Design Advice & Inspiration



There’s a lot of “content” out there!  We know – when it comes to keeping up with design advice about trends and what makes good design, we get overwhelmed too.  Here we’ve picked some of our favorites in the “design advice and inspiration” category, to help cut through some of the noise.  Hope it’s helpful!  🙂


Contrast Trim: Subtle and Statement Looks  –  The Indentité Co.


If you’re thinking about getting the woodwork in your home painted something other than white, the photos in the post will inspire you to see new possibilities.  Even if you just try this in the common areas of your home (living room, dining room, kitchen), it can really elevate the design vibe of your overall space.


Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Styles  –  Windermere Real Estate


Trust this Seattle real estate company to write a useful, comprehensive guide to kitchen cabinet styles!  Defining everything from Shaker to raised panel cabinets, full-overlay to inset cabinets and everything in between, this guide answers questions you didn’t know you had about cabinet types.


Lacquer Finishes and Why Designers Love Them  –  Modern Matter


We’re in love with all the bold and colorful lacquer finishes in this post by designer hardware maker Modern Matter!  These high-gloss cabinets and built-ins are just stunning, and are exactly the kinds of cabinet painting projects we love doing.  I don’t normally share a post by a design vendor or supplier, but this one was too pretty to pass up!


Interior Designer vs. Design Influencer  –  Styleberry Creative


Why is it that sometimes people who post on Instagram are willing to share their interior design sources, and sometimes they’re reluctant?  With Instagram and Pinterest being the go-to interior design inspiration for so many, it’s so tempting to ask where to find those fabulous light fixtures or cool bar stools.  But there’s a good reason why many posters don’t freely give out that information.  Read this insightful post by Shawn Percival of Styleberry Creative to find out why!


Instagram Etiquette for Interior Designers  –  the Identité Collective


The post reminds us about the nuances of sharing content on Instagram (and Pinterest as well).  Interior designers and photographers earn their living from their work, and it’s not only poor form to fail to give credit, for example, it’s damaging to the offender’s reputation as well.  This thorough post by Anastasia Casey of the Identité Collective explains some important do’s and don’ts!


How to Decorate a Living Room  –  Houzz


I found myself nodding in agreement with the points in this article.  My favorite, after all the suggestions on using scale, pattern, conversation groupings, etc:  don’t try for such perfect order that anything out of place will stick out like a sore thumb. A good read!


How NOT to Decorate around a Dark Neutral Sofa  –  Maria Killam


Another great post by Maria Killam with the kind of basic interior design principles I wish everyone knew.  If you have a dark gray or dark brown or taupe sofa, and especially if you like dark, cozy colors, read this post!!  It’ll help keep your space from looking dismal and bland.


Is Brass Out? How to Mix Metals like a Pro  –  Maria Killam


This useful post has some great examples of mixed metals in bathrooms and kitchens, and distills this common dilemma into some basic principles, so you can make your plumbing and lighting choices with confidence!  Great stuff in here.

Do's and don'ts for installing accent tile, Paper Moon Painting contractor blog, Austin TX

Do’s and Don’ts for Installing Accent Tile  –  Maria Killam


When it comes to basic, elemental design advice distilled to its core principles, Maria Killam is one of the best.  Here’s another of her informative blogs, explaining the do’s and don’ts of using accent tile in your kitchen or bath.  Blogs like these can save us all from making very expensive long-term mistakes!

Nina Farmer two-toned kitchen, Paper Moon Painting company blog, Austin TX

Magazine-Worthy Kitchens Cannot be Easily Copied  –  Maria Killam


Maria Killam’s post examines this gorgeous Nina Farmer kitchen, featured in House Beautiful, and explains why you shouldn’t try this at home without expert guidance!  (We’re also tickled by this post’s feature of a fabulous kitchen by Haven Design & Construction that we worked on as well, as seen on our Kitchens Before & After page!)

Collier St. Austin TX kitchen makeover, Paper Moon Painting cabinet painters

How Paper Moon Painting Took Part in the One Room Challenge  –  The Pillow Goddess


We were delighted to be part of Better Homes and Garden’s One Room Challenge by painting these kitchen cabinets for Deborah Main, the Pillow Goddess in Austin, TX.  Here’s her blog on the whole process, including some impressive before-and-after photos!

