Before and After White Hutch

Finished

Hey guys, I wanted to show you a piece of furniture I just finished for my front living room project. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep it because it’s completely different from what I was originally going to do with that room, but I love this piece and just couldn’t let it go. Unfortunately I don’t have any before pics for you to see because I was so excited to get started on it I didn’t even think about it before I had ripped the entire piece apart, so this is more of a “half way through and after” sort of post.

Before

You can see what the piece looked like before I started painting. It needed a lot of TLC from all the dents and scratches.

 

Here is what it looked like after I was finished.

Hardware

This is the same hardware that came with the furniture. I really liked the old rustic style of these hinges.

Finished

Inside of the Drawers

The inside of the drawers were lined with this awesome wallpaper that I found from Lowe’s.  My favorite part about refinishing furniture is the details. These drawers were originally lined with this gross brown felt.  It took me forever to rip that out, but I am so happy that I did. I love the wallpaper that I picked out. It wasn’t even expensive. I think I paid somewhere around $6.00 to line all drawers and the back of the hutch with it. Then I took caulk around all the edges to make it look very “finished”. I wrote another post to show you how to line your drawers with wallpaper under the attention to detail section of this site.

 

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Lighting Design

Light is a powerful design tool that most aspiring designers take for granted. Many people use lighting mainly for its function of giving light to perform the required tasks. What they don’t realize is that light can also be a part of the design. Not only can it be used to highlight a point of interest in a room, the lighting itself can be the point of interest. Light always creates pools of interest in a room. Your eye is naturally drawn to these lights pools when you walk into a room. In addition, multiple pools of interest will always feel more welcoming than just one.

Another key part of light design is to understand that it can influence the mood of a room. Ever heard of mood lighting? Well it’s not just about lighting candles before a romantic dinner. Mood lighting can be used in your everyday life! Overall, a brightly lit room will project a positive upbeat mood, whereas darker rooms are more intimate and romantic. In addition to the brightness of a room, the style of the light fixtures also influence the mood of a room. So think carefully about the fixtures you use in your home. Also keep in mind that all fixtures do not need to be the same to provide a sense of harmony in your designs. You want to create variety in your designs, and with your light fixtures, so experiment a little! As a general rule, you do want to stick with the same finish on your light fixtures. I try to keep the same finish throughout my entire home, although that’s not necessary. You should also try to keep your light fixtures the same or similar styles. If your chandelier is more modern with clean lines and edges, then that antler lamp is going to look very strange on the table…

 

Feng Shui and Lighting

I wanted to include a section in this post about Feng Shui and its general take on lighting. I try to keep my designs within feng shui principles because I think they are great principles to decorate by. When it comes to lighting, Feng Shui is mostly concerned about the natural light coming into your home and how it fs through the home. Since most of you probably already own homes, I decided to get right down to the facts about how we can influence the artificial lighting in our home. Many people find that after they move into their home, they do not like the way the light fs through the home, so they have to enhance it through lighting fixtures. The key to enhancing natural light with artificial light is to use light bulbs that mimic natural sunlight as closely as possible. These are called natural full spectrum bulbs. I have an entire article on the different types of lighting if you want to learn more about these bulbs. These are especially important when it comes to Feng Shui. The level of light you put in a room really depends on your personal preferences. Do you prefer a bright open , or do your prefer a cozier feel? These are all things to consider before you start your design project.

 

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Types of Lighting

Have you ever wondered what the difference between different types of light bulbs really is? Well, me neither, until I started doing some research on Feng Shui and the types of lighting that are better for your psychological health. Not only is there a huge difference between natural sunlight and artificial light (light bulbs), there is a difference between types of light bulbs and their influence on your mood and mind. You can actually change the entire feel and look of a home just by changing the light bulbs.

There are three main types of light bulbs you should know about. Incandescent, —— and Halogen.

Incandescent

These lights produce a warm, soft type of lighting. They are the most common type of light bulb used in homes.

