Decorating with colors inspired by nature can help you develop a color scheme for a beautiful room. Mother nature has already perfectly coordinated color palettes for us to choose from.
Colors inspired by nature
Blue Rooms Inspired by the Sea
How awesome is this living room inspired by the sea? Just like the sea, the room is full of energy. The soft grays and whites are the perfect balance to the numerous shades of blue. However, if you are more of a warm color person, a sunset may be a better source for inspiration.
Orange Rooms Inspired by a Sunset
When decorating with colors inspired by nature think of a sunset. This sunset reflecting off the dark color of the water inspires a room which is cheery but also well grounded by the color gray. The result is a warm, relaxed atmosphere. It is important to realize that changing the proportions of the colors would alter the feel of the room dramatically. In other words, more orange and less gray would make a bold statement. A bold color palette creates an exciting and adventurous atmosphere.
Blue and Green Rooms Inspired by a Forest
Another example of decorating with colors inspired by nature is this beautiful blue-green room. This inspiration picture of trees and water boasts a variety of cool greens and blues. The palette shown could easily be warmed up with the addition of some warm green. Decorating using the forest as room color inspiration has many wonderful possibilities.
Neutral Rooms Inspired by Snow
Turning to snow for inspiration is so fun! This palette incorporates different shades of gray, cream and white. The grays found in snow sometimes have a subtle purple undertone which can add a elegant feel to a room. Using metallic gold or silver is a great way to pop these neutrals. You can see this illustrated in the picture above with the use of mirrored furniture and the silver plate leaning against the wall as decor.
Muted Pastel Rooms Inspired by the Beach
In the last example, the soft coastal colors of taupe, ice blue, and soft shades of green are muted and quiet. Many find this palette to be calming and tranquil. It can also lend itself quite nicely to a look of whimsy or one that is romantic. I want to be sitting at the table in the picture in a white dress and a glass of champagne.
Picking colors to live with is such a personal choice. The colors you select for your home should be ones that make you feel good and are soothing to your soul. If you are starting a decorating project, check out my post Get Started Creating Your Happy Place At Home. Also, if you are venturing out to the paint store reading Why Is Picking A White Paint So Tricky? will give you some great basic color theory knowledge. If you need help, you can always hire me.
Why Is Picking A White Paint So Tricky? Maybe because there are so many white paint colors to choose from. Did you know that Benjamin Moore & Co has 372 colors with white in its name? Of course, I knew that there are many different white paint colors. However, until a client was trying to remember a “white” she had in her old home, I had never checked to see how many. It is no wonder why picking a white paint is not an easy task for most people.
I stood there at the consultation with my paint deck asking, “was it cloud white, white Christmas, oxford white” until she said, “I don’t remember and they all are looking so similar.”
With there being 372 whites, it is no wonder picking a white paint color is so difficult for many people. White paint is not just white. More importantly, you can make a mistake by picking the wrong white.
It is helpful to understand some color theory basics to explain the difference between the many different white paints available. This will also help you when picking colors for your home.
Warm and Cool Colors
First, all colors can be categorized as either warm or cool. Warm colors have an underlying color of either orange, red or yellow. Warm colors advance towards you. This means they can make large rooms seem smaller. Logically, this tells us that warm colors can help us create cozy rooms. On the other hand, cool colors have an underlying color of either blue, green or purple in them. Cool colors are known to recede. Painting a small room in a cool color can make a small room seem larger. Additionally, using a cool color on a ceiling can make the ceiling seem higher. Cool colors can help create a feeling of calmness and tranquility in a room.
When critically looking at a color, you will see its underlying color. This is sometimes called an undertone. If this is a new concept to you, the best way to discover this is with the color white. Many people think white is white. As I said above, it is never just white.
Some are warm whites, and some are cool whites. Looking at each white separately, it may appear to just be white. When you compare them to each other, you will be able to identify their underlying tones. Some have cool underlying colors like blue or purple. Others have warm underlying colors such as yellow or red.
These are the nuances that can cause you to pick a color that ends up not being what you thought once you put it on your walls. If something is not quite right, it is probably the underlying color that needs to be tweaked.
Don’t make this white paint mistake
A client of mine painted her walls off white to create a monochromatic look with her off-white pickled oak cabinets. Sounds simple enough—what can go wrong? The “off-white” cabinets had a pink undertone to them. The “off-white” paint she chose had a yellow undertone to it. Guess what? They clashed! She could not figure out what she was unhappy about until she called me in to help.
A blue undertone would have brought coolness and balance to the room. A red undertone would have continued the warm cozy feeling the cabinets had. Any other undertone then the yellow one she picked would have been a better choice.
When you pick a paint color, blue, pink., white or any other color, be aware of whether it is a warm or cool color. Next, know it’s underlying color tone to make sure you selected a color that will work in your home.
