Month: October 2013

Pumpkins & Picking Up

Today I had a fun post planned for you, but sadly, it never quite materialized because life got in the way.  Instead of putting together my post, I was hanging out at the pumpkin patch on my daughter’s first Kindergarten field trip.  The kids had so much fun and I had forgotten just how excited they get for their first-ever field trip!  They went on a hay ride, learned all about how pumpkins and corn grow, and then went off to visit the animals and play in the corn box.  Each child got to pick a pumpkin and it was so much fun watching them try to choose just the “perfect” pumpkin!  Tons of photos, tons of fun and somehow, tons of corn kernels left in the back seat of my car. :)

The field trip took up a large part of my day when I normally write –  and then I came home to this:

Messy Room


No, we weren’t burglarized.  This is the work of an active five-year old. Seriously?!  How can one little girl make such a mess of her room in such a short time?  I honestly can’t understand it.  “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just have her clean it when she gets home.”  But then I remembered that she was having a friend over to play after school…a friend who has never been here before and whose mom has never been over before!  Yikes!  I can’t let this be my first impression!  And so began the mad dash of cleaning her room, which took hours.  (Why is it that I really only kick my cleaning into gear when guests are coming??)

So here is it, Wednesday morning, and I don’t have a fun decorating post to share with you.  Instead I’m sharing my real-life story of being a mom to two busy kids.  I’m thinking that today might be a second-cup-of-coffee type of day.  :)


Happy Wednesday!


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How to Choose the Perfect Wall Color

Over the weekend, I attended a class at Pottery Barn presented by Sherwin-Williams called “How to Choose the Perfect Wall Color.”  I furiously took notes so that I could share the information with you in today’s post!

In case you don’t already know, Pottery Barn has teamed up with Sherwin-Williams to hand-pick a selection of Sherwin-Williams colors to use as the Pottery Barn seasonal palette that coordinates with the store’s latest collections.  Here’s a look at this year’s Fall/Winter palette:

Pottery Barn Sherwin-Williams Fall Winter 2013 Paint Palette


What’s nice about the Pottery Barn palette is that it’s reduced to a manageable number of choices so that it isn’t too overwhelming.  But the reality is that when it comes to paint, there are so many color choices that it can be a daunting task to find just the “perfect” color.  To help make the process easier and give you confidence, here are 7 tips to help you find just the right color for you and your home.

Tidbits&Twine How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color


1.  Choose Your Paint Color in the Space You’re Painting

Both the lighting in a space and the surrounding colors used can affect the way a paint color appears, so when choosing a paint, always make your selection while in the space that you’ll be painting.  Take a few paint swatches home from the store and you’ll see that they way the look in the store is entirely different than how they look in your home!  The reason this occurs is because of two phenomenons that affect color:

A.  Metamerism – The influence that light sources have on the appearance of color.  Natural light shows the truest color, while incandescent and fluorescent lights cast warm and cool tones, respectively.

B.  Simultaneous Contrast – The tendency of one color to appear to change based on the surrounding colors.  For example, in the image below you’ll see that a gray-green (right) viewed next to red will appear more green.  On the other hand, a gray-green (right) paired with a vibrant green will tend to look more gray.

Simultaneous Contrast 1 Simultaneous Contrast 2

In order to determine how a paint color will look in your home, you need to sample the paint in your space so that you can take into account the two factors above.


2.  Choose Paint Last

Because paint colors are affected by their surroundings, it is important to always pick your paint color last and have all of your items in the room when choosing a color.


Remember, you are not just choosing a color for a wall, but for an entire space.


3.  Have Your Inspiration Piece Ready

The first step in the design process is to find your inspiration.  You can look to magazines, Pinterest, accessories, art and even your wardrobe to find what it is you’re drawn to and what makes you happy.  Once you have your inspiration, you’ll have an idea as to the color palette you will be working with.  You can also choose a color palette by familiarizing yourself with the color wheel.


4.  Familiarize Yourself with the Color Wheel


A. Colors can be broken down into the following categories:

Primary Colors: Red, Blue and Yellow.  These are true colors that are not mixed with other colors.

Secondary Colors: Orange, Green and Purple.  These are created by combining an equal mix of two primary colors.

Tertiary: All colors made from any combination of other colors.

B. The color wheel also demonstrates the visual temperature of colors.  If you look at the color wheel above, you’ll see that all colors on the right are warm colors, while the ones on the left are cool.

C. You can use the color wheel to help identify interesting combinations of colors:

Monochromatic Color Scheme – This is created by using a single color in varying shades.  This is the simplest of all color schemes and in fact, when looking at paint chips, you’ll notice that all paint chips are laid out in the monochromatic scheme showing each color in a variety of hues.

Monochromatic Color Scheme

Analogous Color Scheme – This is the combination of two or more colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.  For example, yellow, orange and red.

Anagolous Color Scheme

Complementary Color Scheme – This color scheme is created by using colors that are opposites to each other on the color wheel.  As such, it mixes a warm color and a cool color.  If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know that my personal favorite color combination is a complementary one that mixes terracotta and gray-blue.

Complementary Color Scheme


5. Know What Mood You Want to Create

Color has the ability to affect mood, so before painting, take into consideration the type of space you are painting and what mood you want it to reflect.  For example, blues, greens and neutrals tend to evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation and so are generally suited for bedrooms.  Reds, yellows and oranges are more energetic colors that stimulate blood flow and so work well in kitchens.  One word of caution – some colors are so intense that they can be overstimulating or cause eye fatigue, so pay careful attention to the amount of saturation.  You can read more about color psychology here.


