Sometimes choosing a color palette is no big deal. You simply match a color from an already existing item such as your drapes, rug or art work and snap….it’s done. Sometimes though, choosing color is not so easy. You’ve build a new home or added on or you just want a whole new look. Starting from scratch is when choosing a color palette can become more challenging. Many homeowners simply don’t know where to begin.
In my guest post this week for New England Home I share my favorite way to gather a little color inspiration along with designer rooms that used those colors. I hope you pop on over and take a look.
Seems like everyone has a different opinion about the best paint color for a small room. Like I wrote about in this post here, there really is no magic color that will make your small room bigger. However, I was quite amused yesterday when I opened the brand new issue of House Beautiful Magazine. Look what I saw on page 89.
July/August House Beautiful magazine
Look at those two quotes; even the designers disagree! Well I will tell you that I have lived in homes with small rooms. I have painted them light and I have painted them dark. Based on my experience this is what I have learned. It really doesn’t matter what color you paint your small room; light or dark it is still going to be small. You just need to decide based on the usage of the room if it would function and feel best as a small light room or a small dark room. It’s really that simple. A small light room will bounce the light around and feel more airy, while a small dark room will feel more cozy and cocoon like.
I personally like to paint small rooms a lighter color. I have tendencies toward claustrophobia and a small dark room is just not comfortable for me. The one exception is a powder room. I LOVE a dark jewel box like powder room. After all, you are only in it for a few minutes so why not make it feel cozy and/or dramatic.
Whether you opt for light or dark walls the final word iscontrast. The lower the contrast between the wall color, furniture, molding and the ceiling, the less chopped up the room will feel…and hence the bigger the room will feel.
So there you go. Keep the contrast low and your small light room or small dark room will FEEL as spacious as possible.
Low contrast light room
Low contrast dark room.
Hope that helps clear up some confusion. What’s your preference; light or dark small rooms?
Day 2 of my recent trip to Kravet Blogfest began with a private tour for all the bloggers of the famed Kips Bay Show house. I’m not going to write about the rooms because there have already been dozens of blogs and articles written about the house, the designers and the decor. Instead, I would like to share what I saw as the top 3 trends.
1. Lacquered walls, ceilings and furniture. Lacquered furniture has been popular for awhile now but the show house featured several rooms with lacquered walls and ceilings. Many of the colors were deep jewel tones and although beautiful, a note of caution; best to use a professional if you want this look in your own home. This is definitely not a D.I.Y. painting project.
The dining room had lacquered dark teal walls with a gold leafed ceiling.
Dining Room photo via A.D.
I loved this bathroom with turquoise lacquered walls, moldings and vanity. It felt like being inside a jewelry box. I also loved the giant round gold mirror that took up the entire wall.
Turquoise lacquered bathroom A.D. photo
This purple lacquered ceiling was certainly the focal point of this room.
2. Large scale art. Almost every room featured LARGE scale art work. I especially liked the triptych photographs of pond reflections that was hanging in the second floor hallway. Large scaled photography is certainly something you can create for your own home as long as you have a decent digital camera (10-12 megapixels). I also found several online sources that will make large canvas sized prints from your images that won’t break the bank. One that I just recently looked into for myself is Modern Digital Canvas.
The “lounge suite” created by Louis Garcia-Maldonado had two of my favorite pieces; a large photo of Kate Moss
and this wall sized painting of a woman floating in a pool.
3. Wallpaper. If the show house walls weren’t lacquered they were wallpapered. Personally, I have very mixed feelings about wallpaper. The house I grew up in had wallpaper in every room so I have some good memories of it, but I have also spent countless hours removing it from 2 different houses we’ve owned. I do appreciate the look though, especially for powder rooms, bed rooms and entrance ways. I found “La Petite Writing Room” so peaceful and soothing. Can’t you just imagine curled up in that chair writing lovely notes to all your lovely friends?
The “Modern Family Room” had very graphic black and white wallpaper along with black lacquered trim and moldings as well as a light purple lacquered ceiling.
The sitting room below incorporated all three trends; large scale art, gold lacquered ceiling and wallpaper.
My favorite wallpaper in the show house also made the biggest statement. It is a new Fornasetti design of fish from Cole and Son. Obviously this would not be for everyone and I would probably tire of it in a year or two but I thought it was so fun in this sitting room.
here is a close up of the fish…so detailed.
After the show house tour it was off to the Hearst building and an HGTV sponsored lunch. The inspiration and fun just kept on coming!
What’s your favorite trend from Kips Bay? Do you have any of them in your house?
This was my third year attending Brimfield and taking part in the official VIP tent. Organized by the amazing team of Gretchen Aubuchon and Shane Inman the VIP tent was sponsored by Benjamin Moore, Robert Allen and Ru La La. The tent serves as a place where attendees can relax and regroup while antique and vintage shopping. Every year the tent and the event itself gets better and better. This year I think Shane and Gretchen hit it out of the park.
Shane built and designed the tent and it is such great inspiration for an outdoor event you might host this Summer.
Brimfield VIP tent
I love how he made the light fixtures out of plain rope and then painted them in shades of coral. Here is a photo of how they looked under construction.
VIP tent lighting by Shane Inman
Shane also made paper hydrangea flowers for the tables which I just love! Paper flowers are so on trend right right now and surprisingly easy to make. Here is a YouTube video I found with easy step by step instructions so you can try it too.
