Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tips for Decorating with White

The   color   white   is   never   a   trend."  
"When  you  use  it   as  a  background   color,  everything  else  stands  out.  
When  it's  used  on  furniture,   everything  around  it  stands  out."
-Jenny Peters

There   are   thousands   of   different   whites 
and we encounter them every day, whether we realize it or not.   
But   how   might   we   better   understand   whites  
and  put  them  to  use  in  our  own  spaces?

Jason Cass, host of One House, Two Looks and Canadian distributor of Farrow and Ball, the venerated English paint brand, says  People   misunderstand   white.   
Often,   it's   assumed   that   white   is   a   'standard,'  
a  tone  that  is  uniformly  agreed  upon.    In  fact,  
white  is  a  wide  range  of  tones  and  hues  like  any  color."

You  will  often  find  
white   with   blue-gray   undertones   in    modern    spaces 
where  clean - lined  furniture  with  rich  textures  dominates.

"  Don't   be   afraid   of   pure   white. "   
"People have a tendency to think it's harsh, so they add a little blue or a little ochre, 
but pure white is really beautiful. The  thing  about  mixing  different  whites  is  that  they  shouldn't  be  just  a  little  different:  You  should  be  able  to  see  that  the  difference  is  intentional. 
I  love  ivory-  or  bone-colored  fabrics  with  white  walls." 
—Abigail Turin, designer
White   feels   warmer  when  it  has  pink   or   yellow   undertones.
"Warm   whites   soften   areas   and   add   a   sense   of   comfort." 
-Elle Decor

"When   decorating   with   fine   antiques   and   rich   wood   floors,
I   opt   for   whites   that   are   slightly   yellowed.   
This  adds  an  authentic  patina  to  traditional  rooms   since  white  pigments  used  prior  to  the  20th-century  had  a  tendency  to  darken  and   yellow  with  age. 
In   contrast,   for   modern   lofts,   I   nearly   always   work    with    stark    whites   or    blue-whites.    Again,  an  authentic  choice  since  brilliant  wasn't  invented  until  the  1920's.   For   powder   rooms   and   dining   rooms,   my  first  choice  might  be  a  rosy  or  blush  white." 

Walls   painted   white   contrast 
with   mahogany   furniture   and   beautiful   antiques, 
giving    traditional    rooms    a    lighter    feel.
White   accents   bring   attention   to   an   area,  
such as a dado, the inside of a bookcase, or a painted floor.

Designer Jay Jeffers: "I love using all white accessories in a colorful room.  I once did a wall of bookcases with only alabaster objects.  It was fantastic!"

Don't   forget   the   moldings !   Select a  complementary  shade  of  white  or create a little contrast with a glossier finish.  Some trim  colors  to  consider are Dove Wing and Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore, Wall White by Farrow and Ball, and Off-White by Pratt and Lambert.

Via her blog  Color  Me  Happy,   Maria Killam  gives  expert  color  advice:
"When  it  comes  to  whites  for  trim,   the   best   white   for   you   is   
the   one   that   works   with   the   fixed   white   in   your   home.  
If your kitchen cabinets are screaming white, then your trim colour could be Benjamin Moore's   OC-117  Simply White  or  OC-65  Chantilly Lace.   If your entry floors set the tone of the fixed white in your home with a creamy marble, then you find one that goes with that and it might be  OC-38  Acadia White,   OC-85  Mayonnaise,  or  OC-90  Vanilla Ice Cream  to mention a few."
Your   ceilings   should   relate   to   your   walls !
Designer, Natalie Umbert uses Benjamin Moore's  Cotton Balls  OC-122:
"I rarely use plain white on ceilings because the contrast is too stark, especially if you're using saturated color on the walls.  
My   technique   is   to   find   a   white   that   has   the   slightest   bit   of   the   wall  color   in   it.    This has some blue and green and gray, which means it works well with those colors.  Your eye doesn't immediately go to the ceiling, which makes that transition smoother."
 Designer Thomas Jayne recommends Benjamin Moore's  Opal   OC-73:
When I worked at Parish-Hadley, Albert often suggested 
putting   a   little   pink   in   the   white   of   a   ceiling   
to make it more of a flesh tone.  It just sortof blushes, and the  reflection  is  more  flattering.  You could heighten the effect by lacquering it to add depth."

