June 13, 2011

one chance to make a first impression

I’m sure you’ve heard the clichéd saying “you get one chance to make a first impression” — but did you know that it takes up to twelve subsequent encounters to alter that first impression?

So why would your house be any different?  I recently consulted on this newly constructed custom home in Greensboro.  The homeowner brought me in for the day to make sure that her new paint colors — let’s get it right the first time — worked with the selections she had already made.  It makes much more sense to hire a professional on the front end than to repaint the entire house if the colors aren’t correct!

The most important fixed element (that is, not subject to change) in the kitchen was the granite — a very warm stone with orange undertones and lots of movement.  I love how Sherwin-Williams Interactive Cream (SW 6113) makes the room just glow!

Because the living room opens to the kitchen but is less sunny, we chose to use Biscuit (SW 6112), a slightly lighter cream.  The cased opening allowed us to transition the paint color from Interactive Cream to Biscuit without an abrupt start or stop.  With the difference in natural light, it looks as though the rooms were painted the same color!  Of course, we checked to make sure that Biscuit worked with the stacked stone fireplace.  The millwork is painted Sherwin-Williams Dover White (SW 6385), which is a nice warm white.

Because the house has high ceilings and beautiful millwork, I specified Biscuit at 50% strength for the ceiling.  The contrast between the Biscuit at 50% strength and the Dover White really highlights the detail of the mouldings.

The dining room is off the foyer and nicely separated from the rest of the downstairs by cased openings.  I love a pretty blue dining room, and the homeowner does, too … so I specified Sherwin-Williams Tradewind (SW 6218).  Doesn’t it look lovely in this sunny space?  We kept the Dover White for the millwork and the Biscuit at 50% for the ceiling … which again highlights the mouldings.

Almost everything else had already been chosen by the homeowner, but I did make one additional suggestion.  She had originally selected a mosaic for the kitchen backsplash … which was way too busy with the granite.  I suggested that the homeowner choose something more monochromatic.  Fortunately, the mosaic had not yet been ordered, meaning the homeowner was able to re-select without additional expense.

Now, the only thing left is for the family to move in.

What’s more difficult — building a new house or moving in?  I vote moving!

UPDATE:  I’ve gotten a number of emails concerning the gorgeous stain color of the kitchen island and living room built-ins.  Dixon Custom Cabinetry fabricated these beautiful pieces using a stain color called Whiskey, a rich brown with a burnt umber tone — more orange than red (like cherry).  It’s their secret blend, though, so you’ll have to ask them for any additional information.  My understanding, however, is that Dixon guards it like the secret formula to Coke!   Your best bet?  Hire Dixon to build your new cabinetry!

Photos by Bobby Singleton.


  • Amy Vermillion- Martineau Vermillion Interior Design
    Jun. 13, 2011
    Gorgeous paint choices Traci! Those are some of my favs. I love Biscuit especially. Happy Monday, Amy
  • Amy Vermillion- Martineau Vermillion Interior Design
    Jun. 13, 2011
    Gorgeous paint choices Traci! Those are some of my favs. I love Biscuit especially. I vote for moving since hopefully there is always a professional team involved with buiding (wink). Happy Monday, Amy
  • Marianne {Style For Living}
    Jun. 13, 2011
    Beautiful home and I love the colors you selected.
  • Liz
    Jun. 13, 2011
    Beautiful selections and thanks for sharing the colors! Great work, love them!
  • Sheila Zeller
    Jun. 14, 2011
    Love this post Traci - awesome job on the colours, and great catch on the back splash :-). I vote moving for being harder. I've done both - built a home and made multiple moves. There's always something that needs to be changed with a move-in!
  • Splendid Willow
    Jun. 14, 2011
    Traci, what a home! And the homeowner did the right thing consulting you! Love all the colors you picked - fresh and sophisticated. Very classy my friend! I am back from myy whirlwind trip to Sweden. Thank you for your lovely comment about my home in Rue mag. Warm hugs, Mon
  • Karena
    Jun. 15, 2011
    This saying is so true and I adore this home! Great work... xoxo Karena Art by Karena Join my amazing Giveaway from the Artisans at Novica.
  • Hannah
    Jun. 15, 2011
    Traci! Loved that you used my favorite Dover White :) This house is really something, fingers crossed you get to interior decorate as well!
  • sherry hart
    Jun. 15, 2011
    You certainly did them right with those beautiful calm colors! They compliment the rooms and of course I am especially drawn to the blue in the DR :)
  • Arian
    Jun. 15, 2011
    Beautiful house and job picking the colors. I love Tradewind and have it in my family room.

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