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S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S® W h e r e C o l o r a n d C r e a t i v i t y C o n v e r g e Vo l u m e 3 • I s s u e 1 • 2 0 0 6

s t i r

Wild Kingdom

Eco Showcase

Vibrant Vinyl

Editorial Advisor: Tresa Makowski Executive Editor: Bryan Iwamoto Editor: Kim Palmer Managing Editor: Laura Pigott Executive Art Director: Sandy Rumreich Senior Designer: Cate Hubbard Senior Editors: Jim Thorp, Mara Hess Production Director: Kimber Olson Project Manager: Linda Usgaard Client Services: Steff Gumingo STIR™ magazine is published by Hanley Wood, LLC, on behalf of The SherwinWilliams Company, for interior designers and architects. We welcome your questions and comments. Please direct correspondence to: Sherwin-Williams STIR Magazine Hanley Wood 430 1st Ave. N., Suite 550 Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone: (612) 338-8300 Fax: (612) 338-7044 E-mail: Web site: For Sherwin-Williams color and product information, contact your Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive or call the Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194.

STIR Advisory Board Emily Blitzer Paul Segal Associates New York, NY Kathleen Neama The S/L/A/M Collaborative Glastonbury, CT Ann Newton Spooner, IDS national president Ann Newton Spooner Interior Design Charlotte, NC Karin Schluer, Allied ASID, LEED certified WESK Interiors, Inc. Millington, NJ Leslie Shankman-Cohn, ASID Eclectic Interiors Memphis, TN Zara Stender, CID, IDS, Allied ASID, CMG vice-chair ZaraDesigns Reno, NV Kristine Stoller, NCIDQ certified KSID, LLC Sharon, MA Abby Suckle, AIA Abby Suckle Architects New York, NY Denise Walton, ASID, NCIDQ certified Denise J Walton Design Scottsdale, AZ



have always been struck by the brilliant hues of exotic birds, whose iridescent plumage stands out against the forest’s more subtle foliage. I take my cues from them when feathering my own nest, splashing scarlet on an accent wall to create a dramatic backdrop, or adding a brilliant gold pillow to call attention to a particularly cozy seating arrangement. On the other hand, color in the wild also serves the opposite purpose: helping insects, birds, fish and mammals blend in with their environments to avoid being noticed. Designers borrow this trick of nature when they use a monochromatic palette to downplay less-than-desirable architectural features. In human society, we see both manifestations in the dress codes of the workplace, where red suits or ties convey singular power, while the sea of blue denim on “casual” Fridays helps workers collectively blend in. Whether your spaces are designed to defy or mimic their surroundings, color is critical for successful adaptation, in both the wild kingdom and in the tamer environment of your next project. We hope you will find inspiration in this issue to realize your own creative vision.


Printed in the United States, © 2006 Sherwin-Williams, Vol. 3. Issue 1, 2006

Sheri Thompson Director, Color Marketing and Design The Sherwin-Williams Company

The trademarks and copyrights of Sherwin-Williams appearing in STIR are protected.

P.S. Be sure to stop by our exhibits at the national ASID, IDEC, CSI, K/BIS, Hospitality Design, Highpoint April Furniture Market, AIA and NeoCon shows to pick up a fan deck of the 2006 Color Forecast from Sherwin-Williams. Contact your Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive or call our Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194 for more information.



s t i r Vo l u m e 3 • I s s u e 1 • 2 0 0 6



ON THE COVER NATURE KNOWS BEST The science of biomimicry offers lessons from nature on how to adapt patterns and colors to achieve design goals.

5 PALETTE New Web service connects homeowners with designers and contractors. How to talk to paint contractors. Fun facts about color. What durability means when it comes to paint.





An expanded palette of paint colors for vinyl siding is now an option thanks to advanced coatings technology.

Geometric patterns and vivid colors on walls and ceilings brighten up the interior of a Milwaukee home.





How workplace apparel color choices influence perceptions — and impact business success.


A Minneapolis loft project demonstrates how easy it is to be green.


TECHNICOLOR TRANSFORMATION Faux painting techniques and over 1,100 colors transform a Kansas City river boat casino into a medieval Mediterranean village.

20 COLOR SPY Jazz composer Maria Schneider creates music in living color.

22 FINAL TOUCH Red, white or rosé? Learn what color says about your wine.




Paint the Town Need leads? Connect with homeowners in your area who are seeking design help online through Sherwin-Williams Service ConnectionTM, a new Web service bringing homeowners, designers and painting contractors together. As a designer, you can: • Register online, free of charge. • Post your business profile online. • Get matched automatically to local prospects looking for design help. Beginning this spring, prospective customers can view your detailed business profile — which you create and can update at any time. Plus, your prospective clients will identify themselves as interested in the types of services you offer by submitting an inquiry through the homeowner section of the Sherwin-Williams Web site. For more information or to register your business for Sherwin-Williams Service Connection, go to




SHOP TALK Five tips for communicating with contractors Communication is key when working with paint contractors. Minds, directions and budgets often change — and a good relationship with your contractor helps keep your projects rolling smoothly and ensures your vision is achieved.


