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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 V o l u m e 3 • I s s u e 3 • 2 0 0 6

s t i r


e eExtra

Color-Drenched Andalusia

Universal Design

Flower Power

Editorial Advisor: Tresa Makowski Executive Editor: Bryan Iwamoto Editor: Kim Palmer Managing Editor: Laura Pigott Executive Art Director: Sandy Rumreich Senior Designer: Shari Schumacher Senior Editor: Mara Hess Production Director: Pam Mundstock Production Artists: Neil Kresal Cate Hubbard 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:

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 Karin & Company Long Valley, 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

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



ne of my favorite parts of this job is reading what you have to say about STIR. Recent requests include adding even more color insights, updates on color science and technology, photos of featured projects, and links to resources that provide further information on STIR topics. You’ve also asked to hear how other designers have solved color challenges.

I’m delighted to announce the debut of two new online resources that will offer a full spectrum of color inspiration: > A transformed brings you increased functionality and richer, more robust content. The all-new Web sitelet expands on STIR stories and supplies related links, makes it possible for you to search for past magazine articles and topics, and provides a subscription center where you can manage your contact information. > STIR eExtra e-newsletter arrives six times a year in your e-mail inbox, featuring color information you can use right away. We’ll look at a major color topic from all sides, starting with color and its impact on well-being. You’ll find color tips supplied by your peers, news about color technologies and tools — even color fun. I look to the e-newsletters I receive as a quick and easy idea source — downloading stories to incorporate as references in my own work or to share with colleagues and friends. I hope STIR eExtra will inspire you the same way. Make sure to send in the enclosed response card or sign up on for the premiere issue. Sincerely,

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

Order Sherwin-Williams color samples online at For product or compliance questions, call the Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194. The trademarks and copyrights of Sherwin-Williams appearing in STIR are protected. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For local service and advice, please see your SherwinWilliams Architectural Account Executive or your local store.


S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S®

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Vo l u m e 3 • I s s u e 3 • 2 0 0 6









Maine designer transforms ice-fishing shacks into show houses. Contest sponsored by adidas turns sneakers into works of art. SherwinWilliams Cashmere® Interior Latex paint provides a smooth, lush finish. Sign up for STIR® eExtra, bringing the world of color to your e-mail inbox six times a year.

Floral designer Sarah Hobden discusses how working with a perishable medium affects her approach to color.

Nashville’s new concert hall relies on subtle shade variations to build in architectural interest.

Learn how emeralds come by their rare and costly hues.

The design world is finding new inspiration in the bold, distinctive color palette of Spain’s Andalusia region, which offers an unparalleled feast for the eyes.



10 DESIGNER ROUNDTABLE Our guest designers tackle the question of what our color palettes today will say about us 100 years from now.

12 PAINT TECH Coatings that seal off food sources for mold are in high demand, especially in areas hit hard by flooding.

15 12


16 UNIVERSALLY APPEALING First-of-its-kind Atlanta show house adopts the principles of universal design to create accessible living spaces.

21 Denotes expanded content and images found exclusively on

18 GOING GREEN A Chicago office building boasts a roof sprouting hardy grasses, reused structural components and the nation’s first LEED-CS Gold certification.


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A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA Beginning this winter, STIR® magazine subscribers can request a little color in their inbox, courtesy of Sherwin-Williams® STIR® eExtra. This new e-newsletter will arrive six times a year, with more insights, facts and features that will put you on the cutting edge of color and design.

For a great, lowstipple finish that’s as easy on your contractor’s arms as it is on your client’s eyes, try SherwinWilliams Cashmere® Interior Latex paint. Cashmere is an ultra-smooth, highhiding interior latex paint engineered primarily for residential repaint work. It goes on like butter, leaving a rich, silky, high-end finish in flat enamel, low or medium lustre. You and your customers will see and feel the difference. ■




Look to STIR eExtra, launching in November, for a multifaceted approach to key color topics, resources and tools to inspire your design, examples of how other designers solve color challenges, and special surprises in each issue. It’s another way Sherwin-Williams helps you color your world. To sign up to receive STIR eExtra, send in the reply card inside this issue of STIR, or go online to


Epitome of Smooth

Better ingredients mean better performance. A high-quality paint starts with high-quality ingredients that allow paint to apply more easily, look better and last longer. There are four key ingredients that affect the quality of paint:

Pigment. There are two different types of pigment that go into a can of paint: “prime” pigments, which provide color and hide; and low-cost “extender” pigments, which add bulk to the product, but have little value as it relates to color.

“For those colours which you wish to be beautiful, always

first prepare a pure white ground.”


Higher-quality paints contain more of the allimportant, yet more expensive, “prime” pigments, which in the end give you easier application, better color retention and stronger durability.


The type, quality and amount of binder affects everything from stain resistance and gloss to adhesion and crack resistance. Higher-quality binders, found in higher-quality paints, adhere to surfaces better and provide enhanced film integrity, making them more resistant to cracking, blistering and peeling. There are a variety of binders used today. Latex paints contain either 100 percent acrylic, styrene acrylic, or vinyl acrylic binders, while oil paints typically contain linseed oil, soya oil or modified oils called alkyds.


