NATURE needs very little embellishment..
it has a quiet elegance all its own
decorating your home for the coming season can be as easy
as bringing a little nature to your table

There are so many natural Fall elements to choose from...
the leaves, the pumpkins and gourds, pinecones
fall florals, berries and fruit..
and a favorite of mine...




So fortunate to have Jennifer Riner of Zillow as a guest blogger today.  Zillow is a site Mr. B and I find ourselves on often. (Totally unsolicited by the way). We love to check out the real estate in areas we think might be fun places to live... yes we are guilty of the 'lookee loos'.  Mr. B fantasizes about retiring on a beach or a lake someday so he loves to look at the 'possibilities'.  I like to peruse Zillow Digs for design ideas.  So being fans already, we jumped at the chance to have them on a guest post today.    

The 10 Best Paint Colors for Kitchens
By Jennifer Riner of Zillow

Altering kitchen paint colors can be intimidating, especially when homeowners are accustomed to bland, builder-grade palettes. However, incorporating fresh flair in kitchens is easy, especially when applying adventurous palettes in small amounts.

Choose from the following 10 colors to create well-designed, inspiring culinary spaces.

1. Timeless Gray

Source: Michelle Workman
Complement marble countertops with soft gray tones on walls and cabinets. Marble stone grains provide dark contrast against similar, lighter hues. Unlike other pale neutrals, gray color schemes appear clean without feeling cold.

2. Bright White
Source: Lukas Machnik

Nothing says sterile quite like all-white kitchens. While not everyone’s taste, bleached kitchens featuring pops of colors maintain some vibrant interest. Fresh flowers, brightly-colored stand mixers and brass hardware pieces appear more vivid against stark backdrops.

3. Charcoal

Charcoal is a prime accent color for large fixtures in the kitchen, such as lower cabinets and island bases. Incorporating darker hues on lower levels helps disguise drips, dust and grime accumulating from foot traffic and high-use kitchens. Avoid overusing darker hues as they tend to block out natural light, which is a highly-desired feature in kitchens.

4. Deep Black

Source: 24 Design Construction
While not appropriate for every space, black accents are sleek and versatile options for larger spaces. Vast kitchens typically have ample lighting to contrast dark shades, but black paint in smaller spaces tends to absorb the already limited lighting. Limit dark hues to cabinets, accent walls or countertops – but not all at once.

5. Greige
A new spin on classic beige is “greige,” incorporating gray undertones rather than yellow. The latest mixture yields warm, yet contemporary, atmospheres without looking generic.

6. Dark Navy
Source: Zillow

Navy is a go-to color for nautical or Cape Cod style interiors, and the kitchen is not off-limits. Consider navy cabinets with marble or quartz countertops for a sophisticated, Hamptons-style in any home.

7. Kelly Green
Fashionable, primary green looks great when paired with butcher block countertops. Keep in mind that strong colors are best balanced with neutrals. Constrain the number of loud tones on large fa├žades, adhering to one or two options for walls and cabinets.

8. Soft Yellow
For cottage-cozy appeal, incorporate muted yellow tones via kitchen walls and cupboards. The key to finding the perfect yellow for varying spaces is testing shades throughout the day. Sometimes, darker rooms require brighter tones that appear gaudy in sun-filled spaces. Paint small patches and photograph in various weather changes to determine suitability.

9.  Bold Red

Source: Zillow

Some individuals shy away from using red paint and choose to incorporate the color using fabrics and accessories. Many fear the aggressiveness red often denotes if overdone. On the contrary, red accents radiate energy. As some designers proclaim, stimulating surroundings are imperative, especially in the heart of the home.

10. Burnt Orange

Source: Gustave Carlson Design
Contemporary interiors, especially in loft-settings, appear handsome when paired with unique colors. Burnt orange combined with exposed wood beams creates funky, industrial ambiances for kitchens.

Kitchen color schemes largely reflect individual homeowners’ preference.  Provisional to location, sun exposure and size, painting surfaces bright colors instead of neutral palettes can be beneficial even if it’s outside of homeowners’ natural tendencies. Regardless of personal preference, keep buyers searching for homes in mind when updating kitchens for resale.




