Thursday, August 28, 2014

Art Journal Ideas for Summer

art journal pages | art journal ideas | art journal techniques | discover them on
Looking for a new art journal idea? You know how much I love lists... takes the work out of writing for me...What is journal writing after all but an organized list of ideas developed into paragraphs? For this list idea, I decided to focus on the traditions of summer. What are your summer traditions?

Preparing the page

Before I left for vacation I spent a lot of time preparing the page. In fact, when I add up all the hours that went into this journal is a little embarrassing. However, I am not sure if this is any more of less productive than working on any of my other hobbies such as knitting which takes me hours to make a simple vest which I could easily buy in a store. Remember, we art journal for ourselves...that is the whole point. 
art journal pages | art journal ideas | art journal techniques | discover them on
For this spread, I prepared my sketchbook with a variety of techniques and media. I started with the idea of using a print from a watercolor painting of Cape Cod since that is our annual vacation destination. I sell watercolor prints in my etsy shop and sometimes I screw up and have to redo the print before I ship it out. This print was printed on the wrong size paper so I saved it and ripped it up for my art journal. You can see the full watercolor HERE

I also used scrapbook papers in coordinating colors, gelli prints I made at an art retreat (read about that here) as well as stamps I made myself (at same retreat.) In addition, I like to harmonize the different elements with transparent acrylic paint, like fluid acrylics.
art journal pages | art journal ideas | art journal techniques | discover them on
Here is look at my art journal while I was in the car. It is was a 6 hour car trip and we were packed into our SUV like the Okies from Grapes of Wrath.
art journal pages | art journal ideas | art journal techniques | discover them on
Here is a look at my finished page. Since it is a little difficult to read I will tell you what it says (because I know I am always nosy about what other artists put in their art journals!)

Summer Traditions

Ice Cream
Flea Market
Frizz ( as in frizzy hair) 
Used Bookstores
Sea food
Family Time
Long Walks
Car Trips
Jim Dale ( He is the narrator of the Harry Potter audio book series, we normally listen to Harry Potter every year on the way up and back and often in between. This year, there were no Harry Potters to be found. So, we had to settle for Jim Dale narrating "Alice in Wonderland" which was equally delightful and we had fun comparing the voices he used with these characters to the ones in Harry Potter, For example, the Queen of Hearts sounds like Professor McGonagall.)
art journal pages | art journal ideas | art journal techniques | discover them on

Art Journal Supplies

For this page, I used a variety of pens. I used my black signo gel pen, pastel colored sharpies, and neon paint pens. ( you can click on the referral links if you want to try these out yourself!)

free online art class on
Did you sign up for my free art 
journal inspirations class and 
ebook? Learn more...

What are your summer traditions? Leave a comment or a link to your art or blog!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to Art School

online art classes | art classes online
Raise your hand if you want to go back to art school? If you have always wanted to work on your art but haven't found the time then online art classes will help you carve out time for rediscovering your creativity.

Why take an online class

I love taking art classes online because you can experiment in the privacy of your own home at your own convenience. Sometimes I play the videos as I work alongside in my studio and other times I plug in my headphones to my smart phone and watch one on the road.

I much prefer to pay for an online class then watch tv since you get to learn new skills. Watching other teachers also makes me a better teacher too.

online art classes | how to paint with watercolors | how to oil paint | learn how at the inspiration place
After you join a class, you will find a visual 
directory to help you navigate the lessons.

Visual Makeover

Taking a variety of online art classes has really taught me what I like and don't like when I take a class myself. As a result, I decided to give four of the  popular online classes that I teach a visual makeover. All the videos I create... even when I first started are great quality and give lots of information. However, I want the classroom experience to be as beautiful as the art you are making. I want to inspire your creativity throughout the entire online class experience. So, I have added graphics to each lesson and classroom.

Take a look at the classroom directory for Summerscapes which offers lessons in watercolor, oil painting and mixed media as well as bonus material!




online art classes | how to paint with watercolors |  learn how at the inspiration place
This is a little sneak peek at a lesson in the classroom. 
Each lesson has a video, and a section for you to post questions.

