Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Color Forecast for 2009 to 2010

And the color of the year for 2009 -- and into 2010 -- is . . . drum roll, please:

Yellow!  I love the symbolic optimism this color offers.

Each year the people at the Pantone Color Institute announce their color predictions for the home. They actually said at the recent Las Vegas World Market that their number-one pick is "mimosa," a bubbly yellow -- in addition to complementary shades varying from bright lemon to Dijon mustard.  I love that they use foods to describe what's hot. (I do that, too, and my husband laughs, saying, "that's not a color.") To me, it's a vivid way of describing exact hues. 

The Institute also suggests that gold, "yellow's glitzy sister," will also enter the scene. In fact, expect to see more gold and silver combinations. A shine to metallics points to the fact these provide a certain depth and warmth (see the kitchen cabinets in the previous post). 

A mix of patterns and unusual color combinations will continue to appeal to the young -- and the young at heart. People still tend to go with neutrals, especially when money gets tight, they have observed. Why? The prevailing thought: safe bets. Colorful decorative accessories, though, give such quiet rooms a touch of pizazz or simple makeovers. In both easy and more affordable ways.

The Pantone Color Institute, in an interview with Furniture Style, said they also came up with eight distinctive palettes that I will describe with these words:  health, nature, sophistication, moderism, galaxy, pastiche, worldly, nostalgia.  At a glance, here are some of the color combos noted in various palettes: Mauve paired with tigerlily, sand mixed with twilight mauve, old gold and shining silver, lemon curry and copper coin, super lemon and apple green.

Some of the photos I pulled from my file represent the work of interior designers for clients: Edwina Alexis -- the yellow window seat; Jon Green -- the white and apple green room; Karen Moore -- the gold, silver and copper setting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Automotive Paint for Kitchen Cabinets? Yes, really.

Design in the Kitchen of a Modern Farmhouse - Including A New Paint Trend for Cabinets

How is this for a great kitchen idea -- Automotive Paint for your kitchen cabinets. Also, a new way to use old curtains.

Salida realtor Kym Mellsop took me through this industrial modern farmhouse in central Colorado. She knows I am a field editor -- a magazine scout -- so she asked the homeowners if I could come in. And I am very glad she did! I love this 2,300-square-foot nest -- with its fabulous views, 100-year-old flooring brought in from a former Chicago department store, and New England decor.

Take a look at what they did for the design in the kitchen. First, the pantry. Rather than use a standard door, or even an old one, they hung a flat Roman panel in a crisp black and white check. It easily rolls up. The fabric touch softens this "stainless steel" kitchen and just really enlivens the space. How easy. You could have it made or do it yourself! (How about recycling the material from old curtains/draperies?)

Paint Trends: The homeowner told me that they originally wanted stainless steel cabinetry but when they got them in the looked "too cold." Still wanting the stainless steel look, she found what she wanted in automotive paint! She had her wood cabinets painted in this gun metal color. She liked the warmth of the hue. I tell you what, at first glance, I thought it was stainless -- until I got a closer look. It is probably tough as nails (meaning no chipping). I do know Sherwin Williams carries automotive paint if anyone want to explore this as an option. I think it might be a little more costly than other brands and varieties, but if it holds up, then perhaps it is worth the money spent. (I had my interior pine floors in Galveston painted white, using hard enamel porch paint. It's a slightly raised cottage, and I think the humidity is rising from underneath, especially after hard continuous rains. It has begun to chip in one area; I just shrug it off by saying it is part of the beachy charm. But, I wonder if this type of paint would have been better?! I may try it . . . Food for thought anyway.

Any additional thoughts out there about this? Is there an eco-friendly version? (Although, if you do not need to continuously paint, then that is a good thing.)

I am not out hawking houses, but I will tell you that this one is currently for sale. Kym and listing agent Gayle Dudley are at Pinon Real Estate in Salida (

A shout-out to Joni Webb at for helping me, since I'm new at blogging. She suggested that I make my photos larger and a few other things.... Thank you, Joni! Check out her site, if you have not already. The Washington Post and others list her blog as tops. Cheers!

