Archive for the 'Painting' Category

Jun 13 2012

Are you Color-Phobic? How to Pick the Right Color without Anxiety

It can be a scary scene. You are standing in front of the paint swatches at your local home improvement store. Your eyes dart back and forth between the massive rainbow colored wall in front of you and the measly fabric swatch you brought in. As your eye drowns in a sea of possibility, your mind is aching from over stimulation.

The overwhelming anxiety that can come from choosing between “butter cream” and “butternut” can have even the most colorful of folks squinting to define a difference. However, even if your palms are damp with sweat from decision anxiety every time you almost commit to a paint color, here are a few ways to help you choose the perfect palette without the panic attack.

Be Narrow Minded

Choosing a color for your room is not a simple task. With endless color options, the varieties in hues, undertone, texture, and finish its no wonder that some of us declare, “color phobia” and leave our walls a flat white. However, if you are have decided that despite your previous failed attempts at choosing the perfect color that now is the time to add a much needed punch to your dull space, here are a few ways to help narrow down the options and save your sanity in the process.

Commit to a tone

If you have decided that you want green on your walls, you have to commit to what tone of green you want before you head to the paint store. Take items around your home to remind you: a pillow you love, that creamy silk pashmina from your closet, or even a favorite picture from a magazine. These are all clues as to what tone fits you best. Some greens have bluish undertones while others have yellow and even gray, so make sure the color that you choose is neutral enough to accommodate your furniture, but also make sure it isn’t too pale.

Bring these inspirational items with you to the paint store. Ask a professional at the paint counter to help you match those items with a paint color and be very narrow minded in your approach. Be firm and explain that you don’t want to entertain any other tones of green just the ones that match what you have brought. That way you can avoid being subjected to yet another bout of color confusion and walk away empty-handed.

-Paint one wall first

If you have had trouble committing to a color in the past, don’t be alarmed if and when you start painting that you begin to see spots or second-guess your choice. This is a very common response to painting new color. If you are beginning to wonder if “silent seaweed” really is the color for you, paint an entire wall or two and live with the color for a few days.

If you still feel like the color was improperly matched, then you should feel free to return to the drawing board. In most cases, it is simply the change that you haven’t’ gotten used to, not the color itself.

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Jun 04 2012

Color Code and Pattern Personality: How to Decipher Your’s for the Best Choices in Décor

In design, it is amazing how the little things can make all of the difference. From a simple throw pillow to a thoughtful art piece, it is the accents in a room that can really highlight your beautiful furniture or lofty ceilings. If you don’t understand how to use accessories to your advantage you will be missing out on an inexpensive way to take a room from plain to full of pizzazz. While color and pattern are the two main ingredients required to give any room personality, it takes a little know-how in order to really make a statement as well as blend everything effortlessly and purposefully.

Choosing Patterns 

This is a little bit trickier than choosing color. A pattern has the ability of telling the story of your room, where color has the ability of setting the scene. A fleur-delis pattern tells the viewer that you enjoy a classy and refined lifestyle, but if you bring it together with a pop of hot pink, it also takes your room to a fun and hip place, where your friends won’t be afraid to bring their kids or ask for hot cocoa instead of Chardonnay.

Most people have no idea how powerful patterns can be, nor that they have the ability to speak volumes about your personality. Do you love checkered patterns, country landscapes, shabby chic floral, or pinstripes? Perhaps you are drawn to the wacky and outlandish lines of a mid-century modern wingback chair, or you like the streamlined look of a simple linen drape. These little accents are the finishing touches on your room, as well as a declaration of your style.

Choosing Color 

After you have decided which patterns you are attracted to, then do a quick diagnostic of your color code. This may change depending on the room. In some rooms we like a moody, low-light color scheme for example in the bedroom, but a burst of bright orange in the living room can provide a lot of energy. These color codes can go together as long as you pay attention to hue. The color spectrum is an amazing thing. The right shade or the addition of yellow, green, white, or red to any color on the color wheel and you turn a pink into a purple or a green into a blue.

