How to Make a Grey Color Palette Work for Your Home

Guest post by interior designer John Douglas Eason.

Long before the hair on my head turned silver-grey, even before my wardrobe evolved towards similar hues, I realized that my favorite rooms were almost always in shades of grey. Tonal grey rooms are among the most dramatic and glamorous rooms in which to reside.

To my eye a grey room is timeless, but at this moment is it also quite on trend. Chances are that a glance through a current design magazine or book will turn up a moody grey room or two. Compared to their more colorful counterparts they are as easy on the camera as they are on the eyes.

Flecked with taupe, brown or a shot of black, a grey room exudes a sense of quiet sophistication. And yet, a grey room needn’t feel as though it is lodged in a somnambulist state of dreary haze; they are fantastically receptive to doses of pink, purple, yellow or turquoise. A pale grey room with bright yellow accents can feel as fresh as spring. A pop of shiny gold against a grey backdrop is anything but dull.

living room_eason

My own very gentlemanly grey living room, with its large windows onto the steely New York skyline, incorporates purple mid-century Blenko glass to lively effect as an accent on a console. I also used purple accents in a smoky grey bedroom – pulling the color out of a Hudson River school landscape painting above the bedside table. In another client’s guest bedroom I selected pale grey for the walls and deep Down Pipe grey by Farrow & Ball for the cabinets and trim. This very serious backdrop became the perfect foil for the client’s collection of multi-colored antique carnival prizes.



Color, however, is by no means required to make a grey room a success. For the annual Kips Bay Show House I lacquered the ceiling of a twenty-five foot high stairwell of a Romanesque mansion with Benjamin Moore’s classic Gray and then suspended a cloud-like gold Ingo Maurer chandelier to give a sexy update to the staid McKim, Mead and White building. I covered the walls with a hand painted horizontal stripe of metallic silver, platinum, pearl and gold. Grey anchors and enhances the otherwise glitzy metallic colors.

Kips Bay

In my years of favoring it I have learned that much like white, grey is a ‘color’ with many subtle personalities. Grey can be warm or cool, it can have hints of red or blue, it can be dark or light. Yet as it reads easily as neutral it can accommodate the companionship of color, either by toning it down or providing a dramatic contrast. I value it for its magical versatility and sophistication and I hope I’ve inspired you to consider how it might work in your own home.


John Douglas Eason is a New York based interior designer with more than twenty years experience decorating homes in New York City and its surrounding communities. His sophisticated urban sensibility is tempered by his foundational years working in Greenwich Connecticut’s grand homes. From Manhattan pied-à-terre’s to country estates as far-flung as Texas, John’s serene and smoky interiors are curated for the cultured but also built for living.

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Creating a Zenful Yoga and Meditation Space in Your Home

September is national yoga month, and I haven’t been to my local yoga studio once this month. However, I did make sure to designate a place for my yoga and meditation practice when I moved into my new house a few months ago. I love taking classes at my yoga studio, but sometimes it can be difficult to fit in a class during the work week. Creating your own personal zen spot at home can be the perfect remedy to releasing the day’s pressures while also having another reason to love home. Here are 9 things to keep in mind when creating your yoga and meditation space at home.

1. Choosing the location: I used fung shui to help guide me to the area of my home that I set up as my yoga and meditation spot. The front left corner of your home is called the knowledge and wisdom bagua (area), which I thought was the perfect location for my personal zen corner.

2. Flooring: If you already have hardwood floors, you don’t need to incorporate a different surface into your space. However, if you have carpet you’ll need to consider bringing in a board to place under your mat.

3. Mirror mirror on the wall: There’s no need to bring mirrors into your yoga space. If you already have them in this room, consider relocating them to another spot in your home. Why bring potential judgment of your practice (and yourself) into the space that you’re setting up for well-being?

