I just ordered a new book for myself by my favorite author on design, Terence Conran. The book itself is maybe a decade old by now but Conran has never been out of date. The book, How To Live In Small Spaces, walks us through the des ign, furnishing, decoration and detail of living in small homes.Read More
I was talking to a fellow contractor friend of mine not too long ago and they told me, "man, our clients could have really used your services". He told me how the customer bought $800 worth of a single paint color and his team got the entire first coat of the project complete (around $2,000 in labor) when the client came in and burst into tears because she hated the color.
There is your reason. Need I say more?Read More
As a tribute to our fine Color Theory Craftsmen who hail from Mexico, here is a collection of 37 colors on Cinco, that's FIVE bold and beautiful color palettes inspired by the Cinco De Mayo celebration that commemorates Mexico's victory in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.Read More
Drywall holes result from both intentional actions like hanging a picture and unintentional things like dinging the drywall while moving furniture. Fixing small holes is a sinch. All you need is some light weight spackle and a small flexible putty knife.Read More
Finally, it's grilling season and time to eat dinner outside on the back deck. Your deck is an extension of your home. (Literally, just look at your property taxes.) As an extension you want to keep your deck in tip top shape.Read More
Something truly magical happens the day Spring arrives. Bloomington feels different. It's like breathing is fuller and my eyebrows feel lighter. It's finally time to get outside and become a real person again. Unfortunately, the winter has turned your house into the setting of the Walking Dead. It's time to get to work.Read More
Not all exterior paints are made the same. There are different quality levels that make a real difference in terms of how long a coating will last.
As a rule of thumb we direct our customers to a higher quality paint that will last a long time and provide a fine finish.Read More
Happy Valentine's Day - Let's paint something pink!
Today is a great day for remembering the people we love. In America, 25% of the cards sent each year are Valentine's Day cards. People love emotive cards, decked out in pinks and reds.
Why is pink and red the color of Valentine's Day? Well, in general reds are associated with passion and pinks associated with flush skin. So, when you feel the warm rush and pitter patter of love, that all too familiar rosy blush surfaces and you know that the feeling is mutual.
Pink Paint Colors great for any room, not just a little girl's bedroom
This light pink paint is called Wheatberry 2099-70 by Benjamin Moore. Kind of a dusty pink; this color is a great choice for girls bedroom ideas, but is muted enough to surprise guests as an appropriate color for an eclectic den space.
You may consider using this pink color in a high gloss on a sliding barn door. I took this idea from a friend of mine who just built their home. I think her husband took a leap of faith with her on it but it paid off big time. Click on the paint drop for more info.
Consider pairing Wheatberry with a light neutral gray like Sea Salt. These two colors would look great together in adjacent rooms. Use Sea Salt for your entry and Wheatberry in a connecting Dining Room for a feminine look that isn't too overwhelmingly pinky.
Gray neutral paint colors anchor more daring color schemes and allow you the flexibility to choose something a little more off-beat.
Now warm up the palette with Spice Market. This deep gold is strong but won't over shadow your understated pink and grey. Bedrooms, Kitchens and Bathrooms would look dynamic and vibrant when found at the end of our pale pink and light gray path.
Used as an accent color, not on walls, but in furniture. That's where I think this color might find its stride. Add to that the return of brushed brass lamps and table legs and you'll have a home decor look that is current.
Last, somewhere in your scheme find room for our boldest choice of all Dark Pewter. Color Theory's Color of the Year. What I love about Dark Pewter is that its just so dark. But it also has this really pretty shade of blue that comes out mid-day.
There is a depth to it that will make your room feel endless, while paradoxically making an oversized room feel smaller and cozier. Paired with any of the other colors in this scheme and you'll have a dramatic, sexy home.
Get help choosing a color scheme for your home by setting an appointment with our Color Theory Consultants.
Coming up with a good kitchen design idea is equal parts fun and overwhelming. Here are a couple of things you can do with paint to overhaul your kitchen without ripping everything out.
Color - White Cabinets
Always a classic look, never going out of style, painting your kitchen or bathroom cabinets white is a clear win for a modern, clean look. White is a little tricky because there are so many shades. However, there are a few colors of note that we really like on cabinets.
First, is Cloud White OC-130, Color Theory's neutral color of the year. Cloud White offers a warmth in a tone of white that avoids sterility and lack of creativity. We find that painting cabinets with a Satin sheen in the Cloud White provides a smooth finish with added durability.