That is why it is very important to choose colors that blend together. Not all blues go well together. A bright blue that is like a robin’s egg will not blend well with a blue that has greenish undertones. The best way to decipher undertones is to ask your local paint store for a paint book. Choose colors that are close to each other. If you like a bright yellow in the front of the book and want to match it to the nearest taupe, don’t pull a color from the back and instead choose the brown paint swatch nearest to your original selection.

To-do: Flip Through Fabric Books

The next time that you are at a fabric store, flip through their fabric books. Every time your eye is drawn to a certain pattern (pay no attention to color) ask for a swatch of that pattern. Once you have collected 3 or 4 of your favorite patterns, then move on to color and do the same thing. This is a quick self-study in deciding what your pattern personality is.

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May 23 2012

Top Color Palettes for Home Decorating

Every year, trends in home decorating change a bit with regards to popular colors.  Last year, turquoise was all the rage, perhaps due to a declining economy.  Turquoise is a color that stands for compassion and healing, and is inspired by the sky and water.  This year, things are changing in a big way as colors are shifting to those which contrast with the slow economy; people want colors that uplift and stimulate their spirits.

Honeysuckle – filled with courage and confidence

Honeysuckle is the big color this year, not only in home decorating but clothing as well.  This color is appealing to the eye, and perfect for adding a lively flair to your home.  This is a color that falls somewhere between an intense shade of pink and red, so it’s perfect for perking up your home.

Use this shade in bedspreads, throw pillows, accent rugs, even on the walls if you dare.  In the kitchen, add small splashes of honeysuckle through linens, candles, glassware, placemats and wall art.

Vintage is coming back in a big way

Vintage themed decor is making a huge comeback this year as well, perhaps due to the economy.  It’s natural that people want to feel lifted and upbeat in their homes, so a vintage decor theme makes sense.  It takes the mind back to a more peaceful and relaxed time.

Colors typically used in a vintage theme include berry shades, deep burgundy and browns, bronze, and smoky violet hues.  Paired with leather furnishings and dark wood, these colors will exude class and sophistication.

Those who prefer feeling that they are “getting back to the old days” will enjoy the farm house look.  Earthy tones offer a back-to-nature feel; rich browns, leafy greens, bold blues and butter yellow shades play a big part in setting the mood.

Tribal colors will also rule this year.  When people think of tribes, they often think of communities of people and the importance of those people in one another’s lives.  Tribal colors are earthen and rich; indigo blue shades, rusty orange hues, browns and curries add a bold and exciting splash of color to any space of your home.

If you’re still stuck on turquoise, give things a lighter twist.  Consider pearly or satin finishes, using colors that are relaxing and soft.  Soft gray tones, creamy whites and neutral versions of sage add a bit of a retro feeling and make your home feel like a much-welcomed escape from today’s stressful world.

There are plenty of decorating themes and color options to help update your home this year.  Decide whether you want a vintage, tribal, farm house or retro look and go for it!  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, simply add some paint here and there to walls and cabinets; include subtle splashes of color through furnishings, wall art and other accessories.

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Mar 08 2012

Pattern, Color & Texture – Creating Amazing Rooms

Not all that long ago homeowners wouldn’t dare mix patterns and colors in any way that wasn’t traditional.  Neutral colors were, for the most part, bland and lacked personality.  Today, all of the rules are out the window when it comes to decorating your home!  Rich textures, contrasting patterns and lots of color create rooms that are filled with personality and dimension.

There are still a few rules, but not too many.  If you’re ready to turn your dull home into an extraordinary showplace, here are a few tips for decorating with these various elements.

Consider room size when choosing patterns

Take the size of the room in to account when deciding on the patterns you want to use.  Large patterns can look overwhelming in a small room; for example, a large floral print on furniture upholstery tends to look garish.  For smaller rooms stick to small and medium sized patterns.

