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Linda's House

Hi Christine,

Your blog is a treasure. I love your aesthetic sense and your ability to visualize the promise that lies within each house.

I'm hoping you may have advice for me. I have tried so many samples for repainting and I can't seem to find  the right colors. The neighborhood homes are mostly muted earthtones, lots of tan/brown.

I am deeply grateful for any ideas (paint or otherwise) you may have.

Thank you!



Hi Linda,

If it were me, I would go darker on the field color, and not as dark on your eaves trim color.  I'm trying for more subtle, but richer. 



You can see my paint sample squares in the center of your stone picture.  (with a little bit of your roof in the corner).  I still suggest sample quarts.  ;-) 


SW7505 Manor House Trim color


SW7694 Dromedary Camel Field color






Julie's Before and After

Dear Christine,

I can't believe it has been a year since we contacted you about some design decisions for updating our 1970's ranch. 

In short, we converted our front porch to a much needed foyer, replaced all of our siding with a mixture of shake and lap styles, added three windows along the front, replaced the shutters with wider window trim and added corbels to the roofline.

We were not sure about painting the brick, only because of the maintainence, so we extended the siding along the top half of the house so it better integrates with the brick. However, with the siding color we chose we can later paint the brick if we'd like.

We chose tile in the foyer but have dark wood floors throughout the rest of our home, thus the "harwood" tile pattern, to help transition from one space to the next.

In the future, we hope to visually balance out the front of the house further by converting our carport to a great room.

We hope you approve of the changes as we are thrilled with the results.

Thanks so much for your continued inspiration.
P.S. We have the side French doors and also two additional exterior doors on the back of the house. Would you treat those as windows and leave them white or should we paint them as we did the front door?

Hi Julie,

You did a great job, your house looks terrific!  Thanks for sending some "after" photos.  You can paint or stain the other doors- there is not a "right or wrong" on that one.  Personally, though, I think I like the white next to the brick, so I'd go paint.


For before photos- check out this blog post.


Thanks again,





Paint for Wendy

Hello, we are getting ready to paint our house and are having a horrible time picking out colors...  We live out in the country in a craftsman where most people stay in very neutral colors with neutral trims (not whites or light creams.)  We wanted grey's but basic grey seems not to be working, tried dark grey body and light grey trim but looks boring..  Maybe grey green would be better, but we can't find one that doesn't turn army green..  Sun seems to turn the paint color almost 2 shades lighter so when we find a color we like on a sample card and it turns light and the under tones come out that we didn't even see in the card at the store.  Please help!!  

Thank you,



Hi Wendy,


What you need are large samples on the side of your home.  I got the colors you mentioned in one of your e-mails and put them in the picture below with part of your stone showing.  It looks to me like the colors you selected will go great.  Will they look too light in a large area?  You are correct- everything looks lighter in a large area.  Whether or not it is too light is all subjective- a question I can't answer for you.  Compare them to your current colors in saturation for a good comparison.    Will it "go too green?"  I can't tell you that from here.  What is too green for you might not be for me.  Again, it's subjective.   What you do is simply put up large samples of what you think you want, if it goes too green, or too light for you, select one a bit less green, or darker.   Put a large sample of that color up- etc.  That's the process.  You'll do a great job.  Ifr you are happy with large samples on your house- you'll be happy with the end result. 


Out of Order


Hi Christine -


saw your blog, love your taste and honesty. Long awaited basement finishing project almost complete- ready for paint -- I'm clueless!!! 1700 sq. ft  open floor plan. contractor suggesting sherwin Williams artifact main area with browns, yellows complementing walls  - I'm scared too dark. 4 areas: entertainment, workout, kids gaming and office, plus bathroom (tile not yet picked)
Can send video too if that would help? I'm overwhelmed - hope u can help!!
Thank you!

Hi Marni,

My philosophy on interior paint selections:  When selected in the correct order, paint will practically select itself. 


Things that should be selected PRIOR to paint selections:





other wall decor


For example- if you had already selected this rug: 

and this sofa: 


And chairs in this fabric: 


Then I would select a soft off white paint- like the background color of the fabric and rug. 


If, on the other hand, you had a collection of white animal heads for your wall, white would be a terrible selection.


In the order of decorating, paint selection is frequently the last or close to the last selection. 


Your contractor is suggesting Sherwin Williams Artifact... 


beacuse it matches your things, or because he used it on a past project and liked it in someone else's house?  That is no reason to use it in yours. Yes- it might be dark.  But not if you have white furniture and white moldings and a lot of artificial light. 


There is an infinite selction of paint colors, all of which are the same price.  However, there is a finite slection of everything else. 


Good luck- I'll get off my soap box and back to my work- have a good day.


A Television in Mary's Living Room

Hi Christine,

Im new to your blog, i was following you for a month and became a fan of your design.

So, i finally got the guts to send you this, im pretty shy to ask coz im afraid not to get any response, but im desperate now... This is our first house, and to start i know i got a lot of things to do to make this room a cozy and zen type of living room, but my husband insist to have the tv somewhere in this room, and i dont know where to put that tv! Im thinking above will give us headache and neck problems coz its not eye-level thats for sure. Or across the fireplace, im desperate and i need your professional advice. I hope you can help me.

Thanks for taking time reading my email.

God Bless and more power!

Mary M.


Hi Mary,

I wanted to take this opportunity to say that a LOT of people who write in to my blog get no response.  I get hundreds of requests, and I'm super busy with my design business, and four children, which makes even reading them all prohibitive.  For anyone who wants advice- a couple of thoughts.  First of all- if you purchase an hour consultation in my store- you will get speedy service.  Secondly- if you write in and get no response- write again, and again.  


With that said, Let me address your room.  You are correct in assuming that this is not the ideal room for a television.


1.  Above the fireplace is nice because it keeps one central focal point, but as you mentioned, in this space, that will have the television too high for the depth of the room.  Having the television next to the fireplace is always bad rhythm.  This post gives some ideas on the subject.  This post also addresses a similar question.  In addition- check out this post.


For you- Mary- I arranged your furniture like this: 


You could get a couple of sofas This one from overstock is only $626.



Add a cool coffee table for $680:


You'll need a wall unit for the wall opposite the television- like this one from IKEA  for $1,034.


Add a rug- This one is $770.


Put curtain panels on both sides of the slider- like these from West Elm for $192/ for 2.


The console or sofa table behind the sofa will create a welcome entrance to the room- like this one for $860:



On either side of the wall unit, put one of these pictures- it will be nice and balanced, and help to fill the wall space.  $199/ set.


Thanks for writing in Mary!  Good luck with your space!




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