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2013 – A Good Time To Renovate












Good news for the home building industry. Last week (March 2013) the Commerce Department report showed the rate of single-family home construction at its highest level in four and a half years, the results of this study point to a strengthening economy, housing and renovation market. Yeah!

A survey done  by the popular Houzz site showed that 54% of those polled are planning to do a renovation project on their home this year. All that “pent-up” energy is about to be released into newly designed bathrooms, kitchens and more. In fact, 28% are sprucing up their bathrooms, while 23% are planning to tackle their kitchen or an addition.

Here in Asheville, I have definitely seen an increase in activity. The projects on our schedule this year include a mix of kitchen and bath remodels with several additions, as well as some new construction.

We’re happy to see people investing in their homes.



How To Pick The Best Colors for Your Home (Part 2)

To continue our investigation of picking wall colors for your home, I want to share a couple of other helpful tips.


Pull two or three colors from a favorite painting, photograph or piece of clothing….. something that really resonates with you. Match these colors to samples at a paint store or have your interior designer match them for you. This can be your inspirational palette.


To often, people make the mistake of selecting too many colors, thinking they need to paint each room a different color. This can result in a piecemeal look that chops up the visual flow of an interior.

Instead, if you use your inspirational palette as the basis of your color choices, you can vary the hues and tones of these colors to create a smooth transition from space to space. The result – a more cohesive look to your home.


The most important part of selecting your colors is to trust your gut instinct. Response to color is very visceral and you will know deep within you if a color resonates with you or not. A good designer will not tell you what color to paint your walls, they will guide you to the colors that will suit you best. Trust your instincts and you will be happy with the colors you choose.


How To Pick The Best Colors for Your Home (Part 1)

When choosing wall color for a home, some people get totally overwhelmed.

Here is the approach I use with my interior design clients to make this process easier and more fool-proof.

First,I caution clients that just because a certain color may be your favorite, it may not look good all over your house. A neutral with a hint of a favorite color can be a smart starting place.

Another good starting place is to figure out if you prefer warm (yellows, oranges and reds) or cool colors (blues, greens). Most people gravitate toward one over the other, but you certainly can use both in a home. I like to find a main color first, especially if the design is an open concept.


The number one rule in selecting color is to get samples and paint them on a large poster boards. You don’t want to paint the sample paint on your walls because it is a lesser quality and is not good to have under your new paint coat – believe me I did this years ago in my own home and it really affects the paint job. It is so important to look at the colors in your space on a sunny day, cloudy day and at night. This will help your decision and its much cheaper in the long rung than buying full gallons of your first choice just to discover it looks horrible in your space.


The amount and direction of natural light affects wall color. Eastern exposure will add a greenish tint, while southern exposure is more yellow, whitish which can brighten or wash colors out. Western light is more orange, and northern light tends to be more grey which neutralizes and cools everything.


With the variety of light bulbs on the market today, it can get confusing what to use and how it can affect the overall look of your home.

Incandescent bulbs will bring out the yellow tones, while fluorescent bulbs will generally bring out the cool tones. However, you can now buy warmer rated CFL’s. LED’s can cast a very cool white light but can also be purchased with a warmer rating.


Every color has a “Light Reflectance Value” (LRV) which is a rating from 0% (absolute black) to 100% (pure reflective white). Similar to a gray scale, the LRV indicates how much light is absorbed or reflected by a color. Many paint samples will list an LRV number. This becomes very helpful when selecting several colors that will been seen together , like in an open concept. If you choose colors that have very different LRV ratings, the result will be jarring as the colors will fight for attention. Staying within 7 or so points in the LRV, you can use different hues without creating a disturbing contrast.

These aspects can help you avoid costly mistakes and guide you toward a color choice that you can be happy with for many years.

Finding the Designed Pathway


Architectural design has always attracted me, weaving aesthetics with function, all in 3D that you can walk through, sleep in, bathe in and even give birth in. A larger than human interactive sculpture that shapes our lives and becomes part of our deepest engraved memories.

This impact from manmade design seems to be branching out in a different slant these days.

As I sit composing on an ipad, switching from Facebook to Pinterest to blog, I am treading through the minds of those program designers who figured out this intricate pathway of circuits. They carefully guide us from observing something that inspires us to the act of sharing our findings with others. Sometimes I wonder if all this sharing is really necessary, but the shear magnitude and ease compels me forward.

There is a saying in the Buddhist tradition that when a thought is thought it continues forever. When I first heard this, I immediately felt guilt for all the bad thoughts I’d had. Right then I pledged to start thinking more lovingly with as much kindness as I could. And even though I’ve had my moments of angst, for the most part, I feel I’ve added to the positive side of the universal thought bank.

This www virtual matrix has confirmed what the Buddhist knew centuries ago. All these thoughts that we as humans are sharing on the web are now out there forever wrapped in a network of cyber connections. We’ve found the designed pathway from our individual spaces out into a world wide dialog that will be recorded for possibly eternity.

After all the design that has gone into this structure, I hope it winds up being a “good read.”