Favorite Black Paint Colors

Black has always been an essential decorating color and anyone that has worked with me knows that one of my design mottos is “every room needs a touch of black.”  Over the years, black has gone from being used as just an accent color to being the dominant color for many rooms.  I know that black walls or even black furniture aren’t for everyone but if you have a space that needs dramatic backdrop or a ceiling that you want to fade away, black just might be the color you need.


 Black furniture has become a standard design statement and a coat or two of black paint is a great way to transform a vintage piece.  In most cases, furniture painted black calls for a finish with a bit of shine so go with a gloss, semi-gloss or satin finish.  {color: BM Black Satin}

Benjamin Moore--Black Satin Black Paint Colors

Kiki’s List

Black stair banisters with white spindles is one of my favorite design details.  If you’re looking for a quick and fairly easy update for your stairs, black paint is definitely something to consider and I recommend a semi-gloss or satin finish to make the details of the wood/design pop.  One of my favorite black paint colors for banisters is Sherwin Williams Black Magic.

Black Stair Banister--Black Paint Colors

House Beautiful

Black require the right setting to be most effective including sufficient natural light.  The black walls in this foyer space give the area a dramatic and elegant look without it feeling like a cave. {color: SW Tricon Black}

Sherwin William Tricon Black--Black Paint Colors

via Sherwin Williams

I think bathrooms are an ideal space for black paint.  Surrounded by white surfaces and brass hardware, the black wall in this bathroom just fades away and allows the decorative elements to stand out. And since black and white tile is a hot trend these days, black walls are an easy compliment. {color:  BM Soot}

Benjamin Moore Soot--Black Paint Colors

Studio McGee  

Black doors, both interior and exterior have almost become the norm for many homes.  Black interior doors can make a hallway stand out and black exterior doors have a sophisticated feel and really pump up the curb appeal of a home. {color: BM Space Black}

Black Interior Doors--Black Paint Colors

Country Living

Space Black--Benjamin Moore--Black Paint Colors

Favorite Paint Colors  

Kristen from The Hunted Interior painted her living room ceiling black and boy is it stunning especially with all of the vibrant colors and metallic finishes that accessorize the room.

Hunted Interior--Black Paint Colors

Hunted Interior


Picking the right shade of black paint can be just as challenging as picking the right white paint color.  Shades of black range from true, rich pigmented blacks to others that have a grey or even blue undertone.  As I do with any color of paint, I recommend you buy a few sample jars and try the colors on your wall to find the one that works best with your room and decor.    As a designer, I’ve tried my fair share of black paint colors and have narrowed down my top picks and my favorites to just a handful which might help you in your paint search.

Favorite Black Paint Colors

If you have white trim in your home and are looking to paint your walls black, a crisp white will work best. You can read about my favorite white paint colors by clicking the image below.

Favorite White Paint Colors.002

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Colored Pencils


Ok, its confession time.  How many of you have coloring books?

I jumped on the coloring book craze when it first starting gaining popularity.  As a creative, I’ve loved coloring my entire life and the idea of a coloring book for adults was so up my alley that I couldn’t resist.  My first coloring book was this one filled with Beautiful Patterns just like the title says.  I was drawn to the abstract and intricate designs which are perfect for someone like me that is a ‘coloring inside the lines’ kind of gal.

Beautiful Patterns--Coloring Books

Since my first coloring book I’ve been gifted several others by family and friends and now switch back and forth between books so none of them gets neglected.

Recently I read that several of my favorite bloggers (and authors) are jumping on the coloring book wagon and developing home decor themed books.  I can’t wait!

  John and Sherry from Young House Love have their coloring book, Color At Home coming out in October and from the looks of the cover image, it is going to be a good one.  The cover image resembles many of the beautiful rooms you see on Pinterest.

Color At Home--Cover Coloring Books

And Melissa, the blogger and author behind The Inspired Room blog has a coloring book coming out in July, aptly named The Inspired Room Coloring Book.

The Inspired Room--Coloring Books

Melissa shared a few pages from her book on her blog and it is also looks like it’s going to be a fun book.  I love that there will be room environments along with individual home decor items to color. I see a whole lot of #chinosierie inspiration in my future.

The Inspired Room Coloring Books

The Inspired Room Coloring Books

I don’t know who or why the adult coloring book trend started but I think it’s only going to get bigger and home decor coloring books take it to a new level.   Being able to color design a room in any color combination you want can provide great visual inspiration for someone decorating a room in their home.

