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.

Tips & Tricks | Paint

Picking paint is hard.  Real hard.  Even designers can struggle with the right paint color.  There are so many variables that affect how paint looks in the end.  To  begin with, what is the lighting situation?  Is there a lot of natural light to make the color appear brighter or is the room dark where highlights and undertones won't be as visible?  What color are the floors?  Do they have undertones that will create a reflection on the walls and ultimately change the color?  What color furniture will be in the room?  Again...will there be reflection issues?  Really, picking paint isn't just picking paint.  It's analyzing the space and deciding how it will all work together.  It's tricky.  We get it.  So today we're sharing some tips for picking paint.  Explaining what the process should look like and doing our best to give you a little more confidence for your next color selection endeavor.

For starters, we'll tell you from years of experience....the paint color never looks the way it does on the chip on your walls.  This is true for a thousand reasons.  Nevermind what they are.  Just trust us.  When choosing paint, you have to think bigger picture.  It may be great on a little sample card, but on 10' walls?  Let's think about this.  If a little is good, a lot isn't always awesome.  If you like the color on the chip, it's usually a safe bet to go with the color one step up--a little lighter, more-muted version.  That way when you put it all over the walls, it doesn't overwhelm you.  

Once you've narrowed it down to one or two colors, test them on the wall.  But not just anywhere on the wall. Test them on a spot near the floor in an area of the room where an average amount of light is hitting the sample.  You want to see it in an area where you'll see how it will look with some of the floor color reflecting on it AND will have a good idea of how the light in the space will brighten or darken the color.  Also, don't be stingy when painting the swatch.  Do a nice-size square...maybe 12" x 12" so you can really see a big chunk of the color.  Important thing to remember too---paint two coats!  Unless you're painting on white walls, you're going to need to fully-cover the existing color to get a good idea what the new paint color will look like.  So paint the sample like you would the wall--2 coats.

Finally, check your lighting.  If you have plans to change your lighting sometime in the near future, we highly recommend changing that first before selecting a color and painting the walls.  Lighting makes a big impact on the way a paint color looks so it's important to know what you're working with.  If your lighting isn't what it will be, you have no gauge on how the paint color will turn out in the end.  Trust us.

Like we said at the beginning, paint colors can be hard.  And the even harder thing is that paint makes such a big impact on the space that if you get it wrong, you're going to be forced to re-do it.  So try to follow these tips---do a little more prep on the front end so you're not wasting time on the back end. :)


Either Or | Grey or Beige?

As designers, we understand that incorporating a neutral is important to creating a balance in a home.  A home can't have color needs something to break it up.  The neutral plays a part in making certain colors pop and also gives the eyes a place to rest.  So when we walk into a home and are discussing colors with clients, we typically ask them, which neutral are you--grey or beige?  This question is important for a number of reasons...for starters, you'd be surprised that many people have a serious preference.  They either really like gray or they hate it and vice versa.  But beyond that, the neutral that someone prefers can really dictate a lot about the rest of the colors that are incorporated.  Greys are often times paired with cooler, brighter colors because many greys have a blue base which is on the cool spectrum.  Whereas beiges are often times paired with warmer, muddier colors because many beiges have a yellow base which is on the warm spectrum.

All that to say, it's important to know your neutral!  Maybe you're not sure and you're in the camp that sort of thinks you could go either way.  And that isn't necessarily an impossibility.  Some people do like both, but you always sort of lean towards one or the other.  Consider these things--do you prefer oil rubbed bronze finishes and warmer wood tones?  (you might be a beige person) or do you like the brushed nickel and chrome (you might be a grey person)?  Is bright white too harsh for you (beige person)?  Would you prefer a creamy off-white because it seems a little softer and more inviting (beige person)?  What about counter tops and stone?  Do you love calacatta marble and clean quartz surfaces (gray person)?

Once you've picked your neutral, you can really start developing a color story for your home that works best around that color.  When we're doing a white kitchen in a home, we don't just pick any white, we pick a white that will look better on a warmer wall or a cooler wall...same for counter tops, back splash, floors.  The wall color has to coordinate and there are just some materials that look better with warmer colors while other look better with cooler colors.

If you're a beige person, consider these things when planning your color store.  For starters, beige needs something to contrast it.  Something to pop.  Unlike all white spaces that fall into the cooler category (with gray), an all beige space just looks blah.  It might feel warm but it can look boring.  You HAVE to bring in a darker element or even a lighter element to balance out the muddy undertones of a beige room.  This can be a dark wood which would still keep the earthy element of a beige space while also balancing it.  When selecting color, go for softer shades that aren't so clear.  A bright blue or bright orange will feel disconnected in a beige room.  Rather, a pale blue or green will balance the beige out nicely.

If you're a grey person but you still want some warmth, don't forget that you can bring in texture to add warmth.  Maybe go a little darker in your grey selection and pair it with a warm wood.  It will create the warmth and contrast that a grey rooms needs.  When selecting colors that work well with grey, go with brighter, clearer colors.  These colors have a similar value to the grey with more white in them than brown or yellow and will keep the flow of the space.

If you still feel unsure of whether or not you could decide between beige and grey and only use one throughout the house, think about your floors.  What color are they?  If your floors already have a lot of beige undertones, you might be stuck...but don't worry, there's good news!  There are paint colors out there that mix the grey and beige to create a color that can sort of work with both.  You still have to be careful with mixing the colors in furniture and fabrics but at least you have a compromise on your walls!