12/18/14

IT STARTS WITH COLOR

 CASUAL LIVING
there is an art to it
there is skill involved in making a home comfy, casual, comfortable

and still beautiful

because there isn't one of you out there who secretly wishes for an unattractive home

it starts with color
and restraint
color is great - especially when you know the colors you love
or the colors that make you feel good
or the colors you prefer to wear



Before you choose the wall color, you should have a good idea
of the other colors you want to live with...


take some time on this
you will be living with them for quite a few years...

Start with color..
but there is no need to hit someone over the head with it
the minute they walk in your door

Decorating is all about layers - and I like to start those layers with subtlety -
with background color -

something a little more quiet
that adds to the overall design but doesn't wave flags at you and say

"Hey, Look At Me!  I'm the Wall Color!!!"

Color is tied to our heartstrings...
and because color is emotional
choose it carefully
decide the atmosphere you want in your home...

if you want easy care, 
the kind of room you can put your feet up and relax
nothing fussy
then choose colors that make you feel comfortable and relaxed


if you like a soothing, calm, spacious, comfortable feel to a room
choose a grayed down color
a gray, a blue or green or beige with gray undertones
soft
soothing
tranquil

If  you prefer fresh, spacious and uncluttered -
clean lines, bright rooms -

find a white, or the barest whisper of a color
for your walls



If you like cozy,
go with warm tones

they tend to move toward you - making a room feel warmer, 

cozier and comfy


Something a little more dramatic appeal?
Use high contrasts,
deep colors

or accent walls


It all starts with wall color - 
and wall color starts with a plan in mind...
but that's another post for another day...

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QUESTION FROM A READER:

You'll see by these photos that this room needs help. It was supposed to be a formal dining room but we're not formal people. 
We just won and mounted the TV. It's up high to allow room for the computer. I thought of spraying the computer stand black? 

The piano is going away to make space for a new couch. Have not picked out a couch yet. Would like something that people would want to curl up on and watch a movie.

I would like suggestions on wall color, couch style, and anything else. Budget is nominal. I'm not a fan of gray because it feels rather cold to me. I did see a Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue that appealed. I've also see a happy Robin's egg blue (but paler, not intense) on a site somewhere. It was R.E.Blue on the top half and white on the bottom half, set off by burlap, full-length curtains and a white couch. We have three kids so the color white is a no-go. The rest of the house is soft-contemporary. This room is the first room people see when entering from the foyer so I don't want to go crazy with a teal ceiling (although I thought one was cool that I saw). Thanks for your help and I hope your mom & sister are doing okay.
Thank you for your kind wishes... sadly my mom passed away at nearly 97 - after living a long and full life.  My sister is still struggling with her illness.  Good days and bad.  Life in a nutshell. :)



The warm tan on your walls has too much warm tone for its size.  Warm tones tend to move toward you - making your room 'feel' smaller.  So I would recommend a cool tone neutral and then warm it up with fabrics and accessories.



Not all grays are cold.  The most popular gray tones actually have a beige or brown undertone, making them 'warm grays'.  Whatever color you decide on, I would recommend choosing a tone of that color that is 'grayed down' - or is the gray version of that color
having that gray base makes is a cooler and more soothing tone, 
and also makes the room feel larger

Benjamin Moore's Van Courtland Blue has a definite gray undertone
but may be a little too dark for your space - we don't want it to feel cave-like...

Benjamin Moore VAN COURTLAND BLUE

Here are some blue grays to consider...
I hope you find one you fall in love with!
Benjamin Moore PALADIAN BLUE
Benjamin Moore QUIET MOMENTS
Benjamin Moore BEACH GLASS
Benjamin Moore SILVER GRAY
Best of luck!






12/15/14

WHITE KITCHEN WITH GRAY WALLS - looks so much better than it sounds

WHITE KITCHEN WITH GRAY WALLS...
looks so much better than it sounds...

in fact, it looks soothing...
inviting
elegant
warm and cozy
it all depends on the shade of gray
and the undertones in the white
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HI Claudine... I need your help!
I am remodeling our kitchen/family room , and I  picked out creamy buttery cabinets for the kitchen with  ivory  granite( its has some light-ish gray and small specs of espresso) .   The island is an espresso color cabinet. ( the same ivory granite would  be on the island) . I want to modernize  the feel and am using brush nickel knobs for the doors.

My question is , I want to use a gray color on the walls (nothing that can turn green or blue)  in the kitchen/ family room , but would like a beigey wall accent color.  I have a large wall behind the TV. Or if you have another suggestion ?

I want to keep the feel light and modern and also have a taupe sofa that I bought to go in family room.
I would like BEHR, Glidden paint for your suggestion. I'm on a budget, and can't afford Benjamin Moore
My original decor is very Mediterranean , and I just want to get rid of that feel.
Thank You so much!! I live in Tampa Florida.  Juanita, 
(love your blog and pictures by the way....)

Hi Juanita,
Without seeing a photo of the room, I will have to to rely on what my idea of 'creamy buttery' may be and try to recommend a gray that will go with it.

Actually, if it is more creamy and not so buttery- nearly any gray would look lovely with it - including the espresso color cabinets.



However, if it is more buttery (yellow) there are less that will look great.  You will need to steer away from too light of a gray because the buttery color might be too similar in value and not provide enough of a contrast. 


So, here are a few that should look good no matter what buttery/creamy really means...
Benjamin Moore ANTIQUE PEWTER
Benjamin Moore PIKES PEAK GRAY
Benjamin Moore GRAY STONE



Benjamin Moore WICKHAM GRAY
Benjamin Moore STORM
Benjamin Moore KENDALL CHARCOAL

Benjamin Moore COVENTRY GRAY

Benjamin Moore METROPOLIS

Good luck!  You should be able to find a great color from this group of grays!

12/9/14

WHITE CHRISTMAS

Sometimes I do dream of a white Christmas.
I admit it - the song gets to me...
so romantic, so nostalgic..
so quiet...

There is something magical about white fluffy flakes floating down,
that glistening white stuff blanketing the landscape
and jack frosting on trees and branches..

and I do miss seeing it
I just don't miss shoveling it, driving in it, or skidding on it...

so if you are like me,
and live in a mild climate,
or down under - where its Summer right now...
here are some ways to bring a little White Christmas into your home...
even fake, it looks pretty...

Ice and glistening snow translates well into crystals, silver glass and glitter


in fact, silver seems to be the perfect companion to a white Christmas..



So here is a little white Christmas
from me to you...






















































































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