The liquid provides no added performance benefits. It’s simply the “carrier” that allows you to get the paint from the can to the surface. As one would guess, top-quality paints have a greater ratio of solids (pigment and binders) to liquids, while cheaper paints are more “watered down” with liquid.


Additives are ingredients that give paint a specific benefit that it might not otherwise have. Additives such as rheology modifiers (which provide better hide and durability) and mildewcides (which keep mildew in check) are common additives found in higher-end paints. Others include dispersing agents (which keeps the pigment evenly distributed) and preservatives (which prevent spoilage during storage). Additives do increase the cost of the product, but also provide significant added benefits. ■

COLOR FOR KICKS What’s old is new again as adidas resurrects and reinterprets adicolor — a line of all-white sneakers and waterproof colored markers first introduced in 1986 so consumers could create their own custom kicks in whatever shades they wanted. Twenty years later, these classic models are back, available ready-made in red, yellow, green, blue, pink and black, with interchangeable colored stripe inserts to match your mood. In addition, adidas has teamed up with creative minds worldwide to design a pair of White Series shoes using one of the colors from the vintage adicolor palette. The result? Original shoe creations that show off color’s unique role in expressing artistic vision. View them online at ■


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Color Chips Fruit comes first

Whiter shade of purple

Before oranges were introduced to the English-

Why is eggplant purple when eggs are not? The

speaking world in the 14th century, the portion of

eggplant specimens first documented by the English

the spectrum that carries their name was commonly

bore white, egg-shaped fruits. Even today, the berries

referred to as yellow-red. Oranges originated in

of the eggplant come in many sizes, shapes and colors,

Southeast Asia; the word orange comes from the

from the original eggshell white to the well-known

Sanskrit word naranj, which referred first to the

deep purple.

fruit, then to its striking color.

Military dust-up

Rocky origins The color term turquoise probably has its roots in

In 19th-century India, soldiers found that their

the French phrase, pierre turquoise, or Turkish

military whites turned a dusty tan after only a few

stone. Although turquoise stones (in a variety of

hours in the elements. They used local mud to dye

shades) were commonly traded in Turkish markets,

their cotton garments a uniform tan color and called

turquoise is not found in Turkey.

the color khaki, which means dusty in Hindi. ■

When the organizers of Maine’s Sebago Lake Rotary DerbyFest — the third-largest ice-fishing tournament in the country — were looking for ways to boost attendance, the problem was clear: 12,000 attendees, but relatively few women. Local marketing and design guru Karen DominguezBrann contacted Sherwin-Williams for help with a novel remodeling plan: “All summer I’d been driving past these ice-fishing houses and imagining that I would rent one, French it up, hang a chandelier and have parties with my friends. Imagine a whole little village of anti-fishing-shacks for the women to enjoy. They said, ‘You’re right; it’s crazy — go for it!’” says Dominguez-Brann, and the first-ever Ice Fishing Shackteaux Designer Showcase was born. The execution was simple: Interior designers, architects, builders, furniture makers and boutique




owners paid $300 each to shape a shack to their liking, with exterior palettes inspired by the reflection of light on ice. Sherwin-Williams donated the paint, and the proceeds (like all DerbyFest revenue) were donated to Camp Sunshine, a local camp for children with cancer. Dominguez-Brann is preparing for this year’s event by reformulating the colors to be stronger; otherwise, the bright winter sunlight washes them out: “Picture all of these little houses in the colors of the frozen lake at twilight. The palette will be even better this year!” For the Shackteaux christening ceremony, Dominguez-Brann recommends a bit of the bubbly: “You have to serve champagne — and you’ll never have to worry about keeping it chilled.” ■



The Colors of


Southern Spain, with its exotic fusion of European and Islamic influences, casts a sensual spell on modern-day design


“There’s nothing crueler in life than to be blind in Granada” goes an old saying about one of Spain’s oldest and most spectacular cities. The region’s allure has captivated centuries of travelers, conquerors and inhabitants. Former President Bill Clinton, on a visit to Madrid for a NATO summit in the 1990s, detoured to Granada to re-experience the singular beauty he’d first encountered as a college student. Raving to reporters about the area’s stunning Moorish architecture and jaw-dropping sunsets, he brushed off foreign-policy questions. “Don’t work today,” Clinton insisted. “Just watch!” The design world has been doing just that: finding new inspiration in southern Spain’s bold, distinctive color palette. This age-old aesthetic suddenly feels very modern — a celebration of the senses that ultimately engenders serenity. “People are looking for something that feels visually rich,” says color trend consultant Michelle Lamb, senior editor of the Trend Curve ( “They want color that envelops them.”


