Tag Archives: gray,

Green and Gray

Green and Gray have a lot in common.

'my first apartment' book

‘my first apartment’ book

The spelling of both colors begin with “GR,” but the similarities go way beyond that.  Green and Gray are both abundant in nature representing both vegetation and stone respectively, so they look and feel natural.  Green and gray are also very easy on the eyes, which is why these colors are popular among homeowners.

customnurseryart blog

customnurseryart blog



It’s important to note that yellow-greens are way more energetic than true or blue-greens. So, chartreuse is not going to feel as serene as pine green, and it will not match the calmness of gray.  But.  Yellow-green still has an organic quality to it, and it actually complements gray very well.



And if you’re a fan of leafy, grassy greens you can easily create a soothing, stress-free room by pairing these true greens with a cool or pale gray.

Whether you like lime green, emerald or something in between, any type of green will work with gray.  With this color combo, you just can’t go wrong.

Design Plan: Yellow and Gray

computer rendering by kporter

I recently created a DIY Design Plan for a young couple in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.  If you live in the metro area, you know that this and other areas of the city are experiencing a real estate boom.  Developers are renovating and rebuilding old row houses, and new restaurants and shops are popping up everywhere.  It’s a great time to be a resident here — and it’s very exciting when I can help my DC clients add color and personality to their new homes.



In this post, I’m featuring part of a Design Plan that I designed for my Columbia Heights clients.  Their home is a rebuilt, two-story loft style condo.  My clients wanted modern furniture, contemporary gray tones and pops of vibrant colors.  Here are a couple of the design boards that I created:

yellow and gray design board


design board2

ch floorplan

I hope to post “After” photos sometime soon!  A few notable items in this plan are:

Pocket White Extension Table from cb2.com {perfect for a small space, but it extends to accomodate extra guests}

Gerber Storage Ottoman from target.com

Clark sofa from roomandboard.com

Carpet Tiles from flor.com

If you need design help and would like to learn more about my DIY Design Plans, email me at kelly@porterhousedesigns.com.


Pink and Gray Craft Room

Today’s post tells the story behind one of my recent projects.

craft room design by www.porterhousedesigns.com

Not long ago I had the pleasure of working with Jayme, who lives in the Baltimore area.  She contacted me because she needed help designing a craft room for her two, adorable little girls — Skylar and Hayden.

When I visited Jayme’s home, she showed me a large space that was already dedicated to the girls’ playthings and craft supplies.  But the girls were beginning to outgrow many of their toys, and the space needed storage, organization and a fresh new look.




Jayme wanted the new craft room to have a fun, finished look that the girls could grow with — something that was “more sophisticated than cute.”   She also wanted a space that would allow the girls to do their homework, in addition to crafting and playing. Taking all of that into consideration, I created a DIY Design Plan that included this Design Board and Rendering:

craft room design ideas

craft room rendering by kelly porter

After receiving her plan, Jayme wasted no time with implementing the design.  The result is a craft room that is sophisticated, streamlined and stunning — if I do say so myself.

craft room furniture


pink and gray craft room by kelly porter

The room is very long {over 20 feet} but it is also narrow, so using a vibrant wall color would have overwhelmed the space, especially with the bright overhead lighting.  The solution was to use a subtle color on the walls {Evening Shadow by Sherwin-Williams} and a more savory hue {In the Pink by SW} on the expansive ceiling.  This also brought a fun ‘wow factor’ to the room.  Jayme did a great job of clearing out the space by giving away many of the toys and books.  This made room for two new desks {from IKEA} where the girls can work on projects and do homework.  For the girls’ names above each desk, we used custom vinyl lettering from trendywalldesigns.com.

desk with pink chair

The plan also included dress-up stations.

craft room organization

Design Tip:  Hanging costumes on wall hooks allows for easy access and also adds colorful ‘wall art’ to the space.

dress up area_craft table

The ebony stained desk was the only piece of furniture that stayed in the new craft room.  Jayme bought it from IKEA a while back, and it has held up well.  It’s also long enough so both girls can pull up a chair and work on craft projects together.  And did you notice the paper towel dispenser on the wall?  Jayme’s husband thought of that, and I must admit it was a great idea!

craft room work desk

Storage and organization were also a big part of this design.  The room already had built-in shelves, so it was just a matter of finding containers that would work the best and fit on the shelves.  Jayme decided on the Smart Store totes from containerstore.com.




storage by the container store

We also brought in another great piece from IKEA that provides additional storage for items of different sizes.




