Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kelly Green Inspiration/Adventures in Paint Selection...

What can I say? I absolutely LOVE the color green! With the recent above-normal temperatures blessing much of the Midwest/Great Lakes region, I am inspired by the beautiful, bold green lawns throughout our neighborhood.  Although I love various shades of green, I am currently drawn to interior design images in the kelly/grass green shades...the not-too-yellow/avocado, but not-too-blue/teal...not too sage-y...not too olive-y....not too lime-y....not too soft/fern-y.  Yet, can I really pick such a bold green for our master bedroom walls?  We may live in a grey climate much of the year, but with this lively, energetic green surrounding, we can at least pretend we live in a lush garden year-round!

Attached below are a few inspiration images....

via Verdigris Vie

via Verdigris Vie

Rios Clementi Hale Studios via Decor Pad...this is perhaps my FAV inspiration image!!

Tory Burch's NY living room

Tory Burch's NY living room

Tory Burch's NY living room 
Francois Halard for Vogue via Decorate Your student, Maximilian Sinsteden's quirky-but-charming dorm room painted RL Paint Tapestry Green

Palmer Weiss via Decorate Your Digs

Sherill Canet via Enchanted Home

Tobi Fairley via The Decorista

Elizabeth Dinkel via Decorati

John Willey via Decorati

Michael Keeny via Decorate Your Digs

Kelly Wearstler, Viceroy Hotel

Kelly Wearstler, Viceroy Hotel

Kathryn Boyd via The Enchanted Home

Samantha Pynn via The Enchanted Home

Tobi Fairley via The Enchanted Home
Ann Wolf via House Beautiful
Mark Lund Photography via Decor Pad

Douglas Friedman via Decor Pad

Christina Murphy via Decor Pad

Emily Johnston Larkin via Decor Pad

Charm Home Design via Decor Pad

unknown via Decor Pad

My Home Ideas via Decor Pad

Feathered Nest via Decor Pad

Katie Rosenfeld Design via Decor Pad

Annsley Interiors via Decor Pad

Studio Ten 25 via Decor Pad

HGTV via Decor Pad

From 2013 Napa Valley Designer Showhouse -
Lowengart used BM Courtyard Green in this beautiful room

From 2013 Napa Valley Designer Showhouse -
Lowengart used BM Courtyard Green in this beautiful room


Wow - what a sigh of relief to finally pick a paint color!  Particularly for a person with three little 'monkeys' fighting for attention, who loves creative projects, with borderline OCD-tendencies, in terms of thoroughly exploring all options before pulling the trigger....(i.e. did I really need to try NINE green samples before finding the right one!?), and is limited by very little free time, picking a paint color can be an arduous task, to say the least.

We recently painted our family room (BM Old Salem Grey) and dining rooms (BM Charleston Brown) and the selection process was surprisingly easy....not the case with our master, however!  This project started with the addition of new closets in our master bedroom.  Though only a few new walls needed painting, it was time for a new color all around.  When we moved into our home four years ago, I picked a soft grey/blue color for our master (think Restoration Hardware Silver Sage), to complement the warm gold/wheat colors in our rug and drapery panels, and chocolate brown colors in the hardwoods and furniture.  Although I have always loved this color combo, I have decided this grey/blue shade is too close a cousin to the cold/grey skies we endure in Cleveland most of the year.  I wanted a deeper, richer, warmer shade.  After seeking guidance from our contractor's designer, we settled on BM Jamesboro Gold (a deep bronze/greenish/brown - actually much prettier than it sounds).  This would provide a pretty backdrop for the various shades of brown, beige, gold, and wheat colors and give an overall mono-chromatic look to the space.   But, somehow after painting samples on the walls, it never felt exactly right.  I attempted various grey/taupe shades, (as I am loving greys at the moment) but discovered they competed too much with the existing brown tones in the room.  I sampled BM Jackson Tan, BM Elk Horn, and BM Northampton Putty.  All lovely, but again, none of these were quite right! As anyone who has ever picked a brown or beige paint color can attest, these colors can read too pink (worst offenders), orange, green, or grey....such a challenge to find the right one.

I decided to switch gears and chose a green shade instead, to inject a little life and color into the room, particularly given our climate.  I researched an endless array of inspiration images via online and interior design magazines (total time sink, but ultimately, very helpful).  Finally, after numerous trips to Ace Hardware and painting NINE different greens (including BM Lapland, Aventurine, Georgian Green, Buckingham Gardens, Grasslands, Mountain Lake, Fraser Fir, and Courtyard Green) on multiple walls in our master, I discovered BM Forest Hills Green (433).  I knew immediately it was the right color.  

