Stories from the Nursery

Ask us anything: Painting a dresser

Dear QHP, 


I am expecting a little one in May and working on the nursery.  I'd like to paint a hand-me-down dresser to bring new life to it.  I have seen a lot of posts on Pinterest for inspiration, but am wondering if your paints would work for this purpose and also if you have any tips about how to accomplish the job.  I've never done a DIY project like this before. 



-nurturing nester

First, let me start out by saying congratulations!  We wish you and your growing family much joy.  Now to answer your questions.  Yes, our paints can absolutely be used to re-finish your dresser.  In fact, they are a great choice especially because you want to do the painting yourself.  With many paints you would be encouraged to leave the house while any painting was being done or to wear a gas mask.  That is not the case with our paints - you can use them without any fear for your or your growing little one's health.  

Now for some tips:  

-Anytime you are painting furniture we recommend using our Satin finish.  It is incredibly durable and will be your best choice to prevent chipping down the road.  It has a slight sheen to it which looks really nice on furniture pieces.  All of our colors are available in this finish, so pick your favorite(s). 

-Don't forget to prep the piece!  This is the least fun part of the painting process, but the most important.  You need to prep the piece so the paint will adhere and you won't find yourself having to repaint over and over again.  Prepping steps depend on what kind of shape your piece is in.  If it is just wood, with no finish to it, you will want to sand and prime the piece.  If it is previously painted, you will want to sand the piece but might be able to get away without priming, again depending on the condition.  Once sanded, wipe off any dust with a cloth.  Allow any primer to dry overnight before painting. 

-Use the right tools!  When painting make sure you are using tools of good quality that are right for the job.  A nice angled brush is perfect for smaller pieces or details, while a good foam roller helps to create a smooth finish on bigger areas. Tape is always encouraged if you are using more than color to help get a straight line or for any detail work (like stripes or chevrons). 

-Be creative!  Don't be intimidated to add color or design elements.  It is only paint after all and easily changed if you aren't overjoyed at the result.  But in our experience the more creative you are willing to be, the more in love you will fall with the piece once it is done. 


Hope that helps!  Have so much fun giving your piece a facelift.  One of my favorite things about paint is how easily it can transform something into a one of a kind piece.  Send us photos! 


read more »

8 best paint colors to use in your kitchen

As promised, today we want to talk about our all time favorite colors to use in the kitchen.  The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home.  That has always been the case in my own home.  Growing up, we would all gather in the kitchen, doing homework, chatting about days and snacking while dinner was made.  Now that I have my own home, I find myself enjoying the time spent in the kitchen doing those same things (minus the homework!).  It's a room that gets a lot of use and deserves some attention.  



So let's get started... 


1.  Of course: Classic White:

It's clean, classic and beautiful.  Using a bright white, like our whisper, is a great choice if you like the idea of having a classic space.  It's not only beautiful, but provides a great backdrop for pops of color from flowers, pots, etc. We love how it is done here with light counter tops and and backsplash.  Try Whisper throughout to get this look. 


2.  A neutral that is anything but boring:

Still clean, still classic, but with just a hint of warmth - using a neutral like Puff makes incorporating warmer details like this wood counter top easy and beautiful.   


3. A muted green-gray:

Who says color is just for the walls?  We love a good painted cabinet and these, done in a muted green-gray like our color Truss, are perfect.  They are elegant and give the room a sense of color without feeling overpowering. 



4. Sunny Yellow:

When I was little I dreamed of having a yellow kitchen.  It's sunny, bright, and happy - perfect for a room in which so much time is spent.  Try our color, Buzz, for a bold yellow wall like this one or go for bee if you want a slightly more subtle effect.  Definitely pair yellow with a white cabinet as opposed to a natural wood so the warmth of the yellow pops rather than competing with the warmth of the wood. 



5. Softest of Grays:

A new classic: soft gray. It's subtle and oh so beautiful.  My new personal favorite.  Our color Mist is the perfect light gray - with just a hint of pigment it looks great next to a bright white like whisper. 



6. Bold Blue:

A rich navy done on the lower cabinets like this creates a beautiful, dynamic space.  Adding a bold color on the lower level adds drama to the space and makes it visually interesting.  If you like this look try using our color Bolt on your lower cabinets. 