4. Alter of thanks: Why not find a small piece of furniture to place in your yoga and meditation spot that you can place items that remind you of gratitude? Consider filling it with intentions of the commitment you are making to yourself.

5. Flora friends: Maybe you already have some house plants that might want to join you in your new zen spot, or perhaps the next time you’re in the garden center you might want to pick up a few new friends to green up your new yoga and meditation space. Either way, bringing in plant life helps improve the indoor air quality.

6. Soothing sounds: Don’t forget to find a spot for a speaker so that you can bring in those zenful sounds of nature.

7. Lighting: If your yoga spot is located in an area of the home that doesn’t get much natural light, think about adding a dimmer so you can adjust the lighting during your practice.

8. No pet zone: I learned the hard way during my first meditation at home that my cat didn’t understand why I was sitting on the floor and had to come sniff me out. Talk about jolting me right out of my skin.

9. Clearing the room: Now that you have your new home yoga and meditation space set up, be sure to clear it energetically by burning some sage in the room.

Looking for some visual inspiration, check out this Coldwell Banker Pinterest board.

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Callowhill: A Music Lover’s Dream Come True

The Callowhill section of Philly might not appeal to everyone. It’s got a bit of an industrial feel to it, thanks to the presence of a number of old warehouses and factories, many of them converted to lofts (giving the area its other name, The Loft District). The neighborhood is also partly cut off from the rest of Center City thanks to Interstate 676, or the Vine Street Expressway.

But for people looking to buy a home in an area full of music and art, the neighborhood is somewhat perfect. Although the area’s reputation as a place for avant-garde art dates back to the 1970s (it is even said to have inspired David Lynch’s surreal first film, Eraserhead), in recent years a number of new venues for music and art have popped up, cementing its reputation as the place to be for music fans.

Music Venues Galore

One of the older venues in the Callowhill area is the Electric Factory. While the name of the venue dates back to the late 1960s, it’s been in its current location (an actual old electric factory) since the mid-1990s. Concerts at the Electric Factory typically feature nationally known acts.

Two newer venues in the neighborhood include Underground Arts and Union Transfer. Union Transfer is located in the sprawling building that once housed a Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant. It features a main floor area, balcony space, a few bars, and a concession stand. Shows in the space are typically all-ages, although there are a few 21-plus events. While the concert schedule leans heavily towards indie rock, a few shows feature hip-hop, soul, or classic punk rock acts. Located in the basement of the Wolf Building, Underground Arts is committed to being just a little bit weird and to providing support to artists. It’s not just a concert venue. It also features local theater productions and art shows.

Punk Rock Flea Market

Held twice a year on N. 9th street, the Punk Rock Flea Market gives you a chance to score vinyl records, as well as various odds and ends, such as handmade jewelry, electronic equipment, and vintage toys. The $3 admission fee supports R5 Productions, the company that books shows at Union Transfer and a number of other venues around the city.

Check Out Visual Arts, Too

If you enjoy visual art as well as music, Callowhill turns out to be home to a few up and coming galleries. The address 319 N. 11th Street is home to two galleries. Vox Populi, located on the third floor, has a long history of supporting local artists. One floor below Vox Populi is Grizzly Grizzly, whose gallery features a rotating exhibition of works from contemporary artists.

Don’t Forget to Eat

All that music and art might make you hungry. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in this neighborhood. Cafe Lift, on N. 13th Street, is committed to serving brunch all day, every day. The nearby Prohibition Taproom features an extensive beer list, as well as lunch and dinner options. Spring Garden Street restaurant Llama Tooth has a funny name, lovely garden seating area, and a classic New American menu.

Whether you decide to live in the area or not, Callowhill is a great neighborhood to check out if you want to get an idea of what’s going on in Philly’s arts and music scene.

Image Source: Flickr

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5 Laundry Rooms That Sparkle

The laundry room is one of the most utilitarian rooms in the house.  But, these beautiful Coldwell Banker homes prove that the laundry room can be both functional and beautiful.  Take inspiration from these 5 fabulous laundry retreats where dirty linens don’t stand a chance.


