Month: September 2013

White Trim Dilemma

September 30, 2013


cloud white2


Last week I assisted a homeowner with a question about her white interior trim. She had recently repainted her living room in Benjamin Moore Manor Blue 1627 and also her dining room with Ben Moore Wickham Gray HC-171. Her husband did not want to repaint the existing trim which was Ben Moore Cloud White:

cloud white1


The Cloud White was bothering her because it seemed to be ‘so noticeable and dull (dirty) looking’ against the new paint colors. “Isn’t Cloud White supposed to be the perfect white trim color that goes with every color?” she asked.

Not quite. Below is a Wickham Gray sample, (the poster board underneath) with a Cloud White sample and also a cleaner, whiter white:


Can you see how the sample on the right looks cleaner and whiter? The color on the left is Cloud White. The right side sample is Chantilly Lace OC-65. When comparing the two whites together, Chantilly Lace is a cleaner, brighter white.

Below is Manor Blue with Chantilly Lace on the left and Cloud White on the right:

cloud white

Do you see how the Chantilly Lace look brighter and more compatible? That is because the two new paint colors, Manor Blue and Wickham Gray, are also clean colors. If I were also to compare a taupe color with the two whites:

cloud white3

The Cloud White on the left looks more compatible than the brighter/cleaner white on the left.

So I ask her to get the two samples of trim color and bring home to compare with her new paint colors. Right away she saw how much cleaner and crisper the Chantilly Lace looked. After a bit of dispute discussion, the husband agreed to repaint the small amount of trim in both the living room and dining room.

Can you use different colors of trim throughout the home? Of course. I just would not butt them up against each other where you can compare the two.

The best way to compare the colors is to try the samples yourself at home. Photos on the computer are not the best way to see, but I hope I helped you understand the discrepancy in the different whites.

If you need help selecting colors for your home, contact me today.

Agree Or Disagree?

September 25, 2013

brown mulch


One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about landscaping was to use the natural colors of the earth for mulch so that it will blend in with the landscape and highlight the plants. Wood mulch is used to conserve soil moisture, moderate soil temperature and suppress weed growth:


I also think that wood mulch should look both natural and blend in with the landscaping. But I notice quite a few homeowner’s choose red mulch for their landscaping:

red chips

Which is fine if you are looking for that contrast between the flowers and mulch:

red chips2

Don’t you think that the red seems to dominate over the natural colors of the garden and lawn?

red chips3

There are quite a few colors of wood chips to choose from:

wood mulch


I would suggest trying one of the light or dark browns to work with the natural colors in your landscaping. I think the look is more pleasing and works well with Mother Nature.

Agree Or Disagree?

High Contrast With Oak Cabinets

September 22, 2013

oak cabinets with gentle cream


I received an email yesterday asking if I had any suggestions of a good white that would work with oak kitchen cabinets. As I stated here, I do not suggest choosing whites with woodwork because of the many different undertones of white, (you do not want to mix a pink undertone white with yellow cabinets because the two different undertones will clash together) and also because of the high contrast between the cabinets and the pale wall:

oak cabinets


See how much contrast you see between the walls and the cabinets when you choose a lighter color?

If you prefer the drama of high contrast between the walls and the cabinets, I would suggest instead of looking at whites, look at creamy beige paint colors that will work well with the oak.

oak cabinets2


You will still have the contrast, but not as stark and obvious as a white wall color:

oak cabinets3


Warm neutrals, such as Benjamin Moore Powell Buff and Monroe Bisque will work well.

I hope this helps give you more color options for your kitchen if you have oak cabinets. If you like the high contrast between the wood and the walls, use a beige color with yellow undertones for the right mix.

oak and beige


Here is a picture of another color that works with oak cabinets:

gray and oak


Dark gray! I love the oak wood with medium to darker wall colors as shown here. This color looks like Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal.

My favorite wall color I still suggest most often when working with oak cabinets, is a medium to dark green that warms up the wood:


Do you like the look of high contrast in the kitchen? Love to hear your thoughts.

If you need help choosing colors for you home, contact me today.

Agree Or Disagree?

September 18, 2013

red door

This photo above is a beautiful home that I pass often while driving. But I always thought something was off with the colors on the exterior. Until I learned about color undertones.

 I do love a bold front door:

red door2

However, if you take a closer look at the color of the exterior stone:

red door3

I can see the orange undertones in the stone. Do you?  I think instead of the red, which is clashing with the stone, I would suggest painting the front door a beautiful rust color, that has the same orange undertones as the exterior, such as Benjamin Moore Firenze AF-225:

AF-225 firenza

Do you agree or disagree?

Purple Living Room Design

September 16, 2013


purple art


I just finished a living room design plan for a client and wanted to share with you. Margaret was ready to update her room from boring to beautiful!

We started by working around her new sofa:



Through emails, I found out she loved purple, but was afraid the room would look childlike. I assured her it would not and sent her this picture of a rug to show her how grown up the color was today:

margaret rug


Margaret Collage

I do not think purple looks childlike. Do you? I have been seeing more and more of the purples, lilacs, violets, plum and orchids in interior design. I love it!! How about you?

If you need help designing your room, contact me today.

Simple Autumn Burlap Wreath

September 13, 2013

[pinterest]burlap wreath 5

Although I am not much of a crafter, I still enjoy making things for fun. I found myself, in 90 degree weather this week, wanting to make something easy but pretty for my front door. I saw a few examples I liked on Pinterest ,so I thought I would give it a try:

I used:   1 Wire Wreath. I used a 16” I found at Hobby Lobby for $3.99.

                 4 rolls of Burlap ribbon 4 inches wide. 1/2 price at Hobby Lobby.

burlap wreath


I did not have any floral wire like others had suggested, so I used a bag tie and weaved it through the wire to anchor the burlap to the wire wreath:

burlap wreath2

I started mine on the inside of the ring.

burlap wreath 3

Then turn the wreath so it is facing you. From where you attached the burlap, start by making a loop and then squeeze the bottom of the loop into the frame. I went from front to back:


I filled in a section of the wire at a time, squishing the loops together to hold better and also to look fuller.

burlap wreath4

Quick and easy!:

burlap wreath6

I have seen it left unadorned, but I added just a little embellishment to mine:

burlap wreath7

Just perfect to me! What I like is best is that I can untie the bow and sunflowers and exchange for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas decorations. What do you think?


Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekend Bloggy Reading