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18 posts from January 2010

January 31, 2010

Darryl Carter's Best Benjamin Moore Color Picks

It's the end of the week and we all deserve a rare treat- a designer's color secret. 

As a follow up to my recent post about Darryl Carter's book, The New Traditional, I asked him to share some of his favorite Benjamin Moore colors that are tried and true.  Willing to divulge the colors that define his style, Darryl quickly rattled these colors off:

Darryl carters favorite benjamin moore colors

Darryl carters favorite benjamin moore colors 2

Try out these colors if you're looking for soft and sophisticated.  Even a little color can go a long way!  Have you found other subtle colors that you can't live without?  Be as giving as Darryl and share them with everyone here!   

January 27, 2010

2010: Year of The Pale or Provocative Color Palette?

When it comes to color, we all have an opinion.  Some say 2010 is all about a clean start with whites and soft hues.  Others are breaking out their crayons to usher in a decade of saturated colors.

Even professionals have different perspectives.  Yesterday, we looked at Darryl Carter's book, The New Traditional.  It's full of great design ideas in subtle color palettes.    Now, here are some photos from a group of very talented designers who have their own ideas .  Whether you're into neutral or not, each of these designers uses design elements in a unique way.

What do these rooms say to you and what will your color palette be this decade?

Joshua McHugh Banato White Apartment Elle Decor

Bruce Bananto's Milanese Dream in New York (Photo: Joshua McHugh).  Modern and clean with accents of color.

Alberto Pinto Athens

Alberto Pinto creates fractal designs in Athens.  The contrasting pattern color draws our attention and mirrors the ceiling beam detail. 

Suzanne Kasler Inspired Interiors
Suzanne Kasler's design has a dreamlike quality with subtle color and elegant upholstery.

Miles Redd Elle Decor Red

A renovation by Miles Redd (Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna) uses light and white to punctuate a bold use of color.

Florida Res Diamond Baratta

Diamond Baratta Design uses soft wall color and bold pattern and color in accessories.

Ghislaine Vinas Marimekko bedroom
Ghislaine Vinas refines a child's room using that fabulous Marimekko
fabric and a steely blue to balance the modern white loft bed.

Which colors inspire you in your home?


January 26, 2010

Darryl Carter's 'The New Traditional' Offers Words To Design By

The New Traditional DC

The New Traditional By Darryl Carter with Trish Donnally (Source)

Darryl Carter's new book, The New Traditional, offers more than just a collection of photographs that exemplifies his signature style of employing textures and every tint and shade of white possible in a balanced way.  It is also brimming with Darryl's perspective on design and life.  It could have easily been named 'Words to Design By."  The book is a perspective from Darryl, who is a master at reinventing space and making connections between antiques and modern design as if they were created to live beside one another in a subtle, yet striking contrast.


Modern Traditional Darryl Carter
Modern and Traditional Balance and Blend In Darryl's Book 

In The New Traditional, Darryl has assembled fourteen chapters that redefine design elements.  His list includes considerations such as Define, Blend, Relate, and Relax.  As Darryl takes you on a journey through his design philosophy, it leaves you wanting to leap into action and reconsider many things in your home. 

Shutter Darryl Carter The New Traditional

Shutters lengthen thewindows in this bath 

He enlightens us as he shares simple and modern trompe l'oeil techniques like using shutters to lengthen windows and he surprises us as he encourages the use of life friendly fabrics like vinyls and microsuedes.  His color design is evident throughout the book with the soft washes of color and his use of the word "pale" as he describes a palette in "subtle wall coloring and furnishings".  I really appreciate that his use of off whites and pale hues is anything but a lack of color confidence

It actually is rooted in a real understanding of the sophisticated balance of architecture and interiors.  He describes colors in the entire environment when he discusses wall color, leading us to understand the points of continuity, depth, and intensity.  Of course, in my own life, my color palette is more saturated and I do think colors can successfully change from room to room. 

But, then again, Darryl was wise to name his first chapter "Adapt:  Make Your Home Work For You". 

Look for tomorrow's post where I'll share images from some very talented designers who view color very differently from one another.  I'm curious to know your philosophy on color.


January 25, 2010

The Perfect Pouf! Style and Color in an Instant

 I struggle sometimes with how to incorporate kid friendly furniture into my space without compromising style.  Today, I'm inspired by the magic of a pouf. 

