Color your home happy with the bright new wares featured in our Color issue, available online! Our own style expert, Laura LaRue, sought out the best and brightest and shares a few favorites.
We’re excited to welcome Cara Wilkerson of the blog Live the Home Life, which we recently discovered and can’t stop reading. Not only does it offer lots of design advice, it also brims with practical tips like the one in this guest post on redesigning a space to sell. Here, Cara shares her insight on using color to warm up a house for potential buyers. Check it out, then head over to her blog for more!
Redesigned to Sell
Few will argue that this living room is lacking potential. However, when shopping for their next dream home, buyers may have a tough time envisioning themselves living in a space in need of a little warmth and character.
With a few simple tweaks, this room will have buyers bursting down the door.
On to the game plan…
First and foremost, letâs send the lonely ottoman and rocking chair to storage. We have a few other tricks up our sleeve.
1. Paint & polish:
When prepping a home to sell, most turn to the almighty âneutralsâ to lend a helping hand. While it is true that neutral colors tend to be more widely appealing to buyers, donât be afraid to add a few strategically placed pops of color. For this room, warming up the space with a light, neutral wall color and bringing in an area rug, coffee table and wall art above the sofa will work wonders.
2. Frame it up:
Framing the windows with light curtain panels allow natural light to flow while giving the space a finished feel.
3. Accentuate focal points:
By painting the niche above the fireplace a shade slightly darker than the new wall color and adding a decorative vase, a buyerâs eye cannot help but be drawn to this living roomâs centerpiece.
4. Show off your space:
The purpose of staging is to highlight a propertyâs best features and help buyers envision themselves living in a home. The area to the right of the fireplace is begging to be transformed into an inviting reading nook. Bringing in a cozy chair, side table, throw pillow and lamp will help a buyer visualize themselves relaxing with a good read.
As you can see, there are more ways than one to incorporate Pantone’s “Color of the Year” into your home! An invigorating reddish pink, Honeysuckle is especially well-suited as an accent color, or you could go all out and cover your walls with it like the glamorous dressing room in our Color issue.
What do you think of honeysuckle? Too bright or just right?
In case you missed it:
Welcome Mary Lawlor, color stylist at Kelly-Moore Paints! To complement our Color issue, now online, she’s here with her top tips for selecting paint color for your home. Mary tracks the paint industryâs color trends and develops both consumer and trade-friendly color tools for Kelly-Moore. She speaks to design and paint groups on color forecasts and provides insight on color trends and color style evolution. We’re happy she joined us–Check out what she had to say!
A successful color scheme is a scheme that is pleasant to live with and reflects the moods and personalities of the people living in it. Creating living areas that allow us to rest and relax are just as important as creating other places that invigorate or stimulate us. Light and color affect our senses. Bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens all serve different needs. A few tips can help you find a right palette for your home..
1. Donât pick paint colors at the paint store â
go to the paint store without any preconceived color ideas. Select a wide variety of color samples to consider from the store selector and take them to the room being painted.
2. Look around your room for existing elements like carpet or furniture â
their color will play a part in the color-making decision.
These bright furniture colors are grounded with Kelly-Mooreâs HL4263-3 Hammered Pewter, a cool neutral color from the Arts & Crafts palette.
3. Place your color samples on or near the existing elements in the room to be painted.
At this point you should see immediately any colors that will not work in your space and eliminate them
4. Of the remaining colors, consider those you love and those you didnât know you loved â
a surprise color might be just right for your space.
5. A pleasing color scheme will include a blend of warm and cool colors â
a color wheel is an invaluable tool. Use it to help find colors that work well with your existing elements. Most color wheels offer helpful hints for putting schemes together. Even if you are only using one paint color in your room, the colors of other items in the room will create a color scheme.
The neutrals in this room are a combination of calm and bold. Only the cushions and draperies add that all-important dash of color. Kelly-Mooreâs Trim HL4241-1 Stocking White; Wall 1 HL4217-3 Limbert Leather; Wall 2 HL4279-3 British Khaki
6. Ask yourself what mood you want to convey in the area being painted –
A quiet workspace might need the tranquil feeling created by cooler colors like blues and greens. Gathering places might want to feel a little livelier. Warm colors like reds and oranges tend to add excitement to an environment. (Click here and here for inspiration.)
