How To Choose The Perfect Gray Paint Color

Everyone loves gray.  It's become the go-to paint color.  

   Choosing the right shade can be tricky.  I think it catches people off guard.  If you have never worked with gray paint there's something you need to know, it's a "paint color chameleon".   Here's a common unassumingly walk into a paint store, pick a gorgeous color, bring it home, put it on the wall and...
 the color changes completely. 

It can suddenly become blue, green, tan or lavender (light purple).  Gray has many different undertones which appear much stronger once the color is on the wall.
Unlike many other colors, 
gray is highly sensitive to it's surroundings.  
 I came up with this list of tips to help my on-line design clients choose the perfect gray...

If you find yourself purchasing more than 4 or 5 samples, my advice is to cut your losses and call a local designer/decorator for an in-home color consultation.  It will cost less than a million paint samples and your sanity. 

I started a Pin Board with some of my favorite gray spaces, click here to follow along.
{Feel free to pin my tips while your there}

What gray paint colors have you used?  Any favorites or suggestions for others looking for the perfect gray?

For information on my affordable design services, please click here. 

Houzz Feature~What Are Your Thoughts On Horizontal Stripes?

Right now, I think we all love horizontal stripes.  Maybe not on our bodies, but definitely in our homes.  This is a great ideabook from with some gorgeous striped spaces. 
 I am honored to have my boys room featured in this article...

I don't think I'll ever tire of stripes.  They are an easy way to wake up a tired space or finish off a room that's missing something.   How about you?  Do you think horizontal stripes are here to stay? Or, are they just a current design trend that will eventually run it's course?  

What are your thoughts?  How have you used them in your home?  Feel free to post pictures of your stripes on my facebook page or tell me about them in the comments.  
I love to hear what you have to say!

In case you are already looking to cover your striped walls, Mandi @ Vintage Revivals just posted a tutorial for painting over stripes.  She shared some great tips, here

Makeover Monday~Kids Trophy Display

The older my boys get, the more sports take over their lives - and our house.
This winter my goal was to update their bedroom by transitioning from a nautical theme into a sports theme. Organization and additional storage were a top priority.

Their original bedroom was designed around their love of time spent at our family cottage in Northern Michigan. Now that they are older, most of their time and attention is focused on sports.

Here is the old room...


The transformation started with a new wall color, fun stripes and a custom built DIY trundle bed.
Their old artwork was beginning to feel juvenile so it was retired. This created a large open space over the new bed.

The boys are very proud of their trophies, medals and team photos. The growing collection was starting to become clutter around the room. Instead of resisting it, I decided to embrace it and make it the focal point of the space. I created a sports display with a custom built-in shelving unit on the blank wall.

The Tutorial...

To create the trophy shelf I used two pine boards, two wood brackets and four white picture frames from the dollar store.

After one coat of primer and two coats of white paint, I screwed one of the pine boards into the wall. Using three inch screws I drilled directly through the board into the studs.

The brackets were attached using screws and construction adhesive.

Once the glue was dry,
the top board was put into place and screwed into the bottom board and the brackets.

Since this shelf is mounted over the bed, safety was a number one priority.

I used velcro picture hangers (by Cammand)  to mount the frames to the bottom board (covering the screws). By using velcro, the frames are secure but still removable.
As the seasons change we can easily swap out the team photos.

For a little added inspiration I printed and framed the boys' favorite quote.

Along with their passion for their individual sports lies a love for our Detroit teams.

I made sure the new built-in shelf was extra deep providing plenty of room to accommodate their growing collection of trophies and cherished Detroit team collectibles.

This project cost less than $40 when it was all said and done. Wood brackets and pine boards are very inexpensive {they are also light weight which is a plus for wall mounting}. The frames came from the dollar store and the accessories consisted of things the kids already had.

Not only was this project budget friendly but it was a snap to put together. I think it took longer for me to write this post than it did to create the shelf.
While I was busy working on the trophy shelf, I put my Hubby to work in the closet. The boys room has two closets. I popped the door off of this one to create a little more room space.

Here is what it looked like before:


After removing the door, the closet was painted the same wall color as the rest of the space.

The wire builder grade closet rack was removed and replaced with two built-in laminated wood shelves.

My husband designed the closet to provide storage for sports equipment in an attractive way.

He was able to create a custom closet design with lots of storage by incorporating a tall dresser.

A hanging bar for easy access of sweatshirts, uniforms, singlets and jerseys was hung low within a child's reach.

And of course, another trophy shelf.

Now, instead of stressing out about a lack of storage space for sports stuff, we are excited about adding more!

Thanks for visiting.