See the painter’s perspective. In a paint contractor’s world, time is money, and even the shortest delay can affect the bottom line. Organization and communication are critical to keeping your paint contractor on schedule and on budget.


Remember that color matters. Switching color specs can affect the amount of paint and time needed for a job — which impacts the contractor’s bottom line. Bold, bright colors do not cover as well as neutrals and require more coats or the use of a gray-shade primer. Adding new colors to a project also can mean additional cleaning of equipment between color applications.


Trust real-world experience. An experienced paint contractor knows which products work best considering the environment, substrate and surface condition. Be specific about your expectations: the shade, sheen, finished appearance and performance you’re looking for; or recommend a specific product, if you have one in mind. Then work with your contractor to finalize which product will work best for you.



Share insights and information. Keep your paint contractor in the loop when it comes to project details. Share what you know about the client (“I’m not sure he’s sold on the color”) and expect the communication to be reciprocated (“The drywaller did a poor job taping, and this paint won’t hide the seams”).


Watch your contractor sequence. Nothing can flatline productivity faster than a case of hurry-up-and-wait. Schedule contractors in a logical sequence and stick to that schedule to avoid “stacked” contractors competing for time and space to do their jobs. ■


Stir 3

“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.” — Joan Miró (1893–1983) Color Chips Facts and trivia from across the spectrum

Tastes yellow. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, early civilizations such as the ancient Romans recognized that people “eat with their eyes” as well as their mouths. Saffron and other spices often were used to provide a rich yellow color to foods. Butter was colored yellow as far back as the 14th century.

Purple sludge. An 18-year-old British science student, William Henry Perkin, created the first synthetic dye in 1856 while attempting to create artificial quinine. The purplish residue of his experiments, which he called mauve, was ridiculed by his colleagues until England’s Queen Victoria and Empress Eugenie of France adopted the new color and made it fashionable. Perkin was knighted in 1906.

Seeing gray. Does the color red really make bulls behave aggressively? Not likely, say scientists, since cattle don’t have color vision. The traditional red of the matador’s cape calls to mind blood, virility and power — but it’s that infernal flapping that really gets the bull’s attention, causing him to charge the cape.



or high-traffic areas or surfaces exposed to the elements, durable coatings are critical. Experts rate paint durability in large part by its ability to resist burnishing. For interiors, burnish resistance plus washability or scrubability is especially important. As defined by Building Operating Management magazine, burnishing refers to the shine that can appear when a painted surface is scrubbed or scuffed, and is often tied closely to the type of paint finish. For example, the paint ingredients that produce a glossy finish create a uniform, smooth surface. Stains can’t penetrate the surface, so they can be wiped away without the scrubbing that leads to burnish marks. As a result, gloss finishes tend to hold up better than flat finishes in areas that get a lot of traffic and require more-frequent cleaning. Flat finishes are often better at hiding imperfections. A gloss surface makes flaws more noticeable, because it picks up light in the room. If you’re using a high-gloss finish, be sure you apply it to a smooth, even surface. However, recent paint technology innovations have produced more-durable flat paints, such as Sherwin-Williams Duration™ Home, Builders Solution and Color Accents flat, that resist burnishing better than lower-quality satin or semi-gloss paints. Look for products with burnish resistance that has been validated by an independent testing source, such as ASTM International. ■




BIOMIMICRY, a new and growing science, urges designers to look to the natural world for proven


solutions and fresh inspiration

knows best



rom leather to sheepskin to grasscloth, design has always borrowed from nature. Patterns, textures and colors adapted to ensure the survival of a species also add grace to bodies and buildings. When the real thing isn’t affordable (or desirable), reasonable substitutes, such as Naugahyde® or nylon, can be produced to mimic a coveted look from the wild kingdom. The emerging design science of biomimicry, which goes beyond reproducing a natural aesthetic, is a far cry from cheap imitations. Biomimicry probes beneath superficial first appearances, sometimes down to the molecular level, to discover the design genius of biology itself — borrowing not just the looks of nature, but the lessons.


Stir 5

The Morpho butterfly changes color with the flap of a wing...

“You can study a design challenge and look to nature to learn how nature solves it,” explains John Mlade, a green-building researcher for Perkins + Will. “Or you can be walking through the woods and stumble over a solution to a problem you didn’t know existed.” In either case, with nearly 4 million years in research and development “nature knows what works, what’s appropriate and what lasts,” Mlade says. Janine Benyus, credited with launching the movement with her 1997 book, “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature,” puts it in starker terms: “99 percent of all species are extinct. If something has survived, we should look at why it has. Natural selection works.” For example, architects and engineers could learn something from the oak trees of New Orleans, says Benyus, who is co-director of the Biomimicry Guild. What is it about the design of those old trees that kept them standing while buildings around them were obliterated last year by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina?