7. Deep Gray:

A deep gray works well when combining white and wood accents together.  Our color Fedora is a great gray for this purpose.  Both bright whites and darker wood tones will tie together nicely when used with Fedora. 



8. A bold red:

Now we don't suggest painting your whole kitchen in this bright, bold hue (but who are we to judge?), but just a touch of this orangy-red can take your kitchen to the next level.  It adds vibrancy to an otherwise stark space.  Try our color Truck if you like this look.  We love it on bar stools like this! 



And there you have it, our eight favorite colors to use in the kitchen.  Will you be painting yours sometime soon?




1. here

2. bloglovin

3. metropolitanmusings 

4. Country Living

5. source unknown. 

6. BHG

7. from here

8. design indulgences

read more »

the nine best paint colors for your bathroom

So, you want to paint your bathroom?  Whether you are looking for a soothing oasis, a modern vibe or a pristine latrine we have the color for you.

As a paint company (non-toxic at that!), we see a lot of paint colors in a lot of combinations in a lot of spaces.  Some work better than others.  So we've rounded up our absolute favorite colors for all kinds of different spaces.  Today?  We are talking bathrooms. What makes a good color for a bathroom?  Well, it depends on what look you like, but one thing is important regardless:  it has to be flattering.  That's right.  It needs to be a color that will create a flattering type of light regardless of the time of day, light source used, etc.   And so, here are our all time favorite paint colors for a bathroom, beauty (and safety!) guaranteed:


1. Classic White:

It's a crowd pleaser. It speaks of cleanliness (a must in a bathroom).  It's bright and will always work regardless of the space.  Our bright white, Whisper, is the perfect white to create this type of bathroom look.  Crisp, clean and ready for any accessories you choose. 


2. Not so classic White:

Still white, still clean. But not so stark.  A warmer white will also create a beautiful bathroom, but lends itself well for more rustic spaces with warmer accents (like this wood floor).  Our warm white cuddle is a beautiful choice that will add just the right amount of lightness to your space. 


3. Light Gray 

One of my favorite choices is a light gray like our color Mist.  When used with white it still gives a bathroom that clean, crisp feeling, but feels updated and modern.  I love it with a splash of color in the towels.  Mist is the lightest of grays which provides a nice contrast to a bright white.  Try it with Whisper to create a bathroom like this. 


4. Black

Black is becoming more and more popular in all kinds of spaces, and why not the bathroom? It provides a great backdrop for color (like that beautiful painting with the pop of yellow), is modern and envelopes a room with deep color.  It creates a luxurious feeling for the room.  Our Vintage Tux is a black with just the right amount of fading.  It isn't true black so it won't feel like too much.  It's just almost, oh so close to black in the perfect way.  Again, using it with a bright white like whisper is a great way to add depth. 


5.  A light and soft yellow:

When using yellow make sure you use a warmer one without any green behind it (which can make the space feel sickly).  Our color Melt is a great yellow for a bathroom with the right amount of warmth and pigment.  It's soft and sweet and oh so flattering.  


6. Just the right blue-green:

If you are looking for a little more pigment pick a color that is soothing while being saturated like our color Torn Skirt.  It's perfect next to a crisp white and gives color without being harsh.  


7. A great neutral:

Oh neutrals, what a bad rap you've been given lately.  People tend to think of them as boring or bland, but when the right one is chosen they are anything but.  Our color Puff, one of our best sellers, is a lovely neutral.  It would be perfect in a bathroom going for a little color and warmth. 


8. True Gray: 

Talk about a popular color.  Grays are really in right now and there's no question as to why.  They are beautiful and rich and lovely.  They are timeless and not a color you will easily tire of.  Try our color Fedora if you think a bold gray like this is the right choice for you.  Be sure to add touches of crisp white to keep the space feeling fresh. 


9. Seaglass

And last but not least...  a light blue with just a touch of gray and green.  Our color Seaglass is by far our best selling color and perfect for many spaces, including a bathroom.  If you want to create a soothing oasis and don't want to use all white, this is the choice for you.  It's soft and subtle, but still classic.  


And there you have it.  Our nine favorite colors for the bathroom.  

Later this week we will share our favorite kitchen colors! 


image credits:

1. pinterest

2. remodelista

3. bhg

4. homewithbaxter

5. bhg

6. from browzer

7. coastal living via myhomeideas

8. bhg

9. source unknown, please let us know if you know! 





read more »

peaceful paint colors.

