Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come, says Pantone.

It is that time of year again when all the paint companies change to their own Color of the Year.

I thought I would do a quick update to what is new as the easiest change you can make in the New Year for refreshing your home is in the Paint Color.

Pantone is known as the guru when it comes to color but they also do color based on all things- clothing, vehicles, interiors and more. So although it is nice to know their colors, I would stick with the local paint stores for your interior color. Pantone’s color for 2018 is UltraViolet 18-3838. A Beautiful purple which you will see in accessories and fashion.

Sherwin Williams’s choice is Oceanside SW6496 a rich jewel tone blue. It’s a complex deep color that bridges blues and greens.

They have 3 paint palette categories:

Sincerity which has hushed tones of sand, complex grays and hazy botanicals. It is influenced by our nesting instincts of decluttering, soothing spaces, and imperfect finishes.

Unity refers to global community and a sense of adventure, extending our boundaries. Tassels, knots, woodgrain, woven fabrics, natural crafts, fold patterns are found in this style.

Connectivity is driven by data influences, customizing, tech world mindfulness about our environment and food. It has a lot of stripes and geometrics and changes direction with lines. It is a high tech palette.


Benjamin Moore named Caliente AF290 their color of the year. It is a strong radiant color full of energy. A bold color used for a front door, upholstery or accents in the interior or on a wall.

Their color palette continues which pinks, red, rust to grays and blues, some neutrals and a rich gold.


Whatever the “trends” are in color it should be something that you can live with for a long time. Purchasing small pieces in the “now” color will allow you to easily change it later. Paint in a room or as an access is an inexpensive way to use the colors temporarily.

Good luck choosing your new colors to refresh your home. Remember you can always hire a professional for a bit of guidance and may save you some anxiety and money from making a mistake.

Happy New Year!

An intimate living room with gray accent wall, stone mantle, wood floors and red area rug is equal parts contemporary and cozy.

Guest Suite

Guest Suite


Here we are in great spring weather. This is a good time to think about your guest room as company may be on your doorstep in no time. I would suggest freshening up your guest room. There are some easy things to do to make it warm and welcoming and new for your guests.

First of all clean out the cobwebs and spray a freshening scent to charm your guests. Create a cozy reading nook by either putting a small chair or a club chair in a corner nook. If you can find space place a small side table and lamp (table or floor) next to it. There are many versions of round and square tables on the market now. I would place a dresser or desk in the area so you can sit some special needs nearby. Take a basket or container and fill it with a bottle of water, some munchies sealed in their wrapper- nuts or crackers, a magazine or a book. Maybe some directions to local businesses or tourists spots, a table and pen, where to find the closest coffee shop.

Next go to work on the bedding. Fine linen sheets are always the best. Check the thread count as the larger the number the finer the sheets. They are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Usually a white or neutral color is best. When was the last time you enjoyed staying in a hotel and what did they have on the bed and to display in the room. Place a nice neutral blanket on the sheets. The comforter can be a duvet or a coverlet in a pattern or solid color. Do use feather down pillows and not the inexpensive polyfill. Ok you can have an extra in the closet in case of allergies. Then because someone may need an extra blanket or pillow, I would stash that in the top of the closet. A good lamp and clock by the bedside is nice.

Then if there is a bathroom near I would supply it with some sample toiletries and soft white towels. A fragrant candle or potpourri is nice also.

The idea is to create a retreat that you would enjoy if you were traveling. So go in that extra room now and dust it off and make it welcoming. You might just find out that you want to go in there and spend a night for yourself!

As always call if you need help or ideas. Patty  @ 425-793-6380                                                          RMS_KarenSpirit-green-blue-contemporary-guest-bedroom-coastal_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462[1]



The Process to Design a Room

Here we are at the beginning of the year and it’s a Leap Year! That gives us a little more time for planning. I thought I would write about “process” as many clients get confused as to which steps to take first. Currently I am working on a living room and the clients did get lost in the process. So I am going to outline what steps are involved for a project. I hope you find it helpful.

The first thing that has to happen in a room – is to measure and create a floorplan. From that you can decide on what, where and how big the furniture pieces need to be. In our large showrooms it is easy to get carried away and purchase items that are too large for the space.

