A Cool New Look for Peggy.

Peggy and I are working on a paint color plan for her kitchen, living room, trim, door, fireplace, etc. This will be the beginning of a whole new look…

She happens to live in California, in an area where temps. likely reach 101°. Now that’s sizzling! So she would like to plunge into a COOL new color palette- blue/greens with apple green accents. Wall color something to this effect (below)(West Elm), perhaps 2 coordinating shades/lighter & darker. I think we can make it work!


To jump start the project, we had a great conversation in which Peggy described the look she’s going for- contemporary, less is more, clean lines, feel good, peacefulness… At that point I was putty in her hands. I’m not going to lie, that is my scene :)

So she sent me photos of the space…


… and I realized this is going to be a huge transformation! The paint will be the clearing of the slate, but the things that fill the room will be even more important. And since I can’t help myself, I asked Peggy if I could put together the look (at least ideas). Consistency, I think that will be the key to success here.

Background info.- The current carpeting will be replaced with tile, new furniture will be purchased, wider white floor trim added, and a new rug and table has been selected for the kitchen. We will use this as our inspiration (below).


Here’s what I came up with!

Paint– Let it rip! We’re covering all surfaces. Trim, ceilings, shutters, even the fireplace- slather them in white paint. White paint with a sliver of warmth to avoid the blue/white look- Ben Moore white dove or vanilla milkshake.

The walls- I think we should keep the blue/green relatively light, to maintain an airy quality. Top picks- Ben Moore ocean air (lighter) for the kitchen and gossamer blue (slightly darker) for the living area. These colors will look great with white trim.

The Accompaniments–


Thoughts on furniture- Peggy mentioned recliners, I like this light/dark combo. Sofa from Pottery Barn, recliner from Room & Board.


Accent pillows- My favorite, affordable way to bring a palette/room together. Thank you Crate and Barrel.


Rugs- Peggy and I discussed Flor tiles, we both love them. She was thinking of using green and tan squares (over the new tile). I love the product/look but was afraid the modern, choppiness (keeping in mind the very geometric kitchen rug) would be too much. I’m loving these softer options from Dash and Albert. I like the idea of a lightweight rug in a room that really heats up.


Accents- Simple, easy, just a few here and there. Crate and Barrel and Z Gallerie.

The fireplace- Since the fireplace is an important focal point, it deserves extra attention. Peggy did tell me that the sconces and art were new and should stay (below)… b u t … I think they will be a real clash with the blue/greens, etc… (Sorry Peggy!). They could find a new home, maybe another room?

Here’s what I would do- as mentioned, paint the fireplace surround white, paint (fireplace paint) or cover with heat resistant black tape (I’ve tried this, it works!) the brass lines, and hang a very large, clean, simple piece of artwork above (love this option from Z Gallerie).

The wheels are turning, the creative process rolling, the new colors waiting to pop… What do you think?

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Babies, Closet Curtains, and Many Other Tangents…

My head could easily spin if I allowed it to… and that’s where my ultra calm hubby comes in handy (Jess, we’ll get it all done, don’t worry).

We are expecting a baby! Awwwwe. One more bambino to complete the family :) Very happy.

So this means BIG CHANGE for our relatively small home. We will be working to maximize every morsel of space! The first job to tackle- converting my (beloved, boo hoo) home office… to a baby room. Oh, the things we do for our children, ha.

And where per say will the color lab be relocating to? The master bedroom! Time to muster up extremely creative ways to join a bedroom and office, without loosing one’s mind or sacrificing a creatively inspired space. I’m sort of excited to take on the challenge… our bedroom could use a fun new look anyway. It will be tight though… New York tight.

So I will be sure to document changes being made as I learn lessons through trial and error and hopefully come up with some color-rich, design savvy rooms. In the meantime, I’m dreaming of nixing our current clunky, oak, closet doors, to replace them with curtains as we convert to a nursery. I always loved the soft look- here are a few great examples!


I’ll let you know what I come up with… choosing fabric is the best part!

(thank you Apartment Therapy, Alkemie, House Tweaking, Young House Love, and Branching Out for the closet inspiration.)

Spring Color * top 5 picks for 2011.

I consider myself a reasonable girl, who adores a gentle, zen, earthy, paint palette to create a lamb of a backdrop in which to embellish with bright pops of color. And when my clients admit reluctantly to being paralyzed in fear (regarding color), I do not hypnotize them into chartreuse, we just go with it…

But this Spring I’m having a moment, a year, a phase… It’s really more like an awakening in which I, as others, have been influenced by outside forces and decided it’s okay to take risk, dive into the world of unexpected shades/bright chroma, and throw caution to the wind. It may be temporary, or not?

To fuel this fire was a seasonal wardrobe sprucing including a blinding orange trench coat, a citron sweater, Revlon “Minted” nail polish (I’m obsessed, go ahead and laugh), a renewed love for shades of pink, etc…


To summarize in a phrase, ICE CREAM COLORS, reminiscent of the 1960’s but with a modern twist. So without further ado, here are the Color Zen picks for Spring 2011!