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Visual feast There’s no doubt that Spain’s Andalusia region — which includes Granada, Seville, Córdoba and the Costa del Sol — offers an unparalleled feast for the eyes: farmhouses painted yellow, vivid against a clear blue sky; the luminous honeycomb stucco of Granada’s Alhambra palace; freshly fallen oranges carpeting the streets of Seville; shady stone courtyards where fountains and bougainvillea spill over cool blue and white tiles. This heady mix of colors and textures is a response not only to the region’s intense sunlight and fresh sea air, but to its rich history of cultural cross-pollination. The Islamic rule of Spain that began in A.D. 711 produced dizzying scientific and artistic triumphs, and introduced the West to olives, almonds, oranges and rice. Long after the European reconquest of the region, the cherished traditions of Moorish (or Hispano-Muslim) culture remain alive — among them a sense of hospitality and sensuality, and an uncanny ability to enjoy simple pleasures luxuriously. In the words of travel writer Chris Stewart, whose farm in Andalusia became the subject of the best-selling “Driving Over Lemons” series: “The Arabs would have it that even if your worst enemy should get up early in the morning to come round to

your house and kill you, you must first offer him a good breakfast.” That promise of well-being — at least while coffee is served — is the key to Andalusia’s richly varied color palette. Whether it’s the hot fuchsia of a silk cloth stretched across a bed canopy, or a gray-white wash on a cottage wall, the region’s hues reflect a deep awareness of earth, air and sea.

Inside out Moorish color and design philosophy calls upon tone and texture to evoke nature, not to trump or ignore it like many formally designed Western interiors, which often rely on artificial light and air. Andalusian spaces are built with a sense of what’s beyond their walls. Wooden fretting (mousharabiya) lets in daylight while blocking out harsh glare; minimal furnishings, as well as stone floors and tile borders, are used both inside and in gardens and porch areas to express a less rigid distinction between indoor and outdoor space; houses are painted vivid colors to retain visual definition despite the region’s intense light. (Along the Spanish coast, legend has it that fishermen’s wives painted their homes in striking color combinations so husbands could recognize their homes far out to sea.)

Previous page: Montefrio at dusk. From left: decorative tile bridge railing, vista of verdant fields, hillside town of Casares and vividly painted chapel in Cabo de Gata. Opposite: Flamenco dancer Merche Esmeralda performs during the Jerez Flamenco Festival.

Regional Hues

SW 6963 Sapphire





Colors that mirror the Earth’s

Full-on color, often in unex-

Cool gray-whites instill a

Earthy colors ripened under

primal elements. The charac-

pected combinations: hot

sense of calm, create an

the Mediterranean sun —

teristic blue and white tile,

pink and aubergine, or burnt

awareness of shape

clay red, deep oranges,

cut to form intricate geo-

orange and eye-popping red.

and texture, and offer a

golden tones — evoke an

metric mosaics (zellij), evokes

A sense of luxury out of the

visual respite.

aura of timelessness.

the sea and sky; rich yellow

sun’s glare.

(a distinctive color known

SW 6870 Ablaze

SW 6247 Krypton

as aljero) recalls Andalusia’s rocky desert regions. SW 6670 Gold Crest




“ . . . a flame that insists on dying in order to be reborn.” — French writer Jean Cocteau on flamenco style


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“. . . Gaudi’s Casa Batlló [is] famous for its organic form and coral-reef-inspired colors.”




Western interiors have tended to shy away from bold, sensual color, but the Andalusian approach appears to be catching on. Over the last few years, strong color has been gaining ground, according to Lamb. “Color has grown to be acceptable in a way that it wasn’t 10 years ago.” Andalusian style calls for a change in color intensity, and in outlook. “We’re modernists,” says Susan Sully, author of New Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living, an architectural celebration of the North African country that served as the portal of Islamic influence in Spain. “Everything in America is machine-made and perfect. After awhile that loses its excitement. The Hispano-Muslim style is appealing because it’s rooted deeply in time, in centuries-old traditions.” Sully cites the craftsmanship and appreciation for natural materials displayed in thick Berber rugs, carved wooden doors and wrought-iron grilles featuring plant motifs. “So much is still handmade in this part of the world,” Sully says. “We miss that in our culture.” Interior designer Bonnie Birnbaum found inspiration in Spain while working on a recent show house project in St. Paul, Minn. The centuryold mansion’s redesigned kitchen now features a spectacular swirling helical ceiling design modeled after a ceiling Birnbaum saw in Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, famous for its organic form and coral-reef-inspired colors.

Flowing from nature “Gaudi was working in the Art Nouveau mode, which used shapes that flowed out of nature,” she explains. “It was really a rebellion against industrialization. Art Nouveau looked back to the Middle Ages: When people made a product, they made a whole product, often by hand.” Hispano-Muslim style doesn’t have to feel nostalgic or excessively theatrical. “It’s not about imitating the ‘ethnic craze’ of the ’60s,” says Sully, referring to the decade when Morocco became a destination for rock stars and experimental authors. “For me, the appeal of this style is its combination of unexpected qualities: sensuality and serenity, exoticism and minimalism.” And because it developed out of a mélange of cultures, the Andalusian aesthetic lends itself to eclecticism. The right contrasting wall color can heighten awareness of the feel of wood, leather or velvet antique furniture and play up a space’s particular quality of light. Painting a fireplace a contrasting color from its surrounding wall can draw the eye to the texture of its bricks, or even its wooden mantel. The spirit of Andalusia can inspire rewarding design choices in any climate or context. “Wherever you live, it’s always possible to have a more natural relationship with the environment around you,” Sully says. “This style teaches us to reconnect with the elements.”

Opposite: Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batlló in northern Spain displays Moorish design influence. From left: Moroccan carpet display, stencil patterned arched doorway, wrought-iron patio gateway, inlaid mosaic hotel lobby.

