Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Living Room


The living room is done! This was a very quick turn around for a "show house."  Typically, when I participated in the Tulsa Designer Showcase, or the Parade of Homes we toured or had the floorplans for the home several months before the Showcase was to open. We had many weeks to work on the home. In this case, we only had a few short weeks to select a room, make a plan and pull it all together. 



The finishing touches are complete and the home is ready to tour. The color scheme I chose is a classic blue & white with personalized touches for the DC area.


As a reminder...

Here is a before picture, the room has beautiful features, but it was a cavernous space! 

Be sure to check out the other Metamorphosis Monday posts!  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Plan

The plan for the space is a monochromatic, blue and white plan. The fabric, below, provides a refreshing bit of punctuation in the room.

3 Park Tribal Suzani
I visualize this space as a place for cocktails and conversation before dinner or after the theater.
It is traditional with some modern touches.

Danda, John Robshaw

Chairs covered in a John Robshaw fabric anchor one side of the space.
More to come, later!



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Home of Distinction




Pardon my poor photography, but I am so excited I couldn't wait to get the great pictures!



I am very pleased to be participating in this tour benefiting the Tourette Association! I am staging the living room. My space is the living room, a very spacious room with beautiful architectural details and finishes. The photo only hints at the beauty of this space. 

Next post: the plan!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Paint Colors, Your Mileage May Vary, Part the Middle, sort of

First, some apologies are in order. These pictures are terrible. The good news is that I do have a reason for not getting better ones.


We did get the painting done and the drapes are up. 


The desk got a bit of a clearing, too.  



We started with a faux Tuscan plaster finish on the walls. It was great, in its day. But the 90's are over, way over,and it had to change.The cabinets are cherry with a chocolate glaze and the countertops are Dakota Mahogany granite. As an aside, the cabinet finish choice was a tug of war battle of the sexes compromise, hubs wanted stained wood. I wanted painted cabinets with a glaze finish and giallo granite. Le *sigh* at least I got the glaze! We compromised on a stained wood with a glaze. Someday, soon, I will tell you all about the kitchen remodel.

I am thinking that this compromise was a little lopsided!

As you can see there is a lot of red happening here. 




Which is why the OC-140 which looked like a soft grey with some green undertones, in online pictures, and especially next to the tiles looked like so much pistachio green on the walls. So it was back to the paint deck. We tried out three additional colors, Grant Beige, HC-83, Beacon Gray and November Skies.




Beacon Gray
The Beacon Gray was a bit pale and cool for the look I wanted.
November Skies

The November Skies was the right intensity, but bluer than I wanted.

Grant Beige


Grant Beige had enough green undertone to work with the warm enough and neutral enough to work with the cabinets and countertops. 

I have an awesome project coming up for next post !






Saturday, June 27, 2015

Paint Colors – Your mileage May Vary

Seattle House via Home Bunch
One of the reasons designers are reluctant to name the paint colors in their space is that it will look different in yours. Your space is different. Your accessories are different. Your fabric is different. Your site is different. Your light is different. The colors and plans for each project are developed as part of a contiguous whole.
Before anything is even put to paper consideration is given to how the space is used. Do you gather around the island to eat? Do you need access to cooking.nytimes.com for recipes? Do you have young children? Teenagers? No children? Empty nesters who host large family gatherings? Do you entertain casually or formally? Many, many questions are asked so that the space can work for you.
After all this, the design plan is developed. After the roughouts, aka the bubble drawings, are done, the plan is put to paper or computer, today. After the design is finalized, the floorplan layout is drawn, the reflective ceiling plan is drawn, etc. etc., the color scheme is developed. The big ticket items, usually the floors,  are decided first. These are coordinated with the cabinets or other case goods.
So you see, there are many variables. Even if you are changing only colors, with no other planned changes, the process is more complex than repeating a gorgeous color from a space you've seen.

Let's say you have cherry cabinets and have seen a gorgeous space with white cabinets and Benjamin Moore OC-140, Morning Dew on the walls. Which gives the look of one of the trendy new grays you have seen. 

You are in love. 
But,...

You have a member of the family, ahem husbands you know who you are, who insists the cabinets are stained. 

Trust me on this one, pairing OC-140 with Cherry Cabinets will look like so much Pistachio green ice cream thrown up on the walls, especially in strong sunlight. Unless you plan on a complete redo, that is, change the back splash, change the granite, paint or replace the cabinets, and change the flooring, it will not match your vision of that picture. 

Add in the complications of your space’s lighting, both artificial and natural, which is determined in part by the orientation of your house, i. e., darker northern light or full bake west sun, and you can have a serious headache. All this when all you wanted was to update your paint to the newest trendy grays!

