Happy Color for 2017

January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

The New Year creates an opportunity for change. Whether it’s a phammocksledge to drop a few pounds, move the body more, or clear out the clutter, January is Change Month. And around here, I am ready to change color.

Not that I wasn’t crazy for color before, but fresh, clear color screams enthusiasm, optimism, and hope for great things. My nuanced, subtle, neutral palette looks dreary and tired. It is ready for a color boost to the happy side.

What does that mean for my decorating aesthetic? Not repainting my entire house and dragging all the furniture to Goodwill. Rather, a move to throw in a few color “punches” by switching out pillows on the sofa and adding some art and accessories.  The hammocks are such an inspiration (from our famiOrangePouf.pngly trek to New Orleans over the holidays). And check out this orange Moroccan pouf my sister gave me for my birthday. I adore the color orange because it’s always a happy color — she knows that.

So if you are looking for a jolt of positivity in your life this January of 2017, try adding color and see if it helps your outlook on life. (Good coffee will help too!) Have a Colorful New Year, my friends!

 

What Makes a Great Master Bedroom?

February 5, 2013 § 2 Comments

Ahhhh… the master bedroom — a retreat, a haven, a place to get away from it all. Of course, in practical terms, the master bedroom often houses exercise equipment, an office space, baskets of laundry, and piles of unread newspapers. But what makes a great master bedroom? Here’s my take:

1. A large enough bed to house two people comfortably. Queen size is great because it’s usually big enough but not too big. To me, a king invites the whole family to sleep there including multiple pets. (‘nuf said)

2. A padded headboard. Not only is a padded headboard attractive, but also it’s functional. It sure beats wood when you’re reading in bed.

3. No footboard. Leaving off the footboard allows for more visual space in the room, and it makes the bed look like you can run and jump onto it. Inviting, welcoming, all those things.

4. Good lighting on both sides of the bed. I don’t always call for symmetry in design, but both parties need good lighting so two of the same kind seems fair to me.

5. Really comfy bedding with a cozy throw on top. You’ll be amazed at how handy a throw can be when you’re hanging out on the bed watching TV.

6. A “wallflower” TV.  If you must have one in the master bedroom, at least put it over in a corner where it is not the focal point of the room.

7. Two comfortable chairs. If you have a TV and enough space, put at least one or preferably two comfortable chairs in front of it. That way you’re not always lying in bed watching TV. (You’ll sleep better. Trust me on that one.)

8. A wall color that pleases both parties. Something soothing that does not promote controversy. You might avoid red, bright acidic yellow, and girlie pink. Just an observation.

9. Privacy. Locks on doors, shades on windows, and anything else that will shield you from the outside world. This is your haven — a place to regroup and refresh.

10. And what NOT to have. (optimally, of course) A desk, treadmill, laundry folding station, newspaper repository, and holiday decoration storage. It should not be a graveyard of unmatched socks, moldy towels, and unsorted paperwork. How practical is that? Well? These are guidelines…

Spend some time on your master bedroom. You’ll feel better in the morning.

Banish the Blues with Uplifting Hues

February 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

As I ran around my house the other day screaming, “I need natural light!” I was reminded of the adorable card I received awhile back with an 8-year-old’s words of wisdom captured creatively by © Kate Harper Designs. Could such a simple suggestion for getting yourself out of the winter doldrums be expressed more eloquently? BTW, you’ll love Kate’s whole collection — check it out at http://kateharperdesigns.com/.

Just like the lack of natural light in the winter can affect our moods, so can color. And of course, color and light (or the lack of it) work together.

The other morning as I turned the lights on again in my living room for yet another dreary gray wintry day, I glanced at the wall behind the sofa one last time. That’s it! No more dark and dramatic — I cannot stand it any longer. I dashed to the garage for the can of primer and rolled away my winter blahs. What a transformation! All of a sudden the room felt lighter and brighter and amazingly enough, so did I!

The same thing happened when I moved my office into my son’s old north-facing bedroom. The wall color he had chosen was rich and cozy and cave-like — we even painted his ceiling to create the mood he requested. It worked for him since sleeping in there did not seem to be a problem. But for me? Forget it. I tried adding lamps and task lighting, but the dark walls drove me nuts. Again, I dragged the paint primer from the garage, threw down a drop cloth and primed over the entire room from ceiling on down. Unbelievable — we went from cave-like to cathartic in one afternoon!

The lack of color in a room can be just as depressing as colors that are too dark without adequate light. Anyone who has builder-white walls will note that the white turns to gray in the shadows. And although gray is the new beige for neutral wall color, if it’s not for you, then paint it out!

Warm yellows like Ben Moore’s Sweet Butter (171) will certainly brighten your day. And fresh springy greens like Folk Art (528) will liven up a gray-green that’s bringing you down. Add a little Sea View (836) to a piece of furniture in your room and you’ll think you’re on vacation! I painted the walls in my new office a whisper of yellow called Marble White (Ben Moore 942) and voila! Let there be light!

So if the winter blahs have you feeling blue, take the greeting card’s sage advice and paint yourself (or your room) a different color. Since our homes are extensions of ourselves, then it makes perfect sense that brightening our spirits may be as easy as picking a different wall color. It worked for me!

Color Your Spirits Bright

March 19, 2009 § 17 Comments

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For years decorators have ignored an entire section of the paint color fandeck, labeling these colors as garish, for children only, or just simply in bad taste. Not anymore. Now colors like Mellow Yellow (Ben Moore’s 2020-50 that’s hardly mellow) and Bermuda Teal (2044-50) are making a fresh new statement of uplifting optimism in the design world. A splash of Marmalade (2016-40) or just a smattering of Sherwin Williams’ Gladiola (SW6875) cannot help but lift your spirits. Behr’s wonderful yellow green called Carolina Parakeet (410B-4) is such a happy color that even the name makes me smile.

I wrote about this topic months ago when we started to watch our savings go down the tubes, etc, etc, (no need to drag us through a rehash of events), and today’s Boston Globe has a great article entitled “What is the Color of Hope.” Here’s the link:

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/house/articles/2009/03/19/what_is_the_color_of_hope/

Even if you’re not planning any massive redecorating projects this spring,  adding clear happy color as an accent either on a wall, backsplash, or pillows on the sofa may actually improve your mood, enhance the good feelings in your home, and help you cope. A note of caution: If you decide to paint with these bright colors, be sure to mix in lots of white in trim, furniture and accessories not only to bring out the color but give the eye a little rest if needed.

Happy Spring!

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