Color and Design Daily

a look back....

2013 was a big year for Quiet Home Paints.  Each new year I like to take a look back at how far we've come before re-focusing on what is next.  I am big on resolutions and I find that a quick glance behind helps me shape meaningful resolutions for the future...  So today a look at the past 365 days.  Tomorrow? Resolutions for the next. 


In 2013 we added new colors to our line:

like emma, a personal favorite of mine. 


we reached 1000 likes on facebook:

and then soared to over 5000!! Thanks friends! 


we painted a lot...


and showcased some colors in dreamy ways:


we worked through a blizzard


painted some easter eggs


and were published here and there:


we re-branded with a new logo:



taught you to paint stripes:



we gave away some awesome chairs:




and celebrated our mascot's birthday:



we gave some fun talks:



popped up in locations nationwide:


and showcased our radio voices:



we celebrated our co-founders wedding:


(photographer: Maria Vicencio)


painted pumpkins for fall:



taught you to update your holiday table with our paints:




And had a blast doing it all...


It was a whirlwind of a year and there is much more to come.  2014 is all about reaching a bigger audience and educating on the importance of using a truly non-toxic product.  You can expect to see us in more stores, see more posts about health, and speak at more events.  We hope you will continue to follow along as 2014 unfolds... 


And of course, we wish you the happiest, healthiest and most colorful year yet!


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something to hear.

The boy, the pup and I spend a lot of time in the car.  You know the one. 

Bessie, we call her.  She has been with us for over four years and taken us across the country twice, to DC and back countless times, into the Whites regularly and one winter to Jay Peak and back every weekend, always in dumping snow.  She's our trusty ride and this weekend we loaded up and went to NH to celebrate birthdays and cut down our Christmas tree. 

Bessie is great.  There are just a few things that get to us from time to time.  The heat/air conditioning doesn't work unless you physically hold it in the on position and then it is all or nothing.  The trunk refuses to stay locked and pops open from time to time.  And our radio doesn't work.  We say it gives her character.  And we have found work-arounds.  I always pack a blanket to wrap up in and stay warm when we get tired of holding the heat on, if we close and lock the doors in just the right order we can prevent the trunk from popping open.  And we listen to radiolab on our phones instead of the radio.  


In their own words, "Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience."  We've listened to shows on blame, love, impossible decisions, confusing custody questions, the many wonders of blood, Ötzi , the incredibly scary Rabies disease, and on our drive home yesterday: Color.  We listen, discuss, repeat.  It's been a wonderful way to spend long car rides. 


Anyway.  This one on color, as a color lover and someone who spends entire days looking closely at different tones, I found fascinating.  I wanted to share it with all of you today here on our little blog. 




It's an hour program, so its best to listen to while stuck in the car/train/airplane - or while puttering around the house or doing a more mindless work task (like cutting fan decks which is what I am about to do). 


Enjoy!  I found especially fascinating the last segment on the color blue...  let us know what you think! 



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4 simple ways to transform your holiday table with paint

 If you are like me, this week will be hectic with cleaning, prepping, and planning decor for the upcoming holiday.  So today, we wanted to share with you some really easy, simple ways to transform your holiday table into something really spectacular using paint.  Enjoy! 


Our four simple ways to transform your holiday table with paint:


1. Chalk drawn runner

This is so fun and easy.   Start with a table top painted in our chalkboard paint.  Don't limit yourself to just black.  Chalkboard paint is available in all of our colors!  I chose our emerald green, emma, for this tabletop.  I think it is festive and beautiful.   After a coat of primer and two coats of chalkboard paint, you are ready to design your own custom runner. 


All you need is a painted tabletop in chalkboard, some stencils (or you could free hand it) and some chalk. 


then just fill in the stencil...  easy peasy. 


I did two rows to get a substantial runner.  


and Viola!  I think vines and leaves could be really pretty, too.  Or leave a piece of chalk for each guest to record the things for which they are thankful.  By the end of the night you should have a table really worthy of the holiday. 



