Janice's Blog

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My First Visit to Maison et Objet in Paris

abigail ahern maison et object janice lindsay
British designer Abigail Ahern’s booth at Maison et Objet
I only had one day to tackle the Maison et Objet 
 show that sprawled across half a dozen buildings 
out near Charles De Gaulle Airport 
– and each was about the size of a terminal!! So, cutting to the chase…
The trends I noticed were Global Nomad, Grunge Luxury, and Back to Primordial Basics.
Here is my take on Global Nomad:
animals maison et objet janice lindsay
We evolved as nomads living in nature (the East African Savanna to be precise),
 and this trend takes us back - way back - to these roots. 
Back to running with the wolves (or lions?). 
Everything was animal. 
Lots of faux fur, real skins and pelts, animal patterns and motifs, and animals! 
Taxidermy (like petrified pets) makes the ultimate accessory 
 for the living room, dining room, or bookless bookshelf.
bears maison et objet janice lindsay
Polar bears, birds, bats and tarantulas, you can have an entire menagerie.
 A faux giraffe head arched over one booth and many others 
had fun takeoffs on wall mounted animal heads 
(like Abigail Ahearn’s sequined zebra head pictured at the top).

frederique morrel maison et objet janice lindsay
Frederique Morrel created spectacular animals covered with tapestry and embroidery.
maison et objet janice lindsay bulldog lamp
Less tribal were the witty British bulldog or French poodle porcelain lamps, also by Ahern.
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There were also light fixtures and furniture made of horns and pelts.
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Nomads need refuge, and there were an abundance of yurts, huts, and tents.
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The weathered wood yurts by Bleu Nature were used as café seating areas…
maison et objet janice lindsay tree stump
…along with matching forest furniture that looked like it was made by gnomes.
maison et objet janice lindsay nomad sofa
The booth by Labyrinthe Interiors was like a Bedouin tent of burlap, 
about 14 feet high and hung with gorgeous crystal chandeliers 
in shapes that echoed Moroccan lanterns as often as those from a French chateau. The tent was furnished with weathered, wood armoires as well as sofas that were simple, monumental and humbly clad in linen.
maison et objet janice lindsay nomad lights
Accessories were all manner of lanterns from bronze to punched tin 
- Lawrence of Arabia style. 
Upcycled patchwork area rugs softened the de rigueur matte grey rough-hewn floorboards.
maison et objet janice lindsay hempmaison et objet janice lindsay hempmaison et objet janice lindsay hemp
Elsewhere, most carpets were shorthaired shags that looked fur-like and gave texture, texture, texture. Copenhagen company private0204 featured flat rugs of recycled hemp 
– “individually and originally collected throughout the Anatolian plateau; washed in the sea and dried on the beach to ensure a unique and amazing hemp touch.” 
Basically, they looked like they’d been put through the wringer, but flaws and wear and tear are a big part of the nomad aesthetic. 
That the same company also had new cashmere shawls that were actually ripped, frayed, and patched to become what they called “one-of-a-kind-ish.”
maison et objet janice lindsay bundles
Another booth had cashmere wraps rolled into bundles and 
held with coordinated belts straps 
- ready to throw onto the back of a camel or toss into a nomad’s grocery cart...
nomad shopping cart
Next, I will tell you about Maison and colour!
 maison et objet janice lindsay laterns


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

San Fransisco and Fun Clients - gadda love my job!

san francisco janice lindsay rainbow flag
Rainbow colours over Castro Street.
There are times when I think I have the best job. Like last week when, poor me, I had to go to San Francisco to do a colour consultation and squeezed in a day walking the town with Susy, one of my clients.
san Francisco Janice Lindsay
Our reflections in a store window on Haight-Ashbury.
Here are some observations:
san Francisco Janice Lindsay orphan andy's
One should start the day with a hearty breakfast at Orphan Andy’s to get into the Cisco groove.
san Francisco Janice Lindsay
Does bold colour always look silly or juvenile? Not when it is done with the skill of an artist. You may not want to try this at home, but, I must admit that this bright blue is one of the most novel applications of exterior paint colour I have seen in a long time. It seems to flaunt any possible rules about colour and placement and yet it really works! It is both bold and sophisticated.
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The famous Painted Ladies were looking rather bland compared to some of the boldly coloured houses nearby.
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Lately, some of the most elegant houses are painted in very dark colour palettes.
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By and large, all-white buildings looked clinical or as if they had a deathly pallor and were unwell. The exception was this stunning Art Deco building. Here the white looked appropriate for the early modernist style and period. The proportions were good, the shapes created balanced rhythm, and there were enough decorative details to add texture and interest. Phew. It could handle the riggers of white.
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There is a big difference between pasty and pastel exterior colours. Buildings with faded grey and beige tones unrelieved by colour look sad and neglected – as if they weren’t invited to the colour party. However, there were pastels that were playful and fun, like this sherbet green with pink, blue and mauve accents highlighted by sky blue lions.
san Francisco Janice Lindsay
Some people still like to push the envelope. It puts a smile on my face when I wonder what the inside is like. By the way, have you ever noticed that when people like purple they really like purple? It becomes an obsession.
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Even when people seemed sartorially achromatic, there’s usually a colour surprise somewhere about their being – a red bike basket, or neon pink toenails to coordinate with a hot pink cast.
san Francisco Janice Lindsay mural
Even if you're not about to paint your exterior the blue of a San Francisco sky, or add a mural encouraging others to "Brighter Faster", after a few days in San Francisco you will likely want to be less chromatically conservative.
san Francisco Janice Lindsay
Maybe upping the visual voltage of your front door or adding a colourful tile welcome mat to your front porch will add the shakeup you might come to crave.