The much-maligned cockroach beetle might hold the secret to reducing mold in wet places such as New Orleans. One African cockroach beetle species even has an uncanny ability to pull moisture out of the dry desert air. The blue mussel’s astonishing ability to adhere to the ocean bottom has provided us with a blueprint for the production of industrial adhesives. The white lotus leaf stays clean even in the muddiest swamps — an inspiration for self-cleaning coatings that could be applied to cars and textiles.

Shade shifters When it comes to color, Mother Nature is equally inventive. Textile manufacturers currently are applying technology derived from the Morpho butterfly’s iridescent blue-green wings. The stunning colors come in handy for attracting mates and perpetuating the species.

Like the butterfly wing and the peacock feather, fabrics made with Aurora® ShimmerSilkTM thread express different colors when viewed from different angles.

WHAT WOULD NATURE DO? To tap the infinite knowledge of Mother Nature, architects and designers can soon access her solutions with the click of a mouse. Part Google, part biology class, part nature

But, in the South American rainforest where the butterflies can be found, their brilliant color is also a handicap, making them more visible to prey. To avoid detection, the Morpho butterfly changes color with the flap of a wing — from provocative blue to a drab brown that lets it conveniently disappear against a backdrop of trees and foliage. Remarkably, the butterfly wing (like the peacock feather) has no pigment. Rather, a complex structure with multiple layers interacts with light, producing only the appearance of color. The reflective effects of such structural color, says Benyus, make it four times brighter than pigment. Engelhard Corp. mimics this process with its Aurora® ShimmerSilk™ thread used in fabrics, which, like the butterfly’s wings, pick up the color tones around them. Such simple elegance inspired textile designer David Oakey to send an entire design team into the woods. Consulting for Interface Inc.,

networking, the Biomimicry Database will provide biomimetic solutions to design and engineering challenges, contact information for experts and others interested in similar challenges, as well as biomimetic models and detailed information on biomimetic products available worldwide. “It’s a catalog of nature solutions organized by architectural and engineering principles,” says Janine Benyus, whose Biomimicry Guild is developing the database with the Rocky Mountain Institute. For example, type in “glue” and nearly 100 records will pop up, including challenges and strategies, citations for scientific papers, a list of experts and products — all directed toward biomimetic solutions for glue. Though still in testing, the database may be available this year. In the meantime, designers can bring their conundrums to


Stir 7

Interface Inc.’s Entropy carpet tiles mimic the random patterns of the forest floor.

the group left the design table to ponder the forest floor, looking for biological clues for a better carpet design. What they discovered was “organized chaos” — a pleasing mosaic of textures, colors and shapes. The result of their field trip is Entropy, modular carpet tiles of which no two pieces are the same, just like the forest floor. With Entropy, everything from installation to repair is simplified, since there is no set pattern; would-be scraps are simply installed wherever they are needed or saved for future repair. But carpet design also needs to sell. Here, too, nature inspired Entropy. “People feel good walking on a random pattern because that’s what has been under us for millions of years,” says Mlade. The wisdom of biomimicry is enhanced by nature’s visceral effect on humans. “If you ask people to describe where they would most like to be, most say ‘outside, in nature.’” A savannah, suggests Mlade, makes a nice model for an office design. Like the savannah, office design can succeed by providing encompassing views of all the action as well as secure places to huddle.




Stephanie Watson Zollinger, a professor of interior design at the University of Minnesota, says such proportion systems can make buildings more inviting. Watson Zollinger points out that mathematical formulas, such as the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio, which are ubiquitous in nature from flowers to seashells, have appeared in such architectural landmarks as Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid, the Parthenon and Hadrian’s Pantheon. Frank Lloyd Wright’s works included them, and they can be applied just as effectively in humbler interiors. “Research has found that when we embody ourselves in spaces that utilize these systems, we just feel more comfortable,” says Watson Zollinger.

Inherently sustainable Biomimicry principles return the favor to nature through the sustainable designs they inspire. After all, nature itself, says Benyus, is inherently sustainable. The leaves on those oak trees in New Orleans are capturing solar energy while producing life-sustaining oxygen, or

“ People feel good walking on a random pattern because that’s what has been under us for millions of years.”


S t i r 95

The jewel chameleon is an expert at the art of concealment.

