I’ve been choosing a lot of whites recently which has me so excited!This recent color and redesign project is almost complete, other than waiting on a new white leather couch and chair.
I get asked a lot about what are the best whites simply due to the various undertones and overkill of what seems like hundreds of shades to choose from. She, like many of my do it yourself clients, had several white squares painted on her walls (see before photo below) which most times only serves to confuse more as the color is skewed by the existing, surrounding color. This is what led her to ask around and ultimately be referred to me.
When I visited her she had already selected a couch from Tema so she had the white leather swatch to show me. Based on her the swatch, her flooring, her lighting and what she wanted, I specified Sherwin Williams Snowbound for the walls which is a very clean white but not a stark blueish white. We still wanted a slight contrast between the walls and the baseboard and doors so I chose High Reflective White- one of the purest, brightest whites Sherwin Williams has with a lovely undertone. I also specified a different sheen from the walls.
She wanted to keep an accent wall so I suggested we change the wall to a different wall than her original accent wall.
I chose the selected wall for several reasons:
1. It’s an open floor plan in the entry way, living room and dining room. The wall I chose is next to her dining table so it gives the feeling of a separate section.
2. When you enter into the living room from the entry way you see only white walls so it’s sleek and her artwork is the main focus.
3. Anytime I do an accent wall the question is, is there something to accentuate? The original purple accent wall didn’t need to be accentuated.
4. The additional purple wall around the back door was on the same plain as the fireplace wall and at one time had been a corner that was a small reading nook. Without that nook it served no purpose as an accent wall. As a matter of fact it chopped up the look and drew your eye away from the fireplace and brought attention to the outside door instead.
She wanted a blue accent this time so I spec’d a beautiful, elegant blue from Sherwin Williams called Granite Peak. She ordered a blue chair from Tema.
Phase 1- She did bot hire a professional painter so I specified the type of paint to buy. She and a friend and a handyman did ALL the painting.
Phase 2- She and I went shopping for furniture and artwork.
(The current after pictures shown are the white leather furniture but when it came in she felt it was uncomfortable so she will be returning it.) We found a beautiful and comfortable white leather tufted couch and chair which are now on order from Tema.
The artwork and buffet are from Ethan Allen.
I love “shopping” in other rooms to find the perfect accessories while keeping on budget -so the metal artwork I took from her hallway and switched up with some other artwork from her office.
Lastly, the metal vases and off-white statues on the buffet were regrouped.
More photos to come when the new furniture comes in!
In the third of a three-part series, we are sharing some photos of some of the more popular grays and how different they can look according to the lighting and what surrounds them, like other walls, counter-tops, furniture and flooring. (Disclaimer- unless otherwise noted these are our own amateur iPhone photos from our jobs. We are great at choosing colors and painting, not necessarily photography!)
Sherwin Williams Argos (Photo credit Calvary Albuquerque)
Sherwin Williams Argos
Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray
Sherwin Williams Modern Gray
Sherwin Williams Skyline Steel
The next two colors are actually more of a greige than gray.
Sherwin Williams Shiitake
Sherwin Williams Megagreige
In the second of a two part series, we are sharing some photos of some of the more popular grays and how different they can look according to the lighting and what surrounds them, like other walls, counter-tops, furniture and flooring. (Disclaimer- these are our own amateur iPhone photos.)
Shown here: Anew Gray, Keystone Gray and Warm Stone
Drift of Mist and Modern Gray (Wall in reflection is Parisian Patina)
Agreeable Gray (ceiling Gale Force)
Agreeable Gray (Ceiling Brainstorm Bronze)
Skyline Steel (Cabinet Gris)
Mindful Gray and Gauntlet Gray
Chelsea Gray and Anonymous
Floor- Felted Wool
If you need help choosing the perfect gray and/or the perfect light bulbs for your space, contact me.
During a color consultation I look at your fixed elements and choose the right color(s), lightbulbs and sheen according to undertones, temperature, and light reflective value (LRV). I work with Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Dunn Edwards paints.
2019 Colors of the Year
Each year our favorite paint companies release their color of the year. Keep scrolling to see the predictions for 2019!
"A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay, is Sherwin Williams 2019 Color of the Year. Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together creates a desert modern aesthetic.
This warm, earthy hue is both casual and refined. It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone and sculptural greenery. Complementary materials include leather, simple woodgrains and indigenous cacti in contemporary, sleek gardening planters.
Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in. Envision beaches, canyons and deserts, and sun-washed late summer afternoons-all of this embodied in one color."
"Calm, composed and effortlessly sophisticated, Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year 2019, Metropolitan, exudes glamour, beauty and balance."