Poufs, by definition are  a firm floor ottoman or cushion used as a seat.   Often, you'll find that they are made with some fabulous fabrics and colors that can become the starting point when you're picking out your paint colors, too! 

Though they come in a variety of sizes, I set out to find the perfect poufs that would be just the right size to use as a pint-size perch. 

Etsy Pouf kid

To make it really fun, I looked for four options that are unique, well designed, and around $100 or less. 

Okay, I couldn't resist, I did allow one in that's designed for those without kids and willing to spend a little extra, but it's ADORABLE and Eco-Friendly!

Custom & Chic:

Etsy Pouf BranchandBirdie


Branch and Birdie caught my eye because of a fresh combination using your choice of fabrics from their offering.  These cool little handmade poufs are $68 each and they ship within a week!

Paint colors I would pair with these poufs:

I love the bright green in the background of the photo and found a similar color that's a knock-out plus some others I like!


Authentic Pouf:

Moroccan Pouf  


Authentic Morocco has a selection of these very traditional leather Moroccan poufs for about $79, but what I really enjoyed was their fun rounded poufs called Sabra Poufs.  They're about $60 and are made in Marrakech from a traditional Moroccan berber fabric and come in some fun colors like these:

Sabra pouf

Sabra pouf redSabra pouf blue


Colors can vary by choice for these poufs, but I suggest trying a specialty finish in a bold color when you use a traditional element like this.

Kid Approved:

Sitabout Madras

Moolka has of my favorite children's brand, Haba.  This Sitabout Madras is made for the curious child who can busily explore the pockets, tabs, and even the shooting stars.  It's available for $62.99.

Colors to compliment this pouf:


Lounge with the Little Ones:

Urban Outfitters Pouf


Urban Outfitters sells this little velvet cushion for $20 (sale) each in a variety of saturated colors that you can stack together to create great combinations of color.

Dhurrie Style Pouf:

West Elm Dhurrie


The simple form and pattern of this West Elm pouf is inviting and a great design statement.  This particular one is on sale now for $88.

Depending on the rest of your decor, you can really go in many directions for paint.  This pouf would be equally striking against a bright yellow wall or a deep red wall.


The Not So Splurgy Splurge For Us Big Kids Only:

Miss Rio DWR

Design Within Reach caught my eye with their Miss Rio Pouf.  It's bold, colorful, and made with rubber taken from recycled foot flops.  Karin Whittman's design is brought to life by Brazilian social organizations who employ local craftspeople who would otherwise have no job.  So for $245 (sale), this splurge is a pretty smart choice.  (Because the individual pieces can be pulled out, they don't recommend this pouf for environments with small kids)

Do you Pouf?  Where do your little stylistas like to sit in your house?

January 20, 2010

The Paint Gurus

While I live by color and design, some others live by open time and spatter resistance.  Whether you're using your right brain or your left, Benjamin Moore's got your back. 

Paint guru

My technical counterparts at Benjamin Moore, Mike Branch, Don Gordy, Mike Mundwiller, and Kevin Policay are four people who have some serious coating application know-how.  Well, in other words, they know and love everything about paint.   

They're bringing you all their expertise with a new blog, Paint Gurus.  These guys can answer any and every question you can come up with about paint.  Go ahead, try them!

You know you're a paintophile if you've ever found yourself wondering...

How do they paint observatories in Hawaii

What is the cause of 99% of all paint job problems? 

Does "green" paint matter?

Even if you've never pondered these points, check out the Paint Gurus for some great stories and advice.  The technical story behind paint is as important as the color you choose.  You can make smart decisions when you know a.)  What kind of paint to use on a garage floor, b.)  What finish will work best in a bathroom, and c.)  How you can clean spaghetti off a painted kitchen wall. 

Answers: a.)  Waterborne Polyamide Epoxy P42 in a variety of colors  b.) Flat or Satin.  Aura Bath and spa or Benjamin Moore's Kitchen & Bath allow you to have sophisticated lower sheen walls that still resist moisture and mildew  c.)  If you've used a good quality paint like the ones from Benjamin Moore, that greasy mess should wipe off well with a sponge, a little water, and a bit of laughter, leaving you time to figure out who started the food fight.