September 1, 2015 •
A funny tale to share…
This home in our area ^, it was tan, tan, tan, tan. Tan siding, tan trim, no contrast. You drove past not even noticing the place.
Until the painters began. I passed by when they first started and several times after. When they were about half finished and you could compare old to new, I thought wow- this is stunning paint rework.
I noticed the owner outside one day, so I stopped to tell him how I’ve been admiring the new look. And asked if they worked with a designer and he said yes, my wife. She’s an interior designer :) Of course!
This photo does the look no proper justice, but in person the place just shines on the street. They even sprayed the outdoor lights a nice silver. I believe they were bronze before.
I could tell some love went into every shade. From the perfect stone white trim, to the grayed down blue/green. Kindred colorists we may be- I know a good one when I see it *
They took a little risk and it paid big. If you have the opportunity to repaint your home, explore new possibilities.
August 19, 2015 •
On a peaceful morning, my son & I ran to the grocery store to grab ingredients for the picturesque dinner in my mind. I started a load of wash before we left…
When we returned, there were 2 inches of water covering the main living area. Thankfully the scene was dried quickly by a recovery team. However, to consolidate, the kitchen was completely “washed away” by this wash machine incident.
This comes at a strange time, for we almost began remodeling in July. So although the destruction is causing undue stress, we will emerge (eventually) in a much improved space.
To be perfectly honest, in the last 6 years of Color Zen, I’ve never faced a client job that really stressed me out. Even when the project is complicated. It has always flowed from my brain (thankfully) to the point that work feels like a retreat.
I’ve worked for designers, artists, creatives, etc. Some of which live in homes far beyond my own vision. And I’ve thought on occasion- perhaps I should hire you? But everyone insists I provide the right answers.
I never really believed them? Until I found myself staring at an entire room of tile, wood, paint, and carpet samples. I sat there, on the now bare plywood, with a completely blank expression. For days. Finally calling my design guru Mom in to bail me out. We still need our Mothers at 40 ;)
Should I be admitting this? Well I’ve never been one to hide anything…
Diagnosis- I can help everyone but myself. Life is a lesson and this process will make me even better for you. I will share the journey!
Cheers readers :)
(Cindy Crawford’s kitchen is my “look” inspiration)
August 6, 2015 •
In the last 2 years, the Milwaukee (and beyond) real estate market has ignited. I happen to be working in homes through all stages of the process, so you see many things… and learn.
When my husband and I bought our first home at the height of the market, we were open to purchasing a major fixer-upper. The message “such potential” echoed from the mouths of various agents. It was a nice way of saying the home needed serious work. And yes, these home could be rehabbed well. But at what cost?
In my opinion, the scene has changed dramatically in the last decade. We are no longer years behind in design standards, or as likely to take on overwhelming work, just to reach an acceptable standard. WE WANT A WELL DESIGNED HOME NOW! :)
By well designed I mean clean, decluttered, staged, MODERNIZED (shouting that out loud, ha), bright, tasteful paint colors, good overall design flow, less personalized.
If a home at any price point looks really good, it sells in a day. With multiple offers. For even $50,000 over asking. I see it over and over…
Which I find very exciting! Because any home can be this.
Some sellers aren’t interested in staging or updating, it’s not for everyone. But for those who would love to make a nice profit > create this idyllic, versatile, modern-classic scene and they will come!
Need help? Call us… Cheers readers.
July 9, 2015 •
Paint colors. Still our life after all these years… I don’t think there’s been a day, with a few vacations as the exception, where I haven’t pulled out the fan decks for someone. Sherwin Williams & Benjamin Moore, like old friends.
Which leads me to ask- Have you noticed everyone is painting their cabinets these days? Mostly the oak ones…
Well, we’re really into the concept too. Something about that clean, paint finish. Wow factor for a small $.
Sometimes- the color situation is complicated though. The standard white, black, or espresso may not fit. Clients are often very afraid to venture into other options.
So I wanted to share with you, some great examples of alternate colors gone right!
Visuals sell :)
I’m not going to lie- this does take a detailed swoop through many shades to find “the one”.
But there’s always “one” out there. We’ve been lucky enough to help clients solve this issue through careful selection.
Need help finding the perfect color? Call us.
(thank you Pinterest for the photo inspiration)
June 24, 2015 •
Summertime, my lifelong favorite. The sunshine seems to broaden creativity :) Very busy this year! I wanted to share with you, little clips of projects in the works >
1. The best project ever-
A condo in the city. The patio view of boats gently floating made me rethink my suburban lifestyle, ha. The owners wanted something really bold and kind of modern. We painted (used to be red!) and purchased every morsel. It has been a true design high.
We bought everything online, and much to our delight, it has been a success. Thank you West Elm, Room&Board, Overstock, CB2, Minted, Horchow, Target, Ballard, ZGallerie, etc. for making us happy.
We spent a long session scouring (for real) Calico Corners for the perfect fabric (bottom) for custom curtains. The color had to be just so and we wanted something more than a plain solid. The fabric is awesome… It has almost a painterly finish.
When I stepped into this artist framing shop with my print, describing a gold ornate frame we were envisioning, the nice man helping me said, “Do you want my opinion?”. Sure… He said, “This is way over the top”. I replied “PERFECT”, we’ll take 2… lol
I will have some professional photos taken of this job soon.
2. Major color makeover-
The owner grew tired of this old cream look. But she was really nervous about the change. We tested new color schemes in Photoshop and everyone agreed this was it. There’s something about the crisp, white trim. Siding is gray and the shutters are a navy, almost black. Amazing what paint can do!
3. The most impressive paint finish-
This photo does not do it justice. Ralph Lauren’s Demin finish.
I had a brief client who was very creative. He had applied Ralph Lauren throughout his home. The suede finish was stunning in it’s subtlety. And the denim finish (which they used in their son’s room) had me speechless.
Upon this amazing finish, they hung a gallery wall full of vintage paint by numbers, in old wooden frames. I mean how cool is that? The “denim” looks truly denim in a really good way. He said it did take time to apply, but everyone agrees it’s amazing!
* I feel so happy when I finally get around to sharing on this blog, stay-tuned for lots more to come. Call me for color and interior design.