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Sweet Malachite Dreams | Cara McBroom

A Panama City Beach, FL project.

Guests coming to stay at this guest room might expect chocolates on their pillow, and room service! I had the pleasure of renovating this client’s beachfront condo about five years ago–all except this one room, that is. It was time we gave this room the treatment it deserved!

Queen Bedroom SuiteI utilized the same soft aqua and gray from the rest of the condo, but added in a fresh dash of malachite-inspired emerald green!

Queen Bedroom Vignette

These Zeugma ombre glass lamps I found fit the room perfectly!  The softly flared headboard gives the room a master suite feel, though the bed is a queen.

Pillow Fabrics

The whole room was inspired by this gorgeous malachite Cowtan & Tout fabric (Malachite Emerald)! I accented with Cowtan & Tout’s Tiana Turquoise/Nattier, which resembles geodes.  This green and pale aqua combination evokes a very soothing, cool, relaxing feeling, much the same as water.

Love malachite? I’m not the only one inspired by this beautiful mineral.  Check out this eye candy:

Malachite Roman Shades Elle Decor

Malachite Roman Shades Elle Decor

Some malachite dinnerware by L'Objet

Some malachite dinnerware by L’Objet

Breathtaking Victorian Jewelry

Breathtaking Victorian Jewelry

 

Malachite-inspired sequin dress

Malachite-inspired sequin dress

Gold and malachite side table

Gold and malachite side table

Anyhow, back to my malachite-inspired creation:

Gus, my client's handsome little Bengal kitty approves!

Gus, my client’s handsome little Bengal kitty approves!

…and now, for some shameless efforts for ratings and reposts!  (If commercials and brands can do it, why can’t I?)

Look at these cute, furry design helpers!!!!

Gus and Lilly Belle, "helping" me untie some ribbon

Gus and Lilly Belle, “helping” me untie some ribbon

"Thanks for reading my friend Cara's blog! Au-revoir!"

“Thanks for reading my friend Cara’s blog! Au-revoir!”

My client loved her newly-furnished room so much, that she is ready for me to come back and “refluff” the rest of the condo!  So, stay tuned for before-and-afters of the rest of this beachfront condo!

Diary of an Install | Cara McBroom

When I tell people that I am an Interior Designer, many people tell me, “Oh, that must be a dream job!”…”That must be so glamorous to get to shop for someone else all day!” The fact is, I DO love my job!!! I thought it might be fun, however, to blog about what it’s REALLY like to be an interior designer–talk about the fact that it can be MESSY, dirty, chaotic, harrowing, grueling, and completely non-glamorous! (and how, out of all that chaos, emerges beauty, along with the vision that we saw possible all along.)

So, I am going to give you a few peaks into a few of my recent installations, with some random photos that I happened to take along the way. There were a lot of photos I wish I’d taken, but was too busy working, such as the wallpaper, drapes, tile & cabinets going up. Or, the bedding and bed sheers being steamed by me (it’s hard to take a photo of yourself–especially when you glance in the mirror and see a bedraggled, barefoot, sweaty mess!)

making design boards

Let’s start with this. This is not an install picture, this is actually what this project looked like in the design stages. I am making design boards on my dining room table at home. It’s Christmas, and my work papers are totally winning the war against my Christmas decorations, wouldn’t you say? My husband wishes I wouldn’t bring my office home with me, but the truth is, an Interior Designer’s office IS her dining room table. HA! As well as her car and smart phone. Once I was finished with my cutting and pasting, all this mess was divided into 1-beautiful project binder, 1-organized client file with fabric samples stapled neatly, and 1-giant trash bag full of scrap paper and clippings!

You can probably guess why I had the theme song from Ghostbusters stuck in my head all day...

You can probably guess why I had the theme song from Ghostbusters stuck in my head all day…

So here we are! This, my friends, was my first day of installation! This is not an ideal situation. In a dream world, construction would be finished on time, and a project site would be pre-cleaned and polished by the time I arrive. As it happens, changes and additions can be made to a project that run it behind, and when everyone has the same deadline, you can end up all stepping over each other on I-day (Installation Day). As with anything, things don’t always happen the way you want them to, so it’s my job to roll with the punches, and handle things in a professional manner (not “Flipping Out”). So, while the cleaners were cleaning up drywall dust and wiping down cabinets, I kept myself busy doing this:

"Oh, pardon the mess..."

“Oh, pardon the mess…”

This is also not ideal. Back to that dream world, where the delivery site is on the first floor, and the truck has ample space to park and unload goods. IN OUR CASE, our condo was on the 12th floor. My guys had to park outside the parking garage entrance, then physically carry or roll (thank goodness for dollies) the goods 50 yards into the garage, into the elevator vestibule, where they finagled the items onto the elevator, then down the hall and into the unit! Because of this harrowing trek, they decided to unbox a lot of it INSIDE the unit to avoid any unnecessary damages. Back to my mess:

boxes

My job, at this point, is to unbox all of this! After hours of opening, unpacking and searching for my box cutter about a gazillion times, this is what I wind up with:

...A tiny handful of accessories!

