Monday, July 30, 2012

Picking the right light bulb can change the color of tile


I've just completed a kitchen redo and my client is very very happy. However, as sometimes happens, the way to eternal happiness can get a little bumpy... 
We were looking for tile with only a slight tint of blue/green (there are hardly any walls in that kitchen to add color with paint) and chose glass, because it's light and airy and it picks up the slight bluish gray tones in the jet mist granite counter top.

After looking around, there were two final choices to pick from. Both had a greenish-bluish undertone but one was slightly greener (option 2) than the other but it was readily available and better priced than option 1, which would take a couple of weeks to ship.

bluish-greenish glass tile (option 1)

slightly greener option (option 2)

She decided to go with option 2. The emergency call I got was after the tiles where on the wall, but before the lighting and grout were there. "it's green!" she said. She was right. The same tile which looked so airy and pretty before, looked greener and grayer under the dark shadows of the upper cabinets.
It looked more like this:


I reassured her that it would look much better with the under cabinet lighting, and that a cooler lighting choice such as a cool fluorescent or LED might do the trick of making that tile look slightly more bluer, and guess what, it did! We used 4100K LED under cabinet lighting and it looks fabulous!

For those of you who are interested, here's a bit of theory about lighting color temperature  
In the lighting world, color temperature (how warm or cool the light looks) is measured by Kelvins (or "K"). The lower the number, the warmer it looks. For example: candle light is 1800K, warm incandescent light is around 2700K and cool fluorescent is 3700K-4200K. Here's a chart that shows the different lighting conditions in terms of color temperature:

It's interesting to note that day light is actually much cooler than one would think, even cooler than most fluorescent light bulbs. The reason is that fluorescent light doesn't have the full spectrum of day light.

So the next time you think "nothing can fix it", don't be so sure. It might just as well be the right kind of lighting that will do the trick.


If you'd like help with color, redesigning or decorating your own home, contact me @

related posts
 How to light up your kitchen


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Therapists - what to consider when designing your office


When meeting a therapist for the first time, clients are looking for clues on how professional this therapist is. No wonder they're looking at their therapist's immediate environment (their office) for those clues.
Studies have shown that people judge the quality of their therapist by the way their office  looks. Clients also mostly agree on what would an office of a good therapist would or wouldn't look like. So here's a summary of what a "good therapist" office should look and feel:
  • Organized, orderly. clean - People often come to a therapist to acquire a sense of order and control over their life. n orderly and neat office not only helps a client relax and feel at ease, but also reflects on the therapist's sense of control. A cluttered office is distracting, evokes feelings of nervousness and reflects badly on the professional abilities of the therapist. 
  • Warm and inviting. calm. - soft fabrics, comfortable chairs, a warm area rug, dim lighting and a soft, warm color scheme help create a welcoming and comfortable environment. A space that feels a little bit like home, but not quite.

  • Lighting - people tend to speak more openly when the lights are dimmed. They feel less exposed. Use standing or table lamps instead or in addition to ceiling lights. Wall sconces are great too, though more expensive to install. Always use dimmers. In some situations more light is needed than others (sunny vs. overcast days)
  • Personalize your office - displaying diplomas and awards makes the therapist appear more qualified  to their clients. Moreover, displaying personal items can make the therapists themselves feel more comfortable, thus enhancing their clinical effectiveness. After all, this is your office, and therefore it should express who you are - your unique personality and professional strengths.
  • Clocks - placing them in a way that clients can or cannot see them is important.
  • Eliminating outside distractions - window views: if your office is overlooking a busy street you may want to use window treatments that will create privacy, avoid outside distractions and will still allow natural light to shine in. Partly sheer roller shades can be an option. Any external noise or thermal discomfort will have an effect on the ability of the client and the therapist to focus on the session.
  • Chairs  - the kind of chairs (beanbags or upholstered lounge chairs), where they are placed in relation to the therapists chair are all important aspects of the therapy and should be considered. 
  • Flexible furniture plan - a therapist that counsels individuals as well as family and couples will need to quickly shift the furniture around to create more or less seating. 
  • Adjust the look of your office to the kind of therapy you practice - the picture of the room below shows a very relaxed, even exotic setting, which could work for some therapists, and not others.
If you need help with creating your own office, feel free to contact me: 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blue Rooms - Decorating Tips


 I've recently started working on a teenage girl's bedroom, which will most likely be a "blue room". The room has a ton of potential -  it's totally empty and large enough to add a seating area as well, which is wonderful. This teenage has been spending a lot of time in Europe, so her taste has been shaped by European design: sleek and contemporary. Like other kids, she loves vibrant colors, so my role is to make it all work: come up with a vibrant and cool design but make sure it won't too overpowering.  I've been looking at blue rooms online and I noticed that the pretty ones shared a few common decorating tricks:

1. A healthy dose of white is needed to bring those dark blues alive. Infuse white not only as blocks of it like in large furniture pieces, walls, bookcases, but in pattern as well. see how lovely these blue and white pillows are in the picture below?

Blue room

Blue Room Design Ideas

navy blue and white pattern

2. Textured walls (using different painting techniques or applying wall paper) can soften the look of bright colors. 

Jamie Drake associates

Google Image Result for

blue room

3. A variety of shades of blues and blue-greens. Blues, like greens, go well together. If you are decorating with blue-greens, stick with the variety of blue-greens like teals and turquoise as well as green blues. If you like the purplish blues, stay with blue-purples, navy blue and purple blues.

Blue room
great choice of colors (Caitlin Creer)

4. Blues come alive with a tiny bit of yellow, orange or pink (their complementary colors), depending on the predominant blue (blue-purple complements yellow, teals or blue-greens complement orange or pink) The reason blues come alive around these complementary colors is because they simply enhance each other. These colors appear more vibrant next to their complementary colors. I will not get into the biological explanation of this phenomena, but there is one...

modern living room by Erika Bierman Photography

Woodvalley - Bathroom - contemporary - bedroom - baltimore - Ziger/Snead Architects

Cool House Tour 2008 - contemporary - bedroom - austin - CG Design-Build

The Upward Bound House by Elizabeth Bomberger - asian - bedroom - los angeles - Becky Harris

5. Provide sufficient lighting - blue rooms can feel somewhat cold, so provide enough warm lighting to avoid that. If  the walls are painted with a dark shade of blue, you will need even more lighting to avoid feeling "blue" in that space. This is true with any dark colored interior simply because the darker the walls are the less light they reflect back. A good lighting plan uses layers of light -  up lights (wall sconces, table and floor lamps), down lights (ceiling lights, recessed) and surrounding lights (table lamps, wall, floor lamps and indirect lighting fixtures). 

6. Wood looks amazing with shades of blue, so bring some wood in (flooring, furniture pieces).

Blue room...

Room View west elm

Do you have any ideas or thoughts of how to create a beautiful lively blue room? I would love to hear them.

If you'd like help with color, redesigning or decorating your own home, contact me @ vered@veredrosendesign.com617-584-9965