For those of you that can’t wait until the Color At Home and The Inspired Room Coloring Book come out, here are a couple other home decor related coloring books I found.

Color Me Cluttered–The title and cover image of this coloring book might scare off a lot of people but I’m really intrigued by the artwork and potential transformation that can happen after a few hours of coloring. And the minute I saw the image of the gift wrap, I was hooked.

Color Me Cluttering Coloring Books

Color Me Cluttered Gift Wrap Page--Coloring Books

Color Me Cluttered--Coloring Books

Color Me Clutterd Room--Coloring Books

Off the Bookshelf–This coloring book contains a range of images, many of bookshelves and home decor scenes and others more random.  This book was also designed using a slightly heavier paper weight so you don’t have any color bleeding if you use markers to color your images. And I like that each page is perforated making it easy to tear out the pages and frame as artwork.

Off The Bookshelf--Cover Coloring Books

Off The Bookshelf Coloring Books

Now that I’ve got you itching to purchase a few coloring books, you’ll also need to buy some great pens or markers.  I switch between using pencils and markers when I color.  If I want more intense color on the image I go with markers and if I’m looking for a softer effect, I tend to choose colored pencils.  Here are several brands that love and in most cases own myself so I can highly recommend these from personal experience.

Coloring Book Tools--Coloring Books

No. 1  Prismacolor is definitely my favorite brand for markers and I also love their colored pencils.  They sell a variety of styles at price points from affordable to expensive.   The Premier 24 pk. Colored Pencil Set is a great value, includes enough colors so that you have lots of options to work with and the pencils are ideal for blending colors.  There are larger sets available too.

No. 2  Tomboy Dual Brush Pen Art Markers are great because of the dual brush heads and because the pens are odorless, bendable and non-bleeding. 

No. 3 I’ve owned a set of Uchida Le Plume II Double Ended Markers for many years and they still work like a charm.  They’ve traveled with us when we moved for Seattle to Atlanta and I’ve only had a few dry up. The extra-fine tip is great for intricate designs and the pens are easy to handle and won’t cramp your hand.

No. 4  For those of you that might want to take your coloring on the road or in the air, here’s a great set of 48 Marco Affine Artist Quality Pencils that include the roll-up case.  While I don’t own this exact set, I am considering purchasing a case to hold my pencils.  I like this case but if you’re looking for a great deal, you’ll want to scoop this case up. 

No. 5  The 72-piece Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Marker set is for the serious color artist and crafter because these markers are an investment.  This is another set that I’ve owned for years and just love.  These markers provide a very saturated color and work great for blending.  I also love them because once applied, the color is consistent with no blending or start/stop lines.

Coloring books for adults is a pretty cool thing in my book.  I’m a big fan and encourage you to give it a try is you haven’t already.

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Favorites Of The Week

Yay for Friday!  It’s been a busy week and I’m excited that the weekend is here because I get to spend time working on a few fun things like planning for my nephews college graduation next week, finalizing the details of our anniversary trip (so excited) and working on a stencil project.

Lots to do but all things that put a smile on my face.  Enjoy my favorite posts, pins and products of the week and have a super weekend. I’ll see you back here Monday.



This flower arrangement is just stunning and Anatashia walks you through the easy steps to create your own.

Garden Wisteria and Iris Arrangement

Flower Arrangement

I loved seeing the reveal of this truly stunning bathroom by Maggie Holmes. And I would kill to own that vintage gorgeous glass and brass vanity mirror!

Maggie Holmes--Bathroom

Maggie Holmes--Bathroom2



One of my favorite vignette combinations….malachite + black + gold and stripes.  And check out that simple nailhead detail around the door.

Design Chic Vignette

Design Chic


Do you get Style at Home magazine?  It’s Canada’s leading home decor and interiors magazine and one of my favorite publications.  The spaces they showcase in the magazine as beautiful and inspiring.  You can follow their Pinterest board here.

Style at Home-1

Style at Home

Style At Home-2

Style at Home



I love that block heels are a hot fashion trend right now and I can’t resist tassels so I had to buy these adorable sandals.

Steve Madden Darcie Sandle

I recently discovered this great Etsy shop, OneDayLongAgo which sells beautiful Turkish gift wrap and other unique paper products.  Many of the design have a chinoiserie vibe and most of the sheets are under $3.00. The shop is currently running a 15% off sale for purchase over $35 (good thru June 30th)!