Unlimited Access

A lot of people who have never taken an online art class have wondered how it works. They worry that they have to be at their computer at a certain time. I know that would defeat the whole point of signing up for an online class. All of the classes are pretaped and you view the videos when you want to. I also know from taking classes that if they have expiration dates, I stress out about watching all the content before it expires. So, I decided that from now on all my classes at the Inspiration Place will have unlimited access.

how to paint with watercolors
Discover the best the fall season has to offer

Autumnal Inspirations


The Autumnal Inspirations class has eight full watercolor projects. You get high resolution reference photos, step by step narrated video directions to learn the techniques I use to create my version of the watercolor and list of pigments I used. You can apply these techniques to your own art and I even give you tips in each class on how to individualize your painting to make it all your own. If you would like me to critique your art, you can upload the painting to the private class site to ask questions and feedback.

how to paint with watercolors
Capture your favorite summer memories 
in a beautiful watercolor, oil painting or 
a mixed media collage

If you are not quite ready for fall and want to hold on to summer a little longer, Summerscapes class gives your the tips and techniques to create beach scenes in watercolor or oil and there is even a country scene in mixed media.

How to Paint Trees

The fourth class I made over and put on sale is the Tree Tutorial class. Co-taught with two other guest artists this class explores tree painting techniques in oil, watercolor and mixed media.

online art classes

To learn more, find me 

at the Inspiration Place!

How to sign up

To take any class at the Inspiration Place you first have to create a profile, your own login and password. Sign up is free and you even get a free online art class in art journaling!

Then you click on the icons for any class you want to take and click on the "join" group button on the right hand portion of the screen to be taken to a secure payment area. Once you join, you will be given instant access. No waiting for someones assistant to email you your login info and password.

For all these classes, all the content is already there and waiting for you to get creative! Hope to "see" you in class!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School Cool with Cute Pencil Cases

cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
Refresh your style with cool pencil cases. These cute pencil cases are great for back to school, teacher's gifts or even as a cosmetic case for your bag.
cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
Yellow Piano Peacock Bag on etsy

Ah, it's that time of year again.. As much as I adore summer with its hot lazy days by August I long for the structure that the school year brings. Each year we head to Staples or target for some colorful new notebooks and bags of pens and whatever other tools my kids insist they need for their fantasy organization.
Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon


Refresh your style with a new pencil bag

One item that is an easy refresher is the pencil case. My daughter is sixteen and a rising senior and she adores showing off her artsy bag. For the last few years, her friends have all asked for these pencil cases as birthday gifts which they use either as pencil cases or sometimes as cosmetic bags. ( and yes mom, you may want this for yourself... I have two in my purse)
cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
Yellow Piano Peacock Bag on etsy

Padded lining

They are ideally suited as a pencil case because the long shape easily fits your pencils and the padded lining keeps the sharpest ones from poking through. Of course, the size and share is great for eye liner and the padding protects and mirrored compacts you keep in there too.
cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
You can get this Gipsy Rondo Zippered Bag


Waterproof lining protects your purse

In addition, the waterproof vinyl lining will protect you from your own carelessness. If you don't secure a pen top and the ink bleeds you do not have to worry about the pen leaking through this bag to your purse.
cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
Own this Gipsy Rondo Zippered Bag



Different Design on each side

For the three zippered pouches featured here, I chose a different print for each side of the bag. The front pictures one of my peacock paintings while the back is a coordinating print. If you like these you may also want to pick up a coin purse, or a different shaped cosmetic bag in a similar or contrasting peacock fabric.

cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
Collect this Pink Peacock Pencil Case (only 4 left!)


Teachers love these

If you already finished your back to school shopping. ( I live in New York where school is a few weeks away but I understand some southern schools are already in session, is that true???) Then you may want to stock up on these for your favorite teachers for year end gifts. Let her decide if she wants it to organize the pens in her purse or her favorite cosmetics.