1. From Mint to Apple- Mixed Shades of Green! Mint green, dare we call it “seafoam”, is heavy on my mind. It feels very retro… yet fresh? I love it mixed with other shades as in the first photo. Try Benjamin Moore light pistachio 2034-60, feather green 625, lime twist 425, and citron cocktail 410.


2. Pale Turquoise. Love this example but I’m particularly intrigued by the range of color from yellow/green to blue/green, mixed together in interesting ways, tempered by an abundance of white. Try Benjamin Moore annapolis green 687 and heavenly blue 709.

3. Citron. My life’s love… Flash back- I asked my mother if she would buy me a sweater in this shade from The Limited (when the store was really cool in the 80’s, ha) (I was like 14), and she said, are you sure about that color?? I remember thinking… how much better can a color get? Never cease to love this happy hue. For the season I prefer it almost pushed to a yellow and paler than usual. Try Benjamin Moore rainforest dew 2146-50 and lemon twist 394.


4. Pink. Very pale shades with a few pops of bright… Mix it with white or throw it against a pale gray backdrop, it’s a sure-fire way to add good energy to a room. Try Benjamin Moore pensacola pink 1184, rose rococo 1275, and marry me 1289.


5. White. And last but not least, one of my all time favorites… to cleanse our palette. Have you noticed the abundance of white in fashion and decor? It goes perfectly with all the bright colors listed above, and creates perfect balance. Don’t be shy… Try Benjamin Moore white dove 0c-17, swiss coffee oc-45, and ballet white oc-9.

So there you have it, Mixed Shades of Green, Pale Turquoise, Citron, Pink, and White… Feeling the love?


One last thing for you… Check out these Benjamin Moore paint colors from 1969! See the similarities?


(thank you House to Home UK, Chic and Cheap Nursery, Practical Enrichment, Better Homes and Gardens, urbanloftonline.com (pillow), Domino, House to Home UK, and creaturecomfortsblog.com for the photos)

Sarah’s Sweet Georgian Kitchen.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah via the Benjamin Moore Experts Exchange (come visit!) while she was in the process of remodeling her kitchen. We’ve been back and forth on a variety of advice beginning with her quest for a happy/appropriate paint color…


The wall history- #1 wallpaper, #2 sage green gone wild (looked neon), #3 faux finish in brown, #4 painted cloud white as pictured above… Sarah, I feel your pain, we’ve all been there!

The white was heading in a good direction but Sarah wasn’t loving it and felt the cabinets were lost in space. I suggested Benjamin Moore’s Moon Shadow, a very light, gentle gray/green. Please see my paintbrush (upper right), I love this color! Something to unify the backsplash and walls while providing contrast for the white cabinetry.


And then there was Moon Shadow
– she is happy! #5 is a charm?


So the next mission is to help Sarah with fabric selection (how fun). She would like to add simple box-pleat valances to the windows. We must keep in mind colors, textures, window shades, etc…


I was inspired by this room from adore home, I think we could push in this direction… Sarah sent me some fabric she was considering, I really like this pick! Colors/style perfect.

Here are additional ideas I came up with…
Love this example…


#1 Crate and Barrel- do you know they sell fabric by the yard? Just learned this… #2 Galbraith & Paul, smokebush (wide variety of color options), #3 Amy Butler, Midwest Modern II, Fresh Poppies Linen, #4 Dwell Studio, soft scrolls in charcoal.

I feel some fabric samples coming on :), this will be trial and error as always. The patterns will add business, so Sarah may have to pair down accessories but I believe the end result will be fabulous. Can you picture a white drum light hanging above the table? Can’t seem to shake that vision…

Anyway- to make this very long story short, this kitchen is shaping up in a very big way. What do you think?

Don’t forget PB Teen…

And I say this because, I often forget to give this line a whirl. Pottery Barn Teen has some really great things! The prices are reasonable and the vibe, a little more hip. The merchandise grabs my attention as the classic Pottery Barn often fails to do (not that I don’t appreciate the classic pieces/furniture quality). The room designs featured tend to feel a bit matchy/cutesy for my taste, but if you ruffle the look with some unexpected touches, you may just have a winner!

Here are some of my favorites (It was hard to edit the list!)… An added bonus? They also reference coordinating Benjamin Moore paint colors.

How cute are these? Capiz Blossom Pendant & Fab Floral Chandelier.

If this duvet was available in king, I would consider it for my own bedroom. I can picture it with gray pinstripe sheets for a more mature look. Hana Floral Duvet Cover.

Love the brown & white version here. Double Dot Sheet Set.


Once again, quite tempting! Simple, modern, elegant. Metro Panel & Malibu Printed Sheer.


This petite bench would add a touch of vitality to any room. Blossom Dot Upholstered Storage Bench.

I feel a few purchases coming on, what do you think?