Out of the Blue…and Pink: Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year

Pantone mixed

Pantone released its Color of the Year last week and made history by selecting not one, but two colors to represent the zeitgeist of 2016.

Intended to be coupled together, Rose Quartz, a warm rosy pink, and Serenity, a cool light blue, conjure images of nursery colors for many people. While Pantone’s intention was not to reference baby colors, their logic for the choice this year stems from a deeper place in our human psyche. Read the full story HERE!

6 Ways to Ditch Pink in a Child’s Bedroom

ditch pink in girl's bedroom design

via Suzette Sherman Design

Have you walked down the girly aisle of a toy store lately? Pink is everywhere. Assaulting the senses via toy boxes, promotional posters — even the display itself is saturated in shades from fuchsia to bubblegum. Not only toys, but girls’ room decor gives preference to the hue.

That leads to a lot of girls’ rooms looking like they’ve been — to borrow an expression from Sally Field’s character in Steel Magnolias — hosed down with Pepto-Bismol. Perhaps it’s their choice, or perhaps it’s because kids and parents aren’t confident to explore other options. But if you’re planning a girls’ bedroom makeover, you can ditch pink for one of these more fun, and more 21st-century, themes.  Click HERE for the full story!

Crush of the Week: Pitch Blue by Farrow and Ball

While Pitch Blue paint by Farrow and Ball is my first crush of the week, it’s more accurately my crush of the decade.

Pitch Blue entryway via Pinterest

via Pinterest

I first came across Pitch Blue paint a couple of years ago when I wrote a post about paint colors inspired by Amsterdam.

Three years on, and I can’t stop thinking about this beautifully rich color. Crazy? Perhaps. Are my priorities in check? Probably not. Right now, I don’t have a place to use this color, but a girl can dream!

What makes Pitch Blue is mesmerizing? It’s a blue that’s “in between”. It’s darker in value, but clear and cool with a hint of brightness. Farrow and Ball mentions it has black in it’s base, but I also see a fiery mix of magenta somewhere in there too.

One of its spells is that it magically works in both dim and well-lit spaces.

 

 

Pitch Blue living room via Pinterest

via Pinterest

See what I mean about magenta with Pitch Blue? Together, the two colors enhance each other.

Pitch Blue formal living room via Pinterest

via Pinterest

The architectural wall molding in this living room is painted the same color as the wall to unify the surface. The continuity of the Pitch Blue wall highlights the subtle shadows created by the molding.

I find this approach more attractive than breaking up the wall with contrasting white molding. For me, the more Pitch Blue, the merrier!

via Noushka Design Ltd.

via Noushka Design Ltd.

However, it is a color that makes quite a statement. For the more color shy, consider painting one wall as a feature wall or an architectural component, like this fireplace surround.

via Farrow and Ball

via Farrow and Ball

Against white woodwork, Pitch Blue is crisp, clear and clean.

Thanks for viewing my crush of the week!

What to Know About Milk Paint and Chalk Paint — and How to Use Them

via Liz Williams Interiors

via Liz Williams Interiors

Love the dreamy look of milk paint and chalk paint but don’t know how or where to use them? Although similar in appearance, milk paint and chalk paint share a lot of traits but also have some differences. Learn how each is unique, how they’re applied and what to expect. Click HERE for the full story….

Nine Ways to Make Your Laundry Room More Fun and Efficient

via designedbydawnnicole.com

via designedbydawnnicole.com

This August, I went on a dream trip to Italy. My husband and I spent our days exploring Rome, Florence and Milan. Despite all of the cultural glory and sensory overload, a bit of practicality set in. We needed to do laundry — not only once, but twice! Strangely, there were no laundromats, or lavanderias,  in the residential neighborhoods. Apparently all Italian apartments have laundry machines and the millions of desperate vacationers usually pay the thievery that hotels charge.  By way of taxi, we did find a laundromat eventually.

While waiting for our clothes to finish, I reflected on the chore of doing laundry. Does it have to be filled with gloom and dread? Must it be done in a space akin to a lifeless prison cell? Absolutely not. Check out some ideas to make your laundry room cheery and more efficient…dare I suggest fun?