Could I use this as a clutch?

cute pencil cases | cool pencil cases discover more
Collect this Pink Peacock Pencil Case (only 4 left!)
Once I forgot to pack a clutch for an out of town wedding so I just pulled out the cosmetic bag and used that instead. I got so many compliments! Little girls love them that way too, Whenever I have an art fair they beg their mothers for the soft silky bags and proudly parade around with them.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Art Journal Ideas: Two for the road

art journal ideas | art journal pages  | art journal techniques
Next week I will be on the road again for a 5+ hour car trip so I wanted to share how I got my art journal ready for the trip. This article inspires you to create art journal pages for your summer vacation plus includes two art journal prompts for you to try either on the road or at home.

How I prepare the page
I am addicted to this tissue paper by Tim Holtz.
First, I like to add lots of layers for visual interest. My go to are bits of scrapbook paper, but I am trying to move away from that since I feel that the art belongs partially to the artist who designed the scrapbook papers. I also like to add vintage piano music, thin layers of patterned napkins and also tissue paper by Tim Holtz {Melange Tissue Wrap by Tim Holtz Idea-ology}

Add personal touches

flower art | orange flower art | watercolor paintings by #schulmanArt
You can collect the 
original watercolor 
of orange begonias or 
collect an 
affordable fine art print
I also added small prints from my watercolor paintings. You can see the orange begonias which are from this watercolor painting. I also like to unify the different scraps with smears of paint, and for this job I either use cheap craft paint, or a touch of fluid acrylic which I love because although they cost more, they are transparent. You can add any imagery you like whether it is a photo, a picture you see in a magazine or something else. I try to avoid pictures from magazines or other artists' art since they are subject to copyright rules... For you, this won't matter unless you plan on publishing your art or offering it for sale like I sometimes do. {you can own a print from my art journal- they are listed with my other inspirational art on etsy}

art journal ideas | art journal pages  | art journal techniques

Follow my progress on the road

For these two pages I have no idea what I am going to do yet... I may come up with the idea on the road and will be posting works in progress photos to my instagram, twitter and Facebook accounts so follow me on whichever of those social media platforms you like the best.

art journal ideas | art journal pages  | art journal techniques

Prompt: What made today special?

For the next two pages, I have an idea that I want to share with you. Last week, my daughter and I drove up to Tanglewood in the Berkshires which is a famous outdoor music festival. The drive took us about 2.5 hours from where we live and since I had to do the driving I didn't think to pack my art journal (mistake)

art journal ideas | art journal pages  | art journal techniques
a watercolor print of Yo Yo Ma is image on
facing page.. embellish or leave it? 
That is the question.
Although we arrived with plenty of time to spare, had a nice picnic before the concert (which was Yo Yo Ma) the concert start was delayed by half an hour because they said some of the musicians were stuck in traffic. The woman next to me grumbled that those musicians should be fired since there are plenty of talented unemployed musicians and we both wondered if the tardy one was Yo Yo Ma. We had a nice chat and it turned out she just retired from teaching elementary school music and I had brought my daughter whose career goal is to do just that. This stranger (whose name I never learned) also went to one of the conservatories that my daughter will be applying to in the fall.

List Idea: Looking for Harmony

Anyway, besides that five minute chat, my daughter was busy ignoring me on her iphone and I found myself doodling on the program. I started the page with my "one little word" for the year which is "Harmony" and decided to make a list of all the things that day that added harmony to my experience. In other words, how was this day special?

art journal supplies | mixed media supplies | discover more on
All I had with me was one of my black signo pens. This is a great pen but all pens struggle on writing on a glossy surface, like these programs or washi tape. At home, I adhered the page to my journal using matte medium ( never cheap glossy products that will make your dry pages stick together) added the same elements as above, some Acrylic fluid paint and then ( this is important) added clear gesso on top. The clear gesso has grit in it to "matte-ify" the glossy page and facilitate writing. I can't wait to fill this in but I decided to wait until the car trip. I will be sharing my finished pages when I get back from vacation.

