Where to Splash Your Kitchen Color

June 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

WhiteKitchenEdgyWhite kitchens are, again, all the rage, but what keeps a white kitchen from becoming too cold and uninteresting? You guessed it. Color.

What I love about this white kitchen from Traditional Home is the strategic placement of color where it will 1) have the biggest impact; and 2) be inexpensive to change over time.

Where to put the color?

Backsplash. Since the cabinetry and counter tops are white, the backsplash is a logical place for applying a splash of color. Plus, since it’s a relatively small area in the kitchen, you can be bold with your tile choices knowing that replacing the backsplash when styles change down the road will not break the bank.

Furniture. Splashy citron breakfast bar chairs give the neutral kitchen a modern vitality that pairs very well with the traditional cabinetry. The chairs keep the traditional cabinet design and the timeless marble counter top from being too stuffy. And because there are just two chairs, theoretically you could switch them out seasonally if you wanted to and change the look of the kitchen completely.

Accessories. Always a place to introduce color, the accessories like dishes and canisters and placemats and other easily switched-out items add splashes of color all over the kitchen and are temporary. Again, you’re not locked into a color scheme that will go out of favor in a year or two. Bringing in new accessories in a new color palette will freshen up the kitchen at practically no expense.

No wonder white is such a popular color for the kitchen. It is timeless, and it goes with every decor and season. Plus by adding color in places where new color can be infused without redoing the entire kitchen, you’ve added longevity to your original white kitchen design. Smart thinking!

Here’s the link:  http://www.traditionalhome.com/kitchens/design-ideas-white-kitchens?page=0

 

 

Quick Old-Kitchen Updates

April 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

paintedcabinetsYou inherited your kitchen. We get it. No money for a costly re-do. We hear ya. But there are a few things you can do to lighten and brighten your dark, dated kitchen while you pour money into other fun things.

  • Replace the door handles and drawer pulls. There are so many new metal options out there, and many of them are quite inexpensive. Some even come by the bagful. So there’s no excuse for keeping these. uglyhardware
  • Paint the old golden oak cabinets. It may sound hard, but anything is better than the dated, dry and grainy orange beauties many of us were stuck with for awhile. Painting takes patience: in a nutshell, remove the doors, take off all the hardware, sand the cabinets and doors to give the surface “tooth,” prime everything with a really good primer and then paint the doors outside on a horizontal surface to prevent drips. I like to use a cabinet-grade enamel that holds up pretty well. Stay neutral for longevity although painted cabinets are all the rage. So pick a color you’ll love for a long time. Here’s what the Pros recommend for a really nice finish. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20315665,00.html
  •  Switch out the overhead lighting. This is a really cheap, DIY project (remember to turn off the power first!!). There are so many options way more creative than the central overhead ceiling light or the yellowy brass candleabra over the kitchen table.
  • Add under-cabinet lighting. This is a great way to add both task lighting to an old kitchen counter space and ambiance. If you don’t have a tile backsplash, make sure that area is freshly painted as it will show up now. Here’s a link for the many options and how-to’s. http://www.lowes.com/projects/kitchen-and-dining/under-cabinet-lighting-buying-guide/project
  • And don’t forget to paint the walls. The easiest, cheapest, and quickest update to any room is a fresh paint job. If you need help with color, let’s work together.

Now, isn’t that easy? You will love pouring your morning coffee in your face-lifted new kitchen. Yes, you still have the old layout and probably none of the new gadgets currently available, but your kitchen will feel brand new. And think of the fun you can have with all your saved money! Enjoy.

(Photo: Brian Wilder for This Old House Magazine)

Luscious Paint Colors: Warm Brown

April 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

IMG_5286What is more welcoming in a home than rich warm color when you open the door. There are no rules that say your walls have to be a shade of white.

If you would like to add rich color like this Warm Apple Crisp (Benjamin Moore 1091) to your home, here are some guidelines:

  1. Make sure you have adequate light to show off the true hue. Natural light is best with big open windows that allow the depth of the color to show without making the room into a cave.
  2. Contrast the walls with white — trim work, furniture, accessories — so that the wall color “pops.”
  3. Pick an accent color from the opposite side of the color wheel to add interest. Since brown is a darker version of orange, blue is its opposite on the color wheel. There is something so fresh about that combination. Insert your accent color with art and accessories like the big, light blue egg on the shelf.
  4. When choosing colors for one room, consider adjoining rooms. Colors should flow from room to room so this warm brown wall color in the entryway was plucked from the adjoining kitchen cabinetryIMG_5350 thereby connecting the two rooms and making the house feel bigger and more pulled together.
  5. Add cute dog for cozy family feel.

