Sunday, June 20, 2010

Princess Diane and the Lavender Castle

I was flipping through the local newspaper yesterday, The Loudoun Independent, when I spotted a photo that made me smile! There it was, a house on Farmwell Road near Bloom Supermarket in Ashburn, VA that reminded me of the beautiful colorfully adorned row houses in Charleston, SC. Actually, the owner Diane, was inspired by houses in Georgetown. After moving in, she decided to paint the siding lavender and the trim around the windows purple.

If I was a child looking at the house from the sidewalk, I would expect a princess to live there. Inside this castle, I guessed, would be a rainbow of funky furnishings and decor that would make anyone exude happiness and creativity. I laughed outloud thinking about Dorothy and the yellow brick road colliding with Alice in Wonderland!

Diane bought the house in the 1970's as the article states, and I suspect there were no neighborhood homeowners special ordinances about house colors especially since it was the only house on this farmland. According to Diane, the house was a fixer upper and in terrible need of paint. Needless to say, she had a great time making the color selections.

So what I'm trying to say is not to be afraid of having fun and be daring when selecting your house colors, at least the inside ones. If you're a fire engine red, blazing orange or bubble gum pink "person" it! It's only paint and you can change it to beige, pale gold or sage before you sell.

I suspect that "Princess Diane" is not selling her house anytime soon. She has gotten used to motorists screeching to a halt to get a closer look. What will Diane's magic wand touch next?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's the Old Story...

...You Get What You Pay For...this is especially true about paint. I'm a color consultant for the Link program with Benjamin Moore. In all honesty, I could not recommend something that I do not use...and I ONLY use Benjamin Moore paint. Starting next weekend on Saturday, 6/12, I will be helping people choose paint colors for rooms in their homes in the Sterling/Ashburn VA Benjamin Moore store. This service at the store is complimentary!

The "Regal" BM paint used to be the creme d'la creme of their paint line. That is until "Aura" came along. Aura is the premium line of BM. Yes it will cost about $60 a gallon, but in the long run it will save money! This paint has the primer built into it. You don't need to buy the separate primer (costs money) and paint it on first (costs time). I saw a demonstration that showed a shade of Aura white being painted over deep dark red. Question: How many coats did it take to cover? Answer: 1, one, uno. Amazing!!

But there are other terrific qualities of the Aura line. It has a very low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) rating or in other words, the base hardly has an odor. The colorant to create the desired hue is also very low VOC. The old technology's colorant was very smelly, it contained glycol and solvent which emitted the odor... but not Aura. When it dries in an hour the VOC goes down to zero. And if you want to, you can go ahead and do a quickie second coat at this time. You don't have to worry about "feathering" in wet into dry paint. You don't have to worry that the second coat is going to peel off the first coat either.

In future months and years, if you need to make a touch up, the new paint has a seamless touch up quality. It will blend in exactly. Also, it is not only washable but SCRUBBABLE. After you scrub, paint will not rub off and will not burnish (shine). I hate that with other paints, you look at the wall from the side, and you can see exactly where the touch up went on. This will not happen with BM Aura. The Aura paints are also water resistant and fade resistant. That is another reason why touch ups don't show.

So bring in your fabric samples, carpet pieces, photos of rugs and anything you want to coordinate, I'll help you choose the perfect paint color. You can now have a pint mixed to make sure how it will look in several locations in the room. In addition, you can order large samples online at no charge. That way you can double check that the perfect shade of beige that we selected is not too yellow, pink, gray or green, too dark or too pale.

See you on Saturdays, beginning 6/12, between 10 and 2 or Wednesdays, beginning 6/16, between 11 and 3. Always call first because sometimes my schedule changes.

By the way...don't forget the drop cloths. (Yes, the store has them too)