SW 6615 Peppery

SW 6118 Leather Bound

SW 6279 Black Swan

SW 6363 Gingery

Spanish Accents WORK WITH




The eclecticism of

Colorwashing (applying a

Mediterranean living into

Andalusian style can mix

thin layer of color over a

any space without making it

with existing elements. The

painted surface of a differ-

look like a Hollywood harem.

organic shapes in Hispano-

ent color or tone) or creating

Try stenciling a ceiling with

Muslim ironwork, rugs and

a filigree-like plaster border

an abstract natural pattern,

leather furniture work well

or panel, carved while still

or add one or two inspired

with any period furnishings

damp into complex and deli-

accessories. Even the sim-

that have a similar

cate patterns (tagguebbast),

plest, most functional pieces

curvilinear form.

gives a modern space a

can express a subtle sense of

distinctive sense of texture.

craftsmanship: a small coffee

R E L I S H T H E D E TA I L S You can bring a sense of

table with an inlaid ivory border, a braided straw chair or a muslin bed canopy.

Denotes expanded content and images found exclusively on


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FLOWERS for Every Season

Floral designer Sarah Hobden creates lasting impressions with temporal elements 10




Some designs last a lifetime or even longer. Others are fleeting. Sarah Hobden’s designs survive for only a week, at most. The creative director for Renny & Reed (, a New York City florist and event-planning service, discusses her approach to color and the challenges of working with plants. STIR: What’s your first step when creating an arrangement? SH: I always begin my day with an early-morning walk through the flower market. I do still get just blown away by flowers sometimes. STIR: You work with a perishable and variable natural medium. How does that affect your approach to color? SH: Most often my inspiration for color is derived from my medium. Many times a single flower will combine colors in a way that I have never thought of. For example, there is a bearded iris that is a silvery lilac with a shocking orange throat. I wouldn’t have combined those two colors until seeing how beautiful they were together on the flower. STIR: Tell us about your most challenging assignment. SH: The arrangements at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York have been my most challenging work. It is a different design aesthetic than what I had been used to. The look there is much more architectural and contemporary than traditional flower design. Once I grasped the look, it was easy to embrace.


STIR: How do you develop seasonal palettes for your arrangements at the Four Seasons? Do you rely on colors we typically associate with the seasons, or do you like to use unexpected colors? SH: I try to take advantage of what the season has to offer. There are many flowers that are around for only a limited time, so I try to incorporate them into my designs when I can. This doesn’t mean orange in October or red in December, but it may mean using rich jewel-toned dahlias in burgundy and coral in September or yellow mini daffodils and green helleborus in April. STIR: What are some of the most unusual items you’ve incorporated into floral arrangements? SH: I was fortunate enough to learn floral design from a woman named Barbara Bockbrader in Massachusetts. Part of my job was to cut and process the flowers and then use them for designs. Everything in or around the gardens was fair game. Baby tomatoes still on the vine would be snipped and used in centerpieces, or mossy pieces of broken pots could be wired into arrangements for an earthy, organic style.

STIR: What tips do you have for designers on how to use flowers and plants most effectively? SH: I think the most important aspect to using flowers is to recognize in them what is most beautiful and use them in a way that shows each one most effectively. STIR: Can you elaborate? SH: When using a perishable medium like flowers, you need to pay close attention to how long everything is going to last and how things are going to develop next to each other. Some things are going to fade really quickly. You need to make sure your major elements are going to last as long as you need them to. STIR: What mistakes do people make when using flowers? SH: Color is the most important aspect, and it’s really important to pay attention to the individual flowers. Some people just stick flowers together because, say, they’re yellow. But sometimes a flower will have more than one color in it. You really need to use that and use other colors that work with that. STIR: What’s your approach to flowers and plants in your own home? What colors do you tend to choose? SH: I rarely have flowers at home. I think it is a little like the shoemaker’s children having no shoes. I do, however, have a lot of plants. I tend to fall in love with large striking plants, and I am running out of space for them all. As for color, I always feel most attracted to warm tones and have a lot of brick reds and oranges. They create a very inviting and comfortable feeling, and they contrast well with the green color of all my plants. STIR: Describe some other projects you’ve worked on. Your Web site lists some pretty high-profile clients, such as Diana Ross and the White House. SH: I am fortunate in the variety of work I get to do, from beautiful hotels like the Four Seasons to large weddings in Beverly Hills, and garden terraces for penthouse apartments on Park Avenue. I am particularly excited to be taking on the designs at the Jumeirah Essex House in New York. It’s a historic hotel off Central Park, and we are doing the lobby, restaurant and public locations. STIR: If you could have chosen another career, what would it have been? Would it have been related to design? SH: I probably would have been involved with horticulture or botany. I just love the plant and flower world too much to imagine doing anything else. ■


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What will today’s color preferences say about us in

100 YEARS?




Abby Suckle Abby Suckle Architects

Dale Mulfinger SALA Architects

Karin A. Schluer Karin & Company

Leslie ShankmanCohn Eclectic Interiors


Every era is colored by a palette that sums up the times, tells the human story and secures a page in history. STIR® invited four architects and interior designers to gather around their respective computers for a keystroke conversation about the directions spinning today’s color wheel and how the hues prominent now might be perceived in the next century. We’re grateful for the musings of Dale Mulfinger, co-founder and principal of the Minneapolis firm SALA Architects and author of three books on cabins for Taunton Press; Leslie Shankman-Cohn, proprietor of Eclectic Interiors in Memphis and an interior designer devoted to “aging in place, aging in style”; Karin Schluer, a LEED-certified interior designer and owner of Karin & Company, LLC, a Long Valley, N.J., firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial office design; and Abby Suckle, a New York City architect with expertise in civic, academic, residential and corporate projects. STIR: How would you describe today’s prevailing color palette?