In contrast, large rooms look better with patterns that are medium to large in size.  Small prints can get lost in a large room; a small print often looks like a solid color from across the room in an area that is open and spacious.

Colors liven things up

It’s fine to have neutral colored walls and even furnishings, but color is what brings a room to life.  Consider bold splashes of color in throw pillows, rugs, wall hangings, vases, curtains and other accents so as to add interest and appeal to the room.

When using color, use those you love most but stick to three basic shades so that the look is coordinated and not confusing.

How to mix patterns and textures

If you think back a few years, it’s very likely that you never saw plaid patterns, stripes and floral designs mixed in the same room at your mother’s or grandmother’s house – it just wasn’t done!

Today, designers know that mixing stripes and floral patterns or plaids and solids makes for a look that is bold, elegant or even country chic, depending on what you are striving for.

It is perfect acceptable – and even encouraged – that you use stripes and checks or stripes and floral patterns together, as long as all of the pieces contain some of the same color.  For example, if your color scheme includes burgundy, blue and cream shades you would want all patterned items to contain a single one of these colors such as burgundy.  A burgundy and blue striped throw pillow will look divine when paired with a floral pillow that contains the same shade of burgundy.

Use a varied array of texture in the room; nubby rugs or accent pillows stand out even more against smooth or satiny surfaces.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit when it comes to patterns, color and texture.  By combining all of these elements, your rooms will make an impact that is not soon forgotten by all who enter your home.

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Aug 05 2011

Decorating Your Home in Shades of Orange – Warm, Inviting and Energetic

Orange is a color that few people consider when decorating their homes, and it’s really a shame.  This is a color that can be warm, rich, bright or energetic.  The many shades of orange are perfect for every room of your home; pastel shades provide a soft look in bathrooms and rich shades warm up the kitchen.  If you have never considered decorating your home with orange, the ideas below will give you a whole new perspective.

Add a pop of color with bright orange

In a living room or kitchen, bright orange is the perfect color to liven things up a bit.  You probably won’t want to paint the walls bright orange, but when sprinkled throughout the room in accessories, bright orange offers a bold, sunny flavor to the room.

Lamps, throw pillows, picture frames and vases can add interest and color to a living room.  In the kitchen, inject a bit of energy with mugs, dish towels, mixing bowls and other smaller items which are on display.

A smaller piece of furniture such as a single accent chair colored in bright orange can serve as the focal point of the room, especially if done in a bold pattern such as striped or geometric prints.

Create warm, dramatic spaces with dark orange

A dark orange or pumpkin shade is perfect for the dining room, living room or home office.  Those who enjoy a warm atmosphere will find that dark orange is not at all energetic like bright orange is.  The look is dramatic and at the same time cozy.

In the dining room, dark orange paired with dark wood furnishings creates a warm atmosphere.  Add splashes of dark orange through the centerpiece, wall art and even a table runner.

A living room decorated in cream shades, dark orange and other earth tones makes for a relaxing, inviting atmosphere.  It is well known that color affects mood and spirits; if you live in a colder climate, dark orange hues can make a room feel cozy and warm.

Soft orange for soft, feminine spaces

Soft orange hues range from pale melon to light peach, and look beautiful when paired with sage green, white or soft, pale shades of blue.

These colors can create a dreamy atmosphere in the bathroom; since the colors are light, they also work well to make a small bath look larger.

While it’s best to stay away from dominant orange shades in the bedroom because of the energy orange projects, pale, soft shades of orange when used sparingly, can create a warm, ambient atmosphere that is conducive to restful sleep.

Years ago, people would never have dreamed of using orange in their decorating schemes.  Today, you can use any color you like.  Why own a home that is boring and dull, when your home can be filled with personality and color?  Give orange a try – you just may be surprised at how beautiful your home can be when using the various shades available to you today.

