Renovation Magic

Even though they are  messy and always filled with surprises (often unpleasant ones) renovations are exciting to me. It’s like taking a person who thinks that they are washed up…that life has passed them by…and helping them find purpose again. I like to think of the transformation as renovation magic.

It is hard to see your own home the way that others see it. Because we walk through rooms every day, the familiarity blinds us to what is really there, I think. I know it is true for me. As an artist, I am a messy; so, when papers and paints and inspiration photos are covering every flat surface I just think, “wow, exciting stuff is about to happen here.” Everyone else thinks, “is she ever going to clean this place up!” LOL It’s what makes the world go ’round.

Sometimes, a room can be filled with good pieces that don’t need to be replaced but because of their age or the colors used, the room feels more like a museum than an inviting place to sit and visit. It is my job to see through the visual clutter and breathe fresh life.

Such was the case with this living room.

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renovation BEFORE

 

It has great bones and lovely family pieces that hold sentimental value but it was so dark and “stiff” that no one really ever used the room. My challenge is to lighten and brighten without significantly changing the layout or the furniture pieces used.

I started by stripping away the dated sheers and heavy window coverings, allowing the space to be flooded with natural light. The window and door flanking the fireplace open into a beautiful sunroom that we re-decorated a couple of years ago so there is no reason to have heavy drapery covering them. That change alone makes a huge difference AND saved the client the expense of new custom drapery and hardware for two windows, a considerable savings when you have 12′ ceilings.

Without really realizing what I was doing I actually just flipped the wall color and the ceiling colors.

The blue walls became white and the white ceiling became blue. Blue ceilings always feel like you are inviting the sky to come inside and bring its sunny effect with it. I am getting very happy!

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The only “before” picture of the foyer I could put my fingers on was one snapped in the process of decorating for Christmas last year but you can see the important stuff. The bones are fantastic but the dark brown and burgundy of the wallpaper and the niche felt a bit like Grandmama lived there. (Did I just say that out loud?) The marble floors were a bit dingy from 90+ years of feet walking on them. Hey I would be a little tired too wouldn’t you?

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renovation BEFORE

We carried the same color scheme through to this area to create a lovely visual flow that automatically makes everything feel larger. A soft cream and blue paper replaced the original everywhere except for the front half of the foyer where the walls were left white to open it up and allow it to breath.

The marble floors were cleaned up and no longer have a yellow tint. The wall niche was marbleized by Marilyn Heard to match the paper and now feels much more authentic to the space.

IMG_4948

The transformation of the library speaks for itself. Sorry about the grainy before.

jinks libr

renovation BEFORE

jinks lib

Stay tuned as this Southern Belle gets dressed up for the ball!

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Response To Color Talk

Beautiful!

It would appear that my post on COLOR really struck a chord with people. It has opened an entire dialog on my professional Linked-in site.

Here are some of the comments that folks have made:

            Cindy,

I have been an Interior Designer for over 35 years. Your information explaining how colors relate (or don’t) to each other is the best I have ever read. You speak in a way that professionals or a beginner can understand. Thank you for sharing!
Posted by Joan Craven

Thank you Joan!

And then there’s this from Lynn Long

 •” When I was about 12 years old (long ago), my mother (very non-artistic) took a class in color and learned a system called “Color Key” where colors were organized into two groups based on whether they had a yellow or blue base tone, resulting in a warm or cool impression. For instance, even a yellow could have a blue base and be cool toned, almost a brittle yellow. The idea was that you could not combine colors from these two groups because they would clash, almost imperceptibly. The other main idea was that people’s preference, and even their skin tone and the clothes that looked good on them, always ran to warm or cool tones – they would feel uncomfortable in a room or in clothes with the opposite color base. There was a paint chip fan with the two color groups.

Funny how I have remembered this, and it has proved very true and more useful for Interior Design than all the art and color education I have received over the years. It goes along with Cindy’s blog and this topic somewhat.”

 

 This is the kind of dialogue that I desire from our little community.
Tell me what you think, what you struggle with, what you have discovered that works.  When we share ideas we all learn, we all grow.
Sharing keeps us from getting all tangled up unnecessarily.
"Oh, I see you're home early."
animalattraction.com
What’s on your mind today?
If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at www.cindybarganier.com. 
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Color Talk

purple trees and boat

Whole books have been written on the psychology of color. Some colors sooth us while

others excite us and having a basic knowledge of this prevents one from painting his

bedroom fire engine red or the baby’s playroom grey. But the picture is so much bigger.