…A tiny handful of accessories!

Haha! Ok, so I am exaggerating a TAD, but it is true that a room full of boxes can break down into a handful of accessories, but a CONDO FULL of trash!

Opening all these boxes is tedious on one hand, but like opening a bunch of presents on Christmas morning on the other hand!  I was able to unbox treasures, like this organic silver leaf console, then set it in the middle of my chaotic box mess and drool over it!  Opening jewels like this fills me with renewed delight and excitement, encouraging me to keep going.

Opening all these boxes is tedious on one hand, but like opening a bunch of presents on Christmas morning on the other hand! I was able to unbox treasures, like this organic silver leaf console, then set it in the middle of my chaotic box mess and drool over it! Opening jewels like this fills me with renewed delight and excitement, encouraging me to keep going.

"Hello, James!" (Spencer wouldn't let me take his picture)

“Hello, James!” (Spencer wouldn’t let me take his picture)

Here my delivery guys are, on one of their many trips off the elevator and down the hall!

Dave is getting ready to put the feet on this sectional piece.

Dave is getting ready to put the feet on this sectional piece.

Part of Day 1 is to roll all the furniture into the unit (placement is not necessary yet). Also part of Day 1 is me discarding my shoes somewhere in the first 1-2 hours of being there!

You'd think that after years of doing this, I'd learn my lesson and choose flats over something cute on the first day!

You’d think that after years of doing this, I’d learn my lesson and choose flats over something cute on the first day!

So, things are moving along today! Things like column installation and electrical are still happening!

Mark, with MB Construction is taking matters into his own hands.

Mark, with MB Construction is taking matters into his own hands.

…More cleaning…

Cleaning up caulk and grout.

Cleaning up caulk and grout.

…More overseeing the final details…

The guys were working on all the settings for the steam shower and plumbing, if I'm remembering correctly.  This room also had heated floors!

The guys were working on all the settings for the steam shower and plumbing, if I’m remembering correctly. This room also had heated floors!

…more direction from me on placement and height of EVERYTHING (bath hardware, lighting, cabinet hardware, art, furniture, t.v.’s, etc.)

"RIGHT THERE!  Wait, go up...too far, go down...left...back right 1/2"...Ok, back left & down again...hmm...Perfect!  WAIT! Go up 1/16 of an inch!!!" hahaha! This type of install humor normally happens around Day 2 or 3 when delirium has set in!

“RIGHT THERE! Wait, go up…too far, go down…left…back right 1/2″…Ok, back left & down again…hmm…Perfect! WAIT! Go up 1/16 of an inch!!!” hahaha! This type of install humor normally happens around Day 2 or 3 when delirium has set in!

beach photo

While my crew goes to lunch, I munch on my packed lunch and envy those below me, who are currently enjoying the beach, and not just it’s view. When the day is “done,” I rarely go home. I normally go reload my car with anything else I can fit, then make a giant trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond for random items, like shower curtain liners, sheets, mattress covers, duvet fillers, pillow fillers, towels, etc. (My receipt is normally about 36″ long, and the ladies all know me when I walk in.) It’s not unusual for me to keep shopping for things afterwards, then dragging myself home around 9:30pm.

This was just one of 3 buggies this day...

This was just one of 3 buggies this day…

This is a typical car load, by the way... This was from another recent install, but I had to take a picture of my accessory tetris.  It looked much fuller in person!  I am looking at it now & thinking, "shoot, I could fit a bunch more in there!"

This is a typical car load, by the way… This was from another recent install, but I had to take a picture of my accessory tetris. It looked much fuller in person! I am looking at it now & thinking, “shoot, I could fit a bunch more in there!”

Now, all this stuff I’m buying and loading, I am also UNloading, and hauling that same 50-yard trek up to the unit, in the heat. Sometimes I just ask one of my delivery guys to do it, but most of the time I’m too impatient to wait on that. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

living room coming together

So, on Day 2, we are able to start laying out rugs and setting up furniture!

media room

I always bring painter’s tape to an install. Why? It’s an easy way to make notes on a wall, without messing up the paint! Whether it’s to point out areas that need paint touch-up, or to mark heights for sconces, it is always removable and clean. Sometimes I use it to tape off hyphothetical furniture, in order to plan t.v. placement, as in the picture below!!

taped off wall

By doing this, I discovered that the television outlet was installed too far to the left and needed moved! Time to call the electrician and drywaller! Just a minor bump in the road.

Oh, goody! The mirror has arrived!  Notice I've planned accessories for the hypothetical console, which didn't get delivered until Day 3.

Oh, goody! The mirror has arrived! Notice I’ve planned accessories for the hypothetical console, which didn’t get delivered until Day 3.

