Showing posts with label color scheme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label color scheme. Show all posts

28 July 2010

Sherwin-Williams' 2011 color forecast, part two

As I mentioned yesterday, Sherwin-Williams just released its 2011 color forecast. That forecast is broken into four palettes. I profiled the first of the four yesterday and today I'm moving onto the second in the series. The color folks at Sherwin-Williams are calling this one Purely Refined. Here's the inspiration image.

Here's the description in Sherwin-Williams own words:
True luxury doesn't shout its presence with glitz, glamour and bling.  It whispers, revealing its pedigree through clean, classic lines, exquisite tailoring and handcrafted heirloom quality.  Pared down is the new upscale, and its color palette demonstrates similar restraint, filled with understated neutrals, yet with nuances and undertones that interact in intriguing ways.  Layering organic textures and subtle detailing add to the natural elegance of the timeless look.
This looks to be an evolution of the elegant palettes that have evolved from the glam palettes of ten years go. It's almost as if it's a grown up version of yesterday's new palette, Bold Invention. It has a definite retro vibe, but I don't think that's coming from the palette so much as its coming from the inspiration image. I've been saying these inspiration images have been Mad Men-ed and I don't think I'm too far off. I suppose that if there has to be a nostalgic touchstone, at least Mad Men doesn't sugar coat anything.

According to Sherwin-Williams, the driving force behind this palette are the following trends they've identified.
  • Ombre-dyed fabrics
  • Textured linen
  • Concrete
  • Smooth pebble floors
  • Pleated detailing
  • Clean lines, oval shapes
  • One-of-a-kind, artisan-crafted pieces
I can see this more readily than yesterday's, but that might be a function of my not being 25. In any event, here are the colors themselves. They are broken into two sub-palettes, Primary and Supporting. The Primaries are:

SW 6242 Bracing Blue

SW 6164 Svelte Sage

SW 6414 Rice Paddy

SW 0055 Light French Gray

SW 0021 Queen Anne Lilac

SW 6239 Upward

SW 0050 Classic Light Buff

And in the Supporting role,

SW 0012 Empire Gold

SW 7674 Peppercorn

SW 6032 Dutch Cocoa

So what do you guys think? Yesterday's Bold Invention seemed like a hit or miss. How does this compare? How does this one do on its own? Are they onto something?

I'm of two minds with this one. I'm the saturated color guy so naturally I think it's avoiding making a statement. At the same time, I think it looks clean and new. What's the consensus on Sherwin-Williams' 2011 color forecast part two?

27 July 2010

Sherwin-Williams' 2011 color forecast, part one

Sherwin-Williams just released its 2011 color forecast and this year, the forecast is broken into four palettes. I'll be highlighting the first of the four today. Sherwin-Williams titles this one Bold Invention.

In Sherwin-Williams' own words:
The city never sleeps. Neither do its colors. These high-energy hues vibrate with spontaneity and rebellion. Neon bright, graffiti bold and digitally enhanced to 3-D luminosity, they’re the colors of technology, of avant-garde art and of the entrepreneurial spirit that celebrates shaking off dull routine to do what you love. The eclectic global influences range from the Cynical Realism art movement of urban China to the carnaval spirit of Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Anything goes, and self-expression is the new metropolitan mantra.
I'm fascinated by these annual color forecasts. They are not a prescription for the color schemes people are obligated to use or specify of course, but the trend research that goes into them is as exhaustive as it is impartial. This palette and the three that follow are a snapshot of contemporary life and a hedged bet about how things will look in six months.

While not a definitive look at culture, they are fascinating snap shot.

The central image that sums up Sherwin-Williams' Bold Invention is this:

After having read the description above, the image makes sense and definitely gets across the global, experimental nature of the culture shifts it summarizes.

As intriguing as the underpinnings of this trend are, the palette leaves me somewhat cold. Despite its claimed now-ness, it strikes me as a bit nostalgic. I think it's an attractive palette, I just can't see the futuristic nature of it. Here are the colors.

SW 7589 Habanero Chile

SW 6938 Synergy

SW 6947 Tempo Teal

SW 6711 Parakeet

SW 6445 Garden Grove

SW 6963 Sapphire

SW 6800 Something Blue

SW 6696 Quilt Gold

SW 7664 Steely Gray

SW 7036 Accessible Beige

What do you guys think? Am I missing something here? Now that I can see the colors in order I'm beginning to think that maybe it's the inspiration image that's throwing my eye. So, is Sherwin-Williams onto something with this palette from their 2011 color forecast?

