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Modern Gray Interiors

Modern gray interiors sometimes get a bad rap as being cold, sterile and institutional.  No doubt some people are drawn to that steely gray with undertones of blue, but I’m not one who will ever be comfortable in a residential space that may be even remotely reminiscent of my 7th grade gym.   You don’t have to look far into my former blog posts to know that I actually love designing with grays, but I blend layers of gray tones, starting with something a little more complex and warm,  and then inviting shades of browns and tans to pepper the scene.  The result is much more dimensional and inviting.

The thing I like most about this color palette is that it is equally gorgeous in a very contemporary space, a shabby chic cottage, or a traditional living room.  And while most people assume the colors of nature to be greens, yellows and reds,  grays and tans are all around us in the natural world.

modern gray interiors by design theory interiors of california inc

 

warm neutral color palettes by design theory interiors of california inc

photo courtesy modulnova.com

 

warm neutral color palettes by design theory interiors of califronia inc

photo courtesy Glamradar.com

 

 

warm neutral palettes by design theory interiors of california inc

photo courtesy of The Nester

 

 

 

 

 

modern gray interiors by design theory interiors of califronia

 

modern gray interiors by design theory interiors of california

Gorgeous resin sculptural horses by Brigitte Eberl and photography by Josine Vingerling

 

modern gray interiors by design theory interiors of california

 

modern gray interiors by design theory interiors.com

photo courtesy of Scoop Charlotte

 

 

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Heated Outdoor Furniture

Not even kidding.   Heated outdoor furniture.  When I first saw this product come across my desk I couldn’t help but go where I always go . . . . what wannabe princess stomped her feet and held her breath until someone found a heated chair to cuddle her delicate royal ass?!?!

So, yeah, sitting on your deck in cold metal chairs is a rich person problem, but heated furniture really is a genius idea for hotels and restaurants that want guests to enjoy and spend their rich people money at outdoor bars and cafes.  And if you’ve ever lived in the south or close to a body of water, you know that people love dining, drinking and visiting outside.   We spend way too many hours in our day locked up in offices so an open air space is almost a must for attracting patrons.

But frankly I think this is a great splurge for homeowners as well.  We live in Northern California so the mornings and evenings get chilly year round.  The wind on both the mountain and by the ocean can take the fun out of spending time on an outdoor deck or grabbing dinner waterside. Even when we were in Atlanta we loved our outdoor living areas and heated furniture would have extended our outdoor season.

So take a look at this line by Galanter and Jones and prepare to be wowed.  The line is still relatively small but the pieces are really sharp.  The body is available in 5 colors and the base comes in 4 finishes that really have a modern edge.   The heating element is under the seat and all wiring is run through the legs and out the bottom.  Just plug in and turn it on with the push of a button.   You can actually set your heat level……..and the chair will remember it for next time!!!

 

heated outdoor furniture for 2016 design theory interiors of california

Evia Chair

 

heated outdoor furniture for 2016 design theory interiors of california 2

Evia Lounge

 

heated outdoor furniture for 2016 design theory interiors of california 4

Helios Love Chair

 

heated outdoor furniture for 2016 design theory interiors of california 3

Helios Lounge

 

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5 Best Black Paint Colors for Interiors

The best black paint colors for interiors range in shade and tone from the crisp black of Sherwin Williams’ Tricorn black to Benjamin Moore’s Blue Notes with undertones of blue.   There is a shade of black paint to suit every interior color palette, transforming your space into a dramatic setting.

best black paint colors tricorn black by design theory interiors of california

Sherwin Williams – SW 6258 – Tricorn Black

 

best black paint colors from design theory interiors of california

Sherwin Williams – SW6992 Inkwell

 

best black paint colors caviar by design theory interiors of california

Sherwin Williams – SW6990 Caviar

A hint of red in Sherwin Williams’ Caviar results in a slightly warmer shade of black.

best black paint colors almost black by design theory interiors of california

Benjamin Moore – 2130-30 Almost Black

Benjamin Moore’s Almost Black is softer with a slight green undertone. While it may look more gray on a paint chip, it will still read as a black on your walls.

 

 

best black paint colors blue note design theory interiors of california

Benjamin Moore – 2129-30 Blue Note

 

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Interior Designer Do’s and Don’ts

Interior Designer Dos and Donts

DON’T double dip your fabrics.   By double dipping I mean don’t use the same fabric twice.  If you’ve already used that        cool geometric for your master window treatments, don’t repeat it as a throw pillow or a bedskirt.  Is it going to look horrible if   you do that?  No, of course not.   But it’s those tiny details that set the designer and the decorator apart.

DO use coordinating fabrics.   Instead of re-using that cool geometric in your window treatments, find fabrics that compliment and coordinate for pillows, bedskirts, etc. A large geometric can pair with a solid, a smaller scale print, or a great textured fabric. Those layers of fabrics add depth to a space and they show just how much thought you put into the fine point

DON’T be afraid to mix gold and silver.  Isolating one specific metal finish went out the window with banning white after labor day.  I like the depth      and the visual interest that occurs when you can blend the two metallics.

DON’T short yourself on accessories.  I can’t say this enough.  The biggest mistake I see clients make is cutting the accessory budget short.  A room full of wonderful furniture will look bare-boned, incomplete and mucho unfriendly.  Interior design is in the details.

DO trust your interior designer to accessorize.  The other big mistake I see clients make is in thinking they can save money by accessorizing on their own.  In the end, the accessories are often too small and too few and have no connection to the design intent of the space.  Yes accessorizing can be expensive.  But not as expensive as trying to do it yourself only to have to pay someone to re-do it for you later.   I’m a fan of spending my money once and getting it right the first time.

DON”T over analyze individual accessory items.  While I’m on a roll with accessories, let me also point out that you will only make yourself crazy if you over analyze each individual accessory item.   A designer spends a considerable amount of time assessing the overall space and how each accessory, it’s placement, size, finish, and shape will enhance the design.  In one instance I placed a lovely silver metal vase with a textured finish in an area of a client’s home where it would receive light from a directional fixture.  The light would enhance the texture, creating something visually quite interesting.  In the end the client was insistent that the texture just wasn’t “them” and I had to replace the vase with something similar in a smooth finish.  The end result was not only lackluster, but the smooth finish shows every fingerprint.  Sometimes it’s nice to introduce something outside your comfort zone to add some interest and conversation.

DO embrace the animal in you.  A taste of an animal print, a pair of shed or faux antlers, an oversized ceramic dog, or better yet, a modern chair or table with an animal leg.   Even if you’re working in a highly contemporary space, the introduction of the animal form will add intrigue.   Let’s not over do it.   A hint or even a subtle theme is nice but please don’t cover all of your upholstery in leopard print AND every table surface with a ceramic pig.

DO think organic.  Introducing something of nature is like warm cocoa on a cold rainy day.   I love using a modern side table with a petrified wood top or a tree trunk table in almost any style interior.

DO visit the dark side.   Black is a must in every space to create depth and perspective.  And it can be  achieved with something as simple as a throw pillow, black frames on artwork, or ebony legs on your dining chairs.

DO use oversized accessories.   Large accessories in focal areas will have a much greater impact than a collection of small items.   For instance,  a 42″ diameter mirror above and a 40″ sculpture or vase atop a buffet or sideboard on a blank wall will attract attention and will appear clean and elegant.   The same buffet covered with small items can look messy, disproportionate or even get lost if not done extremely well.

 

 

 

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