Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: 6 Beautiful Ways to Add the Color Black in Your Home

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock

It’s time to switch over to the dark side—at least in your home decor.

Yep, that’s right. When it comes to today’s hot trends in interior design, black is the new black. From bold accent walls to chic black-and-white living spaces to onyx kitchen cabinets, designers are increasingly turning to the darkest shade on the spectrum to create a dramatic statement.

Sure, using black can be a little intimidating. But just like a little black dress, it goes with everything.

“Black is a great choice for interiors because it never goes out of style, it goes with every other color, and it conveys a feeling of luxury,” says Val Malnar, principal designer at Orangetree Interiors.

Plus, black works seamlessly with most styles, no matter if your home is Hollywood glamour, Mid-Century Modern, or even industrial (farmhouse chic, anyone?).

Ready to go dark? We asked some top designers to show us the way.

1. On your cabinets

So your kitchen or bathroom needs a style upgrade, but you don’t want to spend a boatload of cash on a major renovation. What’s a homeowner to do?

Paint the cabinets black, says Cynthia Spence, an interior designer in San Francisco.

“It can be very grounding and the hardware can shine against it—be it brass, polished nickel, or even satin nickel,” she says. “It becomes a very different architectural element, and it’s also gender-neutral.”

2. On an accent wall

If you’re feeling brave, a black accent wall can hit all the right notes, says TC Chou, founding partner at Design Determination in New York City. In your bedroom, living room, or dining space, a brush of black can offer a classic look without feeling overwhelming.

“It gives the sense of a cozy, warm space, and is a great backdrop for artwork and statement furniture pieces to pop,” Chou says. “And it’s a less common wall color, so it gives the room a sense of uniqueness.”

3. In a hallway

Photo by No Chintz

If using black in a high-traffic area such as the living room or kitchen is a little too bold for your tastes, consider it in a hallway instead. You can go all-in and slather everything in black or pair it with other dark tones.

In a recent home project with a long vestibule, Spence painted all the doors a semigloss black (with brushed-nickel knobs), and kept the walls and trims a platinum gray.

“The result was quietly impactful and made space more of a destination rather than an eyesore,” Spence says.

In the past, Spence also painted a hallway ceiling black for extra flair.

“It literally made the ceiling disappear, and the light fixture and wall covering became the focal points,” she says.

4. On the ceiling

Speaking of a dramatic ceiling, don’t limit it to the hallway.

“A black ceiling can help emphasize architectural features in the room such as moldings,” Chou says.

It can also make kitchen fixtures pop and help define an area in an open floor plan, he notes. Plus, if you think about it, black is known in fashion for its ability to cover up any flaws—and the same goes for the home.

“For rooms like basements, it’s a great way to hide exposed ductwork or ceiling tile,” Chou says.

5. With chalkboard paint

Always need to remind yourself to buy more sugar or milk? A space in your kitchen covered with black chalkboard paint that you can write on is just what you need, says Kelley Lauginiger, a lifestyle blogger and home décor expert in Ohio.

“This is also a great option for kids’ rooms or a den/office where you keep lists or notes,” she says.

6. In your accessories

Not ready to devote an entire wall (or ceiling) to the color? You can still make a statement with select black pieces throughout your home.

“Black plates and cutlery add chicness to a dinner party, black-framed mirrors bring elegant drama into a room, and even something as simple as black candleholders can be an eye-catching item on a table,” says New Jersey–based interior and furniture designer Neffi Walker.

And remember: You can’t go wrong when you pair black with it’s BFF, white.

“By mixing in a graphic black and white pillow or a striped black-and-white rug, you get the impact of the black, while the white adds a softness, making it easier to digest,” says Austin-based designer Chloe Smith. “This takes the edge off of blending black into your home.”

 

Posted by Jane Chertoff on realtor.com

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3 Ways to Get a Whole New Look With Just a Coat of Paint

Itching for a new look? Paint can transform so much more than just your walls.