On the third day, I was able to make beds, make final placements for accessories, which I’ve shuffled around dozens of times, and polish off any other details.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

It's coming together!

It’s coming together!

Look, my hypothetical custom-built television console has arrived!  Currently floating out from the wall for a bit of final drywall repair and paint touch-up.

Look, my hypothetical custom-built television console has arrived! Currently floating out from the wall for a bit of final drywall repair and paint touch-up.

living dining

This room turned out so beautiful!  Loving my barn doors, which were faux finished the same as my custom t.v. console.

This room turned out so beautiful! Loving my barn doors, which were faux finished the same as my custom t.v. console.

Bathroom lacking some cabinet hardware, but looking amazing! (I can still see you, Mark!)

Bathroom lacking some cabinet hardware, but looking amazing! (I can still see you, Mark!)

Calgon, take me away!!!  What do you think of our water droplets chandelier?

Calgon, take me away!!! What do you think of our water droplets chandelier?

Here is a detail that I had to share!  Look how seamless and genius this schluter corner strip is!  They were going to use a shiny metal one, and I almost fainted.  I didn't want anything to visually stunt the horizontal flow of my band of accent tiles. This one blends in perfectly!

Here is a detail that I had to share! Look how seamless and genius this schluter corner strip is! They were going to use a shiny metal one, and I almost fainted. I didn’t want anything to visually stunt the horizontal flow of my band of accent tiles. This one blends in perfectly!

The daughter's room!

The daughter’s room!

...and finally, a finished kitchen!  Polished, clean and sparkling!  I had ya worried, with those Day 1 pictures, didn't I?

…and finally, a finished kitchen! Polished, clean and sparkling! I had ya worried, with those Day 1 pictures, didn’t I?

After three days of hard work, my clients were able to come and see their finished, completely renovated condo for the first time! Thankfully, they completely loved everything! They said they felt like they were staying at their favorite high-end hotel, except it was better, because it was all THEM! They sent me this picture at 8:30 in the evening to show me how much they were enjoying their new condo! This was all I needed–to know they were able to come in and relax, and LIVE. The fact that they love everything and were so blown away, is why I love being an Interior Designer! All messes, stresses and bumps in the road forgotten!

My clients dining on their balcony, the evening of their arrival!

My clients dining on their balcony, the evening of their arrival!

Want to see a few other photos of random installation work? Here’s a few things we never imagined ourselves doing at an install:

Try realizing you have to hand-wash 800 glass chandelier pieces before you hang them, because they're all cloudy and dirty!  I'm taking a break from our 3-man assembly line to take a picture.  That's my son trying to lure Krista into not helping! In photo: Krista Vind & Joey LaSalle

Try realizing you have to hand-wash 800 glass chandelier pieces before you hang them, because they’re all cloudy and dirty! I’m taking a break from our 3-man assembly line to take a picture. That’s my son trying to lure Krista into not helping!
In photo: Krista Vind & Joey LaSalle

Wash, Rinse, Dry!

Whadya do when you need to get some trim pieces up 10 stories, and they don't fit in the elevator?  (and your contractor has a broken, booted foot?) You make your own elevator out of rope and bucket!  Here, my contractor Brad Armbruster is lowering the bucket...

Whadya do when you need to get some trim pieces up 10 stories, and they don’t fit in the elevator? (and your contractor has a broken, booted foot?) You make your own elevator out of rope and bucket! Here, my contractor Brad Armbruster is lowering the bucket…

There's our bucket!  10 stories down!  I could think of a million ways this could have gone wrong, but it worked!!!

There’s our bucket! 10 stories down! I could think of a million ways this could have gone wrong, but it worked!!!

Stay tuned to my blog for some professional photos of both of these installations, and thank you for visiting!!!

Signature Beach Remodel II | Interior Design by Cara McBroom

If you follow my blog, you might realize that this is my second remodel project in the contemporary-style condominium building, Signature Beach, which is right next to The Back Porch in Destin. This unit had the same footprint, but we implemented different furniture layouts, colors and furniture!

Inviting layers of texture help to define this space as the "Lounge".  Grasscloth and linen bring a natural element, while a plush area rug, layered with a cowhide add softness.  The dropped ceiling was texturized with a venetian plaster, which resembled shiny concrete. Inviting layers of texture help to define this space as the “Lounge”. Grasscloth and linen bring a natural element, while a plush area rug, layered with a cowhide add softness. The dropped ceiling was texturized with a venetian plaster, which resembled shiny concrete.

It is just as important to think about your ceiling in a design, as it is to dress your walls and floors.  Instead of an expected flush mount light, try what I call a ceiling-crawler, like this fabulous star fixture by Global Views!

It is just as important to think about your ceiling in a design, as it is to dress your walls and floors. Instead of an expected flush mount light, try what I call a ceiling-crawler, like this fabulous star fixture by Global Views!

