Give Your Home A Facelift With These Remodeling Projects

Give Your Home A Facelift With These Remodeling Projects

There’s room for improvement in each room of your home. Here, we will take a look at a few remodeling projects that will have an impact both on your quality-of-life and your home’s value. We’ll also point out which projects you should tackle on your own and which to pass off to the professionals.

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Where to Begin with Decorating a Small Space

Where to Begin with Decorating a Small Space

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 The book itself is maybe a decade old by now but Conran has never been out of date.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.

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Why you'll never choose colors without a consultant ever again!

Why you'll never choose colors without a consultant ever again!

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?

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7 Necessary (but not evil) Exterior Spring Cleaning Projects - Checklist Included

7 Necessary (but not evil) Exterior Spring Cleaning Projects - Checklist Included

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.

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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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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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Much More Than a Sample: Paint Cards and Their Purpose

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. 

Image: Decor Pad

Image: Decor Pad

 

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.

Check out Architect Magazine's article, A Colorful History of Paint, for even more information and images. They also have a link to this veritable treasure trove of historical home decorating and improvement books. 

 

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.

Souces: Architect Magazine, The Magazine Antiques, Shearer Painting

 

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!

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. 

Glossy white trim gives this dining room a clean and bright look.  Image: HGTV

Glossy white trim gives this dining room a clean and bright look. Image: HGTV

 

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.

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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...

Image: Design Sponge

Image: Design Sponge

A super-lemon yellow door lends zest to the pale hardwood and gives the otherwise unmemorable white walls a refreshing, icy sheen.

 

...Or Entryway

Image: houseandhome.com

Image: houseandhome.com

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.

 

...Or Kitchen

Image: lightlocations.com

Image: lightlocations.com

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.

 

...Or Bathroom

Image: House Beautiful

Image: House Beautiful

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...

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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.)

 

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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What to Expect at Your Color Consultation

What to Expect at Your Color Consultation

We know what it's like to stand in front of the wall of endless color at the paint store and feel overwhelmed by all of the choices! There are few things more disappointing than spending time picking paint colors only to discover - after painting - that the color you chose isn't quite right. With our color consultations, we aim to take all the hassle out of choosing the perfect colors for your home.     

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Facing Your Painting Fears

With Spring on the way, many people will be looking to update their homes. Taking the painting plunge can be daunting, but we have ways to make the process painless. 

Start with what you already have

It is much easier to start your color search with the decor that you already have in the room. Take note of colors and patterns that are already in the room, and pick paint colors that go well with the decor. If the room is unfurnished, or you are changing the furnishings, pick out the new items before choosing your paint colors. Remember that it is much easier to pick a paint color that fits with the decor, rather than decorating to fit the paint. 

Don't be overwhelmed by the paint rack

When searching for a new paint color, skip the paint rack. It's too easy to become overwhelmed by all the color choices and different shades of the same color. Instead of fretting over picking the exact perfect color, decide first the feelings and function of the room. Do you want a warm, cozy living room to curl up and watch a movie? Or maybe a clean, fresh bedroom for an invigorating start to the day? Once you have an idea of the feeling and function of the room, call a local color consultant (like Torlando at Color Theory) to assist in choosing the exact color for your dream room. A color consultant has a vast knowledge of colors and how to best use them in certain spaces. They can take all the stress out of picking the right colors for your home.

Compare paint colors next to objects other than your walls.

When holding paint samples up to walls (especially white walls), it's difficult to envision how the colors will go with everything in your home, and you will be more likely to pick a color that is too light. Make sure to compare colors against a variety of backdrops, including, furniture, rugs, flooring, etc. That way you can choose a color that works with all the furnishings in your room.

Test your final choices

Once you have narrowed down your color choices, purchase a small sample of each color and test it on the walls. In doing this, you can be sure that the color looks good with the lighting in the room as well as with the furnishings. Just make sure that the samples are in the same finish (high gloss, matte, etc.) as your final product, or the final product may surprise you. 

Hire professional painters

Painting a room may seem like an easy, weekend project, but finding the right time and using the right tools may be harder than you think. For a room to really look spectacular, it is best to hire a professional painter or painting crew. Make sure to research the painting companies in your local area before hiring one. The best painting crew/company will he highly rated, with exceptional painters using high quality products (Pro-tip: Make your search even easier by calling us!). Professional painters will get the job done quickly, and leave your home looking better than when they came. Plus, you have your weekend back to do something much more fun! 

So, next time you're looking to repaint your home, don't fear the painting process. However, if you do still have the painting jitters, there are professionals here who would love to help you create the home of your dreams!