Paint is easily one of the biggest home design tools at your disposal. It has the ability to take a room from dark and dingy to light and bright — and from small and cramped to spacious and airy.

To find out exactly how to change the look of a room with paint, we asked house-flipping pros and owners of Seattle-based Urban Squirrel, Lora Lindberg and Debbie Cederlind, for some pointers.

“Paint can lend a feeling you want to evoke,” says Cederlind. “The walls are the biggest surface for the biggest impact.” But you can get a new look without committing to painting a whole room.

Here are Lindberg’s and Cederlind’s tips for transforming your space with just a little paint.

1. Paint your furniture

Your first instinct may be to look at the walls for a drastic change in your home, but painting your furniture can pack just as much punch — if not more.

Not only is this a more renter-friendly solution, but it’s also a good way to break up the monotony of furniture that came in a set or that matches the flooring.

Photo courtesy of The Design Firm.

“It’s definitely more interesting to mix in a painted piece of furniture rather than have everything wood,” says Cederlind.

If you’re a renter and aren’t allowed to splash any color on the walls, go for a bold color on your furniture that will brighten up the room — particularly if you have white or off-white walls in your rental home.

2. Don’t be afraid to paint paneling

If you live in an older home that has been blessed with the gift of wood paneling, it may look dark, outdated and cavernous. Although it might be tempting to rip it out and start over, Lindberg and Cederlind suggest painting over the woodinstead.

“We see so many houses that haven’t sold because of paneling. Painting the paneling is one of the most dramatic changes you can make,” says Lindberg. “Some people say it’s a sin to paint wood, but a paneled room can look incredible with a lighter paint.”

Photo courtesy of Tyler Whitmore.

When you choose the paint color for your wood paneling, Lindberg and Cederlind suggest painting it a muted color and saving the pops of brighter color for artwork and area rugs.

3. Limit bold color choices to a room or two

Painting a dramatic color in one or two smaller spaces, like a powder room or a dining room, will make them stand out and be more memorable to visitors.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Although adding bold color to your walls is a great way to change up your space immediately, don’t go overboard with dramatic colors.

“The thing that drives me the craziest is painting every room a different bold color. Paint the whole house the same color, then pick one or two special rooms to get an accent, like a dining room or powder room or den,” says Lindberg. “A trend I’ve been noticing a lot is dark walls. You definitely don’t want to do that everywhere.”

This tip is especially important if you live in a home with an open concept living or dining space. The house will seem bigger and flow better when there’s continuity in the paint color throughout the home, Lindberg and Cederlind say.

Remember: Finding the right paint color takes time

Whether you decide to paint your walls in just one space or all of them, make sure you choose the right color before you tape off the baseboards and prep the room to paint.

“Picking out colors is the hardest,” says Cederlind. “We spend a lot of time getting samples and trying them physically in the room, but it’s worth every penny. Don’t go and get the paint chip and then buy a gallon of $60 paint. The chances of getting the color right the first time are pretty slim.”

 

Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow

9 Home Decor Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately

Even if you’re an ardent amateur decorator, starting from scratch in a new place can be intimidating. So many white walls screaming out for paint, so much bare hardwood dying for furniture. What’s a new homeowner to do?

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

Maybe you don’t want to shell out for an interior decorator and besides, you have Pinterest on your side. Hey, you can do this thing yourself, right? All you need to do is follow the rules of the decor road. You know the ones we’re talking about—the nuggets of conventional wisdom like “don’t paint a small room with a dark color” or “avoid mixing metals.”

But not every decor rule should be considered gospel—in fact, some are downright myths. Here, our expert designers clear up nine misconceptions about how you should decorate your home. So get moving and decorate your place already!

Myth No.1: Ceilings must be white

Photo by Sroka Design, Inc.

A complementary ceiling color gives a cozy feel. White ceilings might seem like the norm, but they aren’t right for every room.