20 July 2010

Summer reruns: A faux re-education.

This post appeared originally on 3 October 2008.

I had a conversation about faux painting with a client the other day. She wanted me to refer her to a painter who could paint some columns in her entry way so that they looked like they were made from marble.

Now a year ago I would have done everything in my power to dissuade her from this faux marble idea. There was a time when I couldn't separate the idea of faux painting with its most obvious and bad expressions. All too often, people take a page from HGTV and attempt to faux paint (poorly) things that have no business being faux painted. Stuff like this:

I mean really, what are the odds of a contemporary house having walls made from entire slabs of identical marble? The first test these kinds of techniques have to pass is a logical one. Ask yourself, does this application make sense? In the case above, the answer is a resounding no.

But in the hands of a professional artist, a faux marble or trompe l'oeil effect can be cool as well as a compliment to the structure of a room. That said, well-done work of this kind is the exception rather than the rule. Unless you have a fine arts background, do not attempt this on your own or you'll end up with something that looks like this:

Man! That burns my eyes.

The idea of faux marble and trompe l'oeil painting got its start in Ancient Rome believe it or not. I had to see it first hand to believe it and here are some photos of what I saw. Some friends and I were treated to a walk through the excavation of the Villa San Marco in Castellmare di Stabia a couple of months ago. The Villa San Marco was a 28,000 square foot (that's not a typo!) Roman villa on the shores of the Bay of Naples. The Villa San Marco was the home of wealthy Roman family and it was buried by ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79. The villa is an amazement and to walk through it today is to get a real feel for the people who lived in it.

The Roman empire had a leisure class, probably the first such leisure class in human history. This leisure class had enough time and enough money to develop the idea of decorative art for their homes. It makes my heart beat faster to think about people two thousand years ago living lives that had an awful lot in common with mine. Now, I don't live in 28,000 square feet of house but I do like a nice paint job. Besides, so much of our cultural stuff --from birthday parties to wedding rings, from exchanging presents in late December to the Superbowl --we got from them.

This is a detail of a trompe l'oeil fresco on a wall in a bedroom in the Villa San Marco. It wasn't until I saw this with my own eyes that I realized that the Romans had mastered perspective. Perspective disappeared from western art for over a thousand years after the collapse of Rome.

Here's a detail from a similar fresco.

This is another fresco from the same room. Now bear in mind that this fresco is around 2000 years old and survived the explosion of a nearby volcano. My mind reels when I think about how this must have looked when it was new.

I thought my head was going to explode when I stood in front of this wall. My photo doesn't begin to do it justice. The room itself was small, probably twelve feet wide by ten feet deep. But even after all those years, this fresco made the walls disappear. If you ever find yourself anywhere near Naples in southern Italy, you owe it to yourself to track down a guide who will get you into the Villa San Marco.

Just inside the main entry and in the peristyle courtyard of the Villa San Marco the the shrine to the household gods of the family who owned the villa. It's made from cast concrete and I was amazed that so much of its original paint job had survived the years.

When I looked closer though I realized that the whole thing had been faux painted. The marble that this faux marble is imitating is all over Italy on ancient as well as in contemporary structures.

Here's an even tighter close up. Un-be-liev-a-ble.

So seeing those Roman paint effects was really something. I learned that the faux marble I'd always mocked had a real history and I started warming up to the idea of it. Ditto trompe l'oeil painting. So I decided to get over my biases and just accept it as another decorative art. So long as it's done well that is. Done well by a master like what I saw at the Villa San Marco.

Well about a week later I was in Rome and I was walking down the Corso d'Italia at 7:30 on a rainy Sunday morning. As I now know, rainy Sunday mornings are about the only time when Rome's streets are quiet. I heard a church bell and decided to go to mass. I mean, when in Rome, right? So I ducked into the first church I came to, the San Carlo di Corso. It's also one of the largest churches in Rome. It was built in the early 1600s and it is massive. The entire interior seemed to have been made from marble and granite with a whole lot of gilt for good measure.

So about 20 Italian senior citizens, me and a handful of pilgrims from the world over sat through mass and despite the fact that it was in Italian, I surprised myself with how well I could participate in it. Even after all these years, a mass is a mass regardless of the language it's said in. So I followed along between major bouts of distraction by the incredible building I was sitting in that is. Then, after mass, I couldn't restrain myself any longer and I walked over to the side of the church to get a good look at the stone work.

Wouldn't you know it, every inch of marble and granite on those 400-year-old walls was faux painted.