A Guide to Living Room Furniture & Decor

A Guide to Living Room Furniture & Decor

The living room is the place where you live. You spend a majority of your waking hours here (or at least it's a close race between here and the kitchen). You want this space to look great but you also want it to bring your family together and feel like you can relax. In this guide, we are going to address how to find the right balance through furniture placement and decor choices so that you can live the life you want to be living in your living room. 

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Successfully painting white.

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When I was in college I took an acting class as one of my electives. I did a little bit of theater in high school. I infamously played the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz which drew a standing ovation upon entrance. So for me, an acting class was a chance to hone in on those acting skills and relive my glory days. For our final project we were assigned a three man scene from a play about a character who buys a very expensive painting that is painted in no other colors but white with subtle textural variation. The other two characters were his friends, one of which who thought that the painting and the price were ridiculous and the other (me) who was open to the idea but mostly just supportive of the idea that one should be able to buy whatever they want or what they are moved by. 

 

I ended up painting a prop painting for the scene and later hung it up in my bathroom. I have to say the more time I spent with my white painting as bathroom wall art, the more I began to appreciate the color. 

 

I have had clients on both sides of the coin. Some who crave the life of a colorful room and detest the plainness, while others love the clean, open, elegance that white provides; not to mention its versatility. I say white is versatle because it is the supernal neutral. In a way it gives itself no impression. It hardly detracts from the colors it accentuates and yet there are SO many options.  

 

When selecting the proper white for your home the most important consideration is lighting. Lighting changes not only from room to room but from wall to wall. And as such, what is the best option for one room may not be the best for another room. That's why it's imperative to take your color sample into other rooms to make sure it has the same qualities you loved in the previous room. Or you may need to adjust the color a little to suit the lighting effects of each room.

 

We had this very design challenge in this beautiful Renwick home in Bloomington, IN.  

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The large open windows and vaulted ceilings provides tons of natural light into the space and the subtle off-white palette keeps the openness alive. The color here is Glacier White OC-37, a bit of a misnomer to this warmer in temperature hue.

 

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A breakfast dinnette with near floor to ceiling windows lets the sun light in and wakes you up to yet another wonderful day. 

 

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The light from the dinnette travels through the kitchen all the way to the formal dining room. The earth tone granite countertops and rich wood cabinetry promote calmness and peace when trimed with soft white walls and trim.  The cream island connects the walls together makIng this white more intentional than default. The eye is drawn to pops of blue ceramics.

 

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Keeping with the neutral scheme, the formal dining room was painted in a light grey called Greenwich Gate CSP-170. Being on the north west entrance with the sun setting in the view is the perfect place for an evening dining room with more open windows. Greenwich Gate is a warm-toned grey. The warmth turns the formal feel into a cozy formal. You don't feel like you can't touch anything or crack a joke. It's elegant but it's not cold.  I feel like a young couple could announce their engagement to family here. 

 

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Now comes the grand entrance. Everything about this entrance is grand. However, comparitively, the window only allows for a limited amount of light. This changes things. We can't just use glacier white in here and expect it to do the same as in the well lit rooms. 

 

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The color here is Winds Breath OC-24. The goal here wasn't to match the glacier white but rather to find an appropriate white for the space. The lighting of this room, with less natural light and more warm lighting caused the glacier white to take on a green tint. However, Winds Breath maintains the warms while keeping the room light. Which was the primary goal. Lightness. 

 

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Up the stairs we can see into the living room with this stunning chandelier and intricate railing.  

 

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Again in the bathrooms we chose different shades of white to account for the change in lighting. In this half bath we used Stoneware CSP-245. All of these colors can be found in Benjamin Moore fan decks. 

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And below we have a Jack and Jill bathroom with entrances coming from two guest bedrooms painted in Ice Fog CSP-575.

 

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Finally in the grandkids' bedroom we've brought back Glacier White in keeping with this simple but elegant neutral white palette. 

 

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To Get an Estimate for painting your home white call 812-668-2113 or connect with a consultant online now!

How to Pick Colors for Your Home

You've been there, I've been there, staring at that wall of color trying to figure out where to begin and all of these colors have simply left you in the dark...(get it? It's because their silhouettes in the stock picture are dark...).  In all seriousness, it's hard, you don't know if it's going to all flow together in real life the same way it flows in together in your mind (not to mention the spouse isn't helping at all).  Trust me, I've had that same argument with my wife and picking colors is what I do for a living.  That's why color consultations are so important when deciding to paint your home. 

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Can you paint vinyl siding?

Can you paint vinyl siding?

The great thing about vinyl siding is that it's cost effective, holds up well to weather and is very easy to replace broken strips.  The biggest selling point of vinyl is that you don't have to paint it.  But can you?  After all, the downside to vinyl siding is that every house tends to look the same. 

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