Benjamin Moore Releases Color Trends for 2013

Taking cues from the fashion and art world, paint super giant Benjamin Moore has released their color trends for 2013 on their blog today. Categorizing each new color family into four distinct palettes, they’ve laid out unique and envelope-pushing ideas to create the perfect pallet for your pad. Take a look and leave your comments:

Urbanite Palette – “The raw and edgy side of our Urbanite design theme was influenced by pattern, color and the desire for a new take on contemporary styling.” – Benjamin Moore

Ubanite Palette in Action – “Yellow and blue are such a traditional color combination, but when we added green-based grays to the mix, we got the exciting palette this contemporary theme needed.” – Benjamin Moore

New Traditional Palette – “This wonderfully sophisticated theme illustrates the best of geometric pattern and color to create a new twist on the conventional look of time-honored style.” -Benjamin Moore

New Traditional Palette in Action - “Feminine colors such as dusty mauve mixed with masculine shades of evening dove and baja dunes offer a mature compromise for this theme.” – Benjamin Moore

Artisan Palette - “Deep, rich and cozy is the only way to describe the Artisan color palette.” -Benjamin Moore

Artisan Palette in Action - “It’s all about found objects and family heirlooms. Surround yourself in this eclectic mix of cherished items and warm comforting colors, you may never leave the space!” – Benjamin Moore

Coastal Palette - “Think of very soft and fluid colors; the next level of “spa” used in many bathroom design schemes, finding it’s way into other rooms in the home.” – Benjamin Moore

Coastal Palette in Action - ‘We took inspiration from the sea without it looking like a seaside resort. The relaxing and soothing palette of stratton blue, lemon sorbet, and tranquility are bound together by the watery hues of van courtland blue and simply white creating a restful retreat within your own home.” -Benjamin Moore

To explore more of all things Benjamin Moore, please visit

Wall Decals – Size Does Matter

You know us and wall treatments: its a sick obsession. Wallflower, a company based in Culver City, CA is upping the ante on high-resolution, jaw dropping images which double as bold statements on any wall.
Creating dramatic statements on big white walls is always a challenge. With these decals you can now have high-quality, larger-than-life images which are durable and can be moved with ease. Smaller decals are available for spaces like bathrooms and living rooms.

For more information on this great company, visit them at

‘No Door’ Policy Shapes a Local Ad Agency

Alfonso Santaniello is CEO of The Creative Strategy Agency in Springfield, MA

In a corporate world of cubicle farms and water coolers, Alfonso Santaniello is breaking the mold. CEO of The Creative Strategy Agency, Santaniello has taken a different approach to creating a work environment for his employees and clients that fosters collaboration and creativity.

The company specializes in digital and media strategy for businesses in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, and is located in a former 19th century hotel at 1242 Main Street. The building’s worn marble stairs leads to the fourth floor office suite where The Creative Strategy Agency has called home since July. Visitors are immediately greeted by a small foyer which, in lieu of commercial wallpaper, chalkboard paint has been applied to the walls where messages, quotes and working notes are displayed.

Santaniello has a ‘no door’ creative philosophy and has physically
removed the doors from his office.

Chalkboard paint transforms walls into meeting places.

No fabric–lined cubicles or stodgy office furniture fill this wood-floored space, only cozy sitting areas, a spacious conference room and a foosball table in the corner of the main office.

Every surface is a place to brainstorm and share ideas.

“In a creative agency, you need to be able to step away and take a breath,” says Santaniello, who feels like he’s at home in the space. “I couldn’t do that in a traditional office.”

Santaniello didn’t break the bank with designing his new office, either. Furniture and artwork are a hodgepodge of hand-me-downs and Craigslist finds. But it works. The sitting areas are inviting and modern.

“We kept it simple and used what we had. Easy things like removing all the doors in the space. There’s no need to have a closed door in a creative space.”

This space is also where The Creative Strategy Agency will also resume recording and webcasts of the eNews Business Channel, which features interviews with local guests in a talk-show setting. Currently, in the studio room sits a piñata from the company’s third birthday party held in the office last month.

“It’s a really fun place to work,” says newcomer Emily Marino. “At my former job, I had to send an email to someone in the next office. Now it’s easy to just ask them across the room.”

Communication is easier when the atmosphere is relaxed and open.

Random sitting areas are placed throughout the office in attempts to make clients feel comfortable and informal.

For more information about The Creative Agency, please visit them at

Know of a local business that is getting creative with their interiors? Drop me a note in the ‘contact‘ section above.

How to Choose the Right Rug

Choosing the right rug can be a challenge. The size, color, construction material will either lend to your design or dominate it. In my travels, I am always on the lookout for companies who understand these potential design pitfalls and help educate their customers before they make an investment purchase such as a large hand-woven area rug.

West Elm offers a three step ‘how-to’ process as part of their Design Lab to walk you through the often nail-biting process of purchasing the right rug for your space.

West Elm offers a three step process on choosing the right rug. For more information visit them at

Even as a designer, I appreciate such a tool that is educational and informative to help keep me focused and present inspiration. It’s also a great way to get a crash course on a company’s products or explain a product to a client. Albeit, this tool is sales-driven (and how could it not be), it’s still a great way to get the right rug.

Educating customers on the differences in material is one of the steps of this tool. Color, pattern, and material are also addressed.


For more information or to start shopping for that perfect rug, visit the West Elm Design Lab.

Not Your Grandmother’s Wall Covering

I am obsessed with creative wall coverings. I once dined at a restaurant in Manhattan with burlap walls. I couldn’t stop touching it, and it gained me a few strange looks from other patrons.

In the home, my enthusiasm for wall coverings is even stronger. From paintable, textured wallpaper to creative coverings like fabric or metal, the possibilities are endless and often affordable.

Last night, I was excited to see that stikwood starting following me on Twitter. If you share a passion for creative covering, you MUST check out their site

stikwood offers high-quality ‘peel-and-stick’ wood paneling. Made in the US, environmentally sustainable and easy to install

As a designer, I am always on the hunt for companies that offer something out-of-the-ordinary at an affordable price. Having just introduced their offerings to the public at Dwell on Design in L.A. in June, I suspect great things for stikwood and look forward to working with them.

Peel and stick backing makes adhering wood planks to a wall quick and easy.

But the fun doesn’t stop at wall coverings. You can use stikwood for other projects as well. Ugly cabinet backs and bland end tables can get a facelift in wood finishes like ‘barn red’ or ‘reclaimed weathered wood’.

For more examples check out their blog here: