Why I’ve Ignored 2018’s Color of the Year

Why I've Ignored 2018's Colors of the Year Paint Company Photos

Color of the Year

Ok, so it’s May and I am just getting around to talking about this. Every year as we near the winter holidays there are major announcements proclaiming what will be the Color of the Year. It predicts what color will be on trend the following year and how you will see it everywhere. So the rush to unveil the colors is everywhere. Fashion runways, home furnishings, accessories – nothing is untouched with the blessed color and there is much fanfare.

Pantone Color of the Year 2018

Pantone Ultra Volet 18-3838

My first introduction to the term “color of the year” was through the Pantone Company.  Pantone is a world renowned authority on color trends. They are hired by major companies for forecasting colors for product design, graphic design, and fashions.  The Pantone choice for 2018 is Ultraviolet.Executive director, Leatrice Eiseman says that ultra violet lights the way for what is to come: exploring galaxies, newer technologies and artistic expressions to name a few.

Ben Moore 2018 color of the year

Caliente  AF- 290 from Benjamin Moore

Just when I thought that I had direction as to what was the hot new “color of the year,” paint companies started getting in lock step with the trend. Pantone’s big reveal of what colors are trending happens in December.  Not to be outdone, Benjamin Moore announces its color of the year. But guess what? Their announcement is in October. This year’s choice from Benjamin Moore is Caliente 

  Sherwin Williams 2018 Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams Oceanside SW 6496

Though they are all very different the one thing that I noticed with these three colors is how deep and rich they are.  Sherwin Williams chose Oceanside as the 2018 Color of the year. Look at the jewel toned nature of these colors.  That gives me a clue that saturated colors are back.  Rich colors that jump out at you, not just a backdrop.

Behr Paints 2018 Color In the Moment

Behr “In The Moment”  T – 1815

Every company jumps the shark, so to speak.  They want to be first.  They want to be different.  That is we should ignore the trend for the most part.  The trends will come and go.  But we live with the colors that we love and won’t tire of easily.  You love red?  Make it yours. Blue green reminds you of your favorite ocean side vacation?  Go for it.  But most of us are going to splash the color of  the year (of any one of these paint companies) here and there around our home in the form of accessories like pillows and other home decor items.

Have fun and embrace what works for you in paint colors.  You can paint again, but would you want to redo your whole house?  So my advice is to schedule a consultation with a certified true color expert.  At Mary Etta Designs, color is one of our favorite consultations. Schedule an appointment with us today.

“In the Moment” is one of 20 colors in their trends chart.  And all of the other paint companies did the same thing.  So while it was fun for a while, I am back to be the best interior decorator that you need by addressing colors that work with your home’s decor.  Want a color of the year?  Unless it is one you won’t get bored with I suggest using that color in disposable accessories like pillows, vases, and throws.

 

Color Forecasting


Color of the Year Fashion Color Trend Report Spring 2018

And finally, you should know that Trend Forecasting is part of a bigger picture.  As you can seen by t his partial view of Pantone’s Trend Forecast in fashion for Spring of this year, Ultra Violet is part of the mix.  We are not all drawn to one color in anything.

So, yep.  I’ve purposely ignored the trend because good design takes more than just one color into consideration.  There will be several layers of colors to consider when you design.  Even neutrals will vary to keep a room from looking too blah. Contact Mary Etta Designs for a Color Consultation in your home or office.  We can help you stay on trend without boxing you in to one color of the year.

 

Mary Etta Designs Your Southern Gal in SoCal

How To Pick Paint Colors

I was recently asked on Facebook how to pick paint colors for your home. My first advice to you is to have a plan. Secondly, pick the color of your paint last if at all possible.  Inspiration is great from social media.  But you live in your home and colors that others can live with might not be for you.  If you’ve read my previous blog post on this subject, you know that I am not a fan of using Pinterest as a go-to for picking your paint colors. Reasons — lighting in your home vs. the room shown, monitor screen variations, and color correction in photos to name just a few. I feel so strongly about it that I even did a video about it on my YouTube channel here.  So what is my advice on how to pick paint colors? Make sure your paint relates to the rest of the room.

Furniture

So often I start with clients who have already painted all of the rooms in their home.  That works great if you are a) Basing your choices on existing furniture items that you own and b) Not going to change out those major items any time soon. A sofa is a major purchase.  It is a lot easier to pull a color out of an upholstered chair or sofa than it is to hunt for the same once your walls are painted.

 Hard Surfaces

Flooring, countertops and cabinets are going to be major investments. Most of us will paint our kitchen again before we tear out the tiles or replace our cabinets. Buy timeless pieces that you love in the way of these big ticket items. If you paint your kitchen a popular gray that you fall in love with, you’ll need to find the right color undertones in your investment pieces.  That’s right.  Color undertones.  Gray will have green, blue or violet undertones.  You will be limited in selections of your hard surfaces if you paint first. Remember, I talked about that in this post in January this year.

But if gray is going to be it for your color choice, make sure that you follow through with your theme.

Look at the appliances and tile floor in this pretty laundry room.  The black window trim and cabinets work so well with the major big ticket items. That’s how to pick paint colors in a room.  The natural baskets and woven woods window shade are so inviting and add warmth to an otherwise cool color scheme. This room is so pretty that you actually want to do laundry just to be in this cute space.