Simply White OC-117 has some of the same aesthetic qualities of Cloud White, yet in certain lighting conditions fares a little better. As a simple test, swing by your local paint store and pick up the two whites and tape them to your kitchen wall side by side and see how you like them over the course of the day. Do the colors change over the course of the day? If so, which color do you like best?
Last, Chantilly Lace OC-65. Chantilly Lace is the chalkiest of the trio. With the first two white paint colors, the warmth in them can sometimes become amplified by incandescent lighting which may be a turn off. The Chantilly Lace doesn't have that problem. While in a natural day light it will exude vibrance and cleanliness, throughout the evening it will maintain a pristine whiteness.
Change up your kitchen island
Going with a more dramatic darker color for your kitchen island will provide your kitchen design with an anchor, contrasting your lighter scheme all around. With the desire for more kitchen cabinet storage, sometimes the kitchen starts to enclose in on itself and it starts to look like some kind of mammoth. Especially if your current cabinets are a wood finish.
Painting your kitchen island just might add the variety you need. This two tone look has become very popular with modern kitchen cabinets.
Where to begin painting cabinets
The most important thing to get right in this process is cabinet paint. You do not want to skimp on paint when it comes to cabinets. The best paint for kitchen cabinets right now is a waterborne alkyd. As paradoxical as it sounds, waterborne alkyds are a somewhat newly formulated product that combines the durability and hardness of an oil based paint with the environmental standards of a water-based latex paint.
We've had success with the lighter colors with Benjamin Moore Advance. Advance dries very hard but struggles with darker colors because of the amount of colorant necessary. For cabinets going from wood to paint, its best to start with the Advance Primer.
For darker colors and a faster dry time, you may consider Sherwin-Williams Pro Classic. While the Pro Classic doesn't dry quite as hard as the Advance and sometimes requires additional coats in lighter colors, we've still had excellent results with it and air towards using it on our cabinet projects. Extreme Bond primer is the recommended primer to go with the Pro Classic on cabinets.
Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?
The decision is up to you on this one. This is definitely an advanced project and one that many DIY'ers report that they probably wouldn't attempt on their own again. The tedious factor is high as well as the elbow grease factor. But the time commitment is doable. More than a single weekend but it's easy enough to break up.
To Learn More about Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets with our DIY Guide to Painting Cabinets
What Kitchen Remodel Ideas do you have? Post in the comments!
Deciding on whether to paint your house on your own as a weekend DIY project or whether to hire out painting is a big question. When I meet with homeowners they are often weighing out whether it's worth it to pay the premium cost to have it done or if they will be pleased with their own craftsmanship.
Between you and me, if it were my home, I would probably do it myself. But that's not fair because I'm a professional. There are three things to consider when choosing between having your home professionally painted or...um...not so professionally painted.
The Pro vs. DIY Debate - The Time VS Money Factor
How long does it take to paint a room? How much does painting cost? Obviously, it depends on the room size but your standard american bedroom will take a professional between 4-6 hours to paint the walls, another 4 for painting trim, doors and windows and an extra 1.5 to 2 to paint the ceilings. This is two coats and basic prep work included.
If you've got time and patience and you find some catharsis in painting, then you might want to take a stab at it and do it yourself. Most DIY'ers are a little less concerned about perfection when they are trying to save money. With this, you have the flexibility to decide on the fly if things like one coat coverage is sufficient or whether rigid tape lines are going to matter to you as much. Being less picky will allow you to save time on a DIY project. You'll also save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The flip side to the time question is, what am I sacrificing by spending my whole weekend or even week painting? Is there an activity you'd rather be doing with the family? Could you make more money in the time that you're painting than the amount that you're saving? Maybe it's a more efficient use of time to be really good at what you do and let the pros be really good at what they do.
So if you're thinking you can knock out an entire room top to bottom in a day, you may want to think about how much time you actually have to block off. If you are just moving into a new home and you have to do multiple rooms, you're looking at a week or two week long project with multiple painters on the job. I hate to say it but your average DIY'er isn't going to have that big of a chunk of time to get the project done. Unless you're willing to spread it out or take use your vacation.
The plus side to hiring a paint pro is that you don't have to do anything. With a reputable company and trustworthy painters, you don't even need to be home. You can rest assured that your home will be taken care of and that you'll come home to it looking so much better and clean. The small details will be tended to. Straight lines, full rich color with two coats of a high quality paint. You can be picky! We don't mind, too much.