Fluorescent

These lights are generally used in workshops and other areas where a lot of detailed work is going to be den. They are very bright and can be straining on the eyes after long periods of time. In general, these lights are inappropriate for use in most homes.

Halogen

These lights use gas instead if wire to create light, and therefore can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. These bulbs are also very expensive, so in general they are only used in decorative lights that cannot support the traditional light bulb shape.

 

An important aspect of lighting to understand is that there is a difference in the type of light emitted from the bulb depending on the spectrum of light it produces. This becomes very important when you are considering the mood of a room. Traditional light bulbs are partial spectrum, which is why they emit a yel cast on their surroundings. Much research has been done on natural full spectrum light bulbs and their effects on your eyes, your psychological health and the mood/feeling of a room. In general, natural full spectrum lighting has been shown to provide the foling benefits:

  • Improved mood
  • Increased mental awareness
  • Reduced eye strain
  • Better sleep habits
  • Provide accurate color perception and visual clarity
  • Reduce stress
  • Enhance the immune system

Basically, these bulbs mimic natural sunlight, which is good for people. It is also great for your designs as it shows their true color in their home. Your colors become more vibrant and yelness disappears. It can also help with the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

For these reason I have replaced all of the light bulbs in my home with natural full spectrum bulbs and let me tell you, it makes a world of difference. My home feels more alive. The colors feel more vibrant and attractive, and the whites in my home don’t look yel-white anymore. It’s like my whole home has natural sunlight streaming in even at night. Considering this is a very cheap upgrade, you’re looking at approx. $0.50 per bulb, it really is worth the change.

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Section 2: Color Theory

Did you know that colors evoke feelings from people? Advertisers and designers alike have known for a long time that they could manipulate your emotions just by changing the colors of a room, logo, or advertisement. For this reason it is important to understand color theory so that your decor can make you feel good! With a good design, you can sleep better in your bedrooms, feel happier in your living room, feel more relaxed in your bath rooms and be more productive in your office!

Feng Shui

Before we get into the feelings of specific colors, I want to talk briefly about feng shui. If you are reading this post, most likely you are trying to find the best designs for your home to help you feel more comfortable and happy in your home. Feng Shui has a lot to say about colors influence on how you feel in your home. One important thing to understand about feng shui and color theory in general is that, regardless of what information is put here, the colors that feel good to you, are the colors you should use. Painting a room a color you do not like can increase feelings of depression, irritability and fatigue. Just because blue might help cure your insomnia, if you really want to use purple in your room, then using blue will usually not be beneficial for you! These color feelings are just to help you choose the color that might help you achieve you goal of how you want a room to feel. Feng Shui colors are based on the 5 elements; water, wood, fire, earth and metal. These are not always the best colors to use in your home if you are trying to create a nice and relaxing atmosphere.

Here are some additional concepts to keep in mind:

  • Neutrals = good
  • Too much white = bad (eyestrain)
  • Bold colors should be used in moderation
  • Cold/Wet Rooms (bathrooms) feel better when decorated with warm colors

 

The first color I am going to talk about is Red. 

Red is an amazing color that invokes some of the deepest and strongest emotions we have. Red represents power, energy, war, passion, strength and love. It can be a great color to use in kitchens and dining areas because of its ability to stimulate appetites (have you ever noticed how many restaurants have red logos/decors). It also has been known to enhance metabolism, respiration and blood pressure.  Different shades of red can also invoke different levels of these emotions;

  • Light Red is associated with joy, sexuality, sensitivity and love.
  • Pink: Romance, love, friendship, unselfish love, passiveness.
  • Dark Red: Rigor, willpower, rage, anger, courage, leadership, malice and wrath.
  • Brown: Yes brown is considered a shade of red. It is usually associated with masculine qualities (tends to be the default decoration color of most men in my experience).  It represents stability, withholding emotion and retreating from the world.

The second color in our color spectrum is Orange. 