Sig1002 - 10

Sectionals are not always the blunt, stagnant, non-versatile giants that some designers make them out to be! Although not all rooms can handle one, there are ways of making sure they will work in your space.  You can make sure you choose the proper scale for your room, choose a shallow depth if needed, use lighter fabrics and brighten things up with multiple toss pillows! Always make sure they give you brackets to attach the segments, and more importantly, that the pieces will fit inside your elevator/doorways! In our case, we chose a lower back that allows an uninterrupted panoramic view of the beach, as well as an open communication to the other spaces in the room.

Sectionals are not always the blunt, stagnant, non-versatile giants that some designers make them out to be! Although not all rooms can handle one, there are ways of making sure they will work in your space. You can make sure you choose the proper scale for your room, choose a shallow depth if needed, use lighter fabrics and brighten things up with multiple toss pillows! Always make sure they give you brackets to attach the segments, and more importantly, that the pieces will fit inside your elevator/doorways! In our case, we chose a lower back that allows an uninterrupted panoramic view of the beach, as well as an open communication to the other spaces in the room

????????

We positioned the Dining area behind the sectional, for a perfect beachside dining experience!

We positioned the Dining area behind the sectional, for a perfect beachside dining experience!

The entry was given a rich, inviting, wall finish that gave the impression  of abstract beach sand.  The handmade oyster lamp, however,  gave this entry some literal coastal flair.

The entry was given a rich, inviting, wall finish that gave the impression of abstract beach sand. The handmade oyster lamp, however, gave this entry some literal coastal flair.

Sig1002 - 5

In this kitchen makeover, we provided new countertops, finished the cabinets in a distressed warm gray, added some paneling to the bar front and livened the backsplash with new tile.

In this kitchen makeover, we provided new countertops, finished the cabinets in a distressed warm gray, added some paneling to the bar front and livened the backsplash with new tile.

We did a partial demo of the Wet Bar to remove the generic upper cabinets.  We designed this contemporary wine glass and bottle storage system at alternating heights, then added some up-and down-lighting that accents the sleek glass tile.

We did a partial demo of the Wet Bar to remove the generic upper cabinets. We designed this contemporary wine glass and bottle storage system at alternating heights, then added some up-and down-lighting that accents the sleek glass tile.

We adorned the Master in soft, warm taupe hues, with vibrant turquoise accents.

We adorned the Master in soft, warm taupe hues, with vibrant turquoise accents.

We added plushness with this fabulous new carpeting, new fabric roman shades, and a Kravet wallcovering that I fell in love with! The shape of the headboard works well with all the curvaceous lines in the wall print.

We added plushness with this fabulous new carpeting, new fabric roman shades, and a Kravet wallcovering that I fell in love with! The shape of the headboard works well with all the curvaceous lines in the wall print.”

This Kravet wallcovering  (W3078-11) is actually a beautiful line drawing of a large damask pattern.  Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous in person!!  What a great way to give pizazz to your bed wall, without being too busy or bold.  Even the faux finishers admitted a fascination for this paper!

This Kravet wallcovering (W3078-11) is actually a beautiful line drawing of a large damask pattern. Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous in person!! What a great way to give pizazz to your bed wall, without being too busy or bold. Even the faux finishers admitted a fascination for this paper!

IMG_0768

taupe and turquoise master bedroom

The Master Bathroom was given a makeover, with new cabinets and countertops, a faux finish wide stripe gracsscloth texture on the walls, and some eye-catching new lighting.

The Master Bathroom was given a makeover, with new cabinets and countertops, a faux finish wide stripe gracsscloth texture on the walls, and some eye-catching new lighting.

Sig1002 - 27

Meanwhile, on the other end of the condo, exists the girls' room! This fun, whimsical wallcovering was the inspiration for the room!  We gave them a King bed and a couple of nice seating areas.  We complemented the wallcovering with pops of orange, chartreuse and aqua in our pillows, bedding and accessories.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the condo, exists the girls’ room! This fun, whimsical wallcovering was the inspiration for the room! We gave them a King bed and a couple of nice seating areas. We complemented the wallcovering with pops of orange, chartreuse and aqua in our pillows, bedding and accessories.

Sig1002 - 21

fun seating area

Fun Girls' room!

???????????????????????????????

This Second Master we made lighter and more coastal, with its white linen duvet, linen headboard, and softer accents.

This Second Master we made lighter and more coastal, with its white linen duvet, linen headboard, and softer accents.

This photo portrays the color slightly better.

This photo portrays the color slightly better. We used soft greens and aquas.

We had some fun with this room! This off-white geometric wallpaper served as an off-white patterned backdrop to some bright splashes of turquoise.

We had some fun with this room! This off-white geometric wallpaper served as an off-white patterned backdrop to some bright splashes of turquoise.

The turquoise Chandelier left subtle shadows that radiated out in a sunburst pattern. This is not always a desired effect--to reduce shadows made by your lamp harp or chandelier, try using frosted bulbs, versus clear.

