Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Paint Sheen- the basics

Once you’ve finalized your wall color, please take a moment to consider sheen OR finish.  This is a component that often gets overlooked. Here is the list of your sheen options and their pros/cons:
1.     Flat- This is the sheen I specify the least.  It has no sheen to it which is effective in camouflaging any flaws within the walls (that's why it is a favorite of builders).  The downside is that it does not clean easily.  If your household has children, pets, or generally gets a lot of wear and tear, avoid this finish option except for on ceilings.  When a higher sheen paint is used on the ceiling, it creates distracting light spots.

2.     Eggshell- One step up from flat in sheen, it also helps to hide imperfections in the walls.  As a result, it is slightly easier to clean.  Still not one of my favorites, but it works in households without little hands or paws.

3.     Satin- Increasing in sheen, this finish is cleanable.  It offers a good middle ground. I specify this finish the most. 

4.     Semi-gloss- As the name suggests, it has a semi-glossy finish thus making imperfections in the walls more visible.  I have seen it used in beautiful applications, such as on plaster walls, but it does not work in all instances.  The clean-ability is higher than any of the previously listed finishes.  Consider this or satin for kitchens and bathrooms where the walls need to wiped regularly due to makeup, or food splatters.

5.     Gloss- My go-to application for gloss finish paint is woodwork.  Baseboards, crown molding, any casework such as built-ins within a space get glossy paint on my projects.  The gloss creates a sleek and polished appearance for these elements allowing them to stand out compared to the other components of a space which is typically desired.  The higher gloss increases the clean-ability of this paint finish.

My favorite paint brands are: Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. Both brands offer an array of paint colors, and I appreciate that they break them up into categories that help you narrow down the colors you should be considering.  Both brands offer large paint swatches on their websites
I appreciate these samples because it keep you from having to paint a 3’x3’ square of paint on your wall.  Instead you simply tape the samples up in a large grouping and live with them for a little while.  If you don’t like the color, take them down and choose another option.  If you do like it, purchase the paint and begin your project.  This is especially helpful if you are planning your project while still wanting to entertain and use your home.  Those 3’x3’ painted squares on your wall look unsightly and are distracting.

PDR is closed for the next couple weeks so we can celebrate the holidays with our families.  We hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and we will see you in the new year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How to Choose a Wall Color

I love color!  I really do.  It’s easy to get carried away with it, if not careful.  I enjoy vibrant hues but also muted earth tones. Every color has it’s place.  When it comes to choosing your color palette, the rug really should be your guide.  You don’t want everything in the space to be perfectly matched, but everything should work together to create a visually pleasing palette.  There are a few ways to accomplish this:
1.     Pull the wall color directly from your rug.  Choose a secondary or tertiary color from the rug to use as your wall color.  You can then pull other colors from the rug to use in your accents.
photo: PDR Interiors

If your rug has vibrant colors in it, choose a muted version of one of those color for the wall.  Strong colors can evoke strong emotions, and most of the time they create the opposite ambience of what you hoped.  A muted color means that it has a gray base to it which keep the colors soothing, neutral and versatile.  The bolder the shade, or more energetic the undertone, the more wired you and your guests will feel when in the space. Most people want a soothing, cozy environment in their home.  What vibe do you want to evoke?

2.     Choose a complimentary color to those in your rug.  If your rug incorporates a lot of yellow hues (warm by nature) cool down the tone of the room by choosing a shade of blue for your walls.  The same rule above applies here- keep the tone muted so as not to overwhelm the space with color. 
photo: PDR Interiors

The color wheel is going to be your best friend when it comes to creating a color palette that works.  I recommend purchasing a color wheel to keep on hand that shows you complimentary color schemes. 

I get asked about accent walls on a regular basis.  I am not a fan of accent walls.  To me, they represent someone being scared to use a color so they take the “safe” route and just put color on one wall in a room.  The other problem with accent walls is that they highlight only one wall creating tunnel vision in the room.  If you have 3 taupe walls and one deep red, your eye will continually be drawn to the deep red wall.  Most rooms don’t justify drawing attention to only one wall.  There are some instances where drawing attention to one wall makes sense, such as a two-story great rooms with a stacked stone fireplace.  You want everyone’s eye to go to that stacked stone, because the fireplace is the focal point of the room.

