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3 Simple Ways to Spruce Up Your Decor for Summer

Looking for a pop of color to spruce up your space this summer? Here are the quick color fixes to get you geared up for the warm weather.

1. Paint the inside of your front door: It’s like wearing your favorite rock star t-shirt underneath a business suit. Only those close to you can appreciate your unique style. With colors like Al Green (an energetic, yellow-green), Diva (a deep, sophisticated red) and Pond Shimmer (an eye-catching green blue from the Barry Dixon Collection)… your front door will become your newest work of art, and can change with the seasons – or your mood!

C2 Paint - Al Green

Paint the inside of the front door to add color and the element of surprise!


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2. Paint Kitchen Cabinets: They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so use colors, and products, that last! C2’s revolutionary Cabinet and Trim Paint features patented Polywhey® technology — a safe, easy-to-use finish using recycled dairy whey protein. The result is a smooth, porcelain-hard finish that is one of the most eco-friendly and durable products in the marketplace (p.s. it’s also great for floors!)

Designers Catherine and Justine Macfee transformed this kitchen to achieve a farm-to-table feel with a modern twist. They took advantage of every surface, using Parchment (C2-915) for the walls and Filament (C2-798) for the cabinetry. To top it off, they artfully mixed a pattern on the floor, with Urbane (C2-808) and stripes of Filament for a personal touch.

Painting cabinets tell a color story in your kitchen

3. Paint an Accent Wall: An easy and effective way to add color to a room is to paint an accent wall using a super premium paint like C2 Luxe in a sophisticated, eye-catching color.  Draw attention to beautiful bookshelves, while adding contrast and energy to the space. Try a deep, powerful blue like Espionage (C2-742).

Deep, rich colors can create an interesting focal point

Leave a comment below and tell us how you spruce up your space for summer!
 

The Journey Back to Black: The Nuances of Dark Walls

There is something undeniably glamorous about a minimalist stance — the balancing act of reduction; the idea of “less is more”. But to eclipse color and blanket everything with black holds a magic of its own.   Currently, I am experiencing a great sense of relief and freedom with this intentional choice and, for the first time, refusing to get caught up in the drama and complexity that comes with layering color and forming harmonious, complimentary color palettes. As much as I love, adore and appreciate color — and its walk before me every minute of my day — there is something  currently refreshing and appealing in the choice to remove it all and surround myself with black, and the many discovering shades thereof. I see that I have always underestimated the value of black as an exclusive choice, perhaps fearing that this strikingly dramatic solo player might possibly overplay its hand.

Experimenting with varying shades of black.

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For me, black has always played the supporting role in a production. Though a valued and highly regarded team player in my cast of colour, it was never center stage. However, while walking this path of new discovery (also partly inspired by the purchase of my new home that begs for the unusual), I realise that black needs no partners; it has a mysterious and secretive world all of its own. It contains and absorbs all colour.

This black gloss powder room delivers the drama.


Many of you stand alone in the darkness, with the self-bravery and courage to venture out into this world.  For me, I am faced with my memory and fear of dark lake waters and being told to ‘jump in’. They say the dark waters represent the unconscious mind and your fullest potential, which especially at a young age are unknown and intimidating.
I’m inspired by the “dark side” of my friend, London-based stylist, retailer and designer Abigail Ahern  a who embraces the dark colors and adventurous interiors.

Ahern’s signature colour palette is an array of intoxicating, dark, inky “bottom of the lake” hues.


As I open myself up to black in its quiet, reflective solitude, I am learning to focus on its nurturing qualities – the richness of good soil, the lone flight of a raven across a grey misted winter sky, the surface of a long road that supports me each day in travel.

In my design, black supports and almost demands a lack of clutter and the introduction of furnishings and art that allows these pieces to shine bright like stars in the darkness.

And, I confess to going to personal extremes in my new-found respect of black by eliminating the flavoured creamers in my coffee that lined the refrigerator door. I am now a coffee-drinking purist with no ten word order for my morning java.

Black paint is like the color of my coffee


Taking my new affinity toward black personally by removing the creamer from my coffee!


Today, there are so many variations of the standard black-black that instead of feeling mired in the darkness, they highlight the subtle undertones: bruised blue-black, deep amazon green-blacks, black with a warm red or umber influence that looks like dark roasted coffee beans — all rich and intoxicating. 

