Archives for the month of: April, 2012

steam engine cindy barganier

Have you ever felt like life was coming at you like this? LOL

Well that’s where I am right now but in a very good, amazingly good,


I knew that May was going to be busy but I had no idea…

10 days ago I accepted a major house renovation in a city just north of us.

Two days later I received an email from a blog reader that I didn’t even know about who invited me to help with their (beautiful) new home in Hayneville, Alabama.

Then, remember this house?

Watercolor, Florida cindy barganier

This was the first Watercolor, Florida house.

The owners have been transferred and called to say that this sold last Tuesday fully furnished except for the upstairs bedrooms whose furniture will go with them for the sake of continuity for the children. They are now seriously in the housing market.

Wednesday… the new owners called and hired me to finish the second floor for them.

Friday…. former owners called. THEY BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!


So I am flying here (Ponte Vedra Beach)

(Yes, golfers, that is the Player’s Club at Sawgrass)

to begin the renovation of this

Then, the end of May brings the move-in of the new family into Watercolor #1

followed two days later by the move-in of Watercolor #2

30A cindy barganier

All of this to say two things:

God is indeed faithful to His Word and I’m not going to have a lot of time for blogging BUT stay with me because when I come up for air I will have some really great things to share with you.

In the meantime, I would ask for your prayers  and


It’s gonna be a wild ride.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

Have you seen the beautifully crafted furniture pieces that are out now made from Tennessee Whiskey barrels?

While there is nothing new about barrel furniture I have never before pointed to it and said,

“that’s good”.

Barrelly Made It cindy barganier

According to Luxe Living ,” craft whiskey barrels can be used only once, as specified by law. After this use, most of the used barrels are sold to distilleries in Scotland and Ireland for maturation of their whiskies. In America, the barrels are generally used between three and eight years. Across the pond, they are used to age the spirit for three to upwards of forty years. “


The name is the first thing that I loved. The letters stand for

Barrelly Made It.

 I think that’s cute.

 Creative Director Gustaf Anders Rooth from San Diego is a transplanted Swedish designer and Master Craftsman. Rooth creates pieces using every component of the barrel including the heads (ends) and steel bands.

The pieces have a certain “couture” feel to them to me.

whiskey barrell furniture cindy barganeir

Even their seals of authenticity are perfect.

For more information on this neat company contact:
Planet Rooth Design Haus
3334 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me


It would appear that my post on COLOR really struck a chord with people. It has opened an entire dialog on my professional Linked-in site.

Here are some of the comments that folks have made:


I have been an Interior Designer for over 35 years. Your information explaining how colors relate (or don’t) to each other is the best I have ever read. You speak in a way that professionals or a beginner can understand. Thank you for sharing!
Posted by Joan Craven

Thank you Joan!

And then there’s this from Lynn Long

 •” When I was about 12 years old (long ago), my mother (very non-artistic) took a class in color and learned a system called “Color Key” where colors were organized into two groups based on whether they had a yellow or blue base tone, resulting in a warm or cool impression. For instance, even a yellow could have a blue base and be cool toned, almost a brittle yellow. The idea was that you could not combine colors from these two groups because they would clash, almost imperceptibly. The other main idea was that people’s preference, and even their skin tone and the clothes that looked good on them, always ran to warm or cool tones – they would feel uncomfortable in a room or in clothes with the opposite color base. There was a paint chip fan with the two color groups.

Funny how I have remembered this, and it has proved very true and more useful for Interior Design than all the art and color education I have received over the years. It goes along with Cindy’s blog and this topic somewhat.”


 This is the kind of dialogue that I desire from our little community.
Tell me what you think, what you struggle with, what you have discovered that works.  When we share ideas we all learn, we all grow.
Sharing keeps us from getting all tangled up unnecessarily.
"Oh, I see you're home early."
What’s on your mind today?
If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at 

purple trees and boat

Whole books have been written on the psychology of color. Some colors sooth us while

others excite us and having a basic knowledge of this prevents one from painting his

bedroom fire engine red or the baby’s playroom grey. But the picture is so much bigger.

Proportion, scale, traffic patterns, arrangement, use, mood… all of these and more MUST

be considered before decisions are made on how to construct and furnish a house.

 No one element stands alone… each decision builds on and impacts the others.

I am often asked, “What is your first step?”

For me it is usually a fabric, a rug, or a piece of art.

This becomes the starting point for the color palette for the rest of the house.

I usually work in threes where color is concerned whether dealing with a monochromatic scheme or a more… well… colorful one.

One color becomes the primary focus of the room with the other two serving a backup role. The roles change from room to room as do the values, tints and shades but the hues (colors) remain the same for a unified feel to the house.

For instance, in this room I see black, white and sepia.

gallery wall and rug

This one is pink, beige and orange

pink ceiling :)

But it’s not just any pink, beige and orange. The vital element in choosing colors that work is understanding their undertones. When I was in school we used to have to paint our own color charts to help us understand this.

If you study colors long enough you will soon be able to see that they all fit in families. One family will have a yellow undertone, one a blue, one a grey etc.

Then within these families each color moves progressively along a line toward black or toward white.  I call them muddy or clear.

You can see this illustrated on the three color wheels.

Three color wheels - Harris, Today, Goethe

For colors to work together they need to chosen from the same position  along the wheel or from the same “band” or “ring”. If you get this positioning right the color combinations will be pleasing.

