White | How to make it work.

While white has become a very popular color on pinterest and in magazines, many homeowners struggle with white and how to make it work.  Before the minimalist movement, white was stark feeling and cold.  People associated white walls with governmental buildings and hospital, but white has come a long way.  However, there is a trick to making white look right in a home.  There's a way to bring the warmth out of it so that it doesn't feel cold but rather clean and bright.

To begin with, there isn't just one shade of white.  There are tons of different shades with a little more grey or a little more beige....some with blue undertones, some have a hint of pink.  This may seem overwhelming, but is actually a good thing.  You definitely want to capitalize on this when bringing white into a room and use different shades.  This will give white it's own depth.

Another way to help make white work is by bringing in texture.  Texture is a our number one go-to when adding the layers.  Honestly, texture can make almost any space work but it's a must in mostly white rooms.  Texture can come in the form of other white things but it can also be created by bringing in organic pieces in earth tones.  These types of accessories and lighting additions are what elevates a room too.

Don't be afraid to add a pop of a different color in a white room either.  Some people worry that adding a new color will ruin the look and the room won't feel like a white space, but that's not the case at all.  When a space has white walls and mostly white larger pieces of furniture, you can easily add some color in a rug, pillows, art, or even an accent chair without taking the look of the room off track.  In fact, sometimes, depending on the space, it's exactly what the room needs to pull it together!

The stark and sterile feeling that people associate with white comes from cold governmental buildings that (used to...because it's not really that way anymore) kept things clean and simple.  However, what they're not realizing is that, in most of these places, it isn't appropriate to add soft layers like rugs and window treatments so there isn't any softness.  Yet they're still associating the cold with white because that's where they've seen it applied.  If you can add some softness to a white space, you've accomplished a lot in making white feel warm so don't forget the fabric!

It's no secret that we love white but we understand that it can be a hard color to make work.  And honestly, that's why we have jobs!  However, if you're trying to do this on your own, we want to help!  So hopefully these tips will take you a long way!

Got the Blues?| Selecting the Perfect Blue Paint

White walls are still hot...and the minimalist look isn't going anywhere for awhile but color is coming back onto the scene for 2017.  Wall colors are getting darker and more interesting and people are ok with that.  

There's so much more to selecting the perfect wall color than people think.  Especially now.  Colors have evolved so much that picking that perfect color is hard.  What's the base color mixed with?  Black, white, brown, yellow?  Is there a hint of red?  Is it a clear color or more muddy?  Black or grey mixed in with colors usually makes them more "mature-looking" while brighter colors with more white can sometimes feel juvenile.

All that to say that blue is definitely a solid color choice for walls.  However, not just any blue will work.  There are certain blues that are a more elevated version of the color and it's important to pick the right one for your space.  We love black walls, but they sometimes scare people.  Blue, on the other hand is "safer" and also considered a neutral--it works well for a feminine or masculine space and blends well with almost any other accent color--so it's also versatile!  So today we're sharing an article with you that we found on Houzz about some beautiful blues!  Thanks, Becky Harris, for the great color choices!

The blues that Becky discusses are inspiring and come highly recommended by designers.  So be sure to take notes!

For something slightly powdery but still expensive looking, try Benjamin Moore's Sea Star 2123-30.  It's a type of colonial blue but works well with a light space to create a statement!

Blue Note 2129-30 by Benjamin Moore is one of our favorites!  It's rich and bold and screams strong and successful!

Similar to Blue Note but with a little more black in it, Hale Navy 2063-10 by Benjamin Moore has more of a nautical feel.  Pair it with white trim, stripes and brass and you've got a cozy space perfect for any season.

Going slightly darker is In The Midnight Hour 1966 by Benjamin Moore.  This color is one you'll definitely want to pair with whites and texture to lighten it up but don't be afraid to use it to make a statement.

We'll be honest.  Different brands of paint offer better selections in certain color families.  Sherwin Williams has a great selection of greys and grey-beiges while Benjamin Moore is definitely a competitor in blues!  Remember that when paint shopping.  Sometimes shopping in different brands is necessary to find the perfect color.

The Appliance Question | Which Color to Pick

Which color appliance should I get?  What color is the most classic?  I get this question all time--or some form of it.  People are re-doing their kitchen and are putting a lot of money into new appliances and (understandably) want to make sure they're making the right choice for this big investment.  The thing with the color of anything is that, while yes, there are "classic" colors, you always have to consider if it coordinates with what is currently in the space.  So today we're breaking down appliance colors and discussing when it's best to use which color.  So hopefully this will help answer the all-too-common appliance question the way it's supposed to be answered.

Stainless Steel is usually a top choice.  People like that it's a little more modern and expensive-looking but dislike the unconventionality of it.  Fingerprints show easily and it requires lots of cleaning.  The nice thing about stainless is that it's a different color than what most cabinets are.  It's not white or (any version of) brown like most kitchens so it can quickly add a different layer to the kitchen.  Since most sink faucets are stainless and there are tons of options of kitchen hardware in silver, using a stainless finish on your appliances can easily tie the rest of the metal in the room together.  Stainless is also a very "transitional" look.  So when people ask me, what will last?  Stainless is about as good an answer as any.  Right now it works well because it can go with more styles than any other color so it will probably last the longest, but to say it will be in-style forever is impossible.  So, most importantly. consider the kitchen it's going into.  If it blends well with the other finishes, it will most likely work well with the space.