[BTW Susy is now in the throws of adding colour to her place. Stay tuned to see what transpires....]


Monday, June 11, 2012

Spend money to save money - hire a colour pro!

ppg paint colour display

Too much colour choice? Too much colour confusion?

The next time you are going to paint, consider this. Do you simply want to freshen up the walls or do you want to go further…way further? Wouldn’t you rather decorate, renovate, bring out the beauty in everything you have and make yourself feel good every day? If you do want to get more out of your paint investment then perhaps you need to invest in a pro. Here is why: everyone – yes, everyone – should hire a colour expert before they hire a painter or invest their own time and money in doing the job.
yellow paint colours
Some of my colour research at PPG headquarters in Pittsburgh.

Knowing colour is different from knowing paint.

We are all colour experts with an intuitive colour sensibility. You know if you like yellow but hate orange or like neutrals but want a red dining room; but this does not mean you know which yellow, red or set of neutrals. You may be confident with hue (red, blue, green, the spectrum), but not so clear about value (the degree of light to dark) or chroma (the clean to muted dimension of colour).
paint colour kits
My personalized colour kit made with 4 x 8 PPG chips.

A colour expert brings a kit with about 2000 colour samples that are usually ones large enough to actually see the colour of the colours! The size makes it easier to refine your choices quickly. Add their expertise and you should be able to get just the right variation of “your colour”.
janice lindsay hiring a colour consultant blogjanice lindsay colour designjanice lindsay hiring a colour consultant blog
Colour designed by Janice. How much calm or drama you want in your colours will depend on your personal colour sensibility.

Scale affects colour.

Because colour is not pigment but energy - light reflected off a pigment - knowing how to look at paint chips and calibrate them to achieve the right look on walls is a specialize skill. Taking away the guess-work requires training and lots of experience.
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One of my bookshelves: Colour experts know a lot more than most people about colour history, colour psychology, light and lighting, oh yes, and design.

Even artists and designers - colour experts in their various fields - know that wall colour is a different medium and skill set. They value help of a wall-colour expert. People who are confident enough to go solo can get amazing results but it is hit and miss.



Chances are your best colour ideas are the ones you second-guess yourself on. Friends, partners and painters can also rattle your confidence. The result is usually way too much beige and not enough personality. A colour consultant builds on good ideas, catches what won’t work and explains why.
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Colour design by Janice. With help you can take your ideas further, rather than playing it safe.

The result is a more unique mix tailored to the client and to the context and is so satisfying. Would you ever feel good in clothing that did not fit you well or suit who you are? Well, rooms dressed in the wrong colours can also drag you down, while colours customized to you and your space bring a feel-good energy every single day.
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Tecca's cup[board: With a little help you might find all sorts or places to enjoy colour.

What does it cost?

It’s really more about how much does it save?
The cost of a colour consultation is the cost of one paint mistake.
If you get one colour wrong, you have wasted time and money by not hiring an expert. If you do not make a mistake, are you still sure you got the most value out of your investment or did you play it safe? Is the result ok but not fantastic? Do all the undertones in the colours work together or is something off? Does your furniture, carpets and art look their best or do they just sit there unenhanced?
undertones janice lindsay colour expert
Sue's place: Colour by Janice. A colour expert does not force strong colour on you, but they do pay attention to nuances of undertone.

Do all the existing finishes – tile, marble, wood, and cabinetry - look as if they are pulled into a cohesive whole? If not, you have not maximized your investment.

