Clean vs. Dirty Colors – 2 Tips for Adding Color to Your Home

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Pantone named their 2013 color of the year.  It’s Emerald Green.  Do you like?

If you do, the question is, does it work in just any space?  When does green work?  And, when does it just not work?   (Shhh, but these tips work with any color.)

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In a way, green is easy to add since it’s the color of plants and that is considered a neutral in most cases, but there are a few things to consider before adding green to your space.

To tackle this, we need to talk about fixed elements and clean versus dirty colors.

1.  Fixed Elements.

Before adding any color, consider the fixed elements that are in the room.  Fixed elements are things that are attached to the home and cannot easily be changed such as countertops, sinks, flooring, etc.

What color are the fixed elements in your space?  What are the undertones?

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The space pictured above has black countertops, white cabinets without a glaring undertone, stainless appliances and a white with a slight gray undertone subway tile backsplash.  That is about as flexible as you can get.  So, the saturated emerald green works in this space.  In fact, most colors would work in this space.

Here is another kitchen that has lots of white fixed elements.  All whites aren’t the same, so check the undertones, even in white, by comparing it to other whites.  Some whites have yellow undertones, being super creamy.  Other whites have blue undertones, and so on.

Green works well with all of the fixed white in this space though.

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And, what is an important thing to consider when doing white?  Light.  White does not do well in a dimly lit room. It goes dull gray fast.  For more information on white, see this post.

However, not all spaces are as flexible as the kitchens shown above.  Some of us have funky colors that we inherited in our countertops or other fixed elements.

Let’s be honest, these countertops below are pretty bossy.  Not all colors will work in this space.

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And, the worst color in a countertop is beige with a pink undertone.  It’s super bossy!  (See below.)   And, not only does pinky-beige not work well with a yellow beige, but just doesn’t work well with much.

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If your space has pinky undertones in the countertop, please note that and work with it, not against it.

If you are going green, be sure to ask, are there any fixed elements with orange undertones in the room?  Orange is opposite the color wheel from green.  Anytime you put two colors together that are opposite the color wheel, they will emphasize each other.  Do you want the orange emphasized?  That is a question only you can answer.  If the orange is in a tile you hate, maybe not.  If the orange makes the cabinets feel dated, maybe not.

Having said that, please note that orange toned wood on the horizontal acts as a neutral.  All wood as flooring does, so don’t worry about wood flooring too much.  That’s not to say that some tones of wood won’t work better in a space than others, though.

2.  Clean versus Dirty.

The next thing to consider is if the color you want to add is clean or dirty and how that corresponds to the surrounding colors.

(Note: this concept does not apply to neutrals like gray, beige, tan, and white, though their undertones and saturation should be taken into consideration.)

What does clean and dirty even mean?  Clean is the color without it being mixed with much gray to muddy it up.  Dirty colors are typically muted with gray.  Muted and muddy are other words that are used interchangeably with dirty.

Below is an example of clean green (table) being combined with dirty green (chairs).

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We all have our own opinions, but I’m not the biggest fan of the two together in the space above.  I do like how she used two rugs and two tables in the oversized room.

Which of the color combinations below do you think looks best?

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Typically clean colors look better with other clean colors.  Muddy colors look best with other muddy colors.  Below is an example of a dirty green with both dirty pink and clean pink.

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You may have to look very closely at those to see the difference.

In general, muted colors will look more sophisticated.  Clean colors will look more cheerful, but can border on youthful if you aren’t careful.

Clean colors should be off-set with a healthy amount of white.  White helps them to make sense in a space.

Below are a few examples of green in spaces where the general color palette is very clean.   Personally, I am drawn to clean colors most, but not too clean and over-saturated.  I like a little bit of gray mixed in so that it’s still vibrant, but not too bright.  However, many out there love their neutrals and soft palettes.

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If you are wondering about an example of more muddy tones, see the image below.  And, as you can see there, you can sprinkle in various tones of the color to blend it some.

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Below are some various tones around the green spectrum that you could put together in a room.

