How To Know If Your Exterior Needs Painting

How To Know If Your Exterior Needs Painting

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.  

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Valentine's Day Inspired Pinks - Best Shades of Pink to Paint a Room

Valentine's Day Inspired Pinks - Best Shades of Pink to Paint a Room

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.

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Kitchen Design - What to do with your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Design - What to do with your Kitchen Cabinets

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.

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How to Start a Painting Project with a Professional Painter

How to Start a Painting Project with a Professional Painter

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. 

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Best of Houzz 2017: Press Release

Best of Houzz 2017: Press Release

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.

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Painting Dark Pewter

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. 

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Painting White

Painting White

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.

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I Know How You Feel About All This Christmas Business

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:

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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.

Consider Paint! 

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!

Check out our pricing to see what painting a single room costs!

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Much More Than a Sample: Paint Cards and Their Purpose

Much More Than a Sample: Paint Cards and Their Purpose

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. 

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Trim: Go Bold in Your Home

Trim: Go Bold in Your Home

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. 

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Maximizing Storage and Style in Your Mudroom

When you've got the space, a well organized mudroom is a must. Everyday we get home we kick off our shoes next to the door. Throw our coats and bags on a kitchen chair and leave ourselves a mess to clean up later. But it's later right? We take care of later stuff later! 

With mudrooms, you don't have to put anything away because its already there! Wouldn't it be nice to just walk in, take off your shoes and coat and be done? Just go relax now?

Here are a few ideas for built-ins that will do just the trick for you and your family. 

Baskets on shelves help you to contain the crazy. You know stuff gets out of hand. You know its impossible to sub-compartimentalize every last part of your life. Throw it in a cute basket, duh! Also, don't forget to switch out your throw pillows and rug for the season you're in.

Baskets on shelves help you to contain the crazy. You know stuff gets out of hand. You know its impossible to sub-compartimentalize every last part of your life. Throw it in a cute basket, duh! Also, don't forget to switch out your throw pillows and rug for the season you're in.

Try separating out a compartment for each person in the house. Give them the responsibility to maintain their own space. Reward them for organization and shut the door on them for being disorderly! Just kidding. Be nice.

Try separating out a compartment for each person in the house. Give them the responsibility to maintain their own space. Reward them for organization and shut the door on them for being disorderly! Just kidding. Be nice.

Whether your storage is overhead or down below, leave a little room for decoration to make the mud room inviting. The mudroom for you family is a "welcome home". We want it to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Now it's time to de-stress.

Whether your storage is overhead or down below, leave a little room for decoration to make the mud room inviting. The mudroom for you family is a "welcome home". We want it to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Now it's time to de-stress.

You might be asking yourself, "why is wainscoting so popular in mudrooms?". Good question, I'm glad you asked.

The reason I like wainscoting in mudrooms is two fold. First, wainscoting has a really nice interesting look, however, if it's over-used in a home it can look like it's trying to hard. Small areas like a mudroom or bathroom are great choices for a modest use of wainscoting. 

The second reason is durability and washability. Wainscoting is made from a particle board print that is much harder than gypsum board (drywall) so it doesn't damage easily. In addition to this, wainscoting looks best with a satin or semi-gloss finish which is very washable. Smooth walls don't do as well with higher sheens because they tend to show imperfections and roller marks.  The verticle pattern in the wainscoting doesn't show these same imperfections.

Do yourself a favor! 

This year make a plan to flesh out your mudroom. You'll be so glad you did. Your house will feel cleaner and more organized and you'll love walking home and not tripping over a pile of shoes you don't know where to put. 

 

If you're interested in getting a custom built-in ask us about our friends the Walnut Builders and lets come up with a plan!

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Hello, Fall!

Our past few posts featured some lovely outdoor spaces. But the recent cooler days (not to mention fallen leaves on the porch) may have you wondering how to make the most of your “fifth room” before winter sets in. Below you'll find a few easy tips to add warmth and coziness to your deck, porch, or patio. Better yet, these ideas work just as well in any living area.

