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Newsletter: Winter 2018

winter splash of color

MASS Fashion

At the Concord Museum in historic Concord, MA:
March 2 – July 8, 2018

I'm excited to be contributing in some small way to MASS Fashion, a collaborative of eight institutions looking at fashion in Massachusetts, both past and current. The Concord Museum's contribution is "Fresh Goods: Shopping for Clothing in a New England Town, 1750-1900". The exhibit, opening in March 2018, will examine sources of clothing in the 18th and 19th centuries in Concord and who the "influencers" were. My recent visit there included viewing the antique clothing and accessories that will be in the show. It will be one of the more colorful exhibits for the museum. I am helping select colors for the gallery spaces and display boards.

I'm also looking forward to visiting the upcoming exhibit of Georgia O'Keefe's clothing at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, one of the collaborators.

Concord Museum Colors

My last collaboration with the Concord Museum was to help choose the colors for "This Ever New Self". It is one of the most important exhibits the Concord Museum has had the privilege to present. The museum was able to reunite – in his hometown – Henry David Thoreau’s personal items and journals.

There is very little color used in exhibit halls and the colors that were selected had to be subtle and yet impactful. Believe it or not, there are 12 colors (all whites and grays) in this outer hall area leading into the exhibit.

All of the walls inside the exhibit are painted Gray Morn (Pittsburgh Paints). The strongest colors that I selected were used on display panels in the galleries. They were Texas