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And, just for fun, since I didn’t show a lot of dirty/ muted colors, here are some fabulous rooms featuring more muted colors.  But, remember, these are terms of comparison, so it’s all relative.

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Basic Rules:
1.  Balance bright saturated colors with lots of white.  Not only does it help them to make more sense but it keeps them from getting overwhelming.
2.  Clean colors create a happier room, but also can be more youthful.  Dirty or muddy colors tend to be more sophisticated.  Both can be wonderful.
3.  In general, keep clean colors with clean colors and dirty (or muddy or muted) with other dirty colors.
4.  When choosing a color, make sure it works with the fixed elements your home – anything that will not be changed.
5.  Compare different shades of one color to begin to see the undertones and to see if it’s clean or dirty.

These are just basic rules.  Rules are made to be broken.  But, they also must be known so that way you can purposely break them or know what may be wrong if something is bothering you.

I hope that is helpful!   What do you think about emerald green?   Would it work in your home?

What tips do you have?  Are you drawn mostly to clean or dirty colors?

kristysig

Holiday Link Parties (2) – Décor and Kiddos

Today is the day to link up your Christmas décor (anything décor related) over at Lindauer Designs and any fun Christmas photos featuring kids over at This, That & Life.  It’s the last week of our link parties.

Let’s see some décor inspiration!

Centsational Girl does it again – more gorgeousness.  I love the pops of blue alongside of silver, gold and white.  Isn’t that wishbone chair fun?

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Are you more of a red person?  How about this family room.

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This image from Better Homes and Gardens showed a simple, yet elegant space.

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Here is another image from BHG.  Simple, yet I love it.

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What does your Christmas décor look like?  Please do share!  Do you have any photos of your kids or family out-takes?  Share that as well!

Speaking of kids and photos, let’s just take a look at some awkward family photos for fun.  Are you a little awkward when being photographed?  I am.  Well, maybe these will make us feel better.

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All of the family photos above are from awkwardfamilyphotos.com.  Surely you have a few that are better than these?!  Huh?   Link them up!  Show off the kiddos.

And, the photos do not have to be family photos – they can be of your kids doing projects, on outings, putting up the tree and so on.  It’s about memories.

This, That and Life Lindauer Designs Restoration House Finding Silver Pennies Shizzle Design Hyphen Interiors Bliss at Home Miss Flibbertigibbet

Merry Christmas!  I’ll be taking a week or two off the blog before the new year.  I hope your holiday is wonderful.

kristysig

Dining Room Reveal!

We’re finally done!

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Here is the before.

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I came up with the basic plan for the dining room back in October.  Here is the Photoshop drawing that I did two months ago as I was coming up with ideas for the space.

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Since we did the drawing, we made a couple of changes to the design.
- The ceiling and tray were switched so that the ceiling was white and the rest of the room was blue.
- Due to the configuration of the chair railing (it ends before the end of the wall), we didn’t do a different color on the bottom, but did the entire wall a dark blue.

However, most of the other elements stayed the same.  The design mixes natural elements with traditional and contemporary elements for an eclectic yet clean and sophisticated feel.  We pulled the navy blue from the rest of the house – as it’s an accent throughout the main floor.

The fabulous jute area rug was donated to me from RugsUSA!  I love that company – I’ve purchased from them several times.  It was so nice of them to send the rug.  I’ve tried several jute rugs in the past couple of years and this one is by far the best quality.  It’s awesome – there aren’t lots of pieces coming unraveled like the others I tried.  I chose this rug in order to add texture to the room.  It’s subtle, yet adds an element of texture and layering.

We also hung IKEA Ribba frames along the wall for a total of 10 frames.  Right now, they are filled with scrapbook paper which has a chevron pattern.  But, the long-term plan is to take area photos and put them in the frames.  You know, stuff like old tractors and funky Austin shops.

I may even opt for a few of the prints sold at Decor and the Dog.  Love those.

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The dark blue on the walls (which is a custom color from Ben Moore) works because it’s broken up so much with white and because of the natural light in the space.

