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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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...

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5 Quick Decorating Updates

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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. 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

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

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...

Custom Drapes Elevate Your Rooms

Looking for a simple way to add elegance in your home? Custom drapes elevate a room and gives it a polished look.  Recently, a couple I worked with sold their home. They traded it for a shiny, newer model in the same tony suburb. The couple proceeded to buy decorative...

Warm and Inviting Entry – Try Before You Buy

Warm and Inviting Entry After Mary Etta Designs Orange County California January 2017

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 his way to another commitment,  But he personally made the time to ask for my help on staging the newly renovated sanctuary’s narthex (lobby).

Warm and Inviting Entry Before Mary Etta Designs Orange County California January 2017

The occasion was celebration of his 3rd pastoral anniversary. There would be many visitors to our newly remodeled sanctuary. The narthex, an entry where worshippers gather before service, also serves as a holding spot for latecomers to wait during prayer.  Before staging it looked like a long hall spanning several sets of double doors leading into the sanctuary. Opposite those doors is a wall of glass and double doors as the entry into the building.

Warm and Inviting Entry Mary Etta Designs Orange County Lobby Closeup California January 2017

StagingTests Functionality

Function is always the first concern when I select furniture for a space. And I knew that it would need to be furniture that would stand up to the traffic of weekly services. But we did not have to sacrifice style. Modular furniture gives total flexibility for changing events. The armless sofas and chairs allow more people to easily and quickly sit while waiting to enter the sanctuary.  And they look warm and inviting.  A personal touch was to have calligraphy of  the church’s mission statement and various bible verses sprinkled on the walls.  Some were done by hand and others were pre-printed appliqués.

Warm and Inviting Entry Credenza Mary Etta Designs Orange County California January 2017

Staging before you buy is a great way to test the pieces of furniture to see if the investment is good in the long term.  “Greeters” hand out the week’s bulletins, flyers, and brochures to worshippers as they leave the building. To that purpose, two credenzas with storage flank either side of the long entry.  They are functional and stylish.  This piece turned out to be a definite “yes” for a similar future purchase.

And, as always, I am happy when my clients are satisfied.  The highest compliment is a testimonial.  If you live in the Orange County, California area, contact Mary Etta Designs and let us show you how to warm up the entry in your home or business.

interior Spaces Blog Orange County Interior Decorator Mary Etta./logo

High Point Market Fashion Week for Furniture

Every April and October for a week, High Point Market is the event to attend.  Design professionals make their pilgrimage to High Point, North Carolina to see what’s new and what’s next in home decor and furniture design.  This fall I made my way to what I call “fashion week for furniture” and it was exciting, enlightening, and exhausting.  And it was eye opening as to why it’s necessary for serious design professionals like me to make the trip.

 

 

 

Being on the left coast, I’ve attended Las Vegas Market where many of the vendors and showrooms show their newest products. But even the suppliers that I met in Vegas kicked it up a couple notches for high Point Market. The three mile radius of endless showrooms and party-like atmosphere could have your head spinning.  So a plan is a must.

The goal for me during this market was to see how I could educate my clients on what will work in their designs while they incorporate new styling that they will enjoy for years. One recurring theme I noticed was that coffee tables are getting much larger.  In addition, there is a visual play so as not to overwhelm the room with such a large piece.

design legacy.Mary Etta Designs High Point Market

Look at this beautiful live edge wood table that floats glass in the middle.  Visually this gives the eye a rest.

High Point Market is known for showing furniture trends for upcoming seasons.  We also get to see future innovations in interior design.  This beautiful piece by Noir of Los Angeles was actually two separate wood pieces that could be used like you see it here allowing guests to walk through or pull the tables closer for use. The actual footprint of these pieces give you the  ability to have more surface space while  entertaining. And it also gives you flexibility. How cool that they can be used as side tables too.

High Point Market Coffee Table Noir

High Point Market Mary Etta Designs Noir Multi Level Coffee Table

Talk about innovation!  Who says that the surface has to be all at the same level.  Interesting, functional and fun has to be the theme of this coffee table.  Put your personality in your home.  Give Mary Etta Designs a call for more ideas on how you can decorate with design pieces that will last you for years to come.

Anaheim Hills Interior Designer Mary Etta Designs. We've Got Your Windows Covered.

2016 Fall Colors Trend Report

Tranquility, Strength, Optimism.

According to the Pantone Color Institute‘s 2016 Fall Colors Trend Report, it’s what we want right now.  So look for the fashion and design world to design in these colors this fall and winter.   We will see everything from handbag, sweaters and jewelry to dinnerware, throw pillows and area rugs.

Every season, the gurus at Pantone, the go-to color guide for all things in the creative field, give us the predictors of what is to come.  The big influencer will be blue in a fresh new way.  We welcome blue sky colors. They represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays become steely, give a feeling of stability,

Always confident red tones have a hint of coral warmth.  And the Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.  See all the 2016 Fall Colors Trend Report here.

Enjoy fall y’all.