I haven't been sleeping since arriving in Berlin. I've traveled to Europe before and didn't feel even the slightest jet lag.  This time is completely different.  I don't know if it is because I'm older now and my body can't handle change the same way or whether it is because I am a more anxious person these days, but I lay awake all night thinking about work, how to say this or that in German, listening to the street sounds of which there are many and cursing my brain for not slowing down long enough to allow me to rest.  As soon as the sun comes up, my eyes get heavy and all I want to do is sleep. 


It sure is backwards.  I'm sure in a few days I'll be right as rain though, right?  About 4 am this morning, after tossing and turning and trying everything from counting sheep to singing myself lullabies I remembered this mantra Lisa and I learned in our first yoga class together.  Sa Re Sa Sa.  Lisa and I enrolled in a weekly yoga class while I was in highschool as a mother-daughter bonding thing.  It was fun, although we both thought all the chanting was a little silly.  But Sa Re Sa Sa has always stuck with me.

Anyway.  I remembered this mantra and at first just started repeating it to myself in my head over and over.  But I kept getting distracting and thinking about other things so I got up and downloaded a version of it on my ipad.  Thank goodness for technology.  On the third repetition of the 6 minute song I remember thinking, "this isn't working," but then I woke up a few hours later feeling blissfully thankful for some rest. 

Anyway, what does any of this have to do with color or paint or design?  Nothing, but I did feel inspired to surround myself with calming, restful places this morning, so today how about we look at some of the most peaceful paint colors around. 

I recommend playing Sa Re Sa Sa (video above) while viewing:

A pale lilac paired with warm whites makes a soothing oasis.  Try our colors wisp and cuddle together to get a similar look:



It's not just pale colors that feel relaxing.  Envelope yourself in a rich, warm taupe like our color sidewalk with touches of vintage tux for a soothing feel.  (photo credit)




Taupes and neutrals are great for creating calming spaces, but what about color?  I think this muted blue works beautifully with white. 

try cusp with whisper. 



What colors would you choose for a calming space? 

read more »

golden globe inspiration.

Did you watch the golden globes?  I missed them as it was my first night in Berlin (which I'll be sharing more about as the days roll on!), but I did read the re-caps, watch some highlights, and of course - take a look at the beautiful outfits on the red carpet.  So, as we like to do, today we are showing the some rooms that could have been inspired by my favorite outfits of the night. 


Well, let's start with my favorite famous person of the moment: Jennifer Lawrence. 

I love her fun personality and thought her dress was perfect.  Clean and glamorous with some fun frills in there.  This room is the same (sans frills) with clean lines, bold colors and fun accessories.  

(photo credits below)


Then there was Emilia Clarke:  

I loved her subtle polka dots and sightly peplumed dress.  Polka dots are a favorite of mine in the right kind of space on the walls, too.  


And then there were the gorgeous reds worn by Amy Adams and Julie Bowen:

This two tone red looks lovely on Amy... and reds are growing on me for interior spaces as well.  Especially when done well like in the space above.  It's rich and bold... if you are a red person, I highly recommend mixing a few different tones of the color to keep it from looking harsh. 



As a child my favorite outfit was red cords and a purple sweatshirt which my mother tells me was hideous.  I'm starting to doubt her though as this color combination is gorgeous on both Julie and in this beautiful dining room above.  What do you think of the combination?


Julie wasn't the only one combining interesting colors together though:

Sandra Bullock wore this black, blue and pink gown which caught my eye.  I'm still not sure if I love it or hate it, but I can't stop looking at it.  I thought, for sure, there was no way I'd find a room that employed the same color combination, but I was wrong.  And I have to say - it works for me.  Thoughts?


And then there was the beautiful Helen Mirren...

who looked so elegant in this greenish teal gown.  I know the interior I paired it with has seen better days, but there is something so gorgeous about the aged look of these teal walls.  


And finally: 

Kaley Couco wore this water color inspired gown and i LOVE walls that do the same.  It's not the easiest treatment to recreate on your own walls, but there are some wall papers now that have watercolor vibes to them if you aren't in an experimenting mood. 


There you have it.  Enjoy! 



All best dressed photos from here.

