This post is written by Tricia Firmaniuk, my design assistant who handles my eDesign:
So often people find Maria’s blog AFTER they have already made some costly mistakes in their renovations; when they realize it’s not coming together the way they had hoped, and they go looking for answers on Google.
DIY design has some common pitfalls. One of the biggest ones is making decisions without the context of the entire “big picture” of how things will relate. Good design is the result of a well reasoned plan.The trouble is that when you don’t make design and decorating decisions all day long, and you are faced with the opportunity to finally redecorate or renovate your kitchen, it is too easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. It is tough even to decide where to begin and it is far too easy to make costly mistakes. And then what?
Well in swoops Maria with our “Save Me from Myself” eDesign consultation 🙂
One of our lovely eDesign clients and her husband had spent 3 years on a drawn out kitchen renovation. After all of that, they were still unhappy.
She admitted they had neglected to be sure that their plan for the new kitchen related to the rest of the house that wasn’t going to be changing much. They had installed a bright white kitchen without changing their earthy porcelain tile. They chose hardware and backsplash tile that were far too contemporary to relate to the existing finishes. They had worked very hard but in the end, they knew it was just not right.
Here is their new kitchen.
You can see how the floor was completely ignored, the new true white cabinets are too stark.
Fortunately, for some reason, the cabinets needed to be repainted anyway so we recommended that they go with a creamier off white which was already their trim colour everywhere, BM White Dove.
The shiny black graphic backsplash they installed was not helping it relate to the rustic floor tile either. It was way too dark and modern.
The stark white island countertop and hood fan in this kitchen are also very white but the white has been repeated and the styling is gorgeous.
Sometimes, if you make a mistake, just repeating the colour again can make it look right again.
If you were going to introduce accent tile with floors this colour, you could consider this:
This much graphic black and white works for this laundry room with a small area to tile but might be too much for a kitchen with a lot of backsplash tile.
The cabinets in this kitchen are pink beige but they do work with the floor. And if you have an orange, terra cotta, or Saltillo tile here is where repeating the colour in a butcher block countertop looks great!
Adding terra cotta pots with rosemary and cactus is also a great way to style a kitchen with orange tile floors.
Here is our advice to tweak the details of this kitchen to make it feel more classic and traditional.
With these few relatively minor tweaks, (a subway tile backsplash in the right white simply never fails 😉 their kitchen will relate better to the rest of their house.
We didn’t stop there. It is still a brand new black and white kitchen in an earthy house, so we gave them some decorating tips to pull everything together 🙂
Here is a photo they sent us of the living room.
The main thing needed here is contrast and colour. We recommended that they paint their built ins the trim and cabinet colour, White Dove, to better relate to their new off white kitchen, slipcover their beige chairs off white, and add a black and cream rug and some bright accent pillows. And we gave them the perfect neutral paint colour to tie it all together.
We gave them some toss cushions and a rug as a spring off point for a brighter more current colour scheme that repeated the high contrast black and creamy white of their new kitchen in the living room along with a punchy indigo blue accent colour. The cushions and rug images were all hyperlinked in the presentation so they can source them easily.
The dining room in particular needs updating to relate to their shiny new kitchen. The current set up has not a stitch of black, white or colour (aside from the green walls that aren’t really relating to anything).
We recommended that they update their dining set by swapping out either the table or chairs for something white or reupholstering their chairs in a bright off white wipe-able fabric.
Furniture arrangements look best when they have a collected and coordinated look rather than looking like they were bought as a set. Here again, contrast, in this case black and white, is key to creating a fresher look in their dining room and making it relate to the new kitchen.
They already had a great idea for their window treatments which we affirmed for them.
So there you have it, some tweaking of details and savvy decorating can go a long way towards correcting even relatively major design issues. We created our “Save Me from Myself” package with this in mind. This way we can help you with the tweaks that will make the most impact on top of the perfect paint colour.
She sent this note later:
I got my new Dash and Albert black and white rug, I love it!!!! I am currently reupholstering my dining chairs as instructed.
My friend bought the exact handmade African fabric(bulk/whi) and is making my pillows for me.
The consultation has relieved me of a lot of stress and was worth every penny.
Whether you have some ideas and you would like to run them by us, or you are just not sure what your room needs to come together, there is enough flexibility built into this package to tailor our advice to you and your house specifically. Because most often, getting the right paint colour is not quite enough to turn your room into an “after” picture, usually there are some simple but effective tweaks that will make all the difference in the look and feel of your room.
Click here if you would like us to help you solve your colour puzzles too.
I’m in Charlotte about to hop into a car to drive to High Point Market with my good friend Lisa Mende (below) who was in my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop this week!
This is what Lisa said about my course:
I highly recommend Maria’s course, Specifying Colour with Confidence, to new designers or color specialist just starting their practice as well as the seasoned designer.
Her knowledge about color is unparalleled. I already owned her custom paint color boards which I use with clients all the time but taking the class gave me a new perspective on how to use them to the fullest potential with my clients.
The course was well organized. I came away with lots of tips on working with clients in ways that will save me time and money.
When you have a master color expert like Maria explaining the theory of color in the way she has devised which is simple to understand, you then feel better equipped at explaining color to your clients.
Another amazing group of design professionals and colour enthusiasts below:
Charlotte True Colour Experts
Photos by Melissa Bolinger
I’m wearing a current cold shoulder top from Bloomingdales! I have been looking for one but this is the first one that looks good!
Traci Zeller and Maria Killam
Traci was the first True Colour Expert she was in my very first course 6 1/2 years ago when I launched this training and we held the event at her Country Club (we are at Country Clubs a lot because they have windows) she was my guest speaker talking about her Designer for a Day service and how it works!
Every designer charges a little differently so it’s always valuable to learn another way of adding to your income.
Register here if you’d like to transform the way you see colour.
I’ll be at High Point Market this weekend, follow me on Instagram to see all the latest trends.
The Best Way to Work with Saltillo Flagstone (because it’s pink)