May, 2010 browsing by month


Decorating advice: Be honest? Or kind?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Listen to this story and tell me what you think: as I was walking by my neighbor’s house, she ran out and asked if I would please come in and give my professional opinion about her “decorating” skills in her home.

“Oh no!” I thought.  Does she want me to actually tell her what I really think?  Or does she want me to come in, look around, and say, “Wow Sue! It looks terrific!” (names have been changed to protect myself).

Now, it wasn’t that bad, but still very awkward for me.  When I am hired as a professional to come to your home, I will absolutely tell the truth about those ugly curtains in the bedroom because you are paying me to be honest.



Kelly Bernier Designs

Kelly Bernier Designs

But what should I say to someone that has not actually hired me? Do I have a right to tell her those pictures in her foyer are all hung like someone placed them with their eyes closed?!  Or how about those silk, FAKE looking flowers from about 10 years past?

pretty hotel

I really do not like to hurt people’s feeling.  Really bothers me afterwards.  So, as I was looking around for something nice to comment about, I saw she had a Ben Moore paint chart.  “Hurray!” I thought.  This is how I can help her out a bit without having to give advice on her existing arrangements.  So, I helped her pick out a cozy bedroom color,  and made it out of there with no hurt feelings.

So what would you do?  Leave me your thoughts.

If you would like me to come to your home and make it comfortable and updated, visit my web site @

Share on Facebook

Benjamin Moore Color Expert

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I am honored! to have been selected by the Benjamin Moore Paint Company to be a part of their new online facebook expert page as a color expert.


 It is an expert question and answer forum where anyone can sign in (you just need a facebook account) and ask any questions regarding interior and exterior painting, tools and tips and just about any question you may have about your home projects.  The experts include interior designers, color experts, contractors and architects.

ben moore-1

Kelly Bernier Designs

You can check it out here: Benjamin Moore Facebook Expert Page.   



Here is just one example of the questions and answers people have written in for advice:

Philip Rhodes 6 days, 8 hours ago

 My wife and I bought our first home last year. We are trying to decorate out dining room… We are looking for suggestions… We are looking something contemporary to modern, with soft colors… And a style that says wow when you walk into the room… Any suggestions are greatly appreciated… The room is 130″ x 138″ our table is 44″ x 60″ with 6 chairs all dark wood…. There is a large window on the wall that is 138″ long… There is chair rail on the wall and below the chair rail, there is a nice decrative panel…So we probably will not repaint that…

Thanks for any suggestions…


Lisa Benninger 6 days, 8 hours ago

Hey Phillip:

Sounds like a room that is right up my alley. I love a comtemporary look.  

I would make it super simple…keep the walls one color…including the chair rail. I would suggest a pale blue gray for a cool look (think Wales Gray 1585…my preference) or pale yellow for a warm look (think Philadelphia Cream HC 30)…base molding and crown (if you have it), white.  Benjamin Moore carries a white called, oddly enough, White!  It’s a clean, pretty, punchy white. Oh…if you are feeling brave…a metalic silver ceiling could give this room the edge you are looking for.

Flank the window with white curtain panels on a dark wood or silver rod.  If you have hard wood, a white fluffy area rug (I know, totally impractical) would look amazing.  Accessorize in black, white and silver only….and lots of mirrors. Stunning.

This is only one of 100 ways to decorate this room!  Best of luck!


Kelly Bernier 6 days, 2 hours ago

Hi Philip,

What color is the chair rail and panel below? Cream or white?

Philip Rhodes 5 days, 12 hours ago

The color of the chair rail and wainscot is white… Sorry for not enough info…

Thanks for all of the replys… 

Kelly Bernier 5 days, 4 hours ago

Hi Philip,  I have three suggestions for you to try.  My first choice for wow but not crazy, would be Luxe AF-580.  But is you want soft, look at Wisteria AF-585.  Like a grayish purple.  Bolder would be Tempest AF-590.  All three will match a great deal of colors for fabrics, rugs, etc.  I did not look into the reds/ firenza because you stated soft.  Ben Moore now sells large sheets of color samples in this Affinty collection. You can use to sample at home instead of the actual paint sample. Hope this helps.  Good luck!