What do I recommend? A neutral such as Benjamin Moore Greenbrier Beige, HC-83. This is a neutral which softens the edges of the super cherry cabinets, yet gives an updated look.
How do I know? Well, trust me, I know. Thing is, we know what to do to correct the error before the day is done. Next week, we may have some pictures of the story.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Benjamin Moore Whites


Benjamin Moore White Chocolate Trim
from Homebunch
I've never been a huge fan of white. Most times I need a deeper hue to feel at home in a room, something like the Pashmina, AF-100, on the ceiling. Lately I have been searching for whites that have some warmth, but are not too yellow, brown or green or thin feeling. The builder white which was used in this house has a thin feeling to it. Benjamin Moore's White Chocolate, what a great name!, is a bit too green for my tastes. Love it in pics, not a fan of it on the chip. 
 
Home of Lindsey Bierman
Southern Living
Phoebe Howard Designer


I have used Benjamin Moore Ivory White, 925, before. Though I used it largely for trim. It is very white, though not as stark as Atrium white.

Lynda Reeves,
Canadian House and Home
Benjamin Moore White Down
Philip Mitchell Design
from TheWriterandResidence
White Down, 970
Dream House Studios
from Homebunch
Benjamin Moore White Sand 964
White Sand and its paint strip companion Maritime White are two other beautiful warm whites.


Maritime White
Benjamin Moore 963
Old Country House
Lee Pruitt
Memphis Magazine
Maritime White, 963, Walls
Bennington Gray, HC-82, Cabinets
Benjamin Moore Temporal Spirit, 965 on the walls
Monmouth Beach House
Ivee Fromkin
Another paint strip companion, Temporal Spirit, 965 is also stunning. In fact, that entire paint strip has just the right colors. Though Seapearl, 961, may be just a bit too green.
Ami McKay
Dove Wing, 960, via Decorpad
Duffy Design Group
Benjamin Moore Seapearl, 961
via Decorpad

Maybe I should have named this post the 960 paint strip! 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Everything I Know About Color I Learned from Watching Black & White Movies

Jane Greer and William Holden
Out of the Past
via The Film Stage

Black and White Movies made great use of contrast to create a sense of tension or drama in a scene. Dark played against light draw the eye to the action in or mood of the scene. Notice how your eye focuses on the faces above, you find yourself wondering, what is going to happen next?



Last Year at Marienbad via linstudio

Of course, painting a room in the same colors as the movie sets is not something you'd want. This set used the complementary colors of purple and yellow to produce depth, the colors produce a scene which appears to painted black and white, and mimick the look of the moulding. Shading of various shades of purple fools the eye into believing there is there is expensive moulding on the walls. Thus creating a sense of luxury for the room and allowing the white gown worn by the star to be perceived as white on screen, without disappearing against the walls, as would have happened had the walls actually been painted white.

The Colors in the Room, Last Year at Marienbad via The Criterion Collection


As contrast was used to create tension and drama in Film Noir movies, it can be used to draw the eye to the focal point of a room in your home, though in better colors. Occasionally, I use software to remove the color from a room. Reduced to the grayscale, the eye sees only the contrasts in the room.

Jane Lockhart, via Homebunch
Kendall Charcoal HC-166

Jane Lockhart, via Homebunch
Grayscale

The focal points are highlighted, the table, the plates on the wall and some features, the chandelier, for example, fade into the background. How different would this have looked had the table been all white with white chairs? 



Benjamin Moore, Caponata AF 650 on walls
Trim & Ceiling Chantilly Lace, OC-65
Guess what happens here? Yes, there is a lot of contrast, which is still visible in gray scale, but...
Benjamin Moore, Grayscale
The chartreuse book covers disappear. In grayscale, all of the books being of similar intensity look to be the same color.



Joanne Smith Design,
from Home and Garden Design Ideas



The island, lights and stools become one block of dark color, nearly the same intensity. The colorful greenery near the sink still has some contrast to the white cabinets, but there is little else to draw your eye away to the stove area. Though the first picture is refreshing and calm, the second, in grayscale, is loaded with drama.

Real Simple, via Inspired Hue


This one should come as no surprise. The blue-green and the gray are the same intensity. With no color, the white dishes barely stand out! However, this was a surprise:
via Inspired Hue

The door just doesn't stand out as much as it does in color! 


Mr. Blandings Dream Home, via CaryGrant.net

The door on Mr. Blandings house stands out as much or more! 
Candice Olson, Candice Tells All
Originally found on Buffalo Real Estate News

Candice Olson creates a fabulous room at once calm and full of drama. The fireplace stands out because of the use of high contrast with the book shelves, mirror, and lamps.


Bottom line is, to create a focal point consider contrast as much as color.  Choose paints with varying intensities. Say, a paint from the top of the strip for the trim, two shades darker for the rest of the room, and one from the bottom for an accent wall. Stand back and take a look, is there drama? If so, focal point done.