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March 12th, 2011

A great idea is to get color inspiration from your favorite artist. You can look through books of their paintings, choose some that have colors you like and then look at the color combinations in the painting.

I’m considering using blue in a kitchen/dining room area.  This painting by Van Gogh has some great color combinations to use with blues… pale greens, oranges, yellows and a bit of rust and deep red.  They’re all very dynamic together!

Van Gogh's Painting of His Bedroom in Arles

The oranges, rusts and browns in the painting above can already be found  in my room in the hardwood floors.  The other colors can be added in elsewhere if I want to follow this color scheme.

Always consider your color scheme in relation to what’s already in the room like the floors, cabinets and the furniture you’ll be keeping.  Area rugs can be used in another room if they don’t fit your scheme.

Check out Color Inspiration from the Masters of Painting to see palettes from some other famous paintings.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 270 user reviews.

March 12th, 2011

Martha Stewart’s site has slide shows of rooms by color. You can choose from red, pink, green, blue, orange, neutral and black and white. Check it out for ideas of colors to paint your room.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 292 user reviews.

March 10th, 2011

We have a living room that opens onto a kitchen. I’ve always painted the whole area one color. Now I’m yearning for a more varied palette. The plan is to use two different colors… one in the kitchen and one in the living room.

The question is, which two colors will go well together? Looking at photos can help plan… so off I went in search of photos of two colored rooms. Type into Google exactly that: “Images Two Colored Rooms”. Not all of the photos that come up in the search are of rooms, but most are and they can give you a starting point for ideas.

My painter had another suggestion. He said to go to a wallpaper store and look in the wallpaper books. They often show different color combinations that work well together. It’s another place to get ideas.

Good luck in your color search!


Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 186 user reviews.

March 10th, 2011

1. Consider the permanent items in your room… meaning the floors and cabinets and possibly furniture.

2. Consider the lighting in the room throughout the day and year. You can put samples of paint on the wall (smoothly leaving no lines to show through later). Or paint a board (like a poster board) that you can move around the room to see how it looks throughout the day in the different lighting of the room.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 152 user reviews.

March 10th, 2011

Photos of Yellow Rooms

You can easily see lots of photos of rooms in specific colors online! This can help you choose paint colors.

Say you want to see yellow rooms, simply type into Google, “images yellow rooms” (or “red rooms”, “green rooms”, “orange rooms” or “blue rooms”, etc.).  When the search comes up you’ll see “images yellow rooms”.  Click the link to get pages and pages of photos of yellow rooms.  Then click on the thumbnail of any of the photos you’d like to see.

Of course you can do this with any color.

Good luck in your color search!


Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 198 user reviews.

March 8th, 2011

Wondering how to choose paint colors inside your house?  We’re about to do a lot of painting and have found a couple of useful tools.  Here are my favorite so far:

Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer – Has many colors to see on the walls of different rooms in a house

Pottery Barn’s Experience Colors – Allows you to see the Benjamin Moore PB Colors on the Walls in Specific Rooms

Ralph Lauren Paint Your Own – Lets you see their paint in specific rooms

Benjamin Moore Paint – Lets you see walls with different paint colors and create your own scheme

Glidden’s Color Palette – Lets you put different colors on a wall on the screen

Behr Paint- Behr’s paint picker tools.

Even if you prefer one paint brand over another, you can still try these different tools.  I found Sherwin-Williams’ tool to be very helpful, yet our painter prefers to use Benjamin Moore.

One tip by my painter is to always consider the floor color and cabinets if it’s a kitchen or bathroom.  Those are the items that won’t change.  So don’t see the walls on their own when considering the color.  See the walls in the context of the items that will remain in the room.  We have wood floors and cabinets, so that will have a big affect on making the colors we choose work.

Happy hue hunting!


Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 158 user reviews.

November 13th, 2010

Guest Blogger Eric Stevenson is passionate about restoring old homes.  He’s graciously allowed us to post this great article about the dangers that can lurk in these sorts of projects, and the precautions that can be taken to keep your family safe.

You picked the color pallet, watched countless hours of home improvement television and located the nearest home improvement retailer. Unfortunately, if you live in an older home, you have tougher decisions to make than which color to put on the bathroom floor. Especially if you live in a house 30 years or older, prying off those crusty tiles or old cabinets might expose problems you now have to deal with.

Older wiring is an unavoidable issue in older homes. Because newer appliances demand a higher electrical current, outdated systems often struggle to provide the required power, which can tax your system to failure. Frequent breaker trips can indicate this system weakness. In addition, many homes contain ungrounded, two-pronged outlets which need to be replaced with the three-pronged, grounded variety. Removing these electrical hazards that can lead to dangerous fires should be a major concern when families commit to updating their homes.

Heavy metals are another continued risk to homeowners, with one of the most widely-known of these chemicals, lead, continuing to pose a major threat today. Although it’s been recognized as a serious threat in older, deteriorating paints since 1991, it continues to be hazardous because it was also used in a variety of common household products. Gasoline, furniture and water-carrying pipes all historically contained lead, making its recognition difficult because it was such a common component. Devastating impacts to mental, physical and behavioral health are common with exposure to this chemical, especially in children because it’s more easily absorbed into growing skin. Arsenic, cadmium and mercury are other common substances found abundantly in older homes that can lead to serious effects like organ failure and neurological degeneration.

