Can I use a dark paint in my bathroom?

What a good question I received from a recent design client! One would automatically assume that the answer is going to be no... one would be wrong! This is a loaded question, so let me provide some follow up info to help clarify why my answer can sometimes be yes.

Photo credit to

Photo credit to

So, my first question to you is which bathroom is this?

If it's a powder room, my answer is YES, we can paint or wallpaper or do a dark wall treatment. Why? Because this room is for show. Yes it's functional because people will use the toilet and wash their hands, so they need to be able to see the faucet handles, but that's basically it! This bathroom serves no other purpose than to look cute and flush! Do what you want to this bathroom, it's your toy to play with. Use it to experiment with color, take a walk on the wild side here. The amount of wall space in here is so minimal and you yourself will rarely use it, so if you mess it up it's cheap to redo and if you go overboard, it's for your guests, not you.. just don't go in there! Chances are you will find your inner creative when designing this small space.

Is this a guest bathroom? 

Do you like having guests? If no- Paint it as dark as you want, then they won't stay long! LOL If your answer is yes, how often do you have guests and how small is this room? If your room has high enough ceilings or a lot of natural light, you may still get away with some dark paint or paper or stone or tile in this room on your wall. Dark tile on your floors doesn't affect the room looking small if you compliment it properly with your lighter wall selections. The purpose of this room is to function when your guests are here, in the morning when they wake up and freshen up, possibly apply makeup and then intermittently during their day and again at night. If your guest bathroom is small, and does not contain bright, natural light, go light on your walls. If you're in love with a dark color, try it in the shower or one accent wall, if it can be any wall other than your vanity sink wall. This wall requires "task" lighting and should be as bright as possible for applying makeup, face washing, shaving etc. 

Is this your master bathroom?

If your answer is yes, how large is it and do you get natural light in it? If you see the ultra contemporary master above, it's massive and has high ceilings. This makes the room appear large and, combined with the window and bright, illuminated mirror, any task can be completed with ease in this room. They counterbalanced the dark walls with bright floors and accent walls in bright white near the shower. As this is YOUR main bathroom, only you spend time in here, so it should be planned the way YOU will use it.  If you don't use a tub, don't put one in... as long as there is ONE tub in the house somewhere, you do not need one in your master. If you have ten foot high ceilings but your room is smaller, try using one dark accent wall, but leaving the remaining walls light. If you absolutely MUST have that fab new dark raisin color in your master, make sure you have a boat-load of lighting to attack the areas you need for tasks. Many homeowners feel that a light bar or two above their sink is sufficient enough to do all they need to do at their sinks. For some this is true, but once you go dark, this will not be the case. Add recessed cans to your ceiling to assist in brightening up your space. If you have lots of natural light coming in, either from a window or solar tube, go nuts with your dark-choosing self. Just make sure if you are the girl who takes two hours to do her hair and makeup in the morning, that your lighting is enough to see the smallest pimple you're trying to cover or eyebrow hair you're trying to pluck! As women, we get so wrapped up in the beauty of the new space, that we forget how it's supposed to function for us. 

SOOOOO... can you go dark in the bathroom? Yes, absolutely, depending on these factors. Now, get to painting! Ned help selecting the right dark or perfect combo palette for your bathroom remodel? I'd love to work with you if you're in the Phoenix-metro area, but I also travel for the right projects. Simply go to my contact page and call or fill out the inquiry form and I'll be in touch.


What your living room says about you...

I'm a sofa in your living room... what am I saying to you right now? Am I brown and outdated? Am I way too big for my surroundings? Do I look lazy and unstructured, like I'm just tired and worn out? OH NO... am I beige? I'm beige, aren't I? What do my friends look like? Do the chairs look just like me or are they more exciting with patterns and bold colors? Is my room even painted, or is it still the color it was when we first moved here? 

The living room is one of the most important rooms of the home. Unless your home has a family room, it's where you and your guests sit and watch television or talk. It's one of the most viewed rooms of the house, so it should always look it's best. It should also FEEL it's best. Is it cozy? Is it warm? Does it make you want to sit and stay awhile? 

Believe it or not, your living room says a lot about you! If you're a neat freak, your living room will be well cleaned and organized. If you collect things, your room may contain clutter. If you're bold and like to make a statement, your room may have fun pieces in it. If you're daring, it will show in the patterns throughout the room. If you love color, your room will be nothing neutral but if you're scared of color, your living room may be lack-luster. 

Now, if you look around your room right now and think, hey this room is nothing like me! It doesn't express who I really want to be... then congratulations, you're ready for a remodel! You've probably known this for a while but just haven't pulled the trigger. I understand, it's not necessarily a cheap endeavor, nor is it an easy one! Decisions must be made, colors and patterns and textures chosen... and depending on the size of the room and quality of the furnishings, it can cost a pretty penny to show off your true self. There is that saying my mother used to have- "Champagne taste and a beer budget!" 

