Interior Design

Scenic Inspirations

Coastal Calm

Nothing sets the mood of a room like color.  Cool colors (blues, greens, violet combinations) promote tranquility.  Cool colors recede and are great for making a small room look larger.   Warm colors (orange, red, yellow combinations) advance projecting a feeling of comfort. Warm colors are used to make a big room feel cozier.  When deciding on paint colors and furnishings, consider both the size of the room and the mood that you want to establish.  A good tool is to use an inspirational image, either from a magazine, photograph or other source, that evokes an emotion that would like to translate to a room.

To illustrate this concept, I am using a photograph that I took in Key West.  I call this image “Taking Flight”.  While I love a great variety of design styles, one my favorite is “Coastal”. There is nothing like a beach scene to communicate coastal living.  Below the photograph is a mood board for a living room with paint and furnishings influenced by this image.  Share your inspiration and related mood board for your next project.


Taking Flight, photographed by Susan Haney

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  1. Vanguard Hart Coastal Teal Coral Rope Back Ivory Armchair,
  2. Safavieh Cape Cod Natural/Blue Area Rug,
  3. Blossom Beguile I Indoor Decorative Pillow,
  4. Watery, Behr Marquee Paint
  5. Ava Slipcovered Sofa,
  6. Harlow Small Coffee Table: Gunmetal,
  7. Palecek Reyna Coastal Grey Stripe Cream Rattan Stool Table,
  8. Carol Benson-Cobb, Mesa’s End No. 2,
Interior Design

Design 101


Let’s review…the eight elements of design are:

  1. Line
  2. Form
  3. Color
  4. Value
  5. Texture
  6. Pattern
  7. Light
  8. Space

In this weeks Design 101 blog we are going to focus on Texture. Texture is defined as the feel, appearance or consistence of a substance or surface.  Texture, in harmony, with the other elements helps to provide balance and visual interest to a room. In addition to overall balance, you need to consider the balance among texture – all smooth or all rough will create a feeling of monotony.  A nubby tweed sofa works better with a smooth throw pillow and a leather couch work better with a wool knitted fabric.  Here is an example of how texture can be used successfully.


Image courtesy of

The soft velvet sofa plays well against the rough exposed brick wall. The room also feature smooth and shiny objects such as the glass coffee table, metal legs and arms of the furniture which are contrasted by the matte hues of the velvet chair fabric and rugs.  When selecting furniture for a room, keep this balance of opposites in mind and the room will not only look professionally decorated but will also project a comfortable and welcoming mood.

How do you combine texture in your rooms?  Post your photos.

Interior Design

Spark of Color

Tangled Up in Blue

2018 presents so many hues of blues it is impossible to say which is my favorite. In my mind, there is no such thing as too much blue.  The color of a room determines its mood. Blue is a cool color that evokes the feeling of calm. All that said, the diversity of blue paint colors this year gives ample opportunity to go from bold vibrancy to pure chill. Whether your taste is Modern, Coastal, Contemporary or Traditional, there is blue for you.

  1. Make a bold statement with Vibrant Blue form HGVT HOME by Sherman Williams.
  2. According to Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “Oceanside is the color of wanderlust right in our own homes.”
  3. With a delicately aged feel, Oval Room Blue from Farrow & Ball, works well with greys and provides depth.
  4. A slightly moody version of blue, Blue Dusk from Behr adds an elegant charm to kitchen cabinetry or an accent wall.
  5. According Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, Calm Blue “crosses multiple design styles — global, coastal, modern — and pairs well with other subdued colors to create harmony for interiors or exteriors.”