IKEA storage

{TROFAST storage from IKEA}

craft room storage

Jayme says that the girls love the new craft room and they are spending a lot of time in their new space…which makes mom and dad very happy.  Now, that’s music to my ears!

craft room by kelly porter

If you have any questions about this design, or if your room needs a new look and you’d like to become a client {eDesign services are available}, contact me at kelly@porterhousedesigns.com.

Color Scheme Idea: Gray and Red

Gray is still holding steady as the neutral you need now.

gray and red living room


It took a while before I became a fan of gray {it seemed so drab at first} but I’ve come to love it’s versatility and I’ve enjoyed helping many of my clients select the perfect gray paint colors for their homes.  I also chose gray for my own dining room and I’m so happy I did.  I love a gray room best when it’s graced with a stand-out accent color, and out of all the hues that go so well with gray, my favorite is RED.

gray dining with red chairs


gray and red living room

{brian patrick flynn}

Gray and Red go together so naturally.  I think this is true because these two colors really do complement each other.  All by itself gray can appear cold, reserved and tranquil.  On the other hand red is hot, sexy and exciting.  When these colors are paired together, each one gets some of what the other color has.  It’s a match made in color heaven.

gray dining room by kelly porter


chandelier red crystal

gray and red room


red beds2


gray room


Many grays are achromatic {void of color} like black and white.  But some grays do have blue, purple or green undertones…and that is what makes it such a great, all-around neutral.  Just be mindful of these varying undertones when you’re choosing a gray paint color.  Other than that, trust me when I say…you have a room in your home that wants to be gray.

Room Tour: My Gray Dining Room

gray dining room by kelly porter

I’ve finally completed the re-design of my dining room, and here’s the big reveal!

dining room_kporter

before photo

Years ago, I designed my dining room in the Spanish Mediterranean style…complete with Venetian plaster faux finished walls and tapestry-inspired fabrics.  I love the warmth of this look, but it was time for a modern makeover:

gray dining room by kporter

The glass dining table and sideboard {shown below} remain in the room, along with a couple of clay pots.  These pieces give the space that Spanish warmth that I wanted to keep.  I purchased some new items for the room, like the white leather dining chairs…but it’s the older pieces, passed down from family members, that add real character.

side view

My husband’s aunt gave us the sideboard when we first moved into our home.  It’s from Century, made in the 1970’s so it’s solid wood!  It originally had brass handles but I switched them out for new chrome pulls.  The mirror above the sideboard belonged to my grandmother-in-law.  It had a dark wood frame that I spray-painted silver.

dining room sideboard

Another special and unique addition to my dining room are the acrylic bubble panels:

dining room bubble panels

These panels are my prized possessions.  My favorite aunt gave them to me after many years of displaying them in her home.  I remember looking at them as a young girl and thinking how cool they were, so I was thrilled when she “handed them down” to me!  I love that they are so 1970’s retro.  My aunt passed away a few years ago, so I’m glad to have such a special reminder of her in my home.

gray dining room panels

To the right of the bubble panels, you may have noticed my ‘plant stand.’  This is yet another family piece that has a fun story behind it…literally!  It’s a city-issued metal box that my grandmother-in-law kept on the front porch of her Washington, DC row house.  Back in the day {before I was born, I might add}, a real-live milkman delivered jars of milk and left them in the box.

gray dining room_milk box

Years later, after the milkman became a thing of the past, Grandma kept the box on her porch and it was used as an extra seat for family and friends.  That’s why I say it has a story behind it!  The box has a dent in the lid because so many behinds have sat on it over the years!  It’s a fun accessory, and the red stamp helps it fit in the room perfectly.

chandelier red crystal

Wondering why I chose red as an accent color?  A couple of reasons.  First, the adjoining room is red and my husband’s favorite color is red.  I also wanted a color that would pop and stand out from all of the gray and white.  When incorporating an accent color, here is an idea that you may want to try yourself:  The chandelier in my dining room came with all clear crystals, but I replaced all but one of those crystals with red ones.  This is very easy to do.  You can find a great selection of crystals at crystalier.com.

dining room table

{My thrift store finds:  a ceramic lamp, amber pedestal glasses and red water goblets}

gray dining room view by kelly porter

I used gray paint colors that have warm/taupe undertones:  Dovetail and Gauntlet Gray, both by sherwin-williams.com.  Because of the different undertones, selecting a gray can by tricky.  I originally started out with a lighter shade, but ended up going with the darker tones which look more rich and inviting.

If you have any questions about this re-design, or if I can help you select the perfect shade of gray or any other color {through my Online Design Service}, contact me at kelly@porterhousedesigns.com.