Orange is a really strong color. It has amazing psychological effects on our emotions and body. It is the most “positive” color in the color spectrum. It is associated with joy and sunshine. It evokes feelings of happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, and encouragement. The most amazing thing about this color is it can actually act as an anti-depressant. It has been shown to increase oxygen to the bran and stimulate mental activity and appetite.

  • Dark Orange: Deceit and distrust.
  • Red-Orange: Desire, aggression, domination, sexual passion and pleasure.
  • Gold: The main word that comes to mind when most people think of the color gold is prestige. It is also association with illumination, wisdom, and wealth. It is also used as a symbol of high quality.
  • Light Orange: Confused and Concerned (might not be the best color for your babies nursery!).

Continuing along with our color spectrum… the next color is Yel.(That says yel if you can’t read it)

If you consider that orange is really a mix of yel and red, then we can deduce by all the anger emotions association with red can be removed from orange in the yel color. Yel has a lot of similarities with orange. It is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, honor, loyalty, leisure and energy. Yel tends to have a very warming effect on the mind and can be very uplifting and builds self-confidence. It evokes feelings of cheerfulness,  simulates mental activity, clear thinking, decision-making, and good judgement. It also generates muscle activity. Many also associate this with food and stimulating your metabolism. The difficult thing with yel is that it is easy to make mistakes with. If over-used, yel can have a disturbing effect. Its been shown that babies tend to cry more in yel rooms than a room painted a more relaxing color such as blue. It can also be associated with instability. Another thing to consider is that shades of yel are visually unappealing. If you start to go into darker shades of yel, it starts to take on a dingy look that most people don’t like to look at.

  • Dingy (dull) Yel: Decay, sickness, fear and jealousy
  • Light Yel((light yel): Freshness and intellect.

Next is Green, the mixture between blue and yel!

Most people can guess what green is associated with…. money and nature! Green brings about very strong feelings of safety, freshness, fertility and harmony. Green has also been shown to have a healing power. It is very easy color on the eye and we often associate it with stability and endurance. It can also be associated with a lack of experience.

  • Dark Green: Associated with $Money$. Also brings about feelings of ambition, greed and jealousy.
  • Yel-Green: Sickness, discord, cowardice, fixation, intrigue and amazement.
  • Aqua: Healing color that brings about strong emotions. Also can help feel protected.
  • Olive Green:  Traditional color of peace. Olive and dark greens tend to have the opposite effect of the light greens and can have a detrimental effect on emotional and physical health.

Now we arrive at our last primary color…. blue!

Blue is my favorite color to use in my home because of its effects on my psychological health. Blue is associated with depth and stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth. If any of you readers have ever read The Color Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman, you might be interested to know that I am an equal mix of blue and white in his color theory. What’s even more interesting is that I tend to use those colors in my home decor because I am naturally drawn to them. Blue has been shown to be beneficial to the mind and body. Unfortunately it ss human metabolism, but it does produce a calming effect of tranquility and ers blood pressure. Along with brown it is a very masculine color. It also suppresses appetite, so according to feng shui principles it might not be the best color to paint your dining room or kitchen. Another benefit of using the color blue is that it can help to cure insomnia. Most humans associate blue with night-time and sleeping, so painting your bedroom a nice dark blue color can actually help you to sleep. It stimulates mental control, clarity and creativity, but dark blue can be very depressing, so it must be used in moderation.

  • Dark Blue: eliminate insomnia, risk of being depressing. Represents knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness.
  • Light Blue: understanding, softness, health, healing and tranquility. (this tends to be a good color for baby rooms for these reasons)
  • Teal: Induces feelings of contentment, satisfaction and calmness.

And the last color is purple.

Purple has a purifying and antiseptic effect. It suppresses hunger and metabolism. It helps to balance your mind and can help with obsessions and fears. Purple generally represents royalty, nobility ambition and luxury. (When you think of kings and queens, you tend to think of the color purple). It’s associated with wealth, extravagance, wisdom, dignity and independence. Some also associate it with creativity, mystery and magic.

