Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Magic of Paint

I'm baaaaaack. I survived finals. Now let's get to it. :)
The purpose of this post is to shed light on all the endless capabilities that exist in a few coats of fresh paint. Everyone knows that paint is useful in reviving a once dull piece of furniture and injecting colorful personality into a drab space. But recently while visiting the site of a residential remodel, I was reminded of the important influence of paint on architectural features.

It sounds like a no brainer but the following photos really help to demonstrate this concept.


When we first came onto this project we recognized that there was a major problem inherent in the architectural details of this home. 

We weren't too found of the purple tones in the cherry clashing with the yellow tones in the floor.

As you can see the interiors reveal an abundance of mahogany-stained cherry wood. While this wood species is indeed beautiful, this particular application has it's limitations in this space. The thickness and darkness of the wood lowers the visual height of the ceiling. This is no bueno, especially when you are dealing with standard 8' walls. 

So how did we remedy the situation you ask? In comes the topic of paint. Yes I know, it seems counter-intuitive to paint over beautiful, quality stained wood, but given the budget constraints of this remodel, painting was the most logical solution. 


 Only a coat of primer covering these bad boys and already such an improvement!

We got rid of the ineffective mantel and went with cast stone and custom shelving to make this wall the focal point of the space.

As you can see, painting over the heaviness of the wood makes the space feels SO MUCH MORE OPEN! Moments like these really get me going, it really was like walking into a brand new house.

In conclusion, there are some basic guidelines we can extract from this scenario:

  • Consider PROPORTION when designing your own home. In other words, DO NOT apply 12" high crown moldings to a room with lower ceiling heights. Things will just seem off. A general rule to follow is 1" of molding height per foot of ceiling height is appropriate. Ex. 8' ceiling: 8" molding. 
  • Remember that paint can serve your architectural details very nicely. Instead of contrasting neutral colored walls with white (as most people generally do) consider painting your trim with a shade one or two steps lighter than your wall color in a glossier sheen. This way those lines will transition smoothly and all the cool architectural features present in your space will be emphasized. If you've got low, low ceilings, don't chop your walls, people - less is more.  


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