Color

The items you want to keep in a room will determine your color palette, as will the flooring, AND the contents of adjacent rooms.

Take The Guesswork Out Of Choosing Paint Colors

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Color, Furnishings | Comments Off on Take The Guesswork Out Of Choosing Paint Colors

Take The Guesswork Out Of Choosing Paint Colors

When working with a design client, one of the first questions they ask is related to paint color or wall-coverings. With an empty room to decorate, one thinks selecting the wall color is the first thing you should do. Actually, it is the LAST! And here is why: Paint is infinite. It can be mixed in an endless number of colors. Fabric, on the other hand, is relatively limited. Therefore, it is much easier to coordinate paint to the furnishings in the room, than the furnishings to the paint. After purchasing your furniture and waiting for it to be delivered, you may be tempted to borrow a fabric sample from the furniture store to guide you in selecting your paint or wall coverings. But it probably won’t work. Fabrics are produced in different runs or dye lots. The sample fabric you bring home will not be the same fabric used on your furniture. It will be from a different bolt, run or dye lot. This can cause a design disaster. When ordering fabric from my company, we can get a “Cutting For Approval,” which is an actual piece of fabric from the same bolt of fabric that will be used on your furniture. This eliminates the “guessing game” associated with coordinating paint colors. The next problem faced is that ALL colors come in various undertones. You may think “white is white” or “black is black” but that is not the case. Have you ever put on 2 different black garments, thinking that they looked the same but only to discover they are different blacks in the daylight? Perhaps one is “browner” and one is “bluer”. They are both black but different blacks. Usually, the lighting in a paint store is not the same lighting in the room that you are trying to decorate. And a sample paint chip is usually not large enough to determine if that color will be a good fit in your room. The white line between colors on some sample paint chip strips can change the way the color is read by your eyes. Put that all together and once again, you could have a design disaster. As a designer, I have access to paint samples that are much more generous in size and can be put on the wall so you can see the actual color at all times of the day and night as the lighting in the room changes.  I can help you determine the correct color and undertones that will coordinate your furnishings and create the look that you want. Call today so Interior Inspiration can help you feel more ‘at home’ in your...

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Good Design Takes TIME!

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Art and Accessories, Color, Furnishings, Space | Comments Off on Good Design Takes TIME!

Good Design Takes TIME!

It’s Summertime—Is Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving? Yes, that sounds like a strange question.  The kids just got out of school, there are vacations to take and barbecues to attend.  Probably the last things you want to think about are the winter holidays.  And, if your home is already furnished and decorated the way you want it to be for indoor entertaining, then you don’t have to think about them now. However, if you are dissatisfied with the way your home looks and/or functions, and would like to freshen or redo or update it for the gathering(s) you plan to host this coming holiday season, NOW is the time to begin planning the improvements.  There are many reasons for this: 1) GOOD DESIGN OFTEN TAKES TIME.  Why do it in a state of panic when we can do it with less stress (and more enjoyment)? 2) It can take a while to find just the right fabric or trim for a particular piece of upholstered furniture or custom window treatment.  If stock is low at the warehouse, it will have to be back-ordered.  If the back-order is late coming in, we may have to choose a replacement that is less fabulous! 3) Fabrics are often shipped via UPS or other similar companies.  We all know how overloaded they can get during the holiday season. 4) Workrooms and tradespeople book up fast.  If we want window treatments fabricated or walls papered/painted/faux finished, we have to get on their schedules early. 5) Perhaps some remodeling or electrical work has to be done before the space is painted, or the window treatments are installed. 6) Due to heavy volume, Custom Furniture lead times are longer than usual.  Showrooms often post a list of the dates by which pieces must be ordered to guarantee delivery by a particular holiday.  Those deadlines may be in late September or Early October! The dates of spring and summer events are not as “fixed” as those of many of the winter holidays.  However, weddings, graduations and other warm-weather celebrations call for similar amounts of planning, sourcing and lead time.  It’s a good idea to begin these Interior Design projects during the winter months, after the chaos of the holidays is behind you.  Spring and summer entertaining often takes place both indoors AND OUTDOORS, so why not work on Exterior Design, too?  Your outside paint scheme may need to be freshened.  Planning and/or furnishing a deck or patio requires a similar thought process to planning/furnishing a room.  If landscaping is needed, that has to be designed and scheduled.  Interior Inspiration can help you feel more “at home” OUTSIDE your home, too! Wow!  This is a lot to think about, isn’t it?  Not to worry—if you have any questions related to design in or around your home, please e-mail them to me at randi@interiorinspiration.com or give me a call at 847-854-2966.  It’s never too early to start planning your next design project.  I look forward to hearing from...

