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Posts Tagged ‘interior painting’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Wall Color for Finished Basement

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Design Question

In our basement we have two grey leather sofas; blue with a hint of grey ceramic tile floor; and walls are half drywall and medium oak (on the darker side) on the bottom half. I have had a linen paint color in the past…French vanilla is the name…and want to repaint. We are just doing a fresh up as we really do not use the basement any more as the kids are gone. But I have been watching too much HGTV and want to cover the nicks and so forth.  My neighbor says paint it French vanilla again but what would you think? Would a picture help?

Design Answer

I’m definitely with you on wanting to repaint since the walls are showing some wear and tear. However, if the French vanilla looks good in the room and creates the desired effect or mood you would like to achieve, then sticking with the same paint color will save you the time and effort of having to choose a new one. On the other hand, it sounds like you are ready for a change and now might be a good time to introduce some color into the space.

When choosing a color for the walls, it definitely should have some relevancy to other elements already present. Blue that matches the hue of the tile floor, for example, would be an option or if there are accent pillows on the sofas, select a predominant color that appears in one of the pillow fabrics. You could also match the new wall color to your window treatments if there are any. Given that it is the basement, you might want a warm color to make it feel even more inviting. A picture would definitely help me visualize the room.

 Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. And as for the rest of you, don’t forget to come back next Monday when I’ll be answering another design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Daughter’s Bedroom Paint Color

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Design Question

We are remodeling our home and are building a bedroom (11′ by 15′) for our 8 year old daughter upstairs. The room gets somewhat low natural light from a fairly big window on the north wall. The ceiling is flat, but then slants down on two sides and has a natural (somewhat lighter) pine (wood) on it (pine looks a bit darker in photo). We put a forest wallpaper mural (all trees-lots of different greens) on one wall. Some of the greens in the mural are very bright green, which doesn’t exactly show in photo (a bit more yellowish in photo than what it actually looks like).

We are trying to decide on a color to paint the other walls. We are thinking green, only because green would be best with the mural (I think?), although I’ve gotten suggestions of beige instead of green. I would like it to be something more “grown up”, and not look like a little girl’s room. I’d like something that will not need to be changed as she gets older, yet she will like. We are going for a “nature” or “forest” feel for her room. I don’t want it to be too dark or too bright and I want to be careful that it is not too dull of a color. My daughter wants either green, or the color in our living room which is a brown called “County Cork” by Ralph Lauren. I think that brown is too dark for her room (especially since the trim is kind of dark – no white in the room) and I don’t know if it goes with the mural.

If green is not the way to go, I would be open to consider another color. I’ve looked at lots of greens and some beiges and none of them seem right. I’d like it to work with the mural and the pine ceiling. If I go with beige, I don’t want it to be too close to the color of the pine, as I’d like the pine to stand out somewhat from the wall color. I don’t know if green or beige is better or if I should do one wall green and the others beige? The focus is the mural, so I don’t know if it would look right to have 2 wall colors?

I have gotten samples, put on big poster board and held it up on different areas and nothing I’ve gotten seems right. I have also gone to the Sherwin Williams and Behr websites and put in a photo of the room and tried different colors on the wall, but again cannot find anything. If you could give me any suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Design Answer

What a great space! Many parents choose themes and colors for a child’s room that will “grow” with their children so that they do not have to constantly redecorate. A forest theme is a good choice. The room is such a beautiful shape and where you’ve chosen to put the mural provides the perfect accent.

That is the tricky thing about trying to look at colors in photos or in online color visualization programs; other factors come into play, including your computer monitor, settings, etc. Speaking of colors in photographs, I am curious about the green that is on the vents in the first picture. In the photo, it appears like it would be a good candidate for your daughter’s bedroom.

I don’t know which specific greens you were looking at but I selected four that I thought would go well with the forest mural. This palette I created uses greens from Sherwin Williams. You most certainly can use two wall colors in a room. The darker colors like the “festival green” or “pickle” would make great accent wall colors.

Depending on the intensity of the color, if you would like to use beige I would go more brownish than grayish. I would have to see how it works in the room, but I would tend to use cream instead of beige. Again, I selected some creams from Behr you might consider for your daughter’s room. I personally love the “pumpkin cream” because since green is a cool color, I thought that the orange (warm color) hue would provide balance. You’ll have to do your poster board test to see, but the orange cream might make the pine appear too orange. It might work as an accent color, though.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Come back next Monday when I answer another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – Wall Color for Yellow Furniture

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Design Question

Hi, I found your email on a website and I don’t know if you answer personal emails but if you do, then I have some questions. I need to decorate a room that’s got yellowish/beige wallpaper and yellowish/beige floors. I have dark yellow couches and from there I am stumped. I was thinking since there was so much yellow that I would work with grey and dark blue, but what do you think? What colors would complement all the yellow and actually make it look classy instead of boring. Should the carpet and curtains be the same shade of grey, or different? And what colors should the lamps and accessories be? What other colors could I incorporate? Thanks for your help.

Design Answer

Since there is a lot of yellow in the room and yellow is a “warm” color, balancing it with “cool” colors like grey and dark blue is actually a good idea. I know this might sound funny when discussing neutral colors, but if you go the grey route, you will want to make sure that the shade of grey you pick will “play nice” with the beige hues of the wallpaper and the floors.

Pale green is another cool color that will go with your yellow sofas and your floors. The carpet and curtains don’t necessarily have to be the same shade of grey, but they shouldn’t be jarringly different. If you are purchasing either a carpet or curtains or both with a pattern, the ideal window treatments/area rug combination would be to choose a shade of grey that appears in both – again, they don’t have to match exactly but they should be in the same “family.”

Another option would be to use navy blue for the curtains, carpet and accent pillows, gray for the walls and a soft shade of lime as the accent color for one wall.

