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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 5 • I s s u e 2 • 2 0 0 8

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EVOLUTION Sherwin-Williams colormix™ 09 color forecast is a palette of a different feather.

Chip Kidd, Graphic Design Rock Star

W Hotels Re-Colors an Art Deco Gem

The Sherwin-Williams Company

STIR Advisory Board

Director, Trade Communications: Tresa Makowski Director of Color Marketing: Jackie Jordan

Glen Boudreaux, ASID, RID, IDEC Glen Boudreaux & Associates Dallas, Texas

Hanley Wood Marketing Executive Editor: Bryan Iwamoto Editorial Director: Dobby Gibson Editor: Kim Palmer Executive Art Director: Sandy Girard Senior Designer: Cate Hubbard Senior Editor: Mara Hess Production Director: Pam Mundstock Production Artist: Karen Wolcenski Project Manager: Melanie Murphy Client Services: Lynda Whittle

Laura Culver Laura’s Loft Studio Interiors/Colour Connextions Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Kathy Davis, CID, IACC/NA Kathy Davis Associates, Inc. Solana Beach, Calif. Jill Lambert Lavallee Brensinger Architects Manchester, N.H. Michael Scott, IDS, Allied ASID Robb & Stucky Interiors Scottsdale, Ariz. Zara Stender, CID, IDS, Allied ASID, CMG ZaraDesigns Las Vegas, Nev. Abby Suckle, FAIA, LEED Abby Suckle Architects New York, N.Y.

STIR® magazine (ISSN 1937-2027) is published by Hanley Wood, LLC, on behalf of The Sherwin-Williams 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: Click on Contact Us at Printed in the United States, © 2008 Sherwin-Williams, Vol. 5. Issue 2, 2008



’m thrilled to introduce myself to you as Sherwin-Williams new director of color marketing. For 22 years, I’ve served the architectural and design community as a designer, account executive and marketing manager. I look forward to exploring color alongside you in the months and years to come — beginning with this year’s color forecast, Sherwin-Williams colormix™ 09. To create colormix 09, I assembled a truly international team within SherwinWilliams that included four members of the Color Marketing Group. In addition to me, the team members were color marketing experts Becky Ralich Spak and Christie Del Ciotto; Kathy Andersson, an authority in the area of color marketing for product finishes; and Carol B. Derov, who tracks international color and design. Not only did we develop an exciting, thoroughly researched trend forecast, we also chose to present the forecast by color family rather than in precoordinated palettes, to show how the spectrum is shifting and allow you to combine colors in your own unique way. At Sherwin-Williams, our approach to color will never be static — because color itself isn’t static. Fading becomes patina, passé becomes retro, and fresh palettes arrive to relieve us from the monotony of stale ones. Looking ahead is one of the most exciting aspects of being a designer. I hope you’re as eager to turn the page and see what’s next as I am. Sincerely,

Order Sherwin-Williams color samples online at For product or compliance questions, call the Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194. For local service and advice, please see your Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive or your local store.

The trademarks and copyrights of Sherwin-Williams appearing in STIR are protected. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Jackie Jordan Director of Color Marketing The Sherwin-Williams Company


S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S®

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Vo l u m e 5 • I s s u e 2 • 2 0 0 8










Neal Hamilton’s celebrated rock and roll paintings start with a visit to his local “mixologists.”


Sherwin-Williams color experts surveyed the globe to develop the Sherwin-Williams colormix™ 09 color forecast.

Color can improve your project’s LEED rating more than you think.







Book-jacket design’s biggest star, Chip Kidd, on color, covers and the Caped Crusader.

A rich color palette helps a 1920s landmark blossom into a hip new W Hotel.




The enhanced Color Visualizer now offers downloadable Sherwin-Williams color palettes for your CAD program.


MOORISH MOOD The colors of Morocco inform design in this stunning Mexican beachfront home.


FINAL TOUCH How rapid fluctuations in heat and pure chance create the beautiful colors of raku.



