My 15 Seconds of Fame in House Beautiful Magazine

When I received a call from an editor at House Beautiful Magazine back in November I was driving home from an appointment and only answered my phone because I thought I must have left something at my client’s house. When the caller, Christine Pittel, said she wanted to interview me about painting my first nanosecond thought was  “oh, she must be looking for the OTHER Linda Holt“.  There actually is one and she lives just a few towns away from me and is a well known Artist. Although we have never met we have been confused for one another for the past 20 years. In the next nanosecond I heard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painting furniture and it was at this point I pulled off the road to try and collect myself and calm down my rapidly beating heart…OMG…House Beautiful, OMG…House Beautiful! House-Beautiful-Feb13-cover Many of you already know that I am a huge Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fan. My good friend Susan Siefer of MadPatter Art Design actually was the one who turned me on to it a couple years back. She was likely one of the very first around to check out and start using the paint. Now of course it seems like EVERYONE is using it.


Since I am basically lazy when it comes to painting furniture, I love the fact that you don’t have to sand or prep a piece before starting to paint. It’s instant gratification and you can have a fresh updated piece in a day…love that! Painted furniture is so “on trend” right now and I usually try and incorporate at least one painted piece into each of my projects.  My client’s love to have something unique and custom without spending a huge amount of money. As I recently shared in a previous post, I just painted two chairs with Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange for one of my clients.

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Anyway, I digress… Pittel asked me to name my favorite Annie Sloan paint color and to talk about a piece I used it on and why.  My pick?  Florence: one of Annie’s newest colors.

Annie Sloan Florence

Annie Sloan Florence

How funny that I picked this color even before I knew that Pantone’s Color of the Year was to be Emerald Green. Below is my actual  quote in the February House Beautiful feature on Color Painted Furniture. (click on photo to enlarge) HB quoteand here is the piece in mention; done with my painting partner Susan.

 If you would like to see other pieces Susan and I have painted that are currently for sale check out my Pinterest board here.

If you had told me 5 years ago when I was still working full time as a photographer and only dreaming of being an interior decorator that one day I would be quoted in House Beautiful  I would have said you were crazy. It’s been an exciting  journey and I have to give credit to a few teachers and mentors who made my quote possible: namely Maria Killam for her True Color Expert training Leatrice Eiseman for her Color Expert training classKate Smith for her friendship and advice, Susan Siefer, close friend and painting partner and most recently Tobi Fairley, my teacher and business mentor. They have all educated me, inspired me, and fueled my passion and love of Color and Design.  I thank you and love you all.

If you would like a custom painted piece of furniture in your home or decorating help, give me a call.



Does This Color Make My Room Look Big?

Last week while touring a client’s home she told me she painted her guest room Benjamin Moore Cape May Cobblestone because she was told it makes a room look bigger. When I got home I did a little research and the Benjamin Moore website does indeed say “This classic, elegant gray confers a sense of spaciousness that makes it ideal for small bedrooms and areas like hallways and mudrooms.”

Wow…wouldn’t it be great if there was a specific color that when painted on the walls would make the room magically look bigger? Personally, I’m not convinced that Cape May Cobblestone is the answer but if you want your room to look bigger here are three ways to create a more spacious look simply with paint.

1. Use light(er) colors over dark(er) colors. Creams, pastels, and light cool colors (blues and greens)  generally make a room look and feel bigger over dark warm colors. Light, cool colors have the effect of reflecting the light around whereas warm and darker colors tend to absorb the light making the room feel cozy but smaller.

light colored living room


The dark walls in the living room below create a cozy but seemingly smaller space than if it had been painted in a light or pastel color.

dark walls


2. Choose low contrast over high contrast. Consider painting your walls the same color as your furnishings; this will give the effect of the large furniture items virtually disappearing into the walls and will create an open feeling in the room.

Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley

Even dark colors when used in very low contrast can make a room appear larger. Notice how the trim is painted the same color as the walls keeping the contrast down making this seemingly very small room appear bigger than it actually is.



In comparison, high contrast colors act to break up a space, and can make the room look cluttered and smaller than it is.

Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald

Even though the room below is high contrast look how the wall color matches the biggest piece of furniture in the room, the sofa. Try if you will to imagine how much more chopped up and smaller the room would look if the sofa was yellow like the chair or orange like the ceiling.

high contrast den


3. Paint a horizontal stripe around the room.  Just like with clothing, horizontal stripes tend to trick the eye into thinking something is wider. A horizontal stripe, painted on one wall or all four, will carry your eye around the room, making it appear wider.

horizontal stripe


I’m guessing this room below looks as big as possible since it incorporates all three tips: light colors, low contrast with horizontal stripes.



As a  final note: be careful not to confuse making a room look and feel bigger with making a dark room look and feel brighter.  Maria Killam wrote a great blog post about this and you can read it here.

So how about you? Do you have a small room that you used a paint color or technique to appear  bigger?

If you need help with finding the perfect color, decorating, or home staging give me a call at 617-965-3342.


3 Tips To Prevent Paint Chip Addiction

As a Boston area color consultant, I see a lot of clients who are afflicted with paint chip addiction. Sadly, paint chip addiction is wide spread and it’s not a pretty sight. In fact, before I trained with Maria Killam and became a True Color Expert, I too was hooked on paint chips.