2.  A place for everything (marked with chalk). 

How nice would it be to know each dish you are serving will have a place and fit on the table nicely?  Done.  Start with a tabletop in chalkboard paint and mark out clearly where each dish will be placed, person will sit and item will go.  Serving dinner has never been easier.   Plan out in advance which platters you will be using and arrange them empty on the table.  Once you have a placement you like, trace around each dish and mark them with chalk. 


hint: if you don't want to commit to painting your table in chalkboard paint, grab a piece of plywood (please ask for the nice, toxin free kind - its worth the extra bucks) and place it over your existing table.  The boy wouldn't let me paint our heirloom dining table, so I just painted this tabletop I had from IKEA instead...  works brilliantly. 



3.  Custom candlesticks:

I love this project.  You can really jazz up your table by adding painted candlesticks that you yourself have designed to coordinate with your other design choices.  I chose to feature some other colors from the estate palette since my table was painted in the brilliant jewel toned, emma.  I used ballgown and slipper on the candlesticks to add some more pop and added touches of torn skirt to coordinate.  


Just start with wood candlestick holders from any craft store and paint away.  


I love these.  (and you can win them!  Details below!)


4.  Use hand dipped ornaments as joint placecards/favors for guests to take home. 

How nice for the guests to know where to sit and have a little something to take home with them (aside from leftovers)


Start with plain white ornaments and dip the lower half into the colors of your choice.  Use a paint brush to wipe off excess at the bottom and hang to dry.  Add guests' names and place at each setting...  





And there you have it.  Four really easy ways to transform your table with paint.  


And happy painting!!! 



ps. I almost forgot!  Do you want to win these custom, hand painted in our own organic, non-toxic paints candlestick holders for your own table??  check us out on facebook to enter!  You'll find a post on our page about the giveaway...  like it and you're in the running!  


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picking the perfect nursery color: sweet and happy

So yesterday we talked about soft and serene nurseries using colors from our Sleep Palette.  Today, we want to show you some nursery looks you can create using the colors from our Wake Palette.  The colors in the Wake Palette are a little more pigmented, but won't read bold in your space.  They mid-tone, clean colors that will be sure to inspire many happy moments.

The wake palette consists of (from top left, clockwise): petal, bee, pond, pout, perch, sprig

Oh how I love the names of these colors...


Shall we go in order? 

So Pink...  Some people love it, some people hate it, but I think we can all agree that when pink is done right it can be pretty.  Petal is a great pink when you are looking for something sweet and cheerful.  

OK so, this isn't our color Petal, but it is SUPER close.  This is actually a room Lisa designed for a showhouse a few years ago (before QHP came to be) and was the inspiration for creating our color Petal.   I love how sweet the pink is paired with whites, naturals, and unexpected touches. 

By the way, Petal is one of our most popular colors - if you've used it in your nursery please send photos!  We love to see our customer's spaces! 




Bee.  It's another best-seller and rightfully so.  It's a sunny, happy yellow:

see? sunny.  Really, this yellow is the perfect yellow.  If you want to make a space that feels sunshiney even on rainy days or a space that you and your little one can retreat to for some needed quiet time and then turn around and inspire a giggle session, this is your color. 




Pond is my personal favorite.  I think it's the perfect color if you are waiting to find out if your baby is a boy or girl.  It's a blueish-greenish beauty:

Do you love it like I do?

It works really well with yellows (that dresser is our bee and catnap and the canvas is our buzz).  




And now on to blue:  Pout

This blue nursery (from here) shows how a blue like pout can transform your space into a dreamy, happy, lovely little space.  Don't limit yourself to using blue for only boys (although that is lovely), when paired with yellows it can be really fitting for a little girl too! 




Perch is our mid-tone neutral perfect for a nursery. 

This photo (from kindsomania) is the perfect example of how a neutral is anything but boring.  It stills gives a room color, just in a soft, warm way.  I love using neutrals with whites like they've done here.   What do you think?




And finally Sprig:

Sprig is our true green.  It is fresh and the perfect backdrop for an inspiring nursery.  


So there you have it:  our Wake Palette


Next week we will get bold and talk about our Play and Pop Palettes.  Get ready! 




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picking the perfect nursery color: soft and subtle

You may have noticed we've been quiet over here for the past few days.  We are so blessed to have welcomed the newest member of the family to the world over the weekend - my new niece and Lisa's new granddaughter.   After much anticipation she came quickly and was immediately loved.  We spent some time with her, her big sister and their mom and dad.  While we are home now and back to work, we are still sending them our love.