On the facing page, I started with a print of my Yo Yo Ma watercolor painting which you can collect from etsy. I actually have a few of these prints lying around since I am very picky about the quality of prints I send out to my collectors and having "hoarder tendencies" I don't like to throw out my rejects ( thinking I can use them for future projects, or even give away) I am not sure what if anything I want to do with this second page. I may add a quote, or leave it as is. What do you think?

Prompt: Where in the world are you?

art journal ideas | art journal pages  | art journal techniques the next two pages, I secretly removed the map of New England from the family Atlas book. When questioned by my daughter and husband where I got the map I claimed I "just had it" (which is true-- "Tell the truth but tell it slant" as Emily Dickinson said) Again, I had to put clear gesso on top of the glossy pages.

I have a few ideas for this prompt... at first I would just do the "license plate game" and make a list of license plates we spotted...but as I thought about it I wanted to relate more to the picture so I think I am going to make a list of all the cities we pass through on the way. Again, I will be sharing my progress photos on social media. Your comments there are always appreciated. I may not respond to every one of them, but I personally read each one.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Frame a Picture

how to frame a picture | how to mat a picture | wall decor | wall art decor | discover how to turn paintings into framed art at

FRAMING ARTWORK post sponsored by Stu-Art Supplies

Since I'm an artist, collectors are always asking me how to frame their pictures. Although framing can be highly personal, just like choosing the art, there are some aesthetic guidelines I'd like to share. Framing is based on some technical considerations such as protecting the art and taste. Here are some great ideas for saving money and making your artwork look as good as possible.

teen bedroom ideas | teen girl bedroom ideas | room ideas for teens | teen room ideas | teen bedroom ideas | teen room | girls bedroom | girls room decor | girls room | teen bedroom | kids room | discover more bedroom decor ideas at
Put yourself in the right frame of mind by
hanging animal art. Design an elegant girls
room decor with a black frame for your
watercolor painting. Display the picture over
a white dresser for a cohesive look. Discover


Framing works on paper


Do I need a mat? 

Watercolor paintings should never touch the glass. Mixed media art and acrylic paintings that are done on canvas do not need glass, and consequently don’t need a mat. To create space between the glass and other types of artwork, place a mat board with a window cut through it over the artwork.

teen bedroom ideas | teen girl bedroom ideas | room ideas for teens | teen room ideas | teen bedroom ideas | teen room | girls bedroom | girls room decor | girls room | teen bedroom | kids room | discover more bedroom decor ideas at
Dark brown is an ideal hue for horse lovers. There's no better way to bring in the excitement of the countryside than to hang horse art. Mix in some pink accessories for a feminine aesthetic. Discover more horse art here.

Do I have to pay extra for acid free?   

Always insist that your framer use archival 100% acid free mat board. Mat boards that contain acid will yellow over time. You will notice this first on the bevel (that is the cut edge of the mat board.) A really bad framing job could even yellow the artwork! Watercolors look best with a white or soft white mat. An exception to this is if you are matting a print. I always choose acid buffered products. From Stu-Art, I order their economical bevel cut neutral pH buffered paper mat.

What color mat should I choose?  

There are many shades of white, so picking the best one can be a confusing task. Turning the artwork over and trying to match the mat color to the color of the paper is usually a good idea. Furthermore, don’t use today’s trendy colors for the mat color or you’ll be sorry tomorrow. I use "white" and "bright white" from Stu-Art Supplies.

How wide should the mat be? 