The honest truth, it does cost money. Typically, the better the craftsman and the more organized the company, the more you will pay. But like we say, "the bitterness of poor workmanship remains long after the sweetness of a good deal is forgotten." A good professional painter is going to know what it takes to get the job done right, without being overly priced. However, many painters who take too long to get back with you on a quote, or guess on their pricing by just "looking at it", are often going to undercharge and as a result under deliver.
So, How do you get started?
The first step is to get a quote. We offer online quotes free and easy. How this works is we take you to our website on our Pricing Page. From there you can get a ballpark idea of what your project would cost per room for the walls. If you'd like trim, windows or doors painted, it's usually best to have one of our consultants come out for measurements. But if you are just trying to get an idea of what it would cost, look on our site and build your project through the shopping cart. If you get stuck you can give us a call and we can help walk you through it.
Once you've got a good idea of what it might cost, then we'll come out to confirm pricing and look at color options. Color Consultations, while they do cost a little extra, are extremely helpful in deciding which colors to coordinate with your home furnishings and decor. From there we book the job with the help of our Production Coordinator. They'll work with you on scheduling through our online system.
While you're waiting your turn in line, we'll make sure to keep you posted on how our schedule is working out. With painting, you can't always work when the weather is bad and so sometimes our schedule gets a little jostled around. No worries though, once we get to your painting project, we are there until it's complete. Super simple, super fun and super exciting.
A Word of Advice...
If you're trying to tackle a project and don't know whether to do it yourself or hire a painter, don't be afraid to ask questions. When we give our paint estimates we split every room out by line items so you can choose which projects you want to do on your own and which you want to hire us to do. We're totally flexible!
Color Theory of Bloomington
Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017
Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World
Bloomington, IN, January 19, 2017 – Color Theory of Bloomington has won “Best Of Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The color-centric painting company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.
The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
“Torlando has an impeccable eye for detail and elegant design, plus an extremely professional team of artists, (and overall AWESOME people), that completely transformed my home. Very tidy; non-disruptive and genuinely talented group. Nearly every room color was updated and actually looking forward to having them back to update intricate French kitchen cabinetry. Absolutely the best in Bloomington.”
- Color Theory Client
“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Color Theory,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”
About Color Theory
Color Theory is a company dedicated to helping people love their home through great color and craftsmanship. Beginning in Indiana in 2008, founder Torlando Hakes started Color Theory while pursuing his art degree with nothing more than a backpack and a bicycle. Today Color Theory employs several artists and craftsmen and helps hundreds of customers a year with finding the perfect color match for their home. With proven painting methods and a star team Color Theory will give you the best painting experience in Bloomington.
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.
Earthy tones and warm visual details give Edouard Vuillard's Project for the Public Gardes: Le Square de la Trinite a characteristically intimate feel. Though the arrangement of the forms is flat, his eye for the pattern on a woman's slipper and the delicacy of new leaves on a tree establishes a different sort of depth.
Our second half of this year's Color Combo, Dark Pewter, is interwoven through the greenery. When offset with sienna-tinged oranges and creamy light greens, it displays an unexpected softness.
All colors by Benjamin Moore. Image source: Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide.
Paint like a painting.
Since exploring our Color Combo of the Year, we wanted to find some different ways to feature colors we feel passionate about. We especially want to place what we do and what we love at Color Theory in contexts that might not always get discussed in the interior design blogging world.
One of Torlando's strongest beliefs is that paint is not just a color that lays on the wall; it is an integral part of your home and informs the nature of the space you live in. When you paint a wall, you are painting the scene that is your home.
Image via Hyperallergic. All colors Benjamin Moore.
This week we are sharing a piece by contemporary perceptual painter, Lois Dodd. Soft-spoken, yet emotive, her pared-down visions of the everyday American landscape use color sensitivity to invite meditation. Check out an interview with her here. Her 2014 painting, Porch Roof Snow Pile, feels particularly appropriate given the snow on the ground today and the appearance of one of our colors for 2017: Cloud White. In matte finishes, the hues of this snowy day palette will give your living space a feeling of thoughtful serenity.
Check back next week for another painting and another palette. If you've got a color or painting you'd like us to work with, let us know!
A lot happened in 2016, including a widespread obsession with gray. Versatile, sophisticated, unexpected – Gray did it all. And it continues its evolution heading into 2017.