How is your holiday decorating going this year? Do you have any decorating traditions that you look forward to every year? I have a few favorite things that I do that get me in the holiday spirit. Holiday Decorating and Remembering Christmas Past I have always saved the photo Christmas cards that I received. A… Read more
What 2020 furniture trends can we expect? I headed to Seigerman’s Furniture and Design Center in Farmingdale to find out! Seigerman’s is a fantastic furniture store that also has a design center for trade professionals. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to bring my clients. They hosted an event showcasing a few… Read more
Kitchens are the heart of the home. How is yours working for you? Is there anything you can do to make your current space more efficient? During the holidays, we spend an abundance of time in the kitchen, cooking, eating, and cleaning. It’s a great time to tweak things, so your kitchen functions as well… Read more
Last weekend, in the Catskills, I dragged my husband to the Gary Mead Gallery at Fruitful Furnishings, which had been on my list to check out. I am always looking for new sources, and I love to find talented people who can make custom pieces. It is a bit off the main road, but numerous… Read more
This week I attended an excellent presentation at The Robert Allen Duralee Group’s newly renovated Long Island showroom, introducing their new collection of home decor fabrics. It was refreshing to see the direction their fabrics are taking for 2020. With Robert Allen and Duralee’s merger, they promised innovative, beautiful products, and with these new collections,… Read more
The color forecast by Sherwin-Williams, known in the industry as the Colormix® Forecast, is an event I look forward to attending every year. This year’s color forecast was, by far, my favorite one. Sherwin-Williams introduced “Color in Balance” and emphasized that Interior Designers should not only care about aesthetics but how a space makes a… Read more
I was coordinating fabrics and the color of one looked completely different depending on what I put around it. It took me a minute but I recalled this is referred to as simultaneous contrast. It was one of the theories covered in Color Class, a mandatory course for Interior Design students. The theory is that… Read more
I have the best clients! Over the years, I have been so fortunate to have some fantastic people hire me as their Interior Designer. Many of my clients have been with me since I started designing nineteen years ago. Some say they will not conquer a home project without me. I started thinking, what makes… Read more
Storage and organization go hand in hand with design. You can create the most beautiful space, but if it has clutter, who can enjoy it or feel good in it? As I keep saying; It is all about Designing to be happy! Clutter means different things to different people. To some, it means it is… Read more
I have memories as a young child watching my grandmother perform a massive ritual every spring. Not only did she scrub her house from top to bottom, but she made seasonal decor changes. Bold colored rugs were rolled up and stored. She changed the bedding and window treatments from heavy fabric to light. The colors… Read more
You don’t have to live with things you hate! So why do people live with things that make them unhappy? I am talking about the worn-out sofa, the wallpaper falling off the walls, the carpet with bald spots and well you get the picture. It is hard for me to understand because my surroundings impact my mood big time. I always try to figure out a way to “correct” whatever it is that is not working for me. In the same way, I try to design in ways that work for me as I explained in my post, DESIGN TO BE HAPPY, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
I have heard lots of excuses that people use for living with things they hate. Very often it is: “I have kids.” I won’t replace that sofa, or any other piece of furniture for that matter, because I have kids. Children need to be taught to respect and take care of things. Plus there are so many durable products on the market these days. You can even buy a sofa with Sunbrella fabric, which would certainly hold up with children. Having children should not stop you from having a nice home or force you to live with things you dislike. Puppies on another hand are a different story. Definitely wait for the chewing stage to be over before making any major purchase.
Another reason that people live with things they hate is budget restrictions. I totally understand that money plays into our decisions. But I want you to know that there are ways to improve your surroundings that do not cost a lot of money. Temporary bandages and creative solutions can help. They take a bit of effort on your part; but, again, the payback is ten-fold.
Use temporary decorating bandages so you don’t have to live with things you hate!
I believe in temporary bandages when it comes to our home. For example, a sofa that is worn out can be given a better look with the small investment of a slipcover. A sofa is a central piece in your home and something you see every time you walk in the door. You should enjoy your home as much as possible at all times. Continuing to make do with an old sofa can cause negative feelings. You may begin to feel sorry for yourself that you have to make do with one that is a worn-out or outdated and even start ruminating with an inner mantra saying I hate that sofa, which can turn into a downward spiral of self-pity. A simple slipcover solution can make things better until a new sofa is in the budget.
Creative Solutions Can Help With Things You Hate
My daughter recently married and bought her first home. The home needed a lot of updating, and they did not have the budget to tackle it all at once. The kitchen had dark oak cabinets that screamed “1970”! New cabinets were not in the budget; and these cabinets were solid wood, in fantastic shape, just dark and dated. We were able to transform them with a few days of work, and the result was a much more visually-pleasing, up-to-date kitchen for pennies.
