five paint colours to love

I would have to say that the question I get asked the most often is what colour is your fill-in-the-blank here. Sometimes it is my hallway, other times my bedroom and sometimes it is the living room or dining room. With so many choices out there I'm not surprised! It can be totally overwhelming. I've made my fair share of mistakes along the way and now I tend to stick with the same handful of colours. So today, I thought I would dish out my top five paint colours as used in my own home.

They are:

1. Chalkboard Paint - Black - I used this in the kitchen on the East wall and in the office on the East wall. Of course, I stole this idea from Jenna Lyon's fantastic home!

2. Revere Pewter - This colour is used on the upper walls in the hallway. It's a lovely, light warm grey neutral.

3. Cloud White - I use this colour everywhere. It is in our  hallway (chair rail), and nursery. It is great wherever you need a warm white.

4. Steel Wool - This is the colour of our bedroom. If I had the chance to paint it again I might go with something like Kendall Charcoal. It's a bit warmer and more inviting for a bedroom.

5. Raccoon Fur - This is the colour of our bathroom. This is one of those shades of black that has some blue in it. It has great depth and character.

(All colours by Benjamin Moore.)

As you can see, I'm drawn to black and white and the range of greys in between. I find they provide an interesting neutral back drop that you can play around with. It is rare for me to put colour on the wall (my guest bedroom excepted!) How about you? Any paint colours you use over and over again?

office space

We have an impossibly small room on our second floor at the front of the house. I've been in a few Victorian houses in our neighbourhood and many of them have this same tiny room. I'm not sure what the room would have originally been used for. It's too small for a bedroom by today's standards but maybe back then it would have functioned as a child's room or nursery.

We like to use ours as an office or I should say we would like to use ours as an office.

A more apt description for our small room would be "holding place for everything we don't know what to do with." It's the place where we dump all of our stuff. On top of that my earlier attempts are organization are bursting at the seams and beginning to fall apart. The flimsy magazine holders that are succumbing under the weight of too many magazines, the boxes on top of boxes, the old blue paint that has been there since we moved in. It all needs to be updated and improved upon.

So now the fun begins. I've started to collect a few images of rooms that inspire me. As you know, I have quite a few black walls in my house and I'm thinking of continuing that theme. I like it when a house has some consistency.

I've always been drawn to this office that belongs to Anna over at Door Sixteen. The crisp black and white colour scheme is really striking. Anna used a wallpaper from Ferm Living for her walls which is beautiful. It adds a little more texture and interest than just a black painted wall. However, since I imagine using the space above our desk as one large pinboard I don't want to spend a lot of money on expensive wallpaper.

I was so happy when I found these two images via Design Sponge that use inexpensive, hardware store wallpaper that has been painted black. It will give me the same effect as expensive wallpaper but I won't be concerned about scoring it with tiny pin holes. I also like how the wallpaper references Victorian tin ceiling patterns.

Another example of black and white really working in an office space. This image was taken at Alvar Aalto's design studio in Helsinki. If it is good enough for Alvar it is good enough for me. Image via Door Sixteen.

I also like the idea of softening the black and white colour scheme with some natural wood elements. This office which belongs to Nikole of Herriott Grace has so many great elements; the vintage stool, tree branch, shelf and side table are all inspiring. Image via Design Sponge

Of course, why use a branch when you could have a whole tree! Again, so many great ideas here; the trestle table, the blue industrial work light, the glass cloche, the mismatched chairs. Image via yellowtrace tumblr

What do you think? Any ideas for my office project?

black and white

What a wonderful surprise to wake up this morning and see my blog on Madame Herve's Sparkling Blog Update. Thank you , Tilda.

I've spent the last couple of nights thinking about the redesign for my blog. I decided to create an inspiration board to help me focus my thoughts and ideas. I was amazed at how much this little exercise taught me about my own design taste.

Apparently I like black and its variations and white and its variations but not much colour in between. (Makes sense when I look at my house.) I'm also drawn to branches, decaying flowers and leaves, antlers, feathers, ceramics, baskets and wood. Today, armed with this fresh new knowledge I went around the house and edited. Away with the things I don't like and in with the things I do including branches from the backyard.