KS: Nature and natural forces continue to have strong influence as consumer awareness about the importance of preserving our environment grows. AS: It’s far simpler to create a building that looks “green” than it is to get LEED-certified. Not a lot of people know how to achieve actual sustainability. In truth, a sustainable product could very easily be shocking pink, but it just doesn’t feel right. DM: Although nature really carries all colors — pink lady-slippers, white snow, black taconite, lime-green praying mantises — we probably all think of natural colors as rich, more subdued hues.

pumpkin yellows, and beiges set against silver turquoises or walls of glass. Rem Koolhaas has a cleaner, fresher-looking orange. Avocado is a more acid green. But we’re not 1950s post-war suburbia. We’re the era of the Internet, e-mail, the BlackBerry, iPods and computer-aided design; of reality TV, HGTV and extreme makeovers. We’ve just acknowledged the reality of global warming and tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina, $70-plus barrels of oil, and sustainability. I really think the colors of this era will be the clean/natural palette. DM: Regardless, we’ll be recorded as a culture that was willing to use color on everything except exteriors. If you look at mass housing, you’d say today’s palette is beige. We’re still timid there and haven’t found too many ways to keep intense color from fading.

STIR: So “nature-inspired” will be viewed as this period’s color banner?


STIR: What do these palettes say about our culture at this time in history?

KS: Nature and nostalgia. LSC: Nostalgia, yes. The hot pinks, lime greens and aquas within today’s prevailing earth tones and spa hues are reminiscent of 1950s and 1960s retro looks. DM: The force is sometimes referred to as the Dwell/IKEA “Design Within Reach” syndrome, where a return to 1950s style and color is in vogue. Every month Dwell magazine gets thicker, while Architectural Digest gets thinner! AS: The colors are not quite the appliance colors of the 1950s, but updates. You see pungent avocados, persimmon oranges,

DM: The beige of market housing says “fear of resale,” which stems from our highly mobile culture. The richer, fuller palette of architectural housing speaks to consumer maturity and confidence. KS: Clients are more confident. I’ve observed more color bravery in both interior and exterior design: splashes of bright colors in unexpected places, bolder blasts, more color saturation. Technology has had a great impact: We’re increasingly aware of not only our surroundings but of our differences, too. As a result, we’re becoming more multiethnic and color-educated, and accepting of a much broader palette. SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

S t i r 13

“ . . . we’re becoming more multiethnic and color-educated, and accepting of a much broader palette.”


LSC: The global information age is a historical first. Colors and trends are reflecting influences from all the world’s cultures. At the same time, we have less social interaction aside from the disconnected discourse of the Internet. Our “spas” are now in our homes. Our shopping and entertainment are now done from home. STIR: So we’re more sophisticated because of technology but yet isolated by it as well?

LSC: The isolation isn’t only technology. Faced with uncertain politics, we’re looking for security at home. That mirrors the political climate of the 50s, which was one of the Cold War and fear, so people were nesting then as well. KS: Nostalgia, with its familiar patterns and color families, creates an environment that we remember as safe and understandable. DM: For its part, green equates to nature, making natural green hues one of the few safe places for us to hide against the onslaught of wars, global warming and the excess of consumerism symbolized by Hummers and Jet Skis. STIR: Any crystal-ball projections on what will be influencing color 100 years down the road?

DM: The melting-pot society in which we live will get less Eurocentric and richer in color, with the broad palette of African, Asian and South American influences. I hope that our willingness to live with the rainbow of colors will reflect upon our willingness to coexist with the rainbow of ethnicities, races and religions. Either that, or we must all accept beige and “my” religion. AS: You need only look at society 100 years ago to see how unpredictable things are. It was the beginning of automobiles, electricity, the Wright brothers and flight. No one had telephones or refrigerators, the first subways were being dug, women wore long skirts, and everyone wore hats. Art Nouveau was the “hot” style. Scotch Tape hadn’t been invented, nor zippers or movies. If the palette was anything, it was gray with splashes of lilacs or rose, soft green and lemon. Things will change in 100 years in ways we can’t even imagine. KS: Change has always been a strong human desire. The color pendulum will swing from little color to excessive. Going forward, natural colors and materials will be viewed and used with the mix of colors they contain. The need for comfort, luxury, flamboyance and sparkle won’t likely diminish. LSC: The concept of biomimicry will come of age, and color will be in a state of immediate and constant evolution. Things will change with the weather or time of day, or by touch. There are already tiles that change color in these ways. Colors will help with our energy needs, somewhat like solar power or induction and convection. Think of a zebra’s stripes: The dark and light colors create a temperature differential that creates an air current to cool the zebra. If we knew how this stuff would work, we could all be millionaires! ■

Immigrants emulate the American Indians’ use of pigments from nature. Paint is a luxury; its use signifies stature, according to architect Dale Mulfinger.

