Think Big: Using Accent Colors in Your Home – Kimberly Reuther

So, you love to wear that blue sweater and it really makes your eyes sparkle.  You always get lots of compliments and basically deep blue is your favorite color.  How do you incorporate that into your decorating scheme?  Bold accent colors are not for the faint of heart!  For those of you that love color, here are some great ways to use them in your home!

As with anything, it is all about balance.  When you use a bold color on an accent wall, make sure it is the focal point of the room and that the rest of the pieces complement the intensity.  For instance, this blue wall is deep and rich.  The collection of white furniture gives it the bold contrast and, in conjunction with the chocolate accents, the weight needed to counteract the depth of color.  The result is perfect balance.

Bold Color Inspiration

The same is true for the red accent in the photo below.  The black and white color palette, along with the beautiful pattern of the rug, visually moves your eye around the room and ìlandsî on the deep red headboard.

Statement Headboard

Below, is an example of 2 accent colors.  The deep khaki, almost chocolate, color is basically a neutral since it encompasses the entire space.  The soft French blue door, along with the punch of pink on the settee jolt life into the space and instantly make it a more interesting place to arrive.

Bold Color Accents

Here, they have used a more subtle accent color because the entire palette is subdued.  The color is used in smaller things but it is repeated enough to be effective.

Neutral with Blue Accents

This kitchen is anything but subdued!  How fun and bright is this blue island and matching floor?  In the case of this ìaccentî color, it is used so much that it is almost considered a ìneutralî.  Notice, how they still balanced it with lots of white, natural light and high ceilings.  Beautifully done, it is definitely eye-catching!

Be Daring!

Previously written by Kimberly for St. Louis AT HOME’s website.  Read more of Kimberly’s work and view her portfolio at

Bottom Line: Kitchen Backsplashes by Kimberly Reuther

Welcome to a new series of blogs designed to help you prepare your budget for your remodeling or new construction project. The first topic we are going to tackle is tile for kitchen backsplashes. There are numerous sizes and materials to choose from. How do you know what is right for your budget and your overall design? Here a re a few tips that will help you get started!

Tip #1: Backsplash tile pricing cannot be compared to floor tile. A lot of people think that since they purchased a 12″ x 12″ porcelain floor tile for $4/sq. ft. that the backsplash tile should be the same price or less expensive because they are smaller tiles. This is definitely not the case. It is more expensive for vendors to manufacture smaller tiles and typically you have much less square feet of tile on your backsplash compared to your floor. If you only want to spend $4/sq. ft. on your backsplash, you better love Dal-Tile 4″ x 4″ tile in white, white or white. You need to be prepared to spend around $15/sq. ft. as a starting point for backsplash tile.

Tip #2: Beware of trends. Glass mosaics have been the “rage” for several years now. But how long can it last? It depends on how well you integrate the glass into your overall design. Browse through a tile showroom, like The Gallery at ISC Surfaces, and you are dazzled by brilliant blue glass and different iridescent versions of mosaic tile. Glass manufacturers want to show you all of their capabilities, which are amazing, but many are best suited for commercial applications. Go visit your favorites at the latest hot spot but don’t install them in your kitchen! Paint is easy to replace; tearing out custom tile every 2 years is a whole other ballgame.

Tip #3: Be mindful of your countertop pattern. If you, like most people, have selected a beautiful granite countertop with a large amount of “movement”, you need to make sure your backsplash tile doesn’t compete with it. A simpler backsplash with a busy granite creates a more harmonious kitchen design. The same is true in reverse, the simpler the granite the more leeway with your backsplash. Seeking out photos in magazines is very helpful to narrowing down your style.

Obviously, there are many materials to work with and they will impact your budget in different ways. Here is a general guide to sizes and material costs along with photos for your reference. I always advise my clients to keep their minds open when selecting backsplash tiles. The things you think are expensive sometimes are not and vice versa. It is wise to consult with an interior designer to help create a timeless look while staying within your budget.

