Friday, October 31, 2014

And So It Begins......

When my clients move into a new home, I frequently suggest they hold off on choosing paint colors right away. Rather, live in the space for a while, see how it feels, so how and where the sun hits the room, how it looks in the dark. But did I take my own advice? Of course not!

Don't get me wrong. The paint colors in our new-to-us house were not bad. In fact, the family room and kitchen were already the color I would have chosen - Benjamin Moore's Pittsfield Buff. It's a nice neutral that's not boring. And it has a hint of yellow-gold, something this house with lots of trees in the yard (making the rooms a bit dark) needed. I knew it would look very nice carried through into the living and dining room.

But the real issue for me was the woodwork. It was all a darker honey stain that had been badly polyurethaned, with lots of drips everywhere. I wanted it changed NOW! And it needed to be painted white to help bring in light.

So I made the decision to paint right away. Painting the woodwork meant also painting the walls, so I chose the colors after only living in the house a couple of months. I should say "we" chose the colors, because my husband does have a good eye for color and did have a say in the decision. And right now I'm thinking it was the right decision.
Here's the before with the stained woodwork.

After: Woodwork is painted as is the front door.
I'm very pleased with how light and airy the living room feels. The wall color is very similar, but with just a hint more yellow. It definitely makes me happy.

So to my clients, do as I say not as I do. Unless you're feeling the same way I was. Then make sure the choices you make are ones you can live with into the future. And be willing to paint again if you get new furniture, or find out the way the light hits the room in the summer is very different from the winter and the color you selected just doesn't work. But if you stick with interesting neutrals for the walls (please, no white) you should be able to live with them for a while. Then once you really know the house, you can make a different decision, if necessary. But if you're careful, you just may not need to change the colors for a long, long time.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Now I Know How It Feels

I realize I have been absent for a while, at least when it comes to blogging. I was very involved with the Association of Design Education conference in beautiful Lowell, MA. We had a wonderful time learning, growing, and sharing. I particularly loved Friday at RAW Furnishings 
owned by the very talented designer Debbe Daley. Her store is beautiful - here's a glimpse of it surrounding Sy Mahfuz (one of our great speakers). While you can't see just  how charming it is and  how many great things she has, I hope you can get a feel for it.

But more than just conference, in between my clients I've been working on our new-to-us house. It's proven to be quite the learning experience. While we certainly did a lot of work on the old house, because we bought it when it was being built, we made a lot of decisions during the building phase. Sure, we changed paint colors over the years, and did some updating. But it has been a very long time since I moved into a house and began making changes. Not necessarily big construction projects, but we've  had a houseful of workers nonetheless.

So rather than ignoring my blog, I've decided to share with you some of my experiences. I'll also share photos to get feedback and to show the results of my selections. So stay tuned. And let the journey begin!