July, 2010

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Design Saturated With Color

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Happy Friday my decorating friends!  I thought I would start your weekend off right with a look at some beautifully decorated rooms:


Jason & John are the designers of these fabulous rooms and this is their home.


There are not many people that could put all of these various patterns together and have it look so Cool!  I absolutely love it!  So much personality.


“Green is our neutral,” explains Jason. “Everything in this house that can have color does. And every color is saturated. I can’t stop smiling and sometimes I have to laugh out loud for the sheer joy of it.”*


As broad reaching interior designers, John and Jason are well versed in the high end as well as the low. Their home is a seamless blend of garage sale finds altered to their precise specifications alongside limited edition pieces, expensive fabrics, and mass-produced products. Every object, regardless of its origin, is treated equally — recognized for its important role in contributing to the final vision!*

Thought I would share- do you love it too?  To live in or maybe just to visit?  See the full article *here at Apartment Therapy.com

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Comparing Hardwood Flooring vs Laminate Flooring

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Continuing on our adventure with the White Kitchen Redesign project, here and here, my client Lorraine and I decided our next step would be to begin to look at flooring.



She knew she wanted to get rid of the old linoleum (thank goodness), and she also knew she wanted wood floors which would be continued from the entryway in through the kitchen. But of course, she did not want to spend a lot of money.  I had heard good things about the new laminate flooring, so I researched the wood/laminate options and this is what I found:

  Prefinished Engineered
Hardwood Floor
Laminate Floor
Visual Appearance excellent good
Scratch Resistance good4 very good
Stain Resistance fair1 excellent
Fade Resistance fair2 excellent
Impact Resistance good excellent
Ease of Maintenance good very good
Moisture Resistance fair good
Ease of Repair good poor
Can floor be refinished? yes (not acrylic impregnated) no
Install over concrete slab if glue or float yes, floating
Manufacturer’s Warranty good good
Installation Methods glue, staple, float some pre-glued
glueless, floating
Easy To Install (DIY) glueless floating – yes
staple-down – maybe
glue-down – messy
Life expectancy of floor (in years) 25+3 < 20
  1. some hardwood flooring factory finishes have very good stain resistance
  2. some wood stains when exposed to direct UV sunlight may change color more than others
  3. Quality hardwood floors can last for a lifetime with proper care & refinishing
  4. Some UV-cured urethane finishes have aluminum oxide crystals embedded in the finish and are extremely durable

Resource- Floor Facts.com

 Bruce Engineered Oak Hardwood Flooring Strip and Plank                                                                                                          







Can you tell the difference?  Natural Oak Laminate is on the left.  Solid Oak Hardwood is on the right.

One important factor they left off of this comparison chart- price.  I checked quite a few sources and found the same results- hardwood flooring is two to three times more expensive. 

James Radin

James Radin

So what did Lorraine decide on?  She is planning to sell her home in about five years so she is trying to get the home ready for resale. Plus, a big factor in her decision was pricing.  She decided she would go with the laminate flooring, in a medium finish which will work well with her existing furnishings as well as her new cabinets and new counter tops.  It will look beautiful!   Comments?  Questions?  Advice?

If you need help with your decorating dilemma, call 401.765.7999, or write me @ kellybernierdesigns.com

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Special Guest Post with Greg Kinsella

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

A Bit of all White/Inspired By White

Guest Post by interior designer Greg Kinsella

White rules! According to the Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute, contemporary houses still use more gallons of white paint than any of the other colors available. It is no wonder that white remains so popular since it creates such an airy, light sense of space. Use it decoratively to make sure you won’t wind up with a clinical or monastic atmosphere, but instead create a clean, crisp decor that invokes scenes of peaceful snowy blankets and fluffy clouds.

White Walls


Image: Modern art museum “Pinakothek der Moderne” in Munich.  Credit: Klinger

Any great museum or gallery knows the importance of white walls for showing off their collections, and you can take a hint from their techniques. Try different glosses of white paint in a room to add a sense of depth and mystery that makes plain white walls intriguing. Using white trim to make shadow boxes on white walls also creates a dramatic effect. Speciality lighting with colored bulbs can transform a plain white wall into a subtle decorative feature.

White Furniture


Image: Domino White Living Room. Credit: Coco+Kelley

Nothing lightens up a room like white furniture, but don’t think that choosing white limits your choices. Sleek modern sofas and chairs with frames made out of polyurethane plastics instantly set a cosmopolitan tone. For a more romantic mood, delicate white wicker tables and chairs soften up the atmosphere. Modular white built-in shelves and computer stations give home offices a professional polish. On the patio, white wrought iron chairs, tables and benches hold up remarkably well to the elements.

