Color ProjectBy Kelly DuByne

Over the years I have done hundreds of color consults. The basis of all my home designs – whether hanging art, furnishing a room, or doing a remodel – starts, and essentially ends, with color. Most people love color, but they are overwhelmed by all the possibilities, and thus choose to do nothing. And then they are forever unhappy with their white walls. Let’s get out of that rut and add some color to your home with these simple tips.

1. Get Inspired!
What colors are you attracted to? What items in your home are you drawn to? Sometimes I ask clients to show me their closet, as we often wear colors we’re attracted to. I alo ask to see their dishes as they can be another indicator of preferred color.

2. Get a little help.
Check out for inspiration. When doing an interior design project, I request that clients make us a file of their favorite inspiration images on this website, and you certainly could do the same for color as well.

3. White paint costs the same as colored paint!
Take a chance on a color, you might like it! If not, it’s only paint. And remember: colored paint costs the same a white paint.

Hale_mstr_bath_1_LoRes4. Go bold in the bathroom.
Unsure about going with a darker color? I encourage clients to go with a bold color in the powder room. It’s usually a small room, but it can have great impact. Do the ceiling in the same saturated color for a dramatic effect. Starting with this small room is a great indicator to see how well you like a deep, saturated, or bold color.

5. Accentuate the positive.
A house needs to have a variety of values – not all light colors, not all dark colors. One way to achieve this contrast is to paint an accent wall that is different in color and value from the other walls. The accent wall in a room needs to be a focal point wall where your eye is naturally drawn, whether it is an architectural or environmental feature.

6. Always use a neutral.
In every home in which I do full color consults, I always use a neutral. Neutrals are a must in some areas of the home. I recommend a neutral in hallways and stairwells. I always caution against doing a bold color in those areas, as our eye needs to rest, and often those areas call for neutrality to let in some light.


7. Separate the ceilings.
A crisp white ceiling is my preference on most ceilings. It helps to define the wall color, and down the road if the wall color is changed, the ceiling does not have to be repainted. However, sometimes in bedrooms, bathrooms, or dining rooms, I do play up the ceiling with color.

8. Choose a good quality paint.
Use the best quality paint you can. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive paint. A designer, painter, or paint store can help lead you to good quality paints.

9. Double up!
Two coats of paint are best, and I always recommend two coats on my projects. Generally the first coat goes on a little thicker, and the second coat is a lighter overcoat.

10. Hire a good painter.
Designer and paint stores are great sources to ask for detail-oriented painters. It’s important for a painter to take care and time to be respectful of your home and furniture, and to do a fabulous job that will last for many years!


Oh! The Places We’ll Grout!

February 20, 2017

grout Grout actually has an important job to do. It locks tiles in place, keeps water out, and provides a decorative finished look. “Not only does grout fill the voids, it makes the floor, wall, or countertop stronger by bonding the tiles together and preventing the edges of a tile from chipping and cracking,” says David Goodman, the tile contractor for This Old House’s Nantucket project.  
Speaking from a design aspect, I always love picking grout for our tile projects. I find that often clients leave this blindly to me as it can be a bit overwhelming to them, and by the time they have approved all the other selections, this one is often just too much for the mind.  And that is fine, as I LOVE selecting grout, it is one of the important finishing touches to the room.
grout1Grout can serve different purposes in terms of a design aspect.  It can be NEUTRAL, and blend in nicely with the tile which makes the tile and grout appear to recede.  It can CONTRAST with the tiles greatly and cause either the grout or tile to advance.  Lastly, it can HARMONIZE, providing a pleasing balance.
We found some great examples of grout used in different rooms on Houzz. Check out the ideabook from


Backsplashes Add a Splash!

January 29, 2017

By Kelly DuByne Tile is almost always involved in our remodels.  For kitchens in particular, there is always a backsplash of some sort.  Backsplashes are most often the last of the finishes selected after the cabinets, flooring and counter selection.  Backsplashes can be subdued and blend in with the other finishes or the wall paint, […]

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How the Pantone 2017 Color of the Year Can Benefit You

December 18, 2016

By Kelly Dubyne Pantone announced the color of the year for 2017 in early December.  You may not think the color of the year has much significance but I am going to share with you how you can use it to make a positive difference in your life. As a designer, I get downright giddy […]

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Color of the Year Forecast for 2017

November 20, 2016

By Kelly DuByne Every year, those of us in the design world love to think about what the color of the year for the upcoming year could be. Plenty of companies release their own color of the year, from paint companies like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams to clothing companies and even paper companies. Sherwin […]

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Doors: Opening Design Possibilities

April 26, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Windows and floors and doors, oh my! Windows and floors and doors, oh my! We all remember a similar rhyme from childhood (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but now that we are adults, this revised version is probably a more accurate depiction of what scares us. Of these three design […]

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

March 15, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger We all know the line, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?’ No matter what the answer returned by the all-knowing reflective oracle is to that question, the unmistakable effectiveness of a mirror to add detail, form and function to a room is a sure thing. Mirrors can […]

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Hiring a Designer Will Save You Money

February 16, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger When homeowners are faced with the need to decorate, design, build or remodel homes, the first thing they decide is if they can afford to do so. Once they factor in the cost to hire professional contractors, permitting, materials, etc. their budget may be tighter than expected and hiring a professional interior […]

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Not One, but Two to Color Your Year!

January 19, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Wrong again!  We’ve been wrong about the Color of the Year before, but this year, we not only guessed the color wrong, but also the number of colors that would be named. In November each year, Kelly DuByne and I like to take a shot at guessing which color Pantone will name […]

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Centering in on the Holiday Décor

December 15, 2015

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger I LOVE to check things off of lists!  I appreciate the finality of the act and my holiday decorating is no exception.  Whether actually on paper, or just a mental list, I have definitive areas of my home I want to decorate and, when they are completed, I CHECK, CHECK, CHECK them […]

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