Design Tips

Jane Synnestvedt used Sherwin-Williams Snowbound and Dhurrie Beige to provide depth. Photo by Beth Singer
Jane Synnestvedt used Sherwin-Williams Snowbound and Dhurrie Beige to provide depth. Photo by Beth Singer

Monday, April 29, 2019

Designers’ Go-to Colors

Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement or create a neutral background, updating a room’s paint color is a simple way to make an immediate impact. Several top designers share their tried-and-true favorite colors they rely on again and again in their design projects.

“The photo above is from a project where I used Sherwin-Williams Snow Bound SW7004 on the ceiling and Dhurrie Beige 7524 on the walls. These are both go-to colors for ceilings and walls as they're both clean and pigment-saturated, which provides a great deal of depth on a neutral palette. Particularly when exposure to natural light influences the hue, these two colors tend to stay true to their value.”
– Jane Synnestvedt, Jane Synnestvedt Interior Design Inc.

“Colors have a voice. They have a physiological effect on our minds, emotions, and bodies. Red, along with its tints, tones, and shades, is a very powerful hue that can stimulate the senses, encourage conversations, and increase the appetite. Hence it is a wonderful color to use in a dining room. For clients who desire dramatic dining rooms, I often suggest the deeper tones of red for the walls – those in the claret or burgundy families. Two of my go-to paint colors are Sherwin-Williams SW7584 Red Theatre and SW7583 Wild Currant. Red Theatre is more of a maroon or dark red-brown. Wild Current is a brighter shade. In the two dining rooms shown above, the particular colors chosen for the walls were influenced by the fabrics used for the window treatments. The Red Theatre walls were inspired by a screen-printed fabric from Vervain; the Wild Currant walls were inspired by a silk-blend fabric from Texture Fabrics.”
– Linda Shears, Linda Shears Designs

“In the room pictured above, I used Sherwin-Williams #7072 Online on the walls, which provided nice depth and did not wash out with the white ceiling. I needed an accent to complement the color in the pictures and pillows, so I chose Sherwin-Williams #6635 Determined Orange. To make this small corner of the room feel cozy I purchased two swivel chairs, a sofa, and a storage bench from RJ Thomas to use as a footstool as well as storage for throw blankets when not in use. The rug from The Ghiordes Knot was cut down for the area and the rest was used in the foyer entrance.”
– Lois Haron, Lois Haron Designs

“The 'neutral' color I often return to is what I call 'mushroom' or 'stone,' and it's a warm 'greige.' It's pretty in its lightest form as well as when it's deeper and more saturated. Any bright color pop works well with this neutral, but I prefer black or white accents, which are forever, sophisticated, and classic.”
Amy Weinstein, AMW Design Studio

“When putting together a color scheme for a space, we typically gravitate toward a neutral background palette in either warm or cool tones and let the more dominant colors in the space present themselves through items such as area rugs, upholstery, drapery, and artwork. Though, typically, we will start with a specific rug or fabric selection in order to pull out the perfect coordinating background colors, I do have some go-to neutrals by Benjamin Moore that I find very versatile and easy to work with.”
– Kevin Serba and John Rattray, Serba Interiors

 These bookcase shelves house steel plates on hidden tracks, allowing the artwork to be rearranged. Photo by Beth Singer
These bookcase shelves house steel plates on hidden tracks, allowing the artwork to be rearranged. Photo by Beth Singer

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Design Tips: Open Shelving

Open shelves can instantly update any space. Seven top designers share their styling tips for creating well-edited shelves.

“The bookcases in this living room were custom-made from walnut frames with contrasting natural Tamo ash panels. The floating shelves were designed to create an interesting but clean entertainment unit highlighting collected pieces of art. There is a steel plate on each shelf that can slide on a hidden track, allowing for a backdrop for the art pieces that can be rearranged if any items are replaced. The art ranges from a piece made of metal from space, a collection of Pewabic Pottery, to found objects.”
– Amanda Sinistaj, Ellwood Interiors

“I consulted with a custom woodworker to create these white laminated shelves that give symmetry and balance to this wood wall. They also fill the space and give some relief to the otherwise dark background of the wood.  Keeping the art pieces simple added some interest but maintained the clean, contemporary look of the space.”
– Ann-Marie Anton, It’s Personal Design

“I used floating shelves in my personal kitchen since I love the casual sophistication of a more European look that portrays real life and how you live as staged perfection. The open floating shelves, combined with ample cabinet drawers, provide plenty of flexible storage while allowing me to showcase my eclectic aesthetic. I chose to style my shelves with my everyday dishes, candlesticks, glass coffee jar, wine, and art.”
– Carrie Long, Carrie Long Interiors

“It was important to our client to have the memories of mementos that she had collected over the years. Floating shelves seemed like the perfect solution to capture our client’s keepsakes in this popular gathering spot.”
– Michelle Mio, Rariden Schumacher Mio & Co.

