Archive for April, 2010

Choosing a Colour for your Front Door

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression; and when it comes to your house your guest’s first impression will start with curb appeal.  Impress your guests with a bold colour statement that sets your door out from the body of the house, thus guiding and welcoming your guests into your home.

Try to think outside of the neutral colour box (i.e. brown, or black) and put something exciting on the door.  Remember,  you only have about 18 square feet to create a wow; it’s a small area that can have big impact.  Of course,  the colour you choose should relate to you’re homes overall colour pallet, but for extra impact,  think of choosing a complimentary colour (i.e. purple door with a yellow house, or an orange door with a blue house).

 Red is a classic colour choice for the entrance because it instantly grabs people’s attention. Try Dinner Party AF-300 or Sundried Tomato CC-62 on your door. An orange door would create the same impact as a red door while providing your home with something out of the ordinary. I suggest Rusty Nail CC-390, Buttered Yam AF-230 and Greenfield Pumpkin HC-40.

Colonial home with a front door painted Dinner Party AF-300.

Colonial home with a front door painted Dinner Party AF-300.

Green is another classic colour choice, but to add your own flair,  consider trendy colours like Miramachi CC-752 or Bonsai¯ CC-666.  Navy Blue is also returning to the  forefront of trends, and a colour like Van Deusen Blue HC-156 or Marine Blue 2059-10 will catch people’s attention.

 For something completely different,  consider painting your front door purple.  This will definetely  make your home standout on the block. Choose a purple with neutralizing black like Chambourd AF-646, Cabernet 2116-30 or Super Nova CC-990.

A Craftsman home with a bold purple door painted Chamboud AF-645.

Craftsman home with a bold purple door painted Chambourd AF-645.

If a neutral is still the best option for your home consider doing something slightly different than a pure tone, this way you can still create the impact desired for great curb appeal.  If you want a black door, consider choosing a soft black like Wrought Iron 2124-10 or one with blue undertones like Abyss 2128-20.  If brown is more your style try Chocolate Candy Brown 2107-10, Grizzly Bear Brown 2111-20 or Bittersweet Chocolate 2114-10.

 Whatever colour you choose, it’s sure to create the welcoming first impression you desire for you home.

-by Stacey Severs

How to Paint Circles / Polka Dots

Circles and polka-dots are presently very trendy for kid’s bedrooms, and are very easy to do. (I promise it’s very easy; I was able to get it done in an evening with my 2 year old helping.)

 The first step is to find a template for your circles.  Look around the house.  I wanted large dots so I used the lid to our garbage can (cleaned up, of course).  Depending on the size you want you could use dinner plates, a paint can lid, drinking glasses, anything with a smooth circular edge.  Here’s a list of the other material you’ll need.

 Material List

  • ¼ inch painter’s tape
  • 2 inch painter’s tape
  • Paint brush
  • 4 inch roller
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Circle template (i.e. something to trace)

 Next measure where on the wall you want your circles… or create a random pattern (this would look great with 2 or 3 different size circles). Place your template on the wall and trace it with your pencil.

Trace your template, then outline with 1/4 inch tape.

Trace your template, then outline with 1/4 inch tape.

The most important step is taping around the pencil line.  Use ¼ inch tape. This tape will easily curve with the line, and you should be able to tape around the entire circle with one long piece. The next step is to add 2 inch tape around the circle to bulk up your tape line (so that it’s easier to stay inside the line).  Rip off pieces around 4 inches long and tape them on a tangent around your ¼ inch tape.

Seal the tape edge with the background colour paint.

Seal the tape edge with the background colour paint.

To ensure you get a clean crisp paint edge, the next step is to paint over the tape edge with the background paint colour.  By doing this, you ensure that any bleeding that happens under the tape will be the colour of the wall; it will seal the tape so your circle colour won’t bleed through.

Use a 4 inch roller to paint your circles. Then remove the tape while the paint is still wet.

Use a 4 inch roller to paint your circles. Then remove the tape while the paint is still wet.

The last and easiest step is to paint the circle your desired colour. Use a paint brush for smaller circles, and a 4 inch roller for larger dots. Remove your tape while the last coat is still wet. The results will be a perfect circle with crisp clean paint lines.


Finished Circle with clean crisp edges.

-by Stacey Severs

Be Fashion Forward this Spring

The hottest trend in fashion this spring is bright bold colour like you find in a new box of crayons.  Since we know that home decor follows fashion trends, why not jump on the wagon early and get a head start on what we’ll see coming in 2011.

This season's trendy colours can be found inside your crayon box.

This season's trendy colours can be found inside your crayon box.

Bold citrus colours like Orange Parrot 2169-20 and Yellow Finch 2024-40 are fresh off the run ways. Always popular red is brighter and bolder than ever and we are seeing pants, shoes and jackets in colours such as Million Dollar Red 2003-10 and Northern Fire CC-94.


Bold Citrus colours used in a fun nursery.

