Tuesday, November 27, 2018

My magical tool kit for selecting paint colors

How do I select paint colors with confidence?
I use a specific “magical tool” kit, which has trained my eye over the past five years.

This magical tool kit, is my collection of 11″ x 14″ large painted color samples - a carefully selected collection of tried and true colors which I've been using over and over again successfully. 

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? (the 'Pareto Principal’) It means that in almost anything, only a few (20%) are vital and most (80%) are trivial. 
The 80/20 rule also applies to colors - out of >2000 colors in a color fan deck, we only use  about 20% of them. 

But how do the large painted boards make such a huge difference vs. small 2”x2” swatches?

Bigger is (sometimes) better 
most of the time, I select neutral colors (grays, whites, beiges). Neutral colors are complex colors, meaning that each color is a unique mix of lots of different color hues in tiny tiny amounts, which makes it almost impossible to accurately see all the undertones on a tiny swatch of 2” x2”!
In contrast, having the large painted boards makes it possible for me and my clients to clearly see the nuances (“undertones”) of each color, and therefore select the right color.

the “right” color is the one the looks best with all the other colors in the room. Using the large painted boards in “context” makes it obvious both to me and my client, which color is correct and which one is not.

Painted versus printed 
Swatches from the paint store are often not accurate – that’s because they are printed and not painted.
Below is an example of a color consultation - I needed to select a wall color for a master bedroom. The upholstered headboard color could not be ignored, so I had to pick out a color that worked well with it.
Below are the four options we looked at - which one do you think works best? 

Both Edgecomb gray and Classic gray could have worked here, but I picked out classic gray because it's lighter and was a perfect choice for this room, which doesn't get enough natural light.

Having the large color boards is like looking at color with a magnifying glass. When I don’t have my large samples with me, I’m basically visually impaired in terms of specifying color accurately. With them, I can see all the undertones clearly, and so can my clients. We can both make successful selections, eliminating wasted time money and aggravation.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The power of visualization

If you ever had to select furniture, lighting or any other home decor item, weeding out the “ugly” options must have been a fairly easy task, but selecting the "best" choice out of many good ones may have been a completely different story - confusing, overwhelming or even anxiety-inducing. True?

Imagine this scenario - you need to select a dinning set, and you've narrowed down your choices to four options. What if you could see a visualization of your favorite four options in your own space? would that help you decide which one looks the best? you bet!
Once I realized that most of my clients had trouble visualizing my design ideas, and that it was the number one reason for their indecision, I began using a variety of tools to help them visualize.
My "go-to" tool for selecting specific items is super imposing them onto an existing photograph of a room.
For example, a recent kitchen remodel project involved selecting a new dining table and chairs for the dining area. We decided that a round table would work best for the space.
Below you can see how the kitchen/dining area looked like BEFORE adding the table and chairs:

To help my clients visualize my design ideas, and ultimately choose which one to go with, I created super-impositions of the table and chair combinations, like these ones below.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Walking the fine line between trendy and timeless design

Every time we redecorate or renovate our homes, we often follow the current design fashion. It's what we are surrounded with everywhere - online, in stores or our friends newly renovated home. It's not good or bad, it's just something we do without much awareness.

Fast forward 5-10 years later and that oh-so-current bathroom we've just renovated, looks dated. How come? design trends have a shelf life of up to 10 years, and most of us have no idea if we are at the beginning, middle or tail end of a design trend. 

Yet, fashion is fresh and exciting, and bringing some of it into our surroundings can bring us joy and excitement.

So how do you walk the path between classic & timeless versus trendy and current?

1.     Understand the difference between classic & timeless design vs. trendy
This is a good way to start out! You can educate yourself on the topic via Google and other resources or seek the help of an experienced designer. 
Once you understand the difference between current and classic design, it will be easier to make conscious decisions on which path to choose when selecting new furniture, accessories, or which finishes to choose when renovating your kitchen or bathrooms.
1.      When in doubt, stick to the classics
This is a good rule of thumb when you get a little confused or indecisive. When you are not sure you’re going to still like that tile or countertop 3 years from now, stay on the safe side and take the tried and true path, even if it looks somewhat “boring” and not unique enough. Choose mostly neutral colors and keep your lines clean-looking and simple, and you’ll avoid regret down the road.