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Island Inspiration: For closet space and engaging artwork

Creative and Simple Decorating Idea in Galveston, Texas

This is a creative and simple decorating idea that works in the mountains, desert, big cities and small towns. It is all about gaining needed closet space without sacrificing a lot of money to do major remodeling work. Have a loft, an older home, a guesthouse, a bathroom or any space needing a closet? Then, you might like what one homeowner did.

In a nutshell her Do It Yourself Decor:

One friend gives another a solid wood front door as a housewarming gift. Since she already has a front door, the homeowner gets inventive. She attaches it to an interior sidewall in her bedroom, essentially carving out a corner space (roughly 3'x3') for a small closet. Photos here visually explain it. Love it!

This homeowner is also a self-proclaimed junker. Like so many, she enjoys the thrill of the hunt. Her favorite haunts: tag sales, flea markets, second-hand stores and family attics. Her treasures shine with interest and definitely spark conversation. I loved her collection of ship art above an inexpensive white IKEA chest that, again, provides coveted storage in her 19th century worker's cottage. Gold framing unites both the big and small. Original framing reveal chip and nick patina. A really charming and engaging collection. Not costly but, yet, priceless.

I met this homeowner while scouting for national home decorating magazines. Her story -- and photos -- appears in the current issue of Creative Home, which can be found in most bookstores and grocery stores, Target and Home Depot.

I do split my time between the beautiful mountain town of Salida,  located in central Colorado, and the historic Galveston Island just off the Texas coast. I have done most of my scouting and publishing work in the Houston area, just because I have been here longer. However, my next post will show a great kitchen idea -- or two -- from Salida.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Custom upholstery looks without paying a lot

Reupholstered Chair and Ottoman for a Money Saving Design

I'll start with what we did in our own island cottage in Galveston, Texas. We're informal, casual . . . you know, beach people. So, we needed furnishings that suit our easy lifestyle (translation: washable). I found at Pottery Barn a pair of rattan-inspired chairs that were being discontinued. They fit our small space. And I definitely liked the price. But I'm not big on cookie cutter looks. I wanted to customize the chairs without spending much more (After all, what's a good deal if you cancel it out?!). Answer: Reupholster Chair.  I picked out a cotton print fabric at High Fashion in Houston. Then, I asked my upholsterer's seamstress to make cushions to go over the existing white canvas ones. (I now have two looks wrapped up in one chair, should I ever want or need to switch out.) Cost for two cushions per chair: Around $100, give or take.  It could be even less if you do it yourself! And what about using fabric from an old bedspread or something? Then the price gets down to the price of thread. It's not about the money necessarily. I think it's about being creative, having fun and getting personal with your space, loving where you live. Especially during these times.

Our longtime friends, Barbara and Carlos, did something similar with their sofa and matching chair. They thought their cushions were worn but the overall sofa fabric just fine. She found a same-weight fabric that contained the same tan background color as in the sofa. She now has striped cushions with tan cording. Very cottage. It certainly cost less than redoing the whole thing! Plus, it didn't take six weeks or more. Quick and easy. A new fresh look for less. Love it.

Before and after photos above show our chair and ottomans

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When the Shine is off the Bling

A New Home Design Blog - Love Where You Live

Keeping up with the Joneses is, alas, no longer a requirement to living well.
Yes, the pressure is off to buying the best and most expensive -- and living so large that we all now feel the strain in worldly ways. (Although if you can afford, and love, the pricey products, then get them -- give our economy buying boosts whenever possible!)  I think the opportunity is now; however, to find inventive ways to make our homes comfortable, useable, pleasing, and safe and relaxing havens -- for both our families and friends. To Love Where You Live.

The intent with this home design blog is to share creative nesting ideas.
My own as well as those coming from others. Hopefully, thoughts appearing in forthcoming notes might spark inspiration, discussion and sharing, and possibly re-invention. They might be brief or sometimes a little wordy. I will always try to include visuals. It's important, I think, to nurture positive thinking. With patience, I think we can greet change and overcome challenge. Perhaps our earth can benefit, too, as we re-evaluate how to use what we already have available to us and strive to living green.

This might sound kinda serious, but, let me say now, the tone is about to change. --Cheers!
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