Here we are again and the weather should start to change soon, although it’s still raining here in Seattle!

I was thinking this might be a good time of year for a refresh again. There is no way to make a room stand out than by creating a focal wall. The architectural details of your space will give you inspiration. If you are in an apartment or room devoid of trim you can still add your own interest. This can be done by adding interesting wall colors, unique details, wall treatments, furniture and special accessories. Usually the cost can be low unless you are adding millwork or special details through hiring a contractor.

Here is how I would start: first find out which wall or area in your home is what you want to emphasize. Then rearrange the space to accommodate that area and add some interest.

  1. Fireplace Drama- Make this wall the center of attention by adding a beautiful marble or stone face. If you have brick, seal and paint the brick a color complimentary color to your trim work. Replace the mantel with a larger or more attractive piece. Place a large mirror or large scale artwork over the mantel. Add some interesting accessories on the mantel and hearth. Symmetrical is formal and uneven is casual.
  2. A Dramatic Entrance- Choose the longest entry wall and either paint it with special effects or wallpaper it in a large scale geometric pattern. Add a narrow long entry table and adorn it with special accessories or memorabiliy. Place a large piece of artwork over the top or a smaller grouping. You can even add some lamps for effect.
  3. In the Dining Room- you can create attention by placing a buffet or long table against a long wall and either paint with a dramatic color or a statement wallpaper. Again use the accessories and artwork with lamps to finish the details. If needed you can even paint the sideboard in a special paint finish.
  4. Powder Room- it is easy to choose the focal point here, usually the sink wall. Paint or paper the accent wall, add some glam with silver or chrome finishes, add a large decorative mirror and some complimentary towels and accessories. You can even add sconce light fixtures for ambient light.
  5. The Master Bedroom- The wall behind the headboard works well to add drama. A dark or special paint finish or a large wallpaper pattern, even grasscloth for softness and texture. Then artwork it’s the drama that you want to add over the bed or at the nighstands. A pair of nightstands and lamps (not to small in size) and you have a lovely boudoir. I do have to say if you do not have a headboard- get one! Add some beautiful pillows on a duvet or comforter and you have a hotel style bedroom to relax in.
  6. Other places- to add drama are up at the ceiling with special paint finishes, wallpaper or artwork. As well as stairways with a grouping of complimentary art or family photos.

Look around your home and see where you can add just a little bit more detail to make it a special focal area for you and your guests to enjoy. And always is you need help just call for a consultation.


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.

Sprucing Up A Kitchen

Are you thinking of adding a special touch to your kitchen? Without doing a full remodel you can add some special finishes and change the look. If your counter top material is good you can just add a new backsplash. Let’s say you purchased a home and you don’t like the backsplash but you can tolerate the countertop, especially if it is granite or quartz.

Using a new tile can add focus to your kitchen. Newer kitchens will extend the splash all the way up to the upper cabinets, that’s what we call a “full height splash”. Choosing the pattern and specific tile can be tricky but there are a lot of choices out there. A classic look which is still popular is subway tile. It comes in ceramic and glass and in several sizes like 3”x6” a standard but also large format sizes too. Tile can be horizontal or vertical, matte or glazed, some have a crackle finish, and some have beveled edges. There are several good tile companies to look at your choices. Here in Seattle I would go to Dal Tile, OTM, United Tile, Statements and Contract Furnishings Mart. You may need to ask your tile installer to give you an idea of how much will need, don’t worry he can purchase it for you if you need. He can also remove the old tile on the wall.

To add a special detail I like to make a statement over the cooktop with a framed out inset of a tile detail. Don’t forget to choose the grout! It can be an exact match or a contrasting color like gray. The contrasting color will make each tile stand out and create its own design.

If you want to add deco’s then choose one that complements your tile. Look for ideas on how to install their pattern, go to the tile company’s websites or check HOUZZ for ideas.

Pay special attention to how the tile blends in with your countertop, cabinet color and flooring. They should all complement each other. It doesn’t have to be “matchy” but the undertones of each item colors should be the same- otherwise you could end up with a pink toned tile with an orange toned cabinet! Don’t forget your paint color, which is the easiest thing to change.

So remember for tile choices think: Size, Finish, Color, Pattern, Grout.

It sometimes pays to get professional help to just pick out the details.



Welcome to the New Year 2017! For me the end of 2016 went fast and furious as I embarked on new projects. Recently I was available in a booth at the Remodel Show in Seattle for complimentary consultations and many people stopped by to ask about the concerns over their projects.

So I thought I would share some of my thoughts on pulling together a project.

I usually consider the largest ticket item- expense and work from there. It could be a new floor, cabinets or even a sofa. Choose the item and its color and characteristics then layer in the other items or surfaces. In this case the floor needed to be selected first, then the cabinets, then the countertop and lastly the tile splash. I do usually consider the furnishings to be purchased into this color scheme, comparing photos, catalogs and accessories. You can see that it flows and takes into account the costs of each item. In a living room it might be the expensive area rug, or custom art, then the sofa as the foundation for style and then the chairs, which might have more color to them, lastly the tables.

There is always an inspiration piece whether that is a photo of something you like, a piece of art, beautiful granite or quartz or an area rug. It usually does have the colors in it that you will be pulling out into the room. If you can decide on what style you like and stick with that idea is will go easier for you.

The idea is to layer your selections to suit the color scheme and style. You do this by selecting one piece at a time but try and select all your materials prior to purchasing. It won’t turn out piece meal that way. This is not easy as usually a contractor has a time schedule or your budget isn’t able to purchase all at once, ect. Always have available the materials you have selected when you are choosing new ones. This can be by a photo on your phone or ipad but is most helpful if you have a folder and keep samples with you when shopping. Then always bring the items back to your project to check the color in that light.

In new construction I will try and “walk” the exterior style and color into the interior of the home. Selecting stone and paint to compliment the interiors cabinets and granite. I do try and assemble all the materials before ordering. That means exterior stone, paint body and trim color, kitchen cabinets/granite/tile/plumbing, then bathroom tiles, all interior paint and flooring and that includes any office and laundry. Since this is a large project that takes time then allow yourself enough time to get all the materials together so the ordering process goes smoothly. And don’t be surprised if in the meantime something is cancelled and you have to reselect. But it’s easier as you already have a palette to work with. It’s hard to fall in love with an item and reselect but a lot of times it turns out better!

I hope this helps to identify how to make choices when designing a new space. Give yourself time, have patience and enjoy the process. As always if you have trouble call for a consult.