Tag: dramatic

Quick Crown Molding Paint Question

July 16, 2014



I recently received a letter from a reader questioning if she should paint her crown molding the same color as the ceiling paint color, the trim color or the wall color to make the ceiling look taller and NOT look lower.



I did not have a picture of her room to base my advice on but gave her an answer that is the general rule for most circumstances:

A crown molding that is painted a different color than the walls may make the ceiling seem even lower because the highlighted molding draws the eyes to it. Also, if the molding is painted a different color than the walls, especially if the molding is painted the same as the ceiling color, it will make the ceiling look lower.

My advice to her was in this case, you might want to paint the crown molding and walls to match so the molding will be a continuation of the wall and the ceilings will not look shorter.



See how the room looks taller in the above photo with the crown molding painted the same color as the wall?

I hope this helps. I love crown molding and believe the extra detail in a room looks stunning!

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.

Good Tip When Decorating Your Mantel

June 5, 2014

dining  room


I think you will agree that the best-looking mantels are when you walk into the room and the mantel makes a visual impact even from a distance.



I always suggest accessories to be large to make any kind of impression. If your accessories are too small and you can not see what they are from a distance, they tend to look like clutter.




So remember, think dramatic with accessories when decorating your mantel, even if it is only one large piece of art:



You want your mantel to stand out and be noticed as a gorgeous piece of the room, right? Love the drama!

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.

Creating Architectural Details

April 9, 2013





One reference book that I look at often for ideas and inspiration is “Decorating With Architectural Details:

arch details


I love this book because it is a great reference for architectural styles, resources and well written, easy to follow basic information to help the homeowner understand everything from your basic trim work to how to make add-ons look built in.

Most of this book deals with more elaborate architectural details such as mantels, window seats, shelving, passageways, shutters, staircase accents and so many other ideas. Plenty of photos and directions to follow. Check it out if you can.



So you can imagine my delight, when a lovely reader, Kathleen, sent me a few photos of her home showing me her living room before & after:

living room (3) 

Wow! Doesn’t it look so great? I am really impressed with her originality and unique molding ideas that she built by herself. And also look at what a huge difference she made in the room by painting the balustrades white. Now they do not stand out and seem to actually make the room look larger. Beautiful!

I asked if I could share her photos and how she made them and she said,

Hi Kelly…

Sure go ahead, I don’t mind at all, you may use my name… I share my tips all the time … if you’re somewhat handy with tools and have a place to do it, I would say : Go ahead, it’s fun and worth it… just always make sure you start with a plan, measurements and … calculate everything twice 🙂 I’m sure it will turn out beautifully… share pictures.”


“I knew how much of that wall I wanted finished, so I paneled and painted that bit white (Benjamin Moore, Dune White). Then I went to Home Depot and bought a big board of MDF and had the men cut it in strips of 12 cm height each. When I came home I started with the horizontal beams first (screw in the studs), followed with the vertical ones (glue in place). I had some beadboard left over from our stairs (that’s another project we did with success) and used that to bring some interesting architectural texture in place. Then I filled in the cracks with caulking and had the whole thing drying for a day… next day, I painted the whole paneled wall… 2 times. I bought 3 mirrors in a hardware store and glued them in place, this way it was reflecting some natural light into the place. I guess the whole project took me a weekend (and no hubby 🙂 and was very cheap….”

panelwall living (3)

Bravo Kathleen! I would be so proud of myself. Thanks so much for sharing.


In either a contemporary or traditional home, just a few separate pieces of molding can create a spectacular and original architectural design in your home. What do you think of Kathleen’s project? Do you have any questions for her?  Very creative and original idea! Love it! Thanks again Kathleen!

More beautiful architectural detail:




Lauren Leonard Interiors

Look at how this five-color paint scheme plays up the architectural detail of this home:



So pretty, don’t you think? A very happy house!

If you need help designing your next project, contact me today.

Using Non-Traditional Christmas Colors

December 1, 2012




Do you use the traditional red and green colors for your Christmas decorating? Do you ever consider trying a different non-traditional color palette for your home?




Some of my favorite colors I have seen are white, hot pink, silver, turquoise and lime. I think adding these colors keeps decorating fresh and fun, don’t you?



I think silver is the best color to accompany and complement the newer color palettes.