C2’s line of “near blacks” represents a full range of the dark side with colors like Aperture, Stout and Baritone. The saturation of C2’s finely ground pigments provides a “black” with undertones of dark greens and blues that have much higher resolution and an intense depth.

black paint with white is a classic combination


The eternal classic pairing of black and white (featured: C2’s Aperture + Architectural White)


Embracing black is a process that I welcome and embrace, even knowing the challenges it poses. On a recent design collaboration for a public Buffalo Showhouse event, I used my new ally partnered simply with white. The classic combination was chic, classic and sophisticated. I partnered with Traci Ackerman of Red Disc Design and created a schematic around her Burchfield Penney wallpaper launch with the ‘Flowers at Night’ wallpaper.
wallpaper painted with black paint


With the historic 1921 design by Burchfield Penney we selected a contemporary C2 color palette of esoteric midnight black – Aperture, with a calibrated measure of Seraph – a soft blue grey tucked into window niches and the hallway.


The black and white schematic navigated me into a more minimalist aesthetic, which, given that I have moved home four times in the past 19 months, definitely has its pluses. Everything becomes so punctuated against a dark background — and needs careful curation. It is a more definite and orchestrated production in furnishing the space with a need to view and understand all the nuances and subtleties of light, texture and the combinations of finishes.  The identity of the space becomes a place for self reflection and peace for me.
How long this will last? I have no idea. The beauty of our homes is that they allow us to create a refuge that represents that particular chapter of our lives, and can change just as easily with the ebb and flow of time.For now, I’m enjoying and embracing “the dark side” for now, and all the teachings that came with this new direction.

Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Paint Color:

It’s always fun to pop into the paint store and check out the latest color trends, imaging the magical transformation a new paint color creates. There is no other tool in the designer’s kit that brings a bigger bang for the design buck than fresh paint.

There’s nothing worse than a near-miss when it comes to color. Sure, the all-out color disaster would qualify, but how often does that happen with paint? Not nearly as often as those near-misses. We see them often.

To keep you from heading towards disaster, keep the following tips in minds as you dream of stunning new color…

When choosing paint color, always try before you buy

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Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Color:

  1. Do not choose your color in the paint store without taking it home for a test run.
  2. Pick up a wet paint sample and a mini roller (foam brushes don’t lay enough paint for an accurate color reading).
  3. Paint a minimum sample size on your wall that’s at least 24” x 24”. Bigger is always better.
  4. Test your color in three areas: in the corner, the wall opposite the largest window and the window wall itself (this way you can see the color on the lightest wall, darkest wall, while the corner will show you the most intensified color).
  5. The best time of day to choose colors is between 10am to 2pm – when the sun is highest in the sky.
  6. Take step #5 to heart, but make sure to analyze your color with your morning coffee and with your evening cocktails. Your color will look different during each time of day.
  7. Color is all about relationships. When it comes to choosing paint, make sure you have assembled all the important elements that will be in the room; sofa, carpet and tile, cabinetry, etc. The color of your paint is a lot easier to adjust than anything else in a design scheme (and even easier if you haven’t painted yet!)
  8. When comparing more than one color, make sure you can view your samples individually, otherwise the different colors will influence each other.
  9. Consider using a color professional. This is what they do, and you can save a lot of time and effort by heading in the right direction from the beginning.
  10. Give yourself enough time to find your perfect color. Taking your time minimizes the stress of making the ‘right’ decision, and you can make sure you’ve got it nailed down before the painter gets rolling!

Consider hiring a professional color expert. Here, interior designer Paula McHugh is working with Daly’s Dan Cookston.

The Bravery of Colour by Philippa Radon

Embarking on a new design project early in the year personally gives me great joy. The feel of a new project ignites my creativity. Winter is a time to gather in, collect ideas, resource, research and immerse oneself into something artistic and creative. What follows the intention of change is a wonderful journey of self discovery, creation and self expression.

Yet, for most of us, despite the plethora of advertisements, TV shows and glossy magazine spreads highlighting well staged and colourful visuals – the annual broadcasting of new colour trends and palettes, still leads many into a panic. Though we should not necessarily feel compelled to repaint and design as frequently as we change our seasonal wardrobe, home is the environment for our self expression. A building portfolio of personal investment that allows us the freedom to surround ourselves in this very high tech world, with tactile comfort and beauty. (more…)

“A little color bravery invigorates a space”

The presented trend focus for 2017 appears to highlight three lifestyle curated groupings, and is intended to streamline the overwhelming choices: Composed, Confident and Comfortable. Or perhaps, if this forecast does not resonate with us entirely it might only expand our tendency to feed any lack of confidence we have on our own decision-making abilities.

