December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Other than your golden retriever, what says “Welcome Home” better than an open, organized, well-lit, warmly decorated entryway. Isn’t it nice to swing open the door, hang up your keys, dock your cell phone, stash your purse, and find a free hanger for your coat? … That rarely happens, you say? Still tripping over sneakers and backpacks? Gotcha.
Well, how about a New Year’s Resolution to start with the entryway — whether you come in through the garage or the front door, it doesn’t matter. There are so many organizing ideas available now to help you customize an entry to fit your family and lifestyle. And although some require talent with power tools, there are many other options including stackable cubbies and DIY shelf systems that will tame the clutter.
Light woods and white are wonderful in entryways that lack natural light. But if you have large windows, any favorite wall color will look great. Consider choosing an accent color from an adjoining room to give you the “flow” you’re looking for.
Before you tackle any other in-home projects this coming year, make sure your entryway welcomes you home.
December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
What a difference a decade makes. What used to be the lighting fixture of choice in upscale homes is now (still, even after several years out of favor) being tossed in a dumpster by young home owners who view the shiny yellow metal as the equivalent of how we viewed our grandmother’s dark brown paneling. Of no value.
Instead there are dozens of metal choices and finishes for lighting and other home accessories like light switch covers and doorknobs. So anti-shiny-brass are today’s home buyers that some are just shy of insisting that even all shiny brass door hinges be switched out to something else.
Note: these design trends may be regional and they don’t apply to historic homes so don’t panic if you love your brass chandelier and it fits your home’s decor perfectly. But If you are not happy with your shiny traditional yellow brass chandelier in your dining room or kitchen, you have three options:
1) Thumb your nose at metal color trends and simply wait for shiny yellow brass to come back in style. Kind of like you kept your go-go boots and bell bottoms from junior high. Yes, both trends came back around but not quite the way they looked in the late 60s. But still, doing nothing is always a design option.
2) Paint the shiny brass chandelier a different color. I once stood on a ladder, leaned over the dining table and painted my client’s brass chandelier first with a base coat of matte black to cover all the sheen and then a faux finish of browns and oranges to simulate a rustic bronze finish. It worked. The house sold.
3) Replace the old chandelier with a more current brass option like this one. The metal is toned down (antiqued) and the candelabra bulbs are covered with contemporary silk drum shades — a traditional yet updated look. Honestly, the antique brass has been around forever, and it went through a period of disfavor right around the time the shiny metal took over. But the muted finish, with updated shades, is back and looking good.
December 10, 2012 § 2 Comments
Does your home scream 1972 when you enter the front door? Are you stuck with metallic wallpaper on the ceiling in the guest bath, orange shag carpet in the basement, or an avocado bathtub? Then maybe it’s time to update. But this time, instead of hopping on the latest hot new trend (I could name a few here, but I’ll resist), how about giving your home a classic re-do. Something that will stand the test of time, or at least a decade or two, without branding your home with a particular year. For that kind of longevity, we turn to a neutral palette, but neutral does not have to mean beige and it’s hardly ever boring.
-The key to a neutral palette is texture. You could have an all-white living room but if that white includes fuzzy white pillows, a shiny white marble table top, and some warm white chenille upholstery, then the room will have plenty of interest.
-Neutral does not have to mean just one color either. In this room, the walls are a latte color, the sofa is dark brown leather, and there is plenty of color in the books and objects on the white bookshelves. What makes this room work so well is that the stonework on the fireplace is a feature and because the other furnishings do not stomp all over the subtle colors in the stones, the room’s palette includes peaches and golds and grays and tans and taupes — more than enough colors.
-Neutral allows you to bring in color in the art, pillows, and other more temporary furnishings and accessories without clashing with a strong wall color and a brightly colored sofa.
-Neutral allows you to change your accessories with the seasons and the holidays without overpowering the existing color palette or the holiday decorations.
-And when you’re selling your house, neutral allows potential buyers to see themselves in your home and that is critical for a successful sale.
So as you choose tile and furnishings and paint for your newly updated space, consider neutral because neutral does not have to be boring.
