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Your Guide to an Interior Painting Color Palette

Color is one of the most effective tools to establish the mood of a room. Before you even take in furniture, flooring, or decor, color sends a signal the brain. That’s why some 1,500 jails and hospitals painted detention rooms bubblegum pink in the 1980s: the color would calm people down and even lull them to sleep. “Several experiments have shown that different colors affect blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates as well as brain activity and biorhythms,” wrote The New York Times.

The effect is a holdover from evolutionary biology. “When you look at red, it does increase your heart rate. It is a stimulating color,” explained Leslie Harrington of The Color Association to Huffington Post. “This goes back to caveman days of fire and danger and alarm.”

Who knew color was so powerful? (As if selecting paint chips wasn’t difficult enough.) But don’t stress. I’ve put together your guide to the basics of color psychology — including how your color choices affect mood, how to use paint color effectively, and how to develop a pleasing interior painting color palette.

The Color Wheel

This is your starting point: the staggering sea of shades that overwhelm you in the paint aisle. Breaking down the color wheel helps demystify the art of making good color choices.

Color wheel

You no doubt remember primary colors from elementary school (red, yellow, and blue). Secondary colors result from mixing two primaries (green, orange, and purple). If you mix a primary and secondary color, the result is a tertiary color (red-orange).

Keep reading to learn about analogous and complementary colors and how certain colors affect you psychologically.

Analogous and Complementary Colors

Now let’s get into how to create an attractive color palette. While browsing your favorite style or interior design blog, you may have noticed tangerine and teal go well together — that’s because they’re complementary colors, or those directly across from each other on the color wheel. Lime and fuchsia are another complementary color pairing that’s aesthetically pleasing.

Complementary colors

To keep colors from getting too intense, you can vary the tint, shade, or tone. Adding white to any color changes its tint (that’s how we get pastels). Tints are calming, particularly popular in nurseries and children’s rooms. Add black to a color and you get a new shade. For instance, navy is a shade of blue. If you add gray to a color, that changes the tone. Tones look more sophisticated than a color straight out of a crayon box.

Analogous (or harmonious) colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Nature is full of analogous colors — think fall leaves or sunrise colors like purple, red, and orange. Tropical tones like green, teal, and cerulean are analogous, too. Pick one as your dominant color and try using lighter tints of the other two to establish contrast. If you’re tempted to go for a monochromatic look but want to be a little more daring, analogous colors are the solution.

analogous colors

Continue reading to learn about what colors mean…
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Kitchen Upgrades for the Best ROI

Real talk: Kitchen remodeling can be expensive. Understandably, homeowners want to strategically choose what to upgrade in order to maximize function, aesthetics, and resale value. I recently wrote a guest post about 5 kitchen remodeling tips that have the best ROI on a home improvement blog. I think you’ll find the whole post valuable, but here’s a sneak peek.

1. Give Your Floor a Lift

vinyl flooring kitchen remodeling ROI

Image: Pinterest

Vinyl flooring saw a boom in the ‘50s and subsequent decades. If your kitchen hasn’t been updated since then, you may very well have old vinyl flooring that is peeling or has simply seen better days. Because homebuyers look for features that are modern yet low-maintenance, upgrading your flooring is an excellent investment. Select inexpensive choices like vinyl flooring from Itec or go one step up with luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that is actually grouted. With LVT and other vinyl flooring, you might not even need to rip up your existing floor.

2. Choose New Hardware Wisely

kitchen hardware cabinets roi

Image: Pinterest

New cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can quickly and inexpensively update your kitchen. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Intricate, complicated designs will attract more dust than a simple round knob, and a high-gloss finish will show fingerprints. Instead, opt for oil-rubbed bronze, which will hide dirt thanks to its rich color and copper undertones. Another wise choice is a brushed metal satin finish in stainless steel or nickel, depending on whether you prefer chrome or beige, respectively. These finishes all look modern and will for quite some time.

