Posts Tagged ‘bedroom’

Helping from a distance.

My Mom lives in Ontario, and has been asking me for help on her bedroom makeover. Obviously I have spent a lot of time at my Mom’s house, and yet I still found it difficult to remember the exact colours she used throughout her home. Why? Shouldn’t a colour consultant have perfect colour memory? Well although I feel that I do have a heightened colour experience the fact is “colour-memory” is short! That means it’s almost impossible for someone (even an expert) to look at a colour chip display and pick the exact match for a colour in their memory.

This is why it’s important to take your colours with you when you are out shopping. And a photo isn’t good enough; there are too many factors that affect the colours in a picture (e.g. the room’s lighting, the camera’s flash, the ink used to print the picture or the display screen’s settings, etc). So, when you’re browsing paint chips for your master bedroom bring your bedding (or at least the pillow shams) with you.

So once my Mom decided on her bedding, I needed to see it so that I could make suggestions for wall colours. Fortunately, big box stores allow Mom and I to look at many of the same products in our own respective cities.

I selected Cement Gray 2112-60 for my Mom’s walls. It’s a soft grey with subtle mauve undertones that harmonize with the purple embroidery on the bedding. Mom tested the colour on her walls and it looked too purple. My Dad was horrified, how could his only daughter suggest he should sleep in a purple room?!?

In the room’s unique lighting the subtle mauve was not so subtle. This is why it is so important to test a paint colour on your walls! And why I offer colour consultations in-home. Every space has its own unique lighting finger print that cannot be predicted 2000 km away, and can’t be predicted in a store either.

My Mom then tried a second choice, Stonington Gray HC-170, and was able to achieve the soft gray tone she was expecting from the first option.

Defining colour can sometime be like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down. Because lighting conditions are unique to your location, so is the way you perceive colour. This challenge is what I love about being a colour consultant, and it’s also what causes such frustration for my clients (and my Mom). Bringing a sample of the colour with you can help predict the colour’s shift, but you have to see the colour, on your wall, in your space, to pin the cloud!

My Mom went shopping.

And like many people she found lots of choices. So I wasn’t surprised when she came back to me with two COMPLEATLY different bedding styles to inspire her bedroom makeover.

The first one had lots of colours, but it was VERY floral. My Mom chooses it because the colours were right, but the style wasn’t. This is a mistake a lot of people make. Colour is a VERY powerful driver, that’s why it is so heavily relied on in marketing (quick, what colour is a Coke…easy right!). So when we see the colours we are looking for, we buy! But colour isn’t always a good indication of style.

The second option was more my Mom’s style. A simple feather graphic embroidered into the comforter. I was impressed she went out of her comfort zone with the colour. It was a rich navy blue. Now we could start picking wall colours…

Well… we could have… but Mom needed to ask EVERYONE what they thought of her choices. Not surprisingly she got a lot of different opinions. It rattled her confidence in her choice. She has informed me she is going to take both bedding choices back to the store and start again.

Her mistake was asking too many people their option. You should only ask people who are directly affected by the decision, or those whose decorating style you like (i.e. a professional decorator, or you’re stylish BFF). So my Dad definitely deserves a say in how his bedroom looks, but her entire book-group (who will never see her bedroom) shouldn’t be asked for input.

Better luck next time Mom.

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

Unify a room by painting all the furniture the same colour

furniture (cityline)Furniture can take up a lot of visual colour space in a room, especially large wood pieces such as found in the bedroom or dining room.  When wood tones are miss-matched in a room it can make the space feel unfinished.  One simple solution is to paint all the furniture the same colour, as pointed out in this month’s Style at Home (March 2010, pg 34).

I know painting wood scares some people (especially the male portion of the population), but sometimes it’s the best solution. It’s also cheaper than buying something new.

Your existing furniture that just doesn’t fit with your new decorating plan can be incorporated into the plan with a new colour.  Also second hand furniture can live a new life with a fresh coat of paint. 

Choosing the right colour can transform the wrong style into the perfect piece. Imagine painting an ornate Baroque-style* hutch in a hot colour like Tangelo 2017-30, Tequila Lime 2028-30 or Hot Lips 2077-30.  The hutch would be transformed into a modern hip piece! 

If the same hutch was painted a cream such as Hepplewhite Ivory HC-36, it would fit in with a country style decor.

To coordinate an older piece with newer espresso stained furniture try painting it Bittersweet Chocolate 2114-10.  For a trendy colour choose Ranchwood CC-500; this colour furniture would look great in a monochromatic grey room. The classic choice for painting furniture white is Cloud White CC-40.

The steps to painting your piece are easy.  First clean the surface with TSP.  Next gently sand. Priming is the most important step; use a highly adhesive primer such as Fresh Start from Benjamin Moore.  Next apply two coats of paint in your chosen colour.  Be sure to use a higher sheen such as Pearl, Satin or Semi Gloss, to ensure the finish stands up to impact and abrasion from everyday use. Lastly, enjoy you’re now put-together space!

 *The value of a genuine antique should ALWAYS be considered before painting it.  However, if it’s gathering dust in the basement it’s of no value to you anyway, and painting it could bring it back into use in your home, adding true value to the piece. 

-by Stacey Severs