What's Color Got to do with it?!...

What’s Color got to do with it? - Color and Interior Design Blog

images (1).jpg

Have you ever visited a paint store or the paint section of the ever-overwhelming Home Depot and stood in front of every color in the world; about a shade apart from the one on top and one on the bottom?! I have, and as a professional who deals with color on a daily basis do not recommend this to try at home because I have gone blind in a matter of 2 minutes! Choosing a color for either one room or one of many rooms could either be the first thing you do or the dead last.  There are two distinct ways to begin a home project and save your eyesight and basic will to design your spaces.

1: choosing the most prominent items/finishes for the space; furniture and/or wall to wall or area rug.  These items are prevalent because they will take up the most space and offer the most texture, color and style, i.e. a sofa or area rug. You can rely exclusively on these items to begin to unravel your design with a wall paint color far, far away and really not needed.  You can then follow up these prominent items with decor such as throw pillows, wall art, etc. and when all items and décor are placed in the desired layout, you have a CHOICE whether or not to add a paint color.  Depending on how subdued or glitz your prominent items are looking when all together, you may not even need a paint color; it might actually hinder the space and work against or diminish the power of the prominent items.  This approach is considered flexible because it gives you a choice and allows items you love to take precedence rather than a painted wall doing all the communicating.


All walls are white.  We used a dark floor contrasted with a lighter natural sisal area rug, tall frosted glass partition sliding doors, a darker smoked mirrored cabinet and colorful wall art to add color and dimension.  photo: Cierno Designs, llc

All walls are white.  We used a dark floor contrasted with a lighter natural sisal area rug, tall frosted glass partition sliding doors, a darker smoked mirrored cabinet and colorful wall art to add color and dimension.  photo: Cierno Designs, llc

The black leather sectional sofa was chosen to primarily contrast with the white walls and offset the lighter area rug. photo: Cierno Designs, llc

The black leather sectional sofa was chosen to primarily contrast with the white walls and offset the lighter area rug. photo: Cierno Designs, llc

2: choosing the paint color first. This may stem from wanting a certain feel for the space before looking at a piece of furniture.  Color is emotional and using it full force as a loaded gun when approaching a room design will definitely render powerful results.  This does not mean that fire-engine red will be splashed on a huge accent wall to reach the emotion I am speaking about; emotion could be greatly subtle as well as fiery and color is the best way to extract whichever range of emotion you wish to communicate. Your best offence here, is to have a good idea of the emotion you are aiming for, a preliminary color association and how to use the wall color.  HOW? Well, you just paint, right? That is the highly simple version, yes, but a room usually consists of more than one wall and usually that wall leads into another smaller or larger wall.  Look at the room you are designing and understanding how the room will layout with regards to furniture will either literally smack you in the face with the wall that is screaming for an accent paint color and all the emotion you wished for in the first place or totally surprise you with another wall that you deemed insignificant winning the emotion color race.  Finally, the layout may reveal that no wall is significant or insignificant and it is perfectly pleasing to paint all walls.  The revelations of the layout will also guide you to narrow down your selection of how vibrant or subtle the color needs to be i.e. a fire-engine red vs. a more subdued deep brick red or a cobalt blue vs. a sky blue. 

Color, color was our primary tool in this pediatrics waiting room. The use of blue was meant to grab the positive attention of the children while also creating an over all calming space.  The several blue shades found in the alphabet carpet, the glass housing around the down-lights and the reflective patterned surface of the reception desk fostered a "blue" space that felt more like a playroom rather than an waiting room.  

Color, color was our primary tool in this pediatrics waiting room. The use of blue was meant to grab the positive attention of the children while also creating an over all calming space.  The several blue shades found in the alphabet carpet, the glass housing around the down-lights and the reflective patterned surface of the reception desk fostered a "blue" space that felt more like a playroom rather than an waiting room.  

Design is all about pinning down a starting point to unravel the final outcome.  Design can be maddening or amazing because making decisions along the way can take you far away from where you wanted to be or lead you right to your vision.  In both cases, it is an inspiring journey that builds experience and know-how that renders every design significant no matter where it ends up. Experience with color will never end.  Color is our most powerful tool; lack or abundance.  It is how humans “feel” when color is communicating or not.  What’s color got to do with it? Well you tell me?