"Metropolitan AF-690 emanates nuance, harmony and extravagant ease. Always adaptable, it softens to matte or shimmers with sheen. It's neutral. It's understated. It just is. This is color, off-duty."
-Ellen O'Neill, Benjamin Moore & Co.
Dunn Edwards SPICE OF LIFE
"Dunn-Edwards 2019 Color of the Year, Spice of Life , is inspired by a celebration of what makes life interesting and exciting. It's warm, inviting, adventurous and life-affirming. This strong, enticing, spice-market blend adds a complex, flavorful seasoning to design palettes. The elements of orange in the hue give a grounded, substantial feeling to design.
This strong, full-bodied and intense hue, full of passion and life, can look organic and natural or appear moody and sophisticated. In its organic and natural world, Spice of Life represents a colorful expression inspired by global crafts. When playing subtle and stylish, this lush, refined hue is eternal - historic, yet youthful."
"Vibrant, yet mellow Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.
In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.
Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media."
Whether you love it or hate it, you can't ignore that gray is one of the most popular colors in home decor today. If the trend is on it's way out, New Mexico hasn't gotten the memo yet.I still get many calls from people who are looking for the perfect gray.
There are many shades of gray, some warm, some cool and the average homeowner, if not skilled at seeing undertones and understanding lighting, can end up with blue walls, green walls or purple walls. That's where I come in; many people need help before they invest the money and paint the wrong color.
In the first of a two part series, I want to share some photos of some of the more popular grays and how different they can look according to what surrounds them, the fixed elements- like other walls, countertops, furniture and flooring- as well as lighting. (Disclaimer- these are my own amateur iPhone photos, so color is not as accurate.)
The following two photos are Anew Gray from Sherwin Williams on the walls and ceilings in the same home.
This dramatic staircase is Anonymous Gray.
These pictures of Agreeable Gray are at the same fitness studio- just a different amount of natural light shining on some of the walls.
Not entirely gray, Balanced Beige is more of a greige. But for this homeowner, with the warmth of the fixed elements, this was their perfect gray.
In the second photo (different house) the lighting shows a bit more of the beige while still retaining a slight grayish tone.
These photos are from two different homes. They are all Dorian Gray.
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon! If you need help choosing your color palette, give me a call!
The exterior of your home or business is the first thing that visitors see and should have a welcoming appearance. With a professional exterior paint job you can create an aesthetically pleasing house or office that creates a first impression that speaks volumes about you and/or your business.
The goal of color design in an architectural space is not for decoration alone. Humans react to color in very profound ways and make subconscious decisions based on experiences with color and the physiological responses in the body. For example studies have shown red stimulates our appetite and increases our blood pressure while blue suppresses the appetite and lowers our blood pressure.
We are also conditioned by nature and our environment. Take yellow and black, the colors of pedestrian crossing and other warning signs as well as police tape- which are meant to alert us to potential danger. This same color scheme is used for bulldozers and more than one brand of drills and tools- thus making it a powerful, more masculine color scheme. Yet, used individually, yellow and black take on very different meanings and reactions. Such as cheerfulness for yellow and sophistication for black.
For graphic designers, advertisers, architects, decorators and color consultants, choosing color is vital to achieving a desired outcome. Colors do create an atmosphere, a mood and influence buyers.
The right exterior colors in commercial projects can:
The right exterior colors in residential projects can:
Tips for using exterior color:
If you need help with choosing colors or any painting projects, give us a call and we’ll get it done right the first time.
Our client loved her oak cabinets, tan colored tiles and dark Formica counter top-15 years ago. But like many of our clients she was ready for an update to brighten up her space.
I worked with the client, visiting tile and kitchen stores in person and online to find the simple, white (vanilla) quartz countertop, the multi-gray backsplash, the cabinet pulls, and the wood look tile. Paint colors were chosen making sure the undertones worked perfectly.
PaintSmith, Steve and his team worked his magic and painted the cabinets with Benjamin Moore Advance Satin -color match to Sherwin Williams Alabaster White. Agreeable Gray, a warm gray, was chosen for the walls.
Color and room layout can have a profound effect on your mood, your energy level and your overall life experience. How do you choose your perfect color palette?
While every color consult we do is a little different, here are 5 common things most people don't give enough consideration to when they are choosing colors.
1. Color Psychology - Think about places you spend a lot of time like your office, your favorite restaurant, your friends home, your home, your gym. What kind of feelings or energy level do you experience? Now think about the surroundings, light, color, furniture. Can you sense a connection between the color and how it affects you? Does it feel cozy? Relaxing? Stimulating? Does it make you feel calm? Productive? Creative? Powerful? Talkative? Sleepy? Energetic? And it's not just about moods or feelings, it's physical too. Studies show that blue can actually lower your blood pressure while red increases it.
