Cottage Update: Teal Doors

3 Days straight of painting and I am one sore mess, but you know what?  

Did you know that removing the door knob makes painting doors a hella lot easier?  
Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
PS- Note to self: Paint that AC grate better.
More coming soon.  Promise.

Cottage Talk: Painting Trim, Glorious Trim

True to my word, I did some serious painting last weekend.  In my bedroom I did just the first coat of the walls and trim- so nothing to share yet- but its looking to be very TEAL.   I decided to paint my trim and doors the same color as the walls (BM Naples Blue) but in semi-gloss.  In a deeply saturated room WHITE makes a big statement, so I want to use it wisely (think crisp punctuations in curtains and bedding.)  I didn’t want the doors or windows to pop, thus why I painted out the trim. It’s going to be like a little jewelbox in there… I am very excited.

Trim is SO important in a room and often I think its overlooked.  It can be used for contrast or to simplify and it certainly doesn’t just need to be white.  Here are a few of my favorite looks for painted trim.

Imagine this room without the black doors and trim?  Totally different right? – Sara Story

White is used as a purposeful contrast in this teal room. – Michelle Workman

Look closely:  There is some kind of wall moulding in this room, 
but you can’t really tell because it’s been painted out the same color as the wall.

No plain white door and trim here!
A color is pulled from the gorgeous wallpaper to give the door its own statement.- Hutton Wilkinson

Mona Ross Berman gave her clients’ dining room the total pale lilac paint treatment.  
Imagine all of those mouldings contrasting in the room?  It would have been a much busier space. 

Pink trim is bold, even for me, but I love what it does to this space!

Windows and trim have been painted out the same turquoise shade as the walls, 
allowing other pieces to stand out in the room.- Miles Redd

Images 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

RE- Yesterday:  You guys are the bees knees.  
My readers constantly surprise me with their intelligence and compassion.  Thank you.

Cottage Talk: Going Dark in the bedroom

So the plan is to go light and bright on the 1st and 3rd floor walls, but in my master bedroom I intend to do a moody peacock blue / teal hue.  It’s been funny to see people’s reactions when I tell them my bedroom will be dark.  My flooring guy told me it would close in the room.  My Nana was concerned about natural light.  A few of my friends nodded at me with what-are-you-crazy looks in their eyes, and a few others got really excited about it.  Dark colors in the bedroom could be considered risky, I suppose.  Occasionally I stare at the light and bright room and wonder if I really need all that color.  But I love how warm and rich these rooms feel below.   If there is one place to be cozy and dramatic at the same time, why not have it be the bedroom?

So I’ll go from this…

To something more like this…  (I love that this bedroom even has the bump in the wall like mine!)

I’ve been studying teal rooms and have come up with the following thoughts on how to do saturated successfully…

Mix in other colors!  The room should not be blue overload.  Love the contrast of camel here.

Light elements are essential for contrast.
Light bedding works particularly well for for maintaining crispness.

Break up the walls with art.

Nate Berkus

Embrace the cozy.  My space is small, and once its dark I expect it will be more intimate.  
Yes, I think that’s a good thing.

The right hue will make your walls sing, so don’t skimp on samples.

PS- my bedroom has been swatched out with Benjamin Moore’s Naples Blue and Deep Ocean.  I like both, but I’m leaning toward the greener one.  The question is, which is which?  According to the label on my paint samples, Naples Blue is the one on the left, but it sure looks more like the one on the right based on the paint chip.  Do paint chips lie, or did my paint guys reverse my labels?

The Bitter Decorator: Colorful Walls

Ive been thinking about starting an irregular blog series called “The Bitter Decorator,” because I’m a decorator and sometimes peoples design choices make me plain bitter.  In general, I like to keep the blog a positive place, but I also try to keep it really honest too.  So let me know if you like, or don’t like this direction, and based on your response, maybe I’ll tackle more topics.

PAINT COLORS.  I’ve been spending a lot of time in paint stores, which proves to be an excellent place for people watching.  You can tell a lot by a person by how they act in a paint store; they are ambitious, they are frugal, they are bold, they have marital problems, they are boring, they are confused… and so on.  So many times I find myself wanting to step in and shout “STOP you are making a mistake!  You are about to turn your room into a massive blueberry, or that beige has too much green in it, or that pink is WAY too bubblegum or that yellow is so FUG I can’t even name all the reasons its wrong.”  But I don’t step in because I wasn’t asked, and usually these paint stores have their own decorating specialists and frankly, I prefer to be paid for my opinion.  Unless I’m spouting it widely and loosely on my blog, of course.