© Copyright 2013 The Yellow Cape Cod
For information on my affordable online design service, please click here

Winter Project~Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek of my latest winter project, brought to you by The Home Depot and part of the Blogher Winter Project 2012 Makeover Monday Series! You can see the entire project tomorrow 9:00am EST at and here at Please stop back and say "Hi".

I would love to see what you guys have been up to this winter.  Please stop by my Facebook page and post a pic to my wall or leave a comment telling us about your latest project.  
See you tomorrow.

Conquering Analysis Paralysis~Decorate Fearlessly

Today's post is dedicated to a problem that has affected all of us, including myself.

It's become a decorating epidemic.

Analysis Paralysis.
{Click here to see the Wikipedia definition}

It's like seeing the trees for the forest and not the forest for the trees. 
  Sometimes we are so afraid of making a decor mistake that we over analyze every detail and end up not doing anything.  

I think most of the time, fear of making a mistake that will cost money is the cause of the paralysis.  Another reason is an unrealistic desire for perfection.  Sometimes we get tripped up by one detail and it prevents us from taking another step forward.  

The other day, I was suffering from this condition while working on a design plan.
I quickly shot this photo from my computer and asked myself, "Sarah, what would you tell this person suffering from analysis paralysis?"...

Here are the tips I give myself and clients suffering from Analysis Paralysis:

1.  Give up the idea of perfection.  Decide to make your space better as opposed to perfect.  
"Better may not be perfect but, better is still...better". 

2.  Make a plan.  Tackle one project at a time, one space at a time to keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed.  Once the plan for one space has been executed, move on to the next.

3.  Put a time limit on the creation of the plan.  Give yourself a deadline to complete the plan.  This will give you time to carefully weigh your options before making decisions but, it will force you to make decisions.

4.  Once it's ready, don't second guess your plan.  Stick to it and follow through.  If something unexpected arises and you need to re-think the plan, go back to step number three and put a time limit on the new plan.  The unexpected usually makes the space better in the end. Sometimes it's nice to have a buddy that you can bounce ideas off of.  Someone who knows you well and will keep you on track.  

5.  You can ease a lot of your fears by keeping big ticket items somewhat neutral and take your decorating risks with less expensive items.  This way, if you tire of the look or your color scheme changes, you can switch things out with feeling guilty.  If your fear is mainly budget driven, this tip is super important.

6.  Know when to ask for help. I have had clients spend hundreds of dollars on the wrong paint colors before calling me for a $50 in home color consultation.  Choosing paint colors, fabrics and furnishings can be tricky.  Having a professional help can save you money and frustration.   DIY projects are great, but if you are unsure of your abilities or you are not comfortable with the tools needed to complete the task, call someone for's ok.  And, may cost less in the long run.

7. This is the most important tip...Decorate fearlessly.  Have fun and don't be too serious.  If you make a purchase and it isn't right, take it back.  If you painted something and the color is off, paint it again.  Discovering what you don't like is progress.  Try not to be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get something right.  So it may take a little longer to get to your final destination.  Your house isn't going anywhere.  If you approach decorating with a light-hearted attitude, you may actually enjoy the process. Trial and error results in the best design.

8.  Design is subjective.  There are no right or wrong ways to decorate.  The most important thing is that a home is a reflection of the people that live there.  "He who is happiest, is he who finds peace in his home".   For true contentment,  Decorate for yourself and your lifestyle, not to impress others.  

I love to see and hear what you guys have been up to.  Please stop by my facebook page and post a pic or tell me about your latest project.  Your project may just be the inspiration someone else needs to conquer their decorating paralysis.  

For information on my affordable online design service, Please click here

Vintage Inspired Home Makeover~Before/After

Aside from the amazing people I meet, the coolest thing about having an online decorating business is the places I get to go without leaving my home office.
This project was on a home located in a New York City suburb.

The homeowners have busy lives, both professionals dealing with city life.  Carolyn, has a dream job working in the fashion industry for a big name company.  She and her husband wanted their home to be a cozy, romantic place for them to retreat to.  They have a passion for Vintage French Style decor. They were ready to go all out to make their home a reflection of their romantic style.

The plan I put together included both quality reproduction furniture and authentic vintage pieces.
The clients were eager to get started and wasted no time shopping, decorating and scouring the internet for unique vintage finds.  One of the first purchases they made was an antique ladder to use as a quilt rack.
Here are some of "before" shots:
(Dining Room "Before")
(Living Room "Before")
Needless to say, I was pretty excited to open my email and see these "after" shots...
The Dining Room
The Living Room
 The Boudoir
Tres chic, Carolyn. You guys have done an amazing job.  Everything is beautiful and couldn't be more perfect.  Thank you for inviting me into your home and allowing me to share your "before and afters".  Enjoy your new place. For information on my affordable online design service, please click here. 
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