The turquoise Chandelier left subtle shadows that radiated out in a sunburst pattern. This is not always a desired effect–to reduce shadows made by your lamp harp or chandelier, try using frosted bulbs, versus clear.

I had the pleasure of working on this fun remodel with fellow designer, Joey LaSalle. We were allowed to use some bright, vibrant colors, which is always refreshing. I even had a handly little helper during the installation!

My son, Case, "helping" me install!  He is currently almost 3 years old!!  Yes, I am a little behind posting this!

My son, Case, “helping” me install! He is currently almost 3 years old!! Yes, I am a little behind posting this!

I hope you enjoyed touring this project! To see another Signature Beach remodel we designed, CLICK HERE!

Call or email me if you would like any help with your design!

I thought I would join the crowd and put in my two cents about Pantone’s Color of the year, Radiant Orchid! Instead of raving about how great Radiant Orchid is, however, I want to talk about a few color co-stars that can make this hue shine even brighter. Here are four of my personal favorite combinations:

1. Orchid & Mint/Aqua:

There’s something so fresh and lush about live orchids in a green or clear vase of sparkling water, which is what this combination brings to mind.

orchid_mint

orchids in watermint & orchid room

aqua & orchid room

aqua & orchid dining room

This room combines a bluer aqua, which is just as beautiful!

2. Orchid / Cobalt:

What does this combination bring to mind? Be still my beating heart—freshly picked blueberries! I used to spend hours as a little girl picking blueberries to my heart’s content. What I ended up with was bowls full of ripe and almost-ripe berries, which look like this:

purple blueberries

What a luscious combination! How about these visual treats:

orchid_cobalt

cobalt orchid3

doors

cobalt & orchid necklace

cobalt & orchid room

cobalt & orchid feathers

 

3. Orchid / Green:

This duo is all about thriving, beautiful flowers and lush greenery. What a natural combination! If it works in nature, it will surely work in your room.

orchid_green

orchid & green

orchid & green

orchid & green

orchid & green

orchid & green

orchid door

 

4. Orchid / Orange:

Finally, I wanted to highlight this combination, because it is such a lovely, complementary pair. Though each share red in their color makeup, they look so different and unexpectedly brilliant together.

orchid_orange

orchid & orange

orchid & orange

orchid & orange kitchen

orchid & orange city

 

 

Color Conundrums | By Cara McBroom

Colors can be deceiving! They can take on many personalities, and play all sorts of tricks on the eye.  Here are just a few quick interesting facts and lessons about color that I’ve learned throughout the years:

Everything is Relative:

In my profession, I often come across situations where people can get caught up on whether a teal potato is actually a peacock blue po-TAH-to, or whether red tomato is actually a crimson to-MAH-to.  It brings to mind my elementary school art teacher, who always insisted that “there is no purple—it’s called violet!” (Ironically, her name was Mrs. Brown). Don’t get me wrong; knowing the difference is our job!  Patronizing clients and correcting them is not a good idea, however, which is why we all usually keep a fan deck of paint colors readily on hand, for reference, at new client appointments.

It is easy to deduce that, because people are all different, they are likely to name things differently—More importantly, however, people can SEE things differently! It could be that Mother Nature made some people slightly color blind, or it could just be that everything is relative.

palladian and seafoam green

Here is a color (on the left) that I use all the time.  Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue.  Next to Seafoam Green, it probably looks blue to most people.  In the color story below, however, you can see that Palladian Blue looks decidedly green next to Fantasy Blue, Paradiso & Ocean City Blue.

palladian comparison

Palladian Blue actually lends itself either way, which is why I use it a lot!  I actually would call it a gray-green, as I tend to think that blue is blue, and if it has a perceivable amount of green, then it’s in the green family.  SEE?  We all have our own perceptions, and trying to label them can be just semantics.  That’s why it’s best to not rely on semantics and rely on that paint deck for reference!

Light-changing experiences:

Sometimes, in our profession, we also find ourselves trying to solve color mysteries for clients.  Maybe they chose what they thought was the perfect basket beige color, but when they painted their walls, it looked pink! It could be that it’s time to change out their bulbs from incandescent to L.E.D.

Here you can see how certain light bulbs give off different colors.  Fluorescents give off cool, or blue light; Incandescents give off a golden, or warm light; and L.E.D. bulbs give off a cool white light.

Here you can see how certain light bulbs give off different colors. Fluorescents give off cool, or blue light; Incandescents give off a golden, or warm light; and L.E.D. bulbs give off a cool white light.

The pink walls in the above analogy could also mean, for instance, that they have a red vase in the window, or a red accent wall that’s casting off a pink glow.  Sometimes it’s the little things. Here’s a common illustration that shows how a SETTING can change our perception of a color:

In this diagram created by Edward H. Adelson, the two yellow dots are actually the same color.  The gray squares they are centered in are also the same value! Because the surroundings are different, they are perceived differently.