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STIR Is as Mobile as You Are You can receive additional color news on your laptop or mobile device by signing up for Sherwin-Williams® STIR® eExtra, an e-newsletter delivered six times a year. STIR eExtra delivers color research, paint technology and design developments you won’t want to miss. To subscribe, complete and mail the business reply card in this magazine. Or visit the STIR magazine Web site,, which also keeps color news and resources at your fingertips year-round. ■

A WORRY-FREE MATTE FINISH Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use matte finishes more widely, without worrying about scuffs, marring or burnishing? Now you can. Sherwin-Williams Duration Home® gives you durable hues — including vivid accents — in a matte finish. Duration Home is formulated with patent-pending cross-linking technology that forms a continuous paint film. This exclusive technology not only locks in the colorants, it also provides superior resistance to staining, burnishing and water-streaking — and ultimately provides washability superior to the competition. Duration Home is a low-VOC formula with anti-microbial properties that provide resistance to mildew. Its GreenSure® formulation meets or exceeds the most stringent environmental standards no matter what sheen is used — matte, satin or semi-gloss. In standard paint, color pigment loosely holds to the binding paint agent, resulting in a loose film — and the potential for color to rub off. With Duration Home, the colorant actually embeds itself in the binding agent, locking the color and strengthening the final product. The result is minimal color rub-off in any finish, and an unparalleled level of durability and resistance to staining. ■

Ordering Color Samples Just Got Easier Sherwin-Williams has made it even easier for you to order color samples by using our new URL, Please bookmark this Web link for easy reference.




PAINTINGS THAT ROCK Throughout a multifaceted career that’s been marked by exploration — and shaped by tragedy — Neal Hamilton has always rocked. For a decade, he served as the official photographer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where he documented the concerts, regalia and musical icons that pass through the facility. It was in the Hall that he first exhibited his own art: pop-influenced portraits of famous musicians, which were received with great acclaim and have now been seen across the country. Hamilton’s artistic career began in the ’70s as a graphic designer and illustrator with Artist Studios. In the ’90s, he started his own graphic arts and design studio in Cleveland: Livewire Studios. But despite his professional success, it was a disaster that gave birth to his rock painting. After a house fire destroyed his home and studio, Hamilton found himself left with nearly nothing. He picked up what he had lying around — a few cans of Sherwin-Williams paint and what tools he could salvage (Hamilton doesn’t use brushes) — and started painting. Hamilton loves the vibrant hues of Sherwin-Williams exterior house paints, and especially the custom-mixed colors he gets from LeSean Davis and Greg Smith at his local store. Hamilton refers to Davis and Smith as his “mixologists.” “You can’t get that at an art store,” he says. Why rock and roll paintings? Hamilton says he simply loves the music. “At long last, my experiences and creative passions have found a home.” Highlights of Hamilton’s work with the Hall include photographing Aretha Franklin (along with Tiger Woods), capturing the grand opening of the John Lennon exhibition and touring the Hall with President Bill Clinton. ■


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HOLY bestseller! Graphic designer Chip Kidd, famed for high-impact book covers, reveals his color inspirations — and his fascination with all things Batman.


Chip Kidd has probably been in your bedroom — and on your bookshelf, and under your holiday tree. As one of Knopf’s top art directors, he has designed nearly 2,000 book covers that have helped propel the works of authors such as Michael Crichton and David Sedaris to the top of the bestseller list. As USA Today famously there is in graphic design. Kidd also has written two novels, The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners, as well as several books on Batman. His latest effort — Bat-Manga! — surveys 1960s Japanese memorabilia featuring the Caped Crusader. Kidd lives in New York City and Stonington, Conn.

STIR: What colors were important in your childhood? CK: Red was my favorite color. In sixth grade, I got permission from my parents to paint one wall of my bedroom red. That was considered very strange in Reading, Pa., in the 1960s. To this day, I will default to red, white and black when I can’t think of anything else. That combination speaks to a certain kind of classicism. When I got to art school, I saw the Russian constructivists hewed closely to that palette. The colors used on the “Batman” TV show resonated with me early on: saturated, very intense. At that point, there were still shows in black and white. And then there’s the simple but ingenious use of color in The Wizard of Oz. STIR: How do you approach color in your work? CK: It’s hard to talk about color apart from other elements of design. It’s just one tool I work with. Color use is intuitive. Why is the CocaCola logo red even though the soda isn’t? But it works really well. STIR: You once called Batman “a brilliant design solution.” What did you mean? CK: Let me geek out here and go back to Batman’s origins, according to the “Batman: Year One” series. The Gotham police force is hugely





put it, Kidd is the “closest thing to a rock star”