I say TAKE A CHANCE! EXPRESS YOUR INNER YOU- whether it's your inner diva, your secret love of navy blue or polka-dots, your long held-in desire to do an ethnic space or channel your love for classic cars. Take that step and change the conversation your living room is having about you. Some of your living rooms are straight up swearing right now! Lol

Why Most Minority Businesses Fail

You're having a heart attack in the middle of a busy city street. You're laying on the ground, chest pounding and look up and see two men standing above you. One is wearing a nice business suit, Rolex watch, smells good, hair well groomed... the second man is dressed in baggy jeans, lower than his waist, sneakers, t-shirt, scruffy cut. They both yell at the same time, "I'm a doctor", then stare at each other and then at you. Who are you going to let save your life? 

That split second decision is just as serious at the choice to fully prepare yourself to put your business out there for the world to see without fully investing in the presentation of your new business.

Now, I didn't want to lay this out there in this way, but there's just no better way to say it than to hit hard and be real. Why is it that two hair salon/ barbershop owners of two different nationalities will do things entirely differently and get different desired results? Both have the same intention- to open a successful business. What makes me sad is when the Caucasian business owner plans well and prepares to open their business and it succeeds and the Black or Hispanic business owner takes the ghetto- fab route and they fail!

I hate stereotypes, but when there is truth to them it burns my skin, because this one can be prevented, but the mentality has to change! As a designer, I see this all the time! I've had a front row seat to it, over and over again...The Caucasian business owner is on point! They do the demographics on the area, they have their business plan. They research and procure the best space for their salon or shop. They hire me or another designer to design their space. They secure the proper amount of funding or have been saving on their own to open this business with enough money to do it all well. What I mean by that is that they have considered all needs to open that brand new business. They've taken extra care to ensure their new look brands them, so they are investing $30,000 in their build out of their space. They know exactly how much equipment they need and invest in that. They understand that marketing will take them places, so they get great signage for their new space and the right advertising in place to promote their business. 

Meanwhile, I meet a minority business owner looking to open up that same shop or salon. They have big dreams but either don't want to spend the money to make them happen, or think they can get Moet on a Mad Dog 20/20 budget. They don't care about establishing a cohesive look in branding their business and think they can half ass the look of their space. They focus on "being real in the hood" and catering to their people, which is great and all, but will your location bring you the best R.O.I (return on investment)? I find that most minorities flat out don't think things through when planning to open their new space. They seem to feel that, outside of rent, they can open up a new spot for $6,000- $10,000. That's just not possible! NOT AT ALL! What happens as a result? They run out of money in the midst of renovations. They get "hood favors" to do their remodels, paint done by the guy down the street and you can tell, used chairs that don't match and mirrors from Ikea everywhere. What they fail to understand is that that first impression in a potential new customer's mind is framed in the first thirty seconds upon entering your space. That quick glance over your new establishment let's me know whether your fees are worth it and whether or not I feel like you are qualified and I want to sit in your salon for the next two hours. 

It drives me crazy to patron a potential gold mine like a Puerto Rican restaurant in Phoenix or Mesa and see that they haven't put the proper investment into their business that makes it look like somewhere you'd want to sit and eat for a few hours versus order take out. The customer who dines in will spend far more money that the one taking it to go! You get that idea to open that business and you just can't wait, you don't have the patience and preparedness to do it right but never realize how important that start is. Then you see business decline and wonder why you're failing. Why not plan to succeed from day one?

I'm not just speaking out of turn. I've been witness to dozens of minority owned businesses over the years who have come to me to help design their dream, yet some didn't even want to pay to help them develop that space from the gate. Others got the grand total and decided to go it alone or find Tyrone down the road to help them do what they could. I've had a major ball player come to me talkin big talk about his new salon and when it came time to create that space, he cheaped out on it and it went out of business in less than a year. Yet, around the same time a Black owned barbershop in Mesa named Clippers was celebrating their second year in business, after investing the proper amount of money to create the brand they envisioned. Six years later and that business is doing amazing! He planned to succeed.  

It can all be so simple and yet we make it so complicated because we think there's an easy way to success, and there's called The Right Way! The Right Way garners big business. The Wrong Way brings a short-lived business. The Right Way requires planning. The Wrong Way is quick to react. The Right Way is conscious that the presentation of your business IS the MAIN reason for it's success or failure, followed by excellent customer service. That's sad to say, but it's true. If you don't look like you will do good work, I won't even spend the money with you to see if your services are good in the first place. It all goes back to the two doctors in the beginning of the story. They may have both been trained in Harvard, but when your life is at stake, will you trust that the ghetto scrub can save your life or do you go for the guy that looks like he's successful? Don't kill your business going with the ghetto guy! Plan to succeed! Perception is reality, whether you like it or not. There is a system in place that already works. Don't hate on those who have successfully done what you're failing at and blame it on your skin color. Instead, play the game the same way and achieve the same success. Need help in making that business dream a reality? Call me and let's discuss the many ways we can crush the competition and take your business to the top!