Ready to Immerse Your Home in Color?

November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

redsAs with haute couture in the fashion world, we often look to hotels and other public spaces for trends in home color and design. Look no further than The William, a boutique hotel in New York, where each room immerses its guests in a paint bucket of saturated color punctuated by droplets of white for chroma relief. I am not sure if you can order up a particular color to match your luggage, but nevertheless, your experience there will be unforgettable.

Are we ready to move this color trend into the home? Some already have, but many of us will take a little while to move back into the rich dark hues of a decade ago. I’m just getting used to the freshness and brightness of white walls. But who knows.

BluesIf you are contemplating a project that involves intense color, start with a small space like a guest bath or a guest room where the color will make a huge impact and the cost of painting over it will be minimal. Make sure you have adequate lighting so the color will show “true” and you will not end up in a cave. And remember to punctuate your color with white or cream to make the color “pop” and add bits of black not only to avoid the I-got-lost-in-a-box-of-crayons look but also to add an air of sophistication to the project.

Full color on!

(photos from Dwell magazine)

Mixed Metals Get My Rave Review

January 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

ImageGold and brass are finally officially back. The cheerful, dressed-up metal color has been scorned and ostracized for years, it seems, with homeowners rushing to change out everything from drawer knobs to door hinges. Well, hold up.

Over the past couple of years, we have watched brass trickle back into design (you knew it would) but have been waiting for the main stream to catch on. Now we’re seeing a mix-and-match approach that seems to fit everybody’s home style.

In this kitchen by architect William Hefner ( we see dramatic gold accents along with the other metals (chrome sink and wrought iron light fixtures). What I’m sensing, as with fashion, is that you can pick your accent metal like you pick your hem length. If it works for you, then go for it. We love that approach as it allows you to update your home without having to replace everything in it all at once. Casual acceptance of materials seems way more sensible than dictating that “Metal X” (whatever that turns out to be) is totally OUT.

Hurray for sensible design.

When Tiling Goes Over the Top — Literally

February 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

If you have ANY plans to sell your home within the next, say, 10 years, I do not recommend dipping your bathroom in a vat of mosaic glass tiles. I know they are stunningly effervescent especially in cool swimming pool shades of blues and greens, but my gut tells me that the extreme application of almost any material will become the “avocado green” of the next generation of home buyers.

When Leslie Marshall cautioned, “Choose your color confidently because retiling can be a costly venture,” ( she might have added that you should think twice before tiling every surface at ALL!

I know that floor-to-ceiling (including the ceiling!) tile is becoming popular in newly created “spa” bathrooms — yes, they’re easy to keep clean and they look spectacular too. Just keep in mind that somebody is going to have to chisel that color down from the rafters when the time comes to prepare your home for sale. Chances are pretty good that we will have moved our design aesthetic along to new ideas by then and your bathroom will be “just so last decade.”

The alternative? Think longevity for your bathroom. Add trendy color in ways that will be switched out easily either by you or whoever gets to whip your home into shape for resale. A little bit of tile color in the bathroom– on the floor, in the shower area, or around the mirror–will go a long way toward modernizing your bathroom without taking the room over the top.

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