Tumbled Stone: There is an abundance of certain natural stones, namely limestone and travertine, that are reasonable for backsplashes. They often come tumbled in the following sizes: 3″ x 6″, 4″ x 4″, 6″ x 6″ and cost around $7/st. ft. – $15/sq. ft.

tumbled stone backsplash tile

Natural Stone Mosaics: A few vendors, namely Walker Zanger, seek out higher quality stones and offer unique sizes, colors and shapes. They are very beautiful and often the images seen in magazines. They are also much more expenssive than their tumbled counterparts. You are looking at around $35/sq. ft. – $200/sq. ft. for this type of stone.

stone mosaic backsplash tile

Porcelain Tile Mosaics: A small sampling of the offerings above are “re-created” by manufacturers in porcelain tile for two reasons. The first is maintenance and the second is cost. However, mosaic tiles are not cheap and sometimes the “fake” version is almost as expensive as the natural stone, so it is important to do your homework. These range in price from approximately $20/sq. ft. – $40/sq. ft.

porcelain tile mosaics

Glass Tile Mosaics: Another versatile backsplash idea is the glass mosaic tile. 1″ x 1″ tiles in a huge range of colors and finishes (matte, gloss, iridescent) are available from a variety of manufacturers, some even made from recycled content. Recently, more shapes and custom color blends, including glass and stone combinations, have come on the market adding to the overall confusion for homeowners. Typically, the price range for glass mosaics is close to $35/sq. ft. – $100/sq. ft.

glass tile mosaics

Machine-Made Ceramic Tile: As I mentioned before, Dal-Tile offers a lot of options for $4/sq. ft., approximately ten different very basic shades in a 4″ x 4″ or 6″ x 6″ tile. These are great for bathrooms because of the large quantity needed but for your kitchen you normall want something more special. I will say that basic white 3″ x 6″ “subway” tile set staggered joint has and always will be one of the most timeless backsplashes and is very affordable.

Hand-Made Ceramic Tile: A more unique, organic look is hand-made tile. The undulations in the shading and shape of the tile create a subtle movement without being too busy. These tiles have a very “old world” feel and have increased in popularity in recent years. They are also available in more creative shapes, such as a harlequin/diamond shape and elongated or large scale “subway” tiles along with a multitude of colors and crackle glazes. Hand-made tile can start at $15/sq. ft. and increase to upwards of $55/sq. ft.

hand made ceramic tile


Previously written by Kimberly for St. Louis AT HOME’s website.  Read more of Kimberly’s work and view her portfolio at

color trend: peacock, turquoise, teal by paige gilbertson

Not only are peacocks showing up as decorative motifs, but the deep turquoise color is quickly gaining ground as a top color trend of Winter/Spring 2010. From punchy, modern patterns on rugs and fabrics to sophisticated classical ceramic lamps, this deep teal tone can work with any style. Think peacock silk curtains with white leather seating and chocolate walls or grey flannel on a classic English sofa with teal gourd lamps.


Sherwin-Williams includes this color in their 2010 Color Forecast.

Pantone’s Color of the Year is the major influence for every industry related to design from Fashion and Interiors to Graphic Design and Paper goods.


Cocktail Hour Chic: Timeless Classic Furniture by Kimberly Reuther

It’s 4:59, the clock hands are slowly ticking away the moments of time until you can escape your 9 to 5 routine and slip into something more comfortable…

Inspiration Photo from House Beautiful

Cut to 5:25…You are home on your plush down sofa, cocktail in hand, listening to your best friend dish about the latest celebrity gossip as you both nosh on homemade crab cakes and crudite.

In 2008, this scene may have played out in a fabulous booth at Cafe Eau. But alas, we are in a recession and have learned that for the price of one great martini at a bar, you can get almost an entire bottle of vodka and have a similar experience at home.

The 50’s era routine of having an apres work drink in the formal living room while dinner is cooking is coming back in full force. This trend coincides with homeowners’ desire for beautiful and functional furniture and entertaining at home. More people are starting to realize that great furniture is an investment and should last for generations to come.

Here are some fabulous pieces to inspire your new environment. All you need are the cocktails – shaken, not stirred!

Salon Chair by Baker Furniture

Campaign Bar from Williams Sonoma Home

Inspiration Photo from House Beautiful

Here are a few more specific ideas for pulling together a very “cocktail chic” room of your own!

Serena Chandelier from Oly Studio

Fabrics from F. Schumacher & Co.

Isaac Sofa from Oly Studio

Agnes Cocktail Table from Oly Studio

Harlow Side Chair

Yves Side Table from Oly Studio

Cosmopolitan Bar Cart from Williams Sonoma Home

Previously written by Kimberly for St. Louis AT HOME’s website.  Read more of Kimberly’s work and view her portfolio at

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