Sunday, May 27, 2012

Designing Eye: Picking The Perfect Paint

By Toni Berry
Contra Costa Times Correspondent

Deciding to paint the interior of your home is easy. Deciding what colors to use, not so much -- just ask anyone who has agonized and struggled for hours choosing paint colors only to be disappointed with the end results.
Some hire a decorator to help them choose. Others decide to go it alone. Either way, it can be a bit scary to make color choices unless you know a few simple tips.

  For this Client; The same two colors in the family room and living/dining room were used in the foyer to create harmony. The two wall colors are Benjamin Moore"s "Stone House" and "Tree Moss". And the ceiling, crown molding and baseboards are Linen White throughout.

On the don't list
  • Don't choose colors in a paint store. Colors change drastically depending on the light, so they can look very different in your home. When deciding on colors, make sure to look at them in the space they will be used.
  • Don't forget the ceiling -- it's the fifth wall. A white ceiling may be the best choice, but don't just leave it white by default. A room looks more finished when the ceiling is deliberately painted to coordinate and harmonize with the decor.
  • Don't ignore accessories. While paint is the most common way to add color, incorporating pillows, fabrics, area rugs and other accessories is a great way to add splashes of color and your unique personality.
    The do list
  • Do understand the psychology of color. Colors evoke reactions and affect us physically and mentally. When you understand how colors shape your feelings, you can choose ones that help you feel wonderful in your home.

  • Do create flow from room to room. In most homes, you can stand in one room and see other rooms, so there needs to be a smooth continuity. That doesn't mean you have to paint all the rooms the same color, but the colors need to work together. Carry elements of one room into another. The easiest way to do this is to paint the moldings in all of the rooms in the same color. Another way is to use different shades and intensities of the same color in each room.

  • Do be inspired. If you have a large piece of furniture or a treasured accessory, let it awaken your color creativity. The background color in a piece of art can become your wall color; a favorite antique can inspire the color for pillows; a lampshade can become the molding hue.

  • The most important thing to remember about color is that it should make you feel good. So be courageous and pick some color! And if you need some advice call for a "Color Consultation".  925.862.9064 or email

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    How Much Time Does It Take To Make A House A Home?

    I’ve heard said, “It takes time to make a house a home”!  And I believe that to be absolutely so.  The photos below are of a home that recently went on the market.  It was not professionally “staged” and yet is sold in one short week and well over the asking price.  Why you ask, keep reading!
     The owners of this home employed my services to help them with the color/paint selection (interiors and exterior), furniture placements and purchases, window shades and draperies, rugs and carpet, hardwood flooring, tile, wood refinishing, wall art, family photos (framing and hanging), kitchen and bath make-overs, lighting, and accessorizing! 

     If I were a celebrity interior designer and on HGTV I may have accomplished and completed this project in a short span of time. But, I am not, and the owners of this home are busy, hardworking people, with 4 children. So this project took years of developing and finishing. Slowly over the course of a decade, the client and I lovingly worked on every square inch of this home. Each year, beginning in 2002, we started and finished several projects. Budget and time permitting the owners would call on me to solve decorating and design problems that they themselves could not. I became familiar with their, style, taste and budget, and that is why this home reflects the family’s character and love of “home”.

     I believe if you stay true to yourself, your values, the things that mean the most to you; it cannot help but show in your home! 

    Now I’m helping this family with the move to their new home, and the process begins again!