Chinoiserie Gift Wrap--OneDayLongAgo.001

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DIY Chinoiserie Playing Cards

You all know I’m having a love affair with all things blue and white chinoiserie.  A couple of months ago I picked up a pack of blue and white scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and have had so much fun crafting and creating with all the beautiful designs.

Cottage Rose

I’m also kind of addicted to custom monogram stickers from Zazzle.  I’ve ordered several sets and I’m using them on everything from stationery to tabletop decor.  This green and white design with navy monogram is my most recent purchase.

DIY Monogrammed Chinoiserie Playing Cards

And my latest craft  project was to transform one of the many basic decks of cards I own into something a little more stylish.

What started as this….

Deck of Playing Cards

Got UpStyled into these…

DIY Monogrammed Chinoiserie Playing Cards

DIY Monogrammed Chinoiserie Playing Cards

DIY Monogrammed Chinoiserie Playing Cards

It was really simple to make these cards and it only took a couple of supplies.

How to:

Step 1:  Coat the back side of a piece of 12″ x 12″ decorative paper with Mod Podge.  It will take several sheets to cover all the cards in the deck.  You’ll notice that I used several different paper patterns to make my set.

Step 2:  While wet, place the playing cards onto the Mod Podge surface with the number side facing up.

Step 3:  Let the adhesive dry and then cut out each card.

Step 4:  Flip the cards over to the decorative side and adhere monogram sticker in the center.

This is a fun project that would make a great gift so give it a try.

DIY Monogrammed Chinoiserie Playing Cards

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Living Room Rug Guide.002

Hi friends.  The focus of this Design Chat post is area rugs.  Quite often I get questions from readers who are challenged with what size area rug to get for their living/family room.

The most recent question came from Rocio who was having a hard time with a rug for her family room.  Here’s the question Rocio posed to me…

“Hi Shelly, I have a sectional it measure 9 feet by 7 feet for the chaise part of sofa. I have no clue on what size area rug I need to buy. I do have a rectangular coffee table/ottoman in front and just order 2 Moroccan poufs. Do I need to place the poufs on the rug? Please help!!!!  Thank you so much! Rocio”



Many times the shape and size of a room will dictate the size of rug the room needs.  Other times the size and scale of furniture will influence which rug is best for the space.  Selection the right size rug boils down to a few simple things:

  1.  The rug (size, placement and color) should like its part of the overall design plan of the room.  The rug will serve as one of the key focal points within a room.
  2. The rug should anchor the seating area and help create a sense of coziness.
  3. 3.  The rug should not overpower a room or the furniture that surround it but should enhance the space.


Here’s a visual graphic I created that with tips on selecting the right size rug.

Living Room Furniture Guide.001.jpeg.001.jpeg.001


After providing a few tips and suggestions to Rocio, she purchased a rug and sent me a photo of the design and color she selected.  Given the small footprint of the room, this rug size works well to anchor the sectional and not impede into the dining area to the left or the area to the right.  And since design is all about the details,  here are some additional suggestions I have for Rocio to really pull this space together:


♦  Add a couple of pillows to the sofa at will bring in more color and pattern work.

♦  Replace the grey throw with a lighter color to highlight the lighter color in the rug.

♦  Add a side table on the short end of the sectional. A table with a metallic finish would relate to the material on the metallic poufs.

♦  Hang curtain panels on the window to anchor the eating area and add additional softness to the room.

And I quickly pulled together an inspiration board to illustrate the ideas.

Living Room Furniture Guide.003


Blue Ikat Pillow / Gold Metallic Leopard Pillow / Navy Velvet Pillow / Gold End Table / Woven Throw / Navy Curtain Panels 
Gold Metallic Pouf / Navy Velvet Ottoman


Until next time…

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Decorative Light Switch Covers-2.002

The littlest design detail can make or break the overall look of a space, even something as simple and unassuming as switch plate covers.

The perfect solution for walls where you want the gorgeous wallpaper or beautiful paint color to be the star, is to replace those plastic plates with something stylish and chic like acrylic or brass.

I rounded up a few visuals for you and have pulled together a resource list to make shopping easy. When it comes to decorating, this is definitely a project anyone can pull off.

