{friday finds: again with the grays}

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40

Smoke 2122-40

Benjamin Moore Harbor Gray AC-25

Trim is Deep Caviar 2130-20 Wall color Silver Lining 2119-60 Looks like a glaze may have been used.

AC-28 Smoke Embers

Smoked Oyster 2109-40

Silver Fox 2108-50

Ralph Lauren Forde Abbey  TH06

Anchor Gray 2126-30

Gray Owl 2137-60

Sparrow AF-720

 So you still haven’t had your fill of gray? I can tell by the continued popularity of the black and blue and gray all over and gray, grey, greige posts on the blog. I put my curator’s hat on and pulled more room settings and comments from designers and everyday folk on the color gray.

 Jill, at our Edina location, said over the past couple months there has been increased interest in grays, particularly with purple and brown undertones…the chameleon colors. She mentioned Benjamin Moore’s Smoked Oyster which appears in the current Pottery Barn catalog and is shown above. Kim, from our Coon Rapids store, said gray is not as popular with her customers. One reason is that her customers’ base board trim and cabinetry colors often do not work with gray colors. Nate, from Apple Valley, said grays with brown undertones is the most popular at his store.

The colors I listed in this post are Benjamin Moore and Ralph Lauren paint colors. I’ll showcase the lovely Hirshfield’s grays in another post.

Wow! We have Silver Fox on 3 walls in our bedroom. The 4th wall is Sienna (a deep brown). I love the combination and Silver Fox is a favorite of mine.

Raccoon Hollow 978
We just got back from France, where I couldn’t help noticing that everything is painted what I call Avignon taupe — that flaxy natural color that’s a little on the gray side.” –Gerrie Bremermann

“We just finished decorating a bungalow where we struggled picking paint colors because the owner had just stripped all the wood trim and didn’t want to paint it. All the colors we picked changed totally in the presence of that orangey light brown wood. A contractor finally told us about Benjamin Moore’s November Rain — it’s a putty color, warm but not too warm, and it looked great everywhere we put it.” –Sharone Einhorn and Honey Walters
November Rain 2142-60

Our new grey is Ralph Lauren’s Artist’s Studio. LOVE it. Has more of a blue undertone than brown.

Silver Fox is a quiet classic.

…BM grey cashmere (not cashmere grey) it looks green grey on the paint sample but its really more a blue grey. However, if you are putting into a room with lots of direct sunlight it can be more blue. I have it above my wainscotting in a room that has lots of natural light not direct sunlight so it cast more blue grey.

Gray Owl is a good choice for all color schemes – a refined alternative to light blue. Very adaptable.

...tested out a couple of colors on poster board, the BM 2116-60, Touch of Gray was too light, and too pink. The 2118-50, Excalibur Gray, is nice, purple undertones, certainly not the Hollywood “Gravender” look, but it certainly looks more “modern” and current. I also liked Sweatshirt Gray (2126-40), this one doesn’t give me the gravender look but it does look nice and warm.

I just painted my sleeping alcove a Regent Metallics Ralph Lauren paint called Wadsworth Grey. I absolutely love it….

… Ben Moore color called Winter Solstice. Completely neutral gray color. On the paint chip the color looks a bit pale. However on the walls it came out a very nice midtone gray.

Any color can be a neutral if it is grayed off with a touch of black and used all over a room, without any other color interrupting it. I particularly love greens as neutrals: moss, sage, stone, hunter. I like to use many different tones.” –Stephen Sills
 Stone Harbor 2111-50

Abalone is my favorite grey. It is has the slightest bit of pink in it which makes it feel warm and inviting. Loved it next to my red dining room.

Is one of your tests “Ashley Gray”? We have painted our whole home with this colour. The reason … it goes with everything and we can accent each room with different colours. We also have an amazing view from our home and this colour made the view seem even more spectacular.

You still have time before graduations and confirmations to freshen up your home with new colors for your walls. No need to feel overwhelmed, stop by this weekend and let our staff assist you with paint colors. We got you covered.

Images:  DecorPad, The DIY Showoff, Happy Hermit, Happy Hermit, Benjamin Moore Flickr, Bossy Color, Pottery Barn, Apartment Therapy, Ralph Lauren?, Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy, Pottery Barn

{tips for new homeowners}

Congratulations! You’re now a homeowner! May 1 is actually a holiday just for you – it’s “New Homeowner Day.”

