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My blog offers a fresh voice on the design scene, with ideas, inspiration and color advice focused on color for the built world. Updated regularly, discover current trends and tried and true proven approaches to color design for your home, your business or your brand. It’s all about the human response to color. Learn how to choose and apply color in a way that supports well being and adds beauty and function to any environment. Whether interior or exterior, residential or commercial, smart color design makes the difference between a space that’s hardly noticeable and one that makes you feel alive!

Thanks for stopping by……..Amy

 

 

 

How to Choose Interior & Exterior Paint Colors For Your Home

how to choose paint colors
Are you about to redecorate, renovate or build? Learn how to choose paint colors. Many people want to make their own color decisions but end up stuck, staring at color chips pasted to their wall for months.

Choosing colors is difficult but the right color makes the difference between a home that makes you feel great, reflecting who you are and one which leaves you cold and uninspired.

Exterior house color is the number one factor affecting your home’s curb appeal and therefore its value.

Learn how to choose paint colors which reflect your individual stye, the ambience you want to create and the decor you have.

Nationally recognized Architectural Color Consultant, Amy Krane is an professional colorist sought by media outlets like Elle Decor, Consumer Reports, Domino, Family Circle and more. She has been awarded “Best of Houzz 2017” after receiving the same award 4 years running.

This presentation, filled with visual examples, will walk you through how to choose colors. You’ll learn the basics of color theory, what’s important when choosing color, what’s on trend and what kinds of color support a healthy environment. The 75 minute talk will have a Q & A following.

Germantown Library, February 12, 2017. 1pm- 3pm.

A Look to 2017: 10 Design Trends

design trends

Photo: Mike Baker

While it’s been a tumultuous year politically, design trends spotted in 2016 and even before, continue to manifest. Warm metals like copper and brass abound, pinks of all types continue to appear as sophisticated wall color choices and dark tones are showing up everywhere. Live edge wood used in everything from tabletops and shelving to bed frames continues to be featured in shelter magazines and homes alike.

Amanda & Chris Air BnB

Amanda & Chris’s Air BnB

Purple

A deep jewel purple, Shadow is Benjamin Moore’s 2017 Color of the Year. Mid-toned violets like PPG’s Violet Verbena and Olympic’s Cloudberry made the top list as well. Perhaps purple’s association with mystery will help transport us to another, more pleasant time, if only emotionally. Purple has got appeal for many applications. A room with lots of natural light will help it sing.

design trends 2017

Bleached Wood Floors

The choice of bleached, pickled or gray washed floors continues to dominate wood floor tones. Used in conjunction with deeply pigmented walls the combination is irresistible. Note 3 of the 4 photos above show the trend. Even wood floors laid in herringbone or parquet patterns are going this route. It’s a more, rustic, unfinished look borrowed from influences like Scandinavian design and the Boho look, prevalent last year.

design trends 2017 bleached wood floors Wallpaper

It’s true wallpaper eased back into use a while ago but it’s here full tilt now. Used in powder rooms and bedrooms before, it’s beginning to appear in hallways and foyers, living rooms and restaurants. Pattern continues to engage and delight the senses as one of the coming year’s most exciting design trends. Last year we saw a real uptick in the use of patterned cement floor tiles. While that trend continues, pattern is everywhere on the walls now.

design trends wallpaperThe Modern Farmhouse

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times this year. Many people who own single family residences are looking for the modern farmhouse look. What exactly is it? It’s shiplap, (horizontal paneling), predominantly white or light Scandinavian cool colors on the walls, painted built-ins in the pantry and mudroom, shaker or inset kitchen cabinets and drawers, an airy modern clean feel with warm touches from rustic beams and organic materials like wood floors.

design trends modern farmhouse

Fixer-Upper

design trends modern farmhouseTone on Tone

One of the first things one learns training in the field of color is to vary up the contrast, LRV (light reflectance value) and color temperature when choosing hues for a room. This tone on tone look defies good visual ergonomics and healthy color practice but it’s out there and catching on as one of the newest design trends. The look is monotone and therefore (seemingly) soothing and sophisticated. Too much time in a room like this can cause eye fatigue from the monotony but there is certainly a contingent that finds it glamorous and au courant.

design trends 2017 tone on toneThe Camel Leather Sofa

From moderately priced purveyors like West Elm to Room and Board, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and beyond, everyone is selling it. It’s clubby without being stuffy, informal and sexy. While leather often appears masculine it’s being used in rooms with a more feminine twist as well. The more aged, scuffed and worked in like an old pair of boots, the better.

design trends Camel Leather sofa

Dark(er than the walls) Trim

Colonial homes were often decorated this way and it’s back. Generally less applicable for modern or contemporary homes, in more historic venues with wide and decorative trim it’s becoming more common.

design trends colored trim

High Gloss Painted Ceiling

For a few years now we’ve seen designers creating glamorous rooms in homes, clubs and restaurants using high gloss paint on all 4 walls. This kind of paint finish creates a highly reflective space which can be uncomfortable and it requires perfect walls as the gloss shows off every bump. This year we have started to see gloss on the ceilings with matte walls. Depending on how much natural light in the room, the kind of artificial light, the amount of hard surfaces in the room, how the floor is treated and the color of the walls and ceilings, it may or may not work.

