Friday, January 20th, 2012
Since last July I’ve been working on designing a room in the 2012 ASID Showcase Home with my partner in crime, Jennifer Horstman of Sky Flower Designs. We’ve been having a blast and the homeowners were giddy with glee when we showed them our concept for their Gift Wrapping/ Sewing Room at the end of August. It’s been a fabulous experience working with such creative clients who like going outside the box and think our crazy ideas could always get even crazier.
Our final design is pretty close to the original concept, and while I’m not going to give much away yet, I wanted to share a sneak peak with you of the mural we designed for the room since we’ve spent this week laying it out and starting the painting process.
This is what the corner of the room looked like the first day we visited back in July. This is the definition of raw bones. An ability to visual the finished space is key for a designer in moments like this.
Months later the walls are up and painted our base color so we met with the homeowners on site to finalize colors for the custom rug and the wall mural. (It was a working lunch for the busy homeowners.)
Since large scale graphics like this are hard to translate from paper into 3D, we figured the best way to layout the exact design was to work together to draw it out on the wall using pencil. (He doesn’t have 4 arms, those are my arms blurring behind him.)
Thanks to a construction light, our trusty tape measures and a lot of pointing and gesturing, we were able to come up with an outline for the overall design that we all were excited about. Then we had to make sure to tell the painter NOT to paint over our crazy pencil lines on the walls! This is our “Charlie’s Angels” in action photo.
This week Jennifer and I started bringing the full graphic to life. We began by using Frog Tape to lay out the outside lines. Then we used lengths of tape to design the varying widths of each stripe in each section until we felt it had a dynamic balance overall. Not nearly as easy a process as you might think. The hardest part? The optical illusion of lines carrying across all the planes on the door and trim. Jennifer was a rock star and adjusted each line section by section until it looked “right” from across the room. I’d say taping took about 4 hours that day. If one of us had tried to do it alone? I’m sure there would have been tears and maybe even a temper tantrum. I’m just saying… don’t attempt this alone.
By the end of day 1 of taping and painting (I started painting while she finished taping that darn door), we have this dramatic beginning! Of course it would look even better if I hadn’t gotten confused while painting around all those angles and started painting the wrong section green at the left end. Oops. Oh well, it’s just paint.
Speaking of which, we’re using Benjamin Moore Natura paint for this project, which has been wonderful because it has no VOCs, so there are no fumes to give us headaches as we work. The home is going to be MN Greenstar certified, so when you add up all the decisions like this (which paint base to use) across the whole remodeling process, you can see how they make a difference for the homeowners and their health.
Here’s how it looked with the door open. The room beyond is seasonal storage, so it won’t need to be accessed often. But just in case, the design still needs to look right!
And after a couple more coats of paint the colors are looking more saturated and the weird double green band has been painted the proper shade of gray.
We still have plenty of work to do on this, getting full saturation on the colors, removing the tape and cleaning up all the edges, and painting the white and gray stripes in between. But we’re so excited to see it this far, and we can’t wait until it’s done and the rest of the room is furnished and everyone gets to see it in May. But regardless of what the general public thinks, the homeowners are already thrilled with it and the rest of the design, so that’s all we need.
Set your calendars for the 2012 ASID Showcase Home this summer, open to the public May 18th – June 10th, so you can experience this dynamic Gift Wrapping and Sewing Room in person. The home is located on Lake of the Isles and the homeowners are doing an amazing job turning a large old home with traditional details into a home for modern living that embraces the past and present all together. You’ll have to see it to understand what I mean. Look for the preview of the whole project in an upcoming issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
Photo credits: Photos 2, 3 & 4 were taken by the homeowners. The rest were taken by Fox Interiors.
Friday, April 22nd, 2011
Picking paint colors has got to be one of the most challenging design decisions most people face. Even though a gallon of paint ranges from $20 to $75 for the premium collections, it seems harder for people to take a chance with paint than with a piece of furniture that costs many times more.
So how can you get more confident in your paint selections? Listening to advice from professionals who deal with this on a daily basis is always a great place to start. So how do you access advice from these professionals? Start with a great resource like “House Beautiful 500+ Favorite Paint Colors” or “House Beautiful Colors for Your Home: 300 Designer Favorites.”
Culled from the pages of House Beautiful magazine, these reference books complie the best paint color recommendations from interior designers. Rather than just show you the best browns or blues, each designer explains the color and what undertones there are in it or how it makes a room feel. There are also selections based on type of room (bedroom vs. entrance) and sun exposure (north facing vs. south facing). These are the kinds of details that help you understand how color influences the feeling of a space and therefore why certain colors work best.
As you can see from the table of contents above, they have pulled together a lot of color information to get the wheels turning in your head. Not sure what your color personality is? Then take the quiz! Prefer neutrals? They have it covered.
I love how they even feature an example of one of the colors as used in a real space by a designer. Since the color chips they show are not always true to the paint chips you will find on the paint deck when you look at them in person, it is helpful to see the colors in use.
I think of these colors as a great starting place and then I work with the paint decks from the different manufacturers to find similar colors (if the color rendering in the magazine is too different from the paint chip). I believe in ordering larger sheets of paint chips (Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore provide samples to designers of all their colors, up to 8″x10″ in size) and taping them up on the wall for days at a time so I can see how the colors I’m debating between will look at different times of day in different lighting conditions. Trust me, this makes a big difference! That hint of pink undertone in that creamy ivory at night might turn ballerina pink in the daylight.
Small sample pots of paint are a wonderful evolution in the paint industry that I believe help take some of the panic out of paint color selections. Paint swatches (2′ by 3′ is a good size) of each color on the wall and see what they look like throughout the day and night.
And when you finally commit to a paint color, don’t skimp out on the painters tape, roller, or paint base. Use quality materials and it will result in a quality finished product. After you’ve invested all this time and energy in picking a paint color and then painting (or hiring someone else to paint) it would be a shame to have a less than fabulous finished product!
I just bought a new house so you know I’m going crazy picking paint colors and plotting new color schemes and floor plans. Embrace the fun of it, the ability to transform the feeling of a room in a weekend, and to have a fresh new space for very little cash. I hope this has taken some of the fear out of painting for you. Need additional tips? Just ask!
Tags: 500 Favorite Paint Colors, Benjamin Moore, House Beautiful, interior design, painting, Sherwin Williams, tips, twin cities
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