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Designer Roundtable Q&A Session – Color

I’ve met some great designers/decorators through Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and blogs within the last couple of months. I’ve always wanted to get some of them together to give my readers their perspectives on certain design subjects. I love variety, and I love that so many of us in the design/decor field are actually Individuals with our own style and own opinions about “what looks good” and “what works”. Below are the questions related to this month’s theme, Color, and the answers from these fellow designers and decorators.

Be sure to leave a comment below letting me know what you think about this month’s Designer Roundtable or if you have any tips to add.

Also, feel free to reach out to either of them! They’re very sweet, I promise!

via House Beautiful

1. What’s the most popular color trend?
  • “Brown, move over and make way for the new neutral in town,gray. For years, gray has been in the shadows, often thought of as drab and relegated to the masculine rooms of the house, but no more. It’s soothing, sophisticated and anything but boring. Whether you choose a warm or cool gray, rest assured it will work fabulously with every color of the rainbow or other neutrals in endless shades and intensities.While black, white and even browns remain popular, gray has exploded in the design world and has found its way into our bedrooms, baths, common spaces and kitchen in a big way. Paired with lime greens, it provides a place for your eyes to relax and take a visual break. Paired with soft yellows, it brings that often misunderstood color to new heights, and paired with reds or Pantones Color of Year, Emerald, it provides a wonderfully sophisticated level of contrast. And of course, paired with other neutrals it can provide you with a sophisticated, welcoming space.” – Doreen Sargente
  • Well I heard that it was supposed to be Emerald Green but I am not seeing much of it anymore. The photos I received from this last market showed a really deep indigo/peacock blue that I really loved. We should be seeing much of that surfacing in the next few months. Along with many natural and glass accents! Think Eco chic!” – Adam Zollinger
  • “Color can be a form of celebration, reflecting whatever it is people are feeling . When economies recover you see lots of vibrant color, especially oranges .  We’re seeing a lot of this and brightness in the market,  as well as coastal-inspired blues which have an expansive quality and reflect less constraint in our lives.  I think the trend towards achromatic rooms, particularly the black and white rooms,  reflects the way technology is almost universally embraced as part of our lives.” – Peggy Berk
  • “There are always trends and micro-trends going on. The major trends have a life span of about 7-10 years.  At the basis of all color trends are the neutrals.  When I grew up, everyone was painting their homes in warm neutrals…..tans and beiges.  The new generation of homeowners grew tired of it, and the trend right now is to have cool neutrals…..lots of variations of gray.  I think the gray is at the middle/end of its life span with the leading spots of the country shifting.  I still have most clients wanting cooler tones in this area.  While it’s not widely accepted yet, and doesn’t really have anything to do with color, pattern on pattern is making a huge comeback.  I, for one, hope that it’s short lived!” – Tawna Allred
  • “Saturation! There are a wide range of colors that are popular right now, but the key seems to be using heavily saturated color. It makes your space distinctive and memorable.” – Susan Lacy

via Phoebe Howard
2. What’s your favorite “timeless” color scheme? 
  • “Hmmmm. Personally I love a deep primary color palette – wine red with mustard yellows and navy blue. I don’t know if that is timeless for everyone else, but it is for me!” – Adam Zollinger
  • “This one is hard, because color and pattern are what date a home the fastest.  So, a lack of color really is more timeless.  This room by Phoebe Howard is one of my favorites, and I think that it will still be gorgeous in thirty years. (see above pic – Phoebe Howard).  That being said, I don’t think every person would or should go for this type of room if it doesn’t fit their personality.” – Tawna Allred
  • “I love working with grays in place of the more common beige neutrals.  It feels much more contemporary to me, a needed update for even a traditional setting.” – Peggy Berk
  • “Crisp blue and white! Blue is not even a favorite color of mine, but nothing looks fresher and more crisp to me than that classic pairing.” – Susan Lacy

via The Whited Sepulchre

3. What color combination is a definite no-no? 

  • “That is a really hard question because I believe that if colors are mixed and balanced appropriately you can get away with just about any color combination.” – Adam Zollinger
  • “I don’t think there is one ;  integrated correctly you clan make almost all colors work together.  However,  my pet peeve is mixing yellow based neutrals with pink-based neutrals in the same room.  For some reason I find it jarring.” – Peggy Berk
  • “In the hands of a master, nothing is off limits.  However, as a general rule of thumb, don’t mix “dirty” and “clean” colors if you are putting colors together for the first time.  Clean colors are pure pigments…untainted.  Dirty colors are colors that have been mixed with their compliment (green/red, yellow/purple, blue/orange) or with a dash of brown or black to make them look more like the natural world.” – Tawna Allred
  • “There are two:1)  pink/purple, because no matter what you do, people will start hunting for easter eggs; and 2) red/green. Can anyone say Christmas time?” – Susan Lacy

