Color Scheme 101: When to Select Paint Colors by Kimberly Reuther

One of the first thing most of my clients ask for is help in selecting paint colors for their home.  As anyone who has painted the same room several times over can attest, finding the right color is tricky!  It makes sense to call in a professional and we’re happy to jump in!

However, choosing a paint color for your walls is actually the last thing in a long process of determining finishes and materials that will go in your space.

What?  A good majority of people think just the opposite.  Since, paint is relatively inexpensive and easy to do yourself, most choose this route as a weekend project.  I had a part time job a few years ago at a retail bedding/furniture store.  So many people would come in with a paint swatch and tell me how much they loved their new bedroom color.  However, they had been searching for 6 months trying to find bedding to match.

There are hundreds of thousands of paint colors, so starting with a paint color is kind of a backward approach.  You will find that it is easier to select a color from an object you already have, such as bedding or an area rug.

My advice is to start with an overall color palette for your home so that it all “flows” together.

Here are the key steps in selecting a color palette:

1.  Find an inspiration for your color scheme.  It could be nature, an area rug, an article of clothing, a piece of art, or a room you saw in a magazine.  Use it as a jumping off place to pull together a few colors you love.  I always find it helps to pull a bunch of fabrics and textures.  Consider elements you cannot change such as existing wallpaper or fabrics in your scheme.

2.  Create a color board to help you with the selection process. Choose finishes/materials with the least amount of options first (ie. cabinets, countertops, furniture).  This will help you narrow down so many choices.

3.  Consider the amount of each color you want to incorporate into your space.  Some rooms may be more saturated than others.  You may choose to eliminate one color entirely from a room in order to let it stand out in another space.  As you pull together your options, you see which colors naturally makes sense as wall colors.  If your original choices didn’t work, you can now revisit paint colors specifically for your walls.  It is often helpful to get large paint swatches and tape them up on the walls so you can see them in different lighting.

4.  Now that the walls are chosen, you can bring in the other elements to pull the whole scheme together.  Accent colors play a big role in your overall scheme.  Notice the deep colors of the art and accessories that tie back to our original paint palette scheme.

This was previously published on AT HOME’s website.  View the original post here.  You can view more of Kimberly’s work here.

2012: year of orange by kimberly reuther

Hello Orange!  Tangerine Tango has been chosen the color of the year by Pantone.  What a fresh start to 2012!  Orange can be a very tricky color, people usually love it or hate it.  Well, let’s take a closer look at its merits and I bet you’ll start to warm up!

Orange has the energy and vibrancy of red but without the dramatic undertones.  Orange has the spirit and sunny qualities of yellow but it is equally grounded in earthiness.  It plays well with other colors but sometimes can’t help but stealing the show.  So, now how do you live with orange?

– Go big or go home!

If you are a lover of orange and bold choices, then by all means, saturate a room in this splendid hue!  Tip:  When painting with a dark color, using semi-gloss paint will reflect light and keep from closing in the space.

– A little color goes a long way.

If you want to add a pop of color to your room, here are a few ideas to try.  Tip: Make sure to incorporate the color in at least three places to carry the effect.

– The more the merrier!

If you want to balance the boldness of the orange, why not add a few more colors to the mix?  Tip: Use patterns or solids but make sure you give each color enough weight to create cohesion in the space.

– Explore new directions.

Draw from fashion, change the hue a little, use the color to spark your own personality.  Tip: Paint and small accents are the easiest pieces to update if you like to follow trends.

Have fun incorporating this fresh color into your home!

mixing patterns, textures, and colors by mandi maurer gray

As an Interior Designer, I am asked on a very consistent basis what the rules are when mixing patterns, textures, and colors. I many times say that there are no “rules” per say, just good design plans. For many, it can be overwhelming to mix many colors together or to add patterns into a space. I feel this leads many to staying with a very neutral color palette with little to no pattern, not venturing far from their comfort zones. For example, even though someone may love pink, they would never think of introducing the color into their decor. My advise is to find a designer whom you feel you click well with and who will understand your concerns and limitations. Maybe your love of pink can find a beautifully designed place in your home.

Below are some examples of mixing patterns, textures, and colors. Get ready to be inspired!

 

did you bloom with color?

I apologize I am just getting around to posting recaps of some of our amazing events this spring/summer!  Here are highlights from our appreciation event for designers this past May…

I first have to extend a HUGE thank you to all who participated in our outstanding colorbloom event!!!  Our first collaboration with Sherwin Williams was a lot of fun!  Colt Industries really stepped up as an gracious host; what a great space!

I could not have done this without my right hand girl Vicki Dreste of Victoria Dreste Designs!  She was nothing short of amazing at helping me execute our pink & blue vision!