Invisible Switch Plate Cover--CocoCozy


Clear Switch Plate Cover--Hunted Interiors

the hunted interior



Decorative Light Switch Covers.001


Forbes & Lomax is a London-based business that has been in operation for over 25 years.  They recently expanded their business and are now selling their Invisible Lightswitch brand in the US and Canada.  Their plate covers are super chic and I love the unique toggle and push button designs they have.  You can order a free catalog on their website.

Reprotique is a wonderful online shop I recently came across with the most beautiful Asian and Pagoda styled acrylic and brass switch plate covers.  Their covers are not inexpensive but boy are they a statement piece.  While you’re on their site, be sure to check out their acrylic light sconces…to die for.

Unlacquered Brass Rotary Dimmer

Other resources for acrylic, glass or decorative switch plate covers:

SwitchHits–a full range of glass plate styles to fit all light options along with themes and decorative plate covers including leather.

WallPlateWarehouse–This resource not only carries a full range of acrylic switch plate covers but they also have covers in black, brass, bronze, chrome, copper, stone and wood.

House of Antique Hardware-This online store sells switch plate covers in different antique design styles like mid-century, industrial, art deco and victorian.

HomeDepot is always a great source when you want to get the look for less.


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It’s been quite a while since I’ve visited the Scott Antique Market and even longer since I’ve done a post about the market.

Last Thursday I woke up and decided to make the trek down to Scott’s to check out the show and see if I cold snag any great pieces.  The Scott Antique Market is definitely one of my favorite antique shows and every time I go I’m wowed by all the vintage, antique and sometimes new pieces that the dealers have.  This market I spotted lots of great pieces…

There were a lot of really great oversized mirrors.  I can envision this beauty in a foyer or positioned at the top of a stair landing.


One of the great things about the Scott Antique Market is the number of custom furniture dealers that attend.  If you have a challenging area or simply desire a custom piece, you can find many options at this market.

I loved this upholstered banquet which if just made for a breakfast or dining area.


The turned wood arm-chair with grey linen fabric.  Perfect for a beach house.


My friend Julie whose an upholsterer and owns The Upholstery Fashionista is known for her faux animal skin upholstered pieces.  She sells pieces in this fabric every month and these chairs were her newest pieces. She’s also known for the details she puts in every piece like the burlap back and sides of these chairs.



Cut stools in a fun fabric.


I spotted a lot of great farm tables this show.


A pretty bench cushion sofa with great lines and a tufted back.


I adored this bench and the fabric it was in.



The table would make a great kitchen island.


Lots of classic vintage furniture with beautiful hardware and details.



Check out the carved wood detail on this piece.



A beautiful buffet with gorgeous carved doors.



There is always lots of blue and white chinoiserie pottery.  This bowl was oversized and I loved the octagon shape.


These foo dogs were super-size.


Lots of blue and white ginger jars and vases.


This dealer has the most gorgeous preserved flowers and arrangements and his booth is always packed.


I’m on the hunt for vintage Japanese calligraphy brushes but these were incredibly expensive so I passed.


One of my favorite dealers always have unique bottles and jars.  Most of these were $35 or less.


If you love industrial pieces you’ll find lots to choose from at Scott.


May of the outdoor dealers sell vintage olive buckets which can be used for plants, magazines or just about anything.n


There is always an abundance of wood crates..some old and some reproduction.


One of the permanent outdoor dealers always have a good collection of brass door hardware.


I’d love to create a wall display with a grouping of these brass numbers.


I’ve mentioned before that the market is made up of two buildings so there are hundreds of dealers to shop from and you never know what you’ll find.  There are a couple of dealers that I always shop with and here are a few of the pieces I scored this market.

I wasn’t really looking for anything for me this show but was focused on finding a few items for my Etsy shop.  But I did find a few things I’m going to keep.

I sell a lot of these silver-plated toast rack so I buy them whenever I come across a great deal.  I also bought this brass shell dish which need some major polishing and this pewter pineapple dish.  All of these items will be going in my shop.


Vintage globes are hard to come across at a good price so I was happy to find this one for less than $10.


I bought this pair of brass candle holders for $6.00. Score!


And lucked upon this brass book stand.  I’ve sold 3 or 4 of the in my shop before.


I scored this beautiful oversized blue and white vase for $10–another great find.


And I’m always on the hunt for Christmas items for the shop.  These napkins were just .50 cents each.


And my favorite finds of the show were these acrylic drawer pulls for just $2.00 each!  These babies and big and chunky and I’m keeping these.


And these Staffordshire Dogs which I scored for $20.


