November 15, 2010 @ 04:10 PM - Filed under Color | Design Tips | Fabrics
Choosing interior paint colors can often be quite daunting and time consuming, especially for large jobs where several colors need to complement one another both within a given space and from room to room. Color selection is a design skill that grows with experience, but here are a few tips for clients and designers alike that can help make the color selection process more enjoyable and rewarding:
  • Pictures say more than words - use photos from magazines or websites to help define preferred colors. Photos can spark ideas and can help you quickly zero in on likes and dislikes. Also, most shelter magazines often list the actual colors used in featured interiors, so you can easily identify colors that appeal to you.

  • Use your surroundings as a reference point – tie your interior colors to the colors of your outdoor surroundings (blues and greens for an ocean-side vacation home, for instance).

  • Create a "color family" – choose colors that relate to well to one another and that create a unified package. To help create these color families, select colors from fabrics, wallpapers or rugs that appeal to you. For example: earth tones, neutrals, sunny citrus colors, and cool blues and greens.

  • After colors have been previewed on a color fan and choices have been narrowed down, large color samples from paint companies such as Benjamin Moore can be very helpful when making final color selections.

  • Visualize the colors you've selected in their respective areas – posting large paint color samples on the walls can help with this. See if you like the way colors flow and relate to one another from room to room.

  • Purchase small cups of selected paint colors and actually try them out. Lighting plays a huge role in the actual finished results and perceptions, so make sure you evaluate your color tests under different lighting (evening, daylight, dimmed lights, etc.)
To Illustrate the concept of "color families", I've provided some fabric sample photos from the Greenhouse Fabrics website. From left to right, we have earth tones, neutrals, sunny citrusy colors, and cool blues and greens.

Examples of "Color Families" (Earth Tones, Neutrals, Citrus, and Cool Blues/Greens) 
October 06, 2010 @ 04:59 PM - Filed under Fabrics | Furniture | Products
Congratulations to Lillian August, who just opened a new 16,000 square foot store in Los Angeles, and with a new store in NYC's Flatiron District to open soon. Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, Lillian August's collections feature furniture, area rugs, accessories, fabrics and antiques. The in-house collections range from traditional, English styles to simple American farmhouse furnishings, and from contemporary European styles to Southeast Asian pieces. Lillian August stores also feature designer collections such as Barkley Butera, Mariette Himes Gomez and Thomas O'Brian, plus many, many more.
Lillian August's design career started with textile and wall covering collections, and in 1987, she opened her first store in Westport, Connecticut. With two sons, Dan and John Weiss, she built the Lillian August brand into what it is today. Another son, Michael, created the Michael Weiss line of home furnishings. Ms. August and her staff now now support her collections and stores, as well as design residential projects throughout the U.S.
The Lillian August stores provide retail, in-house design services, as well as "to the trade" services for architects and interior designers. I had the pleasure of hearing Lillian August speak at a gathering of designers recently, and her presentation was vibrant, informal and highly informative. Her passion for furniture, furnishings, her collections and chosen career was very evident.
Lillian August Notting Hill Collection
Lillian August Cottage Home Collection
June 27, 2009 @ 03:40 AM - Filed under Fabrics | Furniture | Products
Best of NeoCon 2009 Roughly 75 awards were recently announced for contract furnishing products during NeoCon® 2009 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. It was the 20th year for the "Best of NeoCon" awards, co-sponsored this year by Contract magazine, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and
Products were judged by a group of management executives from corporate, government and institutional facilities along with selected international designers and architects. The 42 jurors were split up into seven teams, with each team visiting the product showrooms and market suites to view and judge the products in person. Over 1200 companies competed in 44 product categories for the awards.
Powermat won Best of Show and a gold medal in the Technology Support category for its ultra-thin wireless technology by showcasing its streamlined wireless charging devices for kitchen applications and wire-free charging and real-time powering capability which Powermat had embedded into Teknion Corporation's FX workplace accessories collection.
"Powermat was an 'unknown' to the contract furniture industry," said Eileen McMorrow, Director, Best of NeoCon 2009. "As a technology provider, the judges realized how the product contributes to all contract office furniture and how it will impact office planning in the future. This is why it received the Best of Competition award from 42 best of NeoCon jurors."
To see all award winners, visit Contract Magazine's Best of NeoCon 2009 page.


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