Lastly, we really appreciate the participation of these wonderful vendors to help make the whole event a success!

 

Visit their websites: Sherwin Williams, Colt IndustriesDesign & Detail Trade Showroom, Pottery Barn at Plaza Frontenac, Paperdolls Boutique in Kirkwood, Traveling Tea, Stimulus Baking Company

When we first came up with the idea to host an thank you event for designers, I thought it was a great idea.  I secretly love the honeysuckle pink that was chosen by Pantone as the color of the year and what a perfect way to show it off!

A royal wedding table (2 days before the big day), loads of beautiful fabrics, a colorful slideshow, lovely fashion collection from a local boutique and colorful cupcakes all in the wonderful honeysuckle & denim hues!  Spectacular! Design inspiration, food and fun were a great mix!  Thank you to all who attended!

Hope we can do it again next year!

Area Rug Inspiration By Victoria Dreste

Thinking of buying an area rug? What will it do for your room?

A rug can define the areas of a large room. It can add definition to a small room.

Color, pattern and texture are important elements in interior design. An area rug can add each of these to a room. A rug. of course is about texture. A beautiful rug over a tile or wood floor adds texture and softness. The texture is also great for acoustics and ambiance.  The texture of the rug will absorb sound and create a more comfortable room.

The color palette for a room can be determined from the colors of a rug you love and purchase. In the rug you will find the colors for walls, furniture, window treatments, lighting and accessories.  If you choose a rug with a strong pattern you can add furniture and fabrics in solids and still have an interesting room.

A rug with a pastel palette enhances the look of this creamy white room.

The deep green of the walls is an accent color found in the Peacock patterned rug.

The classic key pattern is updated for this contemporary rug.

A beautiful blue fretwork pattern adds elegance.

The green leaf pattern with a brown background grounds the room and establishes the color palette.

A monochromatic modern setting is brought to life with a bold, bright area rug.

A traditional Ushak pattern in deep blue is a wonderful contrast to the aged pine table.

A rug with a lovely floral pattern is complimented by deep teal walls and white furnishings.

In this room the rug is there to compliment the beautiful, rich wood of the walls and furniture.  The pattern is interesting but it doesn’t overwhelm the space.

The vibrant swirl pattern adds boldness to an otherwise sedate room.

Modern elements in a traditional setting bring an updated, fresh style.

When adding an area rug find one that you love. You can design your room around your amazing new purchase.

Photos from The Rug Company You can see more from Vicki here.

Healthy Abode: Spa Bath – Part 3 by Melanie Holden

Happy New Year! Let’s pick up where we left off for the final installment of spa baths.

Shades of orange and peach are warming tones that increase energy levels and inspirational thought. Orange is a color of fun and friendliness and is best used in activity or creative areas. It stimulates the pulse rate and appetite and is known to energize the thyroid and respiratory system. Orange happens to be one of my personal favorite colors and can look great in a bathroom, but its probably best reserved for other areas of the home.

Then there ís sexy, powerful red.

This passionate color stimulates and excites the vitality of the body and mind. Shades of red promote alertness, strength, courage, sensuality, and sexuality. Transversely, rage, anger, and revenge are the polar values of this commanding color. Red can increase circulation and the pulse rate, raising blood pressure and breathing rates. All of those factors, both good and bad, make red a color that you probably will not want saturating your bathroom. If itís red that you absolutely must have, utilizing a softer shade of magenta, rose, or coral may be more appropriate.

Splashes of red may also be more desirable than complete saturation for an ideal spa bath.

What about white for your spa bathroom, you ask? White contains the entire light spectrum in perfect balance and consequently influences all the systems of the body. Crisp white neutrals are absolutely brilliant in a bathroom! Most of you probably already have white plumbing fixtures, so itís easy build off of those elements. White can encourage creativity while it simultaneously strengthens and nurtures the soul. It generally feels fresh, pure, efficient, and clean and is easy to incorporate into various decors, whether traditional, eclectic, or modern. When in doubt as to what color to use, you can seldom go wrong with white.

How about the non-color color, black? Really? Black for a bathroom? Many people shy away from black, thinking that it would be too dark for a smaller space like a bathroom. To the contrary, dark colors can sometimes make a space feel larger when used correctly. Black neutrals feel wonderfully masculine and glamorous when done appropriately.

Black is a protective color that has calming effects ñ especially to more sensitive individuals. It is most effective when used in conjunction with shades of white and should be used in combination with other colors. Of course, too much black can cause undesirable feelings like depression, fear, suspicion, and paranoia, so take care to use it in moderation.