Horses as Inspiration...Horses to be Saved


Interior Design Inspiration..Horses blog

As I live and breathe design and architecture, I'd like to move away from it just for a mere moment to post about another passion of mine that is not only an inspiration to my work, but, believe it or not, the ONLY activity that clears all the clutter out of my mind and forces me to focus on only ONE thing...very far away from my Monday-Friday. My therapy that is so much better than retail therapy -  Horses...riding, communicating with them, learning about them (even-though I've been riding for 10 yrs +).....just standing next to them, watching them watch me with the largest eye!! And though they have been our right and left hands, heads and legs for over 6,000 years, today we find them in peril and horse lovers in a fight for their very existence.  Yes you read correctly, wild horse are being rounded up and slaughtered, Tennessee Walking Horses are suffering the terrible process of "Soring" and OUR American domestic horses are being bought at auction to be sent over our boarders to foreign slaughter houses for nothing more than greed. All of it is just a grave injustice to such a powerful and valuable animal. I and a million other horse lovers are fighting congress and our government to abolish Soring, slaughter and wild round ups. There are farms that survive on donations to rescue horses from death and cruelty and that continue to fight our government; they are the last hope for slaughter bound horses. I have joined the fight by signing ballots, offering money to rescue farms and I have written the below letter to our government to try to raise awareness for officials that need to turn their attention to this highly significant matter! I would like to share it with anyone who wishes to read.

Horse Naples.jpg

Personal Comment – United States Congress

June 2018

Horses should not be synonymous with slaughter.  As per human and horse history, humans NEVER classified horses as meat, NEVER.  Horse slaughter is another modern greed driven act by man which should be viewed as animal abuse and should not require a “Ballot” to “law makers” in 2018 to convince of its cruelty, barbarism and violation of simple nature.  Horses, over a 6,000 year history have only been and should only remain in 4 categories; wild, working, pleasure and athletes.  Humans have used these amazing and noble animals for their very survival though out history and every country or land on our planet has cultivated the power of the horse.  When did it become acceptable to kill and eat them? Anyone who has been close to horses cannot deny the magnitude of their positive effect on us.  They STILL are an intricate part of our economy, way of life and society – they are one of the only animals who can be so close to how humans survive in daily life due to their anatomy, physiology and sociability.  This is a form of nature that is of value to be cherished and maintained, how can we be fighting for their basic survival from a heinous death after centuries of loyalty, benefit and nature? Dogs and cats are protected by law against abuse and they have not given as much as a single horse to a police officer, a farmer, a rancher, a little girl or an Olympic contender.  A dog or cat is put down painlessly and ethically; they are not, in plain English, shot in the head and bled while still alive by an evil and soulless man for nothing more than monetary gain. 

I implore whomever is to read this to gain this prospective and visit a horse farm or a mounted police stable; actually, touch and look at a horse as you would hold a puppy that is homeless.  As a human, the emotion and experience will be the exact same.  Listen to the passion and emotion of the person that cares for horses as they tell you anything about their horses; how they look at them or pet them and how closely they stand next to their 15 hand, 1,000 lb. companion as the horse’s large eye never leaves its friend.  If visiting a horse farm is not available, use the internet to do a quick search on “horses through history” or “police horses” look at the hundreds of photos posted by people who value and benefit daily from their horse.  Read 5-7 lines of the history of horse domestication and their continuing connection written by humans because it is important enough to run parallel with HUMAN history.  After one or both of these simple tasks, please search your conscious as to how you can condone or turn your face to these animals being slaughtered for nothing more than greed and money. The fact that many horses are transported out of the United States to other countries where slaughter is legal and NOT regulated is nothing short of these meat men laughing at our laws and rebelling like a petulant teenager sneaking out of their bedroom window at night, saying, “OK if we can’t do our deed here in the U.S., we’ll just go around you”.  Is the U.S. a joke, so easy to disregard due to our indifference? To me, this in itself is a crime and considered a bold violation of American boarder control.

Regardless of a horse’s stature, size and speed, they are in fact defenseless prey animals. The script of nature called on their ocular sense and placement and the herd to protect them from predatory animals and if taken down, it was natures way.  Once domesticated, their nature was re-directed and honed to human needs but the horse remained defenseless.  Humans have taken grand steps to protect their horses and act as their “nature” simply because we understood.  After what we have accomplished and established with our horses for 6,000 years, why do we find ourselves petitioning government in an unholy and what should be an irrelevant battle with criminals that are strictly greed driven and depriving our economy and society of what horse have been proven to offer?

All horses should remain and be able to thrive in the above listed 4 categories and I will personally guarantee:

·        No human will starve because they did not get their serving of horse meat!