Recently I received a call to preform an intervention for a client who was tired of suffering. The poor woman;  like all addictions it started out innocent enough. She went to the paint store to collect a few paint chips for her family room.  She was drawn to all the pretty colors so she collected dozens of chips. Back home, she couldn’t stop thinking about all the other colors that she didn’t collect so she returned to the store and brought home even more. It was only a matter of a few Saturdays before she was hooked on chips and completely out of control. She collected dozens and dozens of chips in every color, value and intensity from multiple paint vendors. Before long, her family room floor became covered in paint chips.

colorful paint chips

paint chips

She taped dozens of tiny chips to the wall which quickly lead to the second phase of the addiction;  painting color samples on the wall.

paint samples

paint samples

Once multiple colors are on the wall the final and most serious symptoms of the addiction become present; confusion, indecision, and frustration. So this terrible addiction doesn’t happen to you here are three tips to follow when collecting paint chips.

#1. Go to the paint store armed with as many elements from your room as possible. Bring fabric samples, the sofa cushion, your bed spread, art work…the more you can bring, the easier it will be to eliminate colors that won’t work.

#2. Ask for help. The employees are usually very knowledgeable and are there to help. They may not find the perfect color for you but at least they will help you narrow down the thousands of choices to three or four.

#3. Just say no to paint chips. By hiring a professional color consultant (like myself), you completely eliminate the temptation of  paint chip addiction. As a color consultant I arrive armed with large color samples. I will determine your home’s undertones, I will look at color flow, I will ask lots of questions and guide you through the thousands of choices to just the right color for your home.

So if you or someone you know is suffering from paint chip addiction…be a friend and give them my number.

How about you? Are you addicted to paint chips?







LA Bound Courtesy of COLOURlovers

Tomorrow morning I fly from Boston to Los Angles to spend 4 days studying with international Color Guru Leatrice  Eiseman. Leatrice is a world renowned  color titan, the director of the Pantone Color Institute and one of the key people responsible for picking the much anticipated color of the year (Tangerine Tango for 2012).  It has been a dream of mine to attend Leatrice’s class; I own all 5 of her books and often look to her color pallets for inspiration in home interiors.

2 years ago I had the privilege of studying with another Color Expert, Maria Killam. Maria taught us how to choose color correctly by understanding and working with color undertones. I learned about “flow” and how colors should “speak” to one another. It truly changed my business over night and the knowledge I learned from Maria was invaluable. From what I understand, Leatrice’s class goes  more into the psychology of color and how color affects our mood and behavior.

The most exciting part of all this is that I actually won a full scholarship to attend the class. I entered a contest just before Christmas through a web site called COLOURlovers. If you haven’t heard of this site and you love color you MUST check it out. For the contest I  had to upload a color pallet that “spoke to me” and write an essay on how color has impacted my life. This is the pallet I choose along with the photo I took that was my inspiration.


COLOURLovers 1st Place Scholarship winner Linda Holt


I never imagined that this photo and corresponding  pallet would connect me to such an exciting opportunity and make a dream come true. The competition was fierce so I am shocked and humbled that I won. I’ll be signing off now for a week or so, but when I return I promise to share all my newly gained Color knowledge with you all.



If you would like  help choosing color, decorating or home staging contact me at 617-965-3342.

My Camper Mocks Me

When I took my training to become a True Color Expert, one of the very first things our teacher, Maria Killam, taught us are the three most important principles about color.

#1. Color is either LIGHT or DARK (also called value).

#2. Color is either WARM ( Red, Yellow, Orange) or COOL ( Blue, Green, lavender).

#3. Color is either CLEAN or DIRTY.

Maria pointed out that when it comes to choosing a color pallet, the latter is where most people go wrong; they mix a clean (bright) color with a dirty (muted) color.  Now to perfectly illustrate this situation, I need to back up a bit.

My husband and I are fortunate to own a beautiful piece of land in the White Mountains of  NH. When we first owned the land we tent camped. At first it was adventurous and kind of fun, but eventually it got to be too much work and even my out-doorsy husband decided  it was time to upgrade to a Camper. Now I know absolutely nothing about Campers. In fact, I had never even been inside a Camper until we started looking for one. To sum up Camper Interior Design, let me just say they are at least 20 years behind the times. Cabinetry is Oak, carpets are Blue or Green and they all have wallpaper. I finally decided to just “get over it” and left the entire Camper purchase up to my husband; after all, anything would be better than another Summer sleeping in a tent. He was so excited when he finally located the make, model and year at the price he wanted to pay.

Now here is where the Clean/Dirty part comes in. Here is the inside of our new (2007) Camper.The sofa is a dirty Olive Green/cream. The fabric on the funky window treatments are also dirty Olive Green, but the wall paper boarder which goes around the ENTIRE Camper is a screaming bright CLEAN Lime Green!



"Clean" wallpaper boarder, "Dirty" fabric

Here is a close up to show exactly what I am talking about. See how the wallpaper boarder is just not working with the more muddy or dirty fabric? They actually seem to fight with one another.



The more time I spend inside the Camper, the more it bothers me. Over the 4th of July holiday the Camper actually started to mock me. That clean wallpaper boarder taunt me and sang, “Nah, Nah…Nah, Nah, Nah!

Can you relate to  my pain?   Me…a certified True Color Expert…enduring the taunts of a wallpaper boarder. For those of you who say, “just take it down” I will share with you what I recently learned. Unlike in a home where design changes can increase the value, any changes made to a Camper DECREASE the value. Since we plan to build a small vacation home on the land and one day sell the Camper, the boarder stays. In the meantime, cream colored slip covers will be my very  next purchase.  Oh, BTW, I have no idea what to say about those funky window treatments.


If your house has a clean dirty fight going on and you would help making peace, give me a call…Camper Designers are you listening?









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