Don’t use a skimpy mat. A 3″ border looks great. You can also do
teen bedroom ideas | teen boy bedroom ideas | room ideas for teens | teen room ideas | teen bedroom ideas | teen room | boys bedroom | boys room decor | boys room | teen bedroom | kids room | discover more bedroom decor ideas at
Brown on brown is a key color combination for
creating a rustic ambiance. The coffee colored
dresser adds a touch of masculinity to the boys
room. For those of us who love neutral hues, 
the orange fox paired with a light brown
frame are subtly stylish and don't overwhelm.
Click here to view more animal art.
what is called a “dropped” mat where the bottom is wider than the sides. A good money saver is to have a piece custom matted to fit a standard size ready made frame. For my customers, I always mat my art to standard sizes, such as 11x14" to facilitate framing. My art collectors love saving money when they order a mat from me.

What should I use for the molding? 

Now the molding becomes a matter of personal taste and how to suit your decor. And custom molding (and fitting) is expensive. Therefore, always mat to the piece. With a neutral mat you could really go with anything for the frame but I favor bamboo style frames. Gold leaf frames are very traditional and pewter is more trendy and edgy. Some nice frames can be ordered online. A custom framer will charge you more because of the labor and other materials and finishing this is not something you want to do yourself. Your framer will give you a dust cover for the back, wiring for hanging, etc.

teen bedroom ideas | teen boy bedroom ideas | room ideas for teens | teen room ideas | teen bedroom ideas | teen room | boys bedroom | boys room decor | boys room | teen bedroom | kids room | discover more bedroom decor ideas at
Brown accents for boys room
decor. A colorful painting adds a perfect
pop of color to an otherwise subdued
bedroom. For more jungle art or safari art
follow this link.


Framing Works on Canvas


Do I have to frame my original canvas art? 

If the artwork is sold as stapled on the back with sides painted, then you can just hang it on the wall balanced on a nail. However, if it is side stapled you will need a frame to hide the staples. All of my art on canvas comes with the sides painted so you do not have to frame it, but you may want to do so anyway.

I want a frame for my canvas art anyway. What should I do?  
teen bedroom ideas | room ideas for teens | teen room ideas | teen bedroom ideas | teen room | teen bedroom | kids room | discover more bedroom decor ideas at
Infuse your space with life by hanging
inspirational word art. With this piece of
framed art, you'll almost be able to hear the
birds chirping as each new day arrives. A
black frame harmonizes with any bedroom
decor. Check out more bird art here.

Even if you work on canvas requires a frame, or you desire one for a more traditional or finished look, framing canvas is still cheaper than a work on paper or a print since you only need the molding, fitting and wiring. Again, gold leaf is still the most traditional route, although pewter, silver, and black are very popular too.
Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon

About Stu-Art Supplies  

This post has been sponsored by Stu-art Supplies which has been my personal choice for matting my artwork for nearly twenty years. Although they now have a website, I always like to call and place my orders the old fashioned way. As an east coaster, they offer me the best prices including shipping for clear bags, white mats and acid buffered foam backing boards. They also offer frames at wholesale prices. If you call, please tell them Miriam Schulman sent you! Stu-Art Supplies 1-800 645-2855

Decorating Resources:
All furniture via Pottery Barn
All artwork by Schulman Art

Do you love art and decorating? Get art you love and decorating tips you love delivered straight to your inbox! Click HERE.
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Challenge Series

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques on this art journal prompt, I started by thinking about the elements for a perfect vacation. Although this is a list prompt, you will see that my end result obscures most of my list writing. This style of art is something I had noticed online by Tracy Verdugo { you might like  her book Paint Mojo} and I was eager to try it out in my art journal. When I first started the list, this was not my intention, but this is the journey that the art journal took me on and I enjoyed the ride. Let me share with you my art adventure.




Art Journal Prompt: What elements make a perfect vacation?

Starting at prepared page that was made weeks ago...not for any particular prompt.... I started with my title of "Elements." To me a perfect vacation must include some sort of art viewing such as gallery hopping or museums.Next, restaurants are always a big part of any happy vacation...although sometimes I do like to cook the local seafood if we are renting a home or the farmer's produce.

