Monday, May 1, 2017

The Holy Grail of Decorating, the Throw Pillow

We decorators are always telling our clients how easy it is to breathe new life into that “beige neutral” sofa simply by switching out throw pillows.

I admit, a group of new fabric pillows in beautiful colors can give your sofa a totally different feel, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to go through all of the thousands of great throw pillows out there in every shade and size imaginable to find 4 or 5 that will work well for on the sofa. There’s a huge selection out there, which makes the process overwhelming! But I’d like to make things easier for you. Keep these 5 tips in mind while choosing the right throw pillows for your sofa.

Colors in the pillows echo the chair and ottoman and the lamps. Via Pinterest
1. Choose one cohesive color palette and do not deviate from it. You’re going to get the most impact if  your pillows are either in the same shade or in colors that pick up other colors already in the room.

The softness of the art is portrayed in the pillow color! Perfect symmetry! Via Pinterest  
2. Shoot for a symmetrical arrangement. When you’re layering several different fabrics on top of each other, things can get really busy, really fast. I like a symmetrical arrangement because it keeps things feeling orderly and polished. But if your style is Bohemian skip this tip and go for the asymmetrical arrangement, and mix it up.

The asymmetrical arrangement works well in a modern room. Via Pinterest
3. One simple print, one busy print, and one solid. This is a basic formula that’ll help you narrow down your options. Another way to think about it is — one small print, one big print, one solid. Your busy/large print should be on your largest pillows or the pillow that is front and center, as this print will usually set the tone for not just your pillow arrangement but the rest of your room. Plaids and stripes work well as small/simple prints.

Two prints, two solids and one stripe, placed in a fun arrangement. Via Pinterest  
4. As your move towards the inside of the sofa, the pillows should get smaller. Visually, your largest pillows should be in the far corners, and your smaller pillow should be on the inside. But also for comfort, it makes the most sense to add the large 22 or 24″ pillows on the sides, where you won’t need to move them out of the way. A small 12×20″ pillow right in the center won’t make you feel like you’re perched on the edge of the couch because the pillows are taking up all of the room!

The art here is wider and larger than the sofa, so to balance the scale pillows are used to anchor the art and give the sofa a stronger presence. Via Pinterest
5. Although decorative, pillows are really meant to add comfort to your upholstered furniture pieces, keep comfort in mind! We’ve all sat down on that couch that is so packed to the gills with throw pillows that you feel like you’re being shoved into a bag of marshmallows. This is not the ideal situation, so if you have to ask if you have too many, take on or two away!

Pillows are a wonderful way to add new life to your neutral sofa and consequently new life to your  room, be it living, family or bedroom. If you are still struggling choosing the right pillow, in the right size and in the right fabric, I can help! We do "custom" pillows, and we make them in the exact size needed for your sofa or chair and we select the perfect fabric that compliments your room's accessories!

 Call today to get started on switching out your pillows! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

What color should we paint?

Spring is here! Time to evaluate the colors in your home? Do they still work for your lifestyle, or are you ready to do something different?

Call today for your Color Consultation
At Marie Antoinette Interiors, we will choose colors and paints best-suited for your interior and exterior spaces, taking into consideration the room’s dimensions, furniture and lighting.
During your appointment, we’ll assess every room in your home or office and take detailed notes. Whether you prefer soft-spoken colors such as pastels or you’re ready for an onslaught of change with more vivid hues, we will create an appealing and wonderfully personal palette.

We promise to keep the process engaging, informative and fun — as it should be! After finalizing our choices, Marie Antoinette Interiors will provide you with a color schedule listing each room, its respective color choices, the paint sheen, and any other required detail in the design. We also will give you large sample cards of each color. In addition, we will email the color schedule to your  paint contractor on your behalf. Our goal? To ensure the group of colors reflects your personality and is efficiently applied.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Exterior House Color or Your Home's Most Valuble Curb Appeal

Beautiful, well chosen exterior color can add significant value to any home investment, not to mention fill its owners with a sense of pride. But finding the right colors through trial and error isn't an any task. A color that looks good on a tiny paint chip won't necessarily look great on your home!

Before, just a plain little Split Level with lots of
visual breaks and no warm "welcome"!
Such was the case with my clients in Castro Valley, California.  Their American classic “Split Level” home was just crying out for a new look.   Randy and Brenda had a loose idea of what color they might like for the body, but at a loss as to trim, accent, sheen, and “what goes where” had them stumped. So they did what many are doing, they called out for help, suggestions, options, solutions and instruction for paint color selection from a Color Consultant….me.

After, continuity, sophistication, and
soft subtle contrast makes this home
a handsome statement!
After printing a photo of the home in the “Before” stage I could see that it needed a color palette that was strong and would ground the home to the land. I then gave them the address of another home I choose similar colors for so they could actually see it on a large home. This one exercise really helps them visualize the color tone, saturation and application in action so to speak.

In the “color consultation” appointment at their home with the client we evaluated several color scheme options.  I have large 4” x 5” cards of all the Benjamin Moore Paint colors and we simply hold them up in different locations on the body of the home.  We both agreed that using the HC-85 Fairview Taupe by Benjamin Moore was the color that seemed to anchor the home’s body to the land. This rich dark color makes a handsome statement, and with so many of the pale colored homes on the block, it stands out as a 1st place winner.

The trim, which isn’t much on this type of architecture, needs to have a subtle contrast to the body.  We tried 3 different white colors and ultimately choose 855 Cloud Cover a white with a little tint of gray, for eves/overhangs, gutters, window frames, door frame, garage door, and the porch pedestal cap. The right trim color is as important as the body color as it adds charm and sophistication to a home’s overall look.

The front door says,
"Welcome Home"!
The white front door, that matched the old trim color was in great shape, but didn’t say much as a welcoming committee to the home.   I recommended HC-154 Hale Navy; it’s one of my favorite front door accent colors.   And color studies show that a blue front door signals that the homeowner views his or her home as a place of refuge -- calm, serene, and relaxing, the perfect retreat from an often harsh and demanding world. I choose to paint the door frame in the trim’s Cloud Cover to really make it pop against the Fairview Taupe body color.  VoilĂ …a new look!
Yes, I agree, it’s truly a visual transformation and one that Randy, Brenda and their family will enjoy for years to come. 
Just click on the color names links above to see the colors up close at Benjamin Moore Paints.