Next choose the upholstery pieces- sofa, chairs, ect. If you are staying within a furniture line choose your fabrics for the piece. If it is a custom fabric then that is called COM- customers own fabric (slightly more expensive) and then you order and ship this fabric to the vendor. By choosing your fabrics you have determined your color palette!

If an area rug is being used then select it to go with the fabrics, it actually can come first but then you must choose the fabrics to go with the rug. Neither way is right or wrong.

Now you have enough information to select paint colors.

Next look at what kinds of casegoods- or tables you need. Use the floorplan and decide if they need to be edited. Generally speaking you already know the size so now you just select the finishes. I like to mix the woods and finishes.

Now move onto window treatments. Select the style and the type of fabric based on your color scheme. Some treatments can be for function the others for effect, such as side panels. Fabric gives the room warmth.

I like to do art at this stage. You can add in pops of color and keep to your scheme. Don’t make the mistake of art being too small. You don’t have to fill every wall but it needs to give some impact.

Lastly, I do the accessories. Many people fade here or think it is too expensive. This is the jewelry of the home. It’s like buying a little black dress but then forgetting the jewelry and shoes. Take your time and purchase things you like- some expensive some not. They should add some character to the room. There are many local places to shop or order. Don’t clutter too much. Find some larger and smaller pieces. Look at magazines for inspiration. You can add on as you go but have a goal in mind.

Putting an entire room together takes time. Don’t hurry. Enjoy the process!




Cabinet & Shelving:Mudroom Storage Bench Ideas With White Series Mudroom Storage Bench Ideas

Mudrooms for storage options

Well it is that time of year where we wear our coats and mittens and boots! A lot of clutter for the cold winter days.

Do you have a spot in your home where you can add storage for all these daily and extra winter items? Many people are choosing to do a mudroom for the clutter. It also helps for the kids daily coats and school backpacks. In just a small space you can organize by adding a shelf and hooks or an entire built in bench.

For those of you who are DIY’ers there are cabinets and shelving in the home centers. Also online shopping for benches and coat racks. But for those who want a custom look it is best to go to a closet company or a kitchen cabinet showroom where they can build to your specifications.

What you need- usually a bench to sit on and a place for items in drawers or open underneath for shoes. Then you will need hooks to hang jackets and backpacks. Be sure it will support the load- these kids backpacks today weight at least 15 pounds! An upper cabinet or shelving area would be nice for extra storage, open areas can be filled with attractive baskets. For decorative details you can add corbels, millwork, fancy hooks and open areas for chalkboards or photos. The best areas for a mudroom is in an entry, a laundry room, a nook in the kitchen or a garage, anyplace that you can get about 4-6’ of space. I try and plan for about 18” a person, that way a backpack or coat won’t bump into the next one. A bench can be a painted or wood top or padded with a cushion. There are so many sites these days with photos to choose from for your special spot. Have fun and get organized- the kids will love it!

If you need help with a custom fit give me a call, I have a lot of vendors that can make your cubby into a creative custom nook and mudroom.





entryway_ideas_021One way to welcome guests into your home is to create a welcoming entryway. This entrance displays your style and sometimes creativity. It is the meeting ground where you say “hello” and offer a warm welcome into our home.

Here are some tips to create your Entry:

  1. In an enclosed space that is small you can add punch by painting the walls a color that compliments your home’s interior
  2. Also in this small space a bold patterned wallpaper can create a statement
  3. Don’t forget that a great use of color is a piece of furniture that is a bold color, ie: red
  4. Use a console or entry table that is about 30-38” high. Taller is better but if you are recycling a piece of furniture that is a good place to start
  5. If the space is small or in a narrow walkway find a piece that is not too deep, about 12-18”
  6. If you are short on storage this is a great place to put a chest that has drawers
  7. Once you have the piece of furniture selected and the proper placement move on to the surroundings
  8. I would start by adding a large mirror or picture over the furniture. Make sure it is big!Always remember that a mirror reflects, so make sure you want to see what it is going to reflect
  9. On occasion you can do a grouping of 4 but start with the center piece
  10. Next place some accessories- a vase, flowers (artificial), an orchid, a unique box, a stack of attractive books, candlesticks, a grouping of pottery or blue/white jars, another picture on a stand, and more. Make sure that the height and scale of the pieces make an impact. If there is an open shelf below the top then accessorize it with some larger pieces.
  11. The accessories can marry the tone and color used in the adjacent room
  12. If the room is dark then add a lamp to the table top, or for symmetry 2 lamps
  13. Don’t forget the floors. A painted floor or pattered area rug can also add warmth and color
  14.  Lighting is also important in the entry, either a lamp or overhead ceiling light or chandelier can be used