Vered Rosen Design

1.      Go trendy with accent pieces and accessories
Are you in love with a particular color, metal finish, or pattern that’s currently all over magazines and in stores? Pick some affordable or inexpensive accessories with a pattern or color you love right now (pillows, rugs, and other fun decor). Those are easy to replace when the fad changes or when you get tired of them. Lighting fixtures are another area of design where you can go with a current choice, as they are fairly inexpensive to replace, yet catch people’s eye and make a statement!


1.     The wallet test
If you’re planning an expensive remodeling project such as redoing your kitchen or bathroom, or even purchasing custom furniture, you’re going to have to live with the choices you made for quite a while. Most of what you see today featured in stores or magazines will look dated in 5-10 years. Once again, invest in a timeless design approach, but accessorize with a trendier one.

1.      Go with what you love regardless of trends
Use your inner filter to decipher what you love vs. what you don’t regardless of what’s trendy or classic. If you always loved teals and aquas even before they became trendy, go ahead and invest in that teal sofa. Chances are you are still going to love it even after the trend had passed. The same goes for what you dislike. If you never loved gray and haven’t warmed up to this modern-looking color, then don’t paint your walls gray just because half your neighborhood did. 


Can you mix metal finishes in one room?

The short answer is YES.
And the longer answer is "yes, but..."
I'm not a big fan of "matchy matchy" anyway, so mixing metals in one room can make things look more interesting. This adds visual interest, especially in mostly white or neutral rooms.

Here are some guideline to walk the thin line between harmony and hodge podge.
  • First, its ok to just stick to one metal finish , especially if there's enough interesting elements in the room, such as in this lovely kitchen (two counter top materials, bold herringbone pattern, wood accents etc.). The dark bronze/black finish actually unifies the space.
Herringbone tile, good:
  • Stick to no more then two metal finishes. 
  • Dominant metal and accent metal - Pick out a dominant metal and accent with another metal.
  • Repeat - Make sure you repeat metals at leasy twice in a room.
  • Consider your color scheme - Cool metals (stainless steel, chrome, brushed nickel), work best with a cool color pallet (blues, greens, cool grays and whites). Warm metals (brass, bronze, gold, copper) work best with a warm color pallet. BUT, you can still mix them up
  • Mix Cool and Warm - Don't be afraid to mix cool and warm metals, especially in an all white room (like a white kitchen or bathroom)
  • If you're still not sure how to mix  metals , mix black or dark bronze with any metal. Black can work as a "neutral metal" and will work with all metals.
  • A little goes a long way - don't overdue metal in any room.

Modern kitchen with deep walnut open shelves, natural wood bar stools and white waterfall edged countertops

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Number One Reason We Struggle With Design Decisions

After nine years of working as an interior designer, I’ve come to understand the number one reason that most people have trouble deciding on which design path to take; Not being able to visualize design ideas. 

How do I know this? Try showing anyone (designers included) a black and white two-dimensional floor plan drawing of their new kitchen plan versus a three-dimensional rendering of the same design. My guess is that the 2D floor plan drawing will elicit a lukewarm response compared to the excitement you will get with the 3D model of their kitchen!

I know…no one likes to admit they cannot visualize how a two-dimensional floor plan will actually look like in real life. We tend to think we’re supposed to be able to visualize design ideas, such as how our living room will look like painted with color X versus color Y, or which lighting fixture will look better over our dining room table.

Once we realize we have no idea which one will look best, we become anxious and freeze. This is when “design paralysis” typically kicks in, and that’s when I come to the rescue…😊
First, I like to reassure my clients that nothing is wrong with them, and that the only reason designers can visualize better than the average Joe is because of previous experience. That's it. We also happen to constantly notice visual stuff around us, so our “visual mental library” keeps growing.

To help my clients better visualize my ideas, I've been using a combination of “visualization tools”; such as three-dimensional software for space planning. The software I’m using is easy to use. Changes can be made and ideas explored even while in a meeting with a client!
Below is an example of a kitchen renovation I completed recently, from the “before” stage, through the design phase, and finally ending with the completed project.

Here's a BEFORE photo of the kitchen

We decided to open up the kitchen to the dining and living room. Below are some 3D perspectives of the plan
The "after" photos are below. 
My clients were not surprised to see the results simply because the 3D model was close enough to the results. Yes, there was no "dramatic reveal", but they were very happy to see the plan come together, looking even better then they had expected !