 

Texture

Fall in Bloomington is particularly beautiful. If you've ever spent a sunny afternoon out at Lake Monroe or Lake Griffy, you're familiar with the rich and colorful trees. You can easily borrow from the feeling of the landscape itself with textured pillows, throws, and rugs. Consider layering different textures to mimic the variation found in one of fall's best features: foliage in transition.

Image: Style Files

Image: Style Files

Image: DIY Network

Image: DIY Network

 

Warmth

Let's be honest: Some people just resist being outside as the days and evenings turn chilly. In addition to offering a favorite autumn sweater, adding visual warmth through lighting accents, such as string lights and votives (and maybe even a flame-free DIY fire pit, too) creates an enticing — and cozy — environment.

Image: Brooklyn Limestone

Image: Brooklyn Limestone

Image: Sunset.com

Image: Sunset.com

See more outdoor lighting inspiration here.

 
image: apartment therapy

image: apartment therapy

These DIY votive holders work well in outdoor both and indoor spaces. Apartment Therapy has even more ideas here.

 

PATTERN AND...COLOR!

Perhaps the easiest way to get your outdoor space feeling Fall is through autumnal patterns and, of course, our favorite —color! Buffalo checks and other plaids make an even bolder impression in rich, warm palettes. And — dare we say it — usher us into the holiday season ahead. 

Image: Howtodecorate.com

Image: Howtodecorate.com

image: designsponge

image: designsponge

Image: sua casa sua festa

Image: sua casa sua festa

 

Adaptable to any home, these ideas are also well-suited for personal interpretation. They work in just about any decorating style. What's your favorite aesthetic for fall? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!

Outdoor Livin'

Summer is a great time for backyard renovations. You can create a beautiful backyard that can be enjoyed through fall (and sometimes even winter). Below are some ideas for your perfect backyard, no matter your style  or space. 

These backyards are perfect for the garden lover. It's so nice to be able to grow your own food, right in your backyard!

These backyards prove that you don't need a huge yard to make a functional space that everyone will love to spend time in. 

These last backyards are just dream yards; gorgeous pools, mature trees, plenty of space to run. Sounds like heaven to me! 

What are some things you would like to see in your dream backyard? Let us know on here, or check out our Facebook page and leave a comment there! 

Getting Ready for Summer Parties!

Summer Backyard Bbq Grill Party Scene

The first day of Summer was this week, and Fourth of July is coming up soon, which means the beginning of Summer party season! Summer is the greatest time for outdoor parties, get-togethers, and barbecues. Below you will find some ideas to really make your Summer parties spectacular! 

DIY Paper Cup Lights

Paper cup lights are an easy way to add some cute decoration to any party, while still being functional. All you need for this project is a strand of Christmas lights, 3oz paper cups, and an X-acto knife (colored/patterned paper and glue optional). If the color or pattern on your cups doesn't appeal to you, use the paper and glue to cover the outside of the cups. Then, use the X-acto knife to cut a small x on the bottom of the cup. This is where the bulb from the Christmas lights will go. Attach a cup to each bulb along the entire strand of lights, and voila! You have a beautiful decoration and light source for your party. 

Keep the Bugs Away

The worst part about summer parties are all the bugs, especially mosquitoes. There are many different tips and methods for keeping the pests away, but the easiest and most effective way to keep your party as insect-free as possible is to set up at least two electric fans (more for bigger areas). Many small insects, including mosquitoes and gnats, don't have to strength to fly in the breeze. You can create your own breeze using the fans and the bugs will stay away. Plus your guests will be kept cooler and more comfortable. 

Make a Clean and Inviting Space

No one wants to attend a party or barbecue with too little seating, an overgrown yard, and a dirty space. Make sure to have enough clean, comfortable seating for all guests (or invite guests to bring their own). Yard work can be a pain, but it is important to get it done before a party (or at least get the lawn mowed). Finally, clean the outside areas of your home. Siding can become dingy and covered in mildew over time. Same with your driveway, fence, and deck. Before you have a party, have all these surfaces power washed. If you don't want to worry about taking on all that work yourself, call us. We will come to your home (you don't even have to be there), connect to your water source, power wash anything that needs to be, including windows and gutters, and clean up everything before we go. Then you will be all ready for your perfect Summer party!    

