Sunday, January 23, 2011

Save Time + Money With Designer Paints? YES!

A few years ago we were selling our house so I re-painted the entire thing. Since it was going to be sold and I just wanted to freshen it up I went the cheap route and color matched a Benjamin Moore colour using Behr (at Home Depot).

Source: via Dane on Pinterest

What a disaster! The computers used for colour matching can never get the same formula unless you get all cans at the same time. You will be in big trouble if you run out of paint and have to get another can. Even using the formula from the first purchase the remaining can was way off. After repeated attempts to match to the original/color matched order, and multiple (mis-matched) test spots on walls (argh!) it became clear I'd made a huge mistake trying to copy a paint colour.

A Home Depot paint manager gave me the low down on why it just doesn't work when you copy a paint colour:

  1. After a product (ex. latex flat emulsion base white) goes on the big box shelf the paint manufacturers update the product on an ongoing basis. Therefore you can get a can with an 'older' (last months) formula and a can of the 'new' formula. The cans will look exactly alike; the manufacturers have simply 'tweaked' the base formula which will alter the colour outcome.
  2. Each manufacturer has their own 'white' base to which colour is added. So when you take a Benjamin Moore, Restoration Hardware, C2 etc. sample in to colour match you will never get the same...because they are formulated using a different white base.
  3. The colour matching done at the big boxes only uses the computer to create a formula. At least at specialty paint stores when they colour match they will take the computers 'match' and then, by eye, tweak till they feel it is right. This can take a whole day of them playing around, a few hours or few minutes. 
Here is what happened when I tried to touch up some spots with a different can of paint purchased at the same time as the original wall colour:

I went back 3 times trying to get the colour fixed...many many cans later I actually spoke with a paint manager. I got my money back for the original paints which was very kind of him.

I will never again colour match at a big box.

I wish I could say I'll never colour match again but C2 is to damn far away and Farrow & Ball is too. 

I'm very fortunate to find a specialty paint store where the paint technicians take their time and will not release the paint till it is a match.

The point to all this rambling: I ultimately used Benjamin Moore's Aura paint. Despite the cost of a gallon of Aura you actually use much less than you would of the big box paints.
  1. 1 coat with Aura (like C2)
  2. self-priming (OMG!!!)
New drywall or patched? Just paint it one coat with Aura and you are done.
I had already done 2 coats everywhere with the 'color matched' paint...then the touch up fiasco and then repainting in Aura. 

Thankfully I only had to do 1 coat and no priming any patches.

Now that is a lot of time to relax and enjoy the job!

Painting a Stipple or Popcorn Ceiling

We all detest them, but many of us have them. The stipple or popcorn ceiling. The recommendation is to remove the stippling to get the clean look of a drywalled ceiling but often times this just isn't an option. Time constraints & the possibility of opening a whole new can of worms, such as builders not priming before applying the offending stipple, are the two most often quoted reason for not eradicating stipple from a home.

If you want to freshen the ceiling with a coat of paint there are one or two steps you must follow first.
  1. With a spray bottle, wet an area of ceiling. If the stipple absorbs the water after sitting for a few minutes (it will become soft to the touch) you will know the stipple has not been primed. In this case, proceed to step number 2. If the water does not get absorbed but remains on the surface of the stipple you've gotten the go ahead to skip step two and go straight to paint the ceiling.
  2. If you've determined the stipple is absorbing the water you must prime the ceiling with an oil based primer before painting.
When priming and painting the ceiling make sure to use a high nap roller specifically for stipple ceilings and paint in 2 directions perpendicular to each other in order to cover all surfaces of the stipple.

When you calculate the amount of primer/paint you need...double it. There is a lot of surface to your stipple ceiling!

And here's the completed ceiling which I painted in Benjamin Moore's Titanium:

Happy painting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sourcing for a client: chaise longue

I've a new client which means I get to source fabulous furniture and lighting. Lovely timing because I'm so desperately over winter. I know that when I'm able to say the job is complete it will be on the verge of getting nice out.

I can't think of a better way to get through this season...other than heading south which is just not financially feasible for us. So I'm good with this!

I'm thinking about putting a chaise lounge in the living room on the dining room side of the fireplace. I want the room to be airy and feel roomy even when the owners are entertaining and the room is full of guests.

Here's a nice selection of modern chaise lounges:

Love! via

Glam sophistication Hollywood Deco style. via

Ok not modern but transitional...and very big on comfort! via 
Lama Leather chair/chaise

Another combination chair/chaise. via

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona is still my favorite. Available through Knoll.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Graphic Wallpaper Goes Large Scale

I predicted large scale graphics as a trend we will be seeing more of this year. One I've wanted to use myself is de Gournay's Wind Swept Blossom design. Note sure where I could ever get the funds to use it but that's neither here nor there. 

I was thrilled to see de Gournay's paper on the cover (and inside) the current issue of CS Interiors!

Chicago designer Anne Coyle

CS Interiors Digital Mag: It's a Page Turner!

Have you seen the newest digital issue of CS Interiors? If not, let me warn you now. You will need a good 2 hours to go through it just once. Then you will want to revisit the incredible editorial shoots by the various designers who will blow you away!

To be honest, I've not yet finished going through the issue once. I got to the last editorial spread and could not take in another breath taking home they are just chock full of inspiration. I'm overwhelmed by the content and have to take a break!

Here are just a few (of my favorites) to wet your appetite! But know you are going to care about nothing else for a good 2 hours!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snowed In

It's been snowing for some time and it doesn't look like it will be stopping anytime soon. The sky is quite black out over Lake Ontario. I just want to crawl back in to bed with a good book. Unfortunately I finished reading the third and final book in Stieg Larsson's series (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire + The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). I've nothing new to read...and I can't fathom what could possibly be better than the one I finished last night!

Well, at least I know which bed I'd like to crawl in to!

I've lost my reference for this image. Any help to provide credit would be greatly appreciated.

I love the inky depth + subtle texture the grass cloth paper brings to the room. The heft of the dressers as bedside tables anchor the bed while the feminine shape of the headboard along with the fur throw, frilly pillows, scalloped coverlet and soft blue keeps the room from feeling heavy. Quite possibly perfection.

I hope you all stay bundled up, warm and cozy during this cold snap!