4.  What colors work best in small spaces? 
  • “It definitely depends on the mood you want to establish for the room.  I generally like more saturated colors on walls in small rooms because walls seem to have more visual presence in the space than they do in rooms which accommodate more furnishings.  If you use white walls in small rooms, it’s really critical that it be integrated into the full scheme, picked up in fabrics and finishings at least as an accent, so it doesn’t become just a backdrop for the setting.” – Peggy Berk
  • “Any colors that you want. I think furniture proportion, lighting, and accessories are what kill a small space, not the colors.” – Adam Zollinger
  • “Any color works in a small space that is done in a high gloss sheen.” – Tawna Allred
  • “I believe one can use any color in a small space, provided your furnishings are to scale. AND, if you use a bold color, don’t use it on EVERY wall. There needs to be some area to rest the eyes, so use a bold color either on an accent wall, or just in accent pieces or fabrics.” – Susan Lacy

5. What design rules are “breakable” in relation to color/color schemes? 
  • “What rules?” – Peggy Berk
  • “N/A” – Adam Zollinger
  • “About any rule can be broken!  However, you have to know the rules well before you know when it works to break them.  The rules, by themselves, are like truth.  They follow the rule of the universe, and there is nothing you can do about that.  The only time you can break them is when a third, unknown factor comes into play that FORCES a change.  Just breaking rules for fun will end up in a really bad project!  I go back to the rules of color and proportion time and time again.  They are my solid base.” – Tawna Allred
  • “This actually relates to the previous question. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t use bold colors in small spaces. Just be sure that if you are going to do it, you do it with confidence, so that it makes a statement. You don’t want people to look at your room and feel it’s timid or unfinished.” – Susan Lacy

via Tawna Allred Interiors

6.  What’s the best advice related to color you’ve been given? 
  • “GO FOR IT! Just pick the right shade and consult a designer if necessary.” – Adam Zollinger
  • “My best color advice came from a painting teacher when I was a teenager – warm up a cool palette by mixing a color that’s one level warmer than your warmest color into all the other colors in the palette,  and do the opposite, mixing in a color one level cooler to cool off a warm palette.  I still develop all my color schemes using paint or a digital program such as PAINTER and always tweak it this way as a last step.” – Peggy Berk
  • “In a House Beautiful magazine, I read a quote by Alexa Hampton that referred to picking yellow for a paint color.  Her advice was to pick a yellow, and then go a shade lighter.  Yellow interacts with sunlight in a way that makes it EXPLODE with strength.  I decided to take her advice when designing the bedroom for my little girls, for which I chose a yellow.  I figured it was a color that was happy but that could grow as my girls grew.  It worked out well! So I always share this advice, even encouraging two shades lighter!” (see above pic) – Tawna Allred
  • “Although at the time I heard it I thought it sounded silly, I’d have to say look to your wardrobe when choosing a color scheme for your home. If you think of your decor as accessories to you, then choose your color the same way you choose your clothing. If a lavender blouse washes the color from your face and makes you look jaundiced, you don’t want to sit in a lavender room looking sickly. You pick your clothes to make you look fresh and lively, so pick colors for your home the same way.” – Susan Lacy

The Designers/Decorators:

Adam Zollinger
Interior Designer/Owner of Adam Zollinger Interiors
Owner of Shabby – Your Chic Lamp Boutique on Etsy
Peggy Berk
Interior Designer of Area Aesthetics Interior Design

Doreen Sargente
Blogger/Decorator of House Honeys

Tawna Allred
Interior Decorator/Owner of  Tawna Allred Interiors

Susan Lacy
Interior Designer/Owner of Pepper Creek Interiors

Thank you so much to all the designers/decorators for participating! You have offered great advice that could be helpful for both myself and my readers!

So what did you think about this Designer Roundtable Q&A Session? Have any other great color advice you’d like to share?

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Till next time,

5 Quick Ways to Add Color to Your Bathroom

Neutral color schemes can look great, but walking into a bright, colorful bathroom can be a real refresher when you walk in. Colorful spaces make you happier. So, what’s usually the first room you go to when waking up? Your bathroom, right? So, if the first room you visit is bright and colorful, you’ll get boosted early into a happy mood.


