Perfectly Stated.

Reading through August’s Real Simple magazine (one of my great loves), the editor writes about her encounter with Eve Ashcraft, an architectural color consultant featured in the issue.

“I was fairly content in my boring, white-or-off-white existence until I encountered Eve Ashcraft… As far as I can tell, being a color consultant means you are part triage doctor, part magician, and part psychotherapist. It also means that-like other people with true visual talent, or that kid in The Sixth Sense-you see things that other people can’t.”

How perfectly stated- the best description of my job one could ever configure. There is an incredibly psychological component I never anticipated. It’s like me vs. all of your life experiences, including the powder blue dress your mother made you wear in 5th grade, that the kids had a field day with. Even though powder blue would look amazing in your new bathroom, you will forever despise the shade and tell me simply, it ain’t happening! :)

These life experiences and your eye vs. my eye make color consulting really challenging, exciting, and wonderfully complicated. Somehow we get there, one paint chip at a time.

So I went on to take a peak at Eve’s color combinations in the magazine and was equally delighted with what I found there.

Incredibly beautiful color that’s both unexpected and livable! I never would have put these combinations together, but that’s why they’re so inspiring… Sweet innovation, wow.

Highly recommend!

(Thank you Gentl & Hyers/Real Simple for the beautiful photos)


Why Your Home is NEVER Hopeless.

Once in a while, I run into a client who just despises their home… and it seems to make the entire experience feel negative and blaaaaaaaah.

But- the good news is this scenario can take a complete positive turn (I’ve seen it happen, yes!). By the time a few simple changes have been made, the homeowner’s attitude has lifted. Very inspiring to witness, I must say.

There is real power in loving your environment. It goes way beyond face value and material things.

So People- if you are not in love with your home, GET a MOVIN’! Don’t let self doubt, fear of change, lack of motivation, color phobia, my husband/wife won’t let me, etc… keep you down. I think sometimes dreading the work is far worse than diggin’ in and getting the job done. In 1 weekend you can turn the whole place around.

No matter how bad your house is, in reality or in your mind, there is always something you can do!

Here are 8 of my favorite tricks-

1. Clear it out. Clear most of the items from your room(s). Spend some time rethinking/rearranging. Keep your favorites, purge the rest. Less is more, more, more!

2. If your carpet is gross- clean it! Our best family friend is the Rug Doctor. For a very affordable rate you can rent him at your local home improvement store. I was a complete skeptic until my husband proved me majorly wrong. P.S. if you really hate your carpet/it’s a terrible color- seriously consider replacing it- sets the whole tone…

3. Add a large piece of artwork. It can be as simple as a framed poster. Make sure the colors relate to your furnishings. I would rather see one big impact piece than 20 little ones scattered about.

4. Paint (you knew we were going there). A fresh coat is priceless. This also applies to woodwork- if your wood is really bad- paint it! Takes decades off your home. If you’re struggling with color choices, call me!

5. Slip cover 80’s patterned furniture. Nothing brings the design progress to a hault like a screaming 80’s patterned sofa and chair, ha. If you can’t afford to replace these pieces in the near future, just cover them up in a thrifty neutral slipcover. Layer with a few new throw pillows and a near miracle has been performed.

6. Add light. A lamp, candles, a string of lights… Instant warmth and happiness. I had the nicest client- we were working on her sunroom (she did such a great job decorating, it turned out fabulous). She put together this candlescape (above). It brought a little slice of heaven to the room. I gasped in delight when I walked in. That’s what we’re going for, right? Yes!

7. Add shimmer. Something that sparkles, shimmers, or reflects light such as a mirror, a metallic object, a glass vase, or throw pillows with beading. It will break up the monotony and brighten the space instantly.

8. Pick an accent color (or 2) and stick with it. When there are too many colors going in one room, it kills the look. Settle on 1 or 2 you love and go with it. A neutral plus one or two accents always works! Repetition.

Ready to get rollin’ on some improvements this weekend? Cheers readers!

(thank you Real Simple, Real Simple, Sarah Richardson, Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Real Simple for the photos)

Good Balance!

Designer Sarah Richardson of HGTV, etc. has caught my attention lately! It seems her room designs just keep getting better and better?

I am IN LOVE with the soft, peaceful, paint hues that whisper, I’m so perfectly understated you don’t even notice me, in the following rooms.

They just make perfect sense (along with the rest of the elements).

It’s funny, I’ve been on a mission, trying to open client minds to the medium tone. I hear a lot of… that’s too dark, too dark, too dark… Lesson learned- if you do not commit to enough depth in color/neutral, and your home is filled with dark natural wood and dark furniture (which is very common in the Midwest), the soft hues I’m adoring above, often fall flat. The walls look washed out and the furniture feels heavy. You lack overall harmony, flow, and ……………… balance!

Why do the soft hues work so well here? Notice Sarah uses primarily white, and really light colored accents, fabric, rugs, etc. and just a touch of dark contrast for pop. You are not startled by any of the elements, emphasis is on the cohesive overall look, and you just plain want to live there!

I suppose my point is, though tempting to paint bold color to appease boredom, or stick with off-white because you’re afraid, really think about your home, your accents, your furniture and what will bring everything together. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s amazing!