Friday, May 25th, 2012
Perhaps you’ve seen the preview photos of the mural we created for the Gift Wrapping & Sewing Room at this year’s ASID Showcase Home. If not, check out this past post.
Inspired by that design I decided to paint a similar design in my own nursery.
My original color palette was going to be a medium deep red, navy and jade green with perhaps a crisp white accent to tie into the trim and furniture color. But my husband, John, thought it would be too sophisticated after he saw all the patterns and prints at Babies R Us for kids blankets, clothes, and crib sets. Normally he doesn’t care strongly about my color selections (especially since I do all the painting), but since he had an opinion I decided to tweak the plan for his sake.
I was originally going to have the stripes wrap around the two left walls above, but he asked me to carry them around the short wall on the right to die behind the large bookshelf that will go back against that wall. The image above shows how the stripes would have died into the ceiling originally, so I needed to tweak the tape placement for the wrap around to work.
Here is the adjusted overall layout.
The next step is to determine how many colors you want to use, and then subdivide each wall section using your painters tape. Keep in mind that the color will go in between the tape lines for the outside stripes, but the inside stripes are only illustrative of the width you want. You’ll have to go back and retape those areas once the outside lines have been painted with multiple coats.
You can certainly keep your stripes a consistent width the whole way, but I think it would actually be trickier to eyeball, and I like the dynamic motion the changing widths creates. Don’t forget to press your tape down thoroughly! They’ll be less touch up later if you do this now. Pay special attention to inside corners as paint especially loves to drip there.
I think this was after 1 or 2 coats of the first round of paint colors had been applied. Certain colors are more transparent and will need more coats to reach your ideal finished color. Reds and oranges are definitely in this category.
After 3 coats of each color had dried I was able to peel off all that tape and see what I had. Love it! I decided to use the base wall color as a stripe between the orange and green. I simply used a wider piece of Frog Tape to mask off that area, giving me a nice width line without effort.
Now those stripes look great from across the room, but up close you can see there was a fair amount of fine bleed through along each stripe. But don’t let that scare you! All you need is a tiny paint brush and your wall color to fix that. You can see at either end of the orange stripe above that the line is wavy instead of crisp. The middle section is sharp because I’d just gone over that area with my base wall color and my little paint brush.
When I say “little brush” I mean it. My brush is probably the equivalent of the smallest brush on the right side below. This is a set from Dick Blick.
The key is to rest your hand against the wall for stability, and to work in small sections. The 3 coats of your stripe color you painted will have created a small ridge at the edge where you had the tape. The brush will glide along this edge the same way you cut into a ceiling line. Start by putting your paint brush down just a little ways away from the ridge and glide down to the ridge to paint over the color bleed through areas. It may sound like a daunting task, but I find it addictive (“Just one more section before I go to bed…”), and I don’t think it really takes that long.
Before I started working on cleaning up the edges of the completed stripes I masked off my last color. If you place your tape right up against the ridge created by the adjacent paint stripes and press FIRMLY along the entire length of the tape, you might not have to do ANY edge clean up on the last color. This is because that ridge helps block any paint that wants to sneak under your tape.
I did 3 coats of the blue as well since it wasn’t coming out quite like the paint sample and I wanted to make sure to give it enough coats to reach it’s full potential. While that dried between coats I was able to work on my touch ups around the red, orange and green stripes.
And here is the completed mural! It may seem like this took a lot of work, but the whole project only took 7 hours over 4 days. For a large impact like this, that seems really quick! Especially since the mural at the Showcase Home took us closer to 30 combined hours. Painting over the paneling and trim at the Showcase made it much trickier, plus all the extra trips back and forth. When it’s your own house you can take a break between coats of paint and come back an hour later. The amount of paint you need for each color is minimal. I probably used about an inch or so of paint from each quart paint can, so you might even be able to achieve this using only the sample size pots of paint they now offer. Or you could reuse existing paints from other projects.
I’ll show the completed room down the line, but the hardwood floors need to be refinished before I can move anything back into that room, so it’ll be a little while.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Monday, January 23rd, 2012
In case you haven’t been reading the blogosphere fanatically, you might not know that Pantone has unveiled their Color of 2012.