November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
Does your beautifully decorated home brace for the onslaught of holiday decorations every year? When your artfully arranged furniture is sidelined to make space for the tree and your oh-so-subtle color scheme is squashed by the big footed Santa and his reindeer? I feel your pain… 😉
I’m here to help. But before that, if you have children, then forget about it. Do up the most spectacular Christmas you can imagine and enjoy the blinking lights and the kaleidoscope of colors for as long as your children appreciate your home’s transformation. And for the young-at-heart who still enjoy reliving this most festive time, then relax. Go ahead and hang all those old ornaments on the tree. The holidays are for celebrating and reminiscing too.
Now for those of you who would prefer a light touch to the holiday decorating and would like to create an oasis from the mall madness, this tip is for you.
Limit your holiday color scheme of ornaments, ribbons, and decorations to white. That’s it. Then, just as the photo suggests from http://www.traditionalhome.com, add the necessary sparkle with glass ornaments, silver and gold metallic objects to reflect candlelight, and simple greens. You will be amazed at how festive your home looks without even an ounce of Santa’s sleigh red.
October 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
My guess? Neither. Take a close look at the roof, and the house color palette is revealed. The deep purples and greens of that slate roof present a palette the homeowners can use for their house: rich grape for the siding color tempered by a neutral cream trim and lime green for the accent color to highlight the Victorian embellishments.
But the homeowners did not stop there. To enhance the palette and spread the accent color out onto the landscape, they planted a gorgeous lime green Hydrangea coupled with other lime green plants, shrubs, and ground-cover species. Peeking out from under all that greenery is a purple flowering ground color pulling the whole look together.
Not to be matchy-matchy or anything, but this house rocks. There’s just enough contrast to keep our interest and show off the house detail without introducing new colors that might make the house too busy. Afterall, the house itself has so much detail that you wouldn’t want it to get lost in a rainbow of foundation plantings and annuals.
February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Talk about fitting in! Dark, rich tree-bark brown is about as close to nature as you can get for a house color that will fit unapologetically into almost any landscape.
What I love about this brown house, however, is how creative the homeowners were when it came time to choose a new roof color. Instead of opting for a light brown, gray, or dark forest green (all great options, by the way), they chose a light sage dimensional roof that looks spectacular. Then they pulled the trim color from the lightest shingle tone and used that for trim around the dark brown windows (also a nice touch), the corner trim, and the garage doors.
The result? Something different! How refreshing! Are they locked into a green roof? Yes. But who cares…
February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
Dark blue-green pine needles and rich cedar mulch present a warm house color palette perfect for homes that want to sit quietly in a wooded environment or at least conjure up the same.
Although much of the leafy countryside in many landscapes is a mixture of greens, notice that most have a yellow undertone. But not pine green. It leans more toward blue and for that reason can really stand out in a grove of maple trees.
To warm up the cool green shade, add brown and no better place than the roof (a gray roof is fine too but it will keep the house cool). Creamy trim provides contrast between the two darker shades and serves to outline the architectural detail (dark trim will get lost but use it if you are seeking camouflage).
For the front door, why not splurge and get solid wood stained a darker version of the roof color or choose a similar paint hue like Maple Syrup (Ben Moore 1105). Black wrought iron is the best metal for hardware, lighting and accessories.
Once again, nature’s palette does all the work.
January 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
In many neighborhoods, the homeowners who chose this house color might be run out of town but not in this neighborhood where the color is prevalent in nature. The lime green (bordering on neon) fits right in! We see it here in the rainforest of El Yunque in Puerto Rico. What a happy, stimulating hue! And how appropriate to borrow it for a house color on that island paradise. It helps to pair this strong acidic color with a coffee brown or even black just to balance out the palette. But it works.
Use your home’s environment as inspiration when choosing a house color. But if you do not see the color in nature’s palette, then reserve the color for inside. Otherwise, your home might become a lighthouse beacon in the neighborhood. Great for identifying your house in the dark, but that’s about it!
August 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
The fabric on this ottoman (photo above right) was soiled and worn so I removed all the nail heads, cut a piece of scrap fabric (from a massive fabric store sale), and stapled the new fabric to the frame. I even used the same black & white gingham buttons for tufting. Since I didn’t have a special long needle, I used a long metal skewer from my kitchen drawer to draw the heavy duty thread through the stuffing and poke it through to the other side where I fastened the thread to a wad of cotton batting to secure the little button. The only thing I purchased was the new trim (also on sale) to cover my many staples along the bottom edge. I chose a brown fringe to go with the wood and a black piping to go with the black buttons.
Next on the conquer-furniture list? Slipcovers for two big upholstered chairs!