08 July 2010

Paint brands are not interchangeable

The gang at Benjamin Moore sent me a trade alert last week and it bore the headline, Benjamin Moore colors can only be made with Benjamin Moore paint.

I have a highly critical eye when it comes to separating fact from fiction when it comes to marketing messages and in this case what Benjamin Moore is saying is true. I repeat the same thing to my clients all the time. Paint brands are not interchangeable.

From Benjamin Moore:
Mismatched colors are often not evident until the paint is on the walls, and the results can be disappointing for your clients. Competitors may claim they can match Benjamin Moore colors, but the truth is that they can’t.

You can only get true Benjamin Moore colors using Benjamin Moore paint. The reason lies in our manufacturing process. Our paints are created using proprietary colorants and resins and formulated with our patented waterborne technologies. This highly controlled system ensures the quality of Benjamin Moore paints and the purity of our colors.

When another store offers to match a Benjamin Moore color, their scanner simply provides its "best guess" for matching the color using another paint, generic colorants and a different tinting system. While it may be close, the final result is not the color you recommended to your client. In other words, it’s a knockoff.
Be sure that the color you envisioned is the color you get.

Authentic Benjamin Moore colors are only available at your local Benjamin Moore retailer.
Truer words were never spake. When it comes to paint colors, the formulation of the paint itself is the key. This is true across the board. I understand wanting to shave a buck off of the total cost of a job, but trust me, quality paint is not a corner you want to cut. Paint brands are not interchangeable.

24 June 2010

Medallion Cabinetry introduces custom colors

Have you ever wished you could have a lavender hutch? Even better, would you like that lavender hutch to be  Sherwin-Williams 6548 Grape Mist? How about Benjamin Moore 2072-60 Beach Plum? Or maybe you're a Pantone person and you're looking for PMS 257. What ever the source, Medallion Cabinetry can simulate that color as a painted finish.

It used to be that if you had a need for a special paint color on cabinetry, you'd order the cabinetry unfinished and then have it painted in the field. This method would sometimes get you where you wanted to be but just as often would leave you with something less than what you were expecting.

Medallion Cabinetry's new Expressions custom paint color process takes away the guess work and leaves you with a multi-step, catalytic paint that will look great and stand up to normal wear and tear far better than paint from a can ever could.

How it works is pretty straightforward. A client sends a paint swatch  or 3" x 3" painted wood chip to Medallion. Upon receipt, Medallion will analyze the sample with a spectrophotometer and it will then generate a formula for that particular color. Once they establish a color formula, they then mix up a test batch of the custom paint and prepare a sample. The sample goes through the typical stages of finishing (sanding, priming, painting, oven curing, top coating and oven curing again) only in a paint booth and curing oven dedicated to the Expressions program. At the end of that process is a full-size sample cabinet door.

The sample's compared to the original swatch and if it's a good match the sample door gets cut in half. One half sample goes back to the client for approval and the other half stays with Medallion.

Upon sample approval, the cabinetry goes into production. When the completed cabinetry ships a few weeks later, Medallion will cut its remaining half sample in half again and ship a quarter of the originally-approved sample with the order.

It's a pretty slick program and the costs involved are reasonable. Painted finishes are always a premium, and the custom Expressions program comes in at 10% higher than a stock paint color. Standard painted finishes cost an additional 14% on plywood constructed cabinets and 18% on furniture board construction. For Expressions custom color, the surcharge is 20% on plywood construction and 24% on furniture board construction. The benefit to approaching custom color this way is in the result of course. Having cabinetry painted in the field will cost about the same amount of money but there isn't a field-applied paint out there than can compare with a multi-step, oven-cured catalytic paint when it comes to longevity and resilience.

Medallion Cabinetry's sold all over the US and theirs is a product I've been selling proudly for the last five years of my life.

If you have any questions about this finish option or any of Medallion's offerings, feel free to ask it here or to send me an e-mail privately. So the next time the topic of custom kitchen cabinetry colors comes up, think of Medallion Cabinetry.

23 April 2010

Sherwin-Williams knocks one out of the park

The always brilliant and occasional contributor David Nolan sent this video to me this week. Bravo Sherwin-Williams!

How can you go wrong with a cardinal?

16 April 2010

Help me help my new house

Hi, I'm Julie Warner, author of Kitchen and Home Appliance Blog for my family's appliance company, Warners' Stellian.

This is my second post as a guest blogger for Paul (here's my previous post).