Brown is a wonderful color for making a large space feel more intimate or a small space feel warmer, and it is a great way to bring out the depth of color in the woods in your room. Try it!

The TV: Love It or Lose It?

March 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

We all have them. TVs. They range in size from small in the kitchen to medium in the bedroom to large/X-large in the living or family room. It’s the piece of furniture we cannot live without, but it’s the piece of furniture that can totally dominate the room. What to do?

Hide it. This shuttered cabinet completely engulfs the blackshutterTVCab box so it exits the visual space when not in use. This idea is perfect for a formal living room that happens to house the media components. It’s an open and shut case. (Available through http://www.ballardesigns.com)

Frame it. Literally. Put a picture frame around the TV screen.FrameTV (Available through http://www.wayfair.com, but I can imagine this as a DIY project, can’t you?) The idea is that when guests come over, you simply turn on the TV and run a slide show or pause the TV on a pleasing pastoral scene. Black box problem solved.

Make it go away. This cabinet, though not inexpensive, lowers the TV down into an enclosed piece of furniture at the end of the bedelevate-rich-black-32 or across a crowded room. Nobody will ever know there’s a TV hiding beneath the cabinet surface. Brilliant, but the TV size is limited by the size of the cabinet. (Available through http://www.touchstonehomeproducts.com)

Embrace it. If watching the Super Bowl on an 80″ TV is non-negotiable, then you simply must embrace the huge black box at the end of the room. But never fear.ikeabookshelf To camouflage it and keep the room from leaning too far visually in that direction, balance the black by adding more of it in the room. For example, opposite the TV, add a black shelving unit (available through http://www.ikea.com). The tall black unit will balance the huge black TV and actually make everything else in the room (the items that are NOT black) stand out. It’s like hiding the TV in plain sight. How cool is that!

It goes without saying that we rely on our TVs for entertainment: news, sports, movies, binge-watching, kid shows, soap operas, game shows, and concerts. Although some people have chosen a TV-free path, most of us haven’t. And TVs are getting bigger, not smaller. I hope these ideas have given your design muscles a much-needed energy boost. Now go deal with that TV!

 

It’s Time for Faux to Gaux

June 22, 2015 § 2 Comments

spongeDrop the sponges, folks. Honestly, without trying to offend anyone or stomp on creativity, I have never seen such awful faux finishes in my life! It’s high time we roll over those ugly paint jobs and simplify our visual lives a bit. And if you plan to sell your house anytime soon, please listen up.

Faux is out. It was hard to perfect from the beginning but as of now, it has been totally overdone. From walls to kitchen cabinets to dressers and dining room ceilings, enough!

What’s in? Paint. Just plain paint. And in some applications, wallpaper. But not too much! No need to match the curtains to the wallpaper to the bed linens. As one who tends to find a badfauxgood thing and overdo it, I can certainly sympathize. But the next time you have the urge to spend hours dabbing wet sponges on the wall or cabinet door, take a deep breath and stop.

In a Teen’s Bedroom, It’s Just Paint

February 24, 2014 § 2 Comments

In a Teen's Bedroom, It's Just PaintLetting your child express herself in her bedroom is a wonderful way to uncork inner creativity. You may bristle at the color scheme and opt to keep the door closed most of the time, but allowing your child to have a room of his or her own design is so important to creative development.

In this room, the young client chose a Pottery Barn Teen bed cover as her inspiration piece. After we selected a new wall color together (a soft purple — and a departure from the previous bubblegum pink), we brought in white accessories and a purple polka dot rug.

I mentioned that sometimes it’s fun to get a little crazy with the closet doors in the bedroom because they present a blank white canvas just begging for color. So guess what … hey, it’s just paint!

That Huge TV is so Ugly — What to do

January 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

ImageElectronics have plagued designers and esthetically driven homeowners since the demise of the TV console with doors. We’re now learning to embrace the large shiny black rectangle.

If you are trying to disguise your elephant in the living room, blend it. A black cabinet and other black accessories will help to camouflage the electronic “stuff of life” better than a white or light-colored cabinet will. See how the TV pops out of the white cabinet? And the bigger the TV, or course, the bigger the pop!

Try camouflage in your home office as well. Dark charcoal gray is another wonderful color for blending printers and monitors and other less-than-attractive devices so necessary to our everyday existence. Computers and TVs (etc.) are functional. We don’t necessarily want to see them.

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