 

1 – Pick up some colorful canvas boat bags from L.L. Bean or Lands End to sort your clothes. If you do use a laundromat, they’ll be already sorted and ready to carry. You can add a luggage-style tag to your bag with your name and contact information on it for an easier, faster dry cleaning drop off to boot.

via marthastewart.com

via marthastewart.com

2 – Add some flair to your laundry machines. This example uses simple black electrical tape in stripes and cut-out polka-dots. Plus, it’s removable if you decide against it down the road.  Electrical tape also comes in other colors too, like red, yellow and green. Above, graphic designer Dawn Warnaar of Designed by Dawn Nicole  created in black vinyl a hashtag in homage to her dryer’s sock-eating habit, #nomnom……

via abeautifulmess.com

via abeautifulmess.com

3 – Free up space in your cabinet by using a simple door-mounted shoe rack to organize all of your cleaning and ironing supplies. They’ll be at arm’s reach and easy to spot.

via deilora.com

via deilora.com

4 – Add some useful artwork! Laundry room space can be limited, so you may as well make your wall accessories do double duty by actually helping you out. These two adorable pieces collect spare change and odd socks.

via Etsy_shoponelove

via Etsy_shoponelove

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

 5 –  Anchor a simple two-prong coat hook to the wall to hang your ironing board.

via goodhousekeeping.com

via goodhousekeeping.com

6 –  Install a wall-mounted mailbox for easy lint collection.

via aprudentlife.com

via aprudentlife.com

7 – Opt for attractive detergent containers. Vintage-style glass jars are much more attractive than the neon plastic containers and are easier to dispense. Here, Ashley Phipps of Simply Designing created these out of Mason drink dispensers and made chalkboard tags for each. Below, powder detergent is an easy reach in an old-fashioned style penny candy jar.

via simplydesigning.com

via simplydesigning.com

via iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

via iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

8 – Add some cheery color….Dip the tips of wooden clothespins in acrylic paint. Just be sure to dip the handle end versus the clip end!

via makeandbakeblog.blogspot.com

via makeandbakeblog.blogspot.com

9 – Use paint swatches to facilitate laundry sorting. Here the bloggess behind where Do we find the time used paint swatches from Lowes and stick-on labels made on her computer to designate sorting hues for her laundry baskets. She says her previous single hamper, which appeared to be throwing up clothes, has evolved into a sorting game for her family.

via wheredowefindthetime.com

via wheredowefindthetime.com

Paint Your Bed for a Colorful Night’s Sleep

Steering Toward Subtle Nautical in Los Angeles

From the striped stairs to the nautical touches, this Los Angeles home carries the personal stamp of its owners.

At a design meeting, clients of architect Jeff Troyer of JWT Associates handed him a striped Paul Smith shirt and asked, “Can you make the stairs look like this?” Troyer let this request, along with one for incorporating an antique porthole window, complement an extensive remodel of a 1940s home in Los Angeles. The result is a vibrant yet relaxing home with a nautical thread — and plenty of personality.

Troyer let this request, along with one for incorporating an antique porthole window, complement an extensive remodel of a 1940s home in Los Angeles. The result is a vibrant yet relaxing home with a nautical thread — and plenty of personality.

Click HERE to see the full project.

Radiant Orchid: Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year

pantone-radiant-orchid-lgn

Global color authority Pantone recently announced Radiant Orchid #18-3224 as Color of the Year 2014. Laying last year’s winner Emerald to rest, Radiant Orchid skips across the color wheel this year from the greens to the purples.

Pantone Radiant Orchid Paint ChipOften described as “magical”, “romantic”, “tender”, “exotic” and “charming”, orchid is also associated with ingenuity. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says of Radiant Orchid, it “encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society….An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.”