Exterior curb appeal, design a garden, blog

How to Make a Plain Exterior Fabulous?  Design a Garden  –  Maria Killam


Give your plain home exterior fabulous curb appeal by designing a garden.  A garden does to your exterior what artwork, lamps, pillows and accessories do to the interior – give your home a look and a feel. Here’s an excellent example of how this thoughtfully designed garden made a plain exterior fabulous. . .

Houzz blog on alternatives to white subway tile, pic by McGraw Design n Dev

Love a White Backsplash but Not Subway Tile?  Try One of These  –  Houzz


If you like the look of white subway tile but prefer to try something more adventurous, consider these 11 fresh alternatives. All are white, which keeps them understated, yet each has a shape or size that makes it special.

White kitchen updated by painting cabinets and adding crown molding, Maria Killam and Remodelacasa blog

My Designer Secret for Updating Old Kitchen Cabinets  –  Maria Killam


You’ll notice that the awkward dust-collecting gap above the cabinets is the feature that always gives away a builder-grade kitchen.  You’ll never see that space between the cabinets and the ceiling in a current high-end custom kitchen!  Fortunately, it’s a relatively simple fix that can be done when you paint your cabinets. . .

Design advice blog, why white walls look bad, lack of light, Studio McGee pic, Maria Killam blog

4 Reasons Why your White Walls Look Bad  –  Maria Killam


Exaggerated blown-out white rooms dominate our feeds and make us all want gobs of LIGHT to flood our homes. And we turn to our paint colours to deliver. We expect white paint to BE the life giving light we crave.  Paint is powerful, but it is not a source of light.  Your room does not have photoshop filters. . .

Andrea Schumacher eclictic kitchen, Houzz blog, Paper Moon Painting design advice

10 Elements of an Eclectic Kitchen  –  Houzz


Eclectic is a term that is often used when a person has a hard time pinpointing his or her own style. Eclectic done right has a sense of effortless confidence, even though this is one of the hardest looks to achieve. Eclectic done wrong is somewhere between a chaotic mess and a train wreck.

If you want your home to look like it’s been casually collected over time with effortless ease — here are a few things to consider.. . .

Design advice blog, Two tone blue green and white kitchen renovation

Your Guide to 10 Popular Kitchen Styles  –  Houzz


Whether you’re planning a kitchen remodel with the help of a kitchen designer, architect or contractor, knowing which style resonates with you can be a big help. Read on for the need-to-know details about 10 popular kitchen styles, including color palettes and key features of each look.

Jacson Design blog post on 2019 design trends

12 Design and Remodeling Trends We’re Forecasting for 2019  –  Jackson Design & Remodeling


Trends for 2019 suggest two distinct approaches for home design, one centered on the comfort and warmth of simplicity connected to the natural world and one boldly expressing a dramatic and glamorous point of view.   Here are our design team’s picks for the top trends this year…

Design advice post on selecting cabinet hardware, Paper Moon Painting, cabinet refinishing, with black hardware

How to Mix and Match your Kitchen Cabinet Hardware  –  Houzz


Choosing the right knobs and pulls for cabinets is often something that catches people off guard. The options for style, size and finish are just so abundant, and many kitchens need a carefully thought-out combination of knobs, handles and other hardware to convey the perfect look. Here’s how you can get your cabinet hardware just right.

Maria Killam new build planning blog

10 Steps for Planning your New Build  –  Maria Killam


If you’re planning a new build, you should be aware that colour decisions for the exterior need to be made FIRST. So don’t wait until the last minute (which often happens).  The order of the decisions that need to be made is very important! Once you make a few key colour and design choices in the beginning,…

Maria Killam design advice trend forecard for 2018 blog photo

Trend Forecast for 2018  –  Maria Killam


The guiding theme of the trends I’m looking forward to seeing in 2018 is one of polish and refinement. From warm mixed metals, pretty millwork and pearlized tile, to dramatic black and tailored feminine details, 2018 is all about indulging in a bit of luxury.

