Monday, September 10, 2012


Like a lot of you out there I love to look at the MLS online.  I love looking at houses.  I especially love to look to see when a house has obviously been renovated or was newly built.  So I came across one here in Burlington.  For the most part it is quite a lovely house.  Nice detail, nice kitchen etc.....  BUT!  There was one room that seemed a little "off" for me.  Here is what I think is the living room:

Let me first say that what I am about to talk about is not to critisize or put down.  I just want to use this opportunity to discuss a couple of areas of design that others may be thinking of or may have not thought of.  Basically, I want to open a discussion on..  one....undertones in paint in relation to other elements and two....  Fireplaces and placement.

So, first off, the paint colour.  When you first see this paint colour that is brought in from the foyer it doesn't look all that bad.  Not MY first choice but it's OK.  But when it is put in this room with that cut face Slate- Whoa!!  Now let me say that it is not the depth of colour that I have issue with.  It is the UNDERTONE.  This colour may be perfectly fine in the foyer when all it has to relate to is the hardwood.  However, next to that fireplace ... well.... EWWW!!  Let me tell you why:
The paint colours undertone in NO way relates to the the slate of the fireplace.  When you first look at that fireplace what do you see???  I see a lot of Orange and Gray.  Do you see that?  Especially when you first look at the second pic this can really be seen.  Now, to me, the undertone in the paint is sort of reddish.  This provides a Mocha with a deep reddy pink cast to it.  So not a good choice to go with slate.  Even if the camera is not capturing the correct paint colour one can see that the undertone is all wrong to go with that slate of the fireplace.  Personally I think the following may have looked better- depending on lighting of course:

Rockport  Gray HC-105  Benjamin Moore

Escarpment CC-518  Benjamin Moore

Sea Haze 2137-30

Desert Twilight 2137-40

All of these have a slight green undertone to them and will go really nicely.  Even if you cannot pick out the undertone in the above pic you can still see that something is "off".  So that's my opinion on that one.

On to the fireplace.  First of all let me say I am NOT a fan of fireplaces that are a wall of stone and then the fireplace just stuck in.  To me there has to be some sort of mantel for this one.  Otherwise, the fireplace just seems to be floating out in space.  I know they are trying to be clean lined and all, but to me it just looks like they didn't know what to do so they stoned around the fireplace and Voila.   Also, this kind of look only works in a modern environment.  This space is so not that.  This space with the styling, trim and all those windows is much more traditional.  A clean lined fireplace just does not fit here at all.  The first thing I said to myself when I saw that fireplace was, " that puppy needs a mantle" .  It is just too much stone for there. The last thing about the fireplace is that I feel it would have been way better off on the other wall between the windows.  For one thing it would then be the first thing you see when going into or passing the room.  That would be your focal point.  Plus, furniture placement with regards to doorways and windows is also a consideration.  Is it horrible where the fireplace is??  NO!  But to me the more logical choice would have been the other wall.

So there you have it.  Just a little blurb on being careful with your undertones when you carry paint from one room to the other.  Just because that colour may work in another room does not mean it will work in another.  You have to ask yourself, "Self!!  What do I have to relate my paint to in THIS room."  Also when it comes to fireplaces you have to think, how do I want to function in this room, where is the furniture going to go, what style am I going for?  Remember there is always help out there for the asking.

Have a great day everyone.

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