Plenty of storage, clean lines and top-of-the-line appliances make this modern laundry room both pretty and functional.


We’ve heard of double ovens, but how about double washers & dryers?  This laundry room layout could handle the loads of a family the size of the Brady Bunch.


Sleek Italian-style black cabinetry is an instant upgrade for your laundry nook.  Designing your laundry room to incorporate natural light can also make a huge difference.  No more matching blue socks with black ones!


Adding a washer/dryer to a butler’s pantry makes tackling table linens a piece of cake.

Mud Room

Incorporating laundry into a mud room makes perfect sense.  Grass-stained soccer uniforms and mud-spattered socks go right into the hamper before the grime gets any further into the home.


Adding under-counter lighting can turn a drab laundry room into a bright folding station.


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The Cutest Baby Nurseries

The arrival of a baby is probably one of the most exciting things in the entire universe. Before he or she comes you’re understandably overwhelmed with all kinds of preparation that will ultimately ensure that your baby is as safe and happy as possible.

Included in baby prep is completing the nursery. It’s a crazy feat because decorating for someone you’ve yet to meet can be a little scary. The way I see it, your nursery should be an equal reflection of both mommy and baby.

Here are 10 very different but equally stunning design inspirations that will hopefully guide you or someone you know that is expecting along their design journey.

This is a unique nursery because one doesn’t often see this sort of crib placement. 

The perfect nursery for a princess in the making. 

A great neutral nursery for either a boy or a girl. 

The frames on the wall are an original way to decorate. This nursery is very vintage chic.     

Certainly the most luxurious nursery I’ve ever seen.     

A bohemian style baby nursery that is also very gender neutral.     

This nursery does a beautiful job as using wallpaper and a statement chandelier to make the room pop.   

A very simple nursery.   

Again, the use of wallpaper takes this room to the next level. 

This nursery is would be perfect for any little gentleman. 

Keep up-to-date with Coldwell Banker by checking out our Pinterest page: 

Visit Coldwell Banker’s profile on Pinterest.


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Tips and Tricks To Make You Fall in Love With Your Small Bathroom

As the social media manager for Coldwell Banker I get to see some of the most incredible and luxurious bathrooms from around the world. From bathrooms with a view to a shower that is bigger than some of my rooms, I have seen it all. Of course, this make me feel less than in love with my small bathroom. In an effort to maximize my space I have found some interesting ways to give bathrooms an upgrade without breaking the bank…

Feeling Confined? Lighten Up with Brighter Shades of Color

Bright Bathroom 1

Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Boulder, CO

Dark shades of paint may make a bold statement but they can also make a room feel confined. Consider opting for a lighter shade of paint to make a room appear larger than it actually is.

Bathroom Boring? Add Some Character

Adding a wall to wall mirror or wainscoting are affordable and elegant upgrades that can completely change the look of a small bathroom.

Declutter! Less is More in a Small Bathroom

Beautiful Half Bathroom

Listed with Coldwell Banker BAIN Seattle, WA

A cluttered counter space can drive a person crazy. When possible, utilize cabinets and your linen closet so the room feels clean and organized.

Shower Space Tight? Hang Another Shower Rod

Via Reddit

Showerhead racks are bulky and can make a shower feel overcrowded. Adding another shower rod will allow you to hang baskets.

Go With Glass

Listed with Coldwell Banker BAIN in Seattle, WA

An opaque shower door may add privacy but it also cuts off the space in your bathroom. A glass shower door will open the space back up.

Short on Storage? Consider Mounting Drawers

via Shelterness

If you need more storage you can always consider ways to use wall space. Another great spot to add storage is above the bathroom door.

The post Tips and Tricks To Make You Fall in Love With Your Small Bathroom appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

8 Reading Nooks to Get Lost In

As summer quickly comes to a close, it’s time to buckle down and finish those summer reading lists!