Finally, letís talk brown. Some of you may be thinking, yuck, why would I want brown in my spa bathroom? Keep in mind that brown can come from a variety of sources, not just limited to the wall color. Most wood tones are brown, so it can be incorporated with a lovely wood vanity, your mirror frame, or even a teak or bamboo bath mat.

However, I am absolutely not opposed to brown walls, especially when used in conjunction with complementary clean, white bath fixtures and other accents. Brown neutrals can feel earthy and organic, which is very beneficial in creating a nature-inspired bathroom. Brown is a valuable healing color because it calms, stabilizes, and grounds emotions. Brown can help you rediscover your center. It even is known to calm hyperactive children!

I know there are about a million other colors that we could get into, but Iím already pushing my luck with the length of this commentary. Plus, most of those other colors are shades and variations of the colors that I discussed above. Whichever color direction you choose to use in your spa bathroom, remember that color is personal and it should benefit the wellbeing of your body and soul. Choose colors that complement your skin tone in the area where you apply make-up, and choose colors that generally make you feel good. Combined with good lighting, color can be all that you need to create your ideal home spa sanctuary.

Healthy Abode: Spa Bath – Part 2 by Melanie Holden

If your summer was anything like mine, it was a hectic one, and Iíd venture to say that weíre all overdue for a little R&R before the busy holiday season kicks into full gear. So, letís pick up where we left off a while back and get back to spa-ing your bath so that you can have that R&R in the comfort of your own home! Hopefully, youíve already incorporated a few organic elements as I discussed in part 1. Maybe you added a pretty plant or two or a few rocks here and there? Now letís move on to one of my favorite subjects, COLOR!

Color has an enormous impact on your feelings in any space ñ not just your bathroom; it is a key factor in establishing balance within the body and soul.

In general, warmer colors such as red, orange, and yellow stimulate while cooler colors like blue, indigo and violet evoke a more calming influence. With that in mind, if itís the ultra-relaxing spa atmosphere you are after, it is preferable to primarily implement calming colors within the space rather than energizing colors. With that said, nothing dictates that a bathroom canít have a bit of stimulating color and still provide a relaxing atmosphere. Every color has its own specific qualities that are beneficial to the therapeutic process, so itís important to focus on the particular therapies that are most significant to you.

When considering the direction to take with your bathroom colors, itís helpful to appreciate the effects any given color may have on your mind and body. So, letís chat our way through the rainbow starting with one of my choice spa-bath colors: blue.

Blue tones generate a sense of peace, serenity and balance. Whether itís azure, cobalt, indigo, sapphire, navy, or aquamarine that strikes your fancy, shades of blue can invoke calmness and invite introspect. Blue is associated with the sky, the ocean, and water in general. The tranquilizing property of blue is helpful in relieving headaches and muscle cramps and is said to have a healing effect on many other types of aches and pains. All of these qualities make blue tones an excellent choice for bathroom color palettes!

Similar to the tranquil qualities of blue, green is classic, calming, harmonizing, detoxifying, and even sedative. It relaxes me just thinking about it! Green is associated with nature, rebirth, growth and money. Have you ever noticed that hospitals often incorporate green into their color schemes? Thatís no mere coincidence. Some shades of green are actually known to have healing qualities and can evoke feelings of security and self-confidence. However, other shades of green should be utilized cautiously, as they can be reminiscent of mold or decay, undesirable in any environment, much less a bathroom.

A blend of blue and red tones, purple is a fascinating, paradoxical color that employs both relaxing and stimulating characteristics of the color spectrum.

It represents royalty, prestige, divinity, authority, and anger. Purple is stimulating, yet meditative, and may aid in detoxifying the body when used in moderation. Physically, purple can provide pain-relieving, tranquilizing, and hypnotic effects. It has been known to enhance intuition and imagination, and reduce stiffness, blood pressure, and body temperature. Purple can provide many positive effects for the mind and body, but when overused it can also prove to cause, create, or exaggerate depression, so use it with care. I typically prefer to see it as an accent color in bathroom applications.

Not surprisingly, yellow is an eye-catching, optimistic, energetic color of awakening. This cheerful, bright color of the rising sun inspires intellectual activity and power. It is a cleansing color that stimulates the digestive system, purifies the blood stream, and has even been known to alleviate headaches. As with many colors, it does have adverse effects when used in overabundance, sometimes creating anxiety and mental tension.

5 Questions with Ann of Expressions Furniture by Victoria Dreste

In our effort to get to know our local resources, Vicki asked Ann Tipton, who owns Expressions Furniture, to answer a few questions about design & what she appreciates in most in life.

 

Vicki:  What in your background brought you to this business?

Ann: My sales experience started in media. I was selling air time for radio.  Sales is natural for me. It is the family business. My dad, Charles Tober, owned retail businesses for many years.

