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Losing Your Keys? Good Interior Design in the Entryway Can Help

Your entryway interior design could be sabotaging your life. How would you know? Well, do you lose things often at home, such as your keys, glasses or wallet? Do you pile things around, vowing to put them away later when you “have the time”? If this sounds like your experience, you may not be a scatter-brained slob, you may just be the victim of poor interior design.

Whimsical vintage key rack doubles as a hat hook.
Whimsical vintage key rack doubles as a hat hook.

Don’t rely on your willpower to change your losing ways. Instead, create physical systems in your entryway that support your personality and loosing things will occur less often. I’ve been known to put my purse in the refrigerator while hurriedly unloading groceries, so I know what I’m talking about. Implement my tips, then practice the habit of using them – the habit combined with the physical fixes is what will help you stay organized.

Imagine your home as a box of tools. Everything you put in that box must serve you in the best way possible. Unless you have the funds to remodel, the way you move throughout the home will be mostly controlled by the architecture. Despite that, there are still things you can do in your entryway to control chaos and encourage your neat self – no matter how small that self may be. Here are a few tips.

  • Install one or more key racks with hooks near EACH outside Entryway door: Use these racks for hanging keys and sunglasses safely and quickly as you enter or leave your home. If you wear hats, be sure to add a hat hook or peg.
  • Add organizers to your entryway: (If you mostly enter the house through the garage, install an organizer there). Place a bookshelf, vintage storage lockers, etc., or build cubbies with a basket, shelf or space for EACH person in the home. Make this area is large enough to hang purses, hats, jackets, shoes, umbrellas and other regularly used items.
  • Rest and regroup: Put a bench and/or table near the front door (outside as well if your situation allows): use this surface to rest groceries, etc., as you look for a key, stage items to leave with you, change shoes and more.

    An entryway mirror can brighten the space as well as give you a last minute visual check.
    An entryway mirror can brighten the space as well as give you a last minute visual check.
  • Hang an entryway mirror: Include a hook nearby for a lint roller for a quick clothing touch-up.
  • Control the entryway crud: Use both an inside and outside floor mat. Choose an exterior mat that catches the most dirt, water and sand depending upon your location, such as: cast iron or rubber lattice doormat, recessed grille mats, water-hog polypropylene mats with water dam boarder, or carpet and sisal mats if the transition area is relatively clean.
  • Remember to Charge: Add a power docking station to power bike lights and phones in the entryway so that you will remember to pick them up as you pass by.

Implement the entryway ideas that you think will work in your entry with the goal that each change will work with you and your family member’s thinking style and provide easy to use solutions that decrease drama and loss. These entryway ideas have worked well for me, and though I’m certainly not perfectly organized, I spend a lot less time looking for keys, purses, phones, etc., than I used to.

Color Wheel from Paint Happy by ©Cristina Acosta

Complementary Colors – Tips and Ideas

Remember that opposites attract and you’ll start to get a grip on the concept of complementary colors.  But like any relationship of opposites, the passionate pop of togetherness can be festive and passionate or garish and out-of-control.

What exactly are complementary colors? Simply, they are colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel or color circle, a schematic that presents pigment colors in at the least, their primary and secondary relationships. Color circles or wheels dating to the 1700’s help artists and scientists visually understand the color experience (check this Wikipedia link). The complimentary colors opposite each other on the color wheel are pairs, for example: Red is opposite (complements) Green, Blue is opposite Orange, Yellow is opposite Violet. Science and history aside, here are some practical tips for using complementary colors in real life.

  • Follow the 80%-20% rule: Create dominance of one color over another by using  about 10%-20% of one complement against 80%-90% of the other complementary color. In the photos below, you can see how the red and green of the cup and grass change dominance due to their visual ratio. This is a 2-dimensional example that shows you how colors work in a contained area (print, painting, a computer or tv screen).
Green Dominates the Red Complementary Color
Green Dominates the Red Complementary Color
Red dominates the Green complementary color
Red dominates the Green complementary color










Choosing complementary colors for architectural spaces is a different challenge. When using complementary colors in a room or an area where multiple wall colors are visible from different vantage points, the percentages of color will vary with a person’s vantage point. My 80%-20% rule is a guideline, not a mandate, and like any design or art “rule,” can be broken successfully. As a architectural colorist I find that playing with the ratios of various colors is a exciting balancing act that shifts as you walk through a room or in and around a large architectural space.