Being a homeowner can be overwhelming and the list of projects can seem endless. But think of the possibilities that are ahead of you. What colors will you choose to inspire you? Paint or wallpaper? What types of window treatments do you want? And then you head outdoors – maybe to a patio or deck or a lovely garden. When you begin to think about decorating your home think about the ‘feel’ you want to have. Do you want it to be bright or cozy, masculine or feminine, opulent or minimalist?

As a new homeowner you might be painting for the first time. Making sure you have your supplies ready to go before you start is key. You’ll want to have the right brushes, rollers, dropcloths, tape and of course paint. The professionals at Hirshfield’s can help you get exactly what you need and our video series on taping before you paint shows you just what to do before you load up your brush. You can also find out more in these posts about which window treatments are best for kids’ rooms, bright spaces and which ones will even make your home more energy efficient!

Maintenance is a big part of home ownership. Staying ahead of problems will help you tackle them before they get to be really big issues. Look for any signs of water damage or leaking – it could signal you need to get your roof looked at. Most experts recommend getting a roof inspected if it’s older than 12 years. Check your fixtures too – any leaks around a faucet or toilet could mean it needs a fix that you can likely find at a home improvement store.

A great part of owning a home is having some outdoor space to enjoy. Our blog on getting your deck ready for summer is a great place to start on what you need to get done.

Happy New Homeowner Day! To celebrate, Hirshfield’s wants to give away three Home Owner’s Journals, so you can keep track of all your invoices, color choices and home improvement projects! Just comment on this blog or on the Hirshfield’s Facebook page telling us what project you tackled or will tackle in your new home! The winner will be announced May 2!

{curb appeal}

You only get one chance to make a good first impression – and the same goes for your house! Whether you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, or you just want to do a little sprucing up, the curb appeal of your house is what makes that so very important first impression. If people don’t like what they see on the outside, chances are they will be less inclined to want to see what’s on the inside, and vice versa. So take a little time this spring to invest in the curb appeal of your house. Here are some tips to get you started.

Create beauty with symmetry: Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, but it is also simple to arrange. Light fixtures, potted plants and outdoor art work can all be easily arrange in a symmetrical fashion to accent your front door.

Better Homes and Gardens


Give your home a facelift: Whether you need to replace some old hardware, install a new mailbox or give your entire house a fresh coat of paint, there are many ways to freshen up the exterior of your home. Mark Masica of Hirshfield’s shares some tips for choosing the right exterior paint color in parts one, two and three of this series on painting the outside of your home.



Add architecture: Adding a cute fence or romantic archway can add instant curb appeal. Using these elements, you can define outdoor spaces and gardens to make them feel like an extension of your home.

Better Homes and Gardens


If you have any questions about choosing the right paint color for your exterior paint project, or you just want some advice or more inspiration, stop in to your local Hirshfield’s!

{decorating with pastels}

Easter conjures up thoughts of lilacs, pink bonnets, baby blue Easter eggs, and buttercup yellow chicks. Put those pastel colors to use in your home in a variety of ways. The soft palette can add a sense of spring to your home all year, with its light and airy feel. These rooms are great examples of how to use pastels in your home.

Want your space to feel more relaxing? Soft colors can provide a sense of serenity. Rest in rooms that utilize pale hues for a tranquil feeling morning, noon, or night.

Add warmth to a room without sacrificing style or sophistication. Mix muted tones for a look that’s soft and inviting.

Pastel colors are an excellent alternative to white and other off-white shades like cream and beige. Like white surfaces, pastel shades reflect sunlight, making them appear differently during the day. Soft tones also show texture from the reflection.

Use shades of the same color to add dimension and depth to a room. An assortment of pastel tones work together to create an overall statement within a designated area.

Pastel colors can serve as an accent to bold paints and fabrics. Lighten up a rich, chocolate brown with a light pink. Alternatively, liven up an otherwise ordinary white space and add synergy with a vibrant pastel pop.

These Hirshfield’s no-fail pastel colors will stand the test of time if you’re looking to add softer tones to your home.

*These color images are meant to serve as a guide and may look different on a computer screen. Stop in to your local Hirshfield’s to get the most accurate color representation.

{green design}

With Earth Day only days away, now is the time to think about the ways in which your home can be more environmentally friendly. April 22 marks the 41st observation of this event, designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for nature and the environment. Bringing elements from nature indoors is one way to design a green home. Many products used in houses today are also eco-friendly, with low toxins that are good for both your home and Mother Earth.