Tangerine Tango is the Color of 2012, and I couldn’t be happier.
Last year’s Honeysuckle was alright, but Tangerine Tango fits in with all the color trending I’ve been seeing the past year.
You know I’m a fan of orange, and this is just the deeper orange range I prefer to play with. No apricot or peach tones for me. Deep saturation? Yes, please. This is more in the direction of the persimmon color I’m planning to paint my front door this summer. (I hinted at this in a post about front entries this summer.)
My favorite boxes for stashing supplies are a bold orange.
Boxes by Stockholm from The Container Store.
I just tried to create an image of my house with the updated paint color with the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer program, but the color rendering was terrible because it layered the color selected over the existing color which dramatically changed how every color looked. Bummer.
Here is one of their stock house photos with the door “painted” SW 6881 Cayenne. I think it would actually be deeper than this.
So I guess this is the closest I can get to showing the paint color ideas I have in mind.
The top color is a deeper persimmon with more red in it. The middle is closer to the Tangerine Tango. I was doing this in photoshop and couldn’t find quiet the right shade yet. The gray at the bottom is representative of the direction we headed for the main house color. Right now it’s a sage green the previous owners painted it, which is better than the baby blue it was before that. The majority of the front of the house is brick and the side of the house has a large expanse of white siding, so we have to work with all of that when selecting colors.
Okay, the idea of you picturing a really red brick with this color combination was enough to get me to do more tweaking to an image of the front of my house to get closer to a decent visual of the color palette. I don’t want my front door this bright, so you’ll have to mentally combine the images to get the right look. But you can see the gray may end up more gray with a hint of brown in it.
Okay, well you get the idea. I’m happy with Pantone’s color choice and I’m planning on bringing more orange into my life in 2012. Of course trends are trends, and I was already planning on using orange anyway, but it’s fun to see your favorite color get recognition.
Are you an orange fan? What color do you think should be the 2012 color of the year?
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, February 25th, 2011
Looking at the fall fashion show round-ups one trend I was interested in trying was bright colorful pants (no patterns – I’m not talking about Zoobas here!) Perfect for transforming a simple minimal outfit into a statement with one bold splash of color.
Which got me thinking, why are we so afraid of color in kitchens? So I rounded up a few favorite kitchens belonging to homeowners who embraced color with arms outstretched. I’d love to hear what YOU think! Could you be this bold?
Why does the adage “it’s only paint” apply to painting walls but not painting cupboards? Come on, let’s be adventurous!
To slowly transition into colorful cabinets, consider having some of your cabinets in a color while others are wood or white. Perhaps a pantry unit on one wall is red like a great Chinese cabinet that serves as an accent and conversation piece in a living room. Or you could paint just the island cabinets in an accent color.
Or you can go all out in one shade, head to toe (or ceiling to floor, crown molding to toekick, as the case may be.)
Apple green? Yes please!
Love this glossy turquoise color.
This kitchen has so much going for it. Gorgeous walnut butcher block countertops, a wall of subway tile in a warm cream tone that keeps it light and open feeling to balance the dark green base cabinets, and the green and cream floor tiles that pull together both the color palette and connect the indoors and outdoors in one continuous flow.
Isn’t this just like a pair of colorful pants with a cream blouse and brown belt and great shoes (maybe a strappy pair of wedges with green and white overlapping bands)?
Look what a difference the wall tile can make in a room - compare this space with green base cabinets and no wall cabinets to the kitchen above. Obviously the rooms have different spatial qualities, but the colorful tile on the walls here shifts the attention from the colorful cabinets. But the cabinet color supports the tile – imagine this with maple or white cabinets. Ehh. The dark green cabinets ground the room.
Still love this red base cabinet.
This is what I would call modern english country. The cabinet pulls are definitely not traditional. I love that the background is all crisp white and I could see popping just about ANY color on those cabinets and having it all still work. Though you might need to coordinate with a different cereal bowl.
This is exactly the way I think of the fashion trend – bright pants with a light simple top. Maybe a few pins on the shirt to balance the bright lower half (the art on the walls in the room plays the same role here.)
This kitchen is right on trend with Pantone’s Color of the Year – Honeysuckle. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m loving it on kitchen cabinets.