We used Benjamin Moore’s Natura line of paint which is odor free and no VOC’s.  It was great for an allergy sensitive person like me.  The paint itself looked like thick icing.  It covered in two coats!  Great paint.

But, let me tell you, painters charge extra for dark colors like this and it was a lot of work due to the moldings.  In the end, our painter, Fernando, did an excellent job.  He and his son got it done in one day and the stopping points are nice and crisp.

Do you remember the broken pots we got from Joss & Main?

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Our solution was to keep the preserved boxwoods, but to use ice buckets as pots instead.  This just added to the silver in the room echoing the chairs and frames.

The table was custom built by Mason’s Woodwork back in June.  I still love it!    The chairs are from IKEA.  I chose the clear chairs to juxtapose the rustic elements as well as to make the table the star.

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Here is the space looking in from the kitchen.  The white curtains are from IKEA and are the Ritva curtains which are a linen and come in lengths up to 118 inches.  We like to hang them with a thick rod and rings for a more polished look.

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It’s so great to finally have it done!  Just in time for Christmas.  I have a confession, we are still so busy just getting the foundational decorating done that we didn’t do any Christmas decorating this year.  But we will next year!

I’m not sure if we will do the picture frame molding under the chair rail like in the drawing, but if so, it will be a while.  I like the room as it is right now.

Yay for the dining room being done.

kristysig

Silence and Support for Sandy Hook

To show respect for those lost during this horrific tragedy, we’re stepping away from the computer and the Home for the Holidays Link party for a day of silence honoring the 20 children and 6 teachers who were tragically died.  There are no words…  I can’t possibly imagine what they are going through.  

Please pray for all who are involved, including the family of the shooter, Adam Lanza.

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We will resume the Holiday Link party tomorrow.  The topic is Christmas decor.  I also hope to post our dining room reveal then. 

kristysig

Holiday Link Party – Christmas Trees!

Today is the day to link up your Christmas trees over at Restoration House Interiors.  Let’s see some tree inspiration!  First we’ll look at a few traditional trees, then some more unusual ones.  I’d love to hear which ones you like!

( Click on the image for more information.)

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How about some pink?

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What do you prefer?  Frosted, flocked, white, real, artificial, large, small?   What are your favorite color schemes for trees this year?

Here are a few that are a bit unusual.   If you don’t have room for a tree, these may be fun options.

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And, these trees are moreso true accessories.

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What does your Christmas tree look like?  Please do share!

This, That and Life Lindauer Designs Restoration House Finding Silver Pennies Shizzle Design Hyphen Interiors Bliss at Home Miss Flibbertigibbet

Not sure what a link party is?  There is an explanation on the introduction post.

Head over to Kennesha’s blog and get some inspiration, and share your decorated mantels!

kristysig

Series – Starting a Business 101 – Week 7

This is the last week of my series on Starting a Business 101.  Last week, I talked about keeping records.  We’ll close the series with some odds and ends that are just good to know.

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In this series, I cover the topics below that are central to starting a new business.

Introduction - Why make it complicated?
Week 1 – Choose a name for your business.
Week 2 – Determine the legal structure.
Week 3 – DBAs and business licenses.
Week 4 – Get a federal tax id number.
Week 5 – Determine your federal, state and local taxes.
Week 6 – Record Keeping.
Week 7 – Other good information.

I’ll just do a Q&A format for easy reading since these are somewhat random things.

What is an NAICS number?
Some forms, such as the TX Worker’s Comp Insurance form will ask for an NAICS number.  The census.gov site has a list – it is just a number associated with the type of business you have so that it can be categorized.  For instance, the number 54140 is for interior design consulting services.

Do you need Worker’s Comp insurance?
Most states require Workers’ Compensation Insurance for certain business types. However, in some states, even if you do not need it, you must fill out forms anyway.   In Texas, for instance, if your business does not fall into the category that requires the insurance, you must still file a form saying that you do not provide WCI. So, be aware that you may need to file forms anyway, even if you do not need the insurance in your state.  In Texas that form is a DWC005 form.