  Designer Chris Barrett:  "White    always    looks    fresh. "  

"White  brings  a  sense  of  clarity  and  soothes  the  mind.   I particularly enjoy it in residential bathrooms for its calming effects." -Shelly Handman, designer.

Whites   are   tricky  ! "
"Just ask any woman who’s tried to match her off-white shoes with her purse. When selecting whites, keep them in the same color family; this includes yellow-white, pink-white or bright white. View whites by placing other materials that are in the color scheme next to them, as they influence the white’s color.   White    is    typically   the   last   color   to   be   introduced   to   the   color   scheme." 
-Color Expert,  Denise Turner   via  her  blog  "Color Talk - Colorfully Inspired"
"To paraphrase Le Corbusier, architecture is the play of light on form, and I think that's the reason I love white. Its luminous quality heightens the effect of shadows, magnifying lines and curves, yet at the same time it unifies space. There's a physical and psychological purity to white. It also connotes wealth (somebody has to clean it!) so in that way, white rooms are the modern-day silver." -David Ling, architect
To  keep  white  modern  and  fresh,   use  as  much  of  it  as  possible, 
layering it in a variety of materials. I worked on a kitchen with white plastic chairs, a rustic table painted white (the effect was similar to a Brancusi sculpture), frosted white glass cabinet fronts, and a glass backsplash that was back-painted white. 
The  key  to a  sophisticated  look  is  to  forget  about  making  it "perfect." 
Don't be afraid to experiment with textures and different shades of bright white. 
—Robyn Morgenstern Rosenblatt, architect

PHOTOS:  1. design principia 2., 7., 11. elle decor, 3. gingerella 4., 5.  a life of beauty and grace, 6. 17 blocks from barney's  8. 9. unknown 10. the decorista 12. withasoutherntwist 13. fime, 14., 16. via vogue living 15. unknown....Quotes and information from Colour Me Happy, ColorTurners, and HomeEnvy Blogs + Elle Decor, Southern Accents, Metropolitan Home and House Beautiful Magazines.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bring the Glamour: Mary McDonald

Have you seen  "Million Dollar Decorators"  on Bravo?  
If not, find a way to do so: it's hilarious!  (click here for a funny review)  It's also interesting to watch a handful of extremely successful interior designers working in LA.  All of them are wonderful, but Mary McDonald is my favorite!!  
She is fun, funny, and a true creative talent!
How can you not like Mary McDonald?
So many of her spaces have been published and blogged and reblogged to the point of being seen by everyone!   Just  google  her  name  and  hit  "images"  --  and I promise, you'll be saying, "Oh, I've seen that...I love it....didn't know it was hers!"
A native of LA (Brentwood), Mary McDonald is a designer with the GUTS and  IMAGINATION it takes to create bold, dramatic and still classical interiors.
She has a sixth sense for mixing scale, color, line, sheen and texture in a space...
in a risk-taking manner that knocks it out of the park each time.

Of late, Mary has created her own stunning collection of lamps, and published a book featuring her own work, Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style.