Introducing our 2017 Color Combo of the Year...Dark Pewter and Cloud White
The combination of Dark Pewter's jade-influenced gray and Cloud White's soothing, but bright, cream occupies the space between dramatic and tranquil. Together, they draw from the best of higher-contrast pairings and unfussy mid-tones — a choice that doesn't involve a trade-off. If you've ever wished you could pick A and B at the eye doctor, Dark Pewter with Cloud White may just satisfy that desire.
From Dining Areas...
...Dark Pewter + Cloud White is the perfect match.
Try Cloud White on your Cabinets...
And for a variation on this pairing...
...darker darks and crisper whites result in an unpredicted airiness. We particularly love Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray, pictured on the right. Matched with their Simply White (or any comparably bright white) on ceilings, cabinetry, and trim, Gentleman’s Gray feels on-trend but also attuned to more stately eras of the past.
Articulate and modern...
...Dark Pewter is one of Benjamin Moore's most surprisingly complex offerings. Whether in a whole room, or used as an accent color, Dark Pewter consistently provides the drama of black or deep navy, while maintaining the adaptability that makes more traditional grays so appealing. When paired with Cloud White, it truly settles into itself, giving interiors a sort of introspective sensibility that opens up with the unique warmth of Cloud White. As we move forward into the new year, be on the lookout for this bold next step in gray: high contrast, high impact color pairings. It's a match that is artful indeed.
My sister is one of those fortunate and unusual types who enjoys cleaning; her home is always neat as a pin. For the rest of us, news of Color Theory's new cleaning service is something of a Christmas gift.
The Color Theory Clean Team is more than a post-painting clean up service. Committed to eco-friendly, yet thorough, cleaning solutions, our clean team will leave your home sparkling and leave you with a rewarding customer experience.
We use environmentally responsible products, giving you peace of mind. Essential Oils are another key element in our cleaning services. We can even work with you to select aromas that suit the personality of your home.
Who Is the Clean Team?
Our employees are selected for not just their skill, but their work ethic and dedication as well. The Color Theory Clean Team also believes in mentoring its employees, fostering entrepreneurial engagement. If you love your home-cleaner, let us know and we can send this person to you again. A personal relationship with the Clean Team is yet another way we make our services a wonderful experience.
Check Out the Clean Team
Swing by the Clean Team's site to get an estimate today!
One of the biggest trends in home decor at the moment is Mid-Century design. The child of modernism and the Bauhaus, Mid-Century design is recognizable in its clean, yet never-austere profiles, geometric and elegant construction, and intentional use of materials.
Today, the seminal work of Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and their contemporaries has been co-opted by the likes of West Elm and even Urban Outfitters. While certainly commercial, this proliferation is actually in keeping with a core belief of Mid-Century's founding fathers (and mothers): The conviction that design should be functional, beautiful and accessible in both cost and aesthetic.
Beyond furniture and decor, color plays an equally important role in creating a Mid-Century space. Though rich, mid-century colors are often somewhat tonal and offset by contrasts in value and hue.
Another source of color inspiration can be found in the artwork of Bauhaus artists like Paul Klee, Annie Albers, and Laszlo Maholy-Nagy. These works all offer nuanced palettes that are right at home in a Mid-Century room.
Whatever your personal tastes may be, the studied yet unconventional mid-century use of color fits just about every home.
Christmas ideas for your wife or ideas for teenagers can be tough, especially when life is going pretty well.
For me, I'm always looking for gift ideas that don't increase clutter in the house. This is one of my favorite parts from Charlie Brown Christmas:
Lucy Van Pelt: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that.
Charlie Brown: What is it you want?
Lucy Van Pelt: Real estate.
With zero-voc paints like Benjamin Moore's Natura you won't have to worry about suffocating fumes because today's paints are safe for painting indoors during the winter.
Your spouse or teen daughter will love the gift of a brand new bedroom with colors that reflect their personality.
Give your family the gift of Color Theory!
Beneath the Paint Chips: A Sample of Their History
We often think of home decorating starting in a some airy interior design office. There's a mood board on the wall and books stacked neatly with a terrarium on top. Perhaps a display or two of personal artifacts acquired during world travels. An actual scene or not, one thing is for sure: a trip to the paint store is still a must.
The Ends of the Rainbow
Ah, the dizzying, inspiring, and—let's just take a moment to tip our hats to the merchandiser who set this up—impeccably organized paint sample display.
