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How Color Blind Are You?

November 21st, 2014
This little quiz from QUIZZYN is just for fun – grab a cup of coffee or tea and take a few minutes for yourself and check it out.
Few women experience true color blindness as it’s mostly a male condition.
After all, how many of us help our husbands separate navy from black socks?
Or, how many of us can recognize many different shades of the same color? Most women have no trouble with this; it’s one of our many gifts!
So take this quick quiz. I’ll bet you get 10 out of 10. If not, that’s o.k., too. It’s not strict science—it’s just for fun.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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What emotional feelings come up when see or think of animal prints?
Most women either love or hate them.
Usually when I questions my clients about the subject, they’ll share a negative connotation. Think a woman dancing around a pole, or one in too tight clothing wearing an animal print head-to-toe, or perhaps the wearer “working the street.”
The thing is animal prints used in interior design, can be classic, timeless, and elegant. They can add whimsy, and something unexpected. Animal prints can accommodate any design style because they go with nothing, yet go with everything.
The trick is to use them in small doses and buy the best materials so they don’t look cheesy; whichever fabrics you choose need to be of top quality.
Take a look at these photos and see if a piece or two wouldn’t add something special in your decor.
After all, these designs are found naturally in nature and what we see in the natural world is usually pretty good.
PLAYFUL
Midcentury Living Room by Daphne Steinberg Interior Design

This very traditionally designed room uses a dalmatian print to add whimsy and fun in an unexpected way.

SOPHISTICATED PATTERNS

 

These monochromatic tones become more exciting when adding the animal print to the bench at the foot of the bed.

LIVEN UP A STAIRCASE
Transitional Staircase by Sally Wheat Interiors

This is an antelope print, yet the staircase is so much more exciting than a plain carpet would be. The soft color keeps it from taking over the space and, again, is unexpected.

WHIMSY IN A KID’S ROOM

 

SMALL TOUCHES

UNEXPECTED COLOR
Contemporary Bedroom by Mary Prince

We’re not used to seeing an animal print in a pastel color. That makes this soft blue zebra-covered print such a welcome surprise.

BEAUTIFULLY SOPHISTICATED ELEGANCE

ADDING ALLIGATOR TO YOUR GUEST BATH

Contemporary Powder Room by Home & Stone

Another way of adding texture to a space in a different way. This is a small powder room and the alligator print wallpaper bounces the light which is an added bonus.

A NOT SO INVISIBLE RUG
Eclectic Living Room by erin williamson

This is more than a small touch of animal print and would not be for everyone. But you can add a larger piece that doesn’t overcome the room. What makes this large cheetah-patterned rug work is that the major furniture pieces are light in color and the dark-toned walls quiet the space. In this case, the rug becomes the focal point.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Images courtesy HOUZZ
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We live with color everyday and thank goodness.
How diminished our world would be if it were only seen in black and white.
Of all the areas in interior design, color is probably the most subjective, because everyone “sees” color differently. Memories are strongly associated with with colors so we attach meanings to them that can be positive or negative.
Our love/hate relationship with different colors can also change. For example, as a child I loved all shades of pink because my grandmother chose them for her bedroom and I always felt happy whenever I was in her room. As a teenager, I hated pink because it seemed too childish. Now, as an older adult, I love certain hues of pink. Combined with other colors, pink can be very sophisticated and fresh-feeling.
I won’t go into the full psychology of color in this article as the subject is vast. But for fun, HUFFPOST HOME showed 13 colors that people either loved or hated. Take a look at them. What do you feel? Do you find yourself attracted or repelled? It’s an active experience and there’s no right or wrong.
As always, great design is about what YOU love and need in YOUR home to make your environment enhance your life in the best, most positive ways. Color is just one aspect, but the human eye can distinguish between 7 and 10 million different colors. That’s huge! And we’ll always have a reaction to each of them one way or another.

Lime Green

Purple

Orange

Black

Bright Yellow

Electric Blue

Mauve

Dark Red

Burnt Sienna

Coral

Teal

Olive Green

Mustard Yellow

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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Any room design can benefit from a painted piece of furniture. It’s a wonderful way to re-use and re-purpose an old, tired-looking one that you may have thought you needed to get rid of. Maybe it’s been in storage, but it might be time to take another look at it, especially if that piece is of good quality but merely out-of-date.