Art

This is one of my favorite ways to choose color a scheme in a room.  A favorite piece of artwork is a great jumping off point.

Whether you are a girl boss like Spanx founder Emily Hertz or on the climb, colorful art gives you choices. The designer knew how to pick paint in the photo above. The neutral color makes a subtle backdrop and shows the art as a feature. Or you could make a bold statement with paint color choice like in the room below designed by the fabulous Laurel Bern. The deep green of the grass and trees not only adorns the sofa but the walls too.

Rugs and Accessories

There is a bounty of color in this teen girl’s room.  The bedding, window shade and even the ceiling are colorful and fun.  But the rug and the walls ground the room with a neutral color.  What do you think this young lady will get tired of first?  The accessories and bedding or the paint color?  The gray colors work well with pops of bright and cheery hues that have been so popular.

Sometimes paint inspiration can be from the most underused color in your accessories.  As long as the colors are all clean as in this young girl’s room, or all muted, the color scheme works beautifully.

If you’re unsure of how to pick paint colors for your home or office, contact Mary Etta Designs for a color consultation.  Mary Etta is a Certified True Color Consultant.  info@maryettadesigns.comMary Etta Designs Your Southern Gal in SoCal

 

 

Bedroom Design Trends in 2018

Bedroom Design Trends in 2018

Bedroom Design

Are you wondering what bedroom design trends you’ll love in 2018 that are good choices for supporting healthy sleep? Recently, the team at Tuck Sleep Foundation reached out to me. Tuck is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web. So I agreed to share this article written by Myra Campbell (except for a few italicized comments by me ).  Myra’s bio is at the end of the post.

What I Learned

First of all, this group is a wonderful resource for all matters pertaining to healthy sleep habits. The team at Tuck Sleep Foundation has been researching the science behind sleep, and they’ve collected some great information on why some bedroom design choices create a relaxing sleep environment while others make us feel uncomfortable. So a great bedroom environment is key for a good night’s sleep. Where you sleep can influence the quality of your sleep, making it easy to relax and drift off to sleep. Or, it can be stress inducing, making it difficult to let go of anxiety and get the sleep you need to feel your best.

Color matters

Retreat-like atmospheres are becoming more popular. With soothing and well blended colors, your bedroom design can be more calming. Cool greens, light creams, and purples are seen more often. Light blues are a particularly good choice for a serene, sleep inducing bedroom. Designers are often focusing on fabrics that are soft, comfortable, and calming. These are an excellent choice for sleep.  Surveys have found that people with blue-painted bedrooms get the most sleep.

Minimalism

Mid century modern style has been a trend for several years, and it’s not slowing down. There’s good reason: the streamlined look of modern design is an excellent choice for bedrooms, keeping your sleeping area free of distractions. Along the lines of mid century style, minimalism is taking bedrooms down to the essentials with clean lines and an absence of clutter. You can follow this trend with a minimalist platform bed without a headboard, a limited color scheme, and little to no trinkets or clutter.

Surprisingly, second place goes not to another cool color, but to yellow.

 Order is important

Scientists have found that sleeping in a cluttered space makes us anxious, reducing sleep length and quality.  So even when you are a person who likes books and containers on your nightstand, they still need to be presented in an orderly manner like the yellow room’s night table above.Mid century modern style has been a trend for several years, and it’s not slowing down. There’s good reason: the streamlined look of modern design is an excellent choice for bedrooms, keeping your sleeping area free of distractions.

Light is Key

They spend more time talking about light and sleep than almost any other subject. To balance your circadian rhythms you need a room that’s dark and cozy after sundown, but bright and airy when it’s time to get up. Keeping your bedroom dark can help you feel sleepy at night and maintain an appropriate circadian rhythm.

Blackout Window Coverings

With blackout blinds or curtains, you’re able to keep light from outside your window out of your bedroom at night. However, it’s a good idea to open them up during the day, particularly the morning when you can use a fresh dose of sunshine to wake up effectively.  As a window fashions specialist, I am all about light control and using the right type of window coverings coupled with controls that automatically open or close when you want. 

Wood Plank Walls:

Wood plank walls are a far cry from the wood paneling of the 70s. Today’s woodsy walls are wide planked and often horizontal They add a warmth and coziness to your bedroom design, and they are practical for sleep: wood is sound absorbent and can help soften noise so you can sleep easier at night.

Bedroom Design Trends 2018 Wood Plank Walls Mary Etta Designs

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Fresh Flowers

A light pop of color and life can freshen up your room, and fresh flowers are always delightful. Fresh flowers can offer aromatherapy, making it easier to fall asleep. Cut lavender in particular can be soothing and sleep inducing. Many people use oil diffusers for health and vitality, and the bedroom is no exception. You can diffuse calming and comforting scents in your room to change the atmosphere and make it easier to sleep.

Four Poster Beds

This classic style offers a closed in and cozy feeling. Often, today’s four poster beds stand alone without curtains, but you can add curtains to block light and better induce sleep. And of course you will want a mattress made just to fit your body and sleep habits. The internet is an excellent resource for design inspiration, but consumers today are doing more than just looking. They’re turning to online outlets to purchase what they need to create a well appointed bedroom, from mattresses to furniture, linens, and accents.  But if you are like me, you will want to test drive your mattress. Locally, I recommend Custom Comfort Mattresses handcrafted right here in Orange County California. The family owned business uses the highest quality natural materials from right here in the United States.

Ready for the best night’s rest you’ve had in years?  Mary Etta Designs will help you with your bedroom design in 2018.  Orange County residents call our office today  714.340.3214 and schedule your consultation.

Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization, Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.

Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

 

 

Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs

Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs -Reindeer Table Vignette

    Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs!  I can’t believe that it is 2018.  Seems like we were just talking Y2K.  And now we are nearing the end of the second decade of this century.  This note is to give you an update on reaching Consumer Support for Hunter Douglas.  But first, I’d like to share a bit of news about Mary Etta Designs.

    Many of you have been faithful clients of Mary Etta Designs over the years. And I would like to personally thank you for using us as your interior decorating company. Last year, Mary Etta Designs expanded quite a bit more from specializing in just custom window treatments into including more interior design consultation services.  One new thing is Mary Etta is now a certified True Color Expert, trained in the specialty of undertones in color selections you use for your homes and offices.

Why is this important?  Let’s look at one task of choosing a countertop.  Should you choose a Carrara marble countertop in your kitchen, the undertones of the marble’s color will be a blue-gray.

Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs Carrara Marble Kitchen by Maison de PaxSource

Knowing that informs your choices in paint, flooring and many other choices you make in finishes.  Granite countertops, on the other hand, takes color from the many different minerals that give each lode contains. Shopping for granite countertops, the range of colors and veining makes the task of matching the right shade and stone appearance to your design scheme not only fun, but very important.

Recently, Mary Etta Designs has rebranded as “Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.”  I tell you why I chose this tagline and all of the services that I now offer to you on the attached information sheet on my company.  Give me a call for interior decorating consultations and ask about my existing customers discount that is good until February 1, 2018.

Happy New Year from Mary Etta Designs Foyer

Finally, I want to make sure that those of you who have purchased Hunter Douglas products from me through Costco will want to jot down the revised customer service number.  I have gotten a few calls from those wanting to contact Hunter Douglas for parts and repairs.  The new contact info for Consumer Support at Hunter Douglas is 1-800-789-0331. You can reach us for all your decorating and window treatments at our office number 714.340.3214.

Have a wonderful 2018 and may this year be your best.Mary Etta Designs Your Southern Gal in SoCal

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017 – Blush

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017 - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Designers had me blushing at Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017. The icy pink rose’ color was featured everywhere at Laguna Design Center’s Entertaining by Design 2017  event. Blush has been a sleeper color that seemingly no one was totally embracing until this year.  Now, it’s a full blown color of the moment with no signs of slowing down over the winter holiday.  All you need is a touch to be on trend.

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017 - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Entertaining By Design features holiday table settings trends by local interior designers every fall. The Laguna Design Center event is a nudge to get your entertainment decorating ideas flowing for the fast approaching holidays.  November 10 and 11 of this year featured a silent auction to raise money for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.  (I won a couple of bids!)  The holiday table settings trends 2017 had some traditional and some not so traditional surprises as I mentioned in this post.  But the one constant that I noticed was that blush is on trend still.

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017 Ann Sacks Showroom - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Keeping in step with the holiday table settings trends 2017 blush colors was the Ann Sacks Studio.  The Ann Sacks brand features tile, stone, and luxury plumbing. The studio chose to feature the color blush in this holiday table settings California style and on the patio, of course.

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017 Rose' All Day - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Ann Sacks at Laguna Design Center declared it Rose’ All Day while serving rose’ champagne and treats to complement and repeat their blush holiday table settings accessories. I may or may not have imbibed a tiny bit.

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017

The glam holiday table setting shown above definitely shows how today’s holiday themes are a far cry from the traditional red and green of years gone by.

Holiday Table Settings Trends 2017 Interiors Designers Institute Students - photo by Mary Etta Designs

And hats off to the students from Interior Designers Institute.  They featured this beautiful and elegant table setting.  Notice the center ornament hanging above the table.  It’s color is blush!

Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

Holiday Table Settings

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 Hugo Flores - photo Mary Etta Designs

Holiday Table Settings – What’s New This Year

The Laguna Design Center’s annual Entertaining by Design event is a pre-holiday favorite for me each year.  Holiday table settings presentations by local interior designers give you so many good ideas entertain like a pro. I always look for one of my favorite designers, Hugo Flores of Hugo Flores Events.

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 Lodge - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Tucked away in the Baker Furniture Showroom was this master of events’ presentations for holiday place settings.  Hugo’s use of  traditional Christmas colors red and green was anything but traditional in feel.  Gold antler horns adorned the tree as a topper. They were placed at each table setting and used in the centerpiece.  Nutcrackers, plaid ribbon and a touch of black gave the table a formal but inviting feel.

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 Mexican Heritage - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Living in California for the past 15 years has exposed me to so many other cultures than when I lived in the  midwest. This homage to Frieda Kahlo  reminded me of that.  Design & Consign’s studio showed us how to celebrate the season with a Mexican theme.  Designer Shawn Rettig had a larger than life table prepared with all the trappings of a fiesta.