And have you heard about flocking your Christmas tree?


Christmas tree flocking is artificial snow that is applied to a Christmas tree. Both real and manufactured Christmas trees can be flocked and the flocking can look close to real snow in some cases. It has been around since the 1930’s.

Fake snow on christmas tree


I really love this look! You can now buy flocking kits at craft stores to make your own. I think I am going to check it out! You can have your tree flocked in any color (red, blue, pink, etc.) but I think the white is my favorite:


Do you like this tree flocking look? I think it is very pretty! Have any of these pictures inspired you to try different colors this year for your Christmas decorating? Have you started your Christmas decorating? smile….

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.

Working With Existing Kitchen Tile

November 23, 2012


Like many of us working on a room redesign, my friend Rosie from Texas has been updating her kitchen in steps as money and time allows. Here is the original kitchen where we started:



Since Rosie has always dreamed of a white kitchen, her first project was to paint her dark cabinets with Benjamin Moore White Dove Int. Room in a semi-gloss finish:



Rosie has never been too crazy about the color of her range hood:


Until I showed her this beautiful picture :



Rosie wants to maybe replace her existing tile to an all white subway tile (but not in the near future), so for now we need to pick a wall color that will work with the existing tile:


Although Rosie would like to paint the walls white, the clean, bright whiteness of the existing tile made all of the white paint colors we tried next to it, look dirty. Below is a sample of Ben Moore Intense White:


Another color we tried was gray. I suggested a couple grays with different undertones such as Grey Wisp 1570 (green undertones) and below is the tile with samples of Tranquility AF-490 (blue undertones), on the right, with Revere Pewter HC-172 (green undertones- but sometimes looks pink depending on the light) on the left:



I was afraid the Tranquility color would look too baby blue once up on the entire wall. The Revere Pewter worked well with the tile, the hood,  the black granite countertops (black and Revere Pewter look great together!) and the white cabinets. She decided to go with Revere Pewter:



But wait! 🙂 She said that she liked it, but thought it looked a bit too beige and a little boring. She wanted something a little bolder with more personality. If you look at the tile, you will see that not many colors are going to work with it. Not yellow, red or green. The original kitchen had turquoise walls, which worked but Rosie wanted a change. What color is left? Neutral blue.


I know that Rosie loves navy and white together so I suggested that since her kitchen is so open and bright, to try a sample of Hale Navy HC-154 (above). A beautiful color with personality!

Well, she loved it and went for it!:


I think it is beautiful. I like how it toned down the blue in the tile and that it works well with the range hood. And navy with white- gorgeous!:


Rosie is not sure if she loves it. She makes me laugh so hard with her stories about her husband getting mad at her for changing her mind! For now, I told her to try and live with it and see how she feels about it in a couple weeks.

What would you do?? I will keep you updated! Thank you Rosie for letting me share!

If you need help selecting the perfect paint color for your home, contact me today.

Easy Bedroom Update

November 4, 2012



One of the easiest, least expensive and quickest way to update your bedroom is so simple, you will wonder why you did not think of it yourself!

If you are still living with a matching dresser and mirror set that you purchased over ten years ago, it is time to get rid of that matchy-match look and bring some personality into your bedroom!

bedrooms - Arteriors Nikita Mirrors Bedroom dresser circles mirror sconces glass chandelier  My favorite mirrors



I know they came as a set, but imagine how original you can be with a different mirror! The sizes and shapes of mirrors today are endless in variety and you can find a great mirror at a very reasonable price.


Here are a couple I love from Lamps Plus:

Mirrored Frame 35 1/2" Wide Moonlight Wall Mirror


Sunrays 32" Wide Antique Silver Wall Mirror


You can also find some great-looking inexpensive mirrors at big box stores such as Target:

- Brown/Natural Wall Mirror



Global Direct 42" x 32" Dorigrass Rectangle Framled Mirror


And Home Depot:


Another easy, inexpensive way to update your existing mirror is to paint it like I did in my room here:





Another original idea with mirrors:



If you like the idea of your mirror and dresser matching, that is fine! But if you are looking for ideas to bring some personality and originality to an old dresser set, I hope I have given you a few new ideas!

Does your dresser and mirror match together as a set? Or have you made changes to the mirror or dresser?

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.