Tag Archives: Perfect Paint Palette

The ’90s Remodel for Millennials

With more and more Millennials reaching the home-buying stage, and a housing market that’s as competitive as ever, people are looking for that “diamond in the rough” type of home that can be fixed up.  By “rough” I mean homes that were built or remodeled in the ’80s and ’90s and seriously ready for a makeover.

Ironically, while fashion treads have placed the crop-top-stretch-pants-oversized-glasses look on a golden pedestal, the floral-valance-with-matching-wallpaper trend of the same era is being kicked to the curb.

Luckily, a lot of these homes have great bones and much of the work is in paint, flooring, lighting, and refinishing.  But, boy what a difference some fresh paint can make.

We recently completed an entire home remodel for a young family.  Check out the B & As.

Master Bedroom: So many things in this before photo made us ask, “Why?”.  Were the green marble columns really necessary?  Did swooping red velvet valences ever look good?

We decided that a stripped down, subtle palette over some rich hardwoods would set the perfect backdrop for some killer custom furniture.

The fireplace is framed out in a tile that resembles ledgestone in its soft range of colors and textures. For a more modern look, we decided to float the fireplace with no hearth underneath.  In this remodel, the fireplace is meant to provide a warm glow, not to act as the focal point of the room.

The subtlety of our palette and finishes allowed for a little bit of sparkle with our lighting choice.  One of the most common issues with ’80s and ’90s style is that there are often competing finishes within a room. In the before photo we’ve got a brass light fixture, black door hardware, and white recessed cans.  Consistency in finishes in so important for creating a cohesive space.  We narrowed it down to black/oil-rubbed bronze finishes for the lighting, fireplace, and door knobs.

 

Here is the room compete with furniture:

 

 

We decided to float the bed and anchor it with two perfectly sized bookcases as a divider between the bedroom and dressing room.  The stepped ceiling and central light fixture make more sense when the bed is placed in line with these features.

 

The fireplace is actually two-sided, with the other side facing the freestanding tub in the master bathroom.  It’s a very sweet, romantic and spa-like touch.

 

 

The living room is often where we spend most of our time.  Creating an inviting space with ample light and seating is our main goal.  Amazingly, we were able to keep the carpet–it’s in great condition–and re-design around it in a way that brings the room together.  We talked about family photos in a previous post; this B & A shot shows off the difference between accessorizing with tons of different colors and textures vs continuity in your accent pieces.

 

The greatest impact in remodeling often comes from the kitchen.  Starting in the ’80s and stretching well into the ’00s, honey-colored cabinets were king.  This trend is finally being squashed out, one overly-colorful kitchen at a time.  The craftsmanship of these cabinets was outstanding, so it seemed like a shame to just rip them out.  Instead, we designed around them–much like the carpet in the living room–and by toning down the countertops, walls, and backsplash, we’ve created a space that is more calming than overwhelming.  Also, again with the valences?  Yikes.

Design Tip:  This backsplash is actually 50% glossy and 50% matte.  This technique creates a look that always gets a second glance.  You can see that something is interesting about the tile, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.  It’s the way light hits the backsplash–especially with hand-crafted tile–that creates just the right amount of gleam.

 

Check out the rest of the house.

In our next blog, we’ll take you into the beautiful bathroom remodel and reveal the spa bathtub of your dreams.

 

Happy Decorating!

 

–Allison

 

 

How Does Paint Color Matching Work?

interior designers paint color design decor remodel home
Our go-to shop for paint has always been Dick’s Color Center in Portland.  They have an amazing staff of expert color mixers and have worked with us on countless designer color creations.  I recently had a conversation with our main contact, Kevin M Garvey, to get his expert point-of-view on how color matching really works in a boutique store like Dick’s versus a big box store.  What I found out was that the amount of time and knowledge it requires to create an accurate color match is almost always out of the range of abilities of larger stores.  Not that they are incapable of creating a match, but with the sheer volume of customers they receive, they are simply unable to dedicate the time it takes to do this intricate work.
 Paint3
Below is a statement from Kevin about color matching:
Nearly every paint store has a spectrophotometer. It works by beaming light from an internal lamp onto a sample. Some of the light will be absorbed by the sample, and the rest will pass completely through and strike a detector behind the sample. The detector senses the light being transmitted through the sample and converts this information into a digital display. For paint stores, that means a color formula is produced.
 
