Okay you’ve selected the paint color. Now for the sheen.

Here’s what we do, in general:

We love a flat or matte sheen on walls and ceilings.  There was a time, however, when this wasn’t always the smartest choice.  The argument was it wasn’t easy to clean.  It wasn’t wipeable.  So we would up the sheen for kids rooms, family rooms, and hallways. That has changed now that major paint manufacturers have developed wipeable flat sheens. Besides the soft look of the finish, flat paint does a better job of hiding little imperfections and it can more easily be touched up without leaving brush marks.

We go with eggshell for Kitchen and Bathroom walls and ceilings. Eggshell is more wipeable than flat and absorbs less moisture.

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If your Kitchen is open to a living area then the washable flat paints are perfect. They cost a bit more, as a matter of fact sometimes twice as much, but it could be well worth it.

Generally speaking we go with eggshell for trim in more casual homes. 

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For more formal or larger homes, we’ll go with satin or semi gloss for trim.

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If you are looking for something more dramatic semi-gloss or even gloss can be stunning on walls and/or ceilings. But, be aware your walls need to be in perfect condition and the paint needs to be applied perfectly. Paints with higher sheen levels show everything. 


Shinier paints reflect light, which creates an amazing affect and a major wow factor. We once did a Powder Room in a black gloss. For dinner parties the clients would light candles and use the dimmers on the lights. Gorgeous.

Barbara Hyde Evans
Hyde Evans Design


I was years into my career as an Interior Designer before I could really grasp how to make a mix of furniture styles come together to make a fabulous room.   

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Beautiful spaces with a blend of styles may appear unconsidered but realistically most are well thought out.  Bottom line, you can’t just throw pieces together haphazardly and expect it to work.  It takes careful and deliberate use of juxtaposition and contrast.  


Mixing styles demands that you carefully follow proven rules for designing a space, even more so then when you are doing a room in say a Traditional English or Northwest Contemporary fashion.

Color, contrast, texture, scale all need to be in careful balance. This is not for the faint of heart, but if you love the idea, let me give you some easy ways to capture the look.

Do a beautiful mix of Contemporary furniture in the room then add just one, or maybe two, antiques. The contrast between the two styles will be stunning.


Alternatively, design your room completely in traditional furnishings then cover the walls with contemporary art.


If you follow these tips and your space still doesn’t feel right, consider hiring a professional who has a reputation for doing it well. It will save you from expensive mistakes.

Barbara Hyde Evans
Hyde Evans Design


Every fabric line, every rug manufacturer, every paint company, etc. declares their color of the year. As an interior design firm we have the opportunity to view all the latest in fabrics, wallpapers, tiles, carpeting, and every other surface for the home. So we made up the ultimate list. Here it is:


Virtually every major paint company has declared some shade of black as their color of the year. They are a blue/black shade, a purple/black shade and, of course, a charcoal. Not totally new, as we saw plenty of the trend last year especially in wall color and cabinetry. And every good designer will tell you that every room, even an all white one should have black in it, even if it is just a touch. Black adds contrast and drama. Add black to all lavender room and suddenly it’s sophisticated.



It too was big last year but in 2018 it comes on even stronger. Emerald is awesome. Green marble makes a breathtaking statement. And green and black together, killer!

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Declared the Pantone color of the year, violet is making its way into every fabric line. And, yes, it is daring but makes a stand out wall color.



Let’s face it, jewel tones are back, and red is an important one. It warms up any room as a wall color, a piece of furniture, or just a lamp base or pillow.


So go vibrant, go colorful, make a statement in 2018!

Tis the Season In Seattle

Holiday shopping is in full swing! This month’s blog is dedicated to helping you find that unique gift for the home. Here is a list of Seattle boutiques that offer vintage items, accent pieces, artwork, and objets trouvés that add interest, depth and character to a space. Happy Shopping!