White Lights


Image: Cloud Suspension Lamp by Frank Gehry. Credit: Unica

Frosty white glass fixtures installed on the ceilings and walls provide a soft and subtle light source. Some designers like Frank Gehry have taken the concept of a “cloud light” to new heights and have actually designed suspended light fixtures that resemble puffy clouds, and contemporary lamp designers are following suit. Akari is another popular artist who creates fascinating white freestanding lamps with long washi paper shades that stretch to the floor like Japanese fishing lanterns. Imitations of these lamps are available, but only the original Akari designs have such delicate yet strong features.

White Rugs


Image: White Shaggy Rug. Credit: Janeen

A well-placed white rug can do wonders for a room, but of course the position is the key to keeping it white. These are not rugs to put at the entrance or back door, but rather to place under glass tables or next to a favorite reading chair that is out of the path of normal household traffic. Big fluffy white shag rugs can give a whole new dimension to a room. Vintage white rugs with base relief patterns woven into the design can add depth to lightly furnished occasional room. Impeccably clean white rugs also look wonderful hanging on walls or suspended as room dividers.

Here’s a bit about Greg….

Greg Kinsella is an interior designer who works from design studios located in London’s Chelsea Harbour. An innovator with a flair for original design, he describes his work as classical contemporary and is particularly inspired by the art deco style of the twenties and thirties, on which he put his own modern stamp. Greg works with a wide range of clients in the commercial, corporate and hospitality sectors, as well as individual client’s residential homes.

Thank you very much Greg for sharing!  I love to get other’s ideas and visions.  Be sure to visit his website to see more beautiful images – Greg Kinsella.   And now we know where all the white paint has gone! ;)  Any comments readers?

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Dear Kelly, I need help choosing a bathroom color!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

A reader had recently wrote in to the Ben Moore Expert Exchange Forum  inquiring:

Hi. I am redoing a small bathroom and can’t decide on a color. The toilet and tub are white. We are putting a new floor down which is off white marble. I haven’t picked out the sink or cabinet. I would like to try some sort of faux, perhaps tea stain or color wash. Any ideas???
Donna K.

Hi Donna,
You are lucky to have so many different color schemes you can work with your neutral beginning!  What colors do you love?  You can go with blues, greens, grays, golds, browns, etc.  Did you see a picture somewhere that showed the type of wall finish you liked ?  Let me know.

Hi Kelly, 
Thanks for the quick response. I saw “Aged to Perfection” on Benjamin Moore’s web site. They did an upper part of a dinning room wall. It gave it that old world look. I like greens especially dark rich greens and yellow golds. I wasn’t sure if a faux finish like the tea stain would look good in a small bathroom.

faux finish

Hi Donna,
I would not suggest  faux painting in the bathroom.  The room is usually just to small to take on such a complicated ‘presence’ . I think faux is best on larger walls. Did you want suggestions for darker greens and yellow golds?  Let me know.


Yes I would appreciate suggestions for darker greens and yellow golds. Do you think darker greens would make the bathroom look smaller?
Donna Klimm

#566 Bunker Hill Green

 Hi Donna,
I would go with greens.  I’m afraid a yellow hue will just look washed out with all the white.  A darker color will not make a room seem smaller at all, just cozier.  A lot of people are afraid a dark color on walls will make the room seem smaller, it does not. Color will just warm up a room- I promise!
A couple nice greens to try with your white: Rosemary Sprig 2144-30, Saybrook Sage HC-114 or Guilford Green HC-116.  Let me know if these colors work for you.


 Hi Kelly,
Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll let you know.

I must stress this fact to you again readers – these colors swatches shown on your computer are just a representative of the actual color.  Rosemary Sprig is a much prettier color than what you are looking at the screen. ;)

Donna chose to go with greens, but with an all white beginning (bathtub, floor, toilet) it gave her many different paint color schemes to work with.  If she asked for a clean, cool, serene bathroom, I would refer her to light, watery blues, grays or blue greens.  If she wanted a cozy room, I would suggest something in the tan or grayish tan family. 

What colors would you chose if you had an all white bathroom to begin with?

If you need help with your paint selections, making your home happy and comfortable, call me- 401.765.6446 or visit me at Kelly Bernier Designs.

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