Carving out this entry way is the perfect greeting area for guests and can be the beginning of your color palette and style for the adjoining rooms. Go search for fun finds at local stores like HomeGoods, Pier One, WorldMarket, Marshall’s, Ross, TJ Maxx and retails stores with fine furniture. Antique malls are good to find unique and “weathered” items. If you have some “treasures” use them to tell your story.

If you need guidance call for a consultation, Patty at #425-793-6380.

Time to Attend the HomeShows

Time to Attend the HomeShows



It is hard to believe that the New Year is almost upon us, it went so fast this year! I hope you were able to accomplish some of your design goals this year, maybe a new kitchen or bathroom. This is a great time of year to start planning for future projects. Create your list of “Must Haves” and then choose one to start with,  you will most surely complete it this year. Don’t get overwhelmed with ALL the projects just make a list and then pick your top priority, assign a budget, do some homework and enlist some help to make it happen, ask a professional for help if you need it. Even if you are a DIY’er you can use a consultation and an overview from a professional to get you off to a good start.

I am off to what is the first of the Homeshows and there will be many more to follow so check your area.

The Remodel Show is this Fri-Sat-Sun the 2nd thru the 4th at the Seattle Convention Center. Following that in Feb is the Big Seattle Homeshow, and then there are local shows in Tacoma and Everett.

What are the top 5 reasons to go to a homeshow:

  1. There are many serious business owners who show their products and talent, from closets to roofs, interiors and exteriors. It is a great way to make a contact with a professional.
  2. Since there is so much information to pick up and read it is a great way to start your research and homework.
  3. It is educational. Many vendors will tell you about budgeting, true remodel needs and processes.
  4. It is inspiring to see all the new products and vignettes that these professionals have taken the time to display for you,
  5. It is entertaining, lots to see, a lot of people to visit with and keeps you current on the trends.

I will be at NWSID, Northwest Society of Interior Designers, Booth at both shows. We are doing “complimentary consultations” at the Remodel show so bring your ideas, photos and plans. There will be 4 of us each day to give the consultations but we are always ready to talk with you at any of the shows.

I will be there from Fri Jan 2nd 2-6pm, Sat Jan 3rd from 10-7pm and Sunday the 4th from 2-7pm

Consultations are by appointment or drop in: Fri 2-6p, Sat 11-5p, Sun 11-4

Come on by and meet me and chat about your design needs! Or Call Patty at #425-793-6380.

Holiday Mantels

Holiday Mantels

 RMS-mysweetsavannah_chalkboard-holiday-mantel_s3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.822[1]  thBSZGA3P3‘Tis the season to pull out all the stops and decorate for the holidays! If you have a fireplace then the mantel is the perfect place to make some impact and create a focal point in your living room or great room. Here are some pointers to make a statement: if you have a nice deep mantel 9-10” you can use real pine greens or an artificial garland. Measure the top and sides of the mantel and get at least a 15’ strand or combine 2 9’ strands. The string of live garland comes in 15’ but it only looks good hanging down one side as the other side falls out so I think the pieces of pine greens work better. It is always nice to have it lit with white lights.

Now add tall objects such as candle holders, trees, or other objects mine has 2 large reindeer. You can add a mirror over the top or a large picture (maybe of Santa) or empty picture frames. The idea is to make a collage of different objects and heights, even offset one side with more than the other. On my living room mantel I do use artificial as I put it up early and then I add picks of berries and pine cones to make it more dimensional. In the family room I add balls and stars. So the idea is to add what you have, find or is your favorite Christmas collectable. If you are renting or on a budget just make it sparse but go outdoors and cut holly berries or pine stems from the trees. Also the long handled picks are always available from the craft store. Some of the designer magazines are really full mantels but I think a sparse homemade mantel is just as attractive. In these photos I really like the one where they just used a chalk board and wrote the message on it for artwork.Christmas-Decorating-Ideas-1[1]

Now treat the space over the mantel with something fun and don’t forget to put some tall objects on the floor beside the legs of the fireplace.Myra.jpg.rendition.largest[1]

Pick your color scheme- it can be all white, multicolor, blue, green, gold or all red even wicker. Have fun experimenting and enjoy the season!