And if you enjoy browsing garage and estate sales, take a look at what you might see with a different eye. Imagine something perhaps painted with a high gloss color and new hardware. You may be surprised at how chic something old can become. Interior designer often do this and you can, too.

Take a look at the following examples, from Huffpost home, that a few fellow design bloggers have created just using paint and changing the hardware. It’s another way of making furniture uniquely your own.

 

A Coat Of Coral Gave This Nightstand New Life

  • Sarah M. Dorsey
    Blogger and designer Sarah M. Dorsey rescued this nightstand for only $8 at a thrift store. However, the piece had its problems: Missing hardware and a bad previous paint job that left many imperfections. With a little sanding (O.K., some fabulous new pulls, too) she was able to create an adorable accent table. For the full tutorial, visit Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

White Paint Rescues An Old Wooden Hutch

  • The Creek Line House
    While blogger Courtenay Hartford of The Creek Line House appreciated the wood construction of this hutch (found at a neighbor’s curb years ago), it was in such bad shape, she says it made the whole room “feel sad.” You can’t say that about the piece now. For the full tutorial (and exact paint colors), visit The Creek Line House.

A Card Catalog Gets A Sophisticated Makeover

Midcentury Gets A Modern-Day Makeover

  • Centsational Girl
    Kate Riley of Centsational Girl saw this fabulous midcentury chest at her local thrift store for only $20. (We’re all jealous.) While the drawers were wood, the rest of the piece was a scratched laminate. So, instead of painting the whole thing, she focused on the “body” of the dresser and the pulls. The results are stunning. You can learn more about the makeover over at Centsational Girl.

A Dresser Redo Worthy Of Pinterest

  • Image courtesy of Courtney Johnson
  • Designer Courtney Johnson saw past the dreary facade of an old black bureau and thought of it as a bit of a canvas for a graphic pattern. This bold revamp should be in the front of your mind the next time you go to IKEA, the thrift store or a flea market. Check out the before over at Courtnac, then get inspired by the full makeover over at Design*Sponge.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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Too often, a client will call me to help her design a room AFTER the walls have been painted.

You make ask “what’s wrong with that?”

For one thing, you limit yourself and shut out some amazing color and design possibilities.

There are a gazillion paint colors to choose from, so select your fabrics, artwork, rugs, or hard flooring first. Remember that all wood and metals register as a “color”: as well.

It’s much easier to find your perfect paint hue than it is to try and find fabrics and all the other things in your room to be harmonious with that paint color.

And as always, be sure to see everything you choose in the space it will be used. The lighting will be very different in your home than what you see in a store or showroom.

By choosing paint color last, you’ll avoid mistakes which are time-consuming, frustrating, and can be expensive.

traditional bedroom by White T Design

Photo: HOUZZ

If you think “well it’s not perfect, but I guess it’s O.K.,” it won’t be. If color is “off,” your conscious and or subconscious mind will register that and you won’t enjoy being in that space. The room won’t feel harmonious. It won’t draw you in and make you want to stay. You’ll feel dis-ease which is the opposite of what you want in order to feel good in your home.

So it’s so much easier in every way to choose your paint colors last. You could hit it out-of-the-park by painting it first, but why take the chance?

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms, not the other way around

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I’ve never had a client request the color black when choosing interior colors.

Yet, I’ve also never designed a space that didn’t contain black in some way.

A little or a lot, black grounds a room. It gives visual weight and any color will pop when in the presence of black.

Black is dramatic and sophisticated. One of the all-time design combinations is black and white. It’s never trendy and never goes out of style. It’s considered classic design.

Take a look at these photos for ways of incorporating black into your interior spaces.

You might surprise yourself. While you may not have considered black when choosing your interior colors, you might just find yourself pushing your color envelop a little.