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“I think of the cover as the face of the book. If the cover is successful, it’s the beginning of the story.” corrupt. Bruce Wayne wants to fight crime, but doesn’t want to become a cop. He’d rather operate outside the system. Dressing as a bat is a tactical thing — the whole concept is to scare people before you even engage with them. It’s a fascinating idea: the good guy who looks like a villain. STIR: Batman plays with people’s expectations — a little like what your book covers do. CK: I think of the cover as the face of the book. If the cover is successful, it’s the beginning of the story. STIR: You’re known for the economy with which you communicate a complicated idea. How has color played a part in that? CK: Well, now we’re back to that red, white and black scheme. There was a novel by Michael Crichton called Disclosure, the book he wrote after Jurassic Park. It had to look completely different, since the subject is sexual harassment and not dinosaurs. I didn’t want it to look at all pornographic. I went very abstract, but red was the dominant color. STIR: What’s the weirdest inspiration you’ve had for a book jacket? CK: The cover for The Abomination, a novel that involves the sexual abuse of a young boy. This photographer’s calling card landed in my mailbox: a picture of an upside-down stuffed rabbit. There was no direct connotation of pedophilia, but there was a similar sensibility between the photo and Paul Golding’s story. That’s largely a colorless jacket, just shades of taupe and white and black. The photographer is Lars Klove, who mostly does still life. STIR: If you could design anything, without budget limitations, what would you choose? CK: A house. I was just in Grand Rapids, Mich., as part of my book tour, and visited the single best restored Frank Lloyd Wright residence in the country, the May House, built in 1908. Every single detail was thought through by a brilliant sensibility. The design was incredibly radical for its time. It’d be extremely satisfying to think through an entire house. STIR: What colors do you surround yourself with at home? CK: I choose to live with white walls — the one similarity to my graphic design sense. Let’s say I’m working with a photograph that’s in color, maybe even bright colors. That will be the color “star” of the design, and the rest of the type will be white and black. My apartment follows the same concept. The walls are white; it’s the objects — primarily toys I collect — that are in color. The next book I’m doing is about vintage Batman items from Japan, Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan. There’s an interesting issue of color in that book: In the 1960s, the Japanese did a lot of Batman comics, but they couldn’t print full color. They used monotone and duotone, which starts to look like Japanese block printing. It’s very elegant. ■ Charlotte Stoudt writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times.




colormix 09 TM

EVOLUTION Today’s color influences converge in a beautifully modulated palette.

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hat makes one color look fresh while another seems too familiar? Our collective color preferences reflect the delicate chemistry between culture, commerce and science, as new ideas shade our internal spectrum and new products and technologies enter our field of vision. At Sherwin-Williams, a global team of experts has spent months analyzing color influences, from consumer electronics to international street style, to identify the hues that will define architecture and design in the year ahead. This year, those influences are converging in new and surprising ways, resulting in a complex, sophisticated palette, according to Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing.

“Color has been so bold and saturated for the past few years that we’ve been overwhelmed,” she says. “We’re looking for a change, something more relaxing.” The economic downturn also appears to be nudging color in a less chromatic, less intense direction, says Kathy Andersson, color marketing manager for Sherwin-Williams Product Finishes Division. “People are trying to be more conservative in their consumer attitudes, spending and color selection.” There are other color influences at play, but one dominant one remains the green movement, which has matured and gone mainstream. “It’s not even a ‘movement’ anymore, but a global common denominator,” says Carol Derov, global color and design marketing manager for Sherwin-Williams’ International Division. colormix 09 is not intended to be a formula, but a chemistry set of ingredients awaiting your inspiration. “We encourage you to infuse the forecast colors with your creativity, combining these colors in your own unique way,” Jordan says.


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Global Tapestry

Local Momentum

In our hyper-linked era, the world has flattened again, with color influences from many lands now woven together into a brilliant tapestry. Hues from Russia and East Asia continue to be dominant threads, blending seamlessly with those from Latin America, the new hot zone. Popular travel destinations contribute new shadings: the colorful rainbow of pressed-tin buildings from Buenos Aires’ La Boca barrio, or the vibrant fish of Roatan Island, Honduras’ barrier reef. “Consumers are savvier about what’s happening all over the world,” Andersson says. “They’re traveling more and want to bring those color memories home into their surroundings.” And even those who don’t travel are increasingly exposed to global palettes via the Internet and high-definition big-screen TV, Derov notes. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, for example, brought China — and its traditional red and gold hues — into living rooms all over the world, while the 2010 Soccer World Cup will rivet all eyes on South Africa.