Classical Revival Period Affluent Americans send their offspring to tour Roman and Grecian classics, spawning a whitewashing of America. “White’s seen as morally and hygienically pure,” Mulfinger says. “I suspect that coal-fired industries and heating systems in apartment buildings were making our cities dark and dreary.”

Victorian Era Exuberant colors and their copious use herald the “arrival” of society’s less-traveled nouveau riche. Even simple buildings were lavishly decorated and painted. “They were showing off and having fun,” Mulfinger says.

Turn of the Century White returns, calming the Victorian color frenzy. Americans become less certain that Europe holds all the answers, says Mulfinger, giving rise to the local sensibilities and native colorations of the Arts & Crafts movement.

The Great Depression Colors become muddier and darker as financial struggles stretch on.

The 1950s and 1960s Post-war development in the suburbs brings the beige cloud. With the robust economy stirring mobility, homeowners view houses as salable assets rather than personality-infused inheritances to bequeath. Modernists promote bright primary shades.

The 1980s and 1990s Vibrant, loud colors mirror a strong economy and prominent place on the world stage. The stock market dive mutes colors back down. Environmental awareness in the 1990s stirs interest in earth tones and natural hues.

This Century After 9/11, homes become safe havens staged in soft, inviting shades.





Paint That Breaks the



Rebuilding efforts in New Orleans increase awareness of a growing health problem — and its remedies B y A N D R EA G RA Z Z I N I WA LST R O M



hen the flood waters of 2004’s Hurricane Katrina receded, little was left of many homes and buildings — except conditions ripe for a massive mold problem. Now the city is dealing with an environmental disaster that threatens to wreak havoc long after the community repairs its old buildings. “The mold spores are so high down there that you should be wearing a mask just sitting outside, let alone working inside,” says Thomas Clay, executive director of the Healthy Building Institute of America. The city provides ubiquitous moisture, warm conditions and endless “food sources” such as damp drywall and wood on which mold spores can germinate and colonize. What’s worse, says Clay, “Mother Nature is changing the game.” The mold in New Orleans — indeed across the country — is more toxic than ever before. Molds today are developing resistance to cleaning products, such as bleach, and can be incubated by air-conditioning systems. Combine aggressive spore growth with building processes that overlook the increasing seriousness of indoor air quality, and more and more people could be affected by mold fungi, says Clay, which can compromise the immune system and leave building inhabitants with health issues such as asthma, lupus and upper-respiratory disease.

Nationwide concern Keeping mold out of buildings is no small task for architects and builders everywhere. Mold growing on lumber before it even arrives on a job site, unprotected plasterboard, improperly drained weep holes, and buildings wet from rain or snow that are closed before they dry out are among the ways mold can proliferate. Oxygen therapy and UV lights can kill mold but are rarely used as developers and builders rush to finish buildings. It is better to use good building practices to prevent mold in the first place, says Clay. Once moisture is eliminated, architects and designers hold the key. Green design with nontoxic, antimicrobial building materials, including Sherwin-Williams Harmony® and Duration Home® paints that inhibit the growth of mold on paint film, is a fundamental first step. Clay strongly urges that healthy-building plans be developed and used throughout the construction process. “We need a policy to develop moisture-management plans as part of every design,” says Clay. Though the task of containing and preventing mold in New Orleans seems overwhelming, it may well lead to building standards long overdue — standards that make communities everywhere healthier. ■


S t i r 15

Color updates a 19th-century architectural style for a new concert hall in Music City By LAU RA WEXLER


t first glance, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the new crown jewel of Nashville’s revitalized South of Broadway (SoBro) district, appears to be a traditional neoclassical building, with its ornate pediment, marble columns and grand colonnades. But a closer look reveals that the building is “more taut and streamlined than a traditional Beaux-Arts building,” says Steve Knight, of David M. Schwarz Architectural Services in Washington, D.C., which designed the building’s public spaces. “We wanted to reinterpret the neoclassical design for the 21st century.” Though the designers used color to delineate different spaces in the 197,000-square-foot building (the main lobby and two elegant




entrance towers feature a beige color scheme, while the side lobbies and main auditorium are celadon green, and the education room is blue), they relied on a single technique to provide unity throughout. “We wanted to provide visual interest by using various shades of color rather than with ornate moldings and cornice work,” says Knight. “We created minor steps in the planes of dry wall and painted each step a slightly different shade. At the innermost point, we’ve used a quarterround bead that is painted the darkest shade.” In the spacious Mike Curb Family Music Education Hall, for example, Sherwin-Williams shades of blue progress from the lightest, Upward (SW 6239), to the darkest, Serious Gray (SW 6256).