Introducing something new, bold and beautiful with a diverse colour scheme does take an immense leap of faith and a boatload of courage, if on one’s own. As a consultant, my role is to broaden your perspective and enable you to see the familiar in a new way. To guide you, so you have a greater sense of what you are looking for in order to know when you have found it.

I have created a few professional prompts to help navigate and inspire you into achieving successful and rewarding results.

7 STEPS to Colour Confidence:

1. Colour equates atmosphere. It’s the most important thing in the room, infusing our surroundings with emotion and vitality. Rethinking our colour choices and breaking habits of familiar ‘go to’ colours is empowering. Most people are afraid of colour until they see the beauty of it on their walls, you just have to take the steps to achieve that. Don’t we all strive to surround ourselves with colours and objects that resonate with our soul – nurture and support our well being in the most positive manner. Colours in particular often evoke reactions that are more psychological than practical, and that is part of the magic that allows you to create an atmosphere that will enable you to feel intrinsically at home.

2. Visualize and Feel the Space. Visualization brings your ideas to life, and allows you to start at the end and work outwards to simply frame and envision the goals you are striving for. So, grab a notebook and cup of tea, sit in the space, clear out clutter, scrutinize and determine the details and character of the room. Visualize and see all the new possibilities for something different; don’t settle for less than your vision.

My design philosophy: Make it Your Own.

3.  Determine the purpose and function of the room before even attempting to view color is key. The functionality will often determine the mood one wants to create. We are striving to create a space that looks right and feels right.

4.  Trust your own intuitive voice. Jot down everything that comes to mind. Brainstorm your ideas as a map, not a list, with no order of hierarchy. This more holistic and intuitive approach contributes to creating a space that will inspire and benefit you when you call it home.

5. Get Inspired! Now you have your own personal established foundation about the room details to work from start to resource and research. This means getting out and exploring, not just looking online. Color stems from two arena’s:  art and nature — so spend time looking at nature, museums, books, movie sets, fashion, make up counters, magazines, product labels. Try and observe color and co-ordinating colors, in a new way. This should be fun!

6. Create a storyboard. Remember, we all imitate before we innovate! Paste your ideas and findings into a book — collate and gather all you can. Make the most of all the new data that’s out there and select what resonates most with you. Discern and select your main colour group first, then narrow it down to the right shade. Then think about your partnering colours and the relationships.

My storyboards combine inspiration from nature, textiles and more…

7. Paint Away Problems. Downplay built-ins by painting them the same colour as the walls. Refresh a worn wood floor with an invigorating coat of paint. Enlarge a small space by limiting the palette to shades of just one colour. Don’t be afraid of going dark — a deep hue can transform a room into a magical space. Brighten a dark colour with a sheen finish. Treat ceilings as unexpected terrain with anything but white.

Colour has many more attributes than merely creating an appealing palette. It holds many mysterious qualities, and provides the emotional expression of the space it inhabits. Embarking on a new project, we often take on more work than anticipated, but perhaps with these beginning guide lines and a new approach and self awareness, it will help you to create a home that has balance, harmony and style. So that you can love the colours you live with and make it your own, with a little colour bravery.

About Philippa:

C2 Colour Consultant & Designer

Philippa Radon cultivated her signature colour-based design philosophy through many years of developing her professionally trained eye in the industry. Working with high profile British and U.S. designers, her work as a colour consultant led her to establishing her own full service design firm servicing national and international clientele alike.

Her love of luxurious colour and livable interiors began at a young age. Coming from a curious mix of British aristocrats and artists, and surrounded by painters, writers and politicians, her creative energy and visual hunger was stirred early on. Her extensive travels and time spent living throughout Europe honed her interest in arts and architecture, which naturally progressed into a love of design.