First, we filled in grooves with wood filler that ran the length of the cabinet doors. Then we sanded, primed, and added a wood molding to each door, resulting in a shaker style. With some paint, wood filler and trim it was on its way to becoming a brand-new kitchen, achieved with work, not money. They may choose to remodel their kitchen in the future; but in the meantime, they don’t have to live with something they hate. My daughter said it bought her some time. Instead of rushing, they can save money and put in a better kitchen then one they would do if they felt force to act quickly because they had something they couldn’t stand.
One of my favorite websites for inspiration when trying to come up with a creative solution is www.hometalk.com. It is an easy to search site with a million tutorials for creative DIY projects.
If it isn’t your taste
In reality, sometimes we do choose to live with something that is less than optimal for us. Consider this scenario: You move into a new home. The previous homeowner spared no expense when remodeling one of the home’s bathrooms—high-end tile, luxury vanity and fixtures, and it is very well done. Unfortunately, you don’t really like it, but you feel that ripping it out would be wasteful; or maybe you just do not feel like being inconvenienced with a remodeling project.
My advice is to try to find something that you can be excited about which would work with the current décor. If you can find artwork or fabric for a window treatment or an accessory that you love and that works well in the room, you can change the room from one you hate to one you can live with.
Think out of the Box To Correct What You Hate
I encourage you to think out of the box when working to rid your living space of things you hate. A client of mine had a cleaning lady spill bleach on her brand-new bedroom carpeting. The result was bright white splotches on her dark green broadloom. Since it had just been installed, my client could not fathom replacing it; and, unfortunately, it was located in a spot that could not be covered by furniture.
I am pretty good at mixing paint and knew I would be able to mix up the color of the carpet. I suggested painting the bleach stains to match the rest of the carpeting. I used craft acrylic paint and mixed it with a textile medium ensuring it would be permanent. The end result was not perfect, but it was close. If you looked for the spots, you could see them; but when entering the room, they no longer jumped out at you. I would say that the creative solution of painting the stains made the best of a bad situation.
The takeaway from these two stories is that you can benefit greatly from a little face lift or a temporary decorating band-aid. So stop putting off updating, freshening or remodeling your space.
A tile backsplash can make a kitchen. It is the icing on the cake. Without a backsplash, a kitchen just doesn’t look finished. Once you select your tile, you may be asking, “How much tile do I need for my backsplash?”If you need help finding the perfect tile for your kitchen, my last post, HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT TILE FOR YOUR KITCHEN BACKSPLASH will help. There is also a lot of great information and pictures on Old Country Tile’s website.
It is a good idea to bring home a few samples from the store and look at them in your kitchen. Your lighting is going to be different than the store lighting and you want to be sure that your selection is going to look great in your space. Once you have decided on a tile or a combination of a few tiles, you can decide how much you need.
Keep in mind that you will need to order extra tiles because there is always some waste. A good rule of thumb is to order 10% more. However, if the tiles are installed on the diagonal, order 15% more.
First, let’s get acquainted with
some tile terms.
a decorative strip, texture or contrasting color that creates a design concept.
Also called a listello.
Bullnose – Used to create a finished end. It
is a trim tile with a convex radius or finished edge on one side.
short for decorative tile. Any tile face
with a decoration on the surface usually placed strategically to make a design.
the primary tile used to cover a wall or floor.
Listello – a decorative border, primarily for
How Much Tile? Let’s Measure
When you measure field tile, it is in square feet. If your backsplash is 10 feet long and there is 18 inches between the cabinets and the counter, you would simply multiply 10 x 1.5 (18 inches is 1 ½ feet). This will give you the area in square feet.
10 x 1.5 = 15 square feet. Now add in waste. 10% for regular straight designs. 15% for tile being installed on the diagonal. In this example, we would order 16.5 square feet. (If adding a border tile, make sure that this measurement is subtracted from the total to avoid over-ordering)
Measuring for border tiles is different than measuring for regular tile. Border tiles are measured in Linear Feet. To determine how many border tiles you will need, measure the linear distance that needs to be covered. This is simply the straight distance or length of the backsplash. Measure the total linear distance in inches and then divide by the length of the tile to get the number of border pieces needed.
If 10 feet is the linear length, 10 x 12= 120 inches. If the border tile is 8 inches long divide 120 by 8 to get the amount of border pieces needed.
120 /8 = 15 pieces of border tile
WHY MEASURE FOR TILE YOURSELF?
Typically the tile installer or store may assist in figuring out the amount of tile the project needs. But it is always a good idea to figure it out on your own as well. You definitely don’t want to over order and pay for lots of tile that is never used. And on the other hand, it would not be good to run short on installation day. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to double-check the tile amounts before you order.