The place to start with color psychology is to ask yourself what is the purpose of the room? Once you have determined that, you can begin to narrow your color choices down. (Even if you are painting a neutral white, gray, tan or beige, you'll still have plenty of color uses through your accessories.)
Here are some colors and the possible effects to them:
Next ask yourself if there are there any colors you hate? Blue can create a spa like feeling in your master suite, but if you hate the color blue or associate it with bad memories, clearly it will not affect you in a positive way!
Don't choose by the color name. Names can be very deceiving. Here is an example of a color consultation I did for a couple who had chosen their own gray but once the color stared going on the wall it turned a blueish gray which was not at all what they had in mind. To get the color they wanted, I chose a color named Accessible Beige. As you can see this greige appears totally gray on their walls! With beige in the name this wouldn't have been a color they would have chosen and they would have missed out on exactly what they wanted.
2. Temperature & Undertones- This is a big one that can make or break your look. Your first step is determining if your fixed elements (flooring, counter tops, etc.) are warm or cool. You will want to stay in the same temperature in order to have the most harmonious look. Using this photo again as an example, you'll see the flooring, the wood furniture and the rug are all warm undertones, which is why the original gray they chose didn’t work. It was a cool gray with cool undertones. So although you may think gray is a cool color, like all colors it has a warmer version and a cooler version. You may gravitate towards a cool gray but if your fixed elements are warm, you should opt for a warm gray. The fact that all colors have warm or cool versions is good news because you can still incorporate your favorite color into your palette by choosing the right temperature. For example if these homeowners wanted a blue rug instead of the red, they would just need to choose a warm blue and it'd be gorgeous!
3. Are you painting the ceiling too?
Don't assume that your white ceiling doesn't have an undertone. Many times it appears to be pure white but in reality it has a red, yellow, blue or green undertone that isn't apparent until you paint the walls a new color. Case in point- I had a client who wanted to change their light mocha colored walls to a light gold. Because the walls were mocha, the white of the ceiling appeared white. However, when I held up the 8x11 light gold color chip next to the ceiling, the red undertone was apparent and looked slighty pink. So although the ceiling paint was in really good condition and repainting was going to increase her cost, she wanted the new color so I chose Navajo White which has a yellow undertone (which like the red is indiscernible) and looks just like white on the ceiling.
4. LRV- Light Reflective Value is how much light reflects or absorbs. In other words how dark or how light a room will appear. What kind of look are you trying to achieve? Light, bright and airy? Or dark, cozy and dramatic? The LVR number is 0% for the absolutist blackest and 100% for the lightest white.
Most people prefer a color somewhere in the 45-55% range. However, you'll want to take into consideration how much light you get in your room. If it’s a dark room to begin with you may want to go as little lighter and lower on the LRV scale to get the color you really want. Or if the room is already very bright, you would be safe to go a little higher on the LRV scale.
5. Lastly, do what you like! You are the one who will be living or working in your space so if something makes you feel good but doesn't follow the "rules" go ahead and be a rebel!
Like life, you will be more satisfied if you are surrounded by what makes your heart sing and have flow, harmony and purpose.
If you are still unsure about choosing colors and want to avoid costly mistakes, contact us to schedule a color consultation!
White doesn't have to be boring! On the contrary, many decorators, artists and homeowners use white as their primary palette to create a blank canvas so their own style and colors can take center stage. The challenge for most people is how to choose the perfect one. All paint colors (including white) have a primary undertone-yellow, red, green or blue.
These 2 photos are the whites available from Sherwin Williams. Looking at them on this card you may think they look like pastels as opposed to white. But when they go up on the wall they WILL look white- only the subtlety of the undertone will be apparent in relation to your fixed elements such as flooring and furniture. Which is why it's crucial to choose the right white based on your lighting and fixed elements as it can make or break your entire look.
Here are a sampling of some of the whites we've worked with.
White Duck with Snowbound Trim and Doors
Moderate White with Snowbound Doors and Trim
Nothing can make or break your kitchen quite like the cabinets. Many people don't realize that it doesn't have to cost a fortune. By using paint you can update and refresh your cabinets for a fraction of what replacing them would cost. Below are a variety of some of the cabinet work we have done.
Classic white cabinets in this 1960's home for sale gave a crisp and clean look. This was part of a complete repaint that led to a fast sell for this homeowner who got their asking price.
Originally all of these cabinets were painted a terracotta color. This homeowner wanted a change so the main cabinets were painted a brown color, antiqued with a glaze and finished with a clear coat. The island was painted a southwestern red, glazed and finished with a clear coat.
Two toned cabinets are an exciting way to update your kitchen. These cabinets were painted white and an espresso brown.