Updated tradition Beyond providing visual interest, the steps in the walls and ceilings serve an acoustical purpose in the 1,860-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall, which boasts two noteworthy updates to the traditional performance facility. First, it features a convertible seating system that transforms the orchestra level from tiered seating to a ballroom floor in a matter of hours. And it’s one of only a few halls built in recent years that feature natural light, with 30 clerestory windows, five inches thick, that let in sun — but not outside noise. The wall palette, in shades of beige, green and blue, was custommixed to complement the building's marble wainscoting and floors, as well as the rich cherry and Makore wood in the auditorium. SherwinWilliams ProMar® 200 Latex Paint with an Eg-Shel finish was chosen for its smooth appearance and ease of touch-up. When designing the “back-of-house” spaces, the designers at Hastings Architecture in Nashville played off that palette, modifying it for the space’s different functions. And, as in the front of the house, they relied on variations in shade to provide visual interest. “In the artist areas, we went with white walls but played with shades of green for the doors and trim,” says Hastings designer Heather Mathias. The trim is Rosemary (SW 6187), while the doors are Austere Gray (SW 6184), both painted with Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Enamel in a semi-gloss finish, chosen because it delivered the right combination of quality, flow and leveling. In the administrative offices, where the goal was a more corporate feel, the designers used Wool Skein (SW 6148) for the main wall color, created accent walls with Relaxed Khaki (SW 6149) and chose Universal Khaki (SW 6150) for the doors. “We spent a lot of time studying what other halls had done in their back-of-house spaces, and in a lot of cases we found that finishes and color had been ignored,” says David Bailey, principal and project manager at Hastings. “It was important to us that the same attention to detail was paid to the back of the house as the front. Color was an important part of that.” ■

THREE-STEP METHOD Choosing colors for a project as grand and multifaceted as the Schermerhorn Symphony Center could be overwhelming. David M. Schwarz and his colleagues suggest the following approach:

1. Based on paint chips, select seven or eight shades and buy one quart of each color. Sherwin-Williams COLOR To Go™ samples in quart-size Twist-n-Pour™

Anatomy of a Palette

containers are ideal for this.

Back-of-house artist areas:

Education Center:

2. Buy white foam core, cut it into 12-by-

SW 6134 Austere Gray

SW 6239 Upward

SW 6187 Rosemary

SW 6240 Windy Blue

12-inch panels, and paint each panel a

SW 6241 Aleutian

different color. Paint two coats each,


SW 6243 Distance

no priming necessary, to get an

administrative areas:

SW 6253 Olympus White

SW 6148 Wool Skein

SW 6254 Lazy Gray

accurate rendering of the color.

SW 6149 Relaxed Khaki

SW 6255 Morning Fog

SW 6150 Universal Khaki

SW 6256 Serious Gray

3.Tack up the panels in the room and study how each looks in the room’s light and with its furniture and flooring. Choose the best.


S t i r 17

Atlanta’s Livable Lifetime Show House presents the new face of universal design



“We wanted to take away the ‘handicapped’ stigma. It’s just good design, for everyone.” 18



PAINTING A “RUG” A hand-painted vinyl floor cloth, such as the one Anna Marie Hendry created for the Livable Lifetime Show House, offers an ideal way to ensure accessibility while enhancing the look of a room. The vinyl molds itself to the floor, creating a safe and seamless surface, Hendry says. It also gave her freedom as a designer. “You don’t have to find the perfect piece. You can create it the way you want it.”

Here are the steps: > Purchase a 10-by-12-foot piece of vinyl flooring. Use the back as your canvas. > Map out the design by using painter’s tape. (Hendry’s design was inspired by a wooden block print from India that she found at a flea market and had framed as art for the living room.) > Apply paint tinted in Sherwin-Williams floor enamel. Hendry used Saucy Gold (SW 6370), Torchlight (SW 6374), Monarch (SW 8377) and Interesting Aqua (SW 6220). > “Antique” with one coat of Sherwin-Williams Illusions® Faux Finish Glazing Liquid,™ tinted brown. > Top with two coats of Sherwin-Williams® polyurethane so the cloth can be damp-mopped.

B y K I M PA L M E R


how houses, with their built-in “wow” factor, often elicit compliments from visitors. But none were more gratifying for designer Anna Marie Hendry, of Classic Interiors by Anna Marie, than the comments she heard at the Livable Lifetime Show House staged in suburban Atlanta earlier this year and sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. A first-of-its-kind showcase for universal design, the house drew a diverse crowd, including many people with physical disabilities. She remembers one visitor, a young man in a wheelchair, who spent a long time on the upstairs balcony overlooking the living room Hendry had designed. “[He] enjoyed the space for about an hour,” she recalls. “At the end, he said, ‘It’s been years since I’ve been to the second story of anyone’s home.’” Making spaces accessible to all is the goal of universal design, a movement that is gaining momentum as baby boomers enter their retirement years hoping to “age in place” rather than be forced to enter nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. “More than 80 percent of people over 50 want to live in their homes as long as possible, but most homes are built for able-bodied men,” says Sandra McGowen, owner of McGowen Interiors and co-founder of the Universal Design Alliance, which presented the Livable Lifetime house. Building in universal design features is much less expensive than retrofitting them later, she notes. The Livable Lifetime home was the first in the nation to marry universal design with professional interior design. “Most designer

show houses are strictly for show,” Hendry notes, while other examples of universal design have emphasized only accessibility features. “Ours was unique in that we treated it just like a show house and used professional designers,” McGowen says. “We wanted to show that universal design can be beautiful and functional, not institutional. We wanted to take away the ‘handicapped’ stigma. It’s just good design, for everyone.”