In this diagram created by Edward H. Adelson, the two yellow dots are actually the same color. The gray squares they are centered in are also the same value! Because the surroundings are different, they are perceived differently.

The lesson to be learned from this category is to always pick out paint colors IN the room you will be painting, so that all lighting and environmental factors come into play.  If you are still skeptical, try painting color patches onto the wall (preferably a white one—remember the lesson we just learned!), and always remember to use a good primer!

Follow the Yellow-Bright rule:

(Ok, so I was “reaching” for a clever title for this category). “Yellow is psychologically the happiest color in the color spectrum”  The last thing you want, however, is a room that is SOOO happy, that you need a mental nap every time you leave the room.  The color yellow, for some reason, gets brighter and brighter, the more you use it.  So, what looks like a subtle, pastel yellow on a small sample, can turn into a Bananarama “Cruel Summer” very fast. There are other colors that can have this effect, too, such as primary red and electric green.  I am picking on yellow, because you would think that yellow is mellow, so its effect can be unexpected.  Stick to yellows that have been tamed down with some gray, or only use it in small amounts. If a bold statement is what you want, then plan it very carefully, so that the brightness is balanced by enough white, gray or other neutral.  Here are some examples of what I think are tasteful uses of yellow:

Via Ligne Roset USA

Via Ligne Roset USA

Via Marcus Design

Via Marcus Design

Via Evermotion

Via Evermotion

I like this use of yellow, because of the way they balanced it with a lot of white, and shortened the wall with wainscoting.

A Dark myth:

Want to know a cool trick for making your room feel taller and more spacious? Try painting your ceilings a darker color—Yes, I said dark!  Fellow interior designer, and dear friend, Joey LaSalle says, “…you may have heard that painting a ceiling a dark color will make the ceiling feel much lower. That is actually a myth. In fact, dark colors recede. Therefore a darker ceiling would actually give the illusion that the ceiling is receded or higher than it actually is. On the other hand, bright colors jump forward, which would give the perception that the intensely painted wall or ceiling is closer than it actually is.”  I have also found that painting your crown the same color as your walls help to extend the length of your walls, which aids in the perception of height.

4myths-dark-ceiling

gray ceiling kitchen

boys room

There are many more points I could go over, but I will save you from a lesson on color theory, and leave my color wheel in my pocket for now. I will leave you with this: even though colors can be tricky, I still urge everyone to not be afraid of color! Embrace it smartly, and use it to your advantage!

Making a Fashion Statement | by Cara McBroom

What does your interior style say about you?  Or better yet, how can your sense of fashion guide the interior design of your house?  Those of you who find yourself pondering what “look” to go for in your homes, may want to begin by taking a look in your own closets! This method may not be exact, but it sure is fun to think about! Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!  What style would you be?

La Femme  Bohemme

La Femme Boheme can take on several different personalities! She could be a self-professed flower child, who is drawn to all things light, feminine and ethereal. She may like a “Shabby Chic” design.

La Femme Boheme can take on several different personalities! She could be a self-professed flower child, who is drawn to all things light, feminine and ethereal. She may like a “Shabby Chic” design.

La Femme Bohemme

She might simply be drawn to all things classic and feminine, with a French flair and neutral color palette.

She might simply be drawn to all things classic and feminine, with a French flair and neutral color palette.

La Femme Bohemme

Or, our bohemian princess may prefer a more vibrant, whimsical and charming environment with eclectic colors that are inspired by nature and spring! (She probably likes to shop at Anthropologie, and hunt for flea market treasures!)

Or, our bohemian princess may prefer a more vibrant, whimsical and charming environment with eclectic colors that are inspired by nature and spring! (She probably likes to shop at Anthropologie, and hunt for flea market treasures!)

La Femme Bohemme

GLAMOUR Goddess (a.k.a. GG)

The Glamour Goddess has an affinity for drama!  She feels most at home in full makeup, and dressed to the nines in her couture and high heels.  She prefers a more dramatic interior that reflects her flair for fancy!

GG may want to try going for high contrast black and white!

GG may want to try going for high contrast black and white!

Or more of a Hollywood glamorous look, with traditional lines and unexpected color pops.

Or more of a Hollywood glamorous look, with traditional lines and unexpected color pops.

Classic glamour may be more her speed, too. She might try a more neutral palette, darker and warmer color accents and textural white bases.  She can mix old and new, like above, with antique chairs and a contemporary upholstered bed, but she shouldn’t forget her mink coat!! (or bed scarf in this case)

Classic glamour may be more her speed, too. She might try a more neutral palette, darker and warmer color accents and textural white bases. She can mix old and new, like above, with antique chairs and a contemporary upholstered bed, but she shouldn’t forget her mink coat!! (or bed scarf in this case)

If “bling” is her thing, our GG may want to try a palette of whites, grays and  creams that allows her jewelry to make a statement!  Try using silks and soft velvets, (like the lining of a jewelry box), then add dramatic gold light fixtures and accessories that sparkle!