WILDKINGDOM COLOR Animal coloration in nature generally evolves to fulfill one of several biological needs: when they fall to the ground, nutrients for nearby organisms. “They’ve optimized survival while enhancing the place that is going to take care of their offspring,” she says. Benyus believes that architecture and design are on the critical, cutting edge of environmental sustainability. “When I look at where biomimicry could make the most impact, the built world is it,” she says, pointing out that the building industry is a leading producer of industrial waste. In fact, architects and designers, many of whom are interested in green design, were among the first nonscientists to grasp the vast possibilities of biomimicry. “They had a hunch, and I agree with them, that our buildings should be more life-like,” says Benyus. “At that point they had the imagination to say we need biologists sitting at the design table.” The built environment, says Benyus, contributes our largest, and some of our most important, human artifacts. “Nature will judge” our success, she says, just as it has the Morpho butterfly and the Parthenon. “If we can make these artifacts better adapted to life on Earth over the long haul, we will hopefully have a chance of squeezing through this evolutionary knothole.” ■




Concealment. Animals can avoid predators when their coloration matches the natural background of their habitat, such as white species in arctic snow-covered environments, pale species in desert climates, red and gray species in rocky habitats, striped species in grasslands, and dark species in closed environments or dense forests.

Communication. Patches of color help animals maintain visual contact, such as that between mothers and young. Colored markings also may signal subordination, dominance, reproductive condition, health or even genetic quality to potential mates. Regulation of physical processes. Color can help regulate body temperature by reflecting or absorbing radiation or by providing a surface that enhances or reduces evaporation. For example, white faces and rump patches help reduce heat load in open desert or grassland habitats.



Vibrant vinyl Color technology expands the palette for exterior vinyl siding




hite. Tan. Taupe. Beige. In the vocabulary of exterior colors, the words “vinyl siding” and “variety” have seldom shared the same sentence. That’s about to change. In a move designed to expand residential design choices, Sherwin-Williams is launching new VinylSafe™ color technology that will allow homeowners who want to paint over their vinyl siding a more diverse and comprehensive palette from which to choose. The new Vinyl Siding Color Palette will include more than 100 Sherwin-Williams colors, says Steve Revnew, director of residential marketing for Sherwin-Williams’ Architectural Coatings Division. And Sherwin-Williams’ SherColor™ Advanced Computer Color Technology color-matching software will allow even more choices. In the past, a daring homeowner could indeed paint over her vinyl siding. But the rule, generally, was to use the same color or lighter-colored paint. Why? Because a darker color would cause the siding to buckle. Dark colors absorb more heat than pale hues, and that buildup of heat could make the vinyl — which is plastic — warp and buckle. So homeowners seeking to save a few dollars by painting rather than replacing their siding often had to replace it anyway when their darker-color dreams backfired. Not now. When tinted using Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint® or Duration Exterior™ product lines, the darker colors in this VinylSafe color palette will not absorb heat as in the past, Revnew says. “When you look at vinyl siding, you don’t see too many deep tone

“It’s more economical to paint your house than to re-side it.” colors,” he says. “When people want to change the color, their choices have been to go lighter or re-side the house. With this color palette, they’ll be able to paint their house just about any color. You could even paint a white house dark brown. And it’s more economical to paint your house than to re-side it.” The 100 Sherwin-Williams Vinyl Siding Colors are “the most popular in the industry today,” Revnew says. Darker colors will include Cold Spot, Ground Hog and Green Mountain. Brighter colors include Spring Ahead, Frilly and Nikko Blue. The change actually began a few years ago, when Duration Exterior and SuperPaint were formulated with just this option in mind. Add new pigment technologies to that reformulation and a whole new world of choices is now available to owners of vinyl-sided homes, Revnew says. Revnew predicts their numbers will grow as a result. Currently, only about 4 percent of the residential market represents painted vinyl siding. In 2006, he says, “that’s going to get a boost.” In other words, bye-bye beige. ■


S t i r 11


What color is your

Clothing hue can have a subtle but significant impact on professional success






he art of making the deal is driven by color,” says Cathy Glosser, vice president of licensing for the Trump Signature Collection, the Donald’s line of business wear. If you think she’s overstating the power of what you pull out of your closet in the morning, consider the following: One recent study found that male job applicants wearing dark business suits were perceived as more powerful and competent than those who wore lighter suits. At West Chester University of Pennsylvania, researchers discovered that a woman pictured wearing a black dress was deemed more intelligent, powerful and attractive than the same woman seen wearing the same dress in any other color. Croupiers at casinos wear red because the color has been demonstrated to elevate blood pressure, quicken breathing and encourage risk-taking behavior in gamblers. And research repeatedly shows that wearing certain colors in the workplace (any workplace) can have a tremendous psychological impact on how people respond to you — and to what you’re selling. While these and other color studies suggest that the darker your clothing, the more authority you project, don’t assume black is your best bet. “Wearing black is the most common mistake people make in terms of professional

color,” says Catherine Frate Witt, a Maryland image consultant and event planner. “It’s too harsh on most people and can emphasize age.” It’s not off-limits to everyone, however. “Black is stunning on those with ‘winter’ coloring: dark hair and complexions with blue overtones, such as Demi Moore, ” she says. Sandy Dumont, a consultant who helps individuals and corporations dress for success, also thinks black can easily detract from a winning image. “On most men, black looks too slick. Unless you’re in Hollywood or Vegas, you look untrustworthy, like a ‘player.’ On the other hand, a navy blue suit will still take you just about anywhere.”