Paul suggested I use this opportunity to solicit help from you all in decorating my first house, which I will be moving into in June.

My friend took this picture of me during the home inspection (notice the legs in the pantry in the background). I'm sitting between the living room and kitchen, probably giggling nervously at the prospect of making so many design decisions.

The homeowners' current colors of blue and yellow don't particularly suit my taste. And actually, they're the exact colors of both my high school and college (Go Marquette!). So, these feel more like my past than my future.

I'm thinking gray -- darker in the living room, lighter in the kitchen. The living room has a lot of light, as does the kitchen, to a lesser degree. We're ripping up the carpet to reveal the hardwood floors of this 1953 house.

My friend (and future roommate) that took this photo is inheriting the furniture for our living room (pictured in its current home):

Not pictured is an oversized chair that matches the couch. The biggest hurdle?

Blue laminate countertops. Right now they pretty much match the living room wall (the bright color starts to make sense right about now).

What I'd love your help on:

Wall colors
Are grays a good choice?

Ceiling fan
You can kind of see the blue ceiling fan in the above picture. I'd like to replace it with something I'd be open to creative ideas.

Accent colors
I'd love to do a gold or mustard in the living room, but I'm lost for the kitchen because of the challenge of the blue countertops. For instance, I'm afraid to set out my red Viking food processor.

The couch is a bit drab, but I'll gladly take it because I'm saving my pennies for a European dishwasher, Electrolux steam washer, Miele vacuum and Vermont Castings grill (I'm such a product of my environment).

I'm also not sure if I should paint the wood furniture black. We could probably fit another chair or loveseat, if I can come up with a good idea for what I should have.

I also need to devise a plan for the small eating area (behind the breakfast bar in the picture), for which we have a blond wood table and four chairs. We can paint those too, if we want.


06 December 2009

Poking around the internet

I poke around the internet in a quest for inspiration and story ideas all the time. Sometimes, I find things that don't quite warrant a post of their own. Here's a handful of them.

Patricia Gray is a Vancouver, British Columbia interior designer who's idolized on both sides of the 49th parallel and with good reason.

She wrote a column about color trends and I'm happy to report that I used this palette in a bathroom design a week before I saw her post. I love being on target with a color scheme. Grey and yellow is this year's blue and brown. Believe it. From Patricia's blog:
Key colours for the Farrow & Ball Industrial 2010 Color Trends:

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe No.26
Farrow & Ball Off-Black No.57
Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray No.242
Farrow & Ball Cornforth White No.228
Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster No.231
Farrow & Ball Orangery No.70
Farrow & Ball Babouche No.223
Farrow & Ball Blackened No.2011
Read Patricia Gray Interior Design for some fantastic guidance on color and all other aspects of interior design.

I wrote about underwater mortgages and the ethical and moral dilemmas swirling around the idea of a planned default on a bad mortgage this week. In fact, I wrote about it twice: on Sunday and on Tuesday. Those posts opened up a really great comments discussion afterward.

Dirk Shad, Times photographer

Well the whole thing was prompted by a wire story from last Saturday's St. Petersburg Times. In today's issue of the same paper, the Deputy Business Editor, Becky Bowers, wrote an essay on why she and her husband are staying put in their underwater mortgage. That she lives up the street from me and that we share a love for this neighborhood is a bonus. Thank you Becky.

My great friend Tom is a consummate Manhattanite and loves New York with a passion I envy. Tom sends me glimpses of day to day life in that great city regularly and the other day he sent me this video.

This is the Christmas display at Saks' and this video features the actual music piped into the street for this Christmas spectacular. It's no wonder tour buses carry many thousands of people to that great city every day.

Once of my Twitter pals posted a link to this brilliant column about marble as a counter material.

The blog is called The Petch House and it details the renovation of an old home. The post I'm linking to is as impassioned a defense of marble as any I've seen and he says everything I do about the stuff. It's a good read and I plan to throw it in the face of the next person who starts telling me how readily marble scratches and stains. Here's that link again. And just for good measure, here it is one more time.

Eric Schmidt is one of the founders of Google. He's also my homeboy. In yesterday's Wall Street Journal he delivered what can only be called a beat down to Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the self-immolators in print media.

I quote:
With dwindling revenue and diminished resources, frustrated newspaper executives are looking for someone to blame. Much of their anger is currently directed at Google, whom many executives view as getting all the benefit from the business relationship without giving much in return. The facts, I believe, suggest otherwise.
Bravo. Here's the link back to Eric's article. TV news people, pay attention because you're next.