Using a Black sharpie to doodle a butterfly 
line drawing on top of my list
Another element of perfection ( that we don't always have control over is "nice weather." I also included "adventure" on my list. Adventure means I tried something new...even if I am returning to the same place, I like to have a new experience. I consider "pampering" a bonus...perhaps it is a massage or something as simple as sitting in a hot tub. Finally, a perfect vacation to me is one that I take with my loved ones.. I can't imagine going it "alone"

Art Journal Techniques

I started off with my usual bubble letters and filling around, but my color choices didn't have enough contrast and I had trouble reading what I had written. Instead of giving up on the page, I decided to add another layer.

Next, I used white craft paint to fill 
in the negative spaces and background

Doodle Butterfly

I used a black sharpie to doodle a butterfly on the page and flower clouds around the perimeter. At first I decided to use white craft paint to paint around the negative space and leave the butterfly but I later changed it to teal. I also added some white dots using my white Signo pen. I don't think this page is complete yet, but half the fun of keeping an art journal is always having art in progress to work on.

Then, I changed it to fluid acrylic paint in teal

I don't think it is "finished" but half the fun is having a place to add embellishments and doodles.

Like having inspiration for your art journal? Be sure you subscribe to my blog so you don't miss any of my ideas {by Email / RSS / BlogLovin / NetworkedBlogs} or check out my free art journal ebook at the Inspiration Place.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Taste of the Inspiration Place
I have been a little quiet on the blogging front and for good reasons. I have been busy designing and creating a free inspirational art journal class for all Inspiration Place members!

As usual, I always spend the most time on creative ventures that I am not getting paid for... (why is that?) So far, nearly 100 art lovers from all around the world with every level of experience from complete novice to the very advanced have signed up.(and are loving it!)

Is this art journal class for you?

Do you like to journal but get stuck for ideas?

Are you curious about the best supplies?

Would you like to learn some art techniques that don't require a lot of drawing to create beautiful journal spreads?

Have you always wondered about art journaling but didn't know how to get started?

Why I made this class

Not so long ago I felt the same way you did... so I created this class for folks like you who felt the same way as I did. This class is my gift to you just for becoming an Inspiration Place member. (membership at the Inspiration Place is also free, there is no purchase required to take advantage of this free class)
A beautiful classroom that is easy to navigate. 
Once you are in the virtual classroom you can
click on each label to be taken to that section 
of the class.

What this class includes:

With this class you get a downloadable ebook filled with 65 pages of ideas, inspirations, techniques and tales of my own personal stories to give you plenty of ideas for how to fill your own art journal on the go. You also get links to my favorite supplies, and a private discussion group to share your art ( if you wish) You will also get a supplies video where I show you how I use some of my favorites and also free background pages for your private art journal use.
Here is a little peek at one lesson.. Do you know which white pens are transparent and which ones are opaque? In this lesson, I will reveal the differences.
Each lesson includes a video and a tips section for how you can get and stayed inspired.

Discover what different black pens 
look like in a side by side comparison
just click HERE to join the inspiration place and become a member of this new free art class! ( no purchase required.)

How to join the Inspiration Place

Membership here is also free, but you must take the time to fill out a profile so I can confirm you are not a spammer. Please let me know how you heard about this place and your art background. This helps me keep the price down if I know how to most effectively promote my courses and also develop classes that will most interest you. Your suggestions for new classes are always welcome.

So, how many of you have signed up for this class and what do you think of it?

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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Top 7 Popular Brown Paint Colors

brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on

Edited by SchulmanArt  with  research by  Lizzie Turovsky 

Are you looking for paint colors for living room or family room? Brown paint can be a wonderful counterpoint for art and provides contrast and harmony. Discover what interior designers have to say about using brown paint colors in your home decor.

Seeking the perfect brown for my family room

So this summer I am purging my house and taking care of some long neglected problems ( you may like Hoarding vs Harmony) One project that has taken priority is painting my den and replacing our box tv with a flat screen. (yes, it is my only tv. No, I am not embarrassed...but my kids are...) Since the tv room is the center of the house, I wanted to make sure that it was a space pleasing to me, my guests and my family. The adjacent powder room is getting a glamorous makeover too. In the meanwhile, I am in search of the perfect brown color.

brown wall paint for showing off art at Metropolitan museum of art
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why dark brown

Whenever I go to museums, the art looks fantastic on the dark brown walls so I really want to showcase my art on the dark walls as well as create a masculine space. 