6.  Create Color Continuity

In order to create a harmonious environment in your home, use color continuity between all of the rooms even if the walls of different rooms are painted different colors.  For example, if your living room is blue and green, you can use blue and purple in the ding room, thereby creating a continuity of blue between the two rooms.


7.  When Using More Than One Color, Don’t Play Fair

If you choose a color scheme using three colors, don’t use the colors evenly throughout your space.  Instead, follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60% should be your main color, 30% your secondary color and 10% your tertiary.  As a practical example, think of your walls as your 60%, your furniture as your 30% and your accessories as your 10%.

Alternatively, if you are using just two colors, use 66% as your primary and the remainder as your secondary color.



Additional Tips & Tidbits

  • Sherwin-Williams’ paint strip #16 is currently their most popular color strip

SW_Paint Strip 16

  • Sheen doesn’t affect the way a color appears but does affect the amount of light that is reflected.  The higher the sheen, the more the light is reflected.  Higher sheens also allow for better washability but tend to look institutional in a home (with the exception of kitchens and bathrooms)
  • Because colors play off of one another, be sure to always pay attention to the undertones of a color.  For example, a beige with a pink undertone will look different in your space than a beige with a gray undertone.
  • When sampling paint colors, try to paint a square of at least 1′ x 1′ so that you can clearly see the color.  Also try to paint on more than one wall since shadows are cast differently around a room.
  • Observe your paint samples at all times of day to see how the look changes as the lighting changes
  • Sometimes, less is more.  Highly saturated colors often look beautiful on the paint strip, whereas softer colors sometimes look boring.  But remember that you’re painting an entire space and highly saturated colors are often overwhelming in a space and we quickly tire of them.  When looking for the perfect color, don’t rule out the pale shades, as they are often the ones that are most pleasing on the walls.

Tidbits&Twine Saturation Comparison

  • If you have an inspiration image but still aren’t sure what colors to work with, try the Chip It tool as a starting point.  You can read more about Chip It here.
Living Room Chip It Tool
{The Chip It color selection tool.  Photo via Historical Concepts}
  •  If you find a color you like but don’t like the brand of paint, ask about color matching.  Almost all manufacturers can now color match to a competitor’s color.
  • When testing out colors at home, be sure to ask about sample sizes, as they are smaller and less expensive amounts for sampling colors at home.  Many manufactures can tint their sample sizes to any color you want, but they likely only have one sheen available.
  • When painting from a can, you can use a rubber band around the opening to wipe off your brush, keeping the paint from spilling into the rim.

Tidbit Tuesday Rubber Band Around Paint Can

  • Trust your instincts!  If you glance at a sample on your wall and your first reaction is that the color looks different than you thought or you hoped, then it’s probably not the right color for you.  Often, your first reaction is the right one!


One final thought.  There are literally thousands of paint colors available, so if you find yourself unsure or hesitant about a color, eliminate it from consideration and move on to other options.  If you follow the tips above, then chances are when you find the right color, you’ll know it!


Now I’m off to pick a paint color for my  guest bedroom!


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Updating 80’s Builder Grade Kitchen Cabinets

What a week this has been!  I love working on this blog, posting pictures, writing articles and basically fluffing everything up to make it pretty.  What I don’t enjoy is the backend technical stuff and it seems that’s all I’ve been dealing with this week!  As you might have noticed, my site has been down more than it’s been up lately, which makes me sad.  After more than three hours on the phone with my  hosting company, though, it looks like my site is up and running again.  Fingers crossed it stays this way!  Now I can finally get back to the fun stuff.


So let’s talk kitchen cabinets!


When I was cleaning up the kitchen last night I started thinking about the makeover we did when we first moved into the house some years back.  So today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite kitchen updates that is small but makes a huge impact – trim and molding!

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinets


We have 1980’s pink oak, builder-grade cabinets.  (Yes, they really are pinkish.  Yuck.)  The previous owners had painted the cabinets already, but they used two different colors and so when we moved in, I wanted to repaint them to be just one color.  Now there’s no way I could have painted the cabinets myself – way beyond my skill set – so I hired a painter/woodworker for the project.  He suggested that I add crown molding to the top of the cabinets and trim to the bottom to update them.  I can’t believe how much these two details changed the look of the cabinets!  They now not only look updated, but also custom.

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinets Stove


My kitchen has drop ceilings (under 8′) so I didn’t have a lot of space to add crown.  We had to use a smaller piece in order for it to fit, but can you imagine what an impact crown would have if you have taller ceilings that can handle a larger, more dramatic piece?

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinet Crown


If I remember correctly, the trim around the bottom of the upper cabinets is actually two different pieces put together to create the right shape and angle.  It’s a small amount of trim so it doesn’t hang too low or take up much visual space between the cabinets and counters, but adds a lot of character.  What’s also nice about this trim piece is that if you add under cabinet lighting, the lighting fixtures will be hidden.

Tidbits&Twine Kitchen Cabinet Trim


I should mention that we didn’t update the 80’s cabinets solely with paint and trim.  We also replaced the doors to reflect a raised panel style and changed the hinges from the exposed type to the European hinges.  But I can’t imagine if we had gone through the painting process and not added the trim pieces because they are now my favorite part!

Tidbits&Twine Updated Old Cabinets



Painted kitchen cabinets are still quite popular and so if you’re thinking about painting yours, consider adding some molding and trim to give it a more custom and contemporary look.


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