But here’s the thing about trends…

White kitchen with open shelving example from Houzz

The Pros and Cons of Upper Kitchen Cabinets and Open Shelving  –  Houzz


It’s a tough decision: to have upper cabinets or not? There are several advantages to going with uppers, but there’s also a lot to say about open shelves or nixing both entirely. To help you decide on what’s right for your kitchen, here’s a guide to the three most popular approaches and other options available to you.

Countertop options artcle from Houzz

What Color Countertop Should You Choose?  –  Houzz


These days there are countless materials available for kitchen countertops. But instead of giving you the pros and cons of each material, I’m going to break down six popular color styles so you can achieve the look you want…

design advice blog about baseboard sizes, Paper Moon Painting, San Antonio house painting

Trim:  It’s All About the Size!  –  Kelly Bernier Designs

Updating your baseboard trim is a quick way to update any room in your home. When deciding which size baseboard to go with, my standard rule of thumb is to have at least a 5 1/4” baseboard, white or stained, for a standard 8 ft. high ceiling. If you do not want to go through the hassle…

taupe paint color blog post by Maria Killam. Paper Moon Painting, painting contractor San Antonio

What Everyone Should Know About Taupe   –  Maria Killam

You asked for it and here it is! Drumroll….. a discussion of one of the most challenging neutral colour categories, taupe.

When Sherwin Williams named Poised Taupe as their colour of the year I was not convinced.

We are seeing A LOT of taupe these days. Taupe is ubiquitous in flooring, furnishings and stone products and makes up a huge proportion of standard builder offerings at the moment…

white kitchen from blog on how to avoid the 5 most common kitchen mistakes by Maria Killam, shared by Paper Moon Painting, San Antonio

How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Kitchen Mistakes – Maria Killam

Here’s a brown kitchen that has clearly been recently renovated (not the pretty white one in the header – that’s coming later!).  While the outcome is not terrible, I don’t think you will find this kitchen popping up all over Pinterest.

So I thought we could pick it apart, not to be critical or mean, but because this is such a common scenario, and then we can gain some useful insight into why so many renovations fall a little short of expectations…

white kitchen, Paper Moon Painting, current trend

Trend Forecast for 2017 – Maria Killam

The colour for 2017 is kelly green (hooray, I’ve been waiting for this green for a long time) and the look is refined and generally warming up.

Move over cool industrial edginess and laid back rustic everything, 2017 is the year we return to warm, cozy and luxurious layering!…

cabinet refinishing San Antonio, Paper Moon Painting

Kitchen Confidential: Painted vs. Stained Cabinets  –  “Houzz”

Kitchen cabinets are largely about the finish. Whether you’re buying cabinets for the first time or you’re a seasoned kitchen remodeler, it probably didn’t take you long to realize that stain and paint are two totally different slices of pie. Not sure which one you prefer? Here’s the scoop on the perks and pitfalls of both finishes…

Great article - Best Wall Color for Walls amd Trim - The Decorologist

The Best White Paint Color for Walls & Trim – Design Advice by the Decorologist

[Lisa here – if want to lighten up your space and you have a family member who is balking at the idea, this blog post by Kristie Barnett has some excellent before-and-after shots of a standard-sized home that was updated.  It may just be all the “convincing” your family member needs!  Click below to see what I mean…]

Maria Killam's blog on updating a Tuscan style home with custom wall finishes

How to Update Your House from the Tuscan Brown Trend  –  Maria Killam

I was recently in a Mediterranean style home that had been built and decorated completely inside the Tuscan Brown Trend. Dark (pink beige & butterscotch) Travertine floors throughout the main floor, yellow/gold granite countertops, dark wood stained cabinets throughout, yellow walls everywhere and 8 bathrooms outfitted in very expensive finishes, most with conflicting colours in floors and countertops…

Want more design advice and inspiration?


We’ve learned a few lessons of our own along the way, and we’ve written a few of our insights here.  Our “Kitchen Painting Before and After” page is also worth checking out.

And feel free to visit our Interior Painting, Cabinet Painting, and Specialty Finishes galleries for photos of our work… after all, a picture is worth a thousand words!


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