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Treat Yourself to Quality Interior Design

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Art and Accessories, Color, Furnishings, Space | Comments Off on Treat Yourself to Quality Interior Design

Treat Yourself to Quality Interior Design

Here’s how it works: I interview you in your home.  The questions I ask will help me figure out what your wants and/or needs are for the project at hand.  We tour the space in question and discuss possibilities.  We discuss the order in which different elements of the project might be completed.  We discuss whether you can fund the entire project at once or in stages. Interior Inspiration is an independent design firm.  I have no obligations to particular products or brands; no minimum amount I have to spend with a vendor to maintain my account.  I have virtually NO limitations to the products available to me.  Anything that can be purchased through the Merchandise Mart in Chicago OR the Arlington (Heights) Design Center is at my fingertips.  And there are products that I can acquire directly from various suppliers, as well.  In this global economy those suppliers might be in the next town, or they may be on another continent! The world is my “oyster.”  This means the world is YOUR oyster, too. Here are some misconceptions about working with an Interior Designer: “I’m not ready to call a Designer in because I don’t know what I want.” Believe it or not, you ARE ready!  That’s the best time to call in the expert.  It’s MY job to help you figure out what to do with a space and develop a good plan to accomplish that goal. “I’ve been to all the stores, and I can’t find anything I like.  I guess this isn’t the time to work on this room.” What you see in retail stores is the “tip of the iceberg.”  There are furniture pieces, fabrics, accessories, window treatment styles and flooring options that are unavailable to the general public.  The Merchandise Mart and the Arlington Design Center are open to Design Professionals only.  As your Designer, I use these wonderful resources to evaluate, customize and narrow down the choices.  I show you a manageable number of options that will work in your situation.  I bring the samples and photos and drawings to YOU.  In many cases, all of the decisions can be made in the comfort of your own home. “I thought Interior Designers had to start with an empty room.  I can’t afford start from scratch!” While “starting from scratch” is a fantasy for many clients and Designers, the reality is that most people do not do this.  Many people have pieces they love that they want to incorporate into the room.  Or, they have heirlooms with sentimental value that they choose to keep.  I will work with you to incorporate your favorite/cherished piece(s) into the new design, or explain why they might be better used in another space in your...

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You Can Have Whatever You Want…!

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Art and Accessories, Color, Furnishings, Recent, Space | Comments Off on You Can Have Whatever You Want…!

There’s a commercial on TV these days, for the VistaPrint Company.  This company helps people without graphic design or marketing experience create business cards and other advertising materials for their own companies.  One of the “actual users” in the commercial praises VistaPrint for being able to provide him with “anything he wants,” relative to his business materials. This commercial and others like it seem disingenuous to me.  They tout being able to “get whatever you want” as a great benefit.  The problem with that is MANY PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT!  And how can they?  They are not trained graphic designers or marketing experts.  They are Massage Therapists, or Personal Trainers, or Dentists, or members of other professions, the training for which does not necessarily include how to market themselves. Similarly, many people want to decorate their homes, but THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT!  They may have a favorite color, or a vague idea of what impression they would like to make (if they are decorating for others’ enjoyment and not their own) (which I wouldn’t recommend–do it for YOU).  But not everyone knows what they want or how to get it!  Actually, I would guess that MOST people don’t know what they want.  And, there’s no shame in that. This is is where Interior Designers like me come in.  I can look at your surroundings and ask questions you may never have thought of.  I can take your answers and convert them to a color scheme, or a style of design, or a window treatment–whatever it is you are looking for…AND, I can even HELP YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!  I can help you get the most “bang” for your buck.  You may think your Living Room is screaming for a new sofa, when in reality, more can be accomplished with a fresh coat of paint and an area rug.  Or, you feel certain that your Kitchen would be completely updated by the replacement of the countertop (a potentially expensive undertaking) when in fact, painting your cabinets and replacing the hardware would do more to freshen up the space.  It’s not your job to know this–it’s MINE! So, I implore you to cut yourself a break, and not get sucked into anyone’s pronouncement that you should know what you want.  If you do, that’s great.  But if you DON’T, call me.  It’s MY JOB to help you figure that out!...