Mr B and I were talking about our Summer.  Actually he said "What Summer?" - and it's true
it has completely escaped us this year...
It started with the slab leaks (2 of them)
waaaaay back in November of 2013.
With the flooring already torn up, the second one did little damage
more inconvenience than anything
but it delayed us so completely that the architect had to make revisions to the plans...
new laws...
and now the contractor is delayed because he had to take another job in the interim...

Then in June in the middle of doing a wedding for the most darling couple (can't wait to see the photos)
I ended up in the hospital with blood clot
kinda scary...
Mr. B. won't let me out of his sight - (like if he can see me, then nothing bad can happen...adorable)
but in all seriousness recovery is taking a lot longer than I ever realized...

Then my dear, sweet, 97 year old mother passed away
and the funeral will officially end our Summer.

If I can quote Mr. B again, "I don't ever want to repeat this Summer!"

On a good note...
My son graduated college, AND started a new fabulous job in the Bay area.
So proud of him!

I needed a distraction, so I
hobbled through Rogers Gardens Halloween display.

RG can pick up my spirits any time of the year, 
but seeing their Halloween display is one of my favorites.  
Don't expect to see stuff lined up on shelves like Target or Michaels -
at Rogers Gardens, Halloween retail is theater.
[I took way too many photographs...
so, I'm breaking them up into two posts ]


There is always a theme - this year it is "Hauntingly Beautiful"
It was full of gold damask draperies and accents
and lots of skulls... so fun! 

 the chandeliers and spot lighting set everything aglow
( I love skellies and skulls at Halloween!)
It's impossible to see everything in one trip.

My dress form, Matilda, needs some of these...

Super cute paper medallions.  Matilda would love them!

The wall of transforming photographs - where they go from normal to creepy - was pretty cool  
especially if you walk from left to right in front of them and watch them all turn into monsters...
the whole wall of them....
(wanted to take the clock home, but didn't think I could sneak it out in my purse..)

These would look adorable on the front porch, lighted at night. 

Folk artist Vergie Lightfoot, creates these cute creepy pumpkins with the realistic eyes....
 but at this boutique, it was the skellies and skulls that ruled
softly lit by dozens of chandeliers
glittering pumpkins, crystal cobwebs, and even sparkling rats...

Gotta get me some of those glasses!

Halloween will be chaos at my house this year.
Inside will be a construction zone.
so the plan is to just decorate the front door, patio and walkway.

I have 3 new skellies still tucked in their boxes that I'd love to use somewhere
plus the cutie I found at RG...(show you my treasure in the next post)
stay tuned for more photos....

I still want to find a little 2-3 foot articulated skeleton so I can make this wreath...
I think I need it for my door..

or maybe just a skull and a few bones will do?


Would you be able to help me by giving me ideas of colors to paint the exterior of my house? I am a single mom and I started  to save money to paint it. When I bought it in 2011 I knew it would need to be painted  soon. 

Thank you very much.
Ximena Fernandez
Bend, Oregon

I think we need to make a good contrast color statement on this home, because the beige isn't doing a thing for it, right now.  Its a little to 'fleshy' looking.  I'd go with a grayed down color - or a gray - and provide plenty of contrast with fresh white trim which will brighten and lift your home - especially around the windows - reflecting a little more light inside.  Oregon - famous for its overcast and rainy days - needs a little more contrast in color to keep from looking bland.   Bring in a black or near black color for accents if you have them - and add a bold bright door.  Who can have the blues with a bright colored door?   Here are some color suggestions:  (I generally recommend Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams - but if you can't find them in your location most hardware stores can color match them.)

Try: Benjamin Moore Smoke Embers

Try: Benjamin Moore - Amherst Gray

Try: Benjamin Moore, Chelsea Gray

In the beige tones - make sure there is a healthy helping of gray so that it doesn't turn fleshy looking, and maintains that calm, soothing, sophistication.
Try:  Benjamin Moore, Hampshire Gray
(an olive green/gray)
Benjamin Moore, Bennington Gray
with Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy shutters.

Benjamin Moore, Copley Gray with
Benjamin Moore, Sea Pearl trim

Benjamin Moore, Midnight Oil with
Sherwin Williams, Dover White trim.

Now pick a door color.  One that will be cheerful even on a Pacific Northwest gray day!

Good luck!!


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