Color of aspiration Genuine power dressing, says Dumont, means understanding the subtle variations in impact that each color can have. “Blue and green are really close on the color wheel, but you’ve never seen a green power suit,” she explains. “That’s because the color evokes the earth; it’s grounded. Blue, on the other hand, reminds us of the sky and high aspirations, of infinite horizons.” If you’re looking to connect instead of command, consider wearing brown. “Brown says ‘Dad,’” according to Dumont. “It’s nonthreatening, and great for people who have




S t i r 13




to engage others in difficult conversations.” She also cites the case of a psychiatrist who discovered his patients were more forthcoming when he wore brown instead of blue. The ultimate goal of using color as part of your pitch? Leading another person’s eye to your face. “Think of yourself as a potential masterpiece,” advises Dumont. “A canvas masterpiece permits one focal point. The same rule applies to individuals. Your face must be that lone focal point.” When your face or hair blends into your clothes — say, for example, a pale blonde wearing a light pink blouse, or a man with salt-and-pepper hair wearing gray — “you can look passive,” she observes. “That can be particularly undermining for women, who weren’t born with men’s deep voices and broad shoulders.” But what women lack in physical scale, they make up for in color options. “We’re lucky,” says Dumont. “We can wear magenta, fuchsia, even yellow, as long as we look polished and classy.” Her secret weapon is red. “Red is life itself, blood coursing through the veins. When I walk into a reception or a networking event wearing my red suit, everyone, and I mean everyone, turns around to look. Try it sometime.” Not quite ready to go head-to-toe in a

primary color? Try teal, which Angie Michael of Image Resource Group in Falls Church, Va., calls “the navy of the new millennium.” As for the eternally vexing question of the power tie, Dumont offers a surprising example of a “don’t”: President Bush. She thinks the 43rd president’s preference for pale, China blue ties sends a confusing message. “Where’s he going? To the country club? Out to dinner with his wife? A pastel doesn’t suggest a powerful leader. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, tends to wear red ties with small patterns. He looks authoritative.” Then again, the power-tie rules can be successfully broken by, well, the successful. “Palm Beach Pink is our key inspirational color,” says Glosser of the Trump Collection, referring to her boss’s penchant for rosy neckwear. “Donald Trump has a home in Palm Beach, so in his case, wearing a pastel color is appropriate,” observes Dumont. “But he’s also saying, ‘I’m so powerful I don’t need to wear a powerful tie.’” Perhaps his preference is due to experience, not geography: “I used to wear red ties all the time, and I had a lot of good luck,” Trump recently observed. Then a deal didn’t go his way. “After that, I don’t wear red ties anymore.” ■

Creative advantage Designers and other artistic professionals have a lot of color leeway, much more so than people working in more traditionally buttoned-up industries, such as law or finance. “If you’re in a creative field, it’s hard to make a color mistake,” says image consultant Catherine Frate Witt. A bold color choice can be particularly effective for creative professionals who do a lot of presentation work. “If you walk in wearing a bright orange scarf because you love it, it doesn’t matter that bright colors are sometimes considered inappropriate in conservative settings. If it’s flattering and you love it, you should wear orange,” she says.

All clothing provided by Marshall Field’s


S t i r 15

Day brightener Vivid colors and dynamic patterns give this Milwaukee home warmth and energy during gray winter months By LAU RA WEXLER


“ I feel that my job as a designer is to go into a person’s psyche and bring their needs into reality; each project is one-of-a-kind.”


Identify the emotion you want to feel in a space before you begin thinking about color, suggests Bohdan Gernaga, owner of tymedesign.

Use color and pattern to highlight architectural details, but don’t be constrained by them. In the Karnes residence, Gernaga painted over the picture rails in order to bring the wall color up to the ceiling.

Turn negatives — an air-conditioning duct, for example — into positives by emphasizing rather than hiding them.

“You, not the walls, make the space,” Gernaga says. Wrapping color around the corners at different lengths creates movement and makes a room feel larger.




