Friday, May 28, 2010

~ Tiffany Blue Aqua, Turquoise & How To Create The Perfect Paint Color

Have you ever picked out the perfect paint color from a small paint chip, painted it on the wall, and then hated it? Most people would think that this never happens to the professionals. Truth be told, it happens all the time. I remember reading an article once about one of the quite well known American decorators/designers and he was discussing a beautiful room that he had created. I was so happily surprised when he described his journey and process of perfecting the final color of the room. He had the room painted, the entire room, 3 or 4 times. Each time he knew he was almost there, but it was not quite perfect. I don't remember if this was just he thinking or if the client agreed or never saw it before the final color. Of course he wasn't doing the labor of painting the darn room either. But he was not afraid to change the color until it was just right.
(French Chair, Tiffany Blue ... Etsy Shop.)

There are a few lessons in that story. One important one is, try to laugh it off if you get a room painted and you don't like the color. Even big name designers don't get every color exactly as they want it on the first try. Treat the "wrong" color as a good primer coat for the final paint color. Your finished wall will look better for having a few coats of brand new paint rather than just one. The not quite perfect color happens all the time, it's not just you. We all have had to deal with the same thing.

If you start with something as your inspiration that has a color you simply adore, the chances are that you will love a room that is inspired by that color. You might think that you would like a room the same color as the beautiful Tiffany blue bag. It's a tough color to match and it seems everyone thinks it is a different. I've seen a few rooms on the web that were said to be painted Tiffany blue, and each one looked very different. If you see an ad in a bride's magazine, it is not look the same as the color of the bag either.

So if you have your heart set on the Tiffany blue paint, you could take the bag to the paint store, check various paint strips or have the bag color matched. Sometimes this works great with an object your are color matching, but sometimes the machine just can't match it well. For instance if I am color matching browns, I know that my Home Depot's machine can do a better job than my Lowe's. However for yellows, Lowe's machine is excellent.

I wanted something very close to the Tiffany blue bag as the background in this cabinet. But instead of heading to the paint store, I went to the craft store. I guess this would be the small-time designer's trick. If you always have a large budget to work with, you probably would just keep buying quarts of paint until you got it right.

First choose a couple bottles of "craft" paint that look as close to the color as possible. You will be able to see the paint as it is wet, and sometimes this a better indication of true color than the paint chips. It will be a little darker when it dries, but it is the actual color and not a printed strip of paper with color on it. Then you just play with the paints by mixing them with each or, and often with white or maybe black.

When you have a color you are pretty sure of, you can test paint some on a wall, or on a large piece of foam core board to test it out. Adjust it as you need, and then go to the paint store and have it color matched. If you take a small amount of your sample in a jar, you can also compare your paint when it is wet to the can they mix for you. This can be very helpful.

Many people take the original inspiration object in to have it color matched, and it works fine. But if you ever have something that just seems tough to match, try this little trick.

One more thing about tricky colors, you might have to actually paint the whole room before you really know if it is going to be the perfect color for you. Now that one takes a lot more work than just a quick swatch on the wall. Sometimes the color just doesn't look right until the entire room is painted. I remember going through this dilemma couple of times with clients, when the room was first being painted, either I or the client just wasn't too sure about the color. But I knew it was either the correct color or pretty darn close. Sometimes, you just can't tell if it is perfect or not until the whole room, or almost the whole room is painted because of other factors, especially the influence of the paint color that was already on the wall. Even if that color is white.

And of course the color in a small swatch, no matter how beautiful it is, can be overpowering when you see it in an entire room. You many have found the perfect color, you just need to add white to it so that you don't have so much saturation of color.

See Y'All Soon~

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

~ Mixed Woods Kitchen, Natural and White Cabinets

What a beautiful example of how to mix natural wood finishes with white painted cabinets in a kitchen!

One of the elements that really works is the details of the island. Here they used a wood top, great for food prep, with the same white finish as most of the cabinets.

On the side/front of the island there is an inlaid tile area. It's different from the backsplash and mimics the color of the island counter top.

On the other side where the bank cabinets features the cook top, you see the same beautiful wood repeated in the bottom cabinets, side by side with the white painted ones.