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Paint Issues

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Color, Recent | Comments Off on Paint Issues

“Pretty Color” Syndrome •    You may look at a paint chip and think the color is pretty. •    It may be pretty, but does it work with what’s in your room? •    “Prettiness” really doesn’t matter! •    Coordination with contents of room (and adjacent rooms) matters. •    Some rooms are painted with colors that are downright UGLY by themselves, but are perfect with the other things in the room. SELECT PAINT COLOR LAST!!! •    Paint color selection is INFINITE! •    Everything else that goes in a room is FINITE. •    It’s much easier to match/coordinate paint to other products than to paint first and try to match/coordinate other things to the paint. •    You may have an idea what color you want the walls to be, but WHICH VERSION OF THAT COLOR will depend on what else is in the room. •    Paint can be applied to the walls while the room is empty, but must be selected AFTER at least some of the contents are in possession of homeowner. •    If you’re trying to match a paint color to a color in a piece of furniture that you don’t yet have in your house, DO NOT borrow the fabric sample from the furniture store.  Dye lots of fabrics can vary; your sofa/chair fabric may not match the swatch. •    Don’t forget to consider the color of the floor in the room.  Even if the floor is wood, remember it’s a color, and not all wood floors are the same color! •    UNDERTONES, UNDERTONES, UNDERTONES!!! •    Evaluate the paint color on the same plane as it will be painted on (meaning, don’t lay the chip on the floor unless you are planning to paint the...

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Everything You Need to Know About Color

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Color | Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About Color

Everything You Need To Know About Color, But Didn’t Know Who To Ask! (These are general statements.  There are often exceptions to the rule.) ALL colors come in various undertones.  You may think that “white is white,” or “black is black,” but that’s not the case.  Have you ever put on two different black garments, thinking they looked the same, but then left the house, and noticed that they were really different in the daylight?  (I wear a lot of black, and this drives me crazy!)  Perhaps one garment is “browner,” and one is “bluer.”  They’re both black, but not the same black. Clearly, the quality of the light makes colors look different.  Ultimately, where Interior Design is concerned, it matters most whether the colors look right in the light in your particular room.  If you are selecting a paint color for your Living Room, it matters how it looks in your actual Living Room, NOT the Kitchen, or your neighbor’s Living Room, and certainly not the paint store! The lighting in the paint store is almost guaranteed to not be the same as the lighting in your Living Room.  Many retail establishments use fluorescent light, or other types of commercial lighting, and much of residential lighting is incandescent or halogen.  AND, evaluate the color samples on the same plane they will be used on.  Do not lay the samples on the floor if you really want to know how the color will look on the walls. The words that different people use to tell apart colors have a lot to do with their individual frame of reference, and general personal experience.  What I call “burgundy” you may call “wine.”  What I call “khaki” you may call “beige.”  And, the names the paint companies give their colors should not imply to you that they are the same color.  Many companies have a product they have named “Navajo White.”  If you look at the samples together, you’ll see they are not the same color!  (Contact me for paint samples, to see for yourself!) The way paint colors are displayed on the sample chips in the stores can also influence one’s ability to see the true color.  Some very high quality paint lines display paint chips on long strips of paper, going from lightest to darkest, with bands of white between the samples.  The white bands are deceiving.  They change the way the color actually is read by your eyes.  And the sizes of the paint sample chips in the stores are much too small (in my opinion!) to make decisions with. As a Designer, I have access to paint samples that are much more generous in size, through the individual paint manufacturers.  (Some samples are as large as 8” x 12”, and can be ordered in multiples.)  Any time I work with a client to select paint colors, I always order at least four (each) of these large samples in all of the colors we are considering.  This helps the client see what the colors look like in a sizeable area, on all of the walls in the room, and at all times of the day or night.  It also gives the client the opportunity to become comfortable with the new color before the investment of time and money is...