Black is not a color that needs to be repeated in a room. Just one bold accent, like this ceiling, brings the élan that only black can provide.
Ditto for this black accent wall, although here the color is expertly repeated (with a very easy hand) in the fabrics and the lamp. Use your thumb to cover the black in this room. Verve and style: going, going, gone.
You may use either a touch of black or a ton. Either way, your design will show the impact. Look how the black molding and cabinetry allow the gilt-framed pictures to glow, and the stylin’ tub to scintillate, in this bathroom.
The black accent trim on this home is so restrained as to be almost unnoticeable. But it brings great crispness to the palette and makes you see details that would otherwise have melted away.
Here black is used just for the window trim (and OK, maybe the outlets) in this otherwise all-white bathroom. But it keeps the white from being stark or boring. Without the black, there would be no design.
This designer also opted for black trim on the windows. See how it gives the room a refreshing crispness and definition, making the windows pop and giving cohesiveness to the room.
Tracy and Hepburn, bread and wine, Baskin and Robbins (can you tell it’s dinnertime and I’m hungry?) are classic duos indeed. But black and white simply outclasses them all.
Black and white floors, whether marble, tile or painted wood, have set the standard for haute design for centuries. But notice here how the lime-green wall makes for an entirely modern interpretation.
I am currently on the bandwagon for lime green and black (and not just because they’re the colors for Houzz). This rich combo has profuse possibilities, from spare and modern to country (think black and white checks against a lime-green floral) to Hollywood glam.
The truth is, black not only contains all colors; it goes with all colors. There is simply not a color scheme that doesn’t benefit from its presence.
As in this red dining room …
… or this Dijon-hued bathroom (where black is used only as an accessory — a great approach for people who might be shy about making the color a permanent fixture).
Black shines when paired with a magenta wall …
… or mated with royal-blue upholstery.
Even purple — as illustrated so magnificently by the lowly pansy — is complemented and enhanced by black.
I must not neglect black and brown. While you would never pair brown shoes with a classic tuxedo, in this case the fashion rule does not extend to interior design. Think how nature has dressed the Doberman pinscher, the decidedly upper-crust King Charles Spaniel and the diminutive quail. The masterful way black and brown are mixed in this cabinetry brings both warmth and depth to this kitchen, while giving it an aura of permanence.
Certain shades of off-black are luscious. This yummy grayish chocolatey black is Benjamin Moore’s Black Bean Soup.
Black is really unexpected in this bedroom, with its baby blue boiserie. But it brings subtle warmth and a masculine touch to what would otherwise have been a decidedly feminine environment.

Every once in a while, a design magazine heralds the advent of “the new black.” It’s a term used to describe or give merit to a color trend, as in, “Orange is the new black.” My response to such pronouncements is always to turn a chilly shoulder and harrumph. I love color, but only black accomplishes so much, with so little, so well.

Photos: via HOUZZ
Photo descriptions: BETTY DIETRICH, HOUZZ Contributor

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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Check out this video from HGTV that was shown on HUFFPOST HOME. It’s a wonderful example of what we’re calling the “New Neutrals.” Think of amping up what are usually considered neutrals without going overboard.

Colors ranging from grays to burnt orange, they’re not the whites, cremes, and beiges that we commonly refer to as neutrals but they are and they can offer more design pizazz. They are also hues that your eye doesn’t tire of easily either.

Take a look at the video and see what you think of the colors used in this bedroom. You may just decide it’s time to consider the “new neutrals” in your home.

If you like the idea of changing your colors and aren’t quite sure what would work best, email me at me@nancymeadowsdesigns.com. Together we’ll figure out the best combinations that you love and would like to live with. I’d love to help you.

Until next time…

Blessings from home to yours,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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If you have the wall space, sometimes one large piece of art is more dramatic and can enhance your design impact in a far greater way than several smaller pieces.

One large canvass can also become a focal point all on in its own.

Check out the photos and the explanations that point out how and why the canvasses were chosen. They’ll give you ideas and considerations when choosing your own art.

