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Look up and take notice.

21 Feb

The number one question asked during a color consultation is of course, “What color should I paint the walls”?

Rarely does someone inquire about a color for the ceiling.  Too often your ceiling’s contribution to the overall room decor is overlooked.  The ceiling makes up 1/6 of your total space yet gets the same attention as your second cousin’s husband on your mother’s side.

It’s time to look at this all important fifth wall from a new perspective.

Cosy theatre room by D.P. Mikulich


There is no longer the rule-of-thumb that stipulates all ceilings should be white.  Allowing the eye to travel up the wall onto the ceiling without a visual line between the wall and ceiling color will make any room feel larger and more finished because it’s not being split in half visually.

Ernest de la Torre via ElleDecor

via BeSusan.blogspot


A largely accepted practice is to paint your ceiling 2-3 shades lighter than your walls in order to give the illusion of height and openness.  Just go up the color strip to find it.  Another option is to choose a different lighter color that “goes with” your wall choice.


via Apartment Therapy


via DesignTrackMind


via House & Home magazine


via Apartment Therapy


If your ceiling is high and you want to lower it, paint a shade darker than the walls.  Having this fifth wall advance can make a cozier, more intimate room especially so if using a warm palette.


via dresslaundrette


I believe  rooms look more “finished” when the ceilings aren’t stark white.  A painted ceiling becomes part of the overall décor and your room will appear complete and more polished – like some real thought went into the whole scheme.


via house2cozyhome


via Apartment Therapy


What about the same color?  Same color walls and ceiling gives the illusion of making the room appear taller because the eye just keeps traveling up the wall and it “never” ends.  Therefore a small space can appear larger and more spacious.  A small laundry, kitchen or powder room are examples of where this application works well.


(In a good-sized room, however, this application will make the room appear flat and frankly, boring).


Guest bathrooms, bedrooms and especially kid’s rooms are the perfect venues for creativity on the ceiling.  Fluffy clouds on a blue sky, faux finishes such as Venetian Plaster or a mixed metallic glaze can all add drama, texture and dimension (and by texture I do not mean the dreaded popcorn ceilings).


via Marie Burgos

CactusCreekDaily via Google


via weedecor

If you always opt for a white ceiling because it’s the safe choice, okay, I understand fear of change.   But if you think “ceilings are supposed to be white”, well I’ll have to strongly disagree with you.

Let’s get rid of that big white bed-sheet overhead!  Look up and take notice.

Tip: Be sure to use the specially formulated “ceiling paint” made by every major brand of paint.

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works.

If you have photo of a room that you’ve made fabulous by taking into account your fifth wall, please share!


Pantone Color of 2011.

20 Dec

I know I’m quite late in blogging about this and you probably have already heard but I’m so tickled “pink” by Pantone’s choice for 2011 that I just have to write about it!  (The only choice that could have made me happier would have been Royal Purple).

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2011 is – 18-2120 Honeysuckle, a very sassy, chic reddish-pink.

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.”

So, just as we saw this year, with the announcement last year of turquoise being 2010 color of the year, we can expect to see this shade of pink starting to appear more and more on the store shelves and on the clothing racks.

via NY Daily

Cuisinart Yogurt & Ice Cream Maker

Google Images

Google Images

Google Images

via Little Green Notebook

via Apartment Therapy

via HomeGoods

"Mom Cave" via HomeGoods

Pantone Visa Card

Yes, this is a real VISA card!


Style at Home Magazine - Jan. 2011

Even the Style at Home issue that is on the stands now has a masthead in something resembling “Honeysuckle”.  Cool.


The Pantone Color Institute is widely recognized as setting color standards for the fashion and home industries.  It’s also the common color language spoken in the paper and graphics worlds.

In 2010,

Color of the Year 2010









In 2009,

Color of the Year 2009











I really like 18-2120 Honeysuckle and was thinking of a bubble gum pink for the new laundry room but now…… maybe something with a bit more red in it!