Welcome little one!  Being a little sister, I know how awesome it is to have a big sister.  These two are so lucky to have each other!  


So today, I have babies on the brain.  As you know, Quiet Home Paints originated with just our nursery collection of colors, Quiet Nursery.  The colors range from subtle and soft to sweet and serene to bold and bright - all being crisp, unmuddied colors that work perfectly in the nursery (although don't limit yourself to using them just there!).  This collection of colors was so fun to create! So for a few days I want to share some photos of great nurseries using colors from or similar to our nursery collection to inspire you to do the same!  

Lets start with subtle and soft.  You can achieve a subtle, soft nursery with the use of our Sleep Palette

clockwise from top left:  melt, breathe, wisp, puff, mist, touch... 

These are some of my favorite choices when painting a nursery.  The lightness of the colors opens up the space and works as a great backdrop for whatever accents you wish to add.  Just see for yourself!



This dreamy, soft yellow space feels open and airy. The use of a soft yellow (like our melt) with whites and naturals creates a warm, subtle space perfect for singing lullabys.  (photo credit: On to Baby)




This is our color breathe: a soft, dreamy blue as seen here in little Arlo's room (from DearBabyBlog).  The colors is the perfect blue if you are looking for just a little color.  Here it's been played up with bolder accents like the warm rug and the turquoise dress and frame (that's our color splash by the way).  But it can just as easily be used with softer accents to create a different look.  This is one of our favorites for a little boy's room, because its blue (a classic choice) without being over the top). 




And next is our pale, pale purple: Wisp

It, too, is soft and subtle, but gives a room just the right touch of lavender when on the walls.  We love it best with bright white.   This is a detail shot from Everly's room (DearBabyBlog)





Onto one of my favorite colors (from both collections!) - Puff.  Puff is a soft neutral. It reads warm and crisp at the same time.  It is anything but taupe.  Paired with creamy whites and fun textures, puff is the perfect choice for a sophisticated nursery.  Try our color puff to get a similar look!  (I had some trouble tracking a source for this - the closest I can get is this pin.  If you know the origin, let me know!)




Gray is the new neutral these days, it seems everyone is in love with this color and we are no exception.  Mist is our most delicate of gray and when paired with bright white will give you a room that feels light, breathy, and beautiful.  (Photo from decor8blog)




And finally:

The perfect pale pink.  This photo is from On to Baby, but you can get this look with our color, touch.  It's another of my favorites and if I have a little girl someday this will absolutely be the color I use.  It is pink without being PINK if you know what I mean. I love it paired with warm whites and naturals.  Having a little lady?  Definitely check out this color. 



And there you have it.  The sleep palette in a nutshell.  



Tomorrow we will take a closer look at the Wake Palette - beautiful colors with a little more saturation for happy, beautiful nursery!  Until then! 


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Circle Furniture Event Recap.

Good Morning All!  Last night Lisa and I attended an event at Circle Furniture in Framingham.  If you haven't been into a Circle Furniture and live in the area (they have six stores in Massachusetts) I highly recommend getting off your computer and heading in now!  They sell beautiful furniture and walking into their stores always leaves me wanting to redecorate.  I especially love the colors they use, being a color lover myself.  

Anyway, Circle Furniture hosted an event called A Touch of Hue and invited us to speak at the event.  Tiffani from Style by Tiffani also came in to speak and shared some great tips on how to style your home with objects you may already have laying around.  It was a really fun night!  

Lisa spoke about color.  Surprise!  It's always fun to see her in action, but if you weren't able to make the event, don't worry!  I recorded it to share with you all today.  She talks about how colors work together and how you can use color (specifically paint) to make the eye see the things in your home you want to highlight (great architecture, fabulous pillows, etc) and hide the things you don't want to see (awkward architecture, low ceilings, etc).  

Here's a little video of her talk (I promise someday I will remember to hold my iphone horizontally when shooting..,  next time!) 

We also put together these images that we passed around on the ipad to really show the power of color.  

1.  This is just one of the many beautiful displays in Circle Furniture - I just LOVE that green couch and am considering how I can make it work in my home: 

2.  Same couch with a neutral wall behind it (our color Puff):

3.  And with a soft blue (our pout):

4.  And my personal favorite - a bold blue (ballgown):

We did the same for one of their other bright and fabulous set ups:

Love these colors together! 