  • Light Purple: Romantic, nostalgic and feminine.
  • Dark Purple: Gloom, frustration and overall sad feeling.
  • Indigo: Stimulates intuition and imagination.
  • Violet: Brings feelings of peace and combats shock and fear. Tends to have a cleansing effect with emotional disturbances. It can also stimulate creativity, spirituality and compassion.

I said we were done, but I have a few other neutral colors that I want to touch on.

White.

White can be a very peaceful color. It can dispel shock and despair. It tends to bring feelings of uncluttered openness. Too much white can generate feelings of separation as well as make you feel cold and isolated. It represents light, goodness, innocence, purity and virginity. It is the color of perfection. In section 3 I go into more details about the right and wrong ways to use the color white.

Black.

Black represents power, elegance, formality, death, evil, mystery, fear and the unknown. In general it has a negative connotation to it. It can represent strength and authority, but has been said to prevent you from growing and changing. In general black is a very difficult color to incorporate into home decor. Similarly to white, if done incorrectly, or if overdone, it can have drastic consequences. I recommend if you like using black, stick to using it in your furniture or opt for a dark chocolate-brown. It will bring more warmth into your . But if you are going for a very elegant and formal appearance, black might be the perfect color for you!

Gray.

Gray is a great color that oftentimes gets underestimated and forgotten about. It stimulates feelings of independence and self-reliance. It can also represent evasion, non-commitment and indicates separation lack of involvement and ultimately loneliness. When you are trying to portray a very regal, sophisticated appearance, gray can be a great accent color to make your main color really stand out.

 

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Section 1: Understanding Color

Most of us learn the basics of colors at a very young age. We learn that blue, yel, and red are the primary colors and if you mix them you can get the secondary colors of green, purple and orange. But color is so much more complex than that. There is not only an infinite number of combinations between these colors, but there is an infinite number of shades of each of these colors as well. In addition there are what is referred to as complimentary colors, which will produce neutrals such as black and grey.

Refer to the color wheel be:

 

 

These are the primary colors. These colors cannot be made by mixing other colors, but all other colors can be made through some mixture of these three colors. Now lets add the secondary colors:

 

 

 

Now we are going to add a few more colors as well as some black and white to create our different shades; This is a simplified color wheel. It doesn’t even begin to explore the infinite possibilities of color, but it will give you a general idea of how shades influence the color as well.

 

 

 

Complimentary Colors:

Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. They consist of one primary color and one secondary color in pairings shown be. Complimentary colors serve two important functions. The first is that when complimentary colors are presented together, they make each other stand out. The provide the maximum amount of contrast that can be attained with color. If you take a yel wall and you want something to stand out against it to provide a focal point, you could choose a purple picture frame, or a purple vase.

The second important function of complimentary colors is that if you mix the two of them they create the neutral colors we discussed earlier. This is a concept that applies in painting art more than in interior decorating, but it is important to understand none the less. If you mix equal parts of yel and purple together, you will get a black color. These black colors you will end up with are what’s referred to as true blacks. It’s a much more effective way to achieve black than using a black paint.

One last important aspect of color is that colors influence each other. Surrounding colors can often make a color appear to be a completely different color. Look at the example be:

 Look at the two blue squares on the page. Are they the same color? Most people would answer no. The reason is because surrounding the same color with a darker color, makes the original color appear lighter. Do the opposite and surround the original color with a light color and it will appear darker. But in reality, these colors are the exact same color.

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Section 4: Neutrals: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Neutrals are amazing colors. They are the colors that provide balance to a room. Although these colors are easy to use, they are also very easy to screw up. So I wanted to take a few minutes just to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to neutral colors.