“White ceilings can actually be distracting if there is no other white in the room,” says Dee Schlotter, the senior color marketing manager for PPG.

Deep-emerald walls look strange with a blazing-bright ceiling. That cheerful yellow you carefully selected for the kitchen seems too bold with the ceiling so stark white. A complementary color—or even a coordinating off-white shade—can prevent distraction, Schlotter says.

Myth No. 2: Everything should match perfectly

The days of matching and monochromatic looks are over. Instead, cohesive coordination reigns supreme. Think: Wood tones, lush fabrics, and colors that harmonize with (not identically match) your walls. Otherwise, you risk dull, monotone decor that bores every visitor who passes through your doors.

“Look at the undertones of the primary color scheme,” says Jill Hosking, an interior designer in Windham, NH. “It does take more time and effort to coordinate versus match, but your room will look and feel more cohesive, chic, and likely will seem to be a better reflection of your personal style.”

Myth No. 3: Less furniture equals more space

You might believe paring down your furniture collection will make your small room feel massive—so there’s more room for activities, right?—but be prepared for some disappointment after the final Craigslist buyer trucks away the love seat. In fact, the empty space feels tiny.

“A fully furnished room will actually make the space feel bigger,” says Megan Hopp, a designer with Homepolish. “It’s counterintuitive, but having the right amount and right-size pieces in a layout will make your room feel bigger, better, and help you breathe a sigh of relief.”

If your massive sectional overwhelms the space, consider sizing down with a new couch—but don’t ditch the seating entirely.

Myth No. 4: Dark walls make a space look small

Photo by Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects

White or neutral tones aren’t the only shades allowed in a tiny room. Far from off-limits, dark walls can even size up the space.

“Covering all of the surfaces of a room in one color makes it larger,” Schlotter says. Choose a hue that moves you—warm, rich, buttery, soothing—and “envelop the space,” she says. Yes, even the ceiling.

“One unified color fades defining lines, which enhances the coziness of the space and makes it feel larger,” she says.

Myth No. 5: Decor pieces can’t touch

A couch 5 feet from a side table and another 5 feet from the coffee table feels museum-like, not comfy-cozy. And contrary to popular belief, table decor is allowed to slightly obscure your artwork. (It can actually look better!)

“Yes, your lamp can cover the bottom corner of the mirror, and your armchair would love to live in front of your bookcase,” Hopp says. “Just like a sandwich, each ingredient on top of the other makes for a much better recipe than each piece alone.” Bon appetit!

Myth No. 6: You can’t have nice furniture if you have kids

Yes, skip the pricey white leather armchair, unless you’re eager to dress it up with crayon. But you don’t have to ditch all of the expensive and lovely pieces you’ve collected over the years. You can even buy new, elegant furniture that make you happy—even with your rugrats scrambling around.

The key is to choose and position your pieces carefully, and to aim for indestructible materials and finishes. It might seem counterintuitive, but splurging on well-made furniture could end up saving you in the long run. It’s more likely to hold up to years of abuse than the cheap models you think you’re resigned to own.

Myth No. 7: Never mix metals

Photo by Casey & Fox

Gone are the days when it was taboo to mix metals. With the infusion of brilliant golds, brushed nickels, and rich coppers into our decors, designers have found themselves asking: Why limit ourselves to just one? It turns out, you can have it all.

“Mixed metallics is not only a good thing, in my opinion, it’s a better choice than confining yourself and your design to one or the other,” Hopp says.

Some metals, such as copper and gold, contribute warm tones—others (think silver and nickel) are cooler. Together, they create “a healthy balance” that adds texture, glamour, and dimension to your space.

Myth No. 8: Art goes up high

Photo by Laura U, Inc.

Photo by Laura U, Inc.

Move that art lower—please, designers plea. Hang your art like a museum does: at eye level. Placed properly, the glory of your collection can be fully appreciated by your guests, who won’t have to crane their necks.