You didn’t mention what style of living room furniture you currently have in the room you are in the process of decorating. But black and white – white on the walls and black for the curtains and carpet – could work especially well in a contemporary environment. Pairing black and white with the yellow would also be a stunning color combo for a traditional décor as well.

If you have dark wood in the room in the form of coffee tables, accent chairs, etc. adding red and blue to mix, all primary colors, is an alternative to using neutral shades. The rich wood tones will balance the primary hues in the room. You could offset these colors by using white paint for the trim (windows, doors, baseboards, etc.).

From the Design Files of Heather B – Vaulted Ceiling Paint Dilemma

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Design Question

Hi, I have a master bedroom that I just don’t know what to do with. The main problem is choosing color for the walls. My husband and I have a great master bath which is relaxing and soothing in color (light blue) but I am stumped on color for the bedroom. I feel if I could just get some ideas on color than the rest will fall into place. I want a relaxing/romantic feel for our bedroom. I have attached two pics. I tried to show that we have a vaulted ceiling as well.

Any suggestions are most appreciated. Thanks!

Design Answer

.Especially a bedroom with a vaulted ceiling, the instinct is to paint the entire room white or some other neutral color like beige, light tan, cream or gray because these colors on ceiling give the illusion of more space. You don’t have to stick to neutrals, but it would be wise to pick a softer shade since a richer color on both the ceiling and the walls has a tendency to make the space feel claustrophobic or too dark.

You like the color in the master bath; I would start there. See if you can find a varying shade of the blue in your bathroom that would suit your bedroom. You also said that you would like to give your bedroom a romantic feel, which typically means softer tints of purple, such as lavender or lilac or deeper shades of pink like rose.

Another trick for helping you to decide what paint color to choose, is to start “backwards.” Go shopping for new bedding or select a favorite bedding set. Pick out some colors that you like and search for comparable paint chips at your local hardware store. It doesn’t have to be a bedding set; you can take your color inspiration from a colorful print or painting; a treasured memento or an upholstered accent chair. I love the curtains; blue is actually a complementary color (the color directly opposite on the color wheel) of gold.

Once you have a specific color in mind, don’t forget to take the room’s natural and artificial light into consideration. You will want to invest in a little paint sample you can actually apply to the wall and see if you like the color you have chosen in all types of light from the sun coming into the room (if the room faces east) in the morning to how it looks in early evening and then again how the color appears in the room when a lamp is lit or the overhead light is on.

I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for writing in. Stay tuned next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. And don’t forget to keep sending me those emails!

From the Design Files of Heather B – Bump Down Roof

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Design Question  

Hi Heather,

I have been reading through your blog, some really good stuff here. I am looking for a bit of advice on what to do with a tough room. The attached pic shows a room from three angles that will be used as a master bedroom. The room is about 14ft long x 11ft wide. It looks out on 3 acres of horse fields with a mountain rising in the background.

The palette for the house is still being worked out. The existing colors for the house are strong green for the office, a medium blue for the master bathroom, a light gray for the halls, and the secondary bedroom as a light yellow. We like the green and the blue. The rest of it we are indifferent to, open to ideas!

The lights, carpet, and paint are an obvious change, and the popcorn ceiling can be removed. The bump down roof though I just have no idea how to hide or minimize – any suggestions? We are fairly handy so if you have any wild ideas on how to improve shelves, we are certainly open to them.


Design Answer

Hi Toby,

Thanks for reading the blog and sending in your design question. While drop ceilings do serve a specific purpose – often used to hide wiring, ducts, pipes, etc. – having one in a room can pose some minor interior design problems, such as visually dividing the room; lowering the ceiling height in one area of the space; and as you previously pointed out, making the ceiling “stick out.” While your instinct (and it’s a good one since drop ceilings can look unattractive) is to hide or minimize the suspended ceiling, the flipside is that different ceiling levels in the same room can create visual interest. There are ways you can work the suspended ceiling or bump down roof into the room’s décor design that improves the visual flow of your master bedroom.

“Ignore” the divided ceiling vibe and deal with the space as a whole. Plan to arrange the bedroom furniture as though the “canopied” section is not there. For example, placing some of the furniture in the drop ceiling part of the room and then the rest in the other half of the room would definitely break up the living space and draw negative attention to the suspended ceiling (bump down roof).

You mentioned you like blues and greens, which are cool shades that I think would work well in this space. The color currently in the room is a warm color; from the picture it appears to make the room, especially the part with the drop ceiling, look a little cramped. Pick two colors, one color would be the main wall color and the second one would be the accent color. The accent color is typically brighter, darker or bolder than the main color you have selected. The accent color would go on the wall with the single window. Then paint the supporting posts and the side of the drop ceiling in the same color. Both ceilings would be the same neutral shade you choose for the trim (baseboards, windows, doors, etc.). Using the same accent paint color on both one wall and the drop down ceiling visually connects it to the rest of the room.

The lights currently in this space are a good example of how the space can appear visually broken up, making the lower ceiling appear separate or not part of the room. Choose matching or complementary lighting fixtures, one for each ceiling, and hang them so that they are the same height. Again, it’s another way of “tricking” the eye into making the room appear cohesive.

You mentioned being fairly handy. Just from the picture, especially in a master bedroom, the closet doesn’t look like it would be as functional as it should be, particularly for two people. I would definitely plan on removing the bench-like shelf currently in the closet and designing some sort of organizer that includes shelves and cubbies while giving you someplace to hang clothes. You might also want to investigate ready-made closet organizers; some manufacturers offer basic closet organization systems that can be conveniently customized and sometimes at a price that would be cheaper than making one from scratch.

I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out. And keep sending me your design questions.

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