My main inspiration was the deep green velvet-covered walls in Tory Burch's living room (see images above).  However, achieving that rich, nature-inspired, multi-dimensional color from a velvet fabric is challenging with paint.  After further research, I discovered a similar shade featured in a New York Magazine article, "No Sense in Waiting" by Sarah Bernard, about a college student, Maximilian Sinsteden, who painted his dorm room Ralph Lauren Tapestry Green (see image above).  My final selection, BM Forest Hills Green (433) is one shade lighter than the Benjamin Moore equivalent of RL Tapestry Green, BM Herb Garden (434).  To see the RL Tapestry Green paint color, click on slideshow in attached link below.

Now, I must turn my attention back to my three little monkeys.  I am certain they are thoroughly relieved (as is my patient husband) to finally have this task behind us!

NY Magazine's "No Sense in Waiting"

Addendum: As luck would have it, some delays to our master bedroom closet installation put off the completion of this painting project.  The painters could not complete their work until the closests were finished.  As such, we lived with about 10 different paint samples on our 'patchwork' looking walls for several weeks.  Although I thought I had the final selection behind me (BM Forest Hills Green (433) my husband suddenly informed me one day he thought it was TOO intense.  After all that hemming and hawing, I was distressed to think we would have to go back to the drawing board.  But, luckilly, I was quickly able to find a softer version of this color at Lowes, Eddie Bauer's Gardener Green.  Perhaps we lucked out that we had to wait because I love the final to come.

The photos below illustrate my crazy sample-happy last few weeks of paint selection.

Colors top left to right: Eddie Bauer Gardener Green (looks darker than it really is due to shadowed corner), BM Buckingham Gardens, BM Mountain Lake, BM Forest Hills Green.

3 Colors in middle of wall: larger swatch is BM Grasslands, top right is BM Aventurine, bottom right is BM Fraser Fir.

Bottom right around corner is Lowe's La Fonda Plaza Green
Far right browns from top to bottom: BM Elk Horn, BM Jamesboro Gold, BM Northampton Putty...
The patchwork wall of samples...around corner is more intense BM Forest Hills Green, around corner near window is slightly softer Gardener Green

Another shot of other patchwork walls in all their glory...color on either side and top of door is more intense BM Forest Hills Green, patch to bottom left of door and around corner to right of door is (slightly) softer Gardener Green

View of master with FINAL paint selection, Lowe's Eddie Bauer Gardner Green

View of master with FINAL paint selection, Lowe's Eddie Bauer Gardner Green

View of master with FINAL paint selection, Lowe's Eddie Bauer Gardner Green

View of master with FINAL paint selection, Lowe's Eddie Bauer Gardner Green

1. Spring Valley 438
2. Woodland Hills Green 543
3. Central Park 431
4. Shades Of Spring 537
5. Spring Meadow 486
6. Sherwood Green HC-118
7. Kiwi 544
8. Grenada Green 432
9. Vienna Green 538
10. Misted Fern 482
11. Land Of Liberty 440
12. Buckingham Gardens 545
13. Forest Hills Green 433
14. Sycamore Tree 539
15. Mountain Lane 488
16. Alligator Alley 441
17. Courtyard Green 546
18. Herb Garden 434
19. Pine Brook 490
20. Oak Grove 489
21. Reflection 850
22. Cool Mint 582
23. Tropical Paradise 575
24. Crème De Mint 2036-70
25. Fresh Mint 2037-70

1. Citrus Green 2032-40
2. Leprechaun Green 557
3. Paradise Hills Green 550
4. Mint Julep 547
5. Van Alen Green HC-120
6. Fresh Lime 2032-30
7. Killala Green 558
8. Exotic Bloom 551
9. Pastel Green 548
10. Kittery Point Green HC-119
11. Traffic Light Green 2032-20
12. Paradise Valley 559
13. Pleasant Grove 552
14. Honeydew 549
15. Land Of Liberty 440
16. Neon Green 2032-10
17. Sullivan Green 560
18. Richmond Green 553
19. Douglas Fern 563
20. Sweet Basil 455
21. Daiquiri Ice 2034-70
22. Italian Ice Green 2035-70
23. Feather Green 625
24. North Shore Green 456
25. Bath Salts 624

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hotel Design Bliss...

Last weekend we traveled to Las Vegas for a work-related trip.  It was an incentive trip for the top sales reps at PolyOne, the company for which my husband works.  As such, we joked that we were merely 'the overhead', but we were happy and thankful to be included nevertheless. We stayed at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental.  It was starkly opposite from either of my two previous Vegas experiences.  Granted, my prior trips were with a bunch of friends during the time everyone was getting married (think, a relatively tame 'bachelorette weekend'). On those trips we stayed at the Mandalay Bay, which was very nice with great restaurants and fun entertainment, but a typical 'Vegas' hotel.