I must say, I had a pretty good haul this show.


If you’ve never been to Scott Antique Market before but are planning a visit, here are few shopping tips:

Tips for Scott Antique Market:

* The market opens at 10:30 on the second Thursday of each month (but get there about 20 minutes early as they tend to let cars in early)

* There is a shuttle bus (Fri, Sat, Sun) that will shuttle you between the two buildings (runs about every 15 minutes)

* There are food vendors on site and some of them look really good.

* If you want a great deal, shop the outdoor vendors. Many of them shut-down when the weather is not but those that stay open are willing to negotiate.

* Bring cash–a lot of vendors take checks but you’ll get a better deal if you’re negotiating with cash–{cash machines on site}

* Saturday night of the market there is an auction that takes place where great deals can be had. More details here.

* Bring your own tote bags or rolling bags. Most vendors have hand-me-down plastic grocery bags for you to put your treasures in.

* Plan on spending a full day at the show to see both buildings and the outdoor spaces.

Hope you enjoyed this overview of Scott Antique Market and hope to see you at the show next month.

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One Room Challenge

Have you heard of the One Room Challenge?  Better yet, have you been following the design series?  If not, you’ve been missing out on some incredible room transformations and amazing design inspiration.

The One Room Challenge was is a bi-annual blog series started by Linda from Calling It Home and it is now in its 10th season.  What started as a design makeover blog hop  has turned into one of the hottest design transformation series in bogland. The ORC has become so hot that the series recently attracted sponsors like House Beautiful, Decorator’s Best, Joss and Main, Lamps Plus, Farrow & Ball and Lowes.

Each round of the ORC features 20 bloggers/designers who makeover a space in a 6 week period.  The participants select their space, develop a plan and execute the dramatic transformation while sharing the entire design/decorating process weekly on their blogs.  To date there have been over 1000 room makeovers by featured and guest participants.

With each ORC I’m always excited to see that beautiful rooms created by the participants.

The latest round of the One Room Challenge just ended and I must say it includes some of my favorite spaces to date so I thought it would be fun to share a few favorites with you today.   Check it out and be inspired!

p.s.  you can see all of the room from the featured bloggers here  and the guest participants here.


One Room Challenge Featured Bloggers

My Favorites:

One Room Challenge--April 2016.001

Claire Brody Designs:  My favorite details are the furnishings, the fireplace and the beauty of those white walls.

One Room Challenge--April 2016.002

Design Manifest:  This kitchen space went from ho-hum to incredibly chic.  I love the bar stools, the lighting and the cabinet door detail.


One Room Challenge--April 2016.003

The Makerista:  The wood paneling and trim detail on the walls in this man cave is amazing.  And I love the subtle color palette.


One Room Challenge--April 2016.004

My Sweet Savannah:  Now this is the way to update a dated bathroom.  My favorite details are the glass front cabinets, the vanity mirror, the chandelier, the cabinet pulls, the roman shades….ok, I love it all. 


One Room Challenge--April 2016.005

Jill Sorensen:  Jill had me at the black, yellow and pop of color so used for the master bedroom.  I especially love the gorgeous headboard, the window treatments and the stools in front of the sofa.  


One Room Challenge Guest Participant

My Favorites:

One Room Challenge--April 2016.006

Dimples and Tangles:  Jennifer knocked it out of the park with the painted buffalo check wall in her powder room.  And you definitely want to check out the wall moulding, the pink door and the acrylic hardware.


One Room Challenge--April 2016.007

Always Rad:  I’m so glad I discovered this blog through the ORC.  This kitchen transformation is truly gorgeous and  I want that banquet eating area and  those lighter over the island.


One Room Challenge--April 2016.008

Simple Details:  If you love an eclectic mix like I do, you’re going to love this living room.  I was really excited to see the coffee table since my mom owns that same table. p.s.  take note of the amazing accessories and styling.


One Room Challenge--April 2016.009

Amanda Louise Interiors:  This is another new to me blog and after seeing this makeover I’m a big fan.  I love the transformation of the TV wall and the over mix of furniture and accessories.


One Room Challenge--April 2016.010

The Crowned Goat:  I’m a big fan of office spaces that function well and look good too.  This space is ideal of blogging, bills and creativity.  I love the styling on the bookcases and rustic chic details throughout.


If you have time, I encourage you to check out all of the One Room Challenge spaces.  There are just too many beautiful rooms to include all my favorites here.

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