“Try moving your pieces down so as to sit just above the center point of the wall,” Hopp says. “Think about how art looks in a gallery. Follow suit, and bring it down.”

Myth No. 9: You should always be on trend

We’ll be the first to admit that we spend a lot of time telling you which interior design trends you should incorporate into your home, and which ones are so last year. But here’s something we don’t say often enough: You shouldn’t let Pinterest (or us!) dictate your decor decisions. Following design trends blindly creates a soulless space. Soulless as in dead.

“Only infuse trends into your home if it’s one you truly like and can live with longer than a year,” Hosking says. “It’s unrealistic to paint your walls every year or to add that mirrored chest to the dining room because ‘it’s in.’”

Love a style but hesitant to go all-in on a trend? Consider using smaller pieces to incorporate popular fabrics and styles into your home.

Pillows, throws, and art are easy ways to “infuse a trendy look without breaking the bank or generating buyer’s remorse,” Hosking says. And once you’re tired of the chevron, or the Swiss cross, or the trellis, donate the piece, take a tax deduction, and try something new.

 

Posted by Jamie Wiebe on realtor.com

 

 

9 Kitchen Color Ideas That Aren’t White

Don’t get me wrong: White kitchens are cheerful, clean and classic — it’s no wonder why they’re so popular. But since white kitchens are everywhere, it’s easy to forget that there are other colors that can also look great in this space. Thinking about bucking the trend in your kitchen? Consider one of these options, from alternative neutrals to bright, bold hues.

NEUTRALS

You can’t go wrong with these versatile picks.

Charcoal Gray

If you want a cool neutral that’ll add a bit of drama to your kitchen, look to charcoal. Bright accent colors — or even white, as seen in this kitchen designed by Brian Patrick Flynn — really pop against it.

Greige

Tobi Fairley

A mix between gray and beige, greige is an incredibly versatile neutral for the kitchen that can complement both warm and cool colors. In this space designed by Tobi Fairley, greige cabinets bridge the gap between warmer brass elements and cooler marble accents.

Black

A black kitchen may sound dreary, but it can actually be stunning if done right. Just take this gorgeous room that goes all in with black cabinets, a black vintage stove and a black-and-white tiled floor. If you’re not on board with an all-black kitchen, try adding one black element like a backsplash or a sink.

SUBDUED HUES

Add a touch of color without overpowering your space.

Pale Green

Erin Williamson

Hints of green in the stone countertops inspired the cabinet color in this country-style kitchen. The soft hue brings coziness to the space, yet still feels bright and fresh.

Butter Yellow

Stacey Brandford

Particularly charming in a cottage- or farmhouse-style space, pale yellow adds a cheerful, sunny touch to a kitchen. Try it with robin’s egg blue or with neutrals, as seen in this kitchen designed by Sarah Richardson.

Navy Blue

Eric Perry

Navy is practically a neutral — it pairs beautifully with everything from tangerine to turqouise to chartreuse. In the HGTV Smart Home 2014 kitchen, navy cabinets are offset by a black-and-white basketweave backsplash for lots of eye-catching contrast.

BOLD COLORS

Go all in with these daring shades.

Crimson

Brian Patrick Flynn

Want to instantly energize your kitchen? Just add a vibrant shade of red. To keep it from feeling overwhelming, try contrasting it with a cool color, like the blue-gray Brian Patrick Flynn used here. If you’re not ready to commit to red cabinets or walls, incorporate the color in small doses with red countertop appliances, dish towels and other accessories.

Emerald Green

Andrea Schumacher

Just a splash of this gorgeous green will make a big impact in your kitchen. In this design, Andrea Schumacher painted only the island, pulling a color from the floral wallpaper to keep the space cohesive. For an ultra-rich look, pair emerald with other jewel tones.

Orange

Orange is thought to stimulate the appetite, making it an ideal color choice for the kitchen. In this space by Jennifer Gilmer, an orange backsplash and zebrawood cabinets add warmth, keeping the contemporary design from feeling cold. Smaller orange accents, such as pendant lights or window treatments, can also liven up a kitchen.