Bright rectangles After concluding that the vaulted living-room ceiling was underserved by “developer white,” Gernaga designed a diamond pattern to bring the eye up and emphasize the craftsmanship. “Where the vaults came together it wasn’t a perfect point,” he says. “So I created the red-orange rectangles to compensate.” The rectangles also link the living room with the adjoining dining room, which features a Mondrian-inspired ceiling design that incorporates the taupe and blue from the living room as well as several half-tones of the vibrant red-orange. As in many of his projects, Gernaga wrapped the wall colors at different lengths in the dining room. “When people walk into a room, they see the corners first and know the space,” he says. “With me taking that off, it gives the room a kinetic feel.” Gernaga’s designs are often tricky to execute, and the Karnes residence was particularly challenging, according to painting contractor Todd Grunert of TG Painting in Cudahy, Wis. “The three vaults in the living room are handmade, and all are off-center,” he says. “You can’t use a laser level. You have to do it visually, make it all fit like a nice puzzle.” Grunert chose SuperPaint® Interior for the ceilings because its flat finish keeps light from bouncing off the design. For the walls, Jason Abbot, market manager for the Sherwin-Williams store in Cudahy, recommended Cashmere® for its smooth velvety surface, which hides imperfections and makes it easier to achieve a sharp line. Speaking of lines, Julie Karnes thought Gernaga crossed a big one when he suggested the horizontal blue striping for her living room. “It took a lot of convincing,” she says. “And, ironically, it’s one of the parts I love the most. On the gray days, I just love the movement.” ■


ulie Karnes adores the unusual geometric paint treatment in the living and dining rooms of the 1923 Prairie-style home she shares with her husband and children. But, she admits, “It’s pretty crazy. It’s not for everyone.” Bohdan Gernaga, who created the design, doesn’t agree with Karnes about the “crazy” part — he says it’s “quite tame” compared with some of his other work. But he heartily agrees it’s not for everyone — which, in his eyes, is a good thing. “All of my work is very personal,” says Gernaga, owner of Chicago-based tymedesign ( “I feel that my job as a designer is to go into a person’s psyche and bring their needs into reality; each project is one-of-a-kind.” Gernaga began by asking the Karnes family to describe the emotions they wanted to feel in the space. He paired that emotional wish list — “vibrant,” “movement,” “soothing,” “cocoon-ish” — with what the home was “telling” him through its architecture to create the palette and patterns. For the living room, he chose gold and taupe to instill the warmth of the sun and created a horizontal striped pattern featuring four shades of light blue to suggest the ripples of Lake Michigan, which the home overlooks. “The striping is on an add-on where the original air-conditioning ducts were installed,” says Gernaga. “Sometimes people try to hide those things, but I say, ‘It’s there, why not make it work?’”

Anatomy of a Palette SW 6622 Hearty Orange SW 6621 Emotional SW 6620 Rejuvenate SW 6379 Jersey Cream SW 6742 Lighter Mint SW 2829 Classic White SW 6434 Spinach White SW 6126 Navajo White SW 6448 Greening SW 6464 Aloe SW 1449 Dinner Mint SW 6463 Breaktime SW 1363 Cellini Gold SW 1362 Luminary Gold SW 1646 Filtered Sun


S t i r 17



Not just a

pretty space

A Minneapolis loft project makes a design statement by being easy on the eyes as well as the environment

To view more eco-friendly features of the Lander Sherman loft, go to




•Bamboo flooring.

•Large low-e

Bamboo grows 20 times


faster than oak and is

Natural light reduces the

more durable.

need for electric lights. UV coating and argonfilled double panes increase efficiency, especially when augmented by energyefficient blinds.



reen is good. Green can also look good. That, in a nutshell, was the vision behind the “green” loft, an environmentally friendly prototype created last year by Lander Sherman Urban Development as part of its 72-unit Midtown Lofts project in Minneapolis. “We originally talked about doing a green unit for research and development,” says Wren Aigaki-Lander, marketing director for the Lander Group, which has a “green” mission statement. The group aimed to take standard features and find new and innovative ways to make them as environmentally friendly as possible. “The purpose of the green unit was to start that dialogue,” she says. Lander Sherman loaded the unit with dozens of earth-friendly features, including recycled materials, energy-efficient appliances, and paints and finishes with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs). But earth-friendly alone wasn’t enough, says Aigaki-Lander. “They also had to be great looking.”

Low- or zero-VOC paints and finishes.

Recycled-content sheetrock.

Energy-efficient lighting.

Interface Flor carpet squares.

Recycled-rubber flooring.

Harmony® from Sherwin-

Both paper and content

Fluorescents replace

The backing is 100 percent

Made from recycled

Williams is a zero-VOC

include recycled materials.

incandescent bulbs.

post-consumer recycled

rubber tires, this flooring

Dimmers minimize use

content. The carpet

material can also be

and add ambience.

contains recycled content

recycled post-consumer.

and is recyclable through

(Not shown)

paint, eliminating emissions that can irritate

skin, eyes and lungs.

Interface’s Carpet Reclamation program. Homeowners can replace it square by square, producing less waste than installing new wall-towall carpet. (Not shown)

•Low-flow faucets.

•Granite and steel

•Recycled cabinets


Low-flow faucet aerators


with sealed backs.

room divider.

reduce home water

Granite is natural and

Behind the maple veneer,

3-Form Translucent

consumption and the

durable. Steel is durable

all materials are recycled.