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 Traditional - photo by Mary Etta Designs

“Blues the Hue” is one of my favorite sayings that I have coined. You are always right with blue and white plates and accessories.  This traditional table setting will work for any holiday meal. I love the blue and white delft place setting and the mix of oriental jars and the chintz placemats. The pattern mix is a visual feast that makes your mouth water.

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 Cris Kittrell - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Rustic and livable was the first impression that I got when entering and viewing Chris Kittrell’s beautiful table setting in the Fremarc Designs showroom.  She and her team approached their holiday table settings with a wooden plank serving tray as a charger!  They were a perfect backdrop for the charcoal gray porcelain holiday place settings ready for aThanksgiving meal.

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 Whimsical - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Lest we forget, the holidays are not celebrated the same by everyone.  Holiday table settings like this were a beautiful surprise.  Beautiful and whimsical at the same time.   Holidays your way on display.

Holiday Table Settings Laguna Design Center 2017 John Wayne Saloon - photo by Mary Etta Designs

Most fun was the John Wayne popup shop that sold books and memorabilia relating to “the Duke”  and the Cancer Fund notably in his name.  The most innovative table was that of a card game  where a bit of libations were spilt and the card players had hurriedly fled the saloon.  Innovations Lighting was quite innovative in the design of the bar, including a saloon gal of the times.

 Can’t you just hear John Wayne’s slow drawl?  “Come on in Pilgrim.”

Photo by Mary Etta Designs

How To Buy Draperies That Look Great & Work

How To Buy Draperies

How Hard Can It Be To Buy Draperies?

Anyone who has bought draperies knows that it is not as easy as it seems at first glance.  How long and how wide is just the start of all of the things you need to consider when buying drapes for windows in your home.  But admit it. How many of us have been disappointed at the outcome of drapes that we have bought at the store?  There are a few things that you need to consider.  Ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish with draperies at your windows? Fabric at the window can really soften a room’s look from all of the hard surfaces.  They can help to muffle sounds that echo  from same such surfaces.  Draperies that close completely can help darken a room and add to privacy.  But how hard is it?  Here are a few things you may not even know, or did know but forgot, about buying panels of draperies.

How To Buy Draperies With Valances

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Fabric at the window can really soften a room’s look from all of the hard angles and surfaces. Valances need enough projection to allow for the draperies hardware under it. Typically add three inches of projection for each layer of window treatment.  So if you have sheers underneath, they would be at a three inch projection. Then the drapes   would be at six inches and the valance at nine inches.

 

How To Buy Draperies for the Bedroom

Draperies, like carpeting in a room, help to muffle sounds that echo from outside and hard surfaces. If you like patterned fabrics, it helps to unify a design theme like the circle motif here.

How To Buy Draperies For Room Darkening

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 Draperies that close completely can help darken a room and add to privacy. Sheers are great for diffusing the light during the day.  For a better night’s sleep, use room darkening lining on over draperies.

How to Buy Draperies for Privacy

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Draperies are great for privacy.  Ideally, If you will open and close draperies, they should be on a traversing rod or rings for easy open and close.

How to Buy Draperies That Puddle

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Puddled draperies lend elegance  to a room.  If you opt for puddled draperies to be hung at French doors or sliding doors, while elegant, they will need to be re-styled with each use. Better to have drapes just kiss the floor in this instance.

How to Buy Draperies for Added Layering in a Room.

 Layers are important for achieving a finished custom look. Obtaining a custom look takes planning and custom workmanship. For a custom look in window coverings, contact Mary Etta Designs for your custom window treatments including draperies.  Southern California residents – info@maryettadesigns.com

Mary Etta Designs in VoyageLA

E-Design Color Consultations Florida Den After Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

 

I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company.  Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles.  But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.

Of course, I was and still am flattered to be featured.  VoyageLA is how Voyage Media got its start.  With over a million page views about all things happening in Los Angeles, they spread their wings by using the same approach to publish info on other city centers.  What made me say yes was how their approach to sharing info about the greater L.A. area read like a comfortable conversation.

That  approach spoke to how I function at Mary Etta Designs.  Mary Etta Designs is all about hospitality if you haven’t noticed.  As your Southern Gal in the SoCal, the pineapple a sign of welcome and seen repeatedly in the southern states, is central to our logo. In case you missed our logo introduction earlier this year, I wrote about it here.

With permission from VoyageLA, I am reprinting our featured article in its entirety because it gives you a look at who I am and why I love being the owner of Mary Etta Designs Interiors.  Enjoy!

Mary Etta McCurdy Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Etta McCurdy.

Mary Etta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Georgia, raised in Cleveland Ohio, I now call Southern California my home. Living in Orange County with my husband, Al and our dog, Cocoa, I love the design aesthetic of places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah and other southern cities. Just call me your “Southern Gal in the SoCal.”

I had a very large home that needed to be decorated and my friends and family loved my taste. I started helping my neighbors in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West Chester suburb decorate their homes back in 2000. I was so busy that I thought, “I need to start charging.” The one area that I noticed was most challenging for them was creating window treatments. So for many years, I concentrated on that. In the area’s colder climate, where you are inside for 9 months out of the year, window treatments are a focal point many times.