As someone who might have enjoyed arranging her crayons as much as using them, the ordered spectrum of paint chips has always been a restorative sight. Surely I'm not alone in collecting these cards for fun. And attendant to my appreciation is curiosity. Unsurprisingly, delving into the history of paint cards necessitates a look at Color Theory's own lineage: the origins of house painting. Yes, I actually did this Google search:
The short answer is sometime around the Industrial Revolution. The long answer, which I found here, is certainly worth the read. (Did you know there was, effectively, underground paint mixing? Me either.) New, efficient systems of manufacture, along with advances in the chemical formulations of paint, dovetailed with a growing rail industry in America. Put simply, more paint could go more places. A growing middle class had access to a product which allowed them to have their own slice of luxury: a home that was not merely functional, but stylish—even enviable—as well.
Paint companies began investing in the potential of this emerging market by developing new methods of promotion. The advertisements below date from the 1880's. What I especially love is how they glued on actual samples of paint. Restrictions in technology (mass-produced color printing had a ways to go at this point) ultimately resulted in a very real, physical presence (rather than an image) of the paint in the consumer's home via "color chip cards." I like to imagine that, not unlike us, those 19th century home-owners held teeny-tiny examples of paint up to the wall, attempting to envision it covering the entire surface. And, not unlike us, I imagine they struggled a bit as well.
What's In a Name?
Another thing I noticed about the early paint samples is the color names. Apple Green, Pink Tint, Flaxen Yellow: The 19th century names are distinctly descriptive, definitely a far cry from more, um, poetic, names used by contemporary paint companies.
Today, our homes are more than reflections of class; our personal spaces communicate who we are as people—our personalities, preferences, and histories. In addition, we consider these rooms as intimate enclosures. Mood and ambience are no longer decorative by-products; They are structural and functional in the most definitive sense. For a sensitive, and perhaps transformative, meditation on our collective notions of home, Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space is a great read. And for a lighthearted take on paint color names, check out this Reddit thread.
So now you know: A paint card is much more than its name. Beneath its seemingly disposable purpose it is actually something of a relic, a modern-day descendent of the complex—and ultimately, deeply human—desire to carve out a piece of the world that is truly ours.
Do you find yourself gravitating towards a particular palette when decorating your own home? What do you want these colors to say about you? If you ever want to discuss these questions further as you undertake the task of re-doing your own home, drop us a line. Color consultation is one of our passions!
When we imagine rooms in our mind's eye, wall color is quite often one of the first things we think of. To that end, as we plan updates to our homes, a change in wall color is at the top of the to-do list. Trim, meanwhile, is not infrequently painted a white semi-gloss. Doors, too, are typically painted the same color as the trim. And that white semi-gloss is tried-and-true for a reason: It's neutral, easy to clean, and makes just about any color look pretty darn good.
But trim can also make quite an impact when it is done in unexpected colors. In fact, just a simple change in hue can shift the entire look of a space. The father of color relativity, Josef Albers, noted, "We are able to hear a single tone. But we almost never…see a single color unconnected and unrelated to other colors." This is what makes trim such a surprising—and likely untapped—element in a room. A thoughtful change in its color will noticeably affect the colors surrounding it—walls included.
This color plate from Albers' seminal Interaction of Color demonstrates how the surrounding color transforms our perception of the color in the center. Those small squares are actually the very same color. AND...
...That square could be a door...
A super-lemon yellow door lends zest to the pale hardwood and gives the otherwise unmemorable white walls a refreshing, icy sheen.
Warm, dusty teal quietly encloses the height of this space, making this entryway that much more inviting. By using teal on the doorframe, it becomes adjacent to the orange wall just behind—an unexpected and humorous touch. Deep wood-stained accents give the unusual trim work a traditional underscore. As a whole, these color choices make for an area of the home that becomes even more rewarding through experience.
Grey has been quite the favorite as of late. And for good reason; it's flexible in both range and personal style. While remaining true to its classy neutrality, it becomes graphic when used on trim and built-ins which allows the whiteness of the walls to feel soft and considered.
Sea glass-inspired blues and greens make for lovely bathroom colors. This particular iteration has a wholeness that lends it a farmhouse practicality. Yet its use on the trim and wainscoting, in addition to that clawfoot tub and marble floor, bring to mind more decadent spaces...
When in Versailles make your trim bold (and gold).
If you're looking for a simple way to refresh a room, a change in trim color may very well be your answer. Our daily rates are perfect for accomplishing these lighter tasks, so whether you'd like to give scuffed wooden door frames an update in minimal and modern white or you want to add earthiness to an entryway, there's truly a spectrum of accessible, exciting options. (And, yes, we can do gold, too.)