To begin with a neutral palette, like this creamy sofa and rug ensemble, we can see that the series of swatches across the canvass picks up not only the paler hues, but works through the spectrum to tie in every shade right through to the black accent cushions. Of course, your wall art doesn't have to appear as a spectrum, but look for pieces that work all the way though your color story, from light to dark.
To begin with a neutral palette, like this creamy sofa and rug ensemble, we can see that the series of swatches across the canvass picks up not only the paler hues, but works through the spectrum to tie in every shade right through to the black accent cushions. Of course, your wall art doesn’t have to appear as a spectrum, but look for pieces that work all the way though your color story, from light to dark.
On the other hand, your wall art can introduce color to your room that was never there to begin with, but will become a welcome addition by adding a vibrancy to the overall look. By keeping the artwork more on the abstract side, you do not risk introducing too many new themes along with your new splash of color. The solitary bowl beneath, in a contrasting color, works well here.
On the other hand, your wall art can introduce color to your room that was never there to begin with, but will become a welcome addition by adding a vibrancy to the overall look. By keeping the artwork more on the abstract side, you do not risk introducing too many new themes along with your new splash of color. The solitary bowl beneath, in a contrasting color, works well here.
Advertisement
Circular rug
White L shaped sofa
Modern art doesn't have to be harsh, this example has a soft, femininity to it.
Modern art doesn’t have to be harsh, this example has a soft, femininity to it.
Green white lounge
Autumn color scheme

We love the hit of vibrancy created by the matching indigo art and scatter cushions in this example, the pop is very unexpected in a stark white room.

We love the hit of vibrancy created by the matching indigo art and scatter cushions in this example, the pop is very unexpected in a stark white room.
As always, when choosing art pieces or anything else for your home, you must love it. It’s not enough that it complements your design, but also the joy you feel each time you look at it. Photos: INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS Art: MARK LAWRENCE, Alpharetta, Georgia

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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There are so many creative ways to address large, blank walls besides artwork and photographs. Although, of course, those always work.

But maybe you want to do something different. Something that turns this expanse of space into a focal wall that is a little out-of-the-ordinary.

Here are 11 ways that just might strike a design chord in you:

AN ICONIC PATTERNED WALLPAPER

This is wallpaper that The Beverly Hills Hotel has used for decades. NATE BERKUS chose this wallpaper for an apartment that he designed.


COLOR-BLOCKED WALLS AND A MIRROR

Simple, painted color blocks and a classic sunburst mirror were used on this wall designed by NESTOR SANTA CRUZ in a D.C. apartment. These mirrors can be found in all price points and the color blocks can be any colors that please you—bold or quiet.


BOOKSHELVES AND ART

Don’t be afraid to hang art on a bookcase. In this photo, one large piece was used but you can also use several smaller ones. Yes, you have to remove the art to see the books behind it, but it gives a different design flavor to the ordinary bookcase.


FRAMED FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS

In this study, designer GUEN DRISCOLL has placed family photos in an artful way, but what makes it special is the dark painted wall which makes the photos pop.


A MIRRORED WALL

Designer SIG BERGAMIN mirrored the wall in his bedroom and placed a bureau with artwork directly against the mirror. Besides reflecting light, the mirror doubles the space. This is an especially effective design trick in a small space.


UPHOLSTERED PANELS

In a bedroom designed by IAIN HALLIDAY, the upholstered wall serves as a headboard and it muffles sound. It also gives the wall visual interest and added texture.


A PATTERNED PAPER AND TAPESTRY

Designer JONATHAN ADLER designed this wall in his Florida den. It works because the same colors are used in both the wallpaper and the tapestry. Also, the same colors are found throughout the room in the sofa, carpet, pillows, and even the trim that circles the lampshade.


A DIVIDED PHOTOGRAPH

This could have remained one large photo, but how much more interesting to the eye to have it divided into a grid. Designed by MATTHEW PATRICK SMYTH.


A LARGE LEANING MIRROR

Designed by IAIN HALLIDAY for a Manhattan foyer. Leaning the mirror instead of hanging it, makes this formal entry less  formal-looking

and more unexpected.When you do this, you give your space more visual interest.


BRIGHT VENETIAN PLASTER AND FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS

Venetian plaster is a centuries-old wall technique that is beautiful all by itself. However, in this case, designer RAFAEL DE CARDENAS used a bright paint color and fashion photographs to give a very modern feel to this Manhattan foyer.


LACQUERED PAINT

Lacquered paint is like turning your wall into a mirror. In this dining room, 10 coats of custom lacquer was used to achieve this effect. Needless to say this process is very expensive, but the finished product is absolutely exquisite.
Photo credits: ELLE DECOR

If you would like to do something different on a large wall in your home, please email me at me@nancymeadowsdesigns.com. I’d love to help you give your space a transformation.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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I’m not sure how it came to be that the unwritten rule was all ceilings must be painted white.