If “bling” is her thing, our GG may want to try a palette of whites, grays and creams that allows her jewelry to make a statement! Try using silks and soft velvets, (like the lining of a jewelry box), then add dramatic gold light fixtures and accessories that sparkle!

Lastly, our GG may prefer a more stately, traditional look, with masculine colors, but still with her gilded accents.  She may want to try wall paneling, ebony woods, marble and gilded gold frames, with a darker, handsome color palette!

Lastly, our GG may prefer a more stately, traditional look, with masculine colors, but still with her gilded accents. She may want to try wall paneling, ebony woods, marble and gilded gold frames, with a darker, handsome color palette!

Mod Goth:

This creative and introspective gal is not into bright colors or mainstream interests.  She much prefers black and aged white finishes, and furniture with decorative details that emulate architectural details of the Middle Ages (let’s face it, modern day architecture has no use for flying buttresses).  We can, however, give homage to this style by celebrating pointed arches, sculpture, and wheel windows. While this style was first brought about to build churches that could be super tall, with spires that reached for God and pointed arches that let in light in a way that seemed spiritual, we seem to translate Gothic style as dark and moody.  Either way, our MG would probably love a room like the one below:

Modern Goth

Beach Goddess (a.k.a. BG):

La Femme Boheme may have to move aside for this nature-loving beach dweller! BG can take on many different aesthetics, as it’s easy to infuse a little “beachy” into anything and it still look great! One thing all BG’s have in common is affection for the coast, whether it be the color palette, the natural fibers or the simple way of living! I live near the beach, so I went a little crazy on this one:

Here we have white sand, blue skies and bright yellow sunshine!

Here we have white sand, blue skies and bright yellow sunshine!

BG loves natural finishes, mixed wood tones, textural fibers and colorful painted accents.

BG loves natural finishes, mixed wood tones, textural fibers and colorful painted accents.

While some BG’s like to keep a white background, and use color accents, others may want to immerse themselves in an underwater atmosphere, with an explosion of saturated color.

While some BG’s like to keep a white background, and use color accents, others may want to immerse themselves in an underwater atmosphere, with an explosion of saturated color.

 Because BG draws her colors from the surrounding environment, she may want to recreate the colors of the sunset!

Because BG draws her colors from the surrounding environment, she may want to recreate the colors of the sunset!

Or, she may want to evoke the feeling of frothy waves, clean air and bright sand.  In this case, she will like white washed woods, driftwood accents, pastel cool colors and crusty white corals and shells!

Or, she may want to evoke the feeling of frothy waves, clean air and bright sand. In this case, she will like white washed woods, driftwood accents, pastel cool colors and crusty white corals and shells!

At the same time, BG may love the above feel, but want to inject a little contemporary flair, with bold geometric patterns, white lacquer and modern acrylic accent pieces.

At the same time, BG may love the above feel, but want to inject a little contemporary flair, with bold geometric patterns, white lacquer and modern acrylic accent pieces.

Beach Goddess

A traditional BG may lean towards a classic blue and white color palette that evokes a nautical feel.  The room below has a light, French Provençal feel, with nods to the coast in its use of color and jute/seagrass.

A traditional BG may lean towards a classic blue and white color palette that evokes a nautical feel. The room above has a light, French Provençal feel, with nods to the coast in its use of color and jute/seagrass.

Not all BG’s have to have color in their interiors!  Those that are lucky enough to live right on the water may want to leave everything neutral and natural, and let the coastal views do the talking!

Not all BG’s have to have color in their interiors! Those that are lucky enough to live right on the water may want to leave everything neutral and natural, and let the coastal views do the talking!

Equestrian Enthusiast (aka EE)

The Equestrian Enthusiast draws inspiration from none other than, yes, horses! Handsome tailored upholstery, well-worn leather accents, and a mostly neutral (horse-inspired) color palette is what this gal will need to feel at home.

The “humble abode” here (owned by Ellen Degeneres) reflects a more simple, purist interpretation. This room is the perfect place for EE to kick her boots off and relax!

The “humble abode” here (owned by Ellen Degeneres) reflects a more simple, purist interpretation. This room is the perfect place for EE to kick her boots off and relax!

Other EE’s may wear Gucci boots and prefer a more modern atmosphere, but she is a horse enthusiast nonetheless!

Other EE’s may wear Gucci boots and prefer a more modern atmosphere, but she is a horse enthusiast nonetheless!

Sometimes, all EE needs is an equestrian-inspired color palette to whet her appetite.  Here is a kitchen that does just this!  The handsome jockey blue contrasts beautifully with the warm, horse and saddle-colored wood tones.

Sometimes, all EE needs is an equestrian-inspired color palette to whet her appetite. Here is a kitchen that does just this! The handsome jockey blue contrasts beautifully with the warm, horse and saddle-colored wood tones.