The Good:

As I said before, neutrals are what keep your designs in balance. If you were limited to bright and vibrant colors such as purple, when you walked into a room you would be overwhelmed with the amount of color. It would create a strain on your eyes and make you feel fatigued and depressed. Neutrals are an integral part of any design and they are easy to understand, if you take the time to learn about them. Neutral colors are exactly that: Neutral. They compliment almost every other color. Most furniture, flooring and cabinetry are created in neutral colors. Neutrals include beige, brown, black, white and grey. It’s generally a good idea to have anything that is expensive to replace be a neutral color. The reason for this is that its much easier to update your paint colors and accent decorations than to completely replace your flooring or cabinetry. It also helps your retail value when you go to sell your home!

The Bad:

Because neutrals are relatively safe colors, they can be taken advantage of. Just because they are neutral does not mean that you don’t have to apply the same principles of light and color we’ve already discussed in this mini series. For example, never use a dark neutral color in a small dark room as it will still feel small, even though it is a neutral color.

The Ugly:

The most common mistake I see with neutrals is overdoing it. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone into a home where the amount of brown in the house is overwhelming. The carpets are brown, the walls are brown, the furniture is brown and the decorations are all shades of brown. When you enter these rooms, you feel nothing but boredom. There is nothing interesting to draw your eye, it’s just boring! It lacks style! Your house makes a statement about you, do you want that statement to say “I’m safe and boring!”? You should always have some colors outside the neutral color palate. Remember, color is the most powerful tool of a designer, and you should make it your best friend.

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Section 3: The Importance of White

The most common mistake I see among aspiring designers is the under-estimation of the color white. (Technically, white is the absence of color, but we can use shades of white to paint our homes). The reason I mention that white is the absence of color is that it is important to understand that all white paint has a “tint’ to it. So when you go to Home Depot to pick out your white paint you might be tempted to get the brilliant white paint. This paint contains a blue tint that will give most rooms a dull grey cast to them. You generally want to steer towards a white that has a pink undertone to achieve that bright white contrast that feels warm and welcoming.

Another important aspect of white to understand is that white will always expand and lighten a . This means that small rooms are going to feel larger when they are painted white than say a red color. It also means you should steer away from vibrant or dark colors in small rooms or rooms with poor lighting as they will appear smaller.

One last thing I want to point out about the color white is that lighter colors, i.e. the closer you get to white, the more these principles apply. This means that even small dark rooms can look amazing with colorful walls. You just want to steer towards a lighter color such as a light yel or taupe.

 

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Goof Off Tutorial

Things you will need:

  • Paint the color of your baseboard and the color of your walls.
  • Small can of goof-off
  • 5 cotton swabs per mistake
  • Paper Towels
  • Two small paint brushes
  • Electrical/ Masking tape

Approx. Cost: $20.00

So Goof-off is a relatively easy fix for mistakes when your painting. Most of the time if you are using a light color on your walls it is not necessary, but in the case where you are using a very saturated dark color,  you would need it.

Step 1:

Layout all of your supplies. I already had a tarp laid out for my other project (crown molding) so I used that, but I would recommend using a place mat or newspaper so you have some where to put your wet paintbrushes and supplies. Lay everything out next to the first mistake you will be covering.

Before Applying Goof-off

Step 2:

Squirt a small amount of Goof-off onto a cotton swab.

Step 3:

Use the cotton swab to gently rub off the paint where you don’t want it. If you push too hard you will also take off the baseboard paint as well. It starts to look like a bigger mess than what you had to begin with, but don’t worry, it comes out looking much better. You’ll want to take off more than you need so your lines are clean.

It will look like you are creating a bigger mess, but just continue to clean it off gently until all the unwanted color is removed.

Step 4:

Once you’ve rubbed off all the paint that you didn’t want, you can dry it off with a paper towel if necessary.

Step 5:

Use your electrical/masking tape to tape off the baseboard again.

Step 6:

Paint the walls with one of your touch up brushes.

Step 7:

Once it’s dry you can remove the masking tape.

Step 8:

Repeat the process, this time placing the masking tape on the wall and painting the baseboard.

And you’re done! You can use Goof-off on almost anything. You can even remove glue with it!

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