The local movement, with its eco-friendly emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, has spread from the food community to a modern way of life. Natural resource-conservation features, such as green rooftops and backyard vegetable gardens, are a source of community pride. Raw natural materials and handmade items by local artisans are the new look of local, along with locally inspired color palettes from the natural world. “People have an increasing sense that they’re losing their heritage, and they are looking to support and celebrate their community,” says Andersson. What color is your local? Look around you. Maybe it’s the blues and sands of the nearby seashore — or the urban hues of steel and concrete. Putting a local spin on the color wheel has never been more timely.



The colorful rainbow of pressed-tin buildings from Buenos Aires’ La Boca barrio.


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The new luxury reflects botanical hues, like natural flower and root dyes to tint the finest cloth.





Conscious Luxury

Nothing new under the sun? Hardly. Technology continues to upload innovations that expand our design and color possibilities in wonder-filled ways. New fiber technologies turn animal and vegetable proteins into tactile fabrics. New finishes add color interplay, dimension and luminescence. Biomimicry-inspired products borrow from Mother Nature’s design lab, echoing the function found in whirlpools or Nautilus shells. And going green has never been easier — or more colorful. Eco-minded consumers are no longer defined by soft greens and rustic earth tones, Jordan says. “Now, thanks to technology, the green spectrum has opened up. We can create environmentally friendly colors that weren’t possible a few years ago.” Technology-enabled design is also creating new green products and terminology like “upcycling,” the practice of converting waste materials into products of greater value, such as beer bottles into building materials.

Affluence has a new face. Today’s young, green-minded customers are savoring life’s luxuries but bringing their consciences with them. Their five-star resort must be eco-friendly, their cuisine organic and their gemstones “conflict-free.” “People with money still want to surround themselves with luxury, but they want to feel like they’re doing something good at the same time,” says Derov. They’re biking to save fossil fuel — on a $3,500 custom-built bike. The new luxury palette reflects botanical hues, evoking eco-tourism in exotic destinations, and natural flower and root dyes to tint the finest silks and cashmeres. “Mineral” hues, such as mother of pearl and warm metallic shades, combine earthy sensibility with refined taste. For these new affluents, green has definitely outgrown its rustic roots, and ethical indulgence is the ultimate status symbol.


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COLOR FAMILIES: A Shift Across the Spectrum Color is on the move. The bold, saturated hues that have dominated palettes for the past few seasons are yielding to more complex, toned-down shades. Our eyes are ready for respite, says Jordan. Colors are dustier, with intriguing new undertones. And there’s a new MVP in the palette: gray. “Grays play an ever-increasing role, cooling down our interiors and becoming the new neutral in both commercial and residential spaces,” she says.



Juicy Fruit. Red gets a mouthwatering new look with a hint of orange zest. Sherwin-Williams’ Enticing Red evokes lush tropical flowers and fruit, with a Latin American accent.

Purple Reign. Violets and plums continue their regal influence in ’09, although they’re more red-based than in ’08. Plummy and Plum Dandy add smoky new shadings to the royal mix, and look especially fresh when combined with neon greens, pinks, grays and blacks.

All Grown Up. The sweetness of pink acquires new nuance and sophistication, with shades ranging from brights with subtle infusions of orange or violet, to dusty and romantic.

New Appeal. Orange transitions in ’09, from the crayon-bright intensity of seasons past to more elegant and restrained shades. We still savor the spice hues inspired by global influences, but Tigereye tones it down slightly with just a touch of yellow.


Liquid Assets. Water is essential — to life and to the palette. Our growing awareness of this vital natural resource keeps blue in the color forefront. Dignity Blue offers a deep Mediterranean take, while Quench Blue and Aqua-Sphere suggest the Caribbean Sea. Celestial adds a clean, fresh blue with just a droplet of violet.

Enticing Red SW 6600

Constant Coral SW 6325

Tigereye SW 6362

Quench Blue SW 6785

Aqua-Sphere SW 7613

Dignity Blue SW 6804

Ruby Shade SW 6572

Zany Pink SW 6858

Insightful Rose SW 6023

Celestial SW 6808

Plummy SW 6558

Plum Dandy SW 6284



Daffodil SW 6901

Gambol Gold SW 6690

Eye Catching SW 6914

Wool Skein SW 6148

Mesa Tan SW 7695

Umber SW 6146

Alexandrite SW 0060

Grandiose SW 6404

Lemon Verbena SW 7726

Zircon SW 7667

Keystone Gray SW 7504

Gauntlet Gray SW 7019



Mellow Yellows. Yellow has been a recent star on fashion runways, and the sunny shades are now brightening interior palettes, from the soft Daffodil of spring blossoms to the ripened maize of Gambol Gold. Energetic, green-influenced yellows, like the lime-infused Eye Catching, are a hit with Gen Y and others who want to make a bravura statement.

Natural Wonders. Today’s neutrals are grounded in the environment, with hues inspired by wood, stone and natural fibers, such as Wool Skein, Mesa Tan and Umber. Wood tones have a new yellow influence, and metallic browns have taken on gray.

Gorgeous Grays. Grays themselves range from cool Zircon to warm Grassroots Movement. Greens are on the move, acquiring muddier, more yellow-based shadings than we’ve seen in the recent past. Grandiose and Lemon Verbena bring grayed-down gravitas to the mix, while elegant Alexandrite, a gemstone-influenced green, contributes a touch of blue.

Keystone, inspired by the juxtaposition of high-tech steel and decadesold urban concrete. ■ Kim Palmer is editor of STIR magazine.

Get a color card To receive your Sherwin-Williams colormix 09 color card, order online at, contact your Sherwin-Williams Architectural or Designer Account Executive, or call the Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194.


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Guests in search of the unmistakably modern W experience will also get a history lesson steeped in the color and character of the 1920s.






An Art Deco palette helps transform a Minneapolis landmark into a hot hotel.


Known as one of the world’s hippest hotel chains, Starwood’s W Hotels all have a certain wow factor, from the sleek bedrooms to the destination bars. While each one is designed independently to reflect its home city, the brand holds a common thread with recognizable features and a signature color: an inky hue that makes for moody hallways and memorable getaways. For the new W Minneapolis–The Foshay, creating an iconic yet independent interior was a little tricky. The Foshay Tower, erected in 1929 and modeled after the Washington Monument, was once the city’s


tallest building. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, posing an immediate design challenge to preserve its distinctive character and place in the Midwestern urban landscape.


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Designer Alessandro Munge achieved the vibrant bluishpurple hue that is signature to the W brand with the help of lighting. The technique, he says, works with any shade, even white, as long as you can cast a shadow. By “tricking the paint with lights,” shadows intensify color and create mood. He offers a few pointers: • Select a color that reacts well under a colored gel with incandescent or fluorescent lighting. For the W Minneapolis, Munge picked a custom blue from Sherwin-Williams and then relied on light to achieve the shade he wanted. • Manipulate the color with the light. Munge used colored gels and dark lenses to deepen and intensify the blue in desired areas. • Expect a trial-and-error process. In this case, contractors provided mock-ups for testing purposes until they were able to get the desired results in the hotel corridors.




parts of the building back to their original state. While working in the ground-floor arcade, they opened up drywall to find the original Art Deco ceiling. Though it was damaged significantly, the Minnesota Historical Society and National Parks Service required that it be restored. With the help of a historical consultant, Charlene Roise of Hess Roise, the team was able to make molds of the plaster and repair the ceiling. And after a microscopic paint analysis, the original colors of mostly earth tones were matched to repaint the ceiling’s intricate floral designs. Nearly all of the building’s original architectural materials remain in place, including terrazzo floors, Italian marble, African mahogany, iron and brass. The team was able to save 90 percent of the original flooring, and the nickelplated elevator doors were salvaged, requiring code modifications, but resulting in a unique, time-honored look. Now approaching its 80th birthday, the Foshay is ready for a big celebration. Chances are the restored observation deck will once again become a hotspot for taking in sweeping city views. And guests in search of the unmistakably modern W experience will also get a history lesson steeped in the color and character of the 1920s. It’s a fitting and sophisticated upgrade for the legendary Foshay, which had lost its luster after several earlier renovations, Casanova says. Before the most recent makeover, it was “less-thanclassy office space.” Now it’s a showstopper. “When people walk in, it’s unbelievable.” ■ Jennifer Blaise Kramer is a Boston-based freelance writer who frequently covers interior design.