First, the hotel entrance was situated in a quiet serene courtyard filled with tall willowy trees and huge black lamp-like heaters.  Even the outdoor HEATERS were of interesting design!  As you walked through the front doors, it was a sigh of relief NOT to see or hear any slot machines or blackjack tables.  Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed the occasional game of blackjack in which I play a few hands, laugh among the fellow winners/losers, and move on to the next adventure.  But, I am OK with this in very small doses.  Furthermore, in my humble opinion the entire city feels like an over-commercialized, manufactured culture of loud noise, 'loud' lights, luxurious-though-trite restaurants/clubs, and loud people, in general...of course, I am certain that I have never been one of these loud people ; )  Nevertheless, I must admit, plenty of fun times have been had, and I am certain they will continue.  I am just pointing out that given my choice, I would much rather spend a weekend adventuring through an authentic, history-rich, quaint city with more character, whether it be found in the cobble-stone streets, the significant landmarks, the iconic old-school locally-adored restaurants, the beautiful landscapes, the interesting natives, etc.

OK, OK, OK, back to our was its design bliss I was attempting to discuss, right? Asian decor is certainly successful in providing a quiet, calm, sanctuary-like experience.  I have never fully understood (nor paid much attention to) the concept of Feng Shui, but I have heard of this term from time to time, in the context of interior design.  So after visiting this beautiful hotel, I became curious about its meaning.  I found some interesting descriptions on Wikipedia as follows....

"Feng shui (/ˌfʌŋ ˈʃweɪ/ ( listen) fung-shway,[1] formerly /ˈfʌŋ ˌʃuːi/ fung-shoo-ee;[2] Chinese: 風水, pronounced [fɤ́ŋ ʂwèi]) (or Fung shui) is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi.[3]

...Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s, but since then has increased in popularity...

...Today, feng shui is practiced not only by the Chinese, but also by Westerners. However, with the passage of time and feng shui's popularization in the West, much of the theory behind it has been lost in translation, not paid proper attention to, frowned upon, or scorned.

Robert T. Carroll sums up what feng shui has become in some cases:

"... feng shui has become an aspect of interior decorating in the Western world and alleged masters of feng shui now hire themselves out for hefty sums to tell people such as Donald Trump which way his doors and other things should hang. Feng shui has also become another New Age "energy" scam with arrays of metaphysical products ... offered for sale to help you improve your health, maximize your potential, and guarantee fulfillment of some fortune cookie philosophy."[46]

Regardless of whether or not it has been lost in translation, I am curious about this concept of Feng Shui (not in a trendy, pretentious, hokus-pokus way, as is alluded to in the above passage), but in a real, "what exactly does it mean, and how is it achieved" sort of way...but again, I digress!  What I DO know after experiencing the Asian-inspired design elements of clean lines, graphic/geometric patterns, a nature-inspired color pallete, etc., is that any ounce of stress or anxiety seemed to melt away amidst these peaceful surroundings! Or, perhaps it was simply a 78-hour (but who's counting) break from our rather 'busy' toddlers!

Without further ramblings, I wanted to share some pictures of this beautiful property below.

Pool deck

View from our room

Since my Mom has always loved floral design, I always appreciate such interesting arrangements. These pretty center-pieces adorned the tables at a pool side dinner one evening.

Casual pool side dinner...the food was amazing by the way!

I had to take this pic of the color scheme of the pool restrooms...I have been recently debating a new wall color for our master, and someone suggested a deep blue/green/grey called BM's Duxbury Gray since we have various brown tones throughout the room.  Although it is very pretty color-combo, we opted for a grass-green paint color so we could pretend to live in a lush landscape year round!

The grass-like color of these cushions sealed the deal for my leaning-toward-green indecision on our master paint color....who is afraid of color? Not me! 

I even managed to squeeze in a Pilates class...first experience with a Reformer...since a foot injury has sidelined high impact cardio/running for the past 10 months, (yes, 10 months, which is why I am a little crazy!) I am becoming a Pilates addict!

Beautiful award-winning spa

Little coffee/bakery shop in the hotel....loved the following quotation on the chalk board, "Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee!"

This was the carpet in our room...absolutely LOVE this fretwork design!!

When you take the elevator up to the hotel lobby and the doors open, this is the first thing you see: a HUGE sculptural wall of gold metallic shapes made into a strong graphic pattern...amazing!

Close up pic of this high-impact wall