EcoResin™ wall separation

energy cost of heating

and cleans easily. Neither

Sealed backs improve air

is made from 50 to

the water by as much

emits harmful gasses.

quality by reducing

60 percent recycled

formaldehyde emissions

materials, including

from particle board.

actual grasses, and

as 50 percent.

can be recycled.


S t i r 19

Technicolor transformation Faux finishes and more than 1,100 colors combine to invoke a Mediterranean ambience in a Midwest riverboat casino.



he Argosy Gaming Company’s “theme team” did its modern corporate homework. But ultimately, the artistry that transformed a Missouri riverboat casino into an ancient Mediterranean village came down to an ageold collaboration between eye, hand and paint. Now a 60,000-square-foot showcase of faux finishes, Argosy Casino Kansas City had to be built anew, then made to appear centuries old. Originally a land pavilion bridged to a riverboat, the casino’s recent renovation and expansion upped the ante on its initial nod to the Mediterranean, creating a fantasyland reproduction of medieval Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco and North Africa. It took a realigned levee and 1,527 gallons of Sherwin-Williams architectural coatings to make it happen. “This is probably the largest transformation I’ve worked on, and I’ve worked for Disney!” says Randee Bach, director of design for the casino’s parent company. Visitors apparently like the change: Revenue jumped 50 percent in 2004, the remade casino’s first full year in operation. Argosy is betting the theme will have staying power, even in the hype-heavy world of casinos as alternative realities. “Mediterranean isn’t based in a time; it’s a very classic style that everybody feels comfortable in, whether you’re wearing evening clothes or cutoffs and sandals,” Bach says.

“The use of multiple colors allowed us to spend less on actual three-dimensional facades,” says Hendrix, now CEO of Themed Environmental Design in Fortville, Ind. As a four-year-old boy, Hendrix liked to pretend he was Walt Disney, and that childhood ambition resurfaced in the sweeping vision he assigned the paint crew: Paint a “sky” that reflects the light traveling from dawn to dusk, when the appearance of stars signals nightfall’s arrival. Paint translucent “stained glass” filtering imaginary light into a mosque dome. Paint “stone” villa and “brick” portico facades lining the streets of the Holy Roman Empire. In short, paint medieval character into Middle America. Oh, but remember to keep it bright and vibrant: It’s a casino, after all. Dominick Armato, president of Northeast Painting in Kansas City, was Hendrix’s color co-author. Armato envisioned how directional Trade secret light would have faded every wall, ceiling and column, and how moisture and mildew would To “age” surfaces without rendering have weathered their surfaces. He blended them dank and dull, the Argosy Casino Sherwin-Williams ColorAccents Interior Latex Flat team relied on “Disney dirt,” a techinto such base coat colors as deep blue, dark red nique that uses colors complementary and majestic purple, and sealed in the patina of to the base color. The usual grays and history using Sher-Cryl™ industrial coatings. browns tend to drain the light out of “Armato would be on the job at 4 a.m. the colored surface. A percentage of instructing everyone,” notes Sherwin-Williams purple, however, can age a gold stucco representative Rick Jackson. “We had someone wall without making it drab. at the store 24/7 to deliver product to him.” Ironically, it took a lot of modern technology to achieve the look of antiquity rendered so naturally by time, wear and weather. With a project this massive, many Color tricks of the faux effects were created not with a hand-held brush, but with To evoke that feeling, project art director Lenzy Hendrix, at the spray guns. “If you had to do this all by brush, labor costs would be time vice president of architecture and design at Designplan in $20 million instead of $2 million,” Armato says. Indianapolis, called on every trick in the faux and trompe l’oeil But it isn’t as simple as pulling the trigger. Only the base coats toolbox — aging, marbling, distressing, wood-graining, iron-rusting, were full-on coverage. Thereafter, it was all technique, as the eye patina-rendering, stenciling, gilding — plus more than 1,100 judged where to put the glaze and at what density. Sherwin-Williams colors, some used at dilutions of just 2 or The illusion is seamless to casino patrons, however, who often 3 percent to achieve the exact cast of, say, shade or sunlight reach out to touch wrought iron crusty with rust, or grapevines circling as it falls on an east-facing facade. a column, and are surprised to discover that they’re only paint. ■




In a scene straight out of an Italian cathedral or palazzo, the illusion of light filtering through stained glass comes from subtle variations of hundreds of colors of paint.


S t i r 21



The color of


Jazz composer Maria Schneider riffs on her music and the hues it evokes B y K I M PA L M E R

Talking jazz with composer Maria Schneider makes for a colorful conversation, filled with vibrant, visual analogies about instrument palettes, tone shadings and even the nature of plaid. “I see music as a very visual thing,” she says. Her rich, layered compositions have won worldwide acclaim, as well as many jazz critic and reader poll accolades, and most recently a Grammy award in 2005 (Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording) for “Concert in the Garden.”