In 2003 we relocated to Orange County, CA and in a couple of years, I was up and designing again. But the recession and the end of a decade has moved me to shift my focus back to interior decorating and added color consultations as a secondary focus.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggle was trying to fit into the California pared down design vibe that I thought was the only way I would succeed. I participated in trade shows, networked as the newbie in town. And I thought I would move my business in that direction. It was not working for me trying to fit my brand into a direction that my heart was not feeling. And then the recession plus internet shopping slowed me down. In fact, I worked for other companies for a few years.

But the clients that I serve are like me in many cases. They are either transplants from back east or baby boomers. We like our stuff! So I finally rebranded and am moving forward with a new look which includes the pineapple as a nod to southern hospitality.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mary Etta Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My mission at Mary Etta Designs is to give your home a look and feel that is warm and welcoming. I feel very strongly that our homes are meant to rise up and welcome us.

And why not welcome everyone that we invite into our personal spaces? I love the approach to decorating often found in southern homes. Look at the great way that homes in the south use layers of textures, fabrics and color that are not too stuffy.

But you will find a feeling of casual elegance. I believe that living well is within everyone’s reach. Everyone has a budget that they need to stick to no matter the income level. My job is to help you live in casual elegance within your budget.

I use a timeless and classic approach to design. This approach allows my clients to have a newly decorated home that will not feel dated as trends come and go. Known as the window treatments experts among my peers, I am the only interior decorator in Orange County, CA that is known as Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Bad Luck = 1) a move from Ohio to a new state only 3 years after I started the firm.

2) Finally up and running in 2005 and right around the corner was the recession.

Good Luck = 1) Facebook Groups! Thank goodness that there are communities of interior decorators and designers to help keep our morale going, share info and continue to educate our clients that even though they have access to items on the internet, there is still a need for help from a professional. 2) As I geared back up to being a solo-preneur, I am now an empty nester. I have so much more time to focus on the business.

Contact Info:

Color Undertones for Interiors

Color is back in interior design in a big way.  Color undertones are everything when pulling off a color combination that is fun and polished.  As a True Color Expert I am certified to see the difference in  color undertones. It’s important when choosing paint colors, upholstery, cabinets or any element in your home.  An undertone is the color underlying a color.  What does that mean? Keep in mind that all colors start from the three primary colors of red, blue and yellow. The rainbow of colors are from combining different colors in different proportions. And that’s why there is always a color hiding beneath. The knockout living room in the home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulis (shown above), the walls have undertones of green-gray.  In the beautiful bathroom pictured below, the cabinetry and wall color have a violet-gray undertone.

Color and Undertones Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

And contrary to the way that most people want to approach painting the inside of their home, paint is the last color you should pick.  Start with your hard surfaces like counters, cabinets, flooring. Next, choose your upholstery, rugs, drape, and the like.  And finally, you get to decide what colors go on the wall. Your paint color will cue off of the color and undertones of all these choices.  Otherwise, you will be basing all of the other large purchasing decisions on the color and undertones of a paint color.  That makes shopping for the bigger investment pieces a lot trickier.

 

light or dark color

When comparing colors to see if they work together, decide which color is in charge. The one that is darker will stand out more and usually rule the design.  And darker does not mean a dark color, it just means that the darker of the two or three colors used in the room.  The one with the most “mass” will draw the eye to it and make us pay attention. If the color undertone is a darker value of green for example, even if the two colors being compared are considered light green to the eye, one of them will appear darker.

cool or warm

If You have a Tuscan themed kitchen, you have warm color undertones in your cabinetry, flooring and counters.  So, today is not the day to introduce a blue gray paint color to the mix.  Are you changing out the warm woods of the cabinets or warm and muted tones of your floors and countertop to brighter colors?  Great. Then grays and true whites will work well in your room.  But if that is not the case, stick with warm color undertones. Your whites should be in the warmer cream colors and off whites.

clean or dirty

The current of trend using bright and fresh colors is a nod to the fresh and clean Parisian look.  Knowing how to make this work is a matter of not mixing clean and dirty colors.  Take a look at the picture labeled “clean” above.   Those colors are bright, clean and not considered dirty, or muted.

The bright white backdrop of the walls and table make an excellent canvas for the clean, bright jewel colors in this room designed by southern California’s Jessica McClendon.  The current gray trend makes an excellent backdrop to clean fresh colors.

help when you need it most

Do you need help getting started? Then our Design Consultations will get you going in the right direction.  As a certified trained Marie Killiam True Color Expert, Mary Etta Designs uses larger paint samples to specifiy paint colors for the interior or exterior of you homes.  This gives a truer read of what your colors will look like.  And, we are there when you need help selecting furniture, fabrics, draperies, or finishes for any room.

Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer – Mary Etta Designs.  Contact us at info@maryettadesigns.com.

Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior DesignerYour Southern Gal in The SoCal

Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer

For those of us who believe that our homes are our sanctuary, it matters a lot what home looks like.  Home is where you go when work day is done.  Home is where you can hide out from all the noise, the crazy and the busy parts of life.  Home is a place of celebration.  So, for us, home wears better clothes than we do at times.

It is for you that I write this blog post. Stop throwing your money away.  What do I mean?  Are you shocked at the amount that a sofa costs?  Well, don’t be surprised when you are buying a new one every 5 years from a store like (fictitious)  Breathing Places.  If you plan on sitting on said sofa  on a regular basis, you will need to replace it on a regular basis.