Proportion, scale, traffic patterns, arrangement, use, mood… all of these and more MUST

be considered before decisions are made on how to construct and furnish a house.

 No one element stands alone… each decision builds on and impacts the others.

I am often asked, “What is your first step?”

For me it is usually a fabric, a rug, or a piece of art.

This becomes the starting point for the color palette for the rest of the house.

I usually work in threes where color is concerned whether dealing with a monochromatic scheme or a more… well… colorful one.

One color becomes the primary focus of the room with the other two serving a backup role. The roles change from room to room as do the values, tints and shades but the hues (colors) remain the same for a unified feel to the house.

For instance, in this room I see black, white and sepia.

gallery wall and rug

This one is pink, beige and orange

pink ceiling :)

But it’s not just any pink, beige and orange. The vital element in choosing colors that work is understanding their undertones. When I was in school we used to have to paint our own color charts to help us understand this.

If you study colors long enough you will soon be able to see that they all fit in families. One family will have a yellow undertone, one a blue, one a grey etc.

Then within these families each color moves progressively along a line toward black or toward white.  I call them muddy or clear.

You can see this illustrated on the three color wheels.

Three color wheels - Harris, Today, Goethe

For colors to work together they need to chosen from the same position  along the wheel or from the same “band” or “ring”. If you get this positioning right the color combinations will be pleasing.

Maria Killam of Color Me Happy refers to this as clean color vs dirty color and that’s a good way to think of it.

She recently used a great picture that illustrates this concept.

 Do you cringe when you see this space?  Examine it. The floor  is a muddy/dirty color with a pink undertone while the wall is a clear/clean color.

They will NEVER work together.

How, then, does one get it right!

When selecting a paint color you have to first compare it to white to make sure you are in the family you want to be in but then you always have to cross compare it  to colors within its own family to see where you fall along the spectrum. Meaning, if you are choosing a green compare it to a half dozen other greens to make sure you are seeing what you think you are seeing.  Then after you narrow that down pair it with the other hues you plan to use and if you still like it you are good to go!!

In the following example you will see how one hue ( the lavender) looks totally different depending on what it is paired with.

When placed on the blue it takes on a  red undertone .

When used with purple it becomes blue.

Which do you want?

I am beginning to feel you glazing over so I will stop here.

If you have specific color questions please feel free to ask them in the comment area and we will go into as much detail as you want.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com. 

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Let’s Talk Balance

Continuing on yesterday’s vein, let’s talk today about balance.

balance

Balance, scale and proportion all work together to create a unified whole.

When you get these three right you have a space that is inviting.

welcome over screen porch door

from daily cup of couture

From the outside in, balance sets the tone. It doesn’t always have to be set by symmetry but it is easiest to see this way.

Here, balance is achieved through the repetition of shapes.

beautiful architectural windows and doorway

Here, we see it in the placement of windows and lamps:

Pinned Image

Love

Color can also be used

tangerine

kelly moore

As can pattern:

notice how the repetition of the brown in the rug and sofa tie back to the brown in the painting and then the pop of citron pillows is just  enough off to pull that color to the other side of the room without “matching” the painting.

Design Blahg

sketch42.blogpost

Here the orange chair balances a strong painting.

Elle Decor

elle decor

Again, the blue chairs pull that color across the room.

map

We see balance in nature all the time.

tulips

Queen Red Lime zinnia are these for real???

And what about this  guy, can you imagine him with a random assortment of tail feathers. LOL

White peacock

Textures also have to be balanced so be sure you have pleasing proportions of rough to smooth.

It’s not as easy as it looks is it?

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com.

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And Now, For A Little Color!

I just completed my site inspection at the beach which centered on paint and stain colors.

One of the most interesting things that has occurred with my work in Florida is the extreme effect the light has on hue.

Their light is much brighter and seems to have a bluer tint than ours therefore colors selected in my light,whether natural or artificial, do not translate when they hit the walls down there. This is the second time I have encountered it and am curious to know how other designers have handled it.

The colors originally selected were Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist (center) and Northern Cliffs (right) the chip on left is Puritan Gray and it was the accent color for the kitchen island.

This is what the chips look like.