Last week I watched a young lady merrily purchase a gallon of gloss purple paint in a similar hue to this, and I couldn’t help but think she is in for a Barney-like disaster.  

We all remember Barney the dinosaur, right?

Here’s the thing, I bet she really likes purple.  I bet she wants a colorful room and thinks WOW this purple is FUN.  But there are lot’s of ways to have a fun, colorful room without painting your walls Barney purple.  Now, before I go on further, I should say, that there are certain people that could take this color purple and craft a masterpiece of a room.  A jewel box, a study in rich contrasts, a gorgeous space to turn my whole theory on its head.  But that’s only about 5% of the population.  The other 95% of us (yes I’m including myself in here) will take this wall color and turn a room into a HOT MESS.  So before painting your room Barney Purple (or any other super intense hue) perhaps you should ask yourself if you are a member of the elitist decorator color club.  If the answer is NO, maybe it’s a good idea to take your design scheme and make a few small adjustments.

Take your inspiration purple, and go down a few shades on your fan deck.   Use that for your wall color instead.

 (I bet you are thinking this isn’t purple enough, aren’t you?  Well we aren’t done yet.)

Now take your inspiration purple and find a great rug that picks up that bold shade.  It will ground the space beautifully without overwhelming the room.

Next go find two accent colors.  Maybe one is in your rug.  Use that again somewhere.  Choose a 3rd color that’s a little unexpected.  Use that sparingly in the room as well.

Mix in a little wood to help foster a warm organic feel and bit of metallic for a little spice of glam.  And suddenly, you have yourself a purple room that not’s so overwhelmingly purple.  

So, you are happy because you don’t live in Barney’s magical playhouse.  And I’m no longer a bitter decorator because you are making smarter color choices.  Suddenly the paint store has become just a little less painful.  High Five!  Now, don’t mind me while I go back to eavesdropping on that couple arguing about which shade of hunter green will be less hideous in their bedroom.  

K Thanks Bye.

PS- Purple is my least favorite color and I don’t hate this room.  Who’s bitter now?

a few thoughts on bold blue walls

HAH!  I was supposed to take the day off the blog but I just had to share my thoughts on bold wall colors.  I’ve read a lot of comments (a CRAZY LOT- thank you!) about how I’m so brave with color, or how people wish they could be so bold etc…

First and foremost, I am a white wall girl.  I think I have something like 15 wall sections in the main living area and only one of them is painted.  (See floor plan here.)  I also am not usually a fan of the “accent wall.”  Hearing that phrase kinda makes me cringe.  So how did I end up with one in my loft?

(My inspiration- Annie Schlechter, styled by Lili Diallo)

Well the office nook is a dark corner of the loft.  It has no natural light, no architectural intrigue… just not a lot going for it.  When it was white it seemed depressing, awkward and empty.  I NEEDED color there to set it apart and make it its own area.  A soothing, safe color would have done nothing for the space.  Going bold was the only way to go.  Now, the nook is vibrant, happy and purposeful.   It helps make a room out of an ambiguous alcove. 

(My office nook.  Last time I’m posting it, promise!)

I don’t know if I could handle the bright blue in a 4-walled room.  That would overwhelm me or I might tire of it quicker.  But in an open space it just glows without taking over.  I think the accent wall works here because while it’s a statement maker, it’s not the only statement in the space.  You don’t walk in the door and see it right away.  Also, it doesn’t “match” any other element in the apartment.  It stands on its own, while still coordinating.

(my office nook in context)

Here are a few loose tips I have for people who want bold color on their walls.  Don’t repeat the wall color again in the room- let that blue (or green, or pink etc) be the special moment for that hue.  Don’t be afraid to incorporate other colors into the room.  Additional colors add depth and layer and can balance out the intensity of the wall choice.  Mix in a good dose of white to contrast.  Don’t forget to mix textures!  If your wall is glossy, add in something rustic, or furry, or textural, or mirrored.  (Both my shelf and the fretwork on my cabinets served that purpose for me.)  Edit, edit, edit.  Add items in and take items away- a good room should feel perfectly balanced.  Note that I don’t mean symmetrical or matching.

Damn, this post turned long again!  Obviously there are great designers out there who have broken all of the rules that I just listed and created stunning spaces.  This is what works for me, but ultimately you have to create your own design rules.

images of my space by Courtney Apple Photography