My first contact with Expressions was as a customer. I purchased furniture for my family’s new home. It didn’t take long before I wanted to work there. I loved the furniture.  Retail! At first I was part time ( I started when I was pregnant). After a few years I became full time. The combination of design and sales was great. A few more years go by and I was interested in being the owner of Expressions. I talked to the owners and eventually it happened.

V:  What inspires you?

A: I am inspired by people, by listening to them and finding out what they want. I like figuring out what someone else likes.  That they would come to me to give them what they want is always inspiring.

V:  What trend do you like?

A: Linen. Linen is a timeless trend. It is relaxed and natural. I especially like the classic, elegant look of blocked prints on linen.  That is a trend that could go on forever.

V:  What can’t you live without?

A: Candy especially jelly bellies, hot tea with cappuccino foam, telling stories and making people laugh, my kids; they’re older now but I still like knowing they are there.

V: What advice do you have for someone wanting to purchase new furniture?

A: First I would say—Come to Expressions. You will be inspired. It is not a big box store; it’s more of a boutique. You will receive guidance from design professionals in the store or in your home. We offer selections on style of furniture as well as size, fabrics, trim and finishes. You will make the furniture your own, not what someone else thinks you should have. You will stay true to yourself and have fun finding and creating your furniture.

 

Healthy Abode: Spa Bath – Part 1 by Melanie Holden

Are you too busy for a regular spa trip, but in desperate need of a little pampering? Join the club! It seems like we’ve all been required to do more with less over the past few years, which makes for much busier, more stressful lifestyles. Needless to say, all this work and worry is not good for your health or frame of mind. Excessive exposure to stress can lead to or exacerbate serious health problems like sleeping disorders, heart disease, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure just to name a few. It is time to take relaxation into our own hands! Many overworked, underpaid, stressed-out people are turning to the bathroom as a soothing sanctuary for rejuvenation and retreat to supplement or even replace those few spa trips they have the time and money for.

 

But wait, your bathroom just doesn’t exude the stress-free spa oasis atmosphere you’re dreaming of? Well, I have some thoughts to help you transform it in a way that will entice each and every sense. It turns out that I have a lot of thoughts on this subject, because once I started putting those thoughts on paper, I couldn’t stop! There are so many ways to “spa your bathroom” that to do this subject justice, I decided to break this one up into a blog series.

So, part one, here we go! The spectacular thing about spa’ing your bathroom is that you can go all out or just add a few personal touches to what you already have. If you’re not in the market for a gut rehab of your entire bathroom, you can do plenty of little things to create a calming spa-like ambience. Ultimately, trust your senses and choose soothing colors, textures, sounds, scents, and soaps to nurture your body and soul.

But first, you must de-clutter! Clutter creates a sense of unease and chaos, making true relaxation virtually unachievable. Get organized and get rid of anything that you don’t love or is not functional. Make sure that everything has a place and that things are stored neat and organized.

 

Once your de-cluttering mission is complete, its time for the fun part: finishes! Whether working with an existing bathroom or starting from scratch, think natural. Natural colors, textures, and materials add a fresh, organic feel to any space. Incorporate natural stone, actual stones, or recycled glass for an organic, earthy feel in your bathroom.

Deep, rich wood tones and bamboo elements add warmth and elegance to a room. Wood elements will also promote personal growth, inspiration, creativity, and passion.

Incorporating a few metal elements into your bathroom will create harmony and can balance a space. Various types of metals are even associated with good health. Just don’t overdo it; too much metal can cause anxiety. Keep in mind that the goals are harmony and balance. Are you starting to feel a little Zen yet? Many of these spa strategies align effortlessly with Feng Shui principals; hmmm, sounds like a great subject for a future blog, don’t you think!

Plants are another way to enhance your bathroom atmosphere.

Not only a natural accent, live plants clean the air and bring the outdoors inside, adding color and texture. Tropical plants thrive from the bathroom humidity and herbs provide naturally fresh scents. Your bathroom should emanate fresh, clean air, not a chemical jumble of artificial fragrances, air fresheners and cleaning products. Display small pots of lavender, rosemary, sage, or peppermint. Potted fresh herbs will not only enhance your bathroom atmosphere, they can be used for your very own custom aromatherapy bath! Pick a few stems from your favorite herb du jour, wrap them in cheesecloth and tie them to the tub faucet so the water flows through them as the tub is filled.

Check back soon for part 2 of Spa Your Bathroom where I’ll elaborate on the colors you may want to consider for your spa bathroom, what effects particular colors can have on your mood and what chromatherapy is all about. Until then, happy bathing!

 

Think Big! Using Accent Colors in Your Home by 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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Originally written for AT HOME‘s website by Kimberly.  To read more of Kimberly’s work, visit her website!

 

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