This Honeysuckle pink is going to be an awesome accent color for those who have been painting their walls gray (the new neutral).  Too punchy for you?  Start small, a pillow here, glass bowl there.  If you are tickled pink about this color but are not sure where to begin, just ask.

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply works.

You can still reach me here with your questions and photos. 

This Fall Think Deep Thoughts About Color.

26 Oct

Deep, rich, sink-into color, that is!

It’s only 6 a.m. here in my office and I should be getting dolled up for work but I had, had, had to share the latest palette offerings from the very inspirational Margot Austin over at Style at Home magazine.

Those who know me or have ever been to my shop know that I’m over the moon for the color Royal Purple, so this first palette made my heart sing (now if I could only get it to play a little ditty for my husband )

Plum & Pewter via Style at Home

Paint shown is by Farrow & Ball (sorry they don’t list the paint name or number).

That glossy striped wallpaper as a backdrop to the deep grays – Oh, Yah.

Margot even gives us a room in plum, just in case we’re not convinced yet….

Plum Inspiration via Style at Home

I’ll take the deep purple chair, the sink-into gray chaise, the gi-normous ornate mirror ……loving those walls!  With those high ceilings did they really need to paint them snowman white?  (ding – post idea!)

Next up is this blue & red combination – don’t think Crayola crayons!

Margot refers to these two as Oxblood and Inky Indigo.  Whatever you choose to call them, I call them terrific together!

Oxblood & Inky Indigo via Style at Home

If I were looking for components for my room redo with these colors, I’d be carrying around that small vase in my purse!

I was thinking office when I first saw this inspiration board and ……

via Style at Home

Here it is!    Aside from the pink rug (I would keep looking for something with more red in it) I really like the use of the indigo on all the walls and bookcases.  If you like the color….use it on all four walls!

Last one is Cocoa and Bronze.  While I’m not a brown loving individual, I can’t help but appreciate all the richness and luxury that chocolate can bring.  Talking color here not Cadbury!

Cocoa & Bronze via Style at Home

Sooooo, you know there is an inspiration room coming up next……

Are you waiting for chocolate walls? …………Nope!

Bronze glazing? ……….. Nope!

Fabric wrapped panels? ………….. Nope!


Timothy Mather via Style at Home

Croc wallpaper !

Is your master bedroom or guest room lacking punch?  How about a croc wall treatment?

Designer Timothy Mather hit this one, right outta the park!

Deep thoughts about some deep colors, perfect topic for this fall.

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply  works.

If you would like design to work for you please contact me here for an on-line consultation, or if you are local please call 204.620.6202

Bravery – Are you feeling it?

20 Oct

My husband purchased his very first, well-deserved I think, brand-new boat.  We are safety conscious people and took the course, read the manual and purchased the necessary equipment.  Including a doggy life jacket for our little boy, Henry.  See the “About” page for a picture of the “cutest dog in the whole wide world”.

There are just certain things I’m not brave about.  Zooming around at 35 mph in a boat without a life jacket, working out in my garden in July without bug spray, cutting lumber without measuring twice, leaving on vacation without packing a hair dryer, filling in forms in ink and eating shelled peanuts out of an open dish.

For many, the use of color appears on their list, right up there with public speaking and sharks.  The majority of my color clients come to me because they can’t pull themselves away from the safety of beige.  The practice of painting white trim and ceiling to “contrast” with beige walls is well……….habit I think (I hope).

I have no reservations using color (just ask my husband about the yellow spare bedroom) and anyone who has been in my shop knows my favorite color is Royal Purple.  While I can’t get too crazy because my husband needs to be comfortable too, I do push the envelope as much as I can and I am constantly on the look-out for the next big inspirational image.

Maybe there is one here for you?

via Flickr

via House & Home

Ben Stiller's Home via Elle Decor

via Martha Stewart

By Nina Campbell via Veranda

via Google Images

via Chatting at the Sky

Candice Olson

This last image alone makes me want to run out and purchase teal paint!  Canadian Designer Candice Olson has been one of my favorite designers since before design school.  Remember when she first started doing segments on “Cityline” in Toronto?  Very great.

