How to Choose Your Color Palette: The Power of a Complementary Color Scheme


A complementary color scheme refers to two colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel. These pairs are naturally pleasing, and as the name suggests, compliment each other. One may be skeptical about how the complementary pair red and green, for example, could be perfect for your home without looking like it’s Christmas Eve, but there is scientific evidence behind why designers use these bold combinations often.


Orange and blue, yellow and purple, red and green; they may be opposites of each other on the color wheel but they are sure to attract attention within your own home. When designing your home it may be overwhelming to choose a color scheme, and it’s extremely easy to go overboard picking different tints, tones, and shades (oh my). Less is more, and this is why complimentary color schemes are the perfect solution for your design needs.


It is no coincidence that these orange and blue details look perfectly stunning in our design for this Scarsdale residence. It’s easy to believe these pairs are a match made in heaven, but it’s actually just a match made within the back of your eyes. Long story short, photoreceptor cells within your eyes are responsible for color vision and why complementary colors look increasingly dynamic when used together since they naturally increase each others intensity. Ironically enough, you can’t see this process in action so you’ll just have to trust us on this one. These details are important in creating a bold space, and why a small use of orange really pops in this mostly blue space as seen in the image above. The true beauty of these schemes is that although they are dynamic and bold, they will always remain harmonious and whole.


The next time you’re stumped on which colors to use within your space, it’s always a safe yet dynamic choice to go with a complimentary color scheme – sometimes successful design is easier than you think.


Design with Entertaining in Mind

This Chicago apartment was designed with entertaining in mind, creating custom furniture, and a room layout with multiple seating options.

The living room area has two distinct seating areas, with contemporary custom chairs in dark grey, glass and metal coffee tables. This offers plenty of seating and areas for serving food and drinks.


It also creates good flow for people to mingle, as well as grouping seating to provide intimacy and a place to sit and have a conversation. Having two different rugs on the wood floor also visually divides the spaces.

The different shades of grey and mixing patterns and solids with dark jewel-tones gives the room a luxurious look and feel. Creating custom furniture with rich fabrics creates a unique look and makes a strong statement.


The dining room features six custom contemporary chairs, with a large rectangular table and modern metal and glass chandelier. Roomy chairs and a spacious table make for a relaxed space for dining.


The apartment also features an art collection on the walls, offering conversation pieces offset by the darker wall color.

A tall glass storage cabinet offers a unique way to store and showcase wine. With shelving and presentation areas, the wine can be easily accessed as well as displayed.


Holzman Interiors will work with clients to determine their needs and goals for each room. In this case, entertaining was a part of the design strategy, which influences choices about layout, seating options, colors and more.

Metal Finishes Elevate the Look

Finding your favorite finishes to highlight the look you have chosen is an important part of the design process. Although it may seem like a small detail, making sure accents, such as faucets, pulls and lighting, are all coordinated, can elevate the overall look of a room.

In this modern bathroom, gold finishes on the faucet, shower head and tub spout coordinate with the chandelier, wall sconce and cabinet pulls, bringing the whole look together. A dish for jewelry and small porcelain containers on the sink add gold accents for a sophisticated look.

Offset on the white tile walls, the shiny finishes create a rich look without being too overpowering. In a smaller space, such as a bathroom, making a bold choice is important to give the room personality and make a design statement.img_6583-1

You want to think about how the finishes you choose will look against the color of your sink or tub, backsplash and countertops.

If you like this look, you can choose polished gold for the shiny finish, or brushed gold for a matte option. Gold is versatile, it can accent a modern look or a more period bathroom, such as French countryside.

Holzman Interiors can help you look at the bigger picture and how metals work in your overall design plan, whether you like contemporary or a more eclectic look.

Metals in the kitchen can add a luxurious feel. Consider the backsplash and countertops, as well as appliances, when picking your faucets, lighting and cabinets to create a finished, coordinated look. It’s no longer just about silver, there is a whole spectrum of metals to choose from, including black, bronze, nickel and gold.


Burnished metals can bring a warmth to the kitchen, such as a polished silver finish for faucets, cabinet and drawer pulls. Metal floating shelves create a modern, open look. They can be used to showcase dishes or display a collection, such as paperweights, or can be used to shelve cookbooks.


In this kitchen, the silver hood and oven is complimented by silver cabinet knobs and drawer pulls on the dark wood cabinets.

img_6497-1You can mix metals, depending on the look you want to create. For example, some kitchens have lighting with silver finishes, and then darker metal, such as bronze or black, on the cabinet or drawer pulls. Take into consideration whether you have white or dark wood finish on the cabinets as well, and whether the you want the metal accents to match or provide a contrast for a more modern look.

