Posts Tagged ‘Color’

I painted my bathroom last weekend. Black. The bathroom was remodeled about 10 years ago and, as conventional wisdom goes for a room that is barely 4 foot square, I painted it cream and white. I really liked it; vintage inspired fixtures coordinated perfectly with the subtle cream color on the wainscoting and the new oak floor. The artwork was simple, pages from an old book, framed in black.  The room always looked nice.

However, as time went on the painted white walls started to show signs of wear. I tried to perk it up with different artwork, but all of a sudden the classic room began to look cheap. Bright colored, children’s art looked silly against the white walls, like a classic black dress with a gigantic crepe-paper flower stuck at the hip with a safety-pin. It began to bother me, and, as my daughter and I use it every day, it’s confused style was a daily reminder that I no longer liked the room.

So, I decided to paint. I knew that I wanted to keep the artwork and the cream-colored wainscoting, all I needed was color on the walls. Because the bathroom is at the top of the stairs I couldn’t paint it red; the risers on the stairs were already red, and I knew it would appear very odd to have the stairs and bathroom the same color. (For more about the red stairs click on the link) http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/2010/02/would-you-tell-me-please-said-alice.html  Blue didn’t feel right, and my kitchen was already green, so I started to think about black. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea, plus if I used chalkboard paint (my favorite paint) then we could also write messages to each other or, rather strangely, doodle while on the toilet (that thought just occurred to me…..I wouldn’t recommend doodling while on the toilet). 

It took me the whole weekend (black not being the easiest color to work with) but in the end it was far more than I had hoped. Despite what you would assume, the room doesn’t look smaller at all. The subdued, black color is the perfect background for my daughter’s pictures. A geranium and a few empty, wooden frames gives a classic feel to a room that now has a slightly beautiful sense of whimsy.

Wendy Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Read Full Post »

Have you been to look for paint recently? Last weekend I went to the local hardware store to do some research for a friend. Two hours later, armed with paint chips and several “helpful guides”, I went home to look (again) at the miniature pieces of colorful information laid out before me. As I got out my pencil and  notepad, I reminisced about the easy, lazy days of Red, Yellow and Blue.

In their efforts to help, Paint manufacturers have given us far too many choices, making it so overwhelming that many of us buckle with fear; after anxious nights, looking at various shades of taupe, we finally end up with walls that look suspiciously like antique white.

Honestly, I never go to the paint store to choose a color. It’s too much, it does my head in. I am lucky in that the colors that I choose are usually inspirational, happy accidents, that I find along the way. I will photograph something, rip it out of a magazine or borrow it from someones house, anything so that I can copy and recreate that color in my own home.

If I need to paint, and I have not found something that I love, then I will go through magazines or the Internet,  looking at homes to see what others have done. Seeing a photograph of  a completed wall is far more helpful than imagining a 2 x 3 inch pigment covering your 15 x 20 foot living room. Often, these beautifully decorated rooms provide the name, number and manufacturer of the paint, which can help a great deal if you decide to use it. If the details are not there, just take the page and match it as best you can (or use the color matching machine available in most of the larger stores).

Paint is fun; explore your options, but don’t become lost in the process…….

Thanks to: www.atticmag.com/…/paint-swatches-rug-style/ for the paint swatch photograph.

Wendy E. Wrzos (who really does love Paint companies) http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Read Full Post »

Did you know that Queen Victoria wore black exclusively for almost 40 years? She turned mourning into an Art form after her husband, Prince Albert, died.  New fashions were created, and black jewelry (Jet, Onyx etc) were more popular than ever before.

This trend continued until she passed away. Eager to leave black behind, the former Victorians celebrated with pretty furnishings and decadent lifestyles. But, their colorful reprieve did not last long; Wars began, and England entered a very turbulent time. Black became synonymous with grief, disease and War, extreme times of hardship.

Now, many years later, women covet the LBD (Little Black Dress), but the color black, in furnishings, is still approached hesitantly. It sounds somber, and people worry that it will be too harsh, or overwhelm a room. But, used correctly, black can be one of our favorite accessories.

Many designers swear that every room should have a touch of black, and, as I go through my decorating adventures I tend to agree with them. Black brings gravity to a room; even the smallest piece will provide an inexplicable anchor that pulls an otherwise humdrum room together.

If you are adding it to a very light-colored room, then several small touches of black may be needed, one piece may not be enough to give you balance. But, in a more colorful home a simple picture frame or a lamp stand may be just enough. Even the tiniest black, brush stroke on a painting will bring more depth to a space.

When England finally recovered from the Second World War, they celebrated with color! Black was almost discarded, and everything in their world became lighter (fabrics, colors, jewelry, shapes, furniture).

We live in a time where color and design choices are infinite, a Queen does not dictate how we decorate our homes. Therefore, be bold, add a little touch of black, and watch your room come alive.

Read Full Post »

 Would you like to refresh and update a room or two but don’t want to take a lot of time or money?


It can be done!

It is easier than you think, here’s how…


10 Quick Non-Costly Tips to Uplift, Refresh, and Redecorate a Room

Ø  Organize it with Style– Take those things in a room that look like clutter but are necessary and store them out of sight in beautiful baskets, boxes, chests, or other storage containers.

Ø  Highlight and display your favorite photo, tile, or artwork on a small tabletop easel- Place it where everyone will enjoy it.

Ø  Add color and life to a room– Purchase a few coordinating accent pillows in a color and texture of your choice and place them around the room. 

Ø  Bring nature indoors- Display a beautiful plant, shell, piece of driftwood, vase of flowers, container of interesting branches in a place that needs some interest. 

Ø  Honor your Collections- Display groupings of your favorite collections in groups of three or an odd number but not too many.