While Radiant Orchid is a beautiful color, it is quite feminine and probably not one to garner wide appeal to the general masses. Unlike 2012’s hit Tangerine Tango, I wouldn’t expect to see the design market overly bathed in hues of orchid. Rather, touches of this intense color as within schemes, such as chairs, pillows, rugs, or painted feature walls will be more likely. However, a few bold designers have more readily embraced this deep, sensual color in full force. Check out a few favorites:

 

via Lisa Mende Design. Benjamin Moore "Mulberry" paint. Design by Lindsey Coral Harper.

via Lisa Mende Design. Benjamin Moore “Mulberry” paint. Design by Lindsey Coral Harper.

"Woods" Wallcovering by Cole & Sons

“Woods” Wallcovering by Cole & Sons

via Von Fitz Design

via Von Fitz Design

"Carmelina Rug" by Suzanne Sharp for The Rug Company

“Carmelina Rug” by Suzanne Sharp for The Rug Company

via apartmenttherapy.com_Design by Skona Hem

via apartmenttherapy.com_Design by Skona Hem

via louisebody.com. "Pavilion Birds" wallpaper.

via louisebody.com. “Pavilion Birds” wallpaper.

"Peacock Chair" by Dror for Cappellini

“Peacock Chair” by Dror for Cappellini

via alwaysunusualdesigns.com

via alwaysunusualdesigns.com

 

via purodeco.com

via purodeco.com

via thedecorlounge.com

via thedecorlounge.com

via primefurnishing.co.uk

via primefurnishing.co.uk

via Nicki Papadopoulos Interiors. Photo by Sarah Dorio.

via Nicki Papadopoulos Interiors. Photo by Sarah Dorio.

"Baikiri Armchair" by Brabbu

“Baikiri Armchair” by Brabbu

via Amanda Nisbet Design

via Amanda Nisbet Design

Back In Black

via Jessica Helgerson Interiors

via Jessica Helgerson Interiors

Black is a color of contradiction. It’s vast, yet intimate; restrained but cozy. In his book, Black: The History of a Color author Michel Pastoureau writes, “Black – favorite color of priests and penitents, artists and ascetics, fashion designers and fascists — has always stood for powerfully opposed ideas: authority and humility, sin and holiness, rebellion and conformity, wealth and poverty, good and bad.”

No other color creates more drama than black. While not typically appealing to the timid, black shouldn’t be a daunting interior color. Being neutral, any secondary palette easily coordinates with black. A little goes a long way, so incorporating it into a scheme doesn’t necessarily mean covering every surface in inky darkness. Black also blends effortlessly into traditional and contemporary spaces, and anything in between.

As a color, black grounds a space, lending a sense of solidity and heft. Particularly when used in combination with lighter colors, the contrast of a black feature wall enhances the architectural forms surrounding it.

For example, the substantial black wall dividing William Roy Kitchen Design‘s space and the angled black feature wall in Urrutia Design‘s kitchen below would have faded into oblivion had the walls been painted white. The key architectural forms in both would have become lost. Black walls here serve as visual anchors.

via William Roy Kitchen Designs

via William Roy Kitchen Designs

via Urrutia Design

via Urrutia Design

Likewise, without the contrast of black on white, the ceiling details of this striking yoga room designed by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design would have been adrift in a sea of white. Helgerson’s use of black on the ceiling structure capitalizes on highlighting the room’s strongest asset.

via Jessica Helgerson Interiors_yoga room

via Jessica Helgerson Interiors

Dark colors do tend to make spaces appear smaller than they actually are, and that’s perfectly OK. Design in the recent past has placed a (blind) priority on finishing spaces in white to make them appear larger and  to “open them up”. It’s not always appropriate, or desired. A dark, cozy library, bedroom, or bath sounds rather appealing.

via LDa Architecture & Interiors

via LDa Architecture & Interiors

via Laurie S. Woods Interiors

via Laurie S. Woods Interiors

via Design Line Construction

via Design Line Construction

via Tomas Frenes Design Studio

via Tomas Frenes Design Studio

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

If black walls, floors or ceilings are too much commitment, consider painting cabinetry or wood trim a dark shade. Particularly in older homes with beefier woodwork, it enhances the linear qualities of a space without being overpowering. Tim Cuppett Architects‘ renovation of a historic farmhouse and a library to house transformation by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design are perfect examples.

via Tim Cuppett Architects

via Tim Cuppett Architects

via Tim Cuppett Archtects_Historic Austin Farmhouse

via Tim Cuppett Architects

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Rachel Reider Interiors

via Rachel Reider Interiors

via Wagner Hodgson_Pool House

via Wagner Hodgson

Bold, understated, and elegant, black is a timeless color that adds a sense of presence, security and intimacy to a space. True to its contrasting nature, it makes one feel warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.  Although true blacks do exist, most black paint incorporates another hue, such as blue, green, brown, or grey to add softness and interest. Consider a color change? Get back in black.

Related links:

 Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Laurie Woods Interiors

Rachel Reider Interiors

Tim Cuppett Architects

Tomas Frenes Design Studio

Urrutia Design

Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture

William Roy Kitchen Designs

Shine On: Loving Lacquered Walls

via Anthony Baratta LLCLacquered walls are captivating. With the allure of a hard candy shell, they are glamorous, dramatic…and a little left of center.

Adding depth and an aqueous sheen, lacquered walls are not for the timid. Bold reds, deep blues and murky blacks are popular. Darker values enhance the luster of the surface in comparison to lighter values.  Both contemporary and traditional spaces are complemented by this shiny, happy finish.

Lacquering is actually an old practice dating back to ancient China, Japan and India when it was applied to decorative objects. Organic, or real lacquer, is a reddish secretion from the lac insect or from the T. vernicifluum tree. True lacquer finishes are solvent-based, and have largely been supplanted by oil or water-based, high-gloss paint. Nowadays, the terms “lacquered” and “high-gloss” are often used interchangeably.

Lacquered walls require more wall preparation than traditional matte or eggshell finishes– a lot more. But the hard work pays off in the end. Walls need to be perfectly flat, clean and free of any nail holes or nicks. The paint is usually sprayed on by a well-seasoned professional painter in multiple layers, often with a between-coat sanding. Spraying prevents brush and roller marks.

Akin to a mirror finish, the reflection off of high-gloss surfaces will magnify any imperfection exponentially, which is why adequate wall prep is key. Yet, reflection is also its asset.  High-gloss sheens add light to a space.

Wall surfaces and architectural molding are often treated in the same color and finish to create a unified appearance. Ceilings are also candidates for this glorious gloss. However, because light travels more efficiently on horizontal surfaces, seams and scars become even more apparent on ceilings than on walls.

Consider location for lacquered walls carefully. High-gloss finishes are lively, so entertaining spaces like dining rooms, living areas and receptions are ideal. Serene, reflective spaces such as spas are not. Despite their durable finish, lacquered walls do require consistent upkeep to maintain their shine. To keep fingerprints at bay, dust the surface with a feather duster and gently wipe away smudges with warm water on a damp, soft cloth.

Looking to add some shine in your life? Check out some excellent examples:

 

via Elle Decor. Design by Steven Gambrel

via Elle Decor. Design by Steven Gambrel

via Joni Spear Interiors

via Joni Spear Interiors

via Rikki Snyder Photography

via Rikki Snyder Photography

via Rikki Snyder Photography

via Rikki Snyder Photography

via Jagoda Architecture

via Jagoda Architecture

via Fine Paints of Europe

via Fine Paints of Europe

via Archer & Buchanan Architecture Ltd.

via Archer & Buchanan Architecture Ltd.

via Loadingdock5

via Loadingdock5

via Segev Photography

via Segev Photography

via MuseInteriors.Photo by Michael Partenio

via MuseInteriors.Photo by Michael Partenio

via Anthony Baratta LLC

via Anthony Baratta LLC

via Tim Cuppett Architecture

via Tim Cuppett Architects

via Branca Interiors

via Branca Interiors

Associated links:

Elle Decor-Steven Gambrel

Joni Spear Interiors

Rikki Snyder Photography

Jagoda Architecture

Fine Paints of Europe

Archer & Buchanan Architecture

Loadingdock5

Segev Photography

MuseInteriors

Anthony Baratta LLC

Tim Cuppett Architects

Branca Interiors