Choosing the Perfect Chair

101694145.jpg.rendition.largest[1]What Does A Chair Mean to You?

As you are creating your living spaces and heading out to buy new furnishings, what does the furniture mean to you? Let’s take a nice chair for example. A chair is more than just a place to sit; it is a statement of your style. Here are a few things to check off of your list when shopping:

USE: How will you use the chair? Is it going to be in a formal room as an accent piece or in a casual setting you sit in to get comfy? The first kind can be a unique style, a bit more stiff, with fabric that is more fragile.

STYLE: Traditional vs. Contemporary, transitional, arts and crafts, unusual as a statement piece. Formal or casual. Classic with a twist is a new interpretation of traditional; there are other interesting styles as well. Do you want a skirt to the floor or do you want sexy legs and arms showing. The height and style of skirt can change from chair to chair. Do you have pets, will their body oil stain a skirt. Typically a skirt is a more traditional style. Do you want a loose pillow back or a straight back?

UPHOLSTERY: Do you need durable fabric for kids and pets or can you use silk a fragile fabric. The new outdoor fabrics come in any array of pattern and color and are very durable for families. What type of patterns do you like, a stripe, a classic print, a geometric or a more edgy pattern. A solid color goes in many settings. Does the manufacturer have many choices? Do you want a calm color or a bold color, dark or light? What type of texture should it have? Look at all the fabric choices and check out three swatches to take home and look at in your home and light both during the day and at night.

ARMSTYLE: What look do you like best, a rolled arm, a wide arm, an English arm, and so on? A padded arm style, no arm, some of the wood showing or a total wood arm that’s more open.

HEIGHT: Do you want a tall chair with a high back like a wing chair. Tall chairs usually sit back in a room so the sightlines aren’t blocked. Or do you want a low back. Do you want to lift the chair and move it around or is it going to stay in place. What is the seat height, do you want to use it to pull up to a desk. The arm height also determines how you sit and how comfortable it might be, especially next to an end table. Also how wide do you want the chair to be, really wide for a comfy sit or narrow to take up less space?

SIT: What type of sit do you want a sink into seat with a down cushion that you have to fluff all the time or a tight seat that stays in place. Cushions typically have several options- foam wrapped, down, and so on. Ask to see the inside.

Quality: A quality piece of upholstery has some weight to it, is glued and screwed, with dowel joints not stapled. Upholstery patterns are matched. The seat cushion is wrapped in a cloth and then the cushion options are inside. Stitching is straight and matched.

BUDGET: A quality chair should stand the test of time and wear for a long time. You can cheat with a to “look” at piece that may not last five years. Look for good workmanship and quality with durable fabrics. If the craftsmanship is good you will be able to keep and recover the chair. When you find a quality chair the price will be slight higher. Decide what your budget is after doing some research. Maybe you’d like to wait and save more money to invest in a better quality product for the long run.

Look through some magazines and tag what you like and don’t like. Shop at some stores, from higher to middle range, to learn about pricing.

Soon your style, fabric choices and budget will surface.

New Fall Paint Project

101694126.jpg.rendition.largest[1]Well the summer is coming to an end and now we can start thinking of things to do inside. One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to spruce up the inside is to consider painting a room. A fresh coat of paint or a change of color can really spruce up a space. Here are some things to think about.

Where to select paint: Local Paint stores carry: Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Miller which is Kelly-Moore, Parker, Rodda, Pittsburg Paints, Pratt and Lambert.  Specialty Paints such as C2, Devine, ect. Then there are the box stores such as Behr and Valspar. There are more but stick with a company that gives you good advice.

How to choose: Whites and neutrals are still in style as well as warm grays and soft colors. Don’t just choose a color based on trends. Choose a color based on your surroundings like furniture, art, rugs, accessories and hard surfaces. Paint manufacturers have web sites that can give you inspiration or go to Pinterest and Houzz. If you need professional help ask for it.