With back-to-school around the corner, creating a reading nook in your home is one simple way to make homework a little more enjoyable.  Add comfy pillows and plenty of shelving to a small dedicated space in your home for a cozy reading lounge.

Here are 8 reading nooks that will make adults wish they had a required reading list to finish.

Turn an extra closet into the coziest of libraries!

Turn an extra closet into the coziest of libraries!

A treehouse library makes reading an adventure.

A treehouse library makes reading an adventure.

A sitting area near the bedroom is the perfect spot for a reading bench.

A sitting area near the bedroom is the perfect spot for a reading bench.

A bay window with a view makes for the perfect reading nook.

A bay window with a view makes for the perfect reading nook.

A stair landing becomes a mini-library.

A stair landing becomes a mini-library.

The favorite spot in the house for little book lovers.

The favorite spot in the house for little book lovers.

A sophisticated readers lounge with a view.

A sophisticated readers lounge with a view.

Dive into your summer read in a luxe lounge chair like this one!

Dive into your summer read in a luxe lounge chair like this one!


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Filling Your Home with Positive Messages

On Sunday my husband and I dropped off his used skateboard deck, freshly painted as a library book checkout card including quotes from two of his favorite books: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “Mockingbird Wish Me Luck” by Charles Bukowski. The recycled skateboard was one of more than 100 created by local Atlanta artists to raise money for Brain Tumor Foundation for Children. Once we had the board checked in, both of us were eager to see what everyone else had been working on over the last month, and one thing that jumped out to me was the use of words on many of the boards.

Anyone who’s bought or sold a home understands the importance of a sign, but what about the importance of signs in our home while we live in them? I for one have signs all over my house – some incorporated into paintings I’ve created or bought, some letterpress prints I’ve picked up on Etsy that hang on my refrigerator, some simply on post-it notes stuck to my computer – all of them communicating positive reminders of life.

Check out some of my top Etsy picks for signs to fill your home.

Good Vibes



Live in the sunshine



Go play

Everything will be OK

Main image photo credit via Flicker Creative Commons User Kate Ter Haar

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7 Super Cool Super Hero Themed Kids Bedrooms

Holy Cuteness Batman! These super hero themed kids rooms, from Houzz, take the prize for the most awesome and adorable.  Which is your favorite?

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10 Genius and Creative Ways to Use Chalk Paint in Your Home

Looking for a unique way to jazz up your home? Try chalk paint! It can be used on almost any surface and relatively any object. Years ago, when we re-did our basement, we added chalk paint to an accent wall and its been a hit with my younger siblings as well as guests ever since.

Using chalk paint is a great way to get creative with your home’s decor in an unusual way. It can be found almost everywhere you’d pick up regular paint and it’s quite easy to apply. Contradictory to common belief, it really isn’t any more difficult to do than is regular painting.

Check out these 10 various ideas on how you can implement chalk paint in your home and in the process make your space modern and original.

Designating a space in your kitchen for a bit of chalk paint is a great way to remember recipes and grocery lists!

Having guests over? Try chalk paint place mats which will surely start up conversation. 

What a cute way to use chalk paint!

Dip your, less expensive, wine or martini glasses in chalk paint so that guests can write their names on the bottom.  

Kids LOVE coloring. Imagine their thrill at the chance to color on their own dinner table?

A great way to use chalk paint to personalize your home. Change out the wording and coloring depending on the holiday or occasion. 

 Your work station at home is the perfect place to use chalk paint.   The kitchen is the heart of any home. Make it a place for you and your family to get a little crazy with a chalk wall.   Ever get frustrated trying to find things? Problem solved. 

For some reason, kids find it really difficult to stay organized. With a dresser like this one there are no excuses for a messy room. 

Keep up with Coldwell Banker on Pinterest!

Visit Coldwell Banker’s profile on Pinterest.

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