I had a wood counter before the current granite. It would not be a choice that I would make again if I could have stone. The upkeep was not terribly bad, but it is quite a bit more than a granite.

Quite a pot rack there isn't it? The kitchen is quite large, and it actually was not oversized for the area.

Since I keep looking a kitchen pictures in my file, I'm concerned that I'm itchin' to do something in the kitchen. Fortunately I have plenty to keep me busy on other house projects right now so the kitchen is far down on the list.

See Y'All Soon~

Friday, May 21, 2010

~ White Kitchen Inspiration 3, Home Office & Fireplace

There are some things about this kitchen and adjoining areas that would be very difficult for me add to my home. Especially the fact that the ceilings are 2 stories high. Interestingly though, these very high ceilings from this time period of building have given way to a 10 foot ceiling height as being more livable, both the scale of living in the spaces, and for heating and cooling them. I do however love a vaulted ceiling, and a little over the 10 foot height is perfect to me for the vault.

Looking at closeups of the upper cabinets of the desk area and kitchen, you can see that the homeowner added color in a very subtle way through the color in her green and yellow dishes that show off from behind the glass front doors. Wonder if she has added or deleted any colors since this was taken.

This is a custom built desk center, but of course you could accomplish a lot of this by using some stock cabinets or older wood furniture pieces and have a top cut for it.

For instance the cabinets were built to mimic vintage cupboards. So it would not only work equally as well to use a fabulous find from a flea market, thrift store or antique market, it would add a little more character to a kitchen as well. And most likely at a good price!

white glazed cabinet kitchen office
white glazed built-ins kitchen office
The entire picture shows some really great ideas for organizing and hiding the computer parts. Behind the doors and drawers are a file cabinet, storage, and places for the cpu and printer, etc.

white kitchen with sitting area
This whole area was created with great skill from many people. The only thing that was disappointing was with a budget like this, there was no original art work. Lots of prints that everyone has, but nothing that really completed the space as being personal to these people. Now maybe the stylist took out everything that made it more personal except for the wedding picture on the desk. Maybe there really was a captivating painting over that beautiful fireplace.
kitchen inspirationI noticed that there were very small touches of yellow. Again the stylist may have dictated that by the use of the yellow flowers on the table. The homeowner did have some yellow dishes as I mentioned earlier. But in a room that is so very neutral, I just had a craving for a dash of color to accent that incredible fireplace. But that's just my preference I know.

(Art work in last photo provided by Robert Courtney. Thanks Sweet Hubby!)

See Y'All Soon~

( Home owner: Christine Ryan
Kitchen Designer: Eline Nealer
from: Beautiful Kitchens 2003.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

~ Inspiration From A White Kitchen Part 2

This kitchen had so much to see, today will be part 2, and then one more post after that. The entire area consists of the kitchen with a counter bar for eating, a dining room and a sitting room with a fabulous fireplace. The combination of the homeowners' vision along with the skill and knowledge of their architect, kitchen designer and builder made this one special place to live.

There is a richness and warmth in this white kitchen which is not always present in a room without more obvious colors. This comes from the textures and surfaces. The stone floor, which could be cold, instead reflects hints of the gold and umbers that we see in the wall treatment. All this brings forward the vision and plan of the homeowners' for a farm style kitchen updated to for today's needs and look.

The bar stools look very comfortable and mimic the same curved lines of the back of the dining chairs, without being an exact copy since they feature a beautiful open design on the back and a different leg. Although a dressier choice that what you would think of in a farm style design, they give a classy contrast to the use of the beadboard on the sides of the cabinets and the counter bar area which it usually thought of as country style.

Although the table and chairs are beautiful pieces of furniture, it would make little difference to me if they were replaced by an old wood board table and a couple of comfortable chairs. Why? It's the windows. The star of this side of the house is this glorious bank of windows. I am not too sure how to have so much window area without an unbearable heat gain in the deep south. But I certainly love the look.

As you can now see the kitchen and adjoining rooms are actually 2 stories high. It certainly adds the spacious feeling.

One of the things that was so nice to see in this photo shoot is the lack of "stuff" brought in. I'd be curious if it was necessary for them to take out much that belonged to the homeowner. Her taste seems already quite edited and uncluttered.

