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The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Recognizing the most common decorating mistakes and how to correct them, can turn a cramped and chaotic space into one that is organized and tranquil and can create a sense of order and balance. These invaluable lessons I learned from my teacher, mentor and friend, Lauri Ward, president and founder of Use What You Have Interiors® (UWYH).

lauri ward

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Lauri Ward revolutionized the interior design business with a simple idea – using what people already have in their home as the foundation to create a fresher, updated, more elegant look, without spending a lot of money.

This time of year, I like to look over my old notes and files for review and ideas for the coming year.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned from training with Lauri was The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes:

1.  Not Defining Your Priorities: Before you begin your room design, you should know what the room will be used for, which furnishings will be kept in the room and of course, your budget.

2.  An Uncomfortable Conversation Area: Can you and your guests have a conversation without straining your neck? A U-shaped furniture arrangement is best for conversation; least favorite is a L-shaped arrangement. And beware of the sofa/loveseat combination!

3. Poor Furniture Placement: Avoid placing all of your furniture up against the wall, but be sure there are open pathways to walk through the room.

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4. A Room That Is Off Balance: A room will look unbalanced if you have all of the taller, heavier furniture on one side of the room with smaller, delicate pieces on the opposite side of the room.

5. Furniture of Different Heights: If the seating heights of furniture are varied and/or artwork is hung at different levels, the effect creates a ‘roller coaster’ effect that causes the eye to travel uncomfortably up and down around the room.

6. A Room That Lacks Cohesion: A room without unity or a ‘pulled together’ look is easily solved using pairs of furnishings such as two chairs, two lamps and/or two end tables that will add symmetry to the room.

Kelly Bernier 5 14 bedroom 2

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7. Ignoring The Focal Point In The Room: Well-designed rooms have a focal point — the first thing your eye sees when you enter. Without it, the room lacks interest and direction.

8. Improper Use of Artwork: Hanging your artwork too high or scattering your artwork around the room is two of the most common ways artwork is displayed incorrectly.

9. Ineffective Use Of Accessories: As a general rule, less is more. Use larger accessories and keep the smaller pieces together as a group.

Kelly Bernier 5 14 detail 1

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10. Using Lighting Incorrectly: Every room should have general illumination, task lighting and mood/accent lighting. Lighting is one of the most important factors in a room and the right choices can make a great impact. Dimmers are invaluable!

These simple decorating principles are the basics in design to help find what is not working in your room and how to correct them.

If you would like to learn more about Lauri Ward and training for ‘The Use What You Have System’, read here.

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Benjamin Moore Announces 2015 Color of the Year

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

It is that time of year again. The paint companies begin to unveil their newly selected color of the year. This week, Benjamin Moore announced Guilford Green HC-116 as the color of the year for 2015:

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Guilford Green is being called a neutral color that is a natural. A silvery green that works a wide range of color combinations – from neutrals to daring shades.

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It looks like a color that works well with lighter wood. Maybe try a sample with oak cabinets?

The Color Trends 2015 collection features four color families – green, blue, blush and berry. The bold, more saturated hues represent an evolution from the soft pastels that comprised the brand’s Color Trends 2014.

“We chose Guilford Green as our 2015 Color of the Year because it can be the hero or the highlight in any room, enhancing the architectural identity of a space,” said Ellen O’Neill, Creative Director at Benjamin Moore. “Guilford Green is the perfect thread to connect nature, spaces and interiors with color schemes that signify fresh energy and growth.”

The 23 colors of the Color Trends 2015 palette are highlighted below:

blush family

bm berry family

bm green

bmblue family

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I think the Guilford Green works well with most of the colors. I have to point out to you that the Guilford Green samples you see on the computer screen is nothing like it looks in real life.

What do you think of the new color of the year? Do you think it will be as popular as last year’s ‘Breath of Fresh Air’? Which color family is your favorite?

If you need help selecting colors for your home, contact me today.

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Online Coral & Aqua Bedroom Design

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I recently completed an online design plan for Carol on a new bedroom design that she said I could share. She is recently divorced and was looking for a beautiful and feminine bedroom to come home to.

I found a coral fabric that we used as a starting point for the room:

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So pretty! Carol wanted white bedding, so she is going to use this fabric as a duvet folded at the bottom of bed and possibly even window panels.

She already has a bedroom set that we incorporated in our plan:

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I gave her a couple different wall colors to think about and she decided to go with Benjamin Moore Simply White:

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Fabric for pillows on bed and on new white chair:

aqua fabric2

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A beautiful new mirror for over the dresser:

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And here is Carol’s new bedroom design board:

Carol Design Board

We love it! Coral and aqua is such a pretty color combination. I also suggested finding an old dresser that she could paint in a soft aqua color. Carol promised to send after photos which I will be sure to share with you!

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.

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Best Selling Benjamin Moore Blues

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Looking for the perfect new paint color? Based on my color consulting lately, it seems the color blue is the number one color choice for home color palettes:

Kelly Bernier 5 14 bedroom 1b

You know how I love blue! It is the perfect color in bringing other colors together as well as being a great neutral on it’s own:

Kelly Bernier 5 14 vignette 3

I often use blue to bring together the old with the new:

Kelly Bernier 5 14 vignette 1

Here is the top ten list of Benjamin Moore’s best seller blues:

Breath of Fresh Air 806:

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Breathe of Fresh Air is Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2014.

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Hale Navy HC-154:

Kelly Bernier 5 14 vignette 4

My personal favorite. I adore hale navy:

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Mt. Rainier Gray 2129-60:

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These blues will all work well in baths, bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, offices, etc.

Boothbay Gray HC-165

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Wedgewood Gray HC-146:

wedgewood gray

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Ashland Slate 1608:

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Santorini Blue 1634:

Kelly Bernier 5 14 bedroom 1

Beacon Gray 2128-60:

beacon gray

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beacon gray2

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Van Courtland Blue HC-145:

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Gorgeous blue!

Normandy 2129-40:

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Do you see any blues you would like to update your space with? Which would you choose as your favorite blue?

If you need help selecting wall colors for your home, contact me today.

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