Retro Modern Chic:

This cool chic believes that the architects and designers had a great thing going 60 years ago, with the invention of “modern” style.  She adds to it some current contemporary, for a clean, retro, but hip result!

Retro Modern

Retro Modern Chic

Pop Princess:

The Pop Princess may have been a product of the “MTV generation”—she reads all the latest magazines (fashion and popular culture magazines, like People), is up on all the latest trends, loves music and movies and may even have an affection for retro.  This open-minded diva may have a more eclectic décor, with accents from the 50’s, a variety of bright color accents, and maybe even a collection of pop art prints, from artists such as Andy Warhol.

Pop Princess

Traditional Gal:

Do you love fall colors, hand-me-down furniture, and curling up with a book in your favorite oversized sweater?  Does your idea of dressing up include throwing a sport coat over whatever you happen to be wearing?  Try being the Traditional Gal:

Traditional Gal

Are you a college Professor? Try this look!

Are you a college Professor? Try this look!

Or maybe you are worldly and well-traveled.  Maybe you like traditional furniture, highlighted with all the colors, art and found objects that remind you of your travels! This girl is dressed for vacation, but looks like she’d live in this room!

Or maybe you are worldly and well-traveled. Maybe you like traditional furniture, highlighted with all the colors, art and found objects that remind you of your travels! This girl is dressed for vacation, but looks like she’d live in this room!

Urban Chic:

This super busy, on-the-go, “plugged in” city gal wants to come home to a very clean, less-is-more environment!  The less clutter and complication when she’s unplugged, the better! She wants a modern, open concept with masculine colors and sleek luxury.

Urban Chic

These are just a few ideas! I could indulge myself and keep going, but I will stop here and say that if you are still confused about how to decorate, call a designer and ask for their help!  We are like fashion stylists for the home!  We can come up with something uniquely “you”!

‘Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in  the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.’ –  Coco Chanel

Testimonials

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“After purchasing a new high rise home in Panama City Beach, my husband and I wanted a designer who knew the area and could appreciate our beach setting but with a unique twist. We wanted a clean, elegant look that would be timeless but current. After interviewing several designers in the area, I chose Cara McBroom.
From the very start, I felt comfortable with Cara. Her pleasant attitude and sense of responsibility are only exceeded by her skill and talents. I’ve worked with numerous designers and without hesitation I would say she is, by far, the very best I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. My husband is an engineer, and he’s amazed at the documentation, attention to detail, and organization she shows with every job.
Cara taught me what having a vision for a design plan actually means. She took each of my desires, my picky details, my weird requests and knit them into a whole cloth, using her own sense of flair. Even when I wasn’t convinced something would work, I learned to trust her, and each time, the result was far better than I could have imagined. This wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t had that vision that ‘wholeness’—firmly established.
As wonderful as Cara is, what she doesn’t have is even better. She isn’t a diva; my visions are her visions, only much, much better. She doesn’t consider the sky the limit; my budget is always respected. She isn’t stuffy; we have code words now for everything, including things-we-can’t-do-without and things-we-would-never-consider! Most importantly, she isn’t inflexible; when I want to display my own bad taste, she lets me and still, miraculously, manages to make it look good…
Out of all of this information, however, the bottom line is the most telling. Cara has done three residences for us, one of which was a year-long total remodel of a high rise apartment six hundred miles away from her office. She made one on-site visit and did the rest by phone, text or email. And I absolutely could not be more pleased. It’s the most wonderful home we’ve ever lived in. I only have one regret; it may be a awhile before I get to work with her once more. Then again, my real estate agent is begging me to let her sell the unit because it’s so fabulous. Cara, are you up for number four?”

~Carla Luan–Houston, TX

“Gosh Cara, I wake up every day pinching myself in my beautiful home—your ideas and project direction were nothing short of amazing and totally transformative! I still cannot believe what you accomplished in a single month on our most recent project… on time and on budget!
Working with you has been a pleasure from start to finish– you are such a great listener! Somehow you really understood the feeling we wanted for our interiors and took our initial input and ran with it. The end result was not only what we love, but more beautiful than we could have ever envisioned! (Guess that’s why people hire great designers like you!)
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the options and great ideas you presented and your attention to the fine details! You came up with so many creative solutions for all the architecturally challenging issues in our condominium…they are now dim memories!
Cara, we’ve really put some miles on together…from rugs to paint to kitchens, bars, bedding, furniture, accessories, window treatments…and I can honestly say, there is nothing I would change. It has truly been a pleasure working with you…and I look forward to our next project!”
~Tammy Pierce– Scottsdale, AZ

“Harry and I were beyond pleased with your remarkable talent. You made our home sparkle and your ability to listen to our choice of color palette and our desire for beach contemporary was beyond measure.
You, young lady, have put a tremendous smile on our faces and we were both so delighted with your choices. Your professionalism clearly was demonstrated in our home.
Thank you again for bringing the joy to our home.”

~Harry and Nina Avant–Shreveport, LA

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