"Floating shelves can be used beyond the obvious storage or decoration. Here you can see we used floating shelves from Extraordinary Works to create architectural interest. The thick white shelf strikes a beautiful contrast against the wood, creating frame and dimensionality for the wine storage feature."
– Rachel Nelson and Lauren DeLaurentiis, RL Concetti LLC

“In this contemporary dining room, I opted for a floating shelf rather than a console table or credenza in order to maintain a lighter, more open feel within the space. With no need for additional storage, the shelf provides a surface for serving during dinner parties, while the dramatic grain of the zebrawood veneer offers visual interest without overpowering the dynamic Isabel Bigelow lithographs above.”
– Kevin Serba, Serba Interiors

“Floating shelves are a favorite of mine because they provide a strong linear statement that gives order to a collection of items, or emphasis on a single, minimal object. I feel floating shelves must hold a well-curated collection of objects that have a strong point of view, or common thread, such as theme, color, or material.”
– Amy Weinstein, AMW Design Studio

Laura Zender used fresh fabrics when incorporating café curtains in her clients’ bathrooms. Photos by Jeff Garland
Laura Zender used fresh fabrics when incorporating café curtains in her clients’ bathrooms. Photos by Jeff Garland

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Window Treatments

With spring right around the corner, windows take center stage as our thoughts turn to balmy breezes and the sun-filled days ahead. Top designers share their tips for creating window treatments that frame the view and finish the room beautifully.

“At Laura Zender Design, we are big fans of the tried-and-true café curtain, especially in places like bathrooms where consistent light and privacy are equally required. A café curtain is one hung only part way up the window, the way many old roadside cafes used to cover their windows, hence the name. Gone, however, are the days of your grandmother’s lacy polyester café curtain on a flimsy white tension rod. We modernize ours with fresh up-to-date fabrics (like the silky blue and white Schumacher pictured above), sleek pinched pleats, and beautiful nickel or iron rods with rings. This is a great way to add pattern, interest, and privacy while maintaining good natural light through the top half of the window at all times. There is a reason this traditional treatment endures: it’s so functional and can be dressed up or down in an unlimited number of ways.” – Laura Zender, Laura Zender Design

Tucked away in a wooded area of Torch Lake, a new-build home, designed by Jones-Keena & Co., marries rustic with the sleek elegance of modern. The combination of wood, stone, and metal textures embraces the charm of a classic farmhouse, while feeling fresh and updated. The home is outfitted with a high-performance shade system that seamlessly works with the design and architecture. Jones-Keena & Co. designers Lucy Earl and Amanda Rose worked alongside home technology specialists, Spire Integrated Systems, to install Lutron QS Wireless motorized window treatments paired with Hartmann & Forbes window covers (available at Tennant & Associates) to offer semi-privacy and block harsh midday sun. The custom woven natural fabric complements the organic aesthetics of the room. The shades are artfully concealed in the millwork when not in use.

“Open-weave sheers are a good choice for screening late-day sun from an expansive set of windows, while preserving the view beyond. The treatment can be controlled manually or electronically by remote. We selected a Kravet Couture open-weave sheer with a Samuel & Sons edge trim.

A tightly woven linen with a natural shell edge trim was selected for the adjacent entertaining space. No light filtering treatment was required here, but both fabric and trim were selected to coordinate with the adjoining rooms as well as to camouflage a structural column that interrupted the view. We chose a Kravet linen paired with a Samuel & Sons trim to provide a well-curated waterfront window treatment.” – Kathleen McGovern, Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design

“Window treatments can elevate a room not only aesthetically but functionally. Natural light is a powerful part of a room and often becomes the differentiator for a multipurpose room. For instance, when addressing the needs of our client in their front room, we recognized that when being used for a casual conversation letting the light pour in is a must, but when it's time to transform into a theater room blackout shades from Hunter Douglas were needed. Windows are often dressed in layers, so the addition of the fixed panels not only complemented the arched window but also covered the light gap, ensuring a tighter light seal.” – Rachel Nelson and Lauren DeLaurentiis, RL Concetti LLC

“Once used solely to keep out heat and cold, window treatments now have both functional (privacy) and aesthetic (the pretty part) considerations. For my client’s master bath remodel, we wanted to transform the room in to a warm haven with a traditional feel. The large window is in the front of the house. Privacy was a must, as was natural daylight. Because this window is right near the tub, we chose to install faux wood blinds. The vanes resist moisture and are easily adjustable for either total privacy or to let in daylight and fresh air. For dimension, style, and softness, we echoed the color palette of the room by layering an elegant balloon valance over the blind in a cream and bronze damask.” – Linda Shears, Linda Shears Designs

“In this space, I chose wood plantation shutters to keep the focus on the woodwork and not overwhelm the space. The shutters are divided into two sections for greater light and privacy control. Keeping the lower section closed also enables the homeowners to look outside, but not the dogs!” – Dawn Jacobs, Artichoke Interiors