Mixing different metals can add interest and different layers to a design, but you want to have an overall strategy in mind.



Can Taupe Replace Grey?

A new neutral has popped up on the color radar — taupe.

Sherwin-Williams has chosen Poised Taupe as the 2017 Color of the Year. “This timeless neutral is modern, classic and a beautiful balance of warm and cool,” states the company. It offers a warmer neutral for a variety of colors.


A mix of brown and grey, taupe is the new neutral to build your palette on. Whether you like cool colors, such as light blues or blush rose, or you prefer warmer tones of deep purple and orange hues, taupe can be the accent that brings it all together or the base to start with. It can work in the kitchen, to warm up bright whites, in the family room to create an oasis to relax and recharge or in the bedroom for a cool refuge.

258Taupe offers a warm palette to build on in the bedroom.

Sherwin-Williams showcases a variety of options to build from, whether you like cornflower hues to create a French Countryside feel, organic hues for an earthier vibe or wine, with teal and grey for a rich palette. It also matches will with greens and golds for a sophisticated feel.


Designing with flat paint finishes

Flat paint finishes offer a rich, shine-free finish. With new technology, flat paint finishes are easy to keep clean, and help hide imperfections in walls. This can be especially helpful in older homes, that may have bumpy, uneven walls. Glossier paint finishes can sometimes highlight imperfections.

Flat finishes are ideal for large, open spaces, to prevent any obvious brush or roller lines. You can still use gloss finishes for trim and doors to add dimension. Premium flat finishes like Duration Home® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint or Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint are washable and ideal for families with kids or pets.

Choosing the Right Lightbulb


Lighting is a very important element to interior design, it can essentially make or break a space.  Besides choosing the right fixture, it is important that you choose the right light bulb.

Light Bulb Options

Incandescent Bulbs – these generally provide a warm light, but these bulbs are being phased out for environmental reasons.

Halogen Bulbs – these emit more of a yellowish glow, similar to incandescent bulbs.  These bulbs cast light all around the room, therefore making them a good choice for lamps or chandeliers.

Compact Florescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) – These are very good for your wallet and for the environment.  They can last 7-10 times longer than an incandescent bulb and they use almost 75% less energy.  They can cost more up front, but the expense is quickly made up due to the energy savings.  The major downside to this bulb is that you cannot use them with dimmers.  They are available in different colors, such as cool, warm or neutral.  These bulbs are most effective when they are used in places where the light is left on for longer periods such as the hallway, kitchen or porch.

Light-Emitting Diode Light Bulbs (LEDs) – These bulbs can last anywhere between 20-45 years if they are used for a few hours a day.  The come in a variety of colors and do work with dimmers.  It is good to use this type of bulb where focused light is important, such as a kitchen prep area or over artwork.






Kitchen Flooring: Wood Vs Tile

There are many options when it comes to your kitchen flooring – hardwood, tile, cork, laminate, vinyl or linoleum to name a few.  Most people will either choose a hardwood or tile flooring surface for their kitchen.  So, which one is best for you?  Here are the pros and cons of both:

Pro-Hardwood Flooring

*Hardwood flooring produces less wear and tear on your feet.  It tends to naturally retain heat, therefor making it an ideal material during the winter.

*Hardwoods are generally less expensive than tile flooring when you take labor and install into consideration.  The labor for tiling is much more higher than the labor involved in installing a hardwood floor.

*Hardwoods can also give the illusion of having a larger space, especially when you are using the same hardwood throughout your home.

*Hardwoods are currently on trend in kitchens these days.

*Over the long term, hardwoods are easier to clean and maintain than tile flooring.  With tile, the grout gets dirty and often times, needs to be re-grouted and sealed.  Tiles also tend to crack and chip over time.  Even if a hardwood has dents and scratches, it very easy to refinish and have them look like new again.

Pro – Tile Flooring

* What makes tile ideal for a kitchen is that tile is waterproof.

* Tile allows for many design possibilities.  It can become the focal point, design feature in your kitchen.

* Tile does not scratch, so the worry around shoes, chairs, dogs or heavy objects scratching your floor is not a concern.

Cons – Hardwood Flooring

* Because hardwood flooring isn’t waterproof, the user has to be diligent about cleaning spills up right away.  On the positive side, if small sections are damaged, those areas can be replaced easily.

* Hardwood floors do need to be refinished every 10 years or so.  The good thing is that refinishing a hardwood is not very expensive.

Cons – Tile Flooring

*As mentioned before, tile flooring can crack and the grout can get very dirty over time.  It is important to reseal your grout every year and every so often, the tile will need re-grouting.