·        No farm, ranch or stable will complain that there is one, two or three more horses to work or train because all the meat men are in prison and there are just no slaughter houses!

·        No rancher or farmer will attend an auction to find good working horses and look to their left, outbid by a meat man knowing that a healthy horse would have had a happy working life will be slaughtered and know he can do nothing about it; watching them corralled into cramped trailers headed for the border thousands of miles away; a 1,000 lb. animal utterly defenseless.     

 It is hard for me to say in 2018 that we are fighting for the survival of the one animal that is synonymous with human evolution, but OK, we will fight, write, petition, whatever it takes.  But a “fight” is a two-person act and this is not a frivolous one.  For a “fight” to be significant, both acts need to have a basic understanding of the subject.  I know the people against slaughter and meat men fully understand the barbarism and negative impact of allowing this to continue, but does our government? This is not a significant matter to members of government until they turn their face forward to the subject and spend 3 minutes listening, learning, seeing and maintain a basic respect for the “fight” itself which in major part is respect for the horse. 

As my two Boxers are fully protected under animal abuse laws; where I could face criminal charges if I would ever neglect or God Forbid abuse my girls, the parallel as to WHY we have these laws casts an umbrella that 100% should protect American horses! Why doesn’t it and explain to me what the difference is?

We are fighting, we understand, we are full force committed - are you?  

cierno designs, llc - lisa O'Dierno, Founder     


House for Future Generations...re-posted


residential prefabricated ARCHITECTURAL design blog

As we slowly but surely move out of the winter of 2014 and into a much needed sunny and warm spring, I cannot help to notice how much the weather in New York City can affect our daily lives as well as our overall societal trends.  Within the past few years, we have been battered by horrible super storms, exorbitant snow falls and unseasonably cold and warm days that seem to have nothing to do with the date denoted on the calendar.  The design industry is most affected by this as our society is always in search of trends to insulate us or expose us to the latest happenings noticed by the masses.  Architecture and design moves right along with the present day and is the leading profession to make the responsible changes to exhibit our awareness.  Like fashion, we are always looking for our spring line on a much larger scale.

We are still experiencing the devastation of super storm Sandy; badly hit neighborhoods are still re-building years later and it is of utmost importance that even the most urban environments of NYC respond to the question of “how do we insulate our buildings from this ever happening again?” In answering that question, we look at the design language of our homes and question a better way to design.  Not to fix something that was wrong or that did not work, rather, to improve and possess the fortitude of giving the “extreme” a run for its money if ever our weather should go wacky again.  
We have enjoyed the faithful model that we are all accustomed to; multi-dwelling buildings in an urban environment and single family homes in the suburban environment.  Believe it or not, these two faithful models were a response to a much older socio-economic trend and have stood the test of time, until now, in my opinion.

As I challenge myself to follow the ever changing industry of design in New York City, I have posed this question internally and tested my own boundaries; and a “design” is what I came up with.  In taking on this question, I went right back to nature, the end user; the human being.  Knowing that the design had to be highly structural, protective and strong, I looked at the beautiful structure of the human form.  We are built and designed in a very strategic manner.  The human body holds some very sensitive components that are to be sheltered and protected regardless; our vital organs.  They are protected; our skeletal structure, more specifically our rib cage.  Interesting that the terminology is “cage” – makes perfect sense.  Our rib cage along with our skull is the armor of the human frame.  A house, shelter for the human being should exhibit the same principle.  I began there – “how can a house have a rib cage to protect the skin of the home, more importantly, the inhabitants inside”?  The model of the body would have to be turned inside out – the house would have to “wear” the structure on the exterior rather than hidden on the interior.  A datum of structural members running the length of the house and extending from side to side; protecting the skin on the interior and the inhabitants within the skin.  Granted, a visual of the human body turned inside out does not make for an award winning design of a home, but allowing a structural system to create a soldier like datum along a proportionate rectangle, is a place where architecture begins to bloom with the most basic of form and idea of function.  The structure dances between allowing the outside into the house and keeping it out.  As the datum runs along the length of the rectangle, controlled and covered exterior spaces are created, a view of the exterior is part of the home and the rib cage is once again doing its primary job.  

Exploring a single question of a well established architectural language and model is just the beginning to a process that extends to all of society and how we accept our built environment as balanced, pleasing and functional.  The design industry of New York City is creatively aggressive in seeking out this progression as we continue to address the age old saying “only in New York” how true – how true!

cierno Designs, llc - Lisa O'Dierno, Founder