Ø  Re-hang your wall art to a proper height– Hang items so they are easy to see and admire.  Approximately 60”centered up from the floor,, neither too high nor too low.  Place them to compliment the surroundings.

Ø  Use candles anywhere– instant color, ambience, and wonderful scents.

Ø  Accessorize places you might overlook but need a bit of attention- such as the top of an armoire, under a table, in the empty corner of a room.  Use a few plants or one big plant, a decorative basket, a piece of sculpture, a piece of beautiful pottery, or a few larger collectables together.

Ø  Take advantage of your beautiful hardcover books- Proudly display them in bookcases, on tabletops stacked or between bookends.  Use them as props to display other items, or use them to raise the height of items such as lamps.  

Ø   Reinvent an old item to serve a new purpose- Use a bench, chest, stool, crate, or other item to serve as a needed coffee table or end table.   Use an outdoor chair or bench where you need more seating.   


By Joan Bishop, Interior Designer                                 




1240 Ives Road, East Greenwich, RI 02818

401-556-5828  joanbishop@cox.net 


Fax- 401-884-3578

  Member IDS, IRIS, and ADE


Read Full Post »

It’s no wonder many countries use the color red in their flag – it gets attention! However, that attention can be just as negative as it can be positive. Let’s take a look…
Good Red:
  • Red letter day – important or significant occasion
    Red carpet treatment – make someone feel special, treat them as if they are a celebrity
    Roll out the red carpet – same as above
    Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning; red sky at night, sailor’s delight – pay attention to good and bad warning signs
  • Paint the town red – celebrate, go out partying

Bad Red:

  • Seeing red – to be angry
    Red herring – something that deceives or distracts attention from the truth
    In the red – being overdrawn at the bank or losing money
    Red flag – denotes danger, warning, or an impending battle 

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

O.Henry House sofa

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. 

In feng shui color decorating Red always signifies richness and luxury. If used too much, though, it can bring restlessness, burst of anger and over stimulation. Better use it with caution, always easier to bring Red with details and accessories, rather than with furnishings or wall color. 

Read Full Post »

0440_largeGet Rid of It – The #1 enemy of a beautiful space? Clutter! Most of your stuff can be housed out of sight in creative storage containers, such as decorative boxes, under tables (with the help of a tablecloth), in drawers and in closets. (Of course you’ll need to tackle the clutter in these areas first.) See an article here to help you get started.

Mix it Up and Move it Around – We all get stuck with furniture arrangements – where does it go, how will it fit. The best way to see how your room can look is to start pushing and pulling the furniture around. Start with the biggest piece and/or your focal point first. Then work with seating keeping everyday living in mind. Make this fun by enlisting the help of a girlfriend – you can each give one another your opinion and you’ll have a second set of hands to help with the heavy stuff. Focus on function first and as you move on to the smaller items – remember less is more.

Add Color – I’m not just talking paint (but that works too). Now that you’ve edited (maybe added) and moved your furniture around, you may see new colors in the room. Use them. Look to your art and accessories to help you find the right shade of paint for your walls or the next perfect pillow.

Voila! Time and effort is all it takes to give your room a fresh new look.

Read Full Post »

Check out these designer favorites…

  • Tiki Hut SW 7509 (Sherwin Williams)
  • Rio Grande NA03 (Ralph Lauren)
  • Argosy 26-21 (Pratt & Lambert)
  • Antique Red SW 7587 (Sherwin Williams)
  • White Raisin SW 7685 (Sherwin Williams)

Read Full Post »

hgtv-dream-home-2009-3We know that color trends are affected by many factors including today’s economy. And although we have blanketed ourselves in protective grays and bathed our colorful interiors with neutrals, new colors are emerging in 2009 that are filled with light and life.

Look no further than yesterday’s inauguration to see proof. Michelle Obama’s “lemon grass” suit (by designer Isabel Toledo ) shined like a beacon of hope. Yellow is after all the color of optimism, and it is THE color of 2009 according to the people at Pantone – an authority on color trends. This warm yellow tone will be seen everywhere in our homes and our clothing.

Misty blues, like the Sherwin Williams color Cosmos ( SW 6528 ) pictured above, have just enough red in them to make this smokey blue ever so cozy, restful and relaxing. Blue is confident and assuring. It is also the color of authority which is why you see many men of stature wear blue ties.

Because of this warmer side of blue, purple has also gained appeal. You’ll be sure to see this royal hue show up on everything and everyone. Tinged with more red than blue, deeper shades of plum and aubergine (eggplant), will surely be a favorite among both men and women. (Visit HGTV to view this year’s Dream House and this living room.)

Did you notice the common thread here? Red. Warm reds, oranges, turquoise and teal from around the globe will continue to add a dash of vibrant color to our decor.

Read Full Post »

Do you ever wonder what the next home décor trend will be? Wonder no more. If you’re interested in staying ahead of the curve, just look to the big (and little) screen to show you the way.

Your favorite movies and television shows are on the cutting edge of design and style. Colors, furnishings and the next “it” accessory are just waiting to be copied and shelved in your favorite store.

One movie that just lives and breaths style (Yes, I’m talking Sex and the City) is filled with colorful and beautiful interiors right alongside the fabulous fashion. From office space at Vogue (inspired by Dorothy Draper) to Carrie’s apartment – you’re in for a visual treat.

Carrie’s apartment is all grown up and swathed in a beautiful vibrant blue. (Try Benjamin Moore’s Electric Blue to achieve a similar effect.) Paired with earthy neutrals, lots of cream and glossy surfaces; this apartment is contemporary glamour at its best.

Read Full Post »

Calling all Staging Professionals… is there room for improvement? Give us your thoughts about placement, color and the details.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »