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Refresh Your Home’s Style with the Most Popular Paint Colors of 2017

Refresh Your Home’s Style with the Most Popular Paint Colors of 2017

With the arrival of spring right around the corner and the promise of warm, sunshine-filled days in the very near future, homeowners across the country are searching for new ways to revamp and refresh their living spaces. Whether your humble abode currently boasts a palette of dated paint colors or you’re simply tired of the hues you’ve had on the walls since your most recent  attempt to update your décor, giving your home a whole new look is as easy as picking up a paintbrush.

2017 Paint Color of the Year

If you’re feeling inspired to update and enhance the colors on your walls but you aren’t quite sure where to start, take a cue from several big-name interior design experts who recently released their top picks for the go-to paint colors for 2017. The Pantone Color Institute, whose mission is to help companies make the most informed decisions about the colors chosen to represent an assortment of brands and products, has selected “Greenery” as its 2017 Pantone Color of the Year.

Pantone Color Institute’s 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery

According to the company, Greenery—a bright shade of yellowish-green that resembles the leaves on a tree or stems on a flower in bloom—was chosen because it represents “refreshment, rejuvenation and rebirth.” In addition to providing your home with a pop of color, experts say using Greenery as the “neutral” hue in their color scheme offers homeowners more opportunities to select décor in other complementary colors without coupling shades that don’t go well together. From yellow and pink to blue, gray and orange, the colors that can be successfully paired with Greenery are seemingly endless, giving homeowners a wide array of options when it comes to choosing a palette that works for their own personal style and décor.

Pantone’s Greenery. Photo Courtesy of Alex Hemer.

2017’s Popular Paint Color Options

While the Pantone Color Institute’s Color of the Year may be the most well-known hue of 2017 among interior designers and color experts, a variety of paint companies ranging from Glidden to Olympic have also made their selections for the most popular colors for this spring, summer, fall and winter. If you’re not finding inspiration with Pantone’s Greenery—or you’re looking for a different option for a separate set of rooms—you’re in luck. The following home color trends of 2017 provide plenty of options for you to pick from when giving your residence the much-needed makeover your property is craving this season.

Olympic’s Cloudberry. Photo Courtesy of: Olympic.com

In years past, beige was the primary neutral paint color of choice for many, but experts now say the popular hue of the past has been pushed aside to make room for more modern neutrals such as shades of gray and blue as well as taupe. This year’s popular picks include Glidden’s Byzantine Blue, Sherwin Williams’ Poised Taupe, Olympic’s Cloudberry, Benjamin Moore’s Shadow and Krylon’s Copper. When most homeowners think of “neutral” colors, these types of muted hues might first come to mind; however, a handful of brighter hues are also making names for themselves as the most popular neutral tones for 2017, including Valspar’s Crushed Oregano, Dunn-Edwards’ Honey Glow and Behr’s Wanderlust.

Behr’s Wanderlust. Photo Courtesy of: Behr.com

Design Tips to Keep in Mind When Painting

There’s no doubt that switching up paint colors in the interior of your home is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to change the look of your living space and overhaul your home, but before you dip your paintbrush into the can and get to work on the walls, it’s important to remember a few interior design tips for painting.

  • Before finalizing your pick for a brand-new paint color, purchase a small sample of your favorites and paint a swath or two on the walls. Then, pay attention to the way these colors change in appearance at different times of day. You may love one particular color during daylight hours, but it could look completely different as the sun goes down.
  • To hide flaws on your walls, opt for a flat or low-sheen paint color. High-gloss paint reflects light and draws the eye to uneven surface, so you should avoid this type of paint unless your walls are completely smooth.
  • Give your room the appearance of taller walls by extending your paint color onto the ceiling, making a border of 6-12 inches along the perimeter of the ceiling where it meets the walls.
  • If you want to make a smaller room seem larger, use pastels, whites or other light colors to create the illusion of bigger spaces.

Regardless of which colors you choose or which rooms in your house you ultimately decide to paint, taking the time to select a new palette that fits your own unique sense of style is a surefire way to enhance your décor and to refresh and revitalize your home this season.

Photo Courtesy of: McCannTeam.com
Beautiful pergola in a forest-like backyard. Make the most of your outdoor space.