Learn more about what went into restoring the Foshay arcade’s Art Deco ceiling at



“We never wanted to lose the essence of how important the Foshay is to Minnesotans,” says principal designer Alessandro Munge of Toronto-based Munge Leung Design Associates. “The last thing we wanted to do was put the kibosh on it.” Instead, Munge set out to celebrate the building’s glory, drawing inspiration from its original heyday. “I played off the imagery of the Roaring ’20s,” Munge says, pulling from the mystique of underground speak-easies, along with the “glitz and glam” of that era. The look fit the architecture of the 447-foot tower, but it also had to mesh with the W brand and tone. “The colors we chose had to be sexy,” says Munge. “You expect people to have a good time at the W.” In addition to using the signature W colors, Munge rounded out the palette with hues inspired by the building’s original Art Deco color scheme of golden tones, blues and ocher. Stephanie Kohnen of painting contractor Swanson & Youngdale recommended SherwinWilliams Duration Home® paint, in 10 custom-mixed colors, for the project. “We wanted a product with superior durability,” she says. And since one prominent color in the hotel is nearly black, Duration Home ensured adequate coverage. Munge achieved the bluish-purple hue that is so recognizable in W hotels by “tricking the paint with lights” (see sidebar). He also used this technique with whites and grays in the 230 bedrooms, creating flattering shadows. There are Art Deco-inspired design nods all over the hotel. Large glass front desks are modeled after vintage perfume bottles, then softly lit to create a glow through the faceted glass. Gray tones and metallics throughout the hotel evoke gangster gunmetal, while one of the bars is dubbed Prohibition. With original drawings in hand, Ryan Companies’ project manager Scott Casanova and developer Joel Schurke brought several

The sleek palette and fabrics of the E-Wow suite echo the hotel’s overall palette of custom Sherwin-Williams colors.

MOORISH mood Morocco meets Mexico in a fiesta-bright beach house.

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hen a home overlooks brilliant azure water, the interior palette often takes a supporting role. That’s certainly the design norm in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, an upscale vacation enclave. “It’s a special place, one of five in the world where the desert meets the sea,” says interior designer Sandra Espinet, who has offices in both Cabo (Square One) and Los Angeles (Interiors by Sandra Espinet). Her Cabo clients tend to favor subtle, neutral hues in their beach getaway homes, she says. “Most of my clients have milliondollar views and want to focus on the ocean.” But there are occasional exceptions, such as the woman who recently hired Espinet to create a Moroccan-inspired beach house.




“She had just come back from Morocco and had all the colors in her mind,” Espinet recalls. Morocco is a world away from Mexico, but the locales share some of the same aesthetic DNA, according to Espinet, who grew up in South America and has traveled widely. “The Moors invaded Spain, and Spain invaded Mexico,” she notes. The architecture is different, but the cultures share a kaleidoscope of vivid colors. “In both Mexico and Morocco, nothing is perfect but it all works together. It’s fun.” That harmonious free-for-all was exactly the effect this client was seeking. “She said, ‘I want every room in my house a different color, with pattern everywhere,” Espinet recalls. “My first thought was that it was too much.

But it’s her home, and her personality. I really listen to the client. And if you met her, that’s her. She’s very colorful and fabulous with large jewelry. She looks like her house.” Espinet spent a day and a half with the client, who picked out her favorite colors and just one element: a bold striped fabric in orange, gold and bright aqua for the dining-room chairs. That fabric set the palette for the home. Espinet knew that such a color scheme could easily dissolve into chaos. “The challenge was making sure all those colors flowed together so it didn’t look like a circus,” she says. “My job was to keep it sophisticated.” Every room was painted a different color, just as the client requested. The palette carefully

Mexico and Morocco share an aesthetic DNA borne of conquests and color.