Once you have picked the hue or color test it on a sample of posterboard and hang it on the wall to look at in the daylight and at night as different lights affect it. You can try the darker and lighter version of that same color to see the intensity you like.

Selecting the finish: Flat paints are good for hiding imperfections in the wall because they don’t reflect light but often are not scrubable so I use them for ceilings or low traffic areas. Eggshell and satin are often interchangeable so just check with the paint company to see which is best. Usually the sheen is how to decide, how shiny do you want the walls? When it comes to millwork you can use a satin, eggshell or semigloss, again what sheen do you want. You can paint the millwork the same color as the walls or a white or accent color. Gloss paints are really for special effects or a custom look.

Painting: Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for best results, your local paint store can also guide you. When painting over a darker color or a shiny surface use a primer. Use both a brush for corners and trim and where the ceiling meets the walls but a roller will give you more control and a uniform finish, use for areas larger than 2’x2’. Taping takes time but it’s worth it. Use a tapered brush to cut in where needed for better control. Remove tape as soon as possible.

If you are hiring paint contractor be sure to ask questions to get the correct bid and ask for references. Do they move the furniture? Often you are responsible for electronics such as a TV. What type of prep do they do- remove dirt, fill holes, patch, spackle, and prime a gloss surface. Then make sure what they bid is the paint brand you choose- some brands are more expensive and they may bid a lesser brand due to cost. Who is purchasing the paint? How much is needed for each room and surface- for walls, ceilings, prime coats? Time needed to complete the project, do they clean up at the end of the day, where are items stored, when do they arrive. What is their contact information, who is the crew? “What if” there is a problem, will they contact you before they find their own solution. Be sure and read your contract carefully. If your home was built prior to 1978 or has lead paint you will need and EPA certified paint contractor.

I hope this helps you to get started. Remember that paint is usually the least expensive change you can make to your room. Have fun but do your homework and get your samples and color selected before you hire a contractor. Then be there when they start so you see the color. If you are painting do a couple of walls before you get nervous and let it dry to really see the color. Good Luck!

How To Size An Area Rug

How To Size An Area Rug

article-new-thumbnail_ehow_images_a08_2o_c3_size-should-used-size-room-800x800Let’s talk about area rugs. Adding an area rug to your room is an effective way to add warmth and color to your space. Rugs come in many shapes, sizes and colors or patterns. So the first thing you must do is determine the size of the rug you need before you go shopping. Rugs are available in retail stores, at showrooms to the trade and on-line. Be sure and read first though about what the rug is made of and the maintenance. When you purchase a rug you will need a pad also, either a carpet to rug pad or a floor (hardwood/tile) to rug pad, these will help to hold the rug in place. Generally it is best to place an area rug on a hard surface rather than on another carpet. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending upon the quality and material of the rug.

Here are some tips for deciding on the size of rug:

  • Decide how and where you want to use an area rug. Sometimes you will need 2 in an open space so you will want them to complement each other.
  • Determine the shape of the area rug you plan to use. Common shapes of area rugs are square, rectangle, oval and a circle. The shape of the rug affects the size of the area of the rug.
  • Measure the area or space in the room where you plan to use the area rug. To do this take a tape measure and measure the width and length of where the furniture needs to sit and decide how many extra inches will go beyond the furniture pieces. At least 4-6” should go under the front feet of the main piece, which is usually the sofa and then try to place the front legs of the chairs on it as well.
  • You want to anchor the area rug with furniture, such as end tables or chairs. This creates a grouping and unity for the furniture by tying it together.
  • Record the measurements on graph paper or a note pad. You can layout your room on graph paper which is a ¼” scale where each box equals 1 foot. So if you count over 8 boxes you are at 8’ vertical and then count 10 boxes horizontal and you have 10’.
  •  Area rugs come in standard sizes, but occasionally they are a bit off the standard size of 8’x10’ and might be 7’6”x 9’. If that happens just reevaluate your space to see if the furniture will fit as above on the rug.
  • You can also bind a broadloom carpet with tape through either the store or a rug source such as DA Burns and then you can custom fit it to your space if you have an unusual or extra large space.

Now you are ready to take your plan and start shopping. Select the size rug that best corresponds to your space measurement. Take a photo of the rug so when you go home you have something to look at before you purchase.