7. Heavily saturated colors make great accents, the smaller their use the better.
For an overall color, look for more neutralized colors. For example, if you have a desire for a yellow room, the perfect yellow might not be yellow at all, but a neutral with yellow undertones. (Click here for inspiration.)
8. Colors intensify when applied en mass.
Selecting a color slightly lighter than your first choice is suggested. (Click here for inspiration.)
9. Be aware of available lighting â
color will look different in varying light sources. Color viewed in natural light during the day changes once a light is turned on. Old style âcoolâ fluorescent lights tend to wash out colors. Color in a room with âwarmâ incandescent light appears more natural. A more energy efficient choice is the newer compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They are now available in a variety of color temperatures, with a 3500K being the most pleasing — not too cool or too warm and reveal colors very accurately.
10. Donât be afraid to use color â
it will enrich your space. It can also be changed relatively easily when you have a desire to explore a new area!
From advertising coordinator Laura LaRue: “You can’t beat a fun print or a monogram! I am always switching them out and moving them around my house. Keeps things fresh! Love this photo with all the Lulu DK designs.” (“Dress Your Bed with Pillows” from Jenny Castle Design)
From publisher Kelly Fraiser: “Beth, you are such an inspiration. I love the way you think. Handwritten notes are a lost art. As much as I enjoy receiving them, Iâm so guilty of not finding the time to write…” (“Resolved” from Beth Davis Interiors)
From art director Mandy Keener: “Ahhhâ¦pure inspiration bliss. Huge fan of Alyson and canât wait to get my hands on her fabric.” (“Patterns by Alyson Fox” from Anthology Mag)
From account executive Katie Rawlings: “White walls generally scare me, but the natural wood and rich patterns are so inviting in these rooms! I could get real cozy in front of that fireplace!” (“This Week on the Skirted Round Table: Kathryn M. Ireland”)
From editor in chief Diane Carroll: “In complete agreement on the Top 10–great ways to add glamour, and also character and personality. Books, arts, collections always offer a peek into a homeowner’s style. Love this bit of advice too: Never leave someone stranded without a table nearby.” (Glamorous Rooms from Jan Showers)
From account executive Kathy Condrey: “What a great collection of fireplaces. I could get cozy by them all!” (“Baby It’s Cold Outside” from Elements of Style)
From associate editor Paulette Pearson: “Our friend Roseline of This is Glamorous never disappoints–never. This room combines elegance and ease, with a healthy dose of sunlight that makes it all the more beautiful.” (“The First Exciting News of the Year” from This is Glamorous)
In case you missed it:
Welcome exterior designer Daniel Keeley of DK Design! He shares detailed tips on transforming this simple screened-in porch into a comfortable, inviting and stylish outdoor room that’s perfectly suited for gathering with your loved ones during the warmer months. It was featured in our Outdoor issue, now online, but continue reading here for extra details not included in print. You’ll be ready to get to work on your own outdoor room in no time!
To update this space, I envisioned a contemporary yet classically inspired outdoor room with a generally monochromatic color palette of slates and grays, and a few accents of white and chrome as well. The feeling I was going for is sleek, sophisticated and masculine, yet still warm, comfortable and inviting. To achieve this I used a variety of materials, exterior drapery, rugs, great lighting, several seating options including large, upholstered pieces and, of course, plant material!
First, if possible I would install natural gray slate or slate-look tile flooring. Otherwise, I would refinish the existing wood floor in dark charcoal or black satin porch paint.
Next, I would paint the walls, ceiling and trim with a neutral gray paint. I chose Ralph Laurenâs Thoroughbred Parched Teak (TH08). The existing white trim could work also, but painting everything one color would create a cleaner background that would recede, giving center attention to the furnishings and garden views beyond.
Then, I would hang outdoor drapery panels of Perennialsâ Hopsack Taupe (965-222) fabric on either side of the window to soften the walls and to add the illusion of height. This concept could also be expanded to include fully functional drapes on the screened walls of the porch for increased control over light, privacy and wind.
As for furnishings, I would begin by placing at the window a hip and comfortable Axis II love seat from Chicago Textiles, covered in their edgy Pewter vinyl.