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Aug 04 2011

Incorporating Bright, Cheerful and Open Spaces in Your Home

While some people enjoy a dark home, most homeowners prefer a bright, sunny interior that offers cheer and a look that is wide open and spacious.  No matter how large or small your home, you can really open it up through the use of window treatments, color and even visual effects that “trick” the eye.  If you’re ready to give your home a spacious, airy new look, the ideas below will help you achieve it easily.

Colors that offer a sunny appeal

You don’t have to stick to boring white in order for your home to look open and bright.  Today, color is the name of the game.  Bright, sunny yellow shades, soft bisque, pale orange and lime green are cheery and vibrant.  Of course you don’t want to overdo it with these colors, but adding a “pop” here and there brightens the entire room.

For the walls, you may want to use stark white and then add vibrant color throughout the room with accents that are full of energy.  Alternatively, paint the walls a sunny yellow, and then incorporate soft blue and white as part of the room design.

De-clutter and be amazed

Nothing makes a room look smaller and messier more than too much stuff.  Many people love their “knick-knacks” and other dust collectors, but the truth is if you want an open, airy look stick to a minimum of accents.

Choose bolder, larger accents that really make a statement.  By staying away from lots of small items placed on coffee tables and bookshelves, the look will be spacious and appealing.

Use visual effects to trick the eye

There are many things you can do to make a wall look longer or a ceiling higher. Paint a bold stripe of color horizontally across a wall to expand its length.  If you want the walls to look taller, paint a stripe or two vertically to make the ceiling appear to be higher.

Crown molding can also make a ceiling look higher, if you paint it the same shade as the wall.

Rearrange your furnishings on a diagonal line.  Sometimes getting away from a square or rectangle look can give a room fresh new appeal.

Window treatments

If you have heavy or dark colored drapes in your home, remove them and try lighter fabrics or even a shade or blind.  Opening up the windows dramatically brightens a room, as natural light can flood the area.  Sheers and light cotton fabrics give a room a light, airy feel.  Consider a valance for the top of the window only, or blinds that open up fully so that you can let natural light in.

Mirrors are another great way to expand the size of a room, as they reflect the portion of the room they are facing, and even reflect light that comes in through the windows.

There are dozens of little tricks you can use to open up your home and make it a happier place.  Light, cheery surroundings brighten the mood and give you energy.  Lighten up your home with these easy tricks!

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Aug 03 2011

Home Decorating – Beige Without Boring

Beige has been a staple in home decorating for decades; while you may think this color is too plain for homes today, it’s anything but boring!  Beige is a color that is neutral, relaxing, warm and easily transformed for any look or home decor theme you prefer.  If you cannot picture a beige room being appealing and filled with character, the ideas below will help change your mind.

Shades of beige from pale to rich

There are many different shades of beige you can incorporate in your home.  From a rich caramel beige to light shades of sand and bisque, beige shades can be the basis for all of the other excitement you throw in a the room.

Beige is a perfect backdrop for everything else, because you can easily switch out accents and other elements of the room when you are ready for a change, without redesigning the entire room.

Metallic’s and texture bring beige to life

Think of all of the metallic elements that lend personality to a beige room.  Copper, bronze and gold in wall art, statues and other whatnots bring a vibrant contrast that makes the room pop.

Texture is another essential element in any room, whether it is beige or some other color.  It’s important to incorporate nubby textures with smooth surfaces; doing so adds depth to the room and gives it a rich look.  Think shiny glass table tops, richly textured throw pillows and nubby carpets or accent rugs.

Pattern makes it all pop!

Patterns are an essential element in a beige decorating scheme.  Pattern not only provides a splash of color, but an undercurrent of energy.  Throw pillows incorporating colorful geometric, floral, striped or checked patterns placed against a beige sofa make it come to life.

Vibrant patterns on the wall make a beige background almost seem as if it were the “mat” for pictures and prints.  Use pictures and artwork that offer movement, such as boldly painted prints with flowing patterns.  The floor can also be important when adding pattern through throw rugs or even intricate tile designs.

Incorporating color

As interesting as it sounds, a beige room will make the other colors you use even more important or pronounced.  Depending on the look you want, anything from soft peach and sage green to shades of blue and black and red can be used – everything goes with beige!