I love Twitter. There I said it. It took a month of playing around with it to finally grasp what it is and six months later, Tweeting is so ingrained in my day that I can no sooner imagine the day without it as I can imagine my not blogging. Twitter also makes me nuts because it's one more thing to keep up with. Shane Nickerson is a comedian who's similarly hooked on Twitter. He's got a potty mouth and he's hilarious. Do not  play this video if the word "fuck" offends you.

F Twitter from Shane Nickerson on Vimeo.

Don't let the 140 character limit fool you. I have made some really deep connections with some great people I could have never known otherwise.

Finally, the brilliant and gracious Nancie over at Mosaic Art Now posted this gem yesterday.
Rome (AP) Italian officials have unveiled new discoveries in an ancient Roman luxury complex filled with priceless mosaics, elegant porticos and thermal baths. The 1,800 square-meter (2,000 square-yard) complex, dating from the 2nd to 4th centuries, has been excavated intermittently starting in 2004, when the ruins were accidentally discovered during renovations of a Renaissance palazzo that now stands above them. In the latest digging campaign, which began in March, archaeologists uncovered a palatial room decorated with precious marble and a colorful mosaic made with half a million tiles brought from all over the Roman Empire. The 16th century Palazzo Valentini, which sits on top of the ruins in downtown Rome, houses local government offices. The ancient complex will be open to the public from Friday through Jan. 6, before closing again for further explorations.
Get thee to Rome before January 6th. If I can get the stars to align, I'll be back in Rome in June, but I'll have missed this once in a lifetime wonder.

If you have never stood in front of an ancient mosaic or other piece of ancient art, please find a way to do so. The word awesome is horribly overused, but it's the only way to describe such an experience. Seeing ancient art is the best way I can think of to stare ancient people in the face and see a reflection of yourself staring back. Roman culture is the very bedrock of western culture and to know that frees you from the burden of thinking that you're so unique that you're alone in history. None of us is alone, we stand connected to every other human being who has ever walked the face of the earth. Our joy, our pain, our love, our lust, our strain, our suffering and our triumphs are the same as they've ever been.

Read Nancie's wonderful blog, Mosaic Art Now. It's part of the great art annual of the same name, Mosaic Art Now. Speaking of Mosaic Art Now, wait until you see what's in store in the 2010 edition. More details to come on that, believe me.

14 November 2009

I'll pass on the man cave

I had a color scheme rejected this week for being "too feminine." I was confused by this because the pooh poohed colors were shades of gray and yellow but I suppose I was pushing someone out of his comfort zone somehow. Ordinarily, having an idea or a plan shot down is no big deal. I mean, it comes with the territory, but what bothered me about this particular rejection was the reason. Even though he really liked it, he couldn't bring himself to commit to it because somewhere in his mind he made up a story that it was too feminine. Too feminine? What the hell does that mean anyhow? The only way that color plan was going to end up looking feminine was if someone painted a vagina on the wall.

That wasn't what my design was calling for by the way.

Anyhow, it led me back to a pet peeve of mine --this idea that there are things that are inherently masculine and other things that are inherently feminine. Colors can't have a gender and sofas aren't segregated by sex. It's just stuff. Judgments about the relative masculinity and femininity of stuff says more about the person who's describing them thus than it does the object in question.

This is feminine:

This is masculine:

Short of physical depictions of gender, anything else is cultural. It's also arbitrary and no more an inherent condition than any other cultural norm you can think of. These norms change all the time and even when they're in place they aren't at all consistent. Here's an example. Conventional wisdom holds and accepts the idea is that depictions of flowers are inherently feminine. I say even that's a load of Bull.

This is an anthurium. Is it feminine?

Here's a Hydranora africana. What would you call it?

My intention here is not to get into some debate about real gender differences and conflicts, what I'm talking about are the made up ones. Generalizations that relegate men to man caves (ugh) and women to kitchens. Moronic ideas that hold women to a standard that says they should be able to create a gracious and tasteful home single handedly. Equally moronic ideas that hold men responsible for car maintenance and outdoor grills.

It's all a load. Those cultural norms may define some people's actual preferences and skills, but I bet they don't describe most peoples'. Lord knows they don't describe mine and I'm somebody who's generally comfortable with most things expected of my gender. I know too that those norms don't define my squirrely client either. Enough stupid HGTV programming about so-called man caves have him convinced that grey and yellow is feminine and that's a shame.

I keep going back to what I always go back to. Your house should look like you live in it. Not anyone else.