2.  Now see what happens with a neutral background (puff):

3. Or what does a bold yellow do to the space? (our buzz)

4. Or bright orange?  Our color jump changed the space completely: 

5 And finally Peony:

Pretty fascinating, right?  

Anyway, it was fun for me to watch Lisa in action.  It reminded me (not that I ever forget it!) how talented she is and how lucky I am to work with her.  Now...  your homework - what space in your room needs a change of paint color to make the other accessories sing?  We'd love to hear your thoughts! 

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a day in the life.

It's been a while.  But here I am back to the daily grind.  What does that entail you ask?  Well, how about a little glimpse into a typical day at Quiet Home Paints?  I get asked a lot about what my days look like.  As you know, I work the majority of my days from home which has both wonderful advantages (pajamas!) and distinct disadvantages (pajamas!).  Every day is different depending on what we have going on.  Sometimes I am up in Portsmouth meeting with Lisa and sometimes I am on the road visiting customers and retailers, but most days I am here and on those days my time looks a little like this:

6:00: Boy's alarm goes off, I rejoice that I still have the time it takes him to walk the dog, shower, and get ready to lay in bed under the covers.

7:00: If I'm not already up, now is the time I need to get out of bed and drive the boy to the train station.  I usually do this in my pajamas.  Sometimes barefoot.  On more than one occasion I've wondered what might happen if I broke down and had to face public society in what I am wearing.

7:30: Blog Posting and tea (or more frequently if I'm being honest, hot chocolate).

I also use this quiet morning time to plan out and schedule all social media posts for the day, read relevant (and sometimes not so relevant) articles and snuggle with the puppy.

9:00 - noon: Now it's time for me to get serious.  I spend the morning preparing sample orders, processing paint orders and answering emails.  

Prepping and sending samples takes longer than you'd think.  I often come up with brilliant ideas on how to make this process more efficient, but at the end of the day there isn't much you can do about stuffing envelopes.  It is what it is.  Ours are very pretty if I do say so myself. 

noon - 1:00:  Walk the puppy and eat lunch

I love this part of the day for two reasons. 1. I love the puppy.  2. I love eating.  Lunches range from leftovers to pb&j sandwiches but most often consist of soup and good bread. 

1:00 - 5:00:  Paint something or many things

I will often need to re-stock a few colors for samples.  After that I have a long list of projects at any given time that need painting, mostly for blog posts. Today the list consists of things like: bedroom ceiling, bathroom ceiling, legs of kitchen chair, nightstands, and it goes on and on.  In the past it has consisted of things like chairs:





and even knife blocks:

Nothing is off limits in my home/office.

5:00 - 5:50: After washing my brushes and cleaning up I spend some time catching up on afternoon emails and prepping for the next day before heading out to pick up the boy.  Somewhere in there I find time to shower and put on real clothes...  I promise. 

and there you have it...  my day in a nutshell.  And now I better go get to it.  

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Over the weekend Andi and the boy got married! 

I guess he graduates to the hubby now! 

(regular blog posting returns Thursday!) 

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Two for one: Teeny Tuesday and Painting 101: Horizontal Stripes

I've been promising you a post about my bathroom makeover for a long time.  I've also been promising you a post about how to paint stripes for a long time so I've decided to combine them!  Today I'll show you in full detail how I updated my teeny tiny bathroom to make it look slightly larger while also detailing how to paint stripes on the wall for you.  I made a video...  as you guys know, I am not a skilled video editor so it is what it is.  But I hope it is helpful to you...  I've also detailed the steps below in text form.  

Step 1:  Pick your paint colors. 

My bathroom was taupe and I wanted it to be white with teal stripes so I chose Whisper and Torn Skirt. 

Step 2: Paint the base color

Since I wanted three of the four walls to be whisper and the forth wall to be a combination of whisper and tornskirt I painted the whole bathroom in Whisper.  Cut the edges first, then roll the rest and let dry completely before moving on. 