See Y'All Soon~

{Owner: Christine Ryan. Kitchen Designer: Eline Nealer.
from Beautiful Kitchens, 2003}

Sunday, May 16, 2010

~ A White Kitchen To Inspire

Are you one of those people who just loves open shelving in a kitchen? Although I understand the love, I'm not in that group, entirely anyway.

Although pretty and great for grabbing something quickly, open shelving drives me crazy. I love the look of "open" only with glass doors instead. You can show some texture and color of your dishes, etc., but you don't have the problem of dust. And for most people there is also the grease in the air from cooking meats.

As you can tell, I'm not in love with doing more cleaning than necessary.

Another great idea from the kitchen featured here is the closed storage above the cabinets. When the owner planned her kitchen, she had the architect include a very high ceiling for the kitchen. This presents the problem of how to treat the cabinets in such a way as to keep them in scale, but still usable.

Excellent solution here.

A few years ago I feel back in love with the simple beauty of whites and silvers, again. We do go through whims of loving colors and combinations of colors don't we? After going through a strong white phase several years ago, I really craved color, especially the colors of the French and Italian countryside. Too much white is still a bit stark for me, but I continue to long for more whites in my decorating.

This kitchen utilized more expensive nickle finishes, but of course you can achieve much the same beauty with chrome. I never thought I'd come back to loving chrome. But you just never know what you will find appealing as time goes by. Most interesting is that this kitchen was completed at least 7 years ago, and still looks quite undated.

If I were planning a house right now, I would love to have a kitchen window like this one below. Even a smaller version, in a smaller space would be wonderful.

I especially like the wall finish. Mine has been golden yellow for a number of years, and will be painted a parchment color. This aged finish is like done like the gold one I'm painting over. So I will most likely do something like it again.

Although this is a big budget kitchen for most of us, it has lots of simple ideas to make a kitchen simply beautiful as well as highly functional.

I had white kitchen cabinets for many years. For my busy, and I guess messy, family it was so much work. I was constantly cleaning coffee and juice stains, scrubbing off dirty paw (kid and adult ones) prints, and touching up the paint from all the wear and tear. When I did the faux bois wood paint treatment on my cabinets, it was wonderful not to have all every little thing show up and look grimy on them.

Somtimes I think about painting them white again. But not today.

{Owner: Christine Ryan. Kitchen Designer: Eline Nealer. from Beautiful Kitchens 2003}

See Y'All Soon~

Saturday, May 8, 2010

~ Joan of Arc, Antique Majolica Plate ~ Inspiration

This beautiful antique majolica plate has served as a starting point a few times while I was contemplating what colors to decorate a room with. One year even Christmas decorations were influenced by the colors when I incorporated the purple color.

I fell in love with the plate the first time I saw one at Renninger's Antique Market in Mt. Dora. It was priced at $165 and I had no idea what it should cost without doing some research on it, so I passed it by. After I got home, I found a set for sale from France and bought all six at a better price. Two went for Christmas presents to my mother and sister, one I sold to a good friend who already had one plate, and 3 stayed with me. One for Sweet Daughter, and 2 for me. And until I just wrote that, I totally forgot that one of them should actually be in her house right now!

The colors still suit my fancy just fine, beautiful lime green and turquoise. The purple is great accent color, but I don't use it in my decorating. The turquoise seems even more enticing to me now!

I've been asked a few times where I found this plate, so I checked to see if any are available on-line and they sometimes come up on Ebay. The price is excellent.


A little about the plate:

It depicts Jeanne d'Arc standing in front of the Chinons' castle where she met Charles VII.

Joan of Arc/ The Maid of Orleans (French: Jeanne d'Arc) 1412-1431, is a heroine of France and a saint. Born a peasant in eastern France, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, claiming divine guidance, and was indirectly responsible for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was nineteen. Twenty-four years later, on the initiative of Charles VII, the Pope
reviewed the decision of the ecclesiastical court, found her innocent, and declared her a martyr. (Source: Wikipedia

Have a Wonderful Weekend,
Happy Mother's Day!
See Y'all Soon~
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