design trends high gloss ceilingsBlue, Green and all in between

While neutrals continue to be the most commonly employed colors for dwelling interiors, and purple is the new “it” color per the paint companies, there is no doubt that blues, greens and the hues in between are making a splash. Pantone hit the nail on the head with “Greenery” as their new color of the year. You can’t pick up a shelter mag or take a peak at Pinterest without noting the interest in these colors. Known as soothing and/or refreshing their application is appropriate for any decorating style. As people have moved away from the all white kitchen and even the grey kitchen, we’re noting a prevalence of cabinets in deep greens, mid blues and teals. This year’s bleached wood floors, camel leather sofas and even modern farmhouse vibe all work with this palette.

design trend Tealdesign trends blue and greenDesign Trends : Black Accents

Let’s face it, black is sophisticated. But it’s easy to go overboard so the key is to use it as an accent. Make sure to add touches of warm colors to the space so it doesn’t come off sterile. Incorporating black into a room adds instant contrast and a graphic quality to the decor. It’s showing up as kitchen cabinetry, on millwork throughout the house and on interior doors and window mullions. Black window sashes and mullions help the eye move beyond to the outdoors, bringing the outside in.

design trends 2017 Black accentsWell there you have it! 10 emerging and developing design trends for 2017. At Amy Krane Color we’re looking forward to exploring the home design world with you next year!

Color for an Open Plan House

lindal cedar HomeIn 2001, a Bucks County, PA couple fell in love with Woodstock and began what was to become an annual ritual visiting the area. In 2008 they bought 3.5 acres. Drawn to area by the excellent hiking and the Woodstock Film Festival they decided to build their retirement home there. They started researching house styles and realized the perfect layout was one that they designed themselves.

The couple chose to work with Atlantic Custom Homes, independent dealers for Lindal Cedar Homes. The Lindal Homes are semi-custom and the house they designed is loosely based on the Elements line. Using a software program called Chief Architect, they made drawings of what they wanted, then bounced ideas back and forth with the Atlantic rep, eventually submitting drawings to the Lindal architects for the final plans.  To quote the couple, “We wanted to design the house around the natural slope of the land, including roof pitches. It needed to include a walk out ground floor to accommodate the “daylight basement” and large picture windows with views.
gray open plan living room

Set deep in the woods on a mountainside, taking advantage of the setting was key. Large picture windows in the main living space frame the view and allow masses of light into the space. The home is compact in size at 1850 sq ft and has all that they desire.

Open Plan Kitchen

The open plan situates the kitchen at right angles to the main space and the soaring 20 foot ceilings lead up the clear varnished cedar staircase to the open master suite on the higher floor. Privacy is not an issue as the guest bedrooms are on the lowest floor.

Lindal Cedar HomeThe house has a covered porch for al fresco dining.

The choice of wild flowers instead of front lawn is inspiring.

On the lowest floor, the home includes an office/library, a yoga- exercise room and a guest bedroom and full bath.

Loft bedroom color

The color scheme is focused around a light-medium gray, Benjamin Moore’s  Bunny Gray for the communal spaces. The gray rises to the highest elevation into the master suite. We chose Benjamin Moore’s Toucan Black as an accent wall to create contrast with the pale gray. The floors are Brazilian Koa, which adds warmth to the overall color palette. All of the paint colors chosen are cool. They work well in the house because of the preponderance of very warm colored woods. The master bath is Wedgwood Gray which actually is a muted blue/ green that highlights the Mexican ceramic tiles in the shower.
woodstockmasterbathAK

Exchanging visual reference with a homeowner is a hallmark of my color consulting practice and the wife’s reference for her yoga room was an explosion of pinks and lavenders.

Yoga Room

Yoga Room Reference

We landed on a muted lavender called North Cascades which was enlivened by a shot of hot pink in an over dyed rug. The mix of cool violet and hot pink serve to both relax and stimulate as the couple practices yoga, meditation, weight lifting and elliptical in the space.

lavender yoga room

On the bottom floor, the library continues the cool theme with a deeper blue green, Benjamin Moore’s Mystic Lake. The Guest bedroom is Sage Wisdom from BM’s full spectrum line called Color Stories. With all of the greens chosen, the colors of the interior echo those outside.

Benjamin Moore Mystic Lake

The difficulty choosing color for an open plan house is of course where to choose your color breaks. It’s best to choose accent walls which are architecturally unique or which signal a change in function to use a new color. Keeping flow is of upmost importance because changing a color in an illogical place wreaks havoc on the senses. With an overall medium to light hue for the main space we were careful to add contrast here and there to keep it interesting. Besides the almost black accent wall in the master bedroom the powder room is a dark blue, Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy. A return visit to the home found the couple in love with their new home, their color choices and their life in Upstate NY.

If you’re in need of help with interior or exterior color you can find me at amykranecolor.com.