photography by Jason Jung & Scott Hasson
written by Dana R. Butler
When the owner of Vain Salon first contacted Katie Schroder of Atelier Interior Design about turning her space into something special, she said she wanted “a colorful, warm, Dr. Seuss” look. Still, when Schroder and her team suggested a very bold color palette, the salon owner was a little wary, but the owner was wild about the finished product. So wild, in fact, that when Revive Day Spa moved in to the other half of the building, the owners asked Schroder to work her magic in their space as well.
Schroder chose strong paint colors and stained the concrete floors. The front desk is made of metal, hand-ground to create the pattern seen here. The circles are of colored resin, and the desktop is espresso wood.
Schroder went with a selection of custom fabrics for the pendant lamps that hang over the reception desk and for the large drum lights seen throughout the space. The “Vain” sign and the color-blocked wall were done by Kerry Aufderheide of Blue Table Studio.
Drapes of white eyelet from Pollack add length and light to the mani/pedi room. The walls here combine a springy avocado color with floor-to-ceiling tufted white vinyl above the built-in pedi chairs. At right, a bamboo pattern painted directly on the wall was more cost effective for the project than a similar wallpaper. The floor lamp at left is from West Elm. The manicure table is a custom bentwood piece. The armchairs are from the Hammer Collection, upholstered with another Pollack fabric.
The Revive reception desk is fronted with tufted white vinyl for texture, and all the furniture in the greeting area is custom made. The wall behind the desk is another creation of Blue Table Studio. The faux wood panels are softened by the zen-inspired branch motif. The wall sconces are from Fine Art Lamps. Other walls are white to give the space crispness, and then Schroder added pops of avocado for color. The 20-foot ceiling soars overhead, and the Atelier team painted it chocolate brown to offset the height “” in addition to ordering lots of extra arm for the pendant lamps.
Issue: April 2009
In our opinion, fashion dictates much of the color choices in interior design. We all know how fast fashion changes and of course, it is seasonal too. For home décor, a color palette needs to be timeless but inspirational. In general, we like a palette that has a good amount of highs and lows and we enjoy colors that have a high amount of saturation. What we mean by saturation is the intensity of the hue. A common mistake is wimping out and being very bland about the chosen hue. When the color lacks intensity, it tends to look very institutional and uninviting. Unless you have amazing architecture that can hold its own and does not require color to embellish it or you are a severe minimalist, the color does not need to be that strong. We do not subscribe to painting small rooms a light color. Embrace the coziness of an intimate space and surround yourself with warmth and color. Mirrors and lights are better way to make a small room feel bigger.
Fabric is another great way to bring in color. If there is a busy pattern picking out a color from the pattern can pull a whole scheme together. It is wonderful to spread the small nuances of color that is in a pattern throughout the room by using it with different materials. Let’s say you have a pillow that has a green base with a pink and orange paisley pattern, pick up the pinks and oranges with accessories and draperies and then use a strong base color for paint. With a strong color scheme, we suggest using a natural, neutral. For example, orange pairs beautifully with a warm gray and deep browns can settle down any palette. Black can be the answer to make a more serine palette pop and of course white is a fresh touch that can be a relief to the eye.
Atelier considers your ceiling as a fifth wall, as important as any aspect of your room. Our design experts look at the ceiling as the umbrella or canopy that covers your living space. We can add depth and interest, giving your room an amazing feel by creating visual impact and accentuating your room. Attention to your ceiling can change a space from great to show stopping fabulous!
We ask you to just stop and look above you! What do your ceilings look like? So you think you rarely notice what is over your head? Au contraire, what is above and beyond has a huge influence on your space. You may not be aware of what is overhead but there is a subliminal affect of ceiling décor that can really enhance and finish a room.
Following the advice of Arcwest architect Kevin Anderson who often brings the color of the ceiling down 6-15 inches onto the wall (depending on the room size and ceiling height) to add architectural interest. According to Anderson you can use molding or just a clean, straight paint line as a transition. “Using the same color paint beyond the corners of the ceiling onto the walls humanizes the height of the walls in a room, veritably marrying the wall to the ceiling,” remarks Anderson. “The contrasting or complementary colors of the ceiling softens the transition of the horizontal and vertical planes which is more pleasing to the eye.” Traditionally crown molding was used to connect a tall ceiling with the walls but now a more contemporary solution is the use of different paint tones to add warmth, interest and detail. Molding on the wall where the two colors merge is another option, leading the eye from the wall to the ceiling.
There is no design rule that says that you have to paint your ceiling white – with color, the sky’s the limit! In fact, Atelier prides itself on breaking the perceived rules since by adding drama in design we can truly make your space sensational. We want to go beyond the ordinary and mundane to transform your spaces beyond your imagination. A colorful ceiling can make a big difference in a room. Adding a harmonizing hue to a ceiling is a simple, effective and economical design technique, enlivening the area and balancing the rest of the room’s colors and textures.
A room with a high, formal ceiling can feel cozier when topped with a warm or dark color. Lighter ceiling shades visually enlarge a space, which is a great trick for a small room! But even a dark ceiling in a small space can add a needed element of excitement. When selecting a shade for above, Atelier considers the size of the room, especially the ceiling’s height. A high ceiling painted with a darker color can make it appear lower and more intimate. For lower ceilings Atelier suggests choosing a high-gloss sheen or even metallic paint such as Benjamin Moore’s “Egyptian Gold”, which will reflect light and make the space appear larger.
