{friday finds: michelle lamb talks about color & neutrals}

Last month we got some insight from color expert Michelle Lamb, Internationally recognized color-and-trend expert and Editorial Director of The Trend Curve™ in Eden Prairie, on what colors to look for in 2011. According to Michelle, neutrals are expected to make a comeback in a more colorful way, and chameleon neutrals will be making a big impact on design.

In these videos, Michelle talks more about the upcoming design trends to look for in 2011.

Chameleon Neutrals

Color Trends for 2011

{best colors for your bathroom}

You can spend hours choosing the right sink shape, faucet or mirror when decorating your bathroom. And then it’s time to talk color. Before choosing the color for your bathroom there are a few things to consider.

First, what’s your style? Is the bathroom a place where you quickly get ready for work in the morning and for bed at night? Or is it a sanctuary in your home – where you enjoy a long soak in the tub, relaxing after a busy day?

This spring we talked about House Beautiful’s discussions with designers about their favorite paint colors. The publication looked at different rooms and the colors that can best bring them to life.

Benjamin Moore Fresh Dew

Designers describe the pale wash of green of Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Dew as the “color of the sea,” and the perfect backdrop to a relaxing bath in a spa-like space.

House Beautiful: The Bathroom

Maybe you want your bathroom to be spotless and sparkle. Benjamin Moore’s Brilliant White will really make your fixtures pop. This is a white that isn’t too bright and isn’t too creamy. It’s a great, classic backdrop for any artwork you might have.

Your bathroom can also be a place to really experiment with color, since it may be a smaller room with some wall space taken up by tile. If you want to really kick things up, try Benjamin Moore’s California Blue or maybe even Tangerine Dream.

Benjamin Moore California Blue

California Blue is a rich, dark blue that’s reminiscent of the blue used in blueprints.

Benjamin Moore Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream is definitely not for the faint of heart but can really give you some major wow factor in a small space.

Why not go even bolder? Hirshfield’s Facebook friend Kelly posted that she transformed her 1/2 bath thanks to Benjamin Moore’s rich purple color called Aura Kalamata. Kelly says it’s so rich she thinks it also makes the bathroom look bigger.

This is a look at Aura Kalamata using Benjamin Moore’s personal color viewer. It’s a great tool to use to see how a color will look in your space.

Benjamin Moore Aura Kalamata

No matter which color you choose for your bathroom, remember that it doesn’t have be a utilitarian space. Using color, accessories and artwork, you can really create a space that fits your design personality. What do you think? Log on to our Facebook page and let us know what you thought about this post. We’ll choose one winner at random who will get two gallons of Benjamin Moore paint!

{friday finds: velvet}

It is classic and luxurious. Velvet is re-emerging as a popular selection for upholstery, bedding, accent pillows, and draperies. Has it ever gone out of style? I think not. For centuries, royalty could only afford the fabric and it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that the common folk could afford this glamorous and durable fabric. Cut, pile, tufted, silk or cotton, how do you like your velvet? Be inspired.

Hirshfield’s Design Studio is a great resource for velvets and they also offer a fabricated headboard program. Stop in and see the samples on display in the showroom.

If you’re interested, here is a link from Kravet Fabric on how the different variations of velvet are made.

Images: Thibaut Luxembourg Damask, Thibaut Tidewater Blue, Anthology magazine, Duralee ad, Lonny decorating, Thibaut Tidewater Brown velvet and Resource wallcovering, House to Home, Decorati Kravet Fabric, House of Turquoise, unknown, Velvet Gate Tuxedo, Kravet fabric.

{how lighting affects design}

Visual Comfort & Co.

You saw our post yesterday on the different types of lighting, now it is time to consider how those different types fit into your home’s design. According to Greg Yaghsezian of Hirshfield’s Design Resource, lighting sets the attitude for a room. You can have a beautifully designed room, but without the proper lighting you won’t be doing it justice.

First off, you need to make sure you have adequate lighting to properly use your space. A kitchen, for example, will require a good source of general lighting as well as task lighting, whereas a family room leaves you more room for accent and decorative lighting.

Secondly, you need to make sure your paint color and lighting play well together. The type of light under which color is viewed can make a huge difference in how we perceive the color. In this video, Pat Verlodt, president of Color Services & Associates, Inc., explains how light is possibly the single most independent factor that influences color in a room.