Here’s simple ways to bring color in your bathroom:

Buy Colorful Towels

Your bath towels and bathrugs are a very inexpensive way to bring in color. The best part is that you can find so many different kinds and styles at most stores. My favorite place to buy them from are Target and Bed, Bath, & Beyond, because you get a variety of colors and styles at many different price points.

Install a Colorful Shower Curtain

A shower curtain is a very inexpensive way to bring in color. I love to have two different ones that can be changed out every couple of weeks or so. It’s a fun way to switch it up for guests, or for yourself and your household. Just make sure that they both match the color scheme of the bathroom. (Unless you want to change up the entire color scheme every couple of weeks).

Paint your Wall

Paint may definitely be the biggest way to make an impact in a space. Paint is also pretty budget friendly and easy to do with some careful planning.

Add Colorful Artwork

I love to see colorful artwork in a bathroom, especially a small one (it just seems so much cooler with art)! Bathrooms are a great way to bring in bold art pieces, especially if they’re fun and colorful. Guests love to get surprised by a cool piece of artwork!

add colorful art in the bathroom to bring in more color

via the amazing design firm, Katie Curtis Design

Bring in Some Plants

Plants are a great way to bring in more color. You can choose to go with an all green plant or choose some flowers in your favorite color or one that matches your bathroom’s color scheme.

What do you think of these ways to bring in pops of color to a bathroom? Do you prefer a more subdued color scheme for your bathroom? Be sure to drop a comment and let me know!

Till next time,



Common Living Room Furniture Arrangements…

In order to have a comfortable, functional living room, your furniture arrangement needs to be carefully planned. You may want to place furniture where you think it looks good, but it’s important that each piece is placed so that arrangement helps make the space more functional. For example, if your living room is used for watching TV, then your seating area should be placed to face the screen. If the main function of your living room is for conversation, then furniture should be placed in groupings to facilitate communication and maximize interaction.

Also, the furniture arrangement may need to accommodate free movement or circulation from one room to another.

Here’s the most common furniture arrangements used in living rooms:

  • Parallel Arrangement: great for emphasizing a focal point, like a TV or fireplace. I really like this arrangement because it’s open on two sides for people to move through. This arrangement is also great for conversation, because the furniture pieces face each other. Great for minimalist living rooms!


  • L-shaped Arrangement: When two seating pieces are placed at right angles to each other. The L shape could be formed with two sofas, two chairs and a table, or as simple as a small chair placed at a right angle to a sofa. A L-shaped sectional can also be considered a “furniture arrangement”. Because of the angle of the arrangement, some people consider this layout even more comfortable for conversation than the parallel arrangement. Great for small rooms!!


  • U-shaped Arrangement: an extension of the L-shaped arrangment and can be formed by adding additional seating, like a chair, sofa, or loveseat to the L. Great for large spaces!
  • Box-shaped Arrangment: formed by adding additional furniture pieces to the U-shape arrangement to partially close the opening. I believe this is the best way to maximize conversation among users, because it’s both a combination of the parallel and L-shaped arrangements and provides loads of seating for extended guests or big families. The downside to this arrangment is that it is less open than the other arrangements. Great for big families or large living rooms!

So what furniture arrangement works best for you and why? What layout is currently in your living room? Be sure to drop a comment and let me know!

Did you like this post? Be sure to share it on Facebook and/or Twitter. I would also LOVE for you to follow The Décor Chronicles. You’ll get all the GREAT (right?) blog posts delivered directly to your inbox. I promise there won’t be any spam. Just enter your email address in the box at the top left.
You can also like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or Instagram!
Till next time,

A Feminine, Modern Glamorous Nursery Design Board

I could get with a cute, themed-baby nursery, but personally, I’m more drawn to a baby’s room that’s more sophisticated. I would prefer a room that features neutral colors and furniture that is adult-friendly and grows with the child. When I have my own kids, I would definitely be looking for furniture that could be moved from my child’s nursery to another room when I want to refresh a space. This design board features items that are just that.

The crib chosen is convertible and all the furniture and accessories can grow with a child and can even be moved into another room, like your living room. The paint is a neutral color and the chandelier would look great in a luxurious bathroom or dining space.

In this glamorous nursery design board, I’m mixing a lot of patterns, but many resemble each other with a sort-of trellis design.

