Posts Tagged ‘trendy’

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.

What’s the most popular colour for?

People often ask me what the most popular beige is?  Or the most popular white? Or the most popular… well you get the idea.  Why do people want to know? Well firstly, we all want to feel like part of the in-crowd and knowing what’s popular allows us to do that.  However colour is a personal expression of style and most people realize that, so why do we still need to know what’s popular? When it comes to colour popular also means tried and true. The popular colours are popular for a reason..they work! Colour can be a tricky road to navigate, but if you start with an idea of what colours work best in most situations, like having a map, you’ll get safely to your final destination. 

So here is my list of the most popular colours:

White: Hands down Cloud White CC-40 (This colour out sells ALL other whites about 4 to 1)

Beige: Sandy Brown CC-150 and Stone House CC-120.  These colours have been my most popular recommendation for a neutral for the last 3 years in Calgary.

Taupe: Smoky Taupe CC-490.  This colour is increasing in popularity because of the new trend towards grey.

Somewhere between beige and taupe: Greenbrier Beige HC-79 and Bleeker Beige HC-80.  People often want something between beige (which has a high degree of yellow) and taupe (which can be too grey for some) and these two options are the perfect middle of the road colours.  For this reason these are the most popular wall colours found in newly built houses and show homes.

Red: Sundried Tomato CC-62.  This rich warm red is a classic choice for an accent colour or dining room.  This colour contains neutralizing grey which tones done the intensity and gives longevity to this colour selection.

Orange: Maple Syrup CC-420 and Greenfield Pumpkin HC-40. These oranges are not too bright and harmonize with most woods since they contain brown-undertones.

Yellow: Dijon CC-210 and Vellum CC-200. These yellows are neutralized with orange which allows the colours to maintain their warmth (in comparison yellows that are neutralized with black often have a greenish undertone).

Spring Green: Georgian Green HC-115 and Dill Pickle 2147-40. Bright and cheerful, spring green is the perfect way to accent a monochromatic room. These greens could also be used to create a fresh feeling in the bathroom.

Sage: Herbes De Provence CC-634. This colour is my most popular alternative to a traditional neutral (i.e. beige or taupe).  This colour will still behave as a neutral in that it will compliment most other colours in your decor, however it will also add some colour and personality to your walls.  Once you try this colour you’ll fall in love! I did!

Spa Blue: Smoky Green CC-700 and Wedgwood Gray HC-146. We are seeing a lot of spa inspired spaces being created in the home.  These two shades are the best choices to capture that watery spa feeling in your own private space.  These blues have grey and green undertones that keep them restful and interesting.

Brown: Whitall Brown HC-69, Davenport Tan HC-76. These browns are lighter than dark chocolate without the pink-undertones that can occur. I often see these colours used for an accent wall with beige or taupe. This keeps the overall scheme monochromatic while adding some emphasis and interest to the walls.

Grey: Ashley Gray HC-87, Boothbay Gray HC-165.  Grey is presently the trendy colour to use in your home, but these greys will stand the test of time.  Ashley Grey is warm and I see if often used as an accent like the popular browns.  Boothbay Gray is calm and cool and can be used in the same way as the popular spa-blues, especially in the master bedroom.

Kid’s Room Colour: Denim Wash CC-770 and Grasslands CC-590. Like a pair of old jeans that will go with any t-shirt, these colours will go with any kids theme wither its sports, cartoons or movie stars.

 Use these colours as a guide, come into Southpointe Benjamin Moore and pick up the colour chip for the colours your interested in and then explore what other colours are on that chip as well as what colours are on the chips next to the popular colour. Somewhere in that mix is the perfect colour for you!

-by Stacey Severs

Decorating with Brown

Brown covers the entire spectrum of the rainbow. Add in tints and shades and you get hundreds of browns to choose from.  So how do you know which one will work in your space?  The same colour principles apply to the brown colour wheel as do to the primary colour wheel.  

The Brown Colour Spectrum. Red, orange, yellow, green, black and purple undertones.

The Brown Colour Spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, black and purple undertones.

 Selecting a brown starts with deciding what undertone would work best for your space. If there is an undesirable colour element in the space, using a brown with the same undertones as the undesired colour will create a neutralizing effect on the unfavourable element.  For example if there is honey oak in your home, a brown with yellow or orange undertones will harmonize with the oak and make it less noticeable in the space.