Consider the amount of natural light your space gets. Natural sunlight maintains a neutral balance between both the warm (yellow cast) and cool (blue cast) ends of the light spectrum, providing you with the truest rendition of color.

Visual Comfort & Co.

Artificial light also affects color. Under incandescent and halogen lights reds and yellows are enhanced, but under the cool cast of fluorescent lights blues and greens are brought out. For more information on how sunlight and artificial light affect color, click here.

Overall, lighting affects just about every aspect of a room’s design; from how you use it to how you view it. Greg recommends starting with lighting when you are building, remodeling or redecorating as it can pave the way for the rest of the design.

{types of lighting}

Lighting can set the mood, accent a room’s design or simply help you see your hand in front of your face. It is a necessary design element for any space, and new options in lighting are more trendy and eco-friendly than ever. But before you invest in lighting for your space, it is best to spend some time considering exactly what type of illumination you need.

Visual Comfort & Co.

There are four types of home lighting, each one serving a unique purpose. Depending on how you use a specific room, you may need just one, some or all of these types.

Visual Comfort & Co.

  • Ambient. Ambient lighting, also know as general light, fills the room with overall illumination. Ambient lighting gives off a comfortable level of brightness, enabling you to see and walk about safely. A basic form of lighting that replaces sunlight, ambient lighting is fundamental to a lighting plan.
  • Task. Task lighting provides lighting for a specific area and task. Lighting for reading, crafts, or writing are examples of task lighting.  Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eyestrain.
  • Accent. Accent lighting accents a particular part of the room or object in the room. An example would be lighting accenting a painting or sculpture and is the most dramatic type of lighting. Accent lighting requires at least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting around it. This usually is provided by track, recessed, or wall-mounted fixtures.
  • Decorative. Decorative lighting is treated as a design element. For example, a dramatic wrought iron candle stand or small decorative lamp. It is not designed or intended to give out much light, but provides a decorative touch.

Visual Comfort & Co.

Stay tuned for a post on the different types of lighting options available!

{house of turquoise: birthday giveaway}

It’s a party! Erin is turning 30 next week and she is sharing some turquoise birthday love with her readers. She is tying in her other website, Decor By Color, as part of the giveaway. It is easy, easy to qualify and the winner will receive some very lovely gifts.

Happy Birthday, Erin!

{getting organized: closets}

Fall has arrived and that means it’s time to start putting away those summer clothes and pulling out jackets, sweaters and warm layers. Fall also means it’s time to organize my closets.

Take a look at how you’re using the space you have right now. Do you spend more time trying to find things in your closet instead of having things nicely laid out?  I read that the average person wears just 20% of their clothes 80% of the time, mostly because the mess in their closets hides their options.

The task to revamp your closets can be daunting – especially if you’re not using your closet space as well as you could be. Just one hanging rod won’t do it in most homes. You may need several rods, some shelves and maybe even some drawers to keep things clean, in good condition and organized.

The new Closet Essentials systems from Pinnacle Closets at Hirshfield’s offer an incredible number of options to help you keep your closets out of chaos. You can design and install a system yourself.  Or, put your needs into the hands of Hirshfield’s experts for the planning and execution of your new closets.

Pinnacle Closets

Pinnacle Closets feature 14” deep shelving and ¾” materials to give you incredible quality, strength and durability.

Pinnacle Closet Colors

They also come in five designer finishes so you can really customize the look to your style and home.

{friday finds: top 15 hirshfield’s paint colors}

The above paint palette are the 15 best-selling Hirshfield’s paint colors. The top Benny Moore colors are neutrals, and Hirshfield’s best sellers are medium tone neutrals. These are the colors our a-mazing customers are buying for their homes throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is a good place to start when you are searching for a neutral. I have heard “camel” tossed around as a strong color in 2011 and a couple of our best-selling colors fall in that category.

I included Light Lichen 0211 because it is a new favorite color of Kathy Basil, Hirshfield’s Design Resource. She thinks it is even better looking than Benjamin Moore’s Pashmina… and she loves her Pashmina. Oooh, a color smackdown.

These color swatches are computer generated and look far more beautious in real life.

Hirshfield’s paint products are manufactured in Minneapolis. All of us at Hirshfield’s appreciate your support of a local company.

{how events change trends}

Do you ever stop to think about what makes a “trend” an actual “trend”? How do we decide what’s in and what’s out each season? Why is something a trend one year but not another?