Make the Most of Your Outdoor Space

Summer has officially arrived and for many homeowners that means long days spent in the backyard.  Outdoor living will be even more enjoyable if you create your own personal oasis that is both functional and beautiful.  So what follows is The Coastal Cottage Company’s top five tips for making the most of your outdoor space.  We’ll especially focus on patio areas because they are one of the most desired features for new homebuyers.

Prioritize Comfort

We take pride in our homes and often spend a lot of time decorating and remodeling the interior.  But we typically don’t think as much about our outdoor spaces.  Rusted patio furniture, mildewed cushions, and splintered decks are not inviting.  So when designing your patio, focus on comfort.  What would encourage you and your family to spend more time in your backyard?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Choose outdoor seating that is as comfortable as your indoor furniture.  You are no longer limited to the plastic cushions from your childhood that made you feel hot and sweaty!  
  • Lay down outdoor rugs to make being barefoot on wood or cement feel more comfortable.  There are so many options, including sisal, bamboo, and canvas.  For inspiration, check out this collection by Houzz.com.
  • Screen in your porch or deck to prevent pesky bugs from bothering you and your guests.  If you have a wood deck, don’t forget that bugs can get in through the cracks between planks.  Consider stapling screening to the underside of the floorboards or lay down a heavy outdoor rug.
  • Comfort is not limited to how your outdoor space feels, but also how it looks.  Boring concrete slabs, dead plants, and beige cushions do not encourage you to linger.  Use your outdoor space as an opportunity to be creative and integrate styles you never would inside your house.  For example, paint concrete a vibrant color.  Choose wicker furniture or Adirondack chairs rather than the typical plastic furniture.  Incorporate funky patterns like chevron or stripes.  The sky’s the limit!
Back porch overlooking pool with built-in grill. Make the most of your outdoor space.
What does your dream backyard look like? This outdoor space was designed and built by The Coastal Cottage Company.

Think Durable

While comfort and style will encourage you to use your outdoor space, choosing durable materials will allow you to enjoy the space longer.  Wind, sun, rain, and sand can all have ill effects on furniture.

  • Look for weatherproof furniture and accessories that can resist mildew, fading, rotting, and rusting.  
  • For furniture, plastic is durable but fades easily in direct sunlight.  While wood also fades over time, the weathered appearance is actually attractive (unlike faded plastic).  Hardwoods (such as teak, cedar, and redwood) tend to be the most durable and long-lasting, especially when regularly treated with protective oil or sealant.
  • For a more modern or industrial look that is lower maintenance, aluminum furniture will not rust or fade.
Beautiful home with pool and patio. Make the most of your outdoor space.
This home features a lovely pool deck with patio furniture, chimenea, and pergola. Home designed by The Coastal Cottage Company.

Create Drama with Lighting

Effective lighting can make your outdoor living space safer and more aesthetically-pleasing.  Depending on the types of lights you use and their placement, you can transform your backyard into a romantic or magical getaway.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Use uplighting to highlight trees or architectural details.  Uplighting involves placing lights below a focal point, such as a spotlight at the base of a tree, pointing upwards towards the branches.
  • Illuminate walkways, rails, and steps with landscape solar lights which will help prevent people from tripping in the dark.  Using solar lights will also help you reduce energy costs.
  • Hang string lights to set an enchanting tone.  Lanterns hanging from trees also add a bit of whimsy to your backyard.  Nylon lanterns provide a much more durable option than traditional paper.
  • Fire pits are another way to add both lighting and coziness to an outdoor space.  Fire pit tables are a great option for a smaller space and double as a piece of useful furniture. Those who like a DIY project can make their own pits using fire brick, which is designed to withstand high temperatures. Another popular and attractive option is the chiminea, which is an outdoor fireplace that has a short chimney. Whatever type of fire pit you choose, it’s a good idea to consult local fire codes to make sure it’s legal to have an open fire in your community.
Uplighting trees. Make the most of your outdoor space.
An example of uplighting. Image by Stoneworx: http://stoneworxpa.com/

Give Yourself Some Privacy

Most of us live in close proximity to others. But even when you enjoy your neighbors, you still want privacy when relaxing in your outdoor space.  Try these tips to create a private hideaway:

  • Install an awning, canopy, or pergola. Not only do these provide shade, they also can block the view of neighbors looking down on your backyard from a second story.  As an added benefit, awnings made of polycarbonate panels block UV rays, better protecting your skin and eyes.
  • Add some outdoor drapery panels to your patio or balcony. Waterproof sailcloth is a great choice.  If you don’t already have an overhead option for attaching a curtain rod, consider using a very simple wood frame to hang them on.
  • Trees and shrubs are often the best option for providing a privacy screen.  Make sure you consult an expert when choosing the type and placement of trees as many varieties grow quite large.  The Arbor Day Foundation provides useful advice.