So…….inspired to be a little braver?

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply works.

To help you make design work for you please contact me here for an on-line consultation or if you are local please call me at 204.620.6202

Pink for girls, blue for boys?

18 Aug

I have always been a girly-girl.  I want to wear frilly clothes, adorn my pillows with tassels and sew lace on my towels.   Now that I’m a big girl my tastes have changed –  I really want a Royal Purple bedroom!   My husband however doesn’t share my passion for all things grape so I’m content in my soft blue bedroom oasis (for now 🙂  wink, wink)

I am totally inspired by the following pictures and would love  to have a little pint-sized client who loves color as much as I do!

If you don’t want to do a totally pink room for your little girl who can’t be a princess without pink – what about pink and orange? Check out the cool lamp in the background.


What about pink and lime green? This Parisian themed bedroom will have any little girl feeling like royalty with  eyelash fabric draped over a canopy bed.  Note the mini-chandelier, mirrored side table and painted ceiling.  Trés chic.

By Robin Callan

What about pink and grey? I love the artwork and doesn’t that pendant remind you of one we’ve seen at IKEA?

By Nicole Sassaman

A neat idea when needing to divide up the room between two.  The mirrored piece provides great storage and acts as bedside tables for both beds.  I love the contrast between the wide stripes of the drapes with the formality of the chandelier and mirrored chest.

From House and Home magazine

Yellow and purple continues to be a favorite complementary color combination for many rooms.  Here I love the use of wallpaper to add interest in the room.

From Style at Home Magazine

Why not try the unexpected?  Trish’s use of plaid in this traditional boy’s nursery gives a vintage feel to the space.  I really like this room and it’s easy to visualize the transition that’s made when the crib is moved out and a big boys bed is moved in.

By Trish Beaudet

Blue with red in this cosy bedroom with the added feature of a headboard.  Not often seen in children’s bedrooms but why not?  It adds a little something, don’t you think?

By Kenneth Brown

A cottage inspired little girl’s room using a combination of green, yellow and blue.  So soft and inviting with years of comfort ahead!

By Trish Beaudet

If it weren’t for the crib you wouldn’t know it was a nursery!  A twist on the safari theme to be sure!  Even the ceiling has a treatment.

By Baylor Anne Bone

Traditional blue boy’s room.  Nothing ho-hum here.  Adorable right down to the storybook phrases on the ceiling.

By Leslie Saul

Traditional pink girl’s room.  Notice the stunning effect that wrapping the color up and over the ceiling has on the overall feel of the room.  So cosy.  A white ceiling just wouldn’t have delivered the same ambience.  And every princess bed needs a canopy!

By Trish Beaudet

Sorry for the small photo but I had to include this in the mix because I just love the use of the patio lanterns.   This definitely has a relaxed, restful feel.  Very cool.

From flickr by aydeeyai

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply works.

Color Controversy?

5 Aug

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been surfing the blog world trying to get a handle on how to do ‘blogging’.  I already have many favorites that I’ve arranged to have pop up on my Google homepage.  Love technology (when it works).

One of my favorites is a fellow lover of design and she is one stylish, creative gal.   Recently she featured an all white home and asked the question “Stark White or Not?”  via MadeByGirl: August 2010.   For me it was way too much white, feeling cold and sterile.  It was amazing how many follow-up comments were in favor and thought the home looked awesome!  There were a couple of people who couldn’t live there but liked the idea.

Oh no, I hate being the odd man out.  But today I’ve perked up because while visiting the ElleDecor website I ran across the following article.

What the Pros Know: Tips on Decorating with Color and Using Paint Colors.

Too timely for words seeing as how I’ve just finished writing an article for my local newspaper encouraging everyone to consider painting their ceilings something other than white!

Whew! I’m not alone.  Color me happy!

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works.