And finally, the piece de resistance, why not paint every door a different color?! You have endless options for accessorizing the room, and I doubt you could feel sad in a fun space like this! Perfect for those afraid to commit to one color… pick 10 instead!
But if you are stuck with a kitchen where you can’t paint the cabinets (aka. a rental property), painting the walls is still a great way to bring in your personality with color. Here inky deep blue walls add a moody quality to an otherwise plain kitchen.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Here is my confession (for those who didn’t already know this about me): I am a magazine addict. It is so difficult to walk past the racks of shiny new glossy magazines and resist their siren call. So you can imagine how difficult it is to hold out at an airport with all that time to kill before my flight!
To help my willpower and wallet (or not, depending on how you look at it) I subscribe to a lot of magazines. The rationale is that it’s cheaper to pay a reduced fee to have all the issues magically appear in my mailbox each month than to sporatically buy 3 or 4 issues a year at the bookstore/Target/Walgreens, etc. Then when I’m tempted buy a glossy magazine with pretty pictures promising me new design inspiration or the best burger joints in town, I can remind myself in my head that I have stacks of magazines at home waiting patiently for my attention. Usually that’s enough to help me walk away.
But then the flip side of that is that I do literally have stacks of magazines to be read each month. I get through most of them rather efficiently each month, but the design magazines always seem to have to wait a couple of months to get my attention. So when a new issue of House Beautiful arrived today I had a moment of joy when I spotted it’s bright, colorful cover amongst the pile of boring mail. Which was quickly followed by dread as I realized it would be ages before I got around to actually reading each article (skimming does not count for me).
Then I had a moment of brilliance. I should start a recurring column here that features my 3-5 favorite pages from the newest design magazine, which I will post THE DAY IT ARRIVES. Now do you see the brilliance? This will force me to stop, flip through the issue, and find great content to share with you while it’s still on the news stands and accessible. Since so many great design magazines have been forced to shut their doors in the past 2 years (House & Garden, Domino, Cottage Living, Southern Accents, Metropolitan Home - the design magazine I discovered at age 15 that got me hooked in the first place, etc.) it’s more important than ever to support the remaining design magazines. So keep an eye out for each new post since you never know what day I’ll get a new delivery of design inspiration in the mail. And if I cave in and fall for a gorgeous magazine at the book store, I will post that too (my weakness will be a gift to you).
I hope you all enjoy this new project along with me.
So here are the images that grabbed my eye in the September 2010 issue of House Beautiful:
Like I’ve mentioned in the past, a small bathroom can handle a bold wallpaper. I love how this marbleized paper was mixed with a 1940s French metal mirror and balanced by the paneled white walls and vintage marble sink.
The breezy, worn quality of this room is so peaceful. The texture of the chunky sisal rug against wood floors, old metal and worn wood is so visually interesting even though it’s a very monotone palette.
What caught my eye in this photo is the quatrefoil mirror over the bed. This would not be nearly as eye-catching if the designer hadn’t framed the mirror is a slightly darker paint color than the main wall color, and further highlighted it with a loose mural of ivy in off-white around the darker paint color. Not to mention the piles of books at the foot of the bed look so inviting in this cozy room.
What a bright cheerful room! I have always loved apple green and chocolate brown, and the designer handled these earthy tones with such a light hand that they almost feel breezy. All the natural light pouring into the space doesn’t hurt either. Don’t miss the free form pattern of lily pads and flowers painted on the white floors. A bold but fun choice.
Finally, I always think it’s fun to see how people really live. So this profile of designers and the sofas they own and how they live in them is fun. I think the black couch at the bottom looks just like one of Alexander Wang’s chairs in the Black & White color palette post. I love the high back and sides of the banquette in Liz O’Brien’s office with those colorful pillows. I sat in a off-white sofa upholstered in a fabric like sheep fur with a high back and arms in a showroom in Chicago 3 years ago and I still fantasize about it. There’s even a sofa that was originally from Crate & Barrel that was reinvented through reupholstery (I hope you don’t have to learn that lesson yourself: there is a reason some sofas cost more and last longer.)
Now go pick up your own copy of House Beautiful and find your favorite images!