Rooms photos as follows:

1. riches for rags

2. posh home

3. house of sienna mac

4. xo imagine

5. fabulous recession

6. abandoned

7. nordiskgammelt



read more »

Auf Wiedersehen

When I googled "german interior design" I was presented with images like these:

Very modern, very grand, with not a lot of color.  Beautiful, yes - but I knew there was more to it. So I did some research on Berlin interiors specifically and found the trend to remain true.  A lot of modern spaces, some with color but used sparingly, and really clean lines.  

Photo credit


photo credit



photo credit



Dreamy, expansive, stark spaces.  

And then, I found this:

the apartment of Berlin designer, Peter Fehrentz






Isn't it lovely?  The perfect mix of styles and even some beautiful color.  I could get used to this! 


Is this what Berlin interiors look like?  I'll be sure to let you know because... surprise!  I am leaving for Berlin for the next seven weeks (I leave Saturday!).  I didn't know exactly how to announce to Quiet Home Paints' lovely followers that I was leaving but I figured, what better way than through the design and color of the place to which I'm jetting.  

photo credit


I haven't started packing yet (yikes!), but I have been practicing my german.  So far I can only say things like sorry (which I'm sure I will be using a lot), thank you, and she drinks milk...  not sure how helpful that phrase will be. But don't worry...  In between apologizing and buying milk, I'll still be hard at work for Quiet Home Paints introducing it to a European market, maintaining current marketing and ad campaigns in the US and managing the business end.  The only thing I won't be doing is painting.  Although with all these white walls, maybe I could sneak a few gallons in my checked bag! 


Anyway, I wanted to share the news with you.  I'll be posting regularly from Berlin, our home base for the next few weeks.  So get ready to see QHP in all sorts of new places...  


Auf Wiedersehen  

(I've watched many an episode of Project Runway, so this one - I've got down. Thanks Heidi Klum!)


read more »

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!


read more »

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! 



read more »

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!  


read more »

the best sick day spots.

For the past few years I've been secretly gloating about the fact that I never get sick.  Sure, I have gotten the occasional mild sniffles or a tickle in my throat, but for many years now it has never progressed past that.  I haven't had a full on, can't breathe, can't sleep, can't think head cold in at least the last three winters. Until now.  

(from here)

I have been fighting it off for about a week now.  The tickle in my throat started before leaving for San Diego last Thursday.  By Sunday, the tickle was full on pain.  By the time I got off the plane Sunday night I had a cough to go with it.  But Monday through last night, I seemed to be fending it off pretty well.  And then I woke up this morning.  All those winters of not being sick?  I miss them.  You know, recently I made a change in my diet.  I am trying to be healthier.  I stopped drinking diet coke, exchanged cool ranch doritos and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for veggie and hummus wraps, and I cut down on meat.  If this is how I am rewarded, I am definitely going back to cool ranch doritos.   


Anyway, all this complaining has a point.  And that is: I need a nap.  No, just kidding.  It is - being sick is made just a little, itsy bit better when you are surrounded by clean, beautiful spaces. 

(from the preppyyogini)

And I am not just talking clean in the no dirt, no clutter sense of the word.  When the boy and I moved to our home, I re-painted ALL the walls with Quiet Home Paints.  I have walls in shutter, walls in spool, walls in torn skirt, truss, catnap, hyacinth, and even vintage tux.  So I know, while being sick is a pain, my home isn't making it worse with poor indoor air quality. No VOCs in my air! (at least from paint... don't get me started on textiles, furniture, etc).

Even though I'm wheezing, I know the air is clean.  And it's beautiful to boot!  Maybe I should show you another tour of my house.  Not now, because it is covered in tissues.  In the meantime, here are some spaces I think would be the perfect stay at home sick spots: 

A day bed, beautiful stripes, natural light - this spot is the perfect spot to take a rest (from Elle Decor).




High ceilings, warm whites, a chaise and some blankets.  I could cuddle up here for days.  (from here)




Your own little, colorful hideaway complete with some drapes to shut out the world. Nap city.  (from here)




Can this be my bedroom?  The wall color, the drapes, the painting - serene as can be.  I was to curl up in that bed with a hot water bottle and a book.  Or maybe just the hot water bottle.  (from lonny) 




And finally, a nook made for sick days.  I love the big window and pale green color. 


Happy Thursday to you!  Find your favorite colors to create a clean, healthy home here! 

read more »