8 Clean, Cool, and Functional Kitchens

Summer is right around the corner, and that means friends and family gathering together for summer parties. And what are parties without delicious food? Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, especially when entertaining guests. These 8 kitchens are some of my favorites, not only because they have interesting designs and are beautiful, but also because they are totally functional, with plenty of cabinet and counter space. Check them out below, and let us know which kitchen is your favorite! 

Kitchen

I really love this kitchen (even though you can only see one wall), because of the stark contrast of the light walls and backsplash with the dark cabinets and flooring. 

Cozy Country Reno

I like the old-fashioned, rustic feel of this kitchen. To me, the room feels almost serene, with the pale green cabinets and walls. It's a great use of color without being overwhelming.

Seamless

This kitchen proves that even smaller spaces can be beautiful and functional. The spice racks on the cabinet doors is a great space-saver, and the green island adds a pop of color and extra storage (and it can be moved for greater accessibility into the rest of the space). So cute!

City Homes

This kitchen really caught my attention because of the way the cabinet doors are painted. I have never seen cabinets painted like that, but I absolutely love the way it looks! 

Noe Valley

This kitchen is very sleek with the white subway tiles and off-white cabinets. All the light colors in the room just make that hint of blue pop even more. 

Rosebank

This kitchen is similar in color to the first kitchen, with the light walls and dark lower cabinets, but this kitchen is a little more industrial with the silver countertops, sink, and handles. 

Wahoo Lake house kitchen

I am crazy about this kitchen. It is so bright and the blue is such a fun accent color. You can even see it in the pantry just off the kitchen. And these floors are just gorgeous. Add in all the cabinet and counter space, and you pretty much have a perfect kitchen.

The Balham Kitchen by deVOL

This final kitchen looks like my kind of kitchen (complete with cat)! Exposed brick is one of my favorite features in a house, and here it complements the dark cabinets beautifully. I would live in this kitchen.

Remember to like us on Facebook, and tell us which kitchen look is your favorite!  

How to Make the Most of Memorial Day

Memorial Day began three years after the Civil War on May 30, 1868. It was originally established as Decoration Day and it was a time for people to come together and decorate the graves of the soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day celebrations were being held throughout the nation, still on May 30. After World War I, however, Memorial Day was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars, not just the Civil War. In 1971, Memorial Day was given it's official name and declared a national holiday by Congress. It was also changed to be celebrated on the last Monday of May, rather than each year on May 30. 

In recent years, however, it seems Memorial Day has become just a day off work, or another reason to party. While there is nothing wrong with getting together and grilling with family and friends, I think it's about time we make the most of the opportunity we have been given to honor and remember the soldiers who fought, are fighting, or were never able to return home to their families. 

The first thing you can do to make the most of Memorial Day is decorating with flags. Have miniature flags on your dinner table while you're grilling, or in your lawn while the kids are running and playing. If you have a flag pole, remember that flags can be flown at half-mast from dawn until noon, local time. Flags are a great reminder of our freedoms and those who have fought for them. 

You and your family can also participate in the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day. This moment of silence and remembrance was established by Congress in an attempt to create reverence and unity on this noble holiday. The National Moment of Remembrance is observed at 3pm local time and lasts for one minute. The time 3pm was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms. So, this Memorial Day try taking one minute out of the day to remember why we celebrate this holiday. 

Lastly, this Memorial Day you can thank a veteran. Since this holiday is a time for remembering and honoring our fallen soldiers, it is also a perfect time to thank soldiers, past and present who are here with us today. If you don't personally know a veteran, you can write a letter to a veteran or soldier. You can visit Operation Gratitude for more information about writing letters to currently deployed soldiers.    

After putting up your flags, participating in the National Moment of Remembrance, and thinking a veteran/writing letters, it's time to spend time with loved ones and enjoy some great food. If you're looking for a great way to spice up the old burger routine, try this recipe for delicious Barbecued Burgers and leave us a comment here or on Facebook to let us know your special Memorial Day traditions!