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transitions from Rave Red SW 6608 in the dining room to two shades of orange — Harvester SW 6373 and Torchlight SW 6374 — in the living room, and golden yellow, composed of Inviting Ivory SW 6372, highlighted with Harvester, in the foyer. The arch separating the red dining room from the rest of the house was accented with cool Drizzle SW 6479. “We did several adjustments,” Espinet says. “In the living room, it went too orange at first, so we added some white.” The client’s vivid pink bedroom turned out “too much, too girly,” so Espinet had her painting contractor add a wash — white paint mixed with water — to create an ombré effect on the walls. “There’s a gradation of color, deeper at the bottom [Lei Flower SW 6613] near the floor, then graduating to a lighter color [Sockeye SW 6619] toward the ceiling,” she says. To soften the rainbow hues on the walls, Espinet used a multilayered process. First, a Venetian plaster was applied to add texture. Then the walls were painted, then painted again with a lighter color wash, using a faux-finish technique. Finally, to create a delicately patterned Moroccan effect, an artist applied wall and ceiling details, using stencils. Espinet chose Sherwin-Williams paint in a semi-gloss finish. “Cleanability was important,” she says. The client has grandchildren and needed an easily scrubbable finish. And in Mexico, the maids customarily use wet mops, she notes. Water splashes onto walls, making matte finishes problematic. Before Sherwin-Williams opened a store in Cabo, Espinet used to bring paint from the United States because she preferred SherwinWilliams to the Mexican brands available. “Sherwin-Williams has the quality for the quality homes we’re doing,” she says. “And it gives me flexibility for creating custom colors.” For this project, Espinet pored over books on Moroccan design to find patterns that would harmonize with the colors and fabrics she had selected. She finished the home with an eclectic mix of finds and furnishings from all over the world, including both Moroccan and Mexican pieces. The client didn’t see the Cabo home until it was completed. Her first reaction? “She started to cry,” Espinet recalls. “I thought, ‘Oh, no! She hates it!’” But fortunately, they were happy tears. “She said, ‘It’s even better than I imagined.’” ■ Kim Palmer is editor of STIR magazine.




CONQUERING COLOR Sandra Espinet shares her insights for creating complex color palettes that clients will love: • Bon voyage. “Travel is my passion and inspiration,” says Espinet, who often takes clients on the road with her to soak up ideas and source artifacts. “If the person is willing to get on a plane and go with me, I like to do it.” For a client who requested a traditional Mexican look, for example, Espinet knew just the place to take her: the Old Colonial section of San Miguel de Allende. • More is more. When it comes to samples, Espinet doesn’t skimp. “I drown people in what we’re doing,” she says. “I like people to feel a gut instinct. The sooner they pick things, the better.” • Stay connected. “For this project, we were on the job site a lot — every two or three days,” she says. “It’s very important with so many colors and textures. If one color was a bit too dark or too light, we were able to adjust it.”


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The reflectivity of interior paint colors can bolster a project’s LEED certification.



Worthy of REFLECTION You can use paint color to boost your project’s green rating — and give yourself a marketing edge while you’re at it.



olor is more than just an aesthetic choice. It can help light to penetrate nooks and crannies just as it can help fill in the “Grand Central areas” of our lives. And, at a time when energy costs are soaring, color can also play a role in reducing a design’s long-term cost for an owner or resident — all thanks to the power of reflectivity. Simply put, lighter, more reflective hues can help a project “go green,” says Steve Revnew, director of marketing, product development for Sherwin-Williams. A lighter color palette and higher-sheen surfaces can increase reflectivity, making a space brighter without using artificial light. The reflectivity of interior and exterior paint colors can even bolster a project’s certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). On the back of every Sherwin-Williams color chip is that color’s light reflectivity value (LRV) number, Revnew notes. The scale goes from 0 (absorbs all light) to 100 (reflects all light). “Many designers have always looked at LRV for varying reasons,” Revnew says. “We’ve always had them. But now we’re getting more questions about it. People are asking, ‘How do I use color to save energy?’” Drew Smith of Two Trails Inc. in Sarasota, Fla., has been a green-building consultant for more than a decade, but he’s seen a big surge in interest over the last three years. “Going green and LEED certification are ways for builders and designers to gain an edge,” he says. “It can give you a higher resale value, and as the public becomes more aware of green and what it can do to lower energy

costs, the demand will continue to grow.” Design professionals are looking for ways to distinguish themselves, he notes. “Doing something different and environmentally conscious gives them a white hat.” The key to getting the highest-possible LEED score and the biggest green bang for the buck, Smith says, is for designers to jump into the building process at a very early stage

• Placement matters. While increasing reflectivity generally means moving to a lighter palette, designers can still use darker accent colors. But they may want to limit those colors to a single wall, rather than an entire room, or a space where lighting makes less of a design difference. • Don’t forget the glass. Coordinate color placement with the type of window glass