For all five kitchen remodeling tips with the best ROI, read the full post.

What do you want to replace in your kitchen? Tell me in the comments.

5 Reasons Why Mosaik Design Uses Design-Build

writing why
(Source: emagic)

We here at Mosaik use a design-build approach in our work, butwhat does that actually mean?

Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. You might select design-build to achieve the best value while meeting schedule, cost and quality goals.

Design-build encompasses all projects from commercial to residential, including new build and remodeling. Nearly 40% of non-residential design and construction is created with this approach.

bathroom remodel closet

Before starting Mosaik Design, I owned another design-build firm and witnessed how successful the design-build method was with clients firsthand. So, when I started Mosaik Design it was a natural progression as design and construction are two important pieces that make up the greater whole or “mosaic.”

(For more behind-the-scenes details about how I started the company, check out a recent interview I did with Jessica Rust at Cake PDX. I talk about our early beginnings, the advice I wish I’d listened to, and where I get my inspiration. And if you’re a Portland entrepreneur and aren’t reading Cake PDX, you should be!)

remodeled bathroom

To illustrate the “design-build” method, we recently completed a small TV Lift project that illustrates this approach perfectly.

Our client wanted a beautiful, functional way to hide the TV in her family room.  So I began with the design first, which involved sourcing the correct mechanism for the lift and engineering niches into the wall to hide the cable box and misc. TV accessories.  We also discussed the mirror size, frame and strategy to mount it to the mechanism.  This took many conversations with the “build” side of our company as to what was feasible and what the cost would be in the end. This communication is very important as it heads off mistakes and upcharges down the road. When you have both disciplines within the same company, this communication and problem-solving is usually one of the driving principles.

The result is a remote-controlled unit with a gorgeous mirror attached that gently slides down when the TV is in use and back up when it’s not. It is both pretty and functional.

In this and other projects, the design-build strategy takes advantage of the overlap between the two major phases of your remodel, ultimately saving you time and money.

Why is a Design-Build firm the best choice for your next construction project?

1. Save time.

According to the Design-Build Institute of America, the delivery speed of a design-build project is one-third faster than projects completed through traditional contracting, including less chance of deadline extensions. Design-build helps you avoid the time-consuming process of getting multiple bids on every phase of a project.

2. Save money.

The cost of a design-build project is more than 6% less than a traditional project whereby first a designer is engaged and then a separate contractor with subs is brought in to build the original vision.

Additionally, design-build helps prevent additional costs being added on during the project due to better communication and commitment to your budget.

3. Decrease headaches.

Owners have a decreased administrative and management burden due to the single point of responsibility contract. Owners can focus on the project’s original intention and inception rather than managing disparate contracts with multiple points of contact.

4. Reduce litigation.

The integrated design-build team reduces the two primary types of construction litigation — cost overruns and construction defect — that come from lack of communication between the designer and contractor.

With design-build, contractors and designers work together to implement a plan to budget specifications so overages are not pushed to the owner. Contractors do not have to wait on a Request for Information (RFI) from the designer who is not on-site regularly when a question of construction protocol or design disparity arises, increasing timelines or resulting in an incorrect application of the design.

5. Increase innovation.

Owners benefit from an multidisciplinary team of architects, project managers and contractors working in concert. This cross-pollination of training and expertise brings best practices on all fronts, contributing to a project’s success.

Think a design-build approach is right for you? Call us at 503-726-2222 or send me a quick message today and let’s start talking about what you envision for your home!

And for more interior design news and inspiration, sign up for our newsletter.

10 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Feel Bigger

For many, a huge kitchen is the stuff daydreams are made of. If only I had an 8-foot kitchen island with a second sink, you sigh dreamily. Food would definitely taste better if you made it in a spacious kitchen with a 10-foot ceiling and sun streaming in enormous windows, right?

But physically increasing your kitchen’s square footage isn’t always an option. Thankfully, as a kitchen and bath designer, I have learned a few tricks along the way to enlarge the look and feel of your kitchen without knocking out any walls.