 

 

On all jobs I have the painters test the colors before they begin so that we can see what happens in the client’s light.

Often if a room is filled with windows overlooking  foliage the paint will take on a green cast.

In areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight the paint may look gray so site testing is very important.

When I arrived this is the first thing that I saw. This was supposed to be the wall color but in this light and in the shadows cast by the staircase it looked olive green. Not good.

I suspected this was going to happen so I came armed with several other neutrals all in poster board size samples.

Hopefully you can see the different undertones represented by these boards.

It was absolutely crazy what happened when we pulled them out.  A color that looked like a soft, pastel blue lying on the work table went wedgewood as I started to lift it at a 45 degree angle and by the time it was vertical we had a dark blue-gray.

No one present could believe it. Scary.

The paint chemist in me came out and I began to experiment with 1/2 formula, 3/4 formula, etc. but none of it worked.

You can see what I’m talking about in this photo. Every wall is the exact same color but if you look at the stair wall on the second floor compared to the first the second looks blue ( it has a window with natural light coming in).

The wall to the right in what will be the kitchen looks orangey- yellow- it is picking up on the color of the raw pine which thankfully will be stained to reflect the proper hue.

Color selection is not for the faint of heart.

Boyd was as bum-fuzzled as I.

LOL  (My Daddy always says that. Is it a word?)

In the midst of all that, we had to take a break from paint to solve a tile problem.

A vanity shown as 5’11” on the plan had been field changed to over 10′ and we weren’t sure that there was enough tile to complete the backsplash.

Here we are counting every tiny piece of 2×2 tile we could find.

 Fortunately, we had enough- by about 6 tiles. Whew!

In the end…. I used the original trim color as the wall color. (shown on the bottom of the right board)

I chose another white altogether for the trim. ( shown on top of the right board)

The original wall color went from flat to semi-gloss and became the cabinet color. (shown on top of left board)

And I chose a blue, tinted almost 50% lighter than the original selection to use on the kitchen island. ( bottom left)

What do you think?

By the way do you know the difference between tint and shade?

You start with a hue (what we know as color i.e. red) Imagine that it is in the middle of a long horizontal line.

If you begin to add white, one drop at a time, moving to the left of hue you get pink ( a tint of red).

If you begin to add black, one drop at a time, moving to the right of hue you get maroon ( a shade of red).

Now, go impress your children.

What color stories do you have to tell? I would love to hear your experience with color selection.

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com.

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Appetizers

I have a friend who NEVER goes out to eat without ordering a couple of appetizers for the table.

 He is fun to go out with.

So heading into the weekend I thought I would give you a little appetizer, a teaser, a tasty treat of what’s to come.

Here is the new Watercolor house in coming out of the ground.

 

 A little more framing goes up…

 

And believe it or not these are my original inspirations for the interiors.

We will see if they pan out.

 

image via travelingcolors

now don’t get scared.. haha

And my favorite…

image via crush culdesac

Stay tuned to see what gets served up for the main course!

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com.

 

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More Progress

We just completed the mid-May inspection of the Florida house. It is so exciting  to arrive after a 3-4 week absence and see the progress.  Have I told you how much I LOVE this builder? This trip was all about color, tile and light placement.

I was so pleased with the results of the whitewashing and glazing. We used a Benjamin Moore semi-transparent deck stain, cutting its color to 50% for use on the wall boards. The color, “Ashland Slate,” has a grey-green undertone. I will talk more about the process that we went through to arrive at the cabinet color in a later post. Color selection for this house was extremely tricky.

Notice also the addition of the ceiling beams. If you remember from the first post, the plans called for a painted, coffered ceiling the same as every other house in the neighborhood. To add character and visual weight to this room we wrapped the beams in a veneer of antique pine. What a difference!

  The next change (remember, proportion is king) was to run the flooring horizontally and not vertically. This meant that the boards would now visually expand the width of the room. You have to be careful with long rectangular rooms. Vertical floor boards can make them feel like bowling alleys.

 This changed allowed us  to add a lovely border around the perimeter of the room as a bespoke feature. Didn’t the floor guys do a fabulous job with that radius around the stairs! When it’s time to choose rug sizes start inside this border and come off 6″ so that you don’t cover it up.

Stay tuned!

And if you haven’t registered for the give away go here scroll down to Give Away! and follow the directions. 

To say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at www.cindybarganier.com

 

 

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