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MS: Sound is vibration, and color is vibration. In the music world, we always talk about tone color, which I see as a cross between color and texture. Different instruments have different brilliance, and when I do concerts, certain music seems to inspire certain colors. I have a song “Greenpiece” that is very pastoral. When I was touring Europe, nobody knew the name of what I was playing, but when I started that song, they bathed the band in green light. I have another song about sailing called “Coming About,” and invariably, they put us in a blue light for that one. There must besomething about the timbre of the instruments. STIR: Which colors do you associate with which instruments? MS: I see the trumpet as red, the trombone as yellow and the saxophone as blue. STIR: How do you use those colors when composing? MS: I like to mix sounds to create texture. When I was a kid, I wanted the big box of Crayolas with the pencil sharpener, the one with 72 colors. Mom made us get the small box because she wanted us to mix our own colors. I’m still doing that. I try to get the color of a bassoon, but rather than using a bassoon, I’ll do it by mixing other instruments and mutes. Like the French horn. The color of the French horn is a very beautiful, warm burnt orange. I don’t have that instrument in my band, but I can get that sound by mixing a bucket mute trombone with a clarinet. STIR: You’ve talked about your “plaid-shirt theory” of composition. Tell us about that. MS: When you look at a plaid shirt, you don’t notice where the colors intersect. You notice the orange and green stripes, not the greeny-brown in the middle. Music is about line, and in jazz composition, you’re concerned about vertical sound at any one moment. If two lines converge in an uncomfortable way, if it’s a little off, it’s good. It propels you to keep listening. You want that resolution. STIR: How would you compare the impact of musical color with visual color? MS: Color in a room makes you feel a certain way. It generates heat, cool, intensity. It makes people feel emotion in certain ways. Colors in music do the same thing. There’s a hue to the sound that affects you the same way color affects




you in a room. If you see green leaves and a red flower, they’re vibrating with contrast. One intense color against another can almost repel. But you’re also attracted. You can do the same thing musically. STIR: What color do you like to be surrounded with when you compose? MS: I sit at my piano, so it’s a brown floor and a black piano. But I have a lot of orange in my apartment. I love orange! When I was a kid we used to go to Mexico, and the color of the clay there is so vibrant against the black wrought iron. The wall of my bedroom is red, the color of that natural clay. It was hard to find that color, and it was so important to me to get the right shade, so I mixed it myself. People say it’s not good to have a red bedroom because you can’t sleep, and I agree. It took so long to get the right color that I don’t want to get rid of it, but I don’t sleep well at all. Color really does things to your body. STIR: I’ll name a color, and you tell me what music you think of first. How about blue? MS: “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Debussy. STIR: White? MS: Something by [Edgard] Varese, an electronic composer. STIR: Orange? MS: Flamenco music. Southern and warm. STIR: How did you decide to become a composer? MS: I started composing when I was a child. Growing up [in Windom, Minn.], I never really met any composers, and I didn’t presume that I could become one. But I was gifted with a really good piano teacher. She was an amazing musician, and she had red hair — so did I. When she came to our house and sat down and played, that’s when my life came into living color, just like in “The Wizard of Oz.” It was like color was flying above the piano and floating. I was transfixed. STIR: How did she influence you musically? MS: Even from the first lesson, she wanted me to understand how tones are put together. She made me analyze every piece, every chord. I think that’s why I became a composer, and not a performer. I loved the architecture of music, what it was, not what I was giving it. Composing is like looking inside a musical hologram. That’s why I do it. ■ For more information, visit


STIR: When you talk about your music, you often speak in terms of color. Why?



Vintner’s Palette Whether red, white or rosé, the color in your glass offers many clues to a wine’s character. Although all grape juice starts out clear (red wines get their color from the skin, which macerates in the juice while the wine ferments), grape variety contributes subtle shade differences. Cabernet grapes, for example, have darker skins that lend purple and black tones to the wine, compared with the ruby shades associated with Pinot Noir. Some rosé wines get their blush color from limited contact with grape skins, although more often a rosé is an already finished white wine that has been tinted with a bit of red wine. And while white wines grow darker and more golden as they age, red wines lighten, gradually assuming a brick or amber color.





At Sherwin-Williams, we know color inspiration can be found anywhere. Which is why we developed our exclusive Sher-Color™ advanced computerized matching system. With Sher-Color we can quickly duplicate virtually any hue in the world. Plus, with our online Color Visualizer and COLOR To Go™ paint sampling, we can help you see those colors firsthand, to be sure they’re truly the right ones. You see, at Sherwin-Williams, we believe that if you’re going to search through a cluttered old garage to find the perfect color, we need to make sure your effort is worthwhile. To learn more, see your Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive or call our Architect & Designer Answerline at 1-800-321-8194.

©2005 The Sherwin-Williams Company

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PAID Cenveo

STIR 3.1 2006  

STIR magazine from Sherwin-Williams Volume 3 Issue 1, 2006.