I can’t guarantee you won’t bump elbows with your significant other anymore, but keep reading and I’ll see what I can do to give you a little more breathing room.

1. Lighten up.

As I wrote back in January in “9 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Bigger,” dark colors almost always make rooms feel smaller. Switch up that maroon or navy for a creamy white, soft warm gray or light gray-blue.  I always recommend using at least a satin finish because it is easier to clean and reflects plenty of light.

white paint to make kitchen feel larger

(Source: 66US)

2. Try different tile.

Put your backsplash to work reflecting light, not just water. Light-colored tile, metallics, or glass tiles can almost serve as mini-mirrors and help increase the light in the room.

reflective tile backsplash to shine and bounce light

(Source: Homebunch)

reflective tile backsplash kitchen

(Source: HGTV)

3. Change your kitchen cabinets.

Deep mahogany is classy for sure, but painting your cabinets off-white can trick the eye into thinking your kitchen is roomier (or match cabinet color with wall paint color so the eye glides smoothly over them). Glass doors instead of wood will open up the space as well. Or remove the cabinet doors altogether for a more open look.

exposed shelving in kitchen

(Source: Pinterest)

4. Maximize your lighting.

If a chandelier or pendant light is too low or large, it can obscure views out the window or of your fellow diners. Make sure your kitchen light is appropriately sized for your kitchen. And if you have dark drapes, by all means, switch them out for lighter, more sheer ones or skip them altogether. (In that case, window film can provide privacy without sacrificing natural light.) Undercabinet lighting can brighten up preparation spaces as well.

5. Get food out of sight.

Storage can be at a premium in tiny kitchens, but a little creativity can maximize your space and get all those spices, oils, and produce off of your counter. Changing cabinet doors to pull-out drawers can give you access to dramatically more space and help you tuck more tupperware out of the way.

Or store your sundries on a thin rolling shelf that hides between your fridge and sink. Magnetized spice holders can get your spices off the counter and onto the fridge, clearing up room for cooking.

pull-out kitchen storage for small kitchen

(Source: Classy Clutter)

creative storage in small kitchen

(Source: One Lucky Pickle)

6. Go for slim furniture.

Look for open table legs, translucent materials, and armless chairs. They reveal more of your space as you scan the room.

see through furniture in tiny kitchen

(Source: BHG)

7. Be strategic with your floor.

High-contrast colors will make your kitchen look smaller, so ditch the bright kitchen rug for one that’s a closer shade to your wood or tile. Try not to break up the visual flow of the floor; long lines and large tiles are better than small grids. (This is true in bathrooms, too — check out my post on making small bathrooms look bigger.)

8. Think upwards.

Vertical space is your secret weapon. Get things off the floors and counters with high shelving, a magnetic knife strip instead of a block on the counter, and pegboards for pots and pans.

small kitchens need vertical storage solutions

(Source: Nest Design Studio)

exposed vertical shelving in kitchen

(Source: Barn Light Electric Company)

9. Downsize your appliances.

Swapping a family-size coffeemaker for a modest french press is one way to save big on space. If your appliances are old and bulky, take the opportunity to upgrade to a sleek, small, European model instead. Or embrace the liberating feeling that comes with decluttering and get rid of an unused kitchen gadget altogether.

european-style appliances for small kitchen

(Source: Tumblr)

10. Make it movable.

Get a cutting board you can place over your sink during meal prep, or create a pull-out cutting board. Consider a rolling cart for your mixing bowls and cookie sheets that can be whisked out of the way.

small kitchen storage with hidden cutting board

(Source: Tumblr)

One last bonus tip: Make your kitchen your own. Little photos and pretty drawer pulls can personalize your cooking space and make you happy to be there, even if it isn’t as palatial as you’d like.

How do you make your kitchen seem bigger? What’d I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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0112 Southwest Hamilton Street Portland, OR 97239 | (503) 726-2222