You can ask questions and even upload your photos to ask advice and information.  There have been questions about painting kitchen cabinets, concrete, front doors and even faux finishes. 

Jonathan Berger

Jonathan Berger

So if you are looking for some great expert advice, designer’s hints and tips, or you just want to read hundreds of questions and answers you will find interesting, stop by Benjamin Moore’s Expert Forum.  You will be glad you did! 

Betty Moore

Betty Moore

PS  Don’t stop writing your questions to me though. Remember, Ben Moore selected me to be an expert so you can trust my expertise and guidance!

Questions or comments?

Share on Facebook

Navy Blue, I Love You

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

You know how something gets into your head and won’t let go until you write/talk about it?


                                             Jonathan Adler

Well, I have medium/deep blues on my mind.  I have just started to see these dark blues everywhere and I love them.

David Lawrence

David Lawrence

Elegant and ethereal.  Deep and mysterious.  Midnight Navy Blue, Starry Night Blue, Dark Royal Blue.  Classic and sexy. Besides seeing a lot of blue and white, navy is becoming a strong neutral that is making an ideal color for combinations.

                                             Tom Stringer 

We have seen how beautiful blue and yellow look together, but how about navy and orange?                      Orange Tulips Art Poster PRINT Alfred Gockel 16x12

Dark royal blue and green?

    Jonathan Adler

I saw this picture on Benjamin Moore’s site,  I just fell in love with it.  I am so inspired when  I see designer’s use color together I might not have thought of, in this example the green. (wish I could have shown a larger picture):


Mark Chamberlain


Here is another combination with navy we do not always see, but look great together: 



If you are loving the blue and need help putting colors together, contact me 401-765-7999 or

Share on Facebook

The Best Accessories- Mirrors!

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

My #1 favorite accessory in a room is definitely mirrors.  From the simple:

Pottery Barn

To the fancy:

Chinoiserie Flower Petal 26 1/2" Wide Mirror


The large:

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

To the small:

Rhona Round Gilt Mirrors, Set of 3,

Pottery Barn

 Mirrors, typically large and unframed, are frequently used in interior decoration to create an illusion of space, and amplify the apparent size of a room.

Traditionally, one must have a mirror in the entryway. You want to look good before you answer the door!

  Miles Redd

Mirrors are used also in some schools of feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment.  Mirrors in a home also attract money and prosperity, another feng shui belief. (That’s why I have mirrors in every room!)

The softness of old mirrors is sometimes replicated by contemporary artisans for use in interior design. These reproduction antiqued mirrors are works of art and can bring color and texture to an otherwise hard, cold reflective surface. It is an artistic process that has been attempted by many and perfected by few.

           Robert Brown

I love how simple, but yet so dynamic a mirror can look in a room.  Need a focal point?  Add a large mirror.  Have a large empty space on the wall, where artwork colors are just too much?   Try a mirror.  Using a collection of mirrors can let the outdoors in by placing them across from windows and doors where they reflect the green trees and landscaping from outside.  When grouping the mirrors, use similar frames and/or styles.  For example, all gold frames, or complementing wood frames.  This arrangement can make small spaces look bigger and dark space seem larger by catching the light.  Mirrors are also a great alternative to expensive art. 

Quoizel Sultana Collection Oval Wall Mirror

Mirrors do not have to be expensive eithier. You can find nice decorative mirrors anywhere from Home Depot to Walmarts to Macys.  A couple good online places to check out; Lamps Plus and Accent Furniture Direct.  They have a lot of choices for all different budgets. 

After all this research into mirrors, I bought this one below.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Moonlight Wall Mirror

Moonlight Wall Mirror

Send me a photo of your favorite mirror!

Share on Facebook
Home & Garden Blogs - Blog Rankings Home & Garden Blogs
home-garden blog sites Home & Garden Blogs
Home & Garden blogs