Warm versus cool

When looking at browns the main thing you will notice that some are very warm with red undertones and others are more "cool" and gray. Since I like to decorate with a lot of turquoise, I was in search of a cool brown that was dark without a purple cast and would show off the white trim, my artwork and the tv built-in. I am considering Middlebury Brown as the front runner. 

What do you think of this color for my den?

living room paint ideas
What's interesting is that the paint sample looks brown, but when I photo-shopped in the color it looked like a dark blue-gray.

What the Experts Say:

"I feel about brown the way Holly Golightly felt about Tiffany's — nothing bad can happen to me in a brown room. I like the color as close to Coca-Cola as possible, not too umber and not too black. Mix it with McCloskey's glazing compound, which gives it a depth and resonance you're not going to get with gloss paint. I used it in my bedroom and it feels very tranquil. I go into that room and instantly fall asleep." -Eric Cohler


brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
BENJAMIN MOORE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE 2096-20: "Brown can look very traditional or very modern. Remember the 1960s? That was brown and gold and orange, which I would not do. Too period. I like it with lots of white — and pink or lavender or apple green. I just used it in a powder room with a white plaster mirror and peony-pink accents. The whole thing looked like a strawberry-cream chocolate bonbon. Very yummy." -Stephen Shubel


brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
BENJAMIN MOORE APPALACHIAN BROWN 2115-10: "Brown is the new neutral. It's more courageous than taupe. I like my browns the way I like my chocolates — dark and rich. I'd use it in a bedroom, a library, a TV room and add magenta, turquoise, purple, or emerald green. People are generally afraid of dark colors but this is a classic, right up there with navy blue or burgundy." -Larry Laslo
brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
FARROW BALL ETRUSCAN RED 56: "This reminds me of those wonderful neoclassical rooms by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Berlin, or Robert Adam in England. It has an excitement that straight brown doesn't have because of that hint of red, and I love red. I would glaze it for extra depth and do the woodwork in faux-stone. Bring in a little gold, a deep green. Modern furniture on bare wood floors with a Greek vase in the middle." -David Easton
brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
PRATT  LAMBERT AUTUMN DUSK 12-19: "I have this in my bedroom and I absolutely love it. It's a tea-leaf, caramely brown with a hint of green in it, which gives it more life than the typical brown. It doesn't die at night. Very earthy, yet sophisticated at the same time. It brings out other colors. Try it with mustard, lavender, cerulean blue. Or cinnabar red, blush pink, black, bone." -David McCauley
brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
BENJAMIN MOORE MIDDLEBURY BROWN HC-68: "Our first apartment was under 600 square feet, and I painted it this dark gray-brown. My husband and I have a lot of stuff, and something about the dark walls made everything look orderly, even if it wasn't. Furniture and fabrics and artwork suddenly stood out. All the moldings were painted white, and that contrast really crisped it up." -Alexa Hampton
brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
FARROW BALL LONDON STONE 6: "This is a warm, taupey brown. Not too dark and not too light. It's the color of raw unbleached Irish linen, of sand and shadow, of French limestone. Actually, it's like a Swedish brown, if there were such a thing. It has that beautifully grayed tone. I'd bring in a grayed blue as an accent." -Kerry Joyce
brown paint colors | paint swatches | decorating ideas on
RALPH LAUREN PAINT GALVANIZED UL12: "Brown is a masculine color that looks great with feminine colors like pink and coral and robin's egg blue. It's one of nature's neutrals, which is why it works with just about anything. This is the color of the peat moss that covered the flowerbeds back home. It has some red in it, which makes it warm. In a high-gloss finish, the walls are there but it looks as if you could almost go through them, like dark water." -Todd Klein

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