Surprising ease Hendry, who knew nothing about universal design before attending a seminar as part of the project, said she was surprised at how easy it was to incorporate accessibility features without compromising design. “No one coming in would have thought it was designed to accommodate people with disabilities,” she says. Universal design features in the home included an elevator and extra-wide doors and hallways to fit wheelchairs, as well as color-contrasting surfaces to aid the visually impaired; lamps controlled by touch; light switches placed lower on walls so that children and people in wheelchairs can reach them; electrical outlets placed higher to eliminate bending down; and a switch-controlled

Make a color splash with your residential, commercial or industrial design projects. We welcome projects that tell a unique color story. Please submit your projects for consideration by e-mail to our managing editor at Include the following information along with sample photos of your project: > Project name > Project location

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gas fireplace. Interior walls were painted with Sherwin-Williams Cashmere® Paint (Bagel SW 6114) in a flat enamel finish to minimize light reflection, which can be disorienting for people with impaired vision. Cashmere Interior Latex provides the smoothest finish possible, because it minimizes roller stipple. For the living room, Hendry chose Chippendale-style furniture with high arms so that people with arthritis could easily push themselves out, and a folding screen to absorb sound — important for people who wear a hearing aid. Rounded corners on furniture and easily grasped drawer pulls also enhanced accessibility. One of the room’s focal points was a colorful floor cloth that Hendry painted herself. The cloth fulfilled the universal design mission of lying flat against the wood floor so it’s not an obstacle for those using wheelchairs or walkers. “I couldn’t use a thick Oriental rug, but I could design something that fit the interior and gave it an Oriental appeal,” Hendry says. Similar universal design show houses are now being planned in other cities, McGowen says. “We would like to influence builders and consumers to ask for these features.”

> Brief project description > Color philosophy for project

> Sherwin-Williams colors and paint products used > Availability of high-resolution (300 DPI) images SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

S t i r 19



GREENING the envelope New LEED core-and-shell certification pays dividends in Chicago B y A N D R EA G RA Z Z I N I WA LST R O M

In 2000, when architects Goettsch Partners were approached to design a 1.5 million-square-foot office building in downtown Chicago, they were tasked with creating a building that would have a positive impact on the developer’s bottom line, not one that would reduce impact on the environment. Developers constructing spec office buildings have had little motivation to consider the long-term implications of their methods and materials, typically leaving sustainable design up to the companies that build-out the spaces they lease. Now savvy customers and LEED-CS, a new core-and-shell certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, are giving commercial developers plenty of incentive to help protect the planet. When it was completed in 2005, the Chicago office building at 111 S. Wacker Dr., designed by Goettsch Partners, was the first building to achieve LEED-CS Gold certification. The new certification is awarded to office buildings based on points earned for sustainable design in energy efficiency, access to public transit and building envelope construction.

A green roof made of hardy grasses, and Sherwin-Williams Harmony® zero-VOC paint on interior surfaces, helped the 111 S. Wacker building earn the first LEED-CS Gold Certification.




The building boasts a green roof made of hardy grasses, reused caissons and foundation walls, low-flow plumbing, programmable light switches, and low-emissions finish materials — including Sherwin-Williams no-VOC Harmony® coatings, which were used on the interior. The environmentally sensitive design evolved as the architects and developer John Buck Co. weighed the benefits of it, well before LEED-CS was offered. The developer initially prioritized real estate performance and aesthetic design over sustainability and at first wasn’t convinced that tenants would pay a premium for leasing a green building, but according to Goettsch Partners’ Matt Larson, the developer nonetheless decided to take a sustainable approach “because it was right.” The developer’s foresight has paid off. It widely promotes its LEED certification to attract tenants — including posting a copy of the official certificate at the building’s reception desk — and recently sold the building at one of the highest dollar-per-square-foot prices of any building in Chicago. “I think tenants recognize the importance of the sustainable design,” says Larson. Clearly, so do more and more commercial developers and their architectural firms. Since 111 S. Wacker earned its LEED-CS Gold certification, an additional 150 office buildings across the country have followed suit. The “green” momentum is just beginning, says Larson. “What will be great is when everyone simply adopts sustainability as a natural and expected part of the design process.” ■


Green features


JEWEL OF THE NILE Diamonds are forever, but emeralds were discovered first. The Egyptians were mining the green stones 4,000 years ago, and Cleopatra, who had a large collection, is said to have prized them above all her other treasures. Emeralds continue to be among the most coveted of gemstones, and their color is the most important factor in determining their value. The mineral itself, a variety of beryl, is white in its pure state, but when small amounts of chromium impurities are present, the mineral takes on its signature hue. The most valuable emeralds are a bright, pure green, with only a hint of blue or yellow. Pale stones aren’t considered emeralds at all, but green beryl. â–





C O M P R O M I S E .

You can rely on Sherwin-Williams to help you meet your green coating specifications and satisfy all your quality expectations. We’ve developed the GreenSure™ symbol to help you identify environmentally preferable products that deliver maximum performance. Look for GreenSure on Harmony and Duration Home.™ Both of these innovative coatings meet our highest standards for air quality, VOC emissions, life cycle cost efficiency, durability, color, and coverage. To learn more, visit your nearest Sherwin-Williams store, see your Architectural Account Executive or call our Architect & Designer Answerline at 1-800-321-8194.

©2006 The Sherwin-Williams Company

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PAID Cenveo

STIR 3.3 2006  
STIR 3.3 2006  

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