McDonald  gave  some  very  clear,  straightforward  decorating  advice in a recent Veranda Magazine article:
“The objects don’t necessarily need to make total sense together if it’s just for decorative purposes. Just try to have something that’s big, something that’s medium and something that’s small; something that’s short, something that’s wide, something that’s skinny. Notice that not everything’s grouped together here. When you collect these types of things, the mere fact that they’re all in the same color family ties everything together and makes it all fun and interesting.”  NOTE the photograph above, in reference to my recent post "Collecting Photography," is a print by renowned (fashion+celebrities+Kennedys) photographer Mark Shaw.
“...The point is fun and fantasy...this is something you can do with any silhouette you like. It could be a tree or a big flower, and you can blow it up to any size you want. This kind of thing is perfect for kids’ rooms and guest rooms, maybe a cute breakfast room." 
“This is a guesthouse master bedroom with wood floors that I didn’t want to tear up. So I took this seagrass rug and had my own pattern painted on it. It really made the whole room more modern. You have to do a bit of homework when you’re going to paint a rug and make sure the pattern’s going to hit where you want it to. If you do it right, it’ll really add a lot to the room. Just make sure you’re using natural fibers — seagrass, sisal, jute. You can’t really paint on wool or acrylic, because it won’t take.”
“Attaching a valance to the ceiling is a little trick I use when people don’t have a four-poster bed and the ceiling isn’t super-high. The panels you see here are mounted to the ceiling, so gravity is the frame. And if your ceiling isn’t extremely high, the effect will be perfect — it will make the room feel much taller.”
“If you’ve got a lot of empty space, you can have an octagonal top cut and put it on a table before you cover it. That will create a lot more contemporary interest, even if you’re using a traditional cover. You can even have the cover pleated at the corners to make it super-tailored.”
“I always like to pair very symmetrical elements with something that’s asymmetrical, because the symmetry cleans up the asymmetrical parts and keeps them from getting too crazy.  You always want to make sure when you’re putting together a tablescape for a vignette that’s symmetrical...that you have 
groups  of  all  different  heights,  
because  that  creates  an  artistic  sense  of  release.

“This is a bedroom in a pretty formal Tudor house, but it’s a lot of fun. The homeowner wanted something really bright, so I picked out those shades of red and coral. What’s important is to have the exact same weight of the colors and patterns on the bed and the wallpaper, so that even though they’re super–strong and heavy, the fact that they’re both super–strong and heavy — and one doesn’t seem wimpy in comparison — makes them balance each other out.”
8.    SQUEEZE    IN    A    WINDOW    SEAT
“I built that window seat where there used to be a balcony to make a banquette nook in the kitchen. If you have a balcony or just a little extra space, you  should  always  try  to  add a  window  seat  where  you  hadn’t  necessarily  thought  of  it — even in your bedroom, if you have a little niche.  It  brings  a  nice  feeling  to  any  place  
where  you’re  going  to  want  to  sit  and  get  cozy.”
“In this master bath the wood floor was originally pretty boring. I knew I wanted something more, so I had it painted in zigzags because I thought it felt fun and now and current. To tie the floors in with all of the marble, I looked at the different light grays in the stone and picked out this one nice shade of almost blue-gray.”
“...You should always think about stripping things down to find out what the original material is. A lot of the time it’ll be something  that  really  gives  the  room  a  sense  of  patina  and  age.”

So there you go!  Hey- applying even half of these strategies within a space will give you an exciting makeover!!  (I'm already planning my four-panel bed and octagonal table - how about you?!)

R E L A T E D      P O S T S  :

ALBERT    HADLEY  (1921 - 2012)

Redd   Rocks

For   the   Love   of  :  JOE   NYE

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great Paint Colors for Your Bedroom!

Everyone wants something special in terms of color in their bedroom.  
Be it a neutral, a light or a dark, warm or cool color, it's important!

(above paint color unknown)
Benjamin Moore   "BLANCHED  CORAL"    886
"It's a pale, pale, pale, almost fleshy pink, but on the pink side rather than the beige side.  Why do I like it?  Because of the way it reflects on your skin.   It's  feminine  and  soft.   It's  almost  like  you've  got  a  little  glow  in  your  cheeks.   That's what you want in the morning when you wake up and have no makeup on.  
-Charlotte Moss

(above paint color unknown)
C2 Paints     "BELLA DONNA"     316
"I just painted my bedroom this really amazing color called Bella Donna.  It's a smoky, purply mauve, the  color  of  the  sky at  sunset.    It's a  soothing,  relaxing,  moody  color that looks beautiful with raspberry curtains, mauve bedding, and gray flannel carpet." 
-DD Allen

 (above paint color unknown)
Farrow and Ball   "BORROWED LIGHT"    235
"The name says it all.   It's the palest blue that they make, and it just shimmers.  When you walk into a room with white woodwork and this pale blue, you think you're in heaven.  My painter went home and told his wife about it, so you know you've got a winner."
-T. Keller Donovan