What we, as design professionals do, is help you find the right size, style and fabric in your upholstery piece that fits within your budget and function.  One that is going to last long enough to get reupholstered maybe when you want it to have a different color.

 

Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer Orange County Interior Designer Mary Etta Designs

analysis paralysis

Ok, maybe it’s not to the extreme of pulling two chairs together like the lady in the picture above.  But you might be fighting over who gets to stretch out to watch TV and who has to make it work wherever they sit.  Let’s say you need to make that purchase.  It’s the weekend.  After a long work week, weekend activities, and errands, the last thing you want is to hunt for the right sized sofa, pick out a durable and attractive fabric and still wonder if it will go with all of the other pieces in your home.

You’ve lost precious time, brain cells, rest you thought you would get in on your weekend off.  And quite honestly, you’ve probably spent more money on a lesser quality product than you would with an interior designer.  Our job as design professionals is to present you with the right proportioned pieces that coordinate with your style and will function for the purpose that you say that you want. You may as well save money: hire an interior designer.

 

Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer Symmetrical Orange County Interior Designer Mary Etta Designs

weigh the tradeoff

When people learn that I decorate for a living, their eyes light up and they smile.  And they say, “how fun!”  I love what I do.  But it is a job, a service that I provide for people who treasure their personal spaces.  People trust that I will do the research for them.  They trust me with finding a quality product that fits the bill to the best that their budget will allow.  It is serious enough work when people trust that their hard-earned dollars will be spent and that the final effect is what we together determine that it will be. It is hard work.  I gladly to my job so that you can do yours and not worry about the details until it is time for decisions to be made.

I save you time, angst over what works best, and where to find the pieces for the room you want to decorate.  As a specialist in window treatments and interior decorating, I attend the same market shows on the west coast as well as High Point Market in North Carolina. This is where new pieces are being introduced to all buyers in the design world.  I am right there with reps from furniture stores and other interior designers.  It is my job to advise you on how far into the trend a color or metal finish is when you are ready to buy.  It is my job to make sure that your home doesn’t look outdated as soon as you buy it.  These are not everyday purchases so that is important to you.

save money: hire an interior designer

At Mary Etta Designs, we have a variety of ways that you can take advantage of our services. Do you need help getting started? Then our Design Consultations will get you going in the right direction.  We recently introduced our new, online design consultation services so that we can help our clients who live anywhere in the country.  As a certified trained Marie Killiam True Color Expert, Mary Etta specifies paint colors for the interior or exterior of you homes(on line or in person in the Orange County, California).  And, if you need help selecting furniture, fabrics, draperies, or finishes for any room, that is an area in which we excel.

So Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer – Mary Etta Designs.  Contact us at info@maryettadesigns.com. Or schedule a consultation on our online booking system here.

Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior DesignerYour Southern Gal in The SoCal

Mary Etta Designs’ New Look

Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

Southern Gal in SoCal

How do you like Mary Etta Designs’ new look?  We have a new website and a new logo.  Make sure you scoot on over to  our re-vamped website. I can’t wait for you to see what new things we offer to you all.  There’s a new service offering that allow you to get help from me no matter where you are in the world.  We have joined the world of virtual design, or e-design, as it is more commonly know.

So what is the deal with the Pineapple?  I’m so glad that you asked.  I will explain in a moment.  But first, many of you know that  our family relocated here from Cincinnati, Ohio in 2003. Ohio is a Midwestern state in America. It’s northern border is mostly Lake Erie. Kentucky, West Virginia, and an itty bitty part of Indiana make up Ohio’s southern borders.  That’s a lot of southern influence.  In fact, when you land into what used to be called the Cincinnati Airport, you are not greeted as arriving at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The nearest city is actually Covington, Ky.

Mary Etta Designs' New Look Cincinnati Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Cincinnati, is across the Ohio River, is sometimes referred to by locals as “up south”. The ‘Nati  is loaded with southern charm. You will hear “yes sir” and “yes m’am” more often than not.  And the very polite, “please?’ is not a request for a favor.  It is a request for you to repeat yourself.  And Cincinnati is where Mary Etta Designs was founded.  And my aesthetic lends itself to the layered, (updated) traditional look of southern stylings.  I wrote about my obsession with southern interior styling in this recent blog post.

Mary Etta Designs' New Look Southern Monograms

Southern Living

Wrap around porches, all things monogramed, florals, all lend themselves to the southern aesthetic.  The one constant among southern living is hospitality.  If extended to you, friend or neighbor, it is genuine.  So much so that the pineapple, a decorative symbol for hospitality, will very often be on display on a door, gate, or somewhere in the home.  I decided that’s what Mary Etta Designs does for you, our clients.  We create homes that welcome you and all who enter.