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Design Trends

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Color, Furnishings, Space | Comments Off on Design Trends

I get asked about design trends fairly regularly.  People seem curious about them, and there are color trend seminars every year (often sponsored by paint companies). Personally, I don’t pay much attention to the trends.  Unless you have a completely empty house to fill, you probably shouldn’t either (unless it’s just intellectual curiosity, which I’d NEVER want to stifle!)  Chances are that even if you want to do some design work in your home (with or without the assistance of an interior designer) you will be using one, some or many pieces that you already own (including artwork).  Some of them can be modified (reupholstering a sofa, stripping and refinishing a cabinet, re-matting and reframing a picture, for example) but mostly, you’ll be using pieces you have the way they look right now.  Those are the colors you need to work with, and it’s likely that the newest color trend isn’t going to coordinate very well with those pieces. Also, even if you do a room “from scratch,” if you follow the current trend/fad, it’s going to look tired and dated in a couple of years.  Will you be ready to redo that room at that time?  Dressing your room is not like dressing yourself.  I don’t know about how the rest of the world handles this, but I own clothing that I end up wearing for a decade or more.  If I DO purchase something extremely trendy, it is usually inexpensive and doesn’t hold up, anyway.  (As you can tell, I don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on clothing in a year!) I’m going to paraphrase another designer (whose name I can’t remember, and I can’t find the article I read at this time, so If you know who said this, please attribute it to her!):  Interior furnishings aren’t meant to be replaced in a year or two or maybe even five—they’re supposed to be with you for a long time. Please make your selections wisely.  If you don’t know how to do that on your own, call me.  I can...

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Paint Colors

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Color | Comments Off on Paint Colors

Many homeowners fall victim to what I have dubbed “Pretty Color Syndrome.”  They see a paint chip with a color on it that they think is “pretty,” and they think it belongs on their walls.  They forget that it may not work with the rest of the room. I recognize that what I am about to say may be hard to accept, but please keep an open mind about this:  PAINT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PRETTY!  The job of a good paint color is to connect all of the elements in the room and make them seem like they all belong together. Paint is only ONE ingredient in the recipe for a beautiful room.  Remember, in cooking, there are things you add to the pot that may not taste so great by themselves, but when incorporated into the entire dish, the end result is DELICIOUS!  It’s important to not lose sight of the big picture, or in this case, the finished dish. I’m mixing my metaphors here (jumping from cooking to theater) but paint usually isn’t the “star of the show” in a room.  It takes a “supporting role” in the presentation that is your home. This may seem counterintuitive, but the paint color should be selected LAST (or as close to “last” as you can get).  Here’s why: Due to the technology that goes into creating paint, the number of colors it can be made in is INFINITE.  Everything else in your room comes in a FINITE number of options (color, finish, etc.)  It’s much easier (and more accurate) to match or coordinate a paint color to other furnishings in the room, than to paint first, and then try to purchase furnishings that go with the paint. You may have an idea of what color you want the walls to be, but WHICH VERSION OF THAT COLOR you end up with will depend on the other furnishings.  Anyone who has ever seen a paint color fan deck knows that there are dozens and dozens of choices for each color, INCLUDING whites, beiges, and blacks.  You may think you want your Dining Room walls to be red, but WHICH red?  One with a blue undertone?  One that’s more orange?  Very dark?  Greyed down?  You can’t know this until you have the other pieces that will go in the room.  If the red in your chair fabric has an orange undertone (think Tomato Red) but you painted the walls with a red that has a bluer undertone (think, well, Blood!) you will be disappointed with the outcome. Say you’ve ordered an upholstered sofa for a room, and you want to pick a color out of that pattern to put on your walls.  Unless you already have the sofa in your house, IN THE ROOM in which it will live, please be careful!  All fabrics come in different DYE LOTS, and the sample hanging in the furniture store may not accurately represent the colors in the piece that will end up on your sofa.  Other than having the finished sofa in your house, the only way to ensure accuracy is to get what’s known as a Cutting For Approval (CFA).  This is a small piece of fabric (usually about the size of an index card, but could be larger if the pattern...

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