Opposite the love seat, I would place an upholstered patio bench (also from CTC) with a custom cover in Perennialsâ Grass Cloth Flannel (945-216). The bench would offer additional and versatile seating, since one could sit facing either direction, but would not obstruct garden views.
Next, I would add two RobinWood chairs from Sutherland, upholstered in Perennialsâ Playful Plaid Seagull (940-219) and placed at right angles to the love seat. The combination of French Louis XVI-style and modern chrome accents fit in perfectly with the classically inspired contemporary look I wanted.
For surfaces, I would add a coffee table with natural wood, like Sutherland’s Peninsula version, as an organic touch to the room. I would also place a white faux bois side table with marble top from Global Views near the upholstered bench. This table could easily be moved around the room as needed and could double as a casual dining surface for one or two people.
On the floor in the center of the seating area, I would place a âSilver/Blackâ Plynyl Shag rug from Chilewich. It features stripes of silver, black and titanium vinyl loops which will help unify the various shades around the room, and the durable material will hold up just fine in this covered outdoor space.
For plant material (after all, this is an outdoor room!) I would place in the corner a white glazed terra cotta Ripple Jar planter (item 9053) from Jackson Pottery containing a Blue Atlas Cedar as a living, sculptural element that would add more verticality to the space. I would also place various smaller containers around the room to house plants with silver or glaucous architectural foliage, such as Artemisia, Agave and Sedum.
As an accent, I would hang an oxidized aluminum portal mirror from Aidan Gray over the love seat. Attached directly to the window trim, the mirror would be unexpected and edgy despite its classic, elegant shape. It would not only serve as an art piece, its rounded shape echoing the backs of the Robin chairs from Sutherland, but would also reflect the garden views outside.
For lighting, I would flank the love seat with a pair of floor lamps from Oly. I would also place a small up-light to accent the cedar tree in the corner. Overhead I would install a simple, low-profile track system. Systems like this are great, since fixtures can be placed anywhere to highlight art, plants and furniture pieces. Plus, in this room the ceilings are low, and a hanging fixture would likely interfere with traffic flow. If the ceilings were taller, I might incorporate a hanging fixture, such as Hinkleyâs Saturn outdoor hanging light, or a contemporary chandelier.
Finally, for additional style and comfort, I would add a few accent pillows from Elaine Smith to the love seat.
Don’t stop at the paint. Take a cue from our Jan/Feb kitchen feature and add colorful wares as well! Laura LaRue shows you how to get the look.
In case you missed it:
Follow Diane Carroll and Cote de Texas’ lead and add this to your reading list. Diane says, “I have this book by Rose Tarlow and it is one of my go-to sources of home design inspiration. This post has so many great images of Rose’s work. I love how casual her house is, even letting vines grow up walls. Truly indoor outdoor living!”
Lauren Strother has “spring fevah,” thanks to the blog Mrs. Lilen. She says, “Iâm definitely in the mood for spring and this palette of fresh hues sure does set the tone. I absolutely adore the vintage love seat as well as the fleur de lys glasses.”
Katie Rawlings fancies birds in home decor, especially this fabric she found on the Beth Davis Interiors blog. Never one to shy away from reupholstering, she says, “I am always drawn to birds when decorating. I love this fabric from Duralee!”
Saarinen dining, side and coffee tables, known as “Tulip tables,” were developed in 1956 by Eero Saarinen, a Finnish American architect and industrial designer. But they are as popular today as ever, and their simplicity means they complement practically every room and style. We dreamed up a few rooms we imagine they would be lovely in…
Our editor in chief, Diane Carroll, has a Tulip table in her home office, which you can get a glimpse of in her March editor’s letter!
In case you missed it:
Kathy Condrey spies a beautiful kitchen with vintage details. (“Adding character with vintage details” from Parkinson Building Group’s blog)
Katie Rawlings’ fabric frenzy continues! “Such style in these fabrics, paint colors, accessories. I am love with the green printed couch and all of its surroundings!” (“Updating a breakfast nook” from Good Bones, Great Pieces)
Laura LaRue likes style and function. “I have been dying to paint chalkboard paint on something in my house for a while now! Such a great idea for a home office or a kitchen. All these photos show great ideas!” (“Re-De-Sign” from Hello Metro)
Paulette Pearson wouldn’t mind spending part (or all) of her weekend perched here. (The Old Fish House from The Essence of the Good Life)