Bold Citrus colours used in a fun nursery.

 On the cool side of the colour wheel navy blue is making a comeback.  Almost every celebrity has been recently spotted in a solid blue evening gown in shades such as Admiral Blue 2065-10. The most exciting pairing of the season is using navy blue with the continually trendy turquoise (Bahaman Sea Blue 2055-40).

Navy Blue used in a bold Dining Room.

Navy Blue used in a bold Dining Room.

The best part about this trend is that it’s easy to accomplish in your home.  It only takes one or two bright coloured accessories paired with an existing neutral: gray (Escarpment CC-518), champagne (Thousand Island CC-308) or nude (Nubuck CC-366). These brights also pair well with brown (Plymouth Brown HC-73) and white (Oxford White CC-30).

Creating a trendy look with a bold red chair.

Creating a trendy look with a bold red chair.

So be brave, be bold, be trendy! Use some bright colours to bring new life to your decor today!

-By Stacey Severs

Anti-wi-fi paint offers security

By Dave Lee
BBC World Service 
With a quick lick of paint, your wi-fi connection could be secured
Researchers say they have created a special kind of paint which can block out wireless signals.

It means security-conscious wireless users could block their neighbours from being able to access their home network – without having to set up encryption.

The paint contains an aluminium-iron oxide which resonates at the same frequency as wi-fi – or other radio waves – meaning the airborne data is absorbed and blocked.

By coating an entire room, signals can’t get in and, crucially, can’t get out.

Developed at the University of Tokyo, the paint could cost as little as 10 per kilogram, researchers say.

Cost-effective security

The makers say that for businesses it’s a quick and cheap way of preventing access to sensitive data from unauthorised users. Presently, most companies have to invest in complicated encryption software to deter hackers.

Speaking on the BBC World Service’s Digital Planet programme, Shin-ichi Ohkoshi, who is leading the project, explained how the paint could have many uses beyond security.

“In a medical setting, you could transmit large volumes of data from a medical device, such as an endoscope, to a computer.
  You could block phone signals from outside and stop people’s phones ringing during the movie.

Shin-ichi Ohkoshi, University of Tokyo
“By painting a solution containing our magnetic particles on the walls, you would quickly, and effectively, shield the room from stray electromagnetic radiation from outside.”

While paints blocking lower frequencies have been available for some time, Mr Ohkoshi’s technology is the first to absorb frequencies transmitting at 100GHz (gigahertz). Signals carrying a larger amount of data – such as wireless internet – travel at a higher frequency than, for example, FM radio.

“I’m working on a material that can absorb a larger range of frequencies. We are capable of making a paint that can absorb over 200 gigahertz.”

He hopes that soon the technology could be woven into clothing.

“We’re not sure about the true effects of electromagnetic waves, in this range, on the human body.

“We’re assuming that excessive exposure could be bad for us. Therefore we’re trying to make protective clothes for young children or pregnant women to help protect their bodies from such waves.”

At the movies

The paint could also provide some much-needed relief during nights out at the cinema.
Digital Planet is the weekly technology programme broadcast from the BBC World Service It is broadcast on Tuesday at 1232GMT and repeated at 1632GMT, 2032GMT and on Wednesday at 0032GMT
It is also available as a podcast It can be found on the social networks Facebook and Orkut 
“Our current mobile phones work at much lower frequencies, around 1.5 gigahertz. But, our material can also absorb frequencies that low, so you could block phone signals from outside and stop people’s phones ringing during the movie,” he said.

As well as helping to keep the cinema quiet, the paint may also pave the way for higher quality screens.

“Movie pictures are beamed on the screen by the projector at the back of the cinema. But in the future, you could use a data link that works with millimetre waves.

“You would have problems with interference, unless you painted the wall and ceiling of the theatre with an absorbent material like ours.

“In fact, we’ve had an order from an American company keen to use our ink in its movie theatre – we’ve just sent them a sample.”

‘Nothing new’

Some security experts remain unconvinced by the paint.

“The use of electromagnetic shielding techniques are nothing new,” said Mark Jackson, security engineer at Cisco UK. “They have been utilised by highly sensitive environments for many years.”

Mr Jackson notes that while the paint may block eavesdroppers, it would not prevent other types of hackers or intruders.

“Paint that blocks RF based Wi-Fi transmissions does not in any way remove the need to ensure a robust security model is deployed,” he added.

“Surely the thought of having to redecorate a building in order to provide Wi-Fi security is more costly & complex than security functionality available in even the cheapest of Wi-Fi access points?” he said.

Calgary Trends: Texture on walls and floors

The recent home renovation tax credit, coupled with our more sheltered economy has lead to a healthy home improvement industry in Calgary.  These conditions have lead to Calgary becoming a forerunner in Canadian design trends.  Here’s a summary of many of the trends we’re seeing in Calgary right now.