Maria Killam of Color Me Happy refers to this as clean color vs dirty color and that’s a good way to think of it.

She recently used a great picture that illustrates this concept.

 Do you cringe when you see this space?  Examine it. The floor  is a muddy/dirty color with a pink undertone while the wall is a clear/clean color.

They will NEVER work together.

How, then, does one get it right!

When selecting a paint color you have to first compare it to white to make sure you are in the family you want to be in but then you always have to cross compare it  to colors within its own family to see where you fall along the spectrum. Meaning, if you are choosing a green compare it to a half dozen other greens to make sure you are seeing what you think you are seeing.  Then after you narrow that down pair it with the other hues you plan to use and if you still like it you are good to go!!

In the following example you will see how one hue ( the lavender) looks totally different depending on what it is paired with.

When placed on the blue it takes on a  red undertone .

When used with purple it becomes blue.

Which do you want?

I am beginning to feel you glazing over so I will stop here.

If you have specific color questions please feel free to ask them in the comment area and we will go into as much detail as you want.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at 


So I thought you needed a little vacation.

Enjoy your stay and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Luxury Resort Ayada, Maldives

I’m not sure where this is but I’m pretty sure I want to go there.

Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India‘s Lakshadweep Islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka I recognize. lol  I need to pull the ole geography book out again.

Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 11Have you ever seen water so clear and beautiful?

Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 10Excuse me, I’m going back to bed now.

This is the way to catch up on all of that reading I want to do.

Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 9Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 8Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 7Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 6Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 5Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 4I’m loving that mirror/vanity stand.

Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 3Luxury-Resort-Ayada-Maldives 2I hope you enjoyed your little impromptu vacation as much as I did.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

words to live by

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project

contact me at

Continuing on yesterday’s vein, let’s talk today about balance.


Balance, scale and proportion all work together to create a unified whole.

When you get these three right you have a space that is inviting.

welcome over screen porch door

from daily cup of couture

From the outside in, balance sets the tone. It doesn’t always have to be set by symmetry but it is easiest to see this way.

Here, balance is achieved through the repetition of shapes.

beautiful architectural windows and doorway

Here, we see it in the placement of windows and lamps:

Pinned Image


Color can also be used


kelly moore

As can pattern:

notice how the repetition of the brown in the rug and sofa tie back to the brown in the painting and then the pop of citron pillows is just  enough off to pull that color to the other side of the room without “matching” the painting.

Design Blahg


Here the orange chair balances a strong painting.

Elle Decor

elle decor

Again, the blue chairs pull that color across the room.


We see balance in nature all the time.


Queen Red Lime zinnia are these for real???

And what about this  guy, can you imagine him with a random assortment of tail feathers. LOL

White peacock

Textures also have to be balanced so be sure you have pleasing proportions of rough to smooth.

It’s not as easy as it looks is it?

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

Despite out best intentions the traditional buildings that are being constructed today do

 not always feel ‘right’. They fail in the small details- the proportion of a window, or a

 badly –detailed door surround or in a short-sighted choice of material.

 For too long we have built for today with no thought about tomorrow and what would be

 timeless and sustainable. As my friend, Steve Mouzon, would say,  “We have not only

 failed to speak a common language – the

 language of classical architecture and design – we have failed to learn the language at all.”

 The same mistakes have been repeated so often that they are now thought of as correct.

 But just as the ear recognizes the error when subjects and verbs disagree, the eye

 recognizes error when rules of architecture and design are not followed.

Even if we can’t

 explain what is wrong we know “something” doesn’t ring true.

 I have to be very careful here not to use local examples and get myself in big trouble so I am borrowing from several other sources who are saying what I want to say but using pictures from other states. Thank you Lindsay Daniel.


DO ~ Heavy millwork (mouldings) around the window is used even with brick siding, and these mouldings give the appearance of 4 supporting columns and an architrave making this window proportionally correct as well as “feel” correct.


DON’T ~ The Brick here can not physically or visually hold up this shaped opening as in the historical method of structure.  Proportionally the flanking windows are too wide, there is no visual column support evident, and the lack of the Architrave (or beam) makes this all look false, like it might fall down soon.   It is also missing the elegance of the real form.

Or how about this…

Shutters too wide for window

shutters too skinny for window

Please tell me that I don’t even need to comment here!

Study historical buildings to get it right.


And my personal pet peeve ( I really would get in trouble if I used pictures here so use your imagination).

If you are building a 2,500 sf house set back 50 feet from the street PLEASE do not flank the drive with giant lions.

Love the lions but they are reserved for the 30,000 sf house with the half-mile driveway.

There are some great books out there on proportion and scale.

Buy one. Choose a building to analyze and begin to train your eye.

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at 

Albert Hadley, High Society’s Decorator, Dies at 91

“Mr. Hadley was the creator of residences for a roster of clients with names like Astor, Paley, Rockefeller, Getty, Whitney and Mellon.” ny times

What an inspiration this man was to so many.

Below are some examples of his iconic work:



The famous red lacquered library for Brooke Aster.

Bessarabian rugs, bessarabian rug, Albert Hadley

Thank you Sir, for the training of the eye that you afforded all who would pay attention and for your humble demeanor.

You made us proud in the South and around the world.

images by Elle Decor, New York Times and House Beautiful

If you would like to say, ‘That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

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