Another toxic chemical presenting serious risk during renovation is the historically-popular mineral, asbestos. Now an infamous carcinogen, asbestos was used frequently because of its high degree of insulation against heat, chemicals and electricity. However, asbestos continues to be found in older homes even after its ban, which makes this chemical another constant threat in the U.S. Unfortunately, without proper identification, families risk continued exposure to this chemical, leading to mesothelioma, which is the chemical’s specific form of cancer. Mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 to 50 years to appear and often mimic other diseases, meaning early detection and treatment of this condition is often impossible.  

Unfortunately, in a frenzy of motivation and excitement, homeowners will inadvertently intensify the risks they face from these materials. Asbestos is particularly dangerous to homeowners when improperly handled because it poses a health risk when it’s been damaged and released into the air they breathe. While you can live in a home for decades without receiving exposure to this material, beginning renovation projects without properly understanding the potential risks can have serious consequences.

Luckily, many private companies and licensed professionals now exist for owners of homes built before federal bans on these chemicals. These professionals can safely identify, remove and dispose of this material without risk to your family. While you can try to remove these chemicals yourself, the lack of professional experience and required equipment make it unadvisable if you’re an average homeowner. By having patience and investing extra time during the beginning of a project, you can ensure the final success of your renovation project and the safety of your family as you update, add value to and improve the efficiency of your home.     

Thanks Eric!

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 234 user reviews.

March 29th, 2010

We have a flat roof on our garage that’s been leaking.  The roofing is at least 15 -20 years old.  It was tarred by the previous owners to try to fix the leaks.  We even tried tarring it as a temporary fix.  That only moved the leak to over parts of the roof.  Flat roofs are difficult to keep from having problems.


I had a few roofers and contractors in to discuss how to fix the problem.  They all agreed that we needed a new roof (you can tell from the photo above).  They differed on how to fix the problem. 

One contractor suggested using GAF Liberty roofing.  It’s an asphalt mix made especially for low sloping roofs.  In the end I decided our roof was too flat for this option.

Another contractor recommended a rubber roofing the comes in 4 feet wide rolls.  Some varieties of this needs to be torched to seal the seams.  I didn’t want a torch to be used on our roof and was worried about all of those seams leaking in the future.

The last contractor recommended using a large rubber sheet to put on the roof.  This made the most sense to me in terms of staving off future leaks.  Also, that contractor installed the same material on the flat roof on his daughter’s house (she’s our neighbor).  That’s a good recommendation for me!  This rubber has only a couple of seams with a cement adhesive.


There is another area on the house that has a low slope (but not as flat).  This roof you can see from the ground, so they put the Liberty roofing there and matched the color to the regular roof. 

imageYou can see in the image above how the Liberty roof in the foreground matches the regular roof in the background.

Talk to a few roofers to see what they recommend for your roof.  Often you get a better idea which is the best choice for you after you hear all the options.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 195 user reviews.

March 27th, 2010

You can use a program like Photoshop to try out different combinations for your house.  I wanted to see how a specific color would look and how it would look covering up the bricks.  (I feel like the bricks give it an old house look and I want it to look more updated.)

My son held a sample up to the house.  (Please note that my camera distorted the color a bit.  It was a cloudy day.)

image I used the clone stamp in Photoshop to paint the siding on the house where I wanted to side it.  Eventually, once I added large swathes of siding on the house, I copied and pasted bigger pieces.  I added the cornices above the upper windows from another photo I had of another house.  I also painted the foundation a different color using the paint tools.


It’s not a perfect representation, but in an hour, I was able to come up with this photo to get a general idea of how the house will look covering the bricks and using this color siding.


Several people have asked if we can perform a service like this for them.  The answer is yes!  If you’re interested in seeing a preview of major work on your house before you commit, please write us at info@shortandlongofit.com .  We’ll send you information as to pricing and procedure.  [For a project like the one above, we’ll charge $100 (via Paypal).  You’ll need to send us a photo of your house and a photo of a sample of the siding.  But please write first, since available slots are limited.]

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 215 user reviews.

March 27th, 2010


We had to replace our roof.  According to my contractor, the major brands are similar in quality: Certainteed and GAF Timberline seem to be comparable.  He said Tamko is heavier.  That’s important if you’re starting surface isn’t smooth, like when you’re going over another roof instead of stripping the old one off.  (Though I noticed that CertainTeed had a lawsuit against it.)

Colors are tricky.  If you’re very precise about color – BEWARE!  The samples you see in the store and the brochures can be different from what you’re going to get.  If this is very important to you, I’d recommend asking for a sheet of roofing to see what the current batches look like.  Also, roofs can fade over time.

The photo below shows the roof we got versus the sample in the book.  The sample is much brighter.  (The middle one is supposed to be the same color as the shingles.  It’s Cetainteed Weathered Wood.)


Our roof has less brown in it than the sample.  It has more grays and burgundies. 

Another point to consider when you choose a roof color is how variegated it is and whether you want a more consistent look or if you like contrasting shingles.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 289 user reviews.

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