 If your decor (i.e. furnishings, paintings and accessories) is mostly green it would be best to avoid a brown with red undertones since these brown will create an unpleasing amount of contrast because red and green are complimentary colours.  This is especially true for lighter tints, as the green decor would make a red-based beige look pink.

 Brown is a versatile colour to decorate with because it comes in so many different tones. One popular combination is using a grey blue with black-based browns; for example Mount Saint Anne CC-710 with Bittersweet Chocolate 2114-10.

 Earthy greens are easily paired with brown (inspired by the natural colour pallet of a trees leafs with the bark).  Try Herbes De Provence CC-634 with yellow browns like Norwester Tan CC-332 or green browns like Otter Brown 2137-10.

 For a trendy look pair lavender with a purple-based brown; for example African Violet 2116-50 with Mississippi Mud 2114-20.

Brown can also be effectively used for a monochromatic pallet, just choose different tints with the same undertones; for example use Sandy Brown CC-150 together with Norwester Tan CC-332 or Bluffs CC-338 with Maryville Brown HC-175.

Colour Pulse 2011

Every spring Benjamin Moore forecasts the colour trends we’ll see in the coming year and the report for 2011 is in! Benjamin Moore’s design team travels the world to see how colour is being used in everything from fashion to home accessories. They also look for texture, materials, fabrics, shapes and manufacturing methods.  All theses influences give rise to their predictions for colour directions.

colour blocked dining room

Create a statement in the dining room with a back to basics colour blocking design using Neon Red 2087-10, Sunburst Yellow 2023-40 and Twilight Blue 2067-30 with Black Tar 2126-10 trim.


When it comes to the primary colours, think back to basics. A re-emergence of clean bright hues is happening to red, blue and yellow!  Colours like Neon Red 2087-10, Sunburst Yellow 2023-40 and Twilight Blue 2067-30 bring life to black, white and grey pallets.  These colours are best used for colour blocking such as in cubic, circular and geometric patterns.

yellow-orange living room

Create a warm living room with warm food inspired colours; Sunvalley 350 walls with Butterscotch 2157-30 accents.


Colour is also being inspired by produce and food. The entire rainbow can be found in your grocery aisle, everything from fresh greens like Grassy Fields 2034-30 to purples like Dark Burgundy 2075-10. Warm colours like Butterscotch 2157-30 and Sunvalley 350 can be found inside of spice jars. These colours are enriched with red reflecting earthy tones and are paired with this season’s cornerstone metal: Bronze.

layered brown bedroom

Layer neutrals to create a calm earthy atmosphere in the bedroom. Pensive Bedding AF-140 is layered over dark furniture (Sierra Spruce 2108-20) and paired with Hush AF-90 walls.

 Neutrals are also earthy and grounded inspired by the earth’s strata.  Monochromatic pallets are created by layering browns like Paper Mache AF-25, Hush AF-95, Pensive AF-140, and Sierra Spruce 2108-20. Neutral is moving from khaki to camel (i.e. less green and more red).

makeup pallet living room

This airy living room uses makeup inspired hues to create a welcoming feeling. The Batik AF-610 walls are grounded by the fireplace (Galaxy 2117-20).

Makeup inspired colours like blued pinks and flesh tones are also being used to create airy monochromatic pallets. Colours such as Chameuse AF-265, and Batik AF-610 can be used like neutrals, while Bunny Nose Pink 2074-60, Spring Violet 2117-50 and Galaxy 2117-20 can be used to accent and ground the palette.

-by Stacey Severs

Trendy Grey Kitchens

Ashley Grey used on Kitchen Cabinets

Ashley Grey used on Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re looking for cabinet options for your kitchen there’s more out there than wood and white!  The hottest trend for cabinets is grey. Homeowners are choosing stainless steel appliances more often, and it follows that grey cabinets are used to harmonize with the stainless steel creating a unified look in the kitchen. Try a deep grey like Ashley Grey HC-87, this colour has warm undertones that will add a welcoming layer to your space. A medium gray like Stone Hearth CC-490 will add colour to the cabinets without darkening the room.  If you have a small space a light grey such as Collingwood OC-28 will keep your space feeling bright and open while creating this trendy look.

grey kitchen 1

To take this trend one step further, consider painting your base cabinets dark grey and the upper cabinets light grey.  This look can also be achieved by painting your kitchen island a different grey than your wall cabinets.

-By Stacey Severs

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

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