Have you ever wanted to use a bold color but felt afraid to take the leap? How do professional interior designers and decorators choose the perfect color to enliven a space and make a statement without overdoing it? The answer lies within the elements and principles of design, and this month I wanted to highlight this traditional Belmont-Hillsboro dining room project recently completed by MOTIV Interiors. I’ll be sharing some insight into making a color selection that works perfectly for you and your space! Read on for more details; I’m also sharing some additional projects in the works and upcoming events in the Nashville area this month. Thanks for tuning in!
Historic Homes are often a labor of love; it can feel challenging to honor the history and architecture of the past while updating your finishes for modern living. So how does one accomplish a bold design while embracing what is already in place? One of the simplest ways to add a big dose of excitement to an existing space is to use bold color to accentuate craftsmanship and other beautiful details such as the built-in cabinetry in this cozy dining room.
This particular client requested red - which is a daunting color for many to choose and apply. Let’s begin with a discussion of color itself, and some design terminology that can help you in your decision making process:
HUE: A pure color, such as “red”.
TINT: A pure color mixed with white.
SHADE: A pure color mixed with black..
TONE: A pure color mixed with gray, or by both tinting and shading.
As you can see, each of these variations of the pure hue “red” are quite different and produce a different feeling based on light reflection.
Tints can provide a more airy feel to a space, and will keep everything light, bright, and energetic.
Shades add drama to any space, and are wonderful for moody areas where relaxation is important.
Tones are (you guessed it) a little in between and are a great subtle alternative to a true hue.
Pure Hues can be very exciting or overwhelming, depending on your individual tolerance for color. If you absolutely love a pure red, green, blue, or other color don’t be afraid to use it! Take heart knowing that paint is one of the easier finishes to change if you’re not thrilled with the result.
Designer Tip: If you’re not ready to commit to a pure hue on all four walls, choose a feature wall! Alternatively, find a wallpaper with your pure color of choice and use the pure color sparingly as an emphasis - for example inside the bookcases only or on the ceiling only. Remember to have fun with it and use websites like Houzz or Pinterest if you need some inspiration or want to see how similar installations have turned out.
Contrast - Consider contrast between walls, ceiling, and trim. A lot of contrast can be overwhelming visually, so opt for colors that are closer in value to one another (lightness or darkness) for a more sophisticated or reserved look. Color can be wonderful for trim as well!
First… think about what type of light the room in question will be exposed to, and also what time of day you will be mainly using the room. Light quality also varies by region (White Dove looks amazing in Tennessee, but may come off a bit orange in another region like the southwest).
Early morning light, and northern facing rooms will be exposed to more bluish tones of light.
Southern facing rooms and those facing evening light will be exposed to more warm tones of light.
Take this into consideration when choosing color options, and don’t hesitate to put a few different color samples on the wall - at least a 12” x 12” swatch, and on each wall that will be painted to see how the light will change throughout the day. This is a small investment of time and money that seasoned professionals use to discern the nuances between their final few selections.
Don’t want to mess up your walls just yet?
Check out this convenient mess-free swatch option from Samplize! They will send you real hand-painted swatches in 24 hours that are easy to move around your walls without applying new paint. Offering the three major paint lines used most often by professionals: Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Farrow & Ball (pictured in this dining room project).
(Image Source: samplize.com)
Secondly…consider sheen and gloss. What’s the difference anyway? Does it really matter?
The answer is - ABSOLUTELY!!! This is the biggest mistake that gets made the most often when selecting paint, and it’s easy to choose correctly if you are armed with a little bit of insider information. Sheen and gloss affect two main properties: light reflection and durability.
Gloss: Measured by reflecting light at a 60 degree angle, in gloss units from 0-100, with 100 being shinier and glossier. High gloss is great for showing off trim details and casework, and is typically a more durable finish for the places that we touch the most (doorways, doors, etc.).
Sheen: Measured by reflecting light at an 85-degree angle, differences in sheen are more noticeable in low-gloss and flatter paints.
Higher gloss finishes can be more durable but will show any and every variation that’s happening, so if you have a wall or ceiling with lots of dips and dives, you may benefit from a flatter finish.
Flat Finishes will hide more imperfections but can often absorb more oils and can be difficult to clean and scuff more easily. Wonderful for ceilings and rooms where the walls aren’t touched very often (dining rooms, home offices).
Satin/Eg-Shel finishes are a great option for heavy use areas like hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, and kids rooms. There are many options now available in scrubbable finishes.
Durability: The paint and coatings industry has truly advanced in the last 15 years, and there are a wide range of options available now that are durable, cleanable, safe for the home, and beautiful to behold.
Designer Tip: Finishes may vary substantially by manufacturer, so make sure to get a sample up before making your final materials purchases.
Environmentally Friendly & Safe For Your Family…
- Indoor Air Quality should be a top consideration when choosing paint: Look for No-VOC paints and coatings, which are available now from all major manufacturers. Third party certifications like Greenguard or SCS Global Services are good indicators of options that are healthier for the home environment.
- Environmentally conscious: Water based paints are always a great option for the environment, and if you want to spend a little more for Farrow & Ball paints, you’ll be getting rich, natural pigments that truly add “wow” factor to any space. For the ultra perceptive client, these small batch paints have a chalky yet durable finish that transition beautifully as light changes throughout the day.
Completed This Month…
Book your next Nashville visit or “Stay-cation” at this Spacious Sweetbriar Getaway - 2BR/1BA AirBNB. It features 900 sf of living space; each bedroom has hardwood floors, a luxurious king bed, blackout drapes and a cozy dormer with a desk for working or getting ready for a night out on the town. Available here through AirBNB.
Works In Progress…
MOTIV Interiors re-imagined these back-to-back bathrooms in a Midcentury home in Pullman, Washington. The original floorplan had a large guest bathroom and a tiny master with a small 32” shower and pedestal sink.
The new design features a spacious walk-in shower in each bathroom, plenty of storage, and a much larger master bathroom with a double vanity and soaking tub. A duo of clerestory windows allows natural light into both spaces while maintaining privacy.
A simple cool pallette of white and charcoal tones is complimented by custom cabinetry and trim details in warm mahogany tones. To be completed this summer by the good folks at Master’s Touch Woodworking in Moscow, Idaho.
Rendering: MOTIV Interiors LLC
In Full Bloom…
The ever-so-edgy yet timeless Bloom Flowers & Gifts is expanding into a larger retail space in its current building. Expect to see doors open on its new location later this summer, located at 2700C Belmont Boulevard.
MOTIV Interiors is consulting with creative owner Gina Ashwood to help transition this local favorite shop into its new digs. The new design will evoke classic Antebellum style, while maintaining its unique charm and expanding its retail offerings in gifts, floral, and baby & child.
Visit Bloom Flowers & Gifts online for all things floral from same-day pickup to wedding and special event services.
Movin’ to the Country…
MOTIV Interiors owner Anna Caro and husband Zack Caro will be eating a lot of peaches soon!
We are thrilled to be taking on a renovation of this 950sf home in Cheatham County, nestled on 4 beautiful wooded acres. This place needs a little love but has a great floor plan! Stay tuned for updates as the renovation gets underway!
We are looking forward to taking on our first big project together as a husband + wife team, and transforming this gem into the new control center for both MOTIV Interiors and Bible Belt Brewing Co. (Zack’s longtime dream that needs to expand beyond the capabilities of our basement).