels as well. Big fluffy white towels that were on sale at Khols for 5.00. Luxury on the cheap! White sheets and white towels are the way to go. Next is a duvet cover for my comforter. Its a nice comforter but alas the cat has claws. Sigh.

  18. Oh yes, anytime I can get a break from cooking is a great time!

    I don't own one white fluffy towel but they always looks so pretty to me. I should invest in a few.


  19. I thought I was looking at a picture of my towels! Seriously, same color, with same discolorations. Ours come from face wash. If you use Proactive or Biore ice something or another that's the culprit. I believe both contain benzol peroxide. I'm sure I spelled that wrong, but I'm sure you understand.

    White is the way to go, and love the monograms! Very cute!

  20. Your vacations sounds like such a nice break! There is nothing better than fluffy white towels (okay, maybe not having to cook or do laundry :)It's amazing how something so simple can freshen a bathroom immediately.

  21. That's so funny! I had the same problem with ALL of my towels too! Then I had a big "duh" moment when I realized it's because I use benzoyl peroxide on my face. Oops! Now I just use old towels to dry my face and save the pretty ones for hand drying only. =)

  22. Mine was caused by Proactive and Clearasel products. Now I use white towels for my face.

  23. They do have colored towels now that you can use bleach on. I don't know the details, but I've seen them in the stores. Just an FYI...


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