Our favorite way(s) to bring color together in a room?

Let’s begin with a little
3-1 countdown…

Number 3– PILLOWS. Simple, affordable, readily available. Throw a few on the couch and whalaa– things are already looking up!

Number 2– GOOD LIGHTING. This includes lamps, sconces, pendant lights, don’t even get me started on http://www.seascapelamps.com/ (we will have to post on these), any light that doesn’t have a blinding light bulb, and please promise me you will remove all brass, builder grade fixtures immediately- you are way too good for those!

So that brings us to lucky number 1– AREA RUGS! Go big, bold, and beautiful people. There are so many fantastic designs out there, I admittedly spent 5 times longer than I should, bringing you the best visuals, so you could possibly get as much enjoyment looking as I did searching :)

An area rug can do wonders, especially in a large room like the living area. Choose something that incorporates wall color, makes sense with your furniture, artwork, etc… It may take you a few tries to get it right! It’s difficult to settle on one design, I’ve looked for years for my own living room. Many online stores have great return policies and even pick-up at your door. So I would encourage you to try a few options.

The best part- versatility! You can throw that puppy over any flooring- wood floors, tile, or not so cool carpeting that the little ones spilled juice all over (oh wait, that’s my house).

Let’s get started with some photo inspiration and move into the encore, Color Zen picks! with coordinating paint colors to get you thinking…

and Color Zen picks!, paint colors by Benjamin Moore

Find anything you must have? Or need some help coordinating an area rug? Contact me anytime.

(thank you Decor Pad, hubpages.com, Decor Pad, chickgeekdesigns.com, Decor Pad and perfectarearugs.com for the photos)

(and links to the rugs, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 )


What color should I paint my ceilings?

That’s a good question! One I bet many are pondering this very moment :) I wish I could give you a formula, or a paint-by-number system, but that would be too easy…

It took me a while to come around on this issue. I do like a white ceiling. Why you ask? Well, they’re versatile- if you change your wall color frequently (don’t get my husband started) they always blend. White ceilings are safe- they will not leave you unsure of your color choice (in most cases). Also, the white adds a bright/airy element to the room.

Then I saw that darn dining room… and my closed mind… o p e n e d. Greige walls, dark gray/violet ceiling, large drum pendant in the middle of the room- beautiful, sophisticated, called for an immediate dinner party.

So I’ve come to a new conclusion- ceiling color can only be determined individually. Personally, I like a balance- mostly white or neutral, with one room or so (if it’s the right room) featuring a dramatic ceiling. Businesses and restaurants are another story.

I LOVE bold ceilings in a symmetrical room with flat ceilings, especially dining or powder rooms. Crown molding and a big impact pendant or chandelier finish the look wonderfully. If the ceiling is bold, go easy on the wall color- the contrast really adds something.

As I was thinking about this post, one of my best friends came to mind, you know, Starbucks? I have long admired the beauty of their stores… the offbeat paint colors, the lighting, the music, the chai … But wait a minute… if their ceilings were painted white? I think we would loose a bit of the coziness? Aha! There’s a time and a place.

Here are some photos to get you thinking…

It’s tempting isn’t it! If you need help with a ceiling color plan, contact me for an in-home or online consultation. In the meantime, here’s a helpful instructional on ceiling paint application (the not so glamorous part :). http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-paint-a-ceiling-like-a-pro/index.html

(thank you Manolohome.com, Domino, Design Your Revolution, Picassaweb(Starbucks), and Homerenovations.about.com for the photos).

Fear No Art.

Sunday morning, while out enjoying banana pancakes (http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/) with my husband and little guy, I noticed a couple, mostly because the man was wearing a Fear No Art shirt. It caught my eye, then started a long train of thought (please find your reading glasses- she’s feeling wordy today).

Beside wanting to ask him if he’s an artist, writer, actor, etc… I was interested and slightly hushed by the phrase. Does this sort of sum up our relationship with art? We are a little uncomfortable?

I think there are reasons… The first thing that comes to mind is the comment, I don’t get art? It’s like my Dad use to say when attempting to teach me chemistry, THERE’S NOTHING TO GET! Well, the chemistry was a lost cause but I do think the phrase is relevant.

As an art student back in the day :), I would often create a piece, then come up with the story (this is my confession). People always wanted a story… what profound meaning does this have? Oh, I just liked the colors, wasn’t going to cut it in class critique, ha ha.

Maybe we regard art too seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I have much love for art history. The tales behind the master’s paintings are deliciously intriguing. Sometimes though, you just want the walls to look darn good and match your couch!

Which leads me to the real story… Let’s chat about ideas for wall art since so many of us are STUMPED when it comes to finding, purchasing, creating, and loving artwork. Paint is the first step, but what you hang on the walls makes your space come alive.

Question- how many of us have a robust art budget? Not many! So let’s discuss affordable options.

#1 Framed Wallpaper- The wrath of the 80’s paper still haunting your home? No paste required! There are some amazing, contemporary patterns available, and the best part is you can go large scale for major impact. Poster frames are an option for extreme affordability.

#2 Fabric- A few yards of your favorite fabric and you have instant art. Go for large scale patterns. Many options- you can stretch fabric over a board or a painter’s canvas- secure with a staple gun, hang the fabric on a rod, or even frame it.

#3 Z Galleriehttp://www.zgallerie.com/. I’m always impressed with Z Gallerie’s selection of art. There’s enough to choose from, a nice variety of styles, and doable pricing. Worth a look!

#4 Etsyhttp://www.etsy.com/. Etsy– what a wonderful resource for original artwork. I like to browse the prints, which admittedly takes time to sort through. Well worth the effort! Some amazing things and very affordable. I’ve been impressed by all my purchases. Don’t you love this fresh version of the family tree?

#5 Framed paper- Or even greeting cards. I have this all over my home! Scrapbook paper has come a long way- some really beautiful sheets. Choose a series of related colors & patterns, frame, and you’ll be amazed at how good it looks! Wrapping paper works too- this local shop has an amazing selection (and an online store) http://www.broadwaypaper.com/.

So there you have 5 ways to embellish your walls! Don’t be shy, choose what you love, go LARGE, and don’t hang your pieces too high.

Have fun and let me know how it turns out.

(thank you Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy, Interior Decorating- Furniture Designs, Brown Design inc., Z Gallerie, and Etsy (various artists(prints)) for the photos).