Cascade Middle School Colors by Cristina Acosta, architectural colorist.
Cascade Middle School Colors by Cristina Acosta, architectural colorist. Note how the complementary colors of blue (turquoise) and orange balance each other.

For color consulting, contact colorist Cristina Acosta. 541-389-5711 [email protected]



Modern Metallics Meld Traditional Surfaces with Contemporary Design

Mixing metallics into your home design can give a small space a stylish vibe. Put the metallic accents on existing cabinetry and your small space can remain clear and uncluttered - both practically and visually. And when those metallics come in a coppery pink tone, the result is gorgeous! Metallic finishes can play up modern architecture like this master bath at the same time they link traditional materials like marble with the contemporary shapes of the home design.
The perfect wall paint color brings together the variety of surfaces with a unified color. With that in mind, choosing the color that works with every color in the bathroom is very important. Helping my clients choose the best color for the room meant first determining a few basic concepts.

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Choosing Room Colors

Creating a paint color scheme blending good color design with the architecture of your home is like putting together a 3-D puzzle. One part of that puzzle changes and everything changes. And change can be complicated. If you've ever felt overwhelmed by color, you're not alone. Putting together entire interior design color schemes can be a lot to think about. But, mixing colors around your home gets a little simpler if you think about those color combinations as a master color plan.

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Seeing Color Through the Eyes of Neuroscience

Visualize "fire engine red" and the color red rushes to mind with or without a vision of the wheels. Seeing color is such a natural condition that we often don't question why we see colors and we presume that everybody sees the same colors. Though most of us do see the same colors, some people can't.

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Color and Design Concepts: The Balance of Repetition and Variation (and a Snake)

Good design snakes our attention. Interesting design of all types, including home interior design is about moving the eye, mind and body throughout the work. Whether that work is architectural, a photograph, painting or product, when the viewer is engaged, the work is a success. That doesn't mean that good design appeals equally to everyone. That's not possible. Despite that, there are general concepts or tools that designers and artists of all types use. One of those tools is the balance of design repetition to variation.

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Why do Americans Have a Fascination with White Ceilings?

Painting your ceiling white is not necessary or even always a good idea. White paint will not always make your room look larger, cleaner and more fashionable. Sometimes it will, but sometimes it's a big mistake. Mostly, people paint their ceilings white because they don't know what else to do. I'm not exactly sure when white ceilings became the fashion, though I suspect the country's fascination with white paint began in 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair. The famed White City made of white stucco and brightly lit with the new-fangled street lights must have been an entrancing alternative to the dark countryside and dimly lit city streets filled with dark tenement buildings.

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Add an Accent Wall to Update a Room

Accent walls are especially popular because it's a way to add a colored wall to a room without having the color define the entire room. Painting an accent wall also save spending time and money repainting the room to update it with color. The best accent wall is one that reinforces a focal point in the room. A focal (or focus) point is an area of a room that catches your eye.

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Beware of Matchy Matchy Colors

Have you seen the TV ads of homeowners bringing their lamps and teddy bears (or whatever) to the paint counter of a big box retailer? They look so relieved when the friendly paint store employee informs them that, "Yes, we can match this color!" They may be relieved at the paint counter, but that doesn't always mean they're going to love the paint color on the walls of their home. Matching paint colors to fabric and favorite object colors isn't a fail-safe way to choose colors. Though looking for paint colors that exactly match a favorite object may seem like the best solution to finding the proper hue, the wall color may not look as good as you imagined when the paint is on the walls in the three dimensional space of your home.

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