During the span of her colour consulting, fine arts and interior design career, Philippa has established paint lines for Pottery Barn, developed her own organic paint line, and worked on projects for the Victoria and Albert Museum, British National Trust and St. James Palace. Her commercial clients have included Guess Clothing, Ralph Lauren clothing stores, the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, Steven Ehrlich, St. John’s Hospital in Los Angeles, William Morris Agency and Maxxam Enterprises. Her residential clients are a diverse group including Warner Brothers VIP John Richards, Benenson Capital in New York, and the artist formerly known as Prince.

Learn more about her at: http://philipparadondesign.com

 

HOW MOOD AND COLOR INFLUENCE DESIGN

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How moody are you? What is your color story? One might ask these questions when approaching an interior design project. The presence, or absence of color is in our daily lives — from the moment the sun rises, casting its tone and mood on the day, to the clothes we wear, to the spaces we live in. Light and color are synonymous. Looking inward to the space we live in, specific hues can provoke different emotions, associations, and responses that affect how one’s home is perceived. In fact, some research has shown that color can increase mood up to 80%. (more…)

Let Color Choices Dictate Design Plans. Color choices can make or break a design. Fortunately, we are far from the times when our color choices were limited to a small batch of natural pigments. Synthetic pigments and the screen have made our lives increasingly easier, while also making decisions infinitely more complex.

Full spectrum paint creates a dynamic, luminous effect

Full spectrum paint creates a dynamic, luminous effect

Faced with such an overwhelming amount of color options in today’s markets, many homeowners profess to be afraid of color, for fear of making mistakes.  Consulting with an interior designer when selecting a color palette for a design project is an integral part of the process.

How Mood and Color Create Your Story.  When telling a client’s color story, I always start with getting to know their personality and lifestyle. A color story should reflect various elements of a personality to avoid looking like a theme, so it has always been important to me to add a mixture of light and dark.

Each room tells a story

Each room tells a story

A rich color story should also be offer flexibility and adaptation – I decorate for all seasons and moods. Purely as a personal preference, the complexity of moods is what I am drawn to, love and relate to. I probably wouldn’t be happy in a totally light, airy home; my nature and personality requires a moody house so much so that a light and cheery environment, for me, would feel as if it was missing some depth, richness and contrast.

Darker colors create a sense of richness and depth

While I typically have a mix of light and dark all in one room, I also find it creatively interesting to experience various moods as I wander through the house. The “moodiness” of a room doesn’t have to come only from colored or dark walls, of course, it can also be achieved through layers, darker floors, a mix of richer furniture, antiques, fabrics, or painted cabinets—all combined to reflect a mood and tell a story.

A color story should reflect various elements of a personality to avoid looking like a theme.

At times, the actual space also dictates the setting of a mood. Moody rooms might feel more appropriate with certain styles or even locations and settings of a house. Case in point, when a space has a lot of natural light at the back of a house, dark wall colors would feel washed out, so a lighter color and tone and mood works best in those rooms.

Play off the natural light

Play off the natural light

For me, I feel best when the mood of a home feels inspired by and incorporates aspects of the mood of the natural habitat we live in. I tend to feel more comfortable with colors that have slightly warmer or gray undertones. Selecting colors that reflect and arouse a sense of cohesiveness inside and out feels more settling and comforting to me. So, don’t be afraid of being moody. Use it to tell your personal color story.


About Designer, David Chenault

David Chenault

David Anthony Chenault

These words have been used by clients and peers to describe the designer who is David Anthony Chenault. Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Missouri, David Anthony Chenault had a creative eye and a penchant for making things beautiful since early childhood. He was simply born and destined to be a designer. He went on to graduate with a degree in Architecture with an emphasis in Interior Design from Southwest Missouri State University.

Over the course of 28 years, David has since transformed many homes in the tri-state area, as well as designed memorable residential and commercial projects across the country. As the principal interior designer for David Anthony Chenault Interior Design, David creates fresh, timeless spaces that are beautiful, elegant, and unforgettable. The design is a collaboration of his own vision and that of identifying the dream that is within the client’s desires. The style of his work is traditional with a modern approach. “We want our homes to reflect the client’s lifestyle, not a fancy trend,” he says. “Homes should emanate personality and warmth, and be comfortable and livable while retaining a certain formality.” David’s work has been published in Christie’s Great Estates, Home & Design, Washingtonian, Northern Virginia, Architectural Digest and 417. Regularly featured in Houzz.com, currently, Home and Design “PORTFOLIO” has also added David as one of the Tri states’ Top 100 Designers.

Contact David at http://www.davidanthonychenault.com