Speaking of fireplaces, built-ins are often used to flank a fireplace in a living or family room, and even when they aren’t sometimes they need a little something to enhance their appearance. The one caveat I have for accent walls is using an accent color or accent wallpaper on the back of built-in bookcases.  I love a painted white built-in bookcase, but some rooms call for a little more pizzazz in their shelving.  An accent color (dictated by the other colors in the room) or accent wallcovering (could be a texture or a geometric pattern) adds a punch of personality to your space. 
photo: PDR Interiors

Don’t fret if you have already chosen a wall color and are now creating a room around it.  This can work, too.  It may be a little more challenging, but it is possible.  You can work in reverse by either choosing a rug that has your wall color in it OR choosing a rug that is complimentary in color to your walls.

Stop by next Tuesday to get advice on choosing your paint sheen...

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Area Rugs- the foundation of a room

There are a lot of foundational clothing items on the market these days- Spanx, seamless panties, and a zillion choices for bras.  The pieces you choose directly affect how the rest of your clothes will look on you.  You must choose wisely in order to look your best.  You can apply the same principle to area rug selection.  Choose wisely or risk ruining the whole vibe of your space.

Area rugs can be tricky.  People often make the mistake of purchasing rugs that are far too small for their space.  A couple of factors go into this mistake-
1. lack of understanding for a rug’s purpose
2. the cost of buying a rug. 

Let’s start with talking about an area rug’s purpose. A rug is the foundation of a room.  It’s the first thing you should select when creating a space. Why?, you ask. A rug’s pattern and color scheme is the basis for every other decision you make in a space. The colors in the rug are used as a basis for choosing color for your walls and fabrics, and your pattern will dictate the design style of the whole space.

A rug acts as an anchor for your seat grouping.  In large spaces, there are often multiple seat groupings.  Area rugs help define those seat groupings. 

 Remember earlier when I mentioned that people buy rugs that are too small?  This is where that becomes a problem.  If you are trying to tie together a conversation group of furniture that includes two sofas facing each other with a pair of chairs flanking one sofa, but your rug floats out in the middle under the coffee table, it is going to feel lost and will not be serving its purpose. 

Area rugs also serve as an element of warmth and provide sound absorption.  If you’ve ever walked around barefoot in a room with hardwood floors you know it can be chilly.  Rugs provide softness underfoot and feel warmer than the hard surface flooring.  You’ll notice a big difference in noise when a room with hard flooring has a rug in it.  Without a rug, every little noise carries and can create an echo.  Adding a rug allows the sound to be absorbed therefore making multiple conversations and activities tolerable within the same space.

Onto the second factor for making a rug misstep… price. Price of area rugs can be subjective.  I can’t tell you how much money you should spend on a rug, only you know where you are comfortable budget-wise.  Research the construction of the rug you are interested in buying.  That will tell you all you need to know about why it is priced the way it is.

The purpose and the size of the rug go hand in hand.  You know that a rug anchors a seat grouping and you now know that floating a rug in the center of your furniture is not the way to go.  So how should a rug interact with the furniture? In an ideal world, all four legs of your upholstered furniture pieces sit atop your area rug.  In instances that this is not possible- whether it be an oddly shaped room, budget constraints, etc- you can cheat by just having the front two feet on the area rug.

In dining rooms, you should allow 2 feet from the edge of the table to the edge of the area rug so the dining chair can be pulled out from the table without getting caught on the rug's edge. You don't want your guests to be fighting the rug while trying to enjoy a meal at your table!

What a difference this little change makes!  Take a look at the rugs in your space plan- how do they measure up?  Could you tweak the placement to create a more refined look?  Do they anchor your seat grouping and follow the rule of thumb for leg placement? If not, go back in and adjust.  That’s the beauty of decorating, it’s fluid.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How to Measure Your Space- Step 2

Post 2/2 in the series How to Measure Your Space

Step Two- Add furnishings
Now that your room is drawn, pull out your furniture templates.  If you are using software, you can draw these items or drag and drop their ready-made pieces into the drawing.  If you have neither templates nor a software program, you can draw the furniture pieces on the plan by hand.  Start placing the furniture pieces you need and play with the arrangement.  Measure any existing pieces that you will be using in the new space and incorporate them in your plan.  For any new pieces you will be buying, try incorporating different sized furniture items to see what size works best for your desired layout.  Lastly, go in and add your area rug based on the furniture you’ve put in the space (more on how to determine the size/placement coming up in a later post).

Take some time to space plan a couple of layout options for your room. Play around with furniture placement and get comfortable with creating varying arrangements. How does it feel? If you aren’t certain about what you’re doing, it's okay.   You can come back to the space plan and make changes as often as you like during the planning process.

In the end you should have a layout that resembles these examples:

Check back next week for tips on area rug placement. This is the #1 misstep we see people make in their spaces.  You won't want to miss this post!