A soothing look can be achieved by using soft pastel colors.  If you want an exciting, dramatic look, consider red and black.  Those who enjoy a country or western theme can easily incorporate those colors found in nature, for example burnt orange, rich rusty reds, butter yellow and blue or green shades.

As you can see, beige is not dead!  In fact, this basic color is one of the best for decorating in any type of decor.  Use your imagination, and remember that adding rich patterns, texture and bold splashes of color make a beige room come to life with personality and character.

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Jul 13 2011

Cool Decorating Tips to Help Make Your Apartment Your Own

Decorating an apartment can be a challenge.  Some landlords aren’t too happy when you make changes such as painting or replacing window treatments, while others don’t mind as long as you ask them.  If you’re ready to make your apartment your own so that it reflects your personality and style preferences, here are a few easy ideas that will help you accomplish the task.

Paint the walls if it’s allowed

The easiest way to give your apartment a fresh look is with wall color.  If your landlord agrees, use bright colors to make the spaces look larger.  A bold splash of yellow or pale melon on a single wall gives the room a fresh, cheery appeal.

Use wall art to make a statement

Blank walls are boring; to put it mildly.  Inject depth and interest into the living room by adding wall decor with a rustic, old time feel.  If you cannot afford to buy pictures or prints for the walls, make them yourself!

Take your own photographs and have the ones you like best enlarged.  Consider using a sepia or black and white finish for a unique look.  Purchase inexpensive picture frames made of wood or metal to complete the look.  You may even consider crafting the wood frames yourself, or giving the ones you purchase a worn finish by sanding and whitewashing.

Think outside the box when it comes to furnishings

One thing you want to avoid, especially if you have a small apartment, is bulky over-size furniture.  Consider sleek furnishings that are designed on a smaller scale, even low-flung sofas and chairs with no arm rests.  Large throw pillows are perfect for extra seating when you have company; after they leave, simply stack the pillows in a corner for a punch of color.

Salvaged items can be used in a variety of ways.  One way to create a unique coffee table is to use an old wooden door.  Paint it, sand it, give it a fresh coat of stain or create any look you like.  Use large terracotta pots as the “legs” for the table, and you have an interesting yet beautiful conversation piece.

Make your apartment appear larger with this easy trick

Find an old window, preferably one without the glass.  Have a mirror cut to fit the window frame, and then hang it on the wall directly across from the existing window.  Hang curtains around the mirrored “window”, and even add a shelf below it to create a makeshift window sill.  Instant window – and the reflection of light in the mirror will make the room appear much larger than it really is.

These are just a few tips that will help you create a look for your apartment that is fresh, appealing and totally original.  Your apartment doesn’t have to look like every other apartment in the building!  With a little creativity and a few great finds, you can decorate your apartment in fresh style without spending too much money.   Most importantly, have fun, and enjoy your living spaces.

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Nov 05 2010

Incorporating Brown and Teal for a Living Room that is Modern and Appealing

Today, modern decor is refreshing and attractive.  Two decades ago, most people would never dream of decorating a living room in shades of brown and teal; now, it’s one of the most appealing looks you can have if you love a clean, modern decor.  In this article, you will find many useful tips for incorporating these two colors for a look that is vibrant and beautiful.

Starting point:  Walls

In order to prevent your living room from looking closed in or small, you want to use a light, neutral shade for the walls.  Consider light sand, a pale, soft aqua or a muted caramel color.  To add further interest and appeal, paint baseboards and trim in a contrasting shade such as bold aqua or dark chocolate brown.

If you’re feeling particularly creative, consider texturing the walls through various techniques such as stamping, ragging or rag-rolling to add a wallpaper-like finish that is original and eye-catching.

Choosing the furniture

To achieve balance in this style of decorating, it’s best to choose furnishings that are scaled to a larger size.  Tables, entertainment centers, chairs and sofas should all be the same deep brown shade if possible.  Leather furnishings work especially well in this decor, and add rich texture.