“Using color to improve the indoor environment is critical. Designers can actually affect the energy loads of a house based on color placement.” — such as when decisions are being made about architectural features including windows, doors and skylights. “A color designer should be involved with the project from the early design stage,” he says. “Using color to improve the indoor environment is critical. Designers can actually affect the energy loads of a house based on color placement.” For example: • Lighten dark spaces with lighter paint. It’s a simple idea, but Smith says that lighter paint colors — in a long hallway especially — can actually help illuminate that space if the lighting is placed correctly. • Go natural. If you need to illuminate a naturally dark room, such as a closet or interior room, you can pull natural light from adjacent spaces by using the reflectivity of a lighter color palette.

and the artificial lighting used in a space. Tinted green or blue glass can improve a building’s energy efficiency but will also affect how interior colors reflect light. And fluorescent light, which tends to be flatter and less unidirectional than an incandescent light filament, can make it more challenging to use color to focus reflection. ■ James Walsh is a St. Paul-based journalist who writes frequently about architecture and design.



You can link to Sherwin-Williams green product specifications through or by going directly to


S t i r 23




palette power

The newly enhanced Color Visualizer, and the ability to download Sherwin-Williams color palettes directly into computer-aided design (CAD) applications, provides more powerful color tools.

EXPLORE COLORS Click here to exit the room view and view colors full-screen. DRAG & DROP COLORS Adding colors to a scene is as simple as drag and drop. COLOR SELECTION More than 1,500 SherwinWilliams colors are available, all labeled by name and SW#. COORDINATING COLORS Each time you select a color, Color Visualizer provides two coordinating colors to review. SAVE FAVORITES Color Visualizer allows you to save your favorite colors to use in different scenes.



f the first version of Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer showed how colors work together and provided the opportunity to experiment with endless combinations online, the latest version does it one better, allowing you to create a virtual job site by downloading colors into your AutoCAD® and Photoshop® applications. The downloadable palettes and the enhanced features of the Color Visualizer enable design professionals to interact with color better than ever before. The Visualizer allows more than 1,500 colors from the SherwinWilliams palette to be dragged and dropped into interior and exterior images. This newly revamped tool features enhanced functionality and a broader selection of coordinating colors — plus larger-format interior and exterior images that are easier to work with, clearer to view and printable. This powerful tool can be used to increase client confidence in color selection by providing virtual examples of the colors in a variety of spaces or shown within the actual design concept when downloaded. “It’s incredibly easy to use,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color




marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Enhanced user-friendly navigation reflects the updated look and function of the Sherwin-Williams Web site, and enables color searches by color family, color collection, or specific color names or numbers. The ability to download palettes is an exclusive and innovative feature that allows for an even fuller expression of the colors’ design possibilities.” ■ James Walsh is a St. Paul-based journalist who writes frequently about architecture and design.



Sherwin-Williams downloadable color palettes, which you can import into CAD or Photoshop, and the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer are on or just a click away via

THE HUE OF RAKU A bowl is a bowl, unless it’s raku, the Japanese pottery steeped in tradition. No two pieces of raku are alike, thanks to the color variations resulting from the firing technique, which involves rapid changes in temperature. Raku is removed from the kiln while still glowing hot, then cooled in air or water, or smothered in straw or similar materials. Variations in oxygen, heat and glaze thickness all interact to produce vivid and varied colorations. The tradition originated in the 16th


century when tea master Sen-NoRikyu commissioned a tile maker to create some simple tea bowls for Emperor Hideyoshi. The emperor, reportedly, was so pleased that he named them raku, which means “the joy of leisure time” or “ease.” ■

Amelia Carballo (b. 1951) Cuban Porron Rojo (Red Canteen), 2003 Glazed earthenware, raku-fired 14" x 9 1⁄2"

paint on surprise. SW 6572 | RUBY SHADE from the colormix™ ’09 forecast

Want to give your space a startling new twist? Want to evoke a feeling that’s now and wow? With our colormix™ ’09 forecast colors, you can achieve your vision. To order large size color samples and forecast color cards, go to or contact your local Architectural or Designer Account Executive. ©2008 The Sherwin-Williams Company

Sherwin-Williams 400 1st Ave. N., Ste. 200 Minneapolis, MN 55401

Architect and Designer Answerline 800-321- 8194


PAID Cenveo

STIR 5.2 2008  

STIR magazine from Sherwin-Williams Volume 5 Issue 2, 2008.