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Fancy on Second Avenue in Belltown for unique tables and lighting


Capitol Hill

Totokaelo in Capitol Hill for pillows, throws and objets trouvés

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Butter Home on Melrose Ave. is a loft like space with a country feel filled with items such as wire storage baskets, wall art, and lighting.

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Retrofit Home on East Pike Street has a mid-century vibe with furniture and more.


Watson Kennedy, near Pike Place Market and also on 1st & Spring, is filled with fine accessories and features affordable art prints by Hugo Guinness


Susan Wheeler Home on Airport Way South is packed with pillows, French antiques, and mirrors.

Kirk Albert on Airport Way South for vintage objects and quirky finds

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Madison Park

Marine Area 7 in Madison Park for vintage items for the Kitchen - They have a terrific Instagram feed @marinearea7, so you can check out them out before you make the drive.

Pioneer Square

Flora and Henri in Pioneer Square for books, bedding, porcelain, artisan ceramics and much more…



Big Daddy’s on First Avenue South for eclectic, one of kind pieces and antiques

Upper Queen Anne

Stuhlberg’s on Queen Anne Ave. N for more traditional items, including baskets, pewter and silver frames.


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Many of these boutiques are in neighborhoods surrounded by other shopping and fun dining options, so you can immerse yourself in the spirit of the season.  

Best wishes for a Festive Holiday Season!

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Don’t Disregard these Dimensions

Some rules just make things better! Like traffic rules. We all get around a little easier because of them. Similarly in the home there are some general dimension rules for furniture distance that make a room feel and look better and indeed allow for better foot traffic flow.

Apartment Therapy makes a case for sticking to the rules in this link… 

Apartment Therapy gives a general range for the optimal distance of a chandelier over a Dining Room table.  Another tip is that a smaller chandelier should hang higher over a Dining Room table -

 Architonic / Robson Rak / Photo: Brooke Holm / Marsha Golemac

Architonic / Robson Rak / Photo: Brooke Holm / Marsha Golemac

While a larger one should hang lower, closer to the table - 

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In addition, larger scaled rooms or furniture look better with more generous spacing in some areas, like walkways.

Keep walkways open for free movement within and between rooms, a minimum width of 36 inches when possible. If you’re thinking rules, rules, rules! Here is one you can break. If there’s a natural path that leads from the Front Entry immediately to a back door, break that up with a centering table or sculpture, something delightful that encourages you to linger and enjoy your beautiful home before rushing right back out!

Powder Rooms - Go Big in these Small Spaces

At first glance the Powder Room is simply a necessary, functional, small space. But in terms of designing the space within the context of the home as a whole, think twice and you’ll realize it is a big space when it comes to design potential! You and your family won’t be the only ones to benefit from the design love you give to the Powder Room.  It is a space that many of your guests will see too.

It is exactly because of its small size that you can make adventurous design choices there.  The only rule, if any, is that is should tie together in some way to the design of the house as a whole.  But in that, the capacity for interpretation is broad! This is especially liberating if you are not particularly adventurous in the main spaces of your home.  So have fun and go bold,

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Go colorful,

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Go minimal.

Try dynamic tile flooring, from sources like Cement Tile Shop or Clé Tile, /

Splurge for that stunning surface you’ve been eyeing,

Or go clean and contemporary, perhaps explore sustainable. 


Of course, as with any space there are parameters and functionality concerns that will guide and inform decisions.  After those have been addressed, let the fun begin!

" has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony." -Coco Chanel

We have a great excuse to highlight this Coco Chanel quote in our blog this month.  It is a tie-in to the title of the upcoming article featuring us in The Seattle Times, “Dreaming in Black and White.” 

Check out the article, written by Sandy Deneau Dunham in this Sunday’s, January 8th, Pacific NW Magazine.

If you love design, you rarely need an excuse to consider the timeless team of black and white.

Whether they are included as part of a greater scheme,

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or are the plan for an entire space, Coco Chanel’s words ring true again and again. It is as true for simple spaces with clean lines

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as it is for spaces filled with pattern and variety.

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