Maximize the View

Whether your backyard overlooks trees and grass or ocean waves, it’s important to make the most of your view.  Simply being in nature has been shown to have numerous health benefits, so take advantage of your outdoor space.  Try to remove as many barriers between you and your view so you can soak up maximum scenery.

  • For example, steel-cable or clear-glass railing systems take a minimalist approach while still complying with safety codes.
  • You could even consider eliminating the railing altogether (if building codes permit and you don’t have small children).
  • Pocket doors can open an interior room to the outdoors, creating an open-air retreat.  If considering this option, make sure you account for wind, bugs, and sea spray if you’re by the water.
  • Louvered shutters are another option that provide more privacy and protection from bugs, but can easily be opened to reveal your spectacular view.
Maximize your view. Make the most of your outdoor space.
Who wouldn’t love looking at this view everyday? Home designed and built by The Coastal Cottage Company.

We hope these ideas inspire you to invest in your backyard and create a space you and your family will enjoy spending time in.  And if you’re selling your home, keep in mind that 83% of homebuyers indicate having a nice patio is a desirable, even essential, feature.  So let’s pledge to make the most of our outdoor spaces this summer and design the oasis we’ve always wanted!

Blog by Jessica T. Smith for The Coastal Cottage Company

The key to attracting renters to your vacation property is to balance comfort and style, designing a retreat that people dream about living in.

Design Tips for Vacation Home Rentals

The vacation rental market has exploded in recent years.  After the economic downturn in 2008, many owners decided to rent their properties rather than sell.  Around the same time, Airbnb was established, and they now boast over two million listings worldwide!  With so many vacation home rentals entering the market, owners must design properties that stand out from the rest.

Unfortunately, many owners either don’t invest in interior design or create spaces that they would like (but may not appeal to others).  The key to attracting renters to your vacation home is to balance comfort and style.  As interior designer Mercedes Brennan argues:

“People do not want a home away from home on vacation.  Absolutely not.  What they want instead is the home they wished they had away from home.”  

In order to rise above the competition, you must provide the kind of vacation retreat that people dream about living in.  After all, vacations are precious and people want to feel pampered.

Here are the Coastal Cottage Company’s top five tips for designing vacation home rentals that will draw in vacationers:

Timeless Design

Too often, vacation home owners decorate according to their tastes and preferences.  But it’s unlikely you’ll be staying in your property very often (at least that’s the hope if you want to make a profit!).  Therefore, focus on classic, timeless design.  According to Andy Moore of Gulfcoast Property Management, “while interior design trends will come and go, your rental properties will not need remodeling for many years when you successfully start with a timeless look.”

Now, timeless does not mean boring!  Adding character and style is important.  But avoid choosing styles that are overly ornate, trendy, or offbeat.  While you may love the look of Roman columns and marble statuary, your guests may not share your vision!

Use classic and simple designs in your vacation home rentals, such as this dining room in rustic wood and cream color.
Incorporate classic and simple style, such as in this dining room. Home designed and built by the Coastal Cottage Company.

Local Design

One way to add character to a vacation home rental is to infuse local culture into the decor.  Your guests have chosen the location for a reason, so find ways to incorporate its history and atmosphere.  Shop in local stores for items that can only be found in the region, such as building materials, flowers and greenery, artwork, books on the history of the area, tasty treats, or luxurious bath products.  This is a simple but fantastic way to help guests feel like they are experiencing the local flavor without even leaving the house! 

Durable Design

With so many people coming and going, vacation home rentals can suffer a lot of wear and tear.  For beachfront properties, this is especially true as sand gets everywhere, air conditioners run constantly, and families with children often are renters.  Hardwood and tile floors are much easier to maintain than carpeting, while throw rugs can warm up a space and be tossed into the washing machine.  For countertops, quartz and granite are both sturdy and stylish.  Avoid materials that scratch easily such as soapstone and laminate.  While you don’t want your rental to feel institutional, you do want it to last without frequent repairs. 

