How often have you looked through shelter magazines or seen images online that show a color you fall in love with. You may even have the color’s name and brand so you tried it in your own home and couldn’t believe how different it looked on your wall.
There are very good reasons why this happens and there is a way around it. This week’s article is from Vanessa Brunner, Houzz Editorial Staff. She interviewed photographers Christopher Stark and David Duncan Livingston, and designer Jean Verbridge. These shared tips will tell you how to find and get the perfect color for your own home.
Best of all, it’ll save you time, money, and frustration.
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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It seems to be the rule, in most cases, that ceilings are painted white.
Perhaps it’s because a white ceiling gives the illusion of a bigger and brighter space.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, you might be missing  out on what could be beautiful design by doing something different.
Think of your ceiling as the 5th wall. It deserves as much attention as you give all of the other aspects of your interior design.
Take a look at these photos for some exciting ways to take your ceilings from white to wow.

Soft and sophisticated, this monochromatic look is really beautiful. Try to imagine how different the feel would be if the ceiling were painted white.

The mocha shade on the ceiling is also used on the molding giving a cohesive look.

This is a great way to treat a tray ceiling. The green stripe is a bit lighter than the wall color, giving the room a soft , overall impression.
A favorite technique of mine that gives the feeling of a canopy bed. The molding is applied up the wall at the head of the bed and continues along the ceiling to the foot of the bed. The paint applied to this area is a high gloss creating a beautiful sheen. Remember, however, when using a high gloss finish, the walls/ceiling need to be flawlessly smooth.
Small rooms don’t need to be painted a white or lighter color as seen here. The darker walls and ceiling give the space a cozy feel.
The soft blue of the ceiling is brought into the furniture and accessories giving this beautiful room a light and airy feeling. As in photo # 2, the color extends onto the top of the walls.
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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Color is magical and powerful.
It can transform a space because color affects us emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Imagine for a moment being surrounded in a Pepto Bismol pink painted room vs. a space colored in a soft, barely blush pink; you can feel your pulse rate rising and following respectively.
What we see, in our current state of evolution, is the primary source for all of our experiences.
And color is something we see. Amazingly, the human eye can distinguish between 7 and 10 million different colors!
For this article, I want to show you a few examples of colors that soothe the soul. Not surprisingly, they are colors found in nature.
They are all Sherwin Williams paint colors. via Huff Post Home
Soft Blues Soft Blues
Gray Blues Gray Blues
Aqua Blues Aqua Blues
Pale Greens Pale Greens
Dusty Pinks Dusty Pinks
Lavenders Lavenders
Beiges Beiges
Pale Grays Pale Grays
These hues slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure because they are calming. They’re all soft and less saturated. They are dustier and have been “greyed” down.
The colors you see here are going to be a little different from what you’ll see on your walls at home, so be sure to try an actual sample first.
And, as always, it has to be a color that you love or it won’t have the calming, soothing influence you desire.
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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Marsala - Pantone Color of the year 2015

Sensual and bold, delicious Marsala is a daringly inviting tone that nurtures; exuding confidence and stability while feeding the body, mind and soul “. This are the worlds on Pantone‘s website when you read abou this wonderful new color.

Every year the Pantone Color Institute chooses one color that they define as their “color of the Year.”
It shows up in fashion, cosmetics, paint, fabrics, home accessories, floral arrangements—almost everywhere.
The 2015 hue is called “Marsala.” It’s a red shade with brown undertones that create a very warm and rich color that blends well with many other colors. It’s easy on the eye.
BUT, and this is the most important question, is it easy on YOUR eyes?
Color choices are generally chosen on an emotional level. Some colors we love, some we hate, and still others we feel neutral about. No matter what colors you choose whether it’s your clothing, makeup, or in your home, it has to be one you love; it makes you feel good.
As I always say, you’re your very own trendsetter. You decide and that makes it the perfect color for you.  Take a look at these photos and see how many ways “Marsala” has been used. You could decide you’d like to add it to your own decor.
An entry way with a richer paint color and added accessories placed on a custom designed marble and burnished metal shelf.P.S. I used this color on an entrance hall wall for a client several years ago and called it “Root Beer.” Today it would be called “Marsala!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around
Photos credit via KOMET
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0

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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