Mary Etta Designs' New Look Pineapple Elsie + Emma A Beautiful Mess

Elsie & Emma A Beautiful Mess

Mary Etta Designs' New Look Easy Pineapple

Etsy

So the pineapple is the symbol of Mary Etta Designs’ new look. It fits with our new identity perfectly.  Our mission is to help to make your home elegant, yet comfortable and inviting for you and any guests you wish to entertain.  I believe that you can live elegantly and comfortably, right here in Southern California.  Your home deserves a fresh new look.  Contact Mary Etta Designs to get started.  info@maryettadesigns.com.                                     Your Southern Gal in The SoCal

Mary Etta Designs Yorba Linda Interior Designer

3 Great Ways to Hang Draperies on Angled Windows

Mary Etta Designs Angled Windows AD Russia

This room is so beautiful that I had to include it. As the title promises, we’ll l cover 3 ways to hang draperies on angled windows.  In the picture above I love the way the interior designer followed the angle of the ceiling.  And I especially love how the window treatment is “outside of the box,” giving the room a designer touch.

Follow The Angle

Hanging draperies as high as possible looks best and it is especially true with angled windows.  One rule of thumb is to have all drapery panels in a room at the same height.  It is generally more pleasing. If an angled window is also on an angled wall, I like to follow that line like interior designer Jennifer Scully did here.  Of course, that is breaking the rule above.  But by using the same fabric, Jennifer makes it work beautifully here.

Angled Windows -Jennifer Scully Interior Designer

This soft treatment hits the right mood in a teen room.  Easily changed out in the future, sheers are great when you follow the lines of an angled window.  They don’t look too heavy in what is already an awkward window.

Sheers on Angled Windows on Angled Wall Pinterest

Think Outside of The Box

Of the 3 ways to cover angled windows, this is by far the most popular.  Working with a square window is a lot easier than trying to get fabric to drape on an angle.  But that doesn’t mean that those window treatments have to be boring.  Look at how elegant these treatments look.

 Angled Window Fireplace Pinterest

I love the way this tight area around the fireplace becomes a cozy space with the right decor.  The draperies play a large part.  This one of the 3 ways to cover angled windows is dictated by the lack of space on the side of the angled windows. And safety is a large factor with a fireplace.  Keep fabrics at least ten inches away from the hearth.

Angled Windows Wall of Sheers HGTV Rendering

Hang on Medallions

Medallions for hardware instead of drapery rod is a smartest way of the 3 ways to cover angled windows. Make sure that the drape is long enough to reach the desired length, but not too long,  You don’t want excess fabric puddling on the floor.  Custom is a good idea with this drapery treatment.

Susan Keefe Angled Windows Medallions on Angle

Whether you use medallions above or below the angled windows, you will get a designer look if done properly.

 Angled Windows Medallions Below Angle Panaga Home Convention Dallas

Angled Windows Got You Stumped?

Do you have a room that could use help with window treatments on an angled window?  Draperies are our specialty.  If you live in the Orange County, California area, schedule a consultation with Mary Etta Designs.  Call  714 340-3214.  We love to help.

Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

Free Decorating Consultation

Free Decorating Consultation from Mary Etta Designs Spring Flowers

How’d you like a free decorating consultation?  Yes F-R-E-E.  Pretty blooming May flowers are Mother Nature’s sweet reward after April showers.  Mary Etta Designs wants reward you with a  30-minute free decorating consultation. All that you need to do is book an available time slot in May.  All consultations are available by phone or in person. On location free decorating consultations are for those of you living in the immediate Orange County, California area.  I want to gift you the start of something beautiful during the month of May.  This would make a beautiful Mother’s Day Gift for that special Mom in your life.

Email Mary Etta Designs at info@maryettadesigns.com or call our office at 714-340-3214 and schedule your 30-minute FREE decorating consultation while slots for these appointments are still available.

Mary Etta Designs Yorba Linda California Interior Designs

Bedroom Design Trends in 2018

Bedroom Design Trends in 2018

Are you wondering what bedroom design trends you’ll love in 2018 that are good choices for supporting healthy sleep? Recently, the team at Tuck Sleep Foundation reached out to me. Tuck is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web. So I agreed to share…

read more

Mary Etta Designs in VoyageLA

I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company. Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles. But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.

read more

Warm and Inviting Entry – Try Before You Buy

Staging for an Occasion My client's request was to have a warm and inviting entry.  It's not often that I get a direct call from my church pastor.  So imagine my surprise when I answered my phone and was greeted with, 'Hello Sister McCurdy."  True to form, he was on...

read more

5 Quick Decorating Updates

5 Quick Decorating Updates Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Decorating

This season, all you need are 5 Quick Decorating Updates to make your home feel brand new to you!

1. Move

Ok, ok, that is pretty drastic.  But it does happen. There is no better reason to update your home with things you already own than moving.    In November, we moved to a smaller home. It was a great decision. But ooo wee, we had to get rid of a lot of our stuff.  I was really excited to update my colors, furnishings and fabric.  It’s no secret that my love of timeless southern styling in home decor is still alive and kicking.  But a home refresh was way overdue.

5 Quick Decorating Updates Family Room Old House Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Decorating
5 Quick Decorating Updates Living Room Old House Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Decorating

2. Combine Room Furnishings

Our new home is smaller in square footage and in number of rooms. There isn’t a formal living room but there is a formal dining room.  Like most of you, we only use both of these two rooms just a few times a year.  We liked the idea of making the dining room into a living room since it is right off the entry.  And, it’s a great place for our piano. The dining room table and most of the chairs are in storage for now. This easily made tip #2 of my 5 Quick Decorating Updates.