What expenses are involved in starting a business?
You have the initial expense of starting your business entity (see that week) – that could be just a fee for a dba name or may be full on LLC fees.  All of these fees vary by state.  In addition to that, you will probably have the following expenses:  Quickbooks, payroll costs if you pay anyone, CPA costs, taxes (see that week), office supplies, domain name cost, business cards, and costs for blog hosting should you host your own blog outside of Blogger or WordPress.   Depending on your business setup, you could also have expenses like – computer, printer, software, gasoline for client visits, and even the cost of renting a retail or office space.   If you do open a space, you may also hire employees.

Do I need to pay for disability insurance?
The following states/territories also require a business to pay for temporary disability insurance:
· California
· Hawaii
· New Jersey
· New York
· Rhode Island
· Puerto Rico

I heard as a decorator that you can get discounts.  How does that work?
Many stores offer a 10-20% off discount for decorators, but be prepared to show a business card, sales tax permit, your EIN number and possibly other stuff showing that you do indeed have a decorating business.  Not all businesses offer this.  Just ask over the phone or when you go in.  Most decorators do not pass that discount on to their client, but some do.

Certain companies such as fabric companies only sell to decorators.  And, to get an account with them, you will need to provide financial information, show other accounts that you have open and that history as well as things like your ein number and sales tax number.  It’s not a super quick process.  It can be easiest to first start accounts with blinds and tile companies as sometimes they are less strict.  And, then use them as your other accounts when it comes to the fabric vendors.   If you don’t want to bother, you can always try using another decorator’s account, but it’s likely they will require upfront payment if they are comfortable doing it at all.

Disclaimer
As a disclaimer, I am not a CPA, lawyer or business expert. I am simply sharing what I’ve learned in case you have no idea where to start.

I hope this series has helped!  Feel free to email me for any other information.  I’d love to hear about your personal experiences as well.

kristysig

Holiday Link Party – Mantels!

Today is the day to link up your holiday mantels over at Finding Silver Pennies.  Let’s see some mantel inspiration for those of us who haven’t finished ours up yet!

Centsational Girl’s mantel is probably my current favorite.  I hope to use the ornament garland idea.  I already have two trees like hers on my mantel.  I also like how the candlesticks and deer head create some layering.

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Refresh Restyle has a pretty mantel.  I love all of the greenery and that silver reindeer is awesome.   She did a great job with layering. 

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This faux mantel at Love of Family and Home is pretty cute!   The greenery at the top is the perfect touch.

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What a festive mantel from Adventures in Decorating.  It’s just so happy. 

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I love the rustic elements on this mantel from The Lily Pad Cottage.

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Aren’t the hand made elements in this mantel awesome – The Frugal Homemaker.

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Anythingology had me at the deer butt.

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I love the simplicity and glam of Amanda Carol’s mantel.

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What does your holiday mantel (or faux mantel) look like?  Please do share!

 
This, That and Life Lindauer Designs Restoration House Finding Silver Pennies Shizzle Design Hyphen Interiors Bliss at Home Miss Flibbertigibbet

Not sure what a link party is?  There is an explanation on the introduction post.

Head over to Danielle’s blog and get some inspiration, and share your decorated mantels! 

 kristysig

Best of Craigslist (Austin)

I’ve always been huge on Craigslist.  If you can find unique items for less than wholesale, go for it!   Sometimes I find such cool stuff – if only I had a place for it…

Would you ever get a Christmas gift from Craigslist?  Below are current items on the Austin Craigslist.

Sorry about any poor photos – I try to be careful about photo quality, but this is the one exception.  Each item is linked to the page of origin, though if you give it a week or two, I’m sure the pages will be deleted if the items are sold.

SEATING

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KID ITEMS

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ACCESORIES

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LIGHTING

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RUGS

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FURNITURE

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CHRISTMAS

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Did you see anything here that you love?  What are some of your best Craigslist finds?  I think my best is still my breakfast room chairs – faux bamboo/ Chinese chippendale.

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My blog gets searched for these chairs for sale often.  I bet many people out there would not mind getting a set of these, even if they came from Craigslist!

kristysig