The biggest trend in home decor is texture! Wallpapers are being used to add visual texture and pattern to our homes.  Wallpaper is taking the place of feature walls (i.e. one wall in a room painted a different bolder colour than the rest of the walls) that we’ve been using for impact for the last few years. Patterns such as damasks, silhouetted florals, modern geometrics, and nature inspired palettes are the most popular. The best wall to wallpaper is typical the longest, least interrupted wall in a room (i.e. contains no doors or windows).  The featured wall should be one where you want to add emphasis or draw attention to. For even more impact, why not wallpaper an entire room.  This look works well in dining rooms and two-piece bathrooms. Benjamin Moore Southpointe has a wide selection of wallpaper books to choose from.  Our latest books, Shimmer, Disney and Eco Chic have many trendy patterns to choose from.  Our books are often updated, so check back frequently for the latest patterns.

Eco Chic Wallpaper

Eco Chic Wallpaper

Another trendy way to add texture and interest to a wall is to apply a wall decal, a large scale picture or pattern.  Decals are often made of vinyl or paper and are easily removable, making them easy to change as trends progress. Wall Decals are great in children’s rooms where tastes can change quickly and redecorating is done more frequently. For ideas and inspiration look at, and come into Benjamin Moore Southpointe for more ideas.

Wall Decals in a Child's Bedroom

Wall Decals in a Child's Bedroom

A continuing trend in home decoration is using green products.  Benjamin Moore’s Green Promise can help you choose the right low VOC paint product for your home.  Flooring is another area where green products are considered.  Carpeting is no longer the first choice; instead Calgary is selecting hardwood, bamboo or cork for their living spaces. These products contain less VOC, and trap less dust and allergens in your interior environment. Wider boards are becoming the norm in Calgary since wider engineered wood boards can better handle shifts in humidity. The trend to use texture also applies to flooring where patterned woods such as walnut are most popular. Medium tone stain colours, such as Walnut, Aged Oak, and Dark Chestnut (by SamaN  are being selected for floors since they don’t show as much dust as the deep espresso stains did in the past. Benjamin Moore Southpointe also carries low VOC and water based stain as well as environmental friendly floor finishes by SamaN.

SamaN stained Hardwood Floors

SamaN stained Hardwood Floors

-by Stacey Severs

For more information on Calgary’s Trends check out Avenue Magazine (Home Style, page 106, February 2010).

Olympic Design

As we reflect on the accomplishments of our Canadian Athlete and Para-Athletes over the last month, we should also look at the accomplishments of our Canadian Designers who created the 2010 image.  Canadian design begins with Omer Arbel’s architectural design of the Medals, their unique curvature representing the peaks and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Holding them was like running your fingers over a cool smooth worry stone pulled from the bottom of a mountain stream.  The art work (by First Nation Artists Corinne Hunt) used on the pieces reflects the BC aesthetic, while the uniqueness of each medal (no two are alike) reflects Canada’s unique social fabric.Holding an Olympic Silver Medal.

The colour of the games also reflects today’s trendy colours; sea blue (i.e. Yosemite Blue 2059-40) and spring green (i.e. Rosemary Green 2029-30). We’ve seen these fresh colours used in fashion for the last few years and thus invading home design as well. For more ideas on how to incorporate these colours into your home, pick up Envision Colour 2010, Benjamin Moore’s annual colour forecast brochure from your local Benjamin Moore Store.IA_color_of_the_year_436x199

The other star colour of the games was red (i.e. Rapture CC-66), as our patriotic pride spilled into our wardrobes.  Although I feel that style-wise, Russia’s Athletic Apparel was more on trend than Canada’s 70′s/80′s hybrid track suits. The paisley pattern on the Russian jackets can be seen in the trendiest wallpaper and fabric patterns (for idea’s and examples check out Design by Colour: Red from Blue Mountain Wallcoverings).red

I think the best lesson we can learn from the design of the games is that inspiration for our homes can come from anywhere.

by Stacey Severs

Trendy Gray VS Trusted Beige

The biggest trend in colour is gray.  Gray is replacing beige as the main neutral colour being used in trendy homes. But I don’t think Canada is a gray kind of country. What’s wrong with beige?  We live in gray world throughout the winter; we need colours in our home that are warm and welcoming.  I don’t mind that neutrals are containing more gray-undertones.  A shift from Sandy Brown to Greenbrier Beige is a welcome change, but removing all the yellow-tones from our neutrals will make our homes too cold.  Builders like to use trendy gray colours in their show homes to appeal to the largest number of people (mostly by not offending  people with colour), but are they selling a house, not creating a HOME. Crisp clean minimalistic gray rooms look great on the magazine pages, but these rooms don’t make you feel like curling up on the sofa and getting comfortable.  So I caution you against going too far gray.  I don’t think that this is a colour trend that will last in Canada; we’re too cheerful for that! So don’t rule out beige, it’s warm, its classic, it’s neutral and it keeps our homes feeling bright and welcoming.

by Stacey Severs

A warm welcoming living room painted beige.

A warm welcoming living room painted beige.