The second most popular appliance color is white.  In terms of "classic colors", this color will always be the most classic.  However, the white metal look isn't necessarily as popular anymore.  Instead of feeling clean and simple like designers view the color white, a white appliance just seems ordinary and lack-luster.  It's common.  White appliances can still be a good choice in certain situations, though.  White appliances can keep the seamless look going in a kitchen with white counters.  Instead of breaking up the space, it keeps the flow going.  They can also work well in kitchens with low, dark ceilings.  Mostly for the visual purpose of opening up the space with light.  Finally, if you have a more muted tone on your cabinets, the white appliance can be a way to lighten and brighten as well.  So while white is common and ordinary, it's not obsolete!

The last appliance color to discuss is black.  Black is one of those appliance colors that rides the rollercoaster of popularity.  It used to be big and then completely died out with the growing popularity of minimalism and the all-white kitchen.  However, they're coming back.  Black appliances are practical because they hide all sorts of dirt.  But they're a big impact piece so they can't just be thrown into any kitchen for the sake of practicality.  The best kitchens for black appliances are kitchens where there are other pops of charcoal or black.  A kitchen with white cabinets can handle black appliances if the countertops are black (or appear dark).  They can also blend better with darker wood tones in some kitchen.  Even if the cabinets aren't black, a black appliance flows better with a dark java cabinet than a white or stainless appliance would.  Black appliance definitely make a statement rather than blending in so be sure you're ready for the major contrast before you go this route.

For the Kids | Bedroom Color Combos

With the minimalist style taking over, there has been a lot more of the white and grey color palette being used in kids rooms. This goes from the nursery to elementary age because it's classic and simple.  However, color is coming back!  Brighter, bolder, more vibrant rooms are popping up all over and we don't want the kids to get left out.  So today we're discussing some colorful bedroom combos that are a little more current and updated for kids.  The minimalist style definitely promoted a gender neutral feel and we think these combos carry that versatility as well, just with more of a lively feel. :)

The first color combo is perfect for Spring but also a good gender neutral option--teal and yellow.  This would be the perfect color for a room shared by a boy and a girl because you can introduce other colors more specific to their gender without drastically changing the feel of the room.  This color combo is whimsical and playful, just like kids!

The second color combo is another one that works well with other colors--red and gray. So depending on whether or not it's a boy's room or a girl's room, it creates a good base!  Mix in some teal or yellow to make it more girly or add pops of navy or black for something a little more boyish.  Be sure to keep a lot of white in the space so the color doesn't get overwhelming but don't be afraid to pop in fun patterns!

This next combo is on of our favorites but it's more because of the statement it creates.  A black and white space seems like just a darker version of the grey and white minimalist look we said to move away from, but it's much more than that for a room.  Black and white is graphic.  It's contrast which is immediately more gutsy than the calm grey and white combo.  A big part of making this  palette work for kids is by introducing fun patterns within this scheme.  Instead of just black and white stripes, do other shapes--triangles, dots, stars.  Of course, you can definitely add any color to this basic scheme to make it feel more feminine or masculine but you don't have to.

The last scheme which is the most fun is going all in with a multi-color palette.  This combo is super relaxed and allows your child to contribute to the decor in their room very easily!  Those school art projects and crazy toys will work well in a space that isn't restricted to a particular color combo.  Our only caution with this mix is to ground it with a lot of a good neutral---white or black would be best.  It's important for the color(s) to be the focal point and too much of them will just become color confusion.  So try to edit it a little bit, but still have fun!

Porches | What's Popular

It's Spring and, I don't know about everwhere else but, the weather is beautiful here!  It was pretty hot a few days ago but it's been breezy and cool this past weekend and couldn't feel any more like the perfect Spring weather!  Needless to say, we were outside a lot, which got us thinking about porches.  Porches, especially in Florida, are a big deal.  States where you can be outdoors for a number of days out of the year make porches a big deal.  So today we're talking porch design and what features are popular to have on your porch.  It's funny because porches have really become an extension of the home.  Similar to the way the kitchen is treated--a functional space that's more of a gathering place now, porches are like outdoor living rooms!  So here are some things to consider adding in your next porch renovation

Comfy seating is a huge deal on a porch.  Unless you don't want to be able to enjoy your porch, I guess.  For some people, this means upholstered furniture that almost looks like it belongs indoors, for others it means things like hammocks or swings--something to relax in while enjoying the view.  Whatever your seating of choice is, make it something that you don't mind spending awhile in.  A porch is for enjoying the view or relaxing with a friend so you don't want to have to cut your time short because of uncomfortable chairs.

Porches are also getting much more decorative.  Ceiling details and column additions are popular now.  These are things that need to make sense with the rest of your house so that the overall look of everything flows.  A wood-slat ceiling and a great light or nice outdoor fan can make an outdoor space instantly feel welcoming and you'll feel like you're enjoying an extension of your home rather than just "sitting outside".

An outdoor fireplace really makes a big statements on a porch.  It can be a big built-in fireplace with a chimney or something a little more scaled down like a firepit or chiminea.  Either way, the added ambiance a fire creates is almost priceless and will be especially nice on those chilly nights!