Step 3: Measure your stripes

If you doing horizontal stripes, like I did, measure the height of your wall (not including the baseboard).  Then do some quick math to figure out how wide to make your stripes.  My wall is 76 inches.  I knew I wanted my stripes to be around 10 inches wide, but obviously 10 doesn't got into 76 evenly and I wanted each stripe to be the same size.  So I figured out that if I made my stripes 9.5 inches I could make exactly 8 of them to fill the space completely.  (76=9.5 x 8) 

Using a ruler and a pencil, start at the ceiling and mark 9.5 inches down from the ceiling line in various spots across the wall.  Then move down and mark 9.5 inches from the last mark all the way down the wall. 

Step 4: Tape your stripes

Using your pencil marks as a guide tape out the edges.  Keep in mind that the stripes you are painting need to have the whole 9.5 inches exposed, so tape on the outside edge of the pencil lines. (The stripes that are staying white will look more narrow but that is just because the tape is covering part of the space - does that make sense?)

Step 5: Paint

Run your fingers along the edge of the tape to make sure it is adhered to the wall without any gaps.  Then paint! I use a brush to do the edges and ceiling line and then roll the rest. 

Step 6: Pull off the tape

Many will say wait until the paint is completely dry, and this is probably smart, but I never do.  I am not that patient.  Simply pull the tape off angling it toward the color you just painted as you pull and voila!  Stripes! 

Step 7: Enjoy! 

I chose to do the stripes horizontally like this to really help extend that wall and make the space feel bigger.   What do you think?

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Two. Then Five.

Guess who turns two today!!! 

That's right.  Rigby!  My painting partner, work from home companion, protector when the boy is travelling, adorable, furry, love muffin. 

This morning I took her swimming - her all time favorite activity - before work to celebrate.  It is always so nice being on the water before all the activity begins.  It's so quiet and peaceful. 



Here you can see her internal struggle between staying put like I asked and grabbing her toy and running. 


While we are not having a birthday party for Rigby (I mean I've see it done, but she is a dog afterall) her birthday did get me thinking about parties and more specifically... ways to incorporate paint into milestone accomplishments.  


So without further adieu, 5 ways to celebrate a birthday with paint! 


1.  Surprise your little one with a room makeover while they are out at school or summer camp. 

My mom did this for me once.  I came home after a stay at my dad's to a new comforter and a hand painted mural of a tree.  Honestly, it was the best! 

Imagine your little (not so little) girl coming home from school to find this instead of her once white room?  How fun!  (photo from The Curby House)


Even a small change like the addition of a few stripes and a pop of color can make a big difference.  (Photo from paintplace)


Trust me, your little ones will thank you! 



2.  Create a birthday day chair for the birthday boy or girl.

Let's face it...  birthdays are pretty awesome.  Especially when you are little.  We love the idea of making a bright, fabulous birthday chair with a little paint. 

A little girl might look forward to sitting in her birthday chair all year if it looked like this! (photo from firstcomeslove)



This yellow painted high chair from Young House Love is perfect for a celebration! 



3.  DIY a gift with paint. 

This is one of our favorites... not only are being good to earth by upcycling something rather than buying something new, but the recipient will cherish a gift that you put your time and hard work into...  

Take an old changing table, add a coat of paint, some new handles, hand made drapes and voila... a play kitchen.  That chalkboard paint is perfect, too (ahem, all our colors come in chalkboard - just a reminder).   (photo credit)


Don't limit yourself...  you can upcycle just about anything.  Have a little musician?  Re-paint an antique child's piano like this one I did for my niece.  Chairs, frames, mirrors, shelves, rocking chairs and rocking horses... anything can look new and exciting with a coat of paint. 



4. Give them a space for creating. 

Paint a wall with chalkboard paint and write a birthday message.  Slap on a bow and you have the gift that keeps on giving.  Again, all of our colors come in chalkboard finish, so you don't need to limit yourself to black. (photo credit)


Not feeling a whole wall?  Try the top of a table or just an area of a wall to still give those kiddos plenty of room to create. 


(from chase the star)





(photo credit)


5. Create an oasis.

Who says paint can only be used for someone else's birthday.  If yours is coming up, pick a soothing color (we suggest sea glass or shutter) and create a space just for you.  





What do you think?  Will you use paint in your next birthday celebration?? 

Have a happy Tuesday!


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