Posted by Shannon Petrie on www.hgtv.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 14 Most Popular Paint Colors (They Make A Room Look Bigger!)

Virtually expand your square footage with these popular hues.

There are some hard and fast rules when it comes to interior design. Dining room chandeliers should hang 60 to 66 inches off the floor. Never match the color of your walls to a color in one of your fabrics. Hang curtains all the way to the ceiling to make the ceilings appear higher. But when it comes to making a room — especially a small one — look and feel bigger, there truly is no one right answer.

So whether you’re looking for a paint color to live with for a while or one that makes the tiny third bedroom in your home for sale in Sarasota, FL, look just a smidge bigger, we consulted designers, paint companies like PPG Paints, and painters to come up with these 14 paint colors you should consider for your next project. Save them to your home inspiration board on Pinterest, and read on for tips on how to best use them.

Best all-around colors to make a space feel larger

Light colors and neutrals are always a classic option for small spaces, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo bold colors when you want to make a room seem bigger. Just take a cue from designer Anne Miller of Miller House Interiors in Charlotte, NC, and pick softer tones for your accessories and furnishings. “I love a saturated paint color and encourage clients not to be scared of using one,” she says. “The key is to remember to balance out that color with softer neutrals so that the room is not overwhelming.”

1. PPG Paints Swirling Smoke

Swirling Smoke is a go-to for Lee Crowder, a colorist with Darling Homes in Dallas, TX. “I have to stop myself from using this one too much because it is just a great all-around color. It is light with a tint of gray and is very calming.”

2. Benjamin Moore Cloud White

“Paint ceilings white and use lighter colors to make a room appear larger,” suggests Dan Schaeffer, owner of Five Star Painting in Austin, TX. “Think light grays, blues, and other neutral colors. You can also use an eggshell or satin finish to help reflect light.”

3. Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

Hale Navy has a spot on Benjamin Moore’s bestselling blue shades list — and for good reason. “It is a favorite to make a space feel bright,” says Sean Juneja, co-founder of Décor Aid. “I equate brightness with freshness, and Hale Navy is very fresh and clean.”

4. Farrow & Ball Skylight

“Skylight is also an amazing color; a clean, light gray-blue,” adds Juneja. “On a whole, cool colors are fresher and brighter than warm. Warm colors evoke intimacy and softness. Cool colors make me think of bright days and breezes and a sharpness that you can only capture with blues and greens.”

Designer trick: Paint walls and trim the same color

Designer Charlotte Lucas of Charlotte Lucas Interior Design in Charlotte, NC, paints the walls and trim to match in tight spaces and in rooms without much natural light: “The more transitions you have in a room, the more the eye stops at those points — for example, at the window, door, or casing trim. This trick also helps with low ceilings. If you have 6 inches of white crown molding at your ceiling and your walls are gray, your eyes stop at the gray, often 6 inches short of the ceiling. By painting the walls and trim the same paint color, your ceilings appear to be taller, since there are no breaks in the trim!”

5. Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog

“I recently painted a family room — walls, trim, crown, and built-ins — Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog. There were so many windows, French doors, and built-ins in this room, it felt so choppy having the Coastal Fog on the little bit of wall space and white trim everywhere else,” says Lucas. “By painting the walls and trim [the same color], it created an entirely different space and transformed and modernized the traditional room.”

6. Benjamin Moore Navy Masterpiece

The matching-walls-and-trim tactic works with deep shades too (but beware that glossy finish). “I have done this same technique with darker colors as well, painting a formal living room Benjamin Moore Navy Masterpiece,” adds Lucas. “The darker color creates a more cozy and dressy environment. I suggest using a satin or semigloss … the higher the gloss, the more unforgiving the paint is!”