For one thing, it was easier for builders to paint all walls and ceilings white to appeal to the majority of buyers; the color least offensive.

Another idea has always been that it opens up a space making it lighter and brighter. To a degree that’s true but not always. You can still choose soft, actual colors to achieve the same feeling.

So why not try a color on your ceiling?

When you look at your space, always remember the room has 6 “walls.”  The 4 vertical walls, the floor and the ceiling.

By always painting the ceiling white, you miss out on the chance of designing a really exciting room. This area over the head can become your “feature” wall bringing the whole space together in a fresh and new way.

There’s nothing wrong with white ceilings, but you could be missing out on a design opportunity. At the very least, simply paint your ceiling a lighter version of your vertical walls.

If the walls are already white, all the more reason for the ceiling to receive special attention. It doesn’t have to be an in-your-face saturated color. The overall feeling can still be soft and quiet-feeling. Also, you don’t need ceiling heights to be over 8 feet for it to work.

Don’t worry about re-sale value. Unless you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, make it your own. This is your home, your sacred space, and you deserve to design and decorate it any way you choose, in whatever way that makes you feel happy.

I’m just suggesting you remain open to all of your decorating possibilities. In this case, it’s only paint.

Take a look at these photos and see if there isn’t an idea or two that gives you pause. You may very well surprise yourself and decide to give a completely new feeling to one of your rooms—just painting your ceiling and going from white to wow!

When selecting a ceiling color, take a cue from your favorite textiles and decorative accessories. By repeating a color throughout a space, you’ll create visual rhythm and your eye will move through the room, taking it all in.

A blue to try: Waterfall 2050-50, Benjamin Moore

Here’s an example of how you can visually lower a tall ceiling using color. With the hot-pink ceiling color extended down the wall a foot or so, this room has a fun, youthful vibe and still feels like a cozy sanctuary.

A hot pink to try: Orchid Rose S-G-110, Behr

If you have walls of windows, the ceiling may be the only place where you can add color via paint. This happy yellow hue brings our attention up to the interesting ceiling form and that fantastic pendant.

A yellow to try: Chickadee 3002-1B, Valspar

This example shows how an abundance of light really gives you the freedom to go as bold with color and pattern as you want. Both the bright orange ceiling and contrasting checked-pattern floor scream for attention. But the walls of glass and gorgeous views of the greenery beyond keep the room from being too much to take in.

An orange to try: Invigorate SW6886, Sherwin-Williams

Use color to accentuate interesting architecture or other details in your home. Conversely, make anything you don’t want to bring attention to the same color as whatever surrounds it, and it will blend right in.

A yellow-green to try: Cancun Gold AC204-5, Kelly-Moore

You can go bold without necessarily going bright. A deep purple like this one is a terrific choice for a bedroom ceiling, since it’s thought to be a restful, stress-reducing color. I don’t think this palette would be as effective in this room if the walls were painted dark purple and the ceiling were left white.

A purple to try: Tropical Dusk 2117-40, Benjamin Moore

This watery blue is another soothing color that’s perfect for a bedroom ceiling. Pair it with white and gray or tan for a calm, cool vibe.

An aqua to try: Aqua Blue 353-5, Pittsburgh Paints

Another blue bedroom ceiling, this one a deeper teal. It looks supercrisp framed by the white ceiling trim. The light warm gray wall and floor offer a soft and subtle foundation for this modern palette.

A teal to try: Middy Blue A1258, Glidden

I love the green glow this room gets from the fresh hue on the ceiling. We tend to associate green with nature, youthful vibrancy and good health. This green in particular feels clean and pristine — perfect for a guest bedroom.

A green to try: Springtime SW6708, Sherwin-Williams

contemporary bathroom by KUBE architecture

Pretend you’re bathing in the great outdoors by painting your bathroom ceiling a pretty sky blue. This particular shade of blue works well as a neutral, which means you can mix it with just about any other color you like.

A sky blue to try: Denim Day 029-4, Mythic Paint

Photos: Houzz

If you’d like to try painting your ceiling a color and bringing the whole room together, and you’re not sure how, call me for a consult.  Together, we’ll find the perfect color direction for you.

Until next time…

Blessings,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around.

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