(above paint color unknown)
Benjamin Moore   "WHITE SATIN"   2067-70
"It's an ahhhhh color, a pale ethereal blue with a touch of periwinkle.  Completely uplifting -- like floating on a cloud surrounded by fluffy down pillows.  
As  soon  as  you  walk  in,  you   feel  the  weight  of  the  world  
is  lifted  from  your  shoulders."
-Jamie Drake

(above paint color: Benjamin Moore "HANCOCK GREEN")
Benjamin Moore  "SWEET  DREAMS"  847
"Sweet Dreams is like a hug.  I know that sounds sappy but this is the perfect nice, comfortable blue, with just enough gray and just enough robin's egg, and just enough teal.  Paint any room with this and it becomes the happiest room in your house -- but not in a clownish, perky way.  My kind of happy means serenity and atmosphere."
-David Mitchell

(above paint color unknown)
Benjamin Moore    "BIRD'S EGG     2051-60
"I've always liked warm and cozy dining rooms and living rooms, but in the bedroom I go towards cool and airy.  That  to   me   seems   restful,   sleep-inducing.    My own bedroom is painted pale blue, with touches of sliver gray and coral."
-Miles Redd

(above paint color: Benjamin Moore "Sag Harbor Gray" HC-95)
Donald  Kaufman   DKC - 37
"What I like about Donald Kaufman paints is that they're indescribable.  They're almost edible colors.  This particular shade has green and blue in it, and brown and gray.  A  February  sea  blue,  that's  what  I'd  call  it.   I always use it in flat, so  it   has   this   rich,   velvety   quality,   like   soft   moonlight."
-Marshall Watson

(above paint color unknown)
Pratt and Lambert    "Avoine de Mer"  (Sea Oat)    17-26
"It's green, somewhere between apple and moss, and it's  like  waking  up  in  spring  every  morning."
-Alessandra Branca

(above paint color unknown)
Benjamin Moore     "CAYMAN  BLUE  2060-50
"I happen to love this color.  I've mixed  it  with  black-and-white  photography  and some pretty serious Empire furniture, and it's really fabulous."
-Brian McCarthy

Farrow  and  Ball    "GREEN  BLUE   84
"It's my two favorite colors mixed together.  Soft,  but  with  a  lot  of  vibrancy.   Greens and blues are known for their  relaxing  effect. "
-Sheila Bridges

(above paint color unknown)
Benjamin Moore    "PALE MOON"     OC - 108

"Nothing is more of a turn-on than Champagne, and this is that same  uplifting  kind  of  inviting  color.    In  the  evening,  it  looks  very  warm  and  rich,  and in the morning, there's a happy mood about it."
-Birch Coffey

(above paint color unknown)
Ralph Lauren Paint  "CRESTED  BUTTE"   NA-40
"It's  the  color  of  stones  under  water  --  
relatively  dark,  but  very  warm  and nuanced.  It's wonderful to have a dark bedroom.  Aren't there a few people who like to use this room for sleeping?"
-Suzanne Rheinstein

(paint color above is Benjamin Moore's "Bold Yellow" 336)
Farrow and Ball    "CITRON"   74
"It reminds me of the sunflowers in France.   It's  bright,  cheerful.    Even  when  it's dark,  it's  always  going  to  be  happy.   I love what they do in France: paint a band about 12 to 24 inches high - from the floor up - like a border around the bottom of the room.  Then do the doors and window frames in that same color."
-Kathryn Ireland

Benjamin Moore    "SUN KISSED YELLOW"    2022-20
"We just did this bedroom in Florida with sunshine yellow walls.  It's so eye-popping and energizing.   It's  beautiful  at  night  when the lights are on and  everything  turns  golden.   And when you wake up, wow!"
-Christopher Coleman

Enjoy! :)

Photos:  1. cocktail hour on the divan,  2.  carlos mota via elle decor,  3. flickr, 4. perricatherine,  
5. jeffrey bilhuber, 6.barbara westbrook,  7. decorare,  8. metropolitan home
9. domino magazine, 10. meg braff, 11. jonathan adler