Paper flowers by Shane Inman
My absolute favorite thing was the bar. Every bottle lining the bar was colored with one of the new Williamsburg colors by Benjamin Moore. 144 colors…144 bottles.
Williamsburg color collection bottles by Shane Inman
and an even better part of the bar was Bartender extraordinaire Warren Bobrow.
I mean what isn’t there to love about cocktails starting at 9am! Warren’s cocktails were so special they involved the use of eye droppers and flaming herbs…who knew? Of course the only down side is that indulging so early in the day could make for some risky purchasing choices; like this set of horn chairs.
or this life sized statue of Bruce Lee.
No, I didn’t buy either of those. Instead, I bought 2 pair of vintage earrings and this beautiful purple glass bottle.
Good choice don’t you think?
Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to post a comment on my last post about the newest Benjamin Moore color collection if you would like to be entered to win a free Williamsburg fan deck. I will pick a winner on Monday.
Hello again! I am finally back to my computer after almost two weeks of design and blogging related travel. I have so much design and color info to share with you from both Brimfield and Blogfest. I will start with Brimfield and the big color announcement made by Benjamin Moore.
Drum roll please….Benjamin Moore has released a whole new line of paint colors called the Williamsburg Collection.According to Benjamin Moore this new palette is “historic American colors derived from classic American design. Based on original pigments developed more than 250 years ago, Colonial Williamsburg’s curators have re-created this rich, authentic palette.”
The 144 new colors are absolutely beautiful and timeless. Another perk is that since all the colors have similar saturation the colors are meant to blend seamlessly with one another. In other words, you can mix and match these colors in your home and not worry about anything clashing. Of course you still need to get the undertones right so you still may want to hire me!
I am so excited about these new colors and they came at a perfect time as I get ready to repaint to the entire “core” of our house. I have my eye on several of the soft neutrals and plan to paint up sample boards soon. I’ll let you know what I pick.
I also just happen to have an additional Williamsburg fan deck to give away. If you would like to have it simply comment on this post and I will choose a winner next Monday.
What do you think of these new historic colors and do you think you would try them out?
Last week I attended Design Camp Seattle, put on by celebrity designers Lori Dennis and Kelly Ellis. The line up of speakers was amazing and I came away both inspired and informed. The opening speaker in Seattle was Bill Indursky, founder of the online shopping site V& M. Bill spoke on trends and as a color consultant I was interested in hearing what he had to say about Color.
Bill Indursky speaking on Trends
Hang on to your paint brush because according to Indursky, the Gray trend is over and Beige is back… shocking I know! Seems like just yesterday (wait…it was yesterday) all we saw were shades of Gray. Now it’s all about Beige and Brown. I might have doubted this fact except when we walked into the Seattle Design Center where the Camp was held every single show room had nothing but Beige on Beige with dark brown wood furniture. In fact, there was not a Gray sofa or Gray wall in sight.
Bill explained the trend back to Beige is partly due to the popularity of the raw wood/industrial/rustic trend but bottom line is that people want to feel safe. Beige represents stability, durability, and plays off one of the other hot trends which is antiquity. Brown represents security and gives people the feeling of being connected to the Earth, organic and grounded. Seems like good qualities to have in our home considering all the stressful things that have been happening in the US lately.
The rule of thumb is that trends usually last for about 10 years. The Gray trend is only about 4 years old so if Beige is indeed the new neutral it will be interesting to see what happens to Gray.
Nancy Braithwaite Designs
So there you have it. Beige (and Brown) is back…Gray is SO 2012.
Oh, and Bill told us he always dresses in one of the major trends when he presents. His outfit is inspired by “The Ancients”. Greek, Roman, and Egyptian inspired elements are all trending right now both in interiors and in fashion.
What do you think about Gray vs. Beige? Do you think the Gray trend is over?
If you would like help deciding what neutral is best for your home give me a call.
I recently worked with a wonderful client who’s family room that was in some serious need of updating. She had originality decorated it in the 1990’s and everything was right on trend back then; the sponge painted walls, the elaborate (and very expensive) custom window treatments, and the 90’s color pallet. Since her BEFORE and AFTER photos were so dramatic she was gracious enough to give me permission to share her family room transformation with my readers.
This is how her family room looked when I first arrived to give her some help. (Click photo to enlarge)
Family Room Before
Her goal for her new room was to have a very light and bright, coastal inspired family room. Following that vision she had recently purchased two White and Navy checked chairs and a neutral colored sofa as her foundation pieces for the room.
Two new checked chairs
One of the biggest design challenges of the room is that it has peaked angled walls and a very tall slanted ceiling. The current way it was painted with dark walls and a bright white ceiling accented the rooms irregular shape and gave the appearance of a chopped up room. It was certainly not the calm and restful space my client envisioned.
tall angled ceiling
When you have a room like this with slanted ceilings and angled walls there are several ways to paint it as I wrote about HERE. Since my client’s number one goal was to “lighten and brighten” up her space, we wrapped the entire room (walls and ceiling) in the same soft neutral.
By painting the whole room in one light color the room now feels more calming and connected. I also had her flip the furniture so that the sofa was now in the bay window facing the new wall mounted TV and the 2 chairs were at the other end of the room for reading and conversation.
The room now feels like one continuous space and the many angles become much less noticeable. Being in the room is now much more calming and restful.
My client is still working on accessorizing and plans to purchase art work but we are both so happy with how it turned out.
Photographers trick. I pulled the two club chairs up for the photo
Pretty dramatic transformation don’t you agree?
If you would like help choosing color or updating a room in your home, give me a call.