Colour consultants charge anything from $50.00 per hour to $250.00 per hour. Some charge a flat fee like $750.00 per house. (Eve Ashcraft in NYC starts at $2500.00!)
janice lindsay colour consultant
For me, there is no such thing as too many colours. They are not confusing, but rather opportunities waiting to happen!

How to choose your Colour Consultant:

  • Make sure your consultant has training and experience. Painting, weaving, and set design are the kind of experiences that enhances an understanding of how colour works. (BTW, colour is not included in the curriculum for architects. This does not mean they are bad with colour, but it does explain why they often prefer white and grey and are not always comfortable choosing anything else.)
  • Get a list of references.
  • Look at portfolios.
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Colour by Janice.

Why just paint when, with a little help, you can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and experience how good your colours feel every single day?!
happy client
Happy client, Bonnie Sabil.

Why dither when you could start enjoying yourself right now? Call an expert on your area! Or, heck, call me! I travel far and wide. Colour consultations are a lot of fun. And it takes only a few hours to fast track yourself to chromatic joy.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Get in touch with your Creative Side and be amazed!

janice lindsay collage workshop blog
Collage workshop: Aida Gonzalez Fry’s work in progress.
There is not a soul on earth who does not have a creative streak running through them and a child-like joy that gets released when allowed to mess with paint and paper, exploring the world of colour and shape...or so I thought. That is why my friend Lorraine and I decided to bring New York artist David Hornung to Toronto for a colour and collage workshop. And this wasn’t the first time. David is a professor of colour courses whose book, Colour: A Workshop for Artists and Designers, was so inspirational that last year Lorraine and I got him to come here and teach us colour mixing.
david hornung collage workshop in toronto with janice lindsay
David Hornung showing us colour mixing.
Like the time before, we rounded up nine others who were willing to book off an entire week and we settled in to Lorraine’s wonderful studio.
janice lindsay collage workshop blog
Lorraine’s normally tidy studio by day two. Just being there makes you feel like an artist.
And then it happened. I realized I was dreadful at collage! It was not just that I was positioned at a table between two brilliant collage artists – my friend Aida Gonzalez Fry, a painter and colour designer from Florida and my daughter Caroline – always an inspiration.
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Me with my daughter, Caroline Macfarlane of The Good Bike fame.
As Aida and Caroline magically produced one wonderful piece after another, as if born collaging, I struggled and pushed and forced paper and paint into submission in the most unsatisfying way. And so it continued: day one…day two… I was resigning myself to the knowledge that we can’t all be good at everything. I might think I am brilliant at selecting the best colours for a client’s home but that doesn’t mean I don’t “suck” at collage.
janice lindsay collage workshop blog
The work starting to come together. The two top works are by Sharyn Adler Gitalis, a friend, colour and lighting designer, and artist in her own right.
Day three something started to click for me. I started getting into a groove. Things seemed to come together almost by themselves. It was great! Almost effortless and so satisfying. Suddenly I was making pieces that even looked wall-worthy. Collage was amazing!!! I had begun.
janice lindsay collage workshop blog
Sharyn, Helene Vinet, old friend and artist Barbara Todd at her computer, and quilt artist Joyce Seagram.
So this is what I learned: To accomplish something new, or something that does not come easily, we have to allow ourselves time. If you are successful from the get-go, challenge yourself to go to the next level, the place where you are tempted to give up and to say you can’t do it. We may not have the mythic 10,000 hours to truly become accomplished, but I am convinced that if we can be in a place without the phone beeping, the internet tempting, and life interrupting, we can all accomplish great things.
janice lindsay collage workshop blog
The group critique. Barbara, Marilyn, Patsy, Joyce (seated), Roz Kavander and Lorraine. Most sporting the aprons cut from a roll of plastic sheeting.
It is harder to do it alone. David Hornung was a fabulous guide and guru. But he wasn’t joking when he said we should all come back together for another week without him. There was such a power to the collective energy in the space. It is a total pleasure to be single-mindedly focused in a room full of people with a similar intent. I speculate it would be like running a marathon or just getting through an exercise class, we do better in a group. We don’t give up. We go just a little further, try just a little harder…and we have more fun.
janice lindsay collage workshop blog
Roz Kavander, my friend and my travel buddy when I go to CMG colour conferences.
And, in case I ever doubted it, I am convinced we are all creative. We just need to make the time and find the place where we can let it come out. If we can’t find that, then we have to invent it for ourselves.
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Caroline’s works in progress.
The best things happen when, one way or another, you just do it!

If you are an artist, designer or latent creative type and want to be contacted in the spring of 2013 about the next workshop then let me know. Hornung’s book will be re-released this fall and is a must have for anyone who is serious about colour.