Decorate to reflect the location of your vacation home rentals, such as this bedroom with rustic wood and green walls. Home designed and built by the Coastal Cottage Company.
Decorate to reflect the location, such as this bedroom with rustic wood and green walls. Home designed and built by the Coastal Cottage Company.

Luxurious Design

Vacations are intended to be relaxing and pampering, something that transports guests away from the mundane.  So while durability and timeless design are important, your property should look and feel like a retreat.  Focus on comfort and try to anticipate your guests’ needs.  For example, provide plenty of high quality linens, rainfall shower heads, plush rugs, and throw blankets.  Depending on your budget, consider adding unique elements that will make the property memorable like a cozy reading nook or extravagant outdoor kitchen.  If you’re on a tight budget, small details can lead to a high return on investment.  For example, install lighting dimmers, provide eco-friendly bath products, or add electrical outlets with USB ports to charge mobile devices.

Kitchen Design

Often, guests choose vacation homes over hotels for the extra amenities they provide.  One of the top five amenities that motivate guests to book a property is the kitchen.  Cooking is a fantastic way for vacationers to save money and spend time with the friends or family they’re traveling with.  So if you’re deciding where to spend your money, the kitchen is a good bet.  As interior designer Mercedes Brennan said, people want to stay in a home they wish they had, so adding a luxurious kitchen can be a good investment.  If pricey upgrades are out of the question, ensure you have provided everything guests will need to cook and enjoy a meal.  For example, provide small appliances like blenders, utensils like can openers, seating for multiple people, even cookbooks that feature local cuisine.

Provide a kitchen that has everything your guests will need, especially enough seating.
Provide a kitchen that has everything your guests will need, especially enough seating like at this fantastic counter. Home designed and built by the Coastal Cottage Company.

We hope these tips will help you design a vacation property that looks like it belongs in Condé Nast Traveller and puts you on track to get more bookings!  And if you’re interested in building a vacation home to rent (or to enjoy yourself), we’d love to chat with you!

Blog by Jessica T. Smith for the Coastal Cottage Company

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

The Four Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

The holidays are quickly approaching. This means our kitchens will experience an increase in traffic as we host parties and welcome family into our homes.  This is also the time of year we complain about our kitchens and dream of spaces more amenable to entertaining.  The Coastal Cottage Company is here to help, whether you’re considering a remodel, building a vacation home, or just writing a wish list for the future.  This month and next, we will feature posts to help you achieve your dream kitchen!

First, let’s talk cabinetry.  Cabinets are more than utilitarian; they’re the face of your kitchen, communicating style and personality.  They’re also something that can be changed without completely remodeling.  New cabinet doors and fixtures can invigorate a tired kitchen, but the number of options is overwhelming!  So here are four of the most popular kitchen cabinet door styles to get you started.


Shaker kitchen cabinet doors get their name from the Shaker furniture style characterized by clean and functional design.  According to Gabrielle Di Stefano, contributor at Houzz.com, Shaker cabinets are made using rail and stile construction (four pieces make the frame and a single flat panel sits in the center).  

Rail and Stile: Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles
Image: Robert Robillard, from A Concord Carpenter

This style has been popular for decades due to its versatility and simplicity.  Homeowners can choose from a variety of finishes.  If you want a more contemporary look, a painted finish looks fresh.  Or, use a glass insert for the center panel.  For something more “shabby-chic,” consider a burnished finish or maintain the natural woodgrain for a rustic style.  Check out this photo gallery for inspiration:

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles
Image: Kitchen Cabinet Kings


The inset style is characterized by the doors sitting inside the cabinet frame, as opposed to resting outside the frame.  This style is very attractive, but also tends to be the most expensive option because it requires extremely precise measurements to ensure the door sits perfectly inside the cabinet frame with enough room for the wood to expand and contract.  

