Friday, March 28, 2008

Planet Green

Via the Dwell Blog, a new T.V. Show is looking for those who have contributed to the green movement! Check it out.

"If you’ve contributed to the green movement or invented something that makes the world a little more sustainable, there's a new television network that wants to hear your story.

In June, The Discovery Channel will launch Planet Green, a channel devoted exclusively to “green lifestyle” programming. Masterminded by our friends over at Treehugger, Planet Green hopes to help you navigate the ever-swelling sea of sustainable options with a little expert advice.

But those at the channel are also on the lookout for viewer-submitted videos, where you'll have an opportunity to show off your own green tips, tricks, and innovations."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Color Poll

Recently I held a poll on which colors you all like but are afraid to use because you think you may get a different result than expected. Purple had the most votes which is no surprise since purple has been making a huge splash in 07 and 08. But purple hasn't seen this much popularity pre 07 in quite a while so many people may not have ever decorated with it before. I added some pics and a little advice on choosing purples in a post below.

As with any trend be careful not to paint yourself into a corner, so to speak, with all trend and no lasting appeal. Unless you can afford redecorating frequently you may regret spending so much on a passing fancy and tire of the design quickly. More budget friendly, if you want to jump on the trend wagon, is carefully choosing a few trendy items as accessories but make your money go further with buying larger items that survive the trends. You may also be able to transform items you already own which could use a face lift. Adding fresh new colors and surface designs to existing furnishings or accessories can give you a nice change and a taste of that current trend you're dying to try. In the latter, we are approaching sustainable design, a good thing for our beautiful planet. ; )

Choosing any color new scheme is a personal choice and a great way to start deciding on a new color palette for your home is to look in your closet. If you tend to look healthy and vibrant in bright, bold colors and fade away or look awash in pale pastels then you should try and incorporate some of your best bold and bright colors from your wardrobe into your interior color scheme. I don't mean to say you need to paint your walls that ruby red color of your favorite evening dress, although it could look awesome, but if you're more conservative and want to retain more versatility keep the walls a nice neutral and just accent with bold and bright colors. You look great in certain colors because certain colors make you appear healthier, enhance your skin tone and even make you feel better. You want to feel this way in your home too so if you look sickly in purple but want to indulge in this trendy color then use it sparingly rather than covering the walls with it.

Choosing paint colors is not rocket science and in the end, it IS just paint. ; )

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Color Advice

I stumbled upon an excellent article giving some advice on choosing color. You can read the whole article here. Kelly, the blogs author touches upon the effects of lighting on color.

I wanted to add my own 2 cents to this topic, specifically how different types of lighting will alter a color. Fluorescent lighting imparts coldness and cool color, which is why most humans don't much care for it. We're warm creatures and gravitate towards warm environments and warm colors. A great example is how we are drawn to fire light in a fireplace or outdoor firepit.

Though the lighting movement is toward all of us switching to compact fluorescent lighting for environmental reasons, (a good thing) we need to understand how to work with this sort of lighting to make it more friendly for us warmth seekers. So, what happens to color under fluorescent lighting? The warmth gets sucked out leaving you with the cooler ingredients. A nice warm off white will lose much of it's warmer ingredient (yellow) and take on a cool blue and touches of green. If a room has predominantly fluorescent lighting you will need to compensate for this by adding more warmth to the color.

Incandescent lighting is warm and adds yellow. And Who doesn't like the warm orange red glow from firelight? Fireplaces and outdoor fire pits are natural gravitation points where we like to congregate and relax. The warm golden yellow glow from candle light is attractive, inviting and a nice mood enhancer. Likewise the soft warm hues of sunrise and sunset have garnered admirers through the ages.

I was just at the ASID Student Career Forum in San Francisco this weekend and JoeAnne Day from the Day Studios gave an excellent lecture on color, covering the effects of lighting on color and much more. She touched on all sorts of lighting including Halogen, Firelight, Incandescent, Xenon, Ultra Violet. She showed pictures of a room in her own loft/studio that she photographed at different times of the day. This illustrated the effect of natural light, via a sky light in the room, and how the color changes so dramatically with the shifting sunlight. You can try this at home and take pictures of a room in the morning, at noon and in the late afternoon. You'll see how the direction of the light source shifts the color in the room. Understanding color shifts and the effects of lighting is something your Interior Designer or Color Consultant can help you with. One of the first things I find out when consulting for someone on color is the direction of the natural light source and the types of artificial lighting used in the room. It makes a difference.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Purple Wins

There are some of you out there thinking of adding purple to your color scheme. It's a great color and on trend right now. If painting the walls, I prefer grayed down purples for adult rooms and love lavender for a little girls room. If your room gets a lot of light the color you pick will get washed out a bit so you can go a bit deeper or brighter. Just sample your colors and be sure to view the colors not just during the day but at night too. One great way to sample color is not just on the wall but to paint a 3-d object, like a cardboard box and leave it in the middle of the room. This way you get a better feel for the color and how the lighting in your room will alter the color at different times. The transition from day to evening shouldn't be jolting, unless that's what you're going for!

If you want to paint with purple the first thing you need to decide is if you want a warm purple or a cool purple. Purples on the cool side have more blue and on the warm side, more red. You need to think about how you want to feel when you're in the room and also consider what is in the room that is definitely staying. When you pick warm or cool be sure that one or the other takes a larger percentage and it's not 50/50 cool and warm.

Color schemes with purple include using it's complementary color yellow, which will give a big impact or for a subtler look try using purple with grays and silvers. Purple with green is also pretty, think of beautiful Irises and pansies.

Nature knows color best so try picking your palette from nature. I love the virbrant purples in the Iris watercolor by Jana.
You could get your whole palette from this painting. I might suggest the lighter purples to white with a hint of purple for the walls and adding some yellow, green and deeper purple accents.

If you're going with a light and neutral wall color then you can really have a field day with your accessories and add some brighter purples that you wouldn't necessarily want on the walls.

Below are some purples I like from Benjamin Moore-

Below is a room with Pratt and Lambert's color 'Admiral' and trimmed with 'Seed Pearl' both from their muted colors collections.

Here is the same room in Pratt and Lambert's ' Coronation' and trimmed with 'Balsa"