Accessories are where the fun begins

Once walls are completed and furnishings are chosen, it’s time to start adding colorful accents.  Choose 3 shades of teal; a pale shade, a medium shade, and one that is dark and bold.  The medium shade will be the dominant teal color for the room, while the others help balance things out.

When shopping for accents, let anything teal catch your eye and consider if it will work with your decorating theme.  Throw pillows, picture frames, vases, window treatments, candles, tapestries – all of these things will add color and visual appeal to the room.

Vary patterns for further appeal

Long gone are the days when everything had to match.  In past years, if you chose a floral pattern for your living room, you would not dare use stripes or abstract patterns.  Today, it is very common for savvy decorators to mix stripes, plaids, swirls and all types of patterns together, and the look is creative and attention grabbing.  Consider a plaid throw, along with striped pillows and abstract paintings for the walls to create a room that is full of life.  Mixing patterns adds depth and originality, making each room striking in its own unique way.

For those who love modern, contemporary rooms, this look is ultra-chic and absolutely beautiful.  Incorporate hues of dark, chocolate brown and shades of teal for a rich look with bright splashes of color that bring the room alive!  Decorate with accessories that are unique and capture the attention of the eye.  Once you see the finished results, you will want to show your living room off to everyone you know!

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Nov 05 2010

How Color Schemes Set the Mood for Your Living Room

Published by under Living Room,Painting

Many people have no idea to what extent the colors you they in their living room affects mood.  Color is responsible for giving a room a cool or warm tone, for making it look rich, airy or elegant.  Textures and pattern play a large role as well, but every item you place in your living room adds color, so you want to make sure you are setting the tone you desire for the room.  In this article, you will learn how to incorporate color in your living room to achieve the desired effect.

Yellow and Red

Right now, you may be thinking these colors are “loud” or too bright, but quite the opposite is true.  When you incorporate soft yellow tones with warm reds, you invoke the countryside of Southern France.  Infuse a bit of bright green or moss green then add sunflowers, mustard toned ceramic pots, and floral prints for a look that is fresh, inviting and relaxing.

White and Butter Yellow Strike a Paris Appeal

Butter yellow walls and white furnishings offer a gently worn, French-inspired appeal.  Painted furniture, white upholstery and aged pastels offer a romantic, warm atmosphere that is truly inviting.  Rugs and draperies should be adorned with small splashes of pale blue and green, while faint touches of red outline throw pillows.  Vintage fabrics really add an authentic flair to the room!

Go Sophisticated with Dusty Chocolate and Lime

Love a sophisticated, modern look?  Today, brown is not at all like the dull earth browns from decades ago rather it is a softer, muted chocolate brown that adds a richness and warmth to the room.  Splashes of lime add vibrant color and perk up the atmosphere.  Lime green ottomans and an elegantly painted canvas splashed with a touch of lime offer a lively, fun look.  Oatmeal hued walls and throws, pillows and other accents with a nubby texture complete the look of the room.

Blue, Tan and White – Oh So Relaxing

Want your living room to have a relaxed and inviting “I’m on vacation” appeal?  Incorporate pale blue, sand and white for a look that brings the ocean to mind.  A pale blue rug, the color of robin’s eggs, tops a wood floor; woven or rattan furnishings enhance the island appeal.  White accent tables have a worn look, while white sheers on the windows add to the airy feel of the room.  Include throw pillows and other accents that blend all three colors for a dash of excitement.

These are just a few examples of what you can accomplish with color.  Imagine all of the colors and shades available to you today, and what you can create!  Whether you are going for country comfort and appeal, contemporary class, a romantic French look or the utmost in regal elegance, much can be achieved by simply using color for the basis of your decorating ideas.

When it comes to decorating your living room, let your imagination inspire you!  Go online or search through magazines to find those living rooms you truly love.  You’ll be happiest in your home when your living room beckons to you to come and enjoy.

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