7. & 8. PPG Paints Geyser and Colonial Aqua

Lee Crowder suggests natural hues for this floor-to-ceiling trend. “Clean colors like celadon or a sea glass always make a room feel light and bright,” she says. “PPG Paints Geyser and Colonial Aqua are great selections for that feeling.”

9. PPG Paints Stonehenge Greige

“The general rule is, the lighter the color, the bigger and brighter the room will appear,” suggests Geoff Sharper, owner of Sharper Impressions Painting Company. “Stonehenge Greige by PPG Paints is a very popular color that is light enough to enlarge a room but still gives you some of the modern and hip grays that are trendy right now.”

Square-footage-boosting accent colors

“Contrary to popular belief, light colors do not [always] make teeny rooms feel spacious,” says Jessica Geller, co-principal, ID 810 Design Group in New York, NY. “Instead, embrace the small square footage and go for deep [shades] that create intimate and cozy cocoonlike rooms.”

10. & 11. Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray and Valspar Indigo Streamer

“Feel free to go crazy with saturated colors on cabinetry for an instant update on outdated cupboards,” adds Geller. “Dark grays like Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray and navy colors like Valspar Indigo Streamer quickly bring them into 2016.”

12. Benjamin Moore Orange Blossom

“Orange radiates warmth and generates happiness, whether it’s a tender, romantic hue or vibrant and energetic. Different shades are highly personal and subjective, but one thing is for certain: Using orange is always a bold and uplifting move,” says Amy Courage, co-founder and interior designer at DesignBar in Chicago, IL. “Benjamin Moore Orange Blossom is an elegant and sophisticated shade that enables the relaxed energy needed to make a room appear lighter and brighter.”

Create the illusion of larger space

The number one factor to consider when choosing a paint color? According to Sharper, it’s how much natural light enters the room. “The general rule is, the lighter the color, the bigger and brighter the room will appear,” he says. “And the less natural light you have entering the room, the lighter the paint color you should lean toward.” So if you’re really hoping to boost the look of a space’s square footage, opt for brighter shades with a light reflectance value above 50, which bounce back more light than they absorb.

13. Sherwin-Williams Alabaster

“This is their ‘Color of the Year,’ and I have suggested it to a client who wants to open up a room,” says Melinda Peters Elliot of Fine Designs & Interiors Ltd. in London, OH. “It looks particularly good when there are a lot of windows and the trim around the windows is white.”

14. Sherwin-Williams Hazel

“This is such a peaceful and calming color,” says Alice Chiu of Miss Alice Designs in San Francisco, CA. “It can make a small space appear larger because it naturally brightens up a room with its vibrancy. It’s like being in the middle of an expansive ocean sparkling in a lovely mix of blues and greens.”

Posted by Blake Miller on Trulia

 

 

Decorating with the 2016 Pantone Color of the Year

In 2016, Pantone decided to change it up by offering two stand out colors of the year. According to Pantone, the two colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity “demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness, as well as, a soothing sense of order and peace.” Pantone explains that a direct correlation between consumers seeking mindfulness, reassurance and security were the reasons for selecting two colors to represent 2016. Specifically, these two colors together are being used interchangeably by the genders represented in fashion trends. Using a soft rose and sky blue to denote gender equality is yet another reason for supporting the blend of these two colors. 

Because of the subtle nature of the colors Rose Quartz and Serenity, decorating can easily be paired with a myriad of colors like grays, taupes, greens, teals and more to create a soothing effect on the feeling within your home. Maybe these colors are too pale and feel like they belong in a baby’s room, but if you let your mind open to the potential of these colors you can extend these colors throughout your home.  Their easy nature and classic feel can also include a sense of calm in a house that may have a lot of activity. Their classic nature can enhance a room by adding an elegance to a living room or sitting area. Or using the whimsy aspect of these colors can add some lightness or fun to a room that might be too stark.  For more inspiration, we curated these photos to help you get inspired to use the 2016 Pantone colors, Rose Quartz and Serenity, in your home.

Posted by HomeZada