 

5 Quick Decorating Updates Living Room Piano View Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Decorating

3. ReUpholster

Did you notice in the picture above that the two chairs from the family room above are now in the living room?  Maybe not, because they got a jolt of the color red.  I love red and the move gave me a great excuse to play with this passionate ruby red fabric and with texture. The tone-on-tone rose pattern lends a touch of femininity without shouting floral pattern.  Works wonders with the black baby grand. This is one of my favorite decorating tricks. You might remember the bar stools we updated with new upholstery last year.  Combining the two rooms was a fun challenge.  Thankfully the sofa (next to visit the re-upholstery doctor) is curved and was a little more forgiving of the tighter floor plan. Quality furniture pieces will last for years.  Reupholsterd pieces that you love will update your home’s vibe.

 

5 Quick Decorating Updates Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Decorating

4. Accessories

Accessories are the sprinkles on top of  my decorating sundae.  Good design is timeless, functional and personal.  I like to use books as one of my many accessories. They are very personal and let you re-live memories.  Oh I don’t know.  Maybe you can relive that time you attended an event and were fortunate to have the author who gave a talk autograph it for you.  If you have a chance to pick up Ken Fulk’s Magical World book, you will delight in the imagery and fun of his design and events firm.  Every design is a full on event!

5 Quick Decorating Updates Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Decorating

5. Create Moments

One easy and quick update you can make is to carve out little spaces within your home where you can escape, if only mentally.  Do you need a place to read, meditate, craft?  Even when space is at a premium, there is a corner that can be found to “get away” in your moments that are special to you in your home.

Do you have ways that you like to update your home this time of year?  Leave a comment and share with us your 5 quick decorating updates.  I would love to hear about them.  If you need help in updating your decor, contact Mary Etta Designs at info@maryettadesigns.com.

Mary Etta Designs Yorba Linda California Interior Designs

 

Southern Interiors – I’m Obsessed

Mary Etta Designs Southern Interiors Antiques

It’s confession time. Well, actually, to myself. Southern interiors are my obsession.  When I say obsession, I mean like if my husband would agree, I would pack up and move to Atlanta or Charlotte, or Louisiana. Well, maybe not the bayou. Love their design, but I’m more of a southeastern girl.  But I am totally obsessed with all things southern when it comes to interior design. Why?  The homes in the southern regions of our country make me feel like I could walk right in and “set a spell.”

Collected

Just take a look at that antique chest in the picture above for starters.  There is always a collected piece of furniture or two or three in every room.  What I love about antique pieces is that they don’t always get stripped and refurbished to perfection.  Southern interiors are collected over time or at least made to look that way.  You get the hint that there is some heritage there.  My husband’s great aunt would say, “Child this stuff is so old.”  And I would just drool over the beautiful fine woods .  The craftsmanship showed pride. Not typical of furniture you would get at a chain store or at the mall.

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Hospitality

Hospitality

Every southern home that I’ve admired always has that guest room where the bed is perfectly made like this one shown in this picture from Leontine Linens designer fabric collection.  The interior is always layered with colorful, yet tasteful, linens.  Monograms and border details on the linen are usually what makes me feel like the host or hostess went to a lot of trouble just for me.  And have you ever noticed that the dining room table is always set with a beautiful place setting?  All. The. Time?

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Hospitality Foyer

This foyer designed by Melissa Miles Rufty is a surprise in tradition all rolled into one. The antique chest and major art pieces on the gallery wall fulfill the expectations of a classic and traditional look. But the print on the corner banquette is an oversized fretwork pattern updates the look.  And the of-the-moment lucite table is begging for you to “set a spell” and enjoy a mint julep.

Wallpaper

Yes, wallpaper is back in a big way.  Let’s be honest.  We who love all things southern never really gave up on it.  Tastefully done in a jewel of a room here and a powder room there, wallpaper is the perfect way to give character to an otherwise utilitarian space.

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Dering Hall

This bathroom by Dering Hall shows a beautiful damask wallpaper.  The oversized scale in the pattern kicks a traditional look right into today’s fresh new style.

Family

There is, more often than not, a wall of pictures showing cousins, uncles and aunts, grandmas and grandpas alongside various stages of the immediate family. Yep, it’s a bit folksy.  It’s also nice to not forget your roots and all the people who make up your family tree.  As you can see by the picture below, I absolutely love that.

Southern Interiors Mary Etta Designs Gallery Wall

If you are local to Orange County, California and are obsessed with Southern Interiors as much as I am, let’s talk.  We would love to help you bring a touch of southern charm to your southern Cali home.  Call Mary Etta Designs at 714 340-3214 or go here and contact us by email.

Mary Etta Designs Yorba Linda California Interior Designs

Bedroom Design Trends in 2018

Bedroom Design Trends in 2018

Are you wondering what bedroom design trends you’ll love in 2018 that are good choices for supporting healthy sleep? Recently, the team at Tuck Sleep Foundation reached out to me. Tuck is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web. So I agreed to share…

Mary Etta Designs in VoyageLA

I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company. Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles. But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.

Warm and Inviting Entry – Try Before You Buy

Staging for an Occasion My client's request was to have a warm and inviting entry.  It's not often that I get a direct call from my church pastor.  So imagine my surprise when I answered my phone and was greeted with, 'Hello Sister McCurdy."  True to form, he was on...