Color expert, Michelle Lamb of Trend Curve, carefully considers many of these decisions when she puts together her trend forecast. When forecasting trends for the year ahead, Michelle takes many things into consideration – including current events.

The events that can shape trends can be happy news, a big breakthrough of some kind and even something that is impossible to understand. This weekend we’ll pause to remember one of the most difficult moments in our nation’s history – the attacks on September 11, 2001.

We know the events that day changed everything. In this video, Michelle talks about the impact the attacks on 9/11 had on her trend forecast for 2002.

{national swap ideas day}

Our experts at Hirshfield’s are always full of good ideas. Whether it’s about choosing the right paint color for the exterior of your home, picking the perfect tool to stain your deck or selecting the appropriate finish for your interior paint, they know exactly how to help.

September 10 is National Swap Ideas Day – a day dedicated to sharing great ideas amongst friends, family and industry peers. In honor of the day we thought we would share with you some tips from our experts.

Exterior fabrics
Don’t shy away from using brightly colored fabrics in your outdoor entertainment area (for fear of fading). There are hundreds of fabulous “fade resistant” fabrics to choose from. They come in a wide variety of patterns and textures and are very soft to the touch.
Kathy Basil, Hirshfield’s Design Resource


Window treatments
If you are looking to purchase a window shade for privacy, remember if you can see out of it during the day, people can see in at night when your lights are on. Shades with filtering technology, such as the Sunscreen Shades, are meant to block UV and filter the sun’s rays, they are not designed for privacy.
Shannon Scarrella, Hirshfield’s Shop at Home


Exterior paint
When you’re choosing colors for a home’s exterior, people have a tendency to choose their favorite color. I always remind people to consider choosing a color your home is going to feel good in, not to mention all the people that look at it.  Always remember that curb appeal is the # 1 selling point of a home. Sometimes it’s better to use your favorite color on the inside instead. Get a sample pint of the color & take it for a test drive!
Mark Masica, Edina Hirshfield’s


Fall is the best time to paint outside. You don’t have the blistering heat to deal with, there are fewer bugs and you don’t have to worry about the paint drying too quickly. Use a 100% acrylic paint and a nylon/polyester brush. Make sure the house is clean, scrapped & sanded (where needed) and bare areas are primed. I always suggest two coats. The benefits are tremendous, and the labor is minimal as all your prep work is done. We ask so much of a coat of paint in Minnesota, it has to withstand over a hundred degree temperature swing, snow, rain, you name it, we get it, so go ahead put that second coat on.
Mark Masica, Edina Hirshfield’s


Deck staining
Decks are a maintenance type surface and require staining every two to three years to keep them protected and looking good. We normally recommend a high quality semi-transparent oil base stain such as Sikkens, Cabots, ABR, Super Deck, or Benjamin Moore (All of which we carry here at Hirshfield’s). Only one coat is recommended to avoid the product laying on the surface. Although these stains can be applied with a roller or pad, the preferred method of application is a good quality natural bristle brush to assure an even coat and also to push the product down into the pores of the wood.
Ron Clarin, Roseville Hirshfield’s


Surface preparation is of the utmost importance to allow the stain to penetrate properly. This can be accomplished by using a deck cleaner, scrub brush, pressure washer, or by sanding. And sometimes a combination of these methods is required to sufficiently clean the surface. It is important to have an even surface to achieve the desired penetration and even appearance of the stain. It is also important that after cleaning and washing the deck that it is allowed to dry a minimum of 48 to 72 hours so the stain may penetrate properly.
Ron Clarin, Roseville Hirshfield’s


Interior paint finishes
One of the questions we get asked the most at the counter is “what finish should I use?”  There are five sheen levels for interior painting, each with specific characteristics.

  • Flat is the lowest sheen level and is best used for low traffic areas and ceilings.  Flat paints touch-up wonderfully but aren’t the most washable.
  • Matte finishes are relatively flat looking on the wall but offer an amount of durability and are commonly referred to as washable flats.
  • Eggshell is the most common sheen and is appropriate for many different uses. Its level of durability makes it washable in high traffic areas and bathrooms.
  • Satin finishes are great for very high traffic and high moisture areas such as busy laundry rooms and bathrooms where condensation is common.
  • Semi-gloss works well for walls that see abuse everyday and is very durable and washable.

As one increases sheen level on the wall, durability and washability increase while the ability to touch up goes down.
Tim Rollwagen, Lakeville Hirshfield’s


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