Ceilings emphasize and add warmth to your room and a dropped paint line gives any space a more comfortable and human feel. Be brave, be bold and try some color on your ceiling . . . we promise you will be thrilled with the stunning end result!
Following is a list of color tips from Atelier Interior Design, which was an interview with Luxe Magazine, The Colorado Home Redefined. See Atelier Interior Design, in print in the Design Minded Section on pages 304 and 308, Volume 4 Issue 1.
- Bright & bold colors are wonderful to use as accents. Vases, pillows, rugs and lamps act as the jewelry in the room. Often people are timid about using garish colors because they do not consider them to be natural and they fear they will grow tired of a certain hue. The truth is that all colors are natural. Deep red roses, the plumes on a tropical bird or a beautiful gem are all examples of incredible deep rich colors that people never grow tired of. People are finally taking the plunge and embracing color by making a strong statement in brightly colored cabinetry or a large piece of furniture and using that as an anchor instead of a neutral. Neutrals can now be seen as the trim rather than the bulk. It depends on what the person wants to convey, bright and bold or cool and serine.
- People always feel good in colors that look good on them. Just like clothes, you should be appealing in your own space.
- To avoid over saturation of a color select a hue that is slightly muted or “off” in color. These colors are often, more appealing and less shocking to the eye.
- Pairing bold colors with neutral tones calms the color down but allows the bright to have its punch. Subdued colors pop with a deep chocolate brown, the dark and light are a nice contrast.
- Monochromatic rooms are a great way to invite wild patterns without overwhelming the space. Bold and big damask or brocade patterns have appeal when the overall space has a simple color scheme. Stripes are also popular when used with tone on tone colors. Painted on the wall stripes can be a stunning backdrop that still allows fork strong pattern.
- Black and white has come back with the popularity of retro designs and Hollywood glam. This resurgence works well when great old design lines are brought back with simple colors like black and white. The true essence shines with a contemporary twist. We love pairing black and white with the boldest of colors like hot pink, Kelly green, turquoise or orange. Another route would be to use only neutrals that vary in deepness like grays and tans. Always be intentional and whatever you are trying to achieve will be a grand success.
- Green design has really popularized natural color schemes. Several clients have conveyed that they want to achieve a spa feel. Browns and greens that bring the outdoors in paired with stark white gives a fresh feel that is both rejuvenating and calming. Using ultra contemporary lines makes the earth tones feel more uplifting.
Atelier Interior Design’s Katherine Schroder was recently published in Colorado Homes and Lifestyle’s
article called “color you can use” on page 31 of the April 2008 issue of the magazine. This is a great little article about using Red. Here are a couple pointers she spoke about:
- Don’t do just one accent wall. Instead, if you don’t want four red walls, paint the top halves of the walls red, add a chair rail and paint the bottom halves a warm neutral.
- Mix red with white trim for a classic look. Or pair red walls with a metallic ceilings (consider Benjamin Moore’s Studio Finishes) to give the room a comtemporary feel.
Can the Japanese have a greater respect for the old and the new because they have an older history? I admire Japanese designers for their cutting edge creations but respect them deeply for their acknowledgment of tradition, simplicity and the imperfection of aged and worn goods that offer soul and character to their designs. As a culture Americans can finally find value in our great historic buildings but as group of people we are labeled as consumers. Westerners commonly have a penchant for everything new.
Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese term, which means that old, weathered items have an essence that lend character and convey meaning to an overall space. Of course, it is more complicated than this but what is important is the understanding that just because something has been used, rather than its value being diminished it increases. So often new interiors can have a sterile sense, lacking warmth and appeal. In our zeal to revamp we discard old pieces that hold charm and history. It can be difficult to integrate these decrepit pieces into a new crisp space, but if it is done consistently and with purpose they will be embraced. Remember all your college furniture? Maybe those dinged-up, weather-beaten pieces passed down from Mom and Dad were just incongruous with your select choices from Target and Ikea. As long as what is held on to on some level expresses quality in material and craftsmanship, value remains. Some examples of wabi-sabi items that lend character are woven baskets, aged wooden furniture, metals with patina, antique tiles or fixtures, rough stones and organic branches or pieces of wood. If you are not fortunate to have been handed down family treasures there is no harm in heading out to the antique shops on South Broadway in Denver. The mid-century modern era has beautiful examples of finely made furniture that would segway into most contemporary settings. The lines are clean and the construction is usually superb. Sometimes all it takes is a soft rag and a loving hand to bring these pieces out of the cobwebs and appreciate their innate beauty and history.
Recommended reading: The Wabi-Sabi House by Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren and Living Wabi Sabi The True Beauty of your Life by Taro Gold.
In Japan, design is often the antithesis of Western design in its core elements. Interiors in Japan exude intention, clarity and the lines are clean and un-muddled. The essence of Japanese design has simplicity yet it is deep and contemplative with out being distracting. Some of what contributes to this “pureness” is what is called Shabui – the paring down of elements, which allows the design to truly shine.
Apparently, the term shabui cannot be translated exactly into the English lexicon. This is not surprising since American culture thrives on acquiring things. Even when we do purge ourselves of earthly goods, it is often only to replace them with something new. That is not shabui. To execute shabui take the example of the over crowded mantel. By selectively taking away a few items, the standing pieces are then allowed to express themselves and make a statement.
The word shabui also has a great ring. I have adopted it into my own personal vocabulary. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by the clutter and possessions in my home I make a vocal statement that “I need to shabui” and then I set to work. It gives me purpose, focus and intention in my weeding out, then the true nature of my designs can be noticed and admired.