Bamboo blinds and shades are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly. Generally speaking, woven woods are better than classic wood because they are considered renewable resources. Indeed, a bamboo tree grows hundreds of times faster than an oak tree. This is what determined manufacturers of window coverings to take advantage of bamboo, reeds and grasses in creating special lines of eco-friendly products.

You can also opt for bamboo flooring over hardwood. The flooring can be installed with formaldehyde-free glues.

Hirshfield’s offers eco-friendly wallcoverings for home and business settings. EnVision, ECORE, and REcore all provide stylish options made from recycled materials and are low VOC (or volatile organic compound) emitting.

We also have a wide range of colors in our various lines of “green” paint, which include the top quality of Benjamin Moore and Hirshfield’s paint you know and trust. Find a variety of stains and indoor and outdoor paints at any of our Hirshfield’s locations, and be sure to recycle your unused and unwanted paint properly.

Hunter Douglas is one of the major players in the window treatments industry who take pride in protecting the environment while not giving up on quality and comfort. The Provenance woven wood shades offer a natural look, the warmth of nature inside your home, combined with excellent durability and with the latest technology available, in order to maximize the comfort.

The Hunter Douglas Provenance woven wood shades are eco-friendly in more than one way. Not only are they manufactured from renewable resources, but they also feature excellent thermal insulation properties and an outstanding solar heat control which lead to reduced energy consumption for heating or cooling the house. These insulating qualities are emphasized by adding the optional liner provided by Hunter Douglas with this line of window shades.

Additional tips you can implement around your house to help save our planet include making sure your home has proper insulation and buying and installing Energy Star appliances and windows. Finally, strategically plant shade trees and shrubs around your house to save energy. In summer, trees and plants can blocks infrared radiation that would otherwise enter and warm your home, while in winter, bare branches let the radiation come through for added warmth.

{props to Coon Rapids}

I was in your Coon Rapids store last weekend, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.  There were plenty of customers in the store, but two staff members came over and asked us if we needed help, and then suggested a couple of different things (including those big paint chip things, which really do work).  By far the best experience I’ve had in that store.  Thought you should know.

Thank you, Greg, for taking time to send an e-mail.

{friday finds: bachman’s spring idea house}

Front porch favorite – bathtub turned into planter and coffee table

Master bedroom

Master bedroom vignette

Girl’s bedroom – Accent wall created with ribbon, paper flowers and thumbtacks

Close-up of DIY accent wall and stools turned into night stands

Scrapbooking room

Living Room wall

Boy’s room – too cute to be forgotten

Upper level bathroom

Kitchen looking into back hall and stairs

Dining room tablescape

Sunroom featuring on trend wallpaper pattern

Floor grates used as wall decor

This is the last weekend for the Spring Ideas House 2011 at Bachman’s on Lyndale. If you have time, rejuvenate yourself with a leisurely tour of the house, garden center, and store.

The theme of this Spring Ideas House is “European Romance.” A light, airy and refreshing antidote to our long, cold winter. The design team did a wonderful job conveying that feeling, largely in part, by the paint colors they chose. Flowers, plants, bedding, repurposed and new accessories, and fragrant lilies all add to the ambience of the house.

Once again there are many repurposed accessories mixing it up with the newbies. My favorite is the barn door/headboard in the boy’s room. I do love my barn doors used as interior features. Have you been to the Spring Ideas House? What’s your favorite feature of the house?

Bachman’s Spring Ideas House is open until Sunday, April 17, 2011. Tickets are $5 and all guests will receive a coupon for $5 off their purchase of $25 or more at Bachman’s Floral, Gift and Garden Stores. Call 612-861-7311 for tickets or order online.

Hirshfield’s and Benjamin Moore paint colors used in the home:

Front Porch
Trim 0012 Bunny Cake
Floor 0211 Light Lichen
Entry HC-80 Bleeker Beige
Living Room 0391 Crispa
Seabrook wallcovering
0398 Island Embrace
0461 Calm Breeze
Trim and cabinets 
OC-68 Distant Gray
Lower Level Bathroom 
0461 Calm Breeze
Stairwell 0
278 Barberry Sand
Boy’s Bedroom 
0462 Resting Place
Girl’s Room 
1062 Albino
Master Bedroom 
0279 Garden Country
Upper Level Bathroom 
0278 Barberry Sand
Scrapbooking Room 0
407 Vapor

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