The color scheme is gray, pink, and taupe, with small pops of mint green…

modern glamour baby nursery moodboard 8 10 11 / 12 13 / 14

So tell me, what do you think of this moodboard? Do you like the themed nurseries? Or would you rather a more neutral space that can grow with your child?

Till next time,


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Aqua and Yellow Bedroom Design Board Inspired by a Manatee

I subscribe to the National Geographic mostly because I love learning about what goes on around the globe, but also because they always have the most amazing photos. In one of the newsletters they sent me, I fell in love with this photo of a manatee. The color scheme is calming, cool, and even bright (the beaming sun in the background). I knew I would use the same colors in a bedroom design.

I wanted to add yellow for contrast and to make the space more fun. Grays, whites, silver, and aqua blue are the colors prominent in the National Geographic photo and really are the perfect colors for a bedroom.

What’s your favorite part of this bedroom design board? Drop a comment and let me know!

Till next time,



How to Make a Space Look Bigger – Small Space Decorating Tricks

A lot of homes are suffering from lack of space, and it’s hard to make extra space when you can’t build onto your house or knock down walls.

When you can’t literally create extra space, then you show try and trick the eye into feeling like there’s more space than there is. Here’s some small space decorating tricks to make your home appear larger…

Leave windows bare or install curtains that are close in color to the wall.

By having curtains the same color of the wall, the eye isn’t distracted by the curtains, therefore making the wall look larger (even though it’s broken up by a window). Larger walls make a room appear bigger.




Make sure your rooms can multitask.

Your living room (or bedroom) can also house your home office; your home office can also be your guest bedroom. By having a sofa bed in your living room, you can move over a few pieces and make it easier to accommodate guests that are spending a night or two.



small space decorating tips

via HGTV


Use correct scale furniture.

If you have a large room, you can fit that huge eight-person sectional, but if your space is limited, try going with a smaller sectional or three person sofa. A small-scale living chair (or two) can provide extra seating and will also balance the sofa AND anchor the living space in the room.


small space decorating tips

via HGTV


Use light colors.

One of the best tricks when decorating a small space is to use light colors on the wall. Apartment dwellers don’t have to be too quick to change the walls from white, because color can be added in the furniture and textiles. If you’re adamant on a paint “color”, then go with a light color; this way the space will feel more open. It’s fine to go bold with your wall color, but stray away from really deep, dark colors, like black and dark blues, browns, and purples. If you go this route, a good way to make the space feel more open is to bring in lots of white (or light-colored) furniture, accents, and accessories.

Avoid too many different colors and patterns.

When decorating a small space, it’s always good to pick a color scheme and stick to it. I suggest three colors at the most. Have a wall color (1 color), your sofa color (another color), and an accent color (color number 3). Your pillows, rugs, and accessories can be a mixture of all three. Too many more colors in a small space and the room can look too busy. Busy-looking rooms feel small and cluttered. Also, make sure to keep the amount of different patterns down to a minimum. A bunch of different kinds of patterns can be distracting. When in doubt, stick to 2-4 patterns and make sure it’s a mixture of large scale, medium scale, and small scale patterns.

Use mirrors.

Mirrors create depth and bounce light around a room, making it appear larger. I always suggest getting at least one floor mirror that’s at least five foot tall. If you don’t have the room for one to sit on the floor, hang a large mirror on the wall or do a gallery wall of mirrors (creates depth and visual interest). Just make sure to plan what’s being reflected in these mirrors; you don’t want to create a reflection on an area that doesn’t look good.

Other tips for small spaces:

  • Provide good lighting; a well lit space feels bigger.
  • Make good use of vertical lines; it makes a room feel taller. Place curtains at the ceiling and make sure they hit the floor. Other ways include using a tall bookshelf and/or hanging artwork high.
  • The opposite works with horizontal lines; to make a room appear wider, use horizontal lines on the walls.
  • You don’t have to be matchy-matchy, but try to keep the visual contrast down in your small space; you don’t want to have your guests (or yourself) to have too much to take in. This effect in a small space can be overwhelming, especially after being there for long periods of time.
  • Open up your curtains (and windows); Natural light and air can bring freshness and comfort into a small space.
  • Have and store portable furniture (tables and chairs) for when guests come over.
  • Hide clutter; clutter makes a small room seem much smaller.

So, do you have your own tips for making  a room feel larger? Are any of the tips above your tried and true favorite! Drop me a comment!

Till next time,






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