Throughout the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet scores of talented, experienced contractors and craftsmen—proud workers committed to excellence. A couple stand out for me: Norm Abram from “This Old House” and Bob Ryley, the builder I worked with on “Home Again”. I think individuals who excel in their trade— plumbing, roofing, masonry, whatever—usually have a few traits in common. Why have I been thinking about this stuff? The following question reached me through Just Ask Bob: “You’ve worked with some great contractors. What qualities do excellent tradesmen share?” View my response below…
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- Painting >
- Eve Ashcraft’s “The Right Color”
Eve Ashcraft’s “The Right Color”
If you’re anything like me, standing in front of a sea of paint colors at the local home center can be an angst-ridden experience. Sure, I can spot colors that I like, and even whittle them down to the few that work best with the furnishings and materials in the room. But when it comes to settling on the right hue, shade and intensity— and how it will read in natural and artificial light (… and, in what type of artificial light: LED, CFL, or incandescent?)—I can actually start to feel beads of sweat forming on my brow.
That’s why color experts like Eve Ashcraft are held in such high regard and why her new book, The Right Color—Finding the Perfect Palette for Every Room in your Home (Artisan Books; Copyright 2011; Hardcover $29.95), is a welcome addition to the paint/color library. Having worked with Martha Stewart on two of her paint collections and countless corporate and personal clients (one even asking her advice on the right shade for his porcelain veneers), Ashcraft is considered one of the foremost authorities on color today. And lest you think the book is too academic or high-brow for the average consumer, think again.
In The Right Color Ashcraft provides an inspiration-packed, consumer-friendly approach to working with color; from the basics of color theory to insights on how best to use color to define space, enhance light, and accentuate ceilings, trim, furnishings and art. She dispels color myths in “Breaking the Color Rules” and offers coordinated palettes for every room of the house, from entry rooms to powder rooms, including examples of her own personal case studies. In addition to helping readers choose the right colors for individual rooms, she also shares her expertise on creating colors that flow from room to room. In short, everything you need to know to think like the pro herself.
For an excerpt from the book, check out this slide show featuring Eve Ashcraft’s 6 Inspirations for Choosing a Color Palette. And be sure to look for Ashcraft’s new collection of paints—Eve Ashcraft Color: The Essential Palette—manufactured by Fine Paints of Europe.
Wood Paneling: Before and After
Here’s a before-and-after worth noting. The wood wall paneling inside an 1890s NYC brownstone was severely damaged nearly a century after its installation—by a guy with a sandblaster. What to do?
The apartment’s interior features a beautiful Jacobean ceiling, parquet oak floors, and floor-to-ceiling paneling of quarter-sawn oak. The paneled walls had probably been painted and left that way, until someone realized there was beautiful wood under the paint and chose to use a sandblaster. Sadly, that someone didn’t realize how much damage would result from using such a drastic method of paint removal. All the wood paneling now has a severely distressed grain which, even when stained and varnished, resembles fir plywood.
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