Accuracy depends first on the quality of the filters and sensors within the spectrophotomer and on the software that converts the data into an actual color formula. Secondly, the condition of the sample can interfere with color accuracy. Any texture or sheen on the sample can throw off how much light is absorbed or transmitted. Other environmental factors like ambient light and even temperature can affect results. While it may seem obvious that different spectrophotometers will produce different color formulations, people might be surprised to know that even the same machine will often yield different formulas on different readings. Experienced color matchers will take several readings and average them before using the data. Typically, spectrophotometers are 90% accurate. That is hard to visually describe, but essentially some toner in the color is going to be missing or perhaps too present. The resulting color is too red, or too green, or too dark, etc.
 
A color match on a spectrophotometer can be performed quickly, but with some degree of unknown error. Therefore, for the most accurate color match possible, any reputable paint store will match the color by human eye. This generally requires several hours of work. The reading from the spectrophotometer is likely considered one of several references used to produce the final color formula. But ultimately a trained eye determines exactly what combination of pigments match the color sample best. This process gives much more satisfactory results than the spectrophotometer alone. But there is no such thing as absolute perfection when it comes to color matching.
 
Keep in mind that most national paint manufacturers create their own pigments, have different resins and materials in their bases, and that there is no standard for sheen in residential paints. It is impossible for one company to exactly reproduce a competitor’s color when the starting base is different and the pigments to tint the paint are different. The only way to get an exact color, as the manufacture or designer intended, is to avoid the match in the first place and use the exact base paint and exact color formula.
 
Kevin M Garvey
Portland, OR

Spring Soft Paint Palette

soft color palette from interior design quiz interior designers

In a previous post we took you through the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette.  If you scored mostly Bs, in our Quiz and love a calm, soothing space to call your own…

spring color palette whats your color season quiz interior design


 

best paint colors for your kitchen interior design projectYour positive outlook and friendly, approachable nature will be attracted to this warm, color-washed palette.  Accent with clear blues and add a touch of cream for a cozy finish. Textured fabrics, tweeds and velvets enhance the comfort you’re after.

Robin’s egg blue is a great color for both newer and older homes.  We took this palette to a classic bungalow in NW Portland.  Blue and yellow were the perfect colors to offset a classic black subway tile, tin ceiling, and rich hardwoods in the kitchen.

Check out the rest of this project over here, or by clicking the photo below.

 

 


Love Your Colors? Shop for Spring Soft Paint Formulas

 Light blue kitchen interior with dark countertops and chrome fixtures

Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

 

China’s Top Design Magazine

magazine article interior design by allison smith interior designers

In 2009, shortly after completing her Jackson Hole project near Beijing, Allison was interviewed by China’s Top Design Magazine.  They were interested in her process around choosing color and decor.

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Summer Soft Paint Palette

paint palette for interior design portland green yellow cream interior designers

In a previous blog post we showed you the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette. If you scored mostly Cs in our Color Quiz, and your style is calm and you prefer a soothing touch of color…

summer paint palette color season quiz


soft paint palette for interior design portland style

You’re easygoing, comfortable, enjoying life’s simple pleasures.  This understated palette offers the ideal hint of color to make you feel right at home.  Choose slightly deeper tones for your fabrics and keep that softness going with plenty of texture.

Earlier this summer we did a “His & Hers” double bathroom remodel and this palette was the perfect bridge for the gap in their unique styles.  Try this palette with rich wood and dark fixtures to bring some drama.

Click the photos below to see more from this project.

 

 

 


Love your colors?  Get the Summer Soft Paint Formulas 

 

After photo of hall bathroom remodel and interior designbathroom remodel with dark wood and tile interior design

 

Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

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