According to Shane Inman, principal interior designer of The Inman Company, inset doors with exposed hinges is often a nice combination.  Homeowners can choose hinges that reflect the style of the kitchen, but keep in mind that it will add an additional cost (in contrast, hidden hinges are often included in the price of the cabinet box).  This photo gallery includes beautiful examples of inset cabinets with exposed hinges: http://www.houzz.com/inset-cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles
Image: Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers


Because there are no frames or inset panels, flat cabinet doors look clean and minimalist, making them especially attractive in contemporary homes. Flat doors typically come in wood or laminate, with a variety of colors and finishes to choose from.  Some homeowners avoid cluttering their cabinet surfaces with hardware while others choose modern options like stainless steel or brushed nickel bar pulls.  Check out this gallery for examples: http://www.houzz.com/flat-cabinet-door

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles
Image: LDa Architecture and Interiors


If the flat kitchen cabinet style is just too plain, you may like the look of beadboard.  Beadboard is made of rows of vertical planks with an indentation or ridge–known as a “bead”–in between each plank.  This gives the cabinet door texture and looks fantastic in country farmhouse or cottage style kitchens.  It can look crisp and cheerful when painted or rustic when the wood is left more natural.  Peruse this image gallery for ideas: http://www.houzz.com/white-beadboard-kitchen-cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles
Image: The Coastal Cottage Company

Shaker, inset, flat, and beadboard are a few of the most popular styles of kitchen cabinet doors.  Each reflects different interior design styles and even homeowners’ personalities.  What style would go in your dream kitchen?

Blog by Jessica T. Smith for the Coastal Cottage Company 

choosing interior paint colors

Choosing Paint Colors

A certified interior designer shares her secrets… 

The ever intimidating job of choosing paint colors can be overwhelming.  However, selecting paint for your home can be a stress free experience when you have confidence about your choices. Below are my tips I use when choosing the right paint for your home as well as your personality. 

LIGHTING: It is very important to know the type of lighting in the room you will be painting. Keep this in mind while shopping for colors.  A paint color will look very different in fluorescent lighting vs. natural lighting vs. incandescent lighting.  Make sure you take your paint chip options home with you and look at them in the space you are painting because the lights at the store will not be anything like the lights you have at home.

EMOTION: Color plays a huge part in our psychology and how we feel in a space.  Remember that the color you select will elicit different emotions.  Think about how you want to feel in that space once it is painted.  Want to feel relaxed and peaceful?  You should go with a cooler or a lighter color.  Or, if you want to feel energized and excited, you can go with a brighter color in a warm tone or a darker color.


choosing interior paint colorsCONTINUITY: When selecting paint colors, think of the home as a whole.  If you are painting the dining room that is adjoining the kitchen, the color of the kitchen will affect how the color of the dining room appears.  When colors are placed next to each other, they make each look different than when alone.  In the image at right, the blue box in the center is the same color but it looks much brighter and more crisp when placed inside an orange box (its complimentary color) than inside a blue box.  

TRIM: What color to paint that pesky trim?  Typically, the best choice is white.  I know it sounds boring but it’s true. 

CEILING: So, you have picked your wall color but now what color do you paint the ceiling?  A good rule to follow is to take the wall color and add 50% white.  You will get a color that is much less dark and will compliment the wall color.  Colors on ceilings always appear darker than the walls. 

choosing outer banks paint colorsCOMBINING COLORS: You want to go with more than one color, as many people do, but how do you know what will look good together?  The best thing you can do is consult the color wheel.  Colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel will always complement each other and make the colors appear true to their hue and appear clean and crisp.

SMALL ROOMS: Small spaces can be made to look bigger with the use of light colors.  

PAINT vs. FURNISHINGS: Always pick your paint color LAST!  This may sound crazy if you are moving into a new house, BUT, there are a million and one paint colors out there but you may only find one sofa that you love.  Choose all the furnishings and accessories and then pick your paint color.  It will ensure that everything matches.

QUALIFYING COLORS: When you bring your paint chip home to see how it will look in the space, do not hold it up against the wall you want to paint.  This will only distort the color of the paint chip.  Instead, hold the paint chip against the sofa or cabinetry to get a better feel of how it will look in the space.

OWN IT: The most important tip that I have is to pick the color that you love and then as scary as this sounds, go one shade darker.  The natural tendency is to go lighter but this will look washed out if you go too light.  You are picking out a color and you want it to look like a color on the wall, not just a version of white.  Don’t be afraid!

Oh, and one last tip…Buy the expensive paint and the good paint brush and roller.  Just do it.  You will save yourself time and hassle and a possible trip back to the store.  You will thank me later.  

I’ve spilled all my secrets on selecting paint color.  Follow these guidelines and you will have a space that you love.  Now, go out into the world of home improvement stores with confidence that you will pick the perfect paint!

 –blog provided by Amy Hilliker Klebitz – Certified Interior Designer www.amyklebitz.com

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