Posts Categorized: Blog

Color for a group? It’s a historic Boston building!

We’re familiar with the ‘old song’ about  the difficulties that can occur getting 2 people who share a home to agree on design decisions. As pleased as I was to be asked to consult with the owners of a historic Boston co-op building, I was equally aware of the challenges in satisfying the requirements of a group of property-owners sharing a very real interest in the same building.  The subject of my work for them was to create a new color palette for the lobby and vestibule of their  1924, “classic Old-Boston” building in the historic heart of Boston. The… Read more »

The Ultimate Painted House(s):are you ready for this?

Are you ready for this? Beadwork and Painting of the Ndebele women.      Click on the image to go to our Design Library, where you can order this book. Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama. This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them. I could not say it better, so will quote from the statement of… Read more »

Is it Physics, or Magic? How about Both!

Believe it or not, I can actually be a bit reserved. But now that I’ve seen other people call it “magic,” I will come out from behind my little curtain and say… “Yes!” Actually, when clients become exuberant about “my magic paints” I’ve always replied,” Well, maybe not ‘magic.’  Maybe it’s Physics and Artistic Vision.”  OK, that’s my pragmatic side speaking.  But, however you want to describe it, Full Spectrum is a wonderfully beautiful and–dare I say it–the Most FUN and inspirational way to work with paint color! Architect and interior designer Richard Morrison is also an enthusiastic advocate of… Read more »

Traveling Toes and Other Color Inspirations

At the airport…waiting in line, I noticed this amusing color story: reverse/matching toes and shoes.  Looking for a reason to talk about it I just decided to post it anyway. You never know when a color inspiration will strike! This is the kind of thing that just brings a bright spot to a day, when you look up and see a color connection. Maybe it’s even your view through a window to the outside, as you see something in your immediate space that connects visually with something in another room or exterior. I like to think of this as a… Read more »

Strangers on a train

Overheard on the commuter train Two 60-something businessmen talking about their latest passion: Baking! The agreed-upon favorites?  Dense rye, sourdough.  Taking professional baking courses. And their other really big, Hot topic: Comparing kitchen appliances! Was I surprised? A little. It made me smile, about how we can’t begin to guess what people are interested in–unless we see, hear, or ask. It’s similar with choosing colors…we see what people wear, but that’s not always a direct reflection of what they like in their environments. Even though some  “conventional wisdom’ about choosing color is to look in your closet and replicate it,… Read more »

Creating a New Old House

Here’s a beautiful new addition to the IntegralColor Design Library. Please remember that all book in the design library are in alphabetical order! Loving old houses for all that is lovable about them—the warmth, style, charm, sense of history, integrity of design—and wanting to translate that to a new building, is not a particularly easy task. Subtitled “Yesterday’s Character for Today’s Homes,” this beautiful volume by Russell Versaci with photographs by Erik Kvalsvik will be a welcome addition to your own design library and a great reference for your home design projects.

Decorative finishes – are they for You? 11 Tips

“Way Back” in the mid-80’s it was all about oil. Oil bases, oil glazes. Traditionally and historically, decorative and “faux” painting artistry was executed in oil products because, well, that’s what there was to work with if you wanted the best results. Fast forward to Now, where “faux painting” is almost a household word and it’s a “DIY paradise” from Home Depot to Anywhere. With oil-based products currently on the wane for the most part, there’s a plethora of water-based materials to choose from. Many fine contemporary finish artisans still elect to use oil, for all the reasons why oil… Read more »

Painting and meditation

There’s a time to be actively creative, and a time to be methodical and patient. The paint process reminds me of my experience in studying tailoring (as in: make a suit!) years ago. Old-world style, our European professor would exclaim with drama and flair…“Rrrripp it Out!” when we students made even a near-mistake. We were always watching out for her incisive eye.  There was no room for shortcuts. How does this translate to the wall-painting process? As with many things we undertake, in painting, meticulous preparation is critical to the outcome. The better and more through the prep, the better… Read more »

Blue, The History of a Color

These days we see blue as a color relating to trust, sincerity, peace, tranquility (sometimes), and a few other ‘color-psychology’ and associative qualities. Looking into the history of any color is fascinating, and in BLUE, Michel Pastoureau has created a beautiful book that is rewarding for it’s own aesthetic qualities, both visual and functional (yes, the binding is really stitched and the book lays open at any page!). As for content, the color illustrations taken from a variety of historic documents serve to make the educational text entertaining as well as informative.

Making a Match–or not!

Creating the definition It’s always interesting to be in a conversation about matching colors. For me, the first question is “what do you mean by match? ” I think that ultimately it’s just about feeling that the colors work together and  are harmonious in the space where they appear. Personally I believe that a more interesting space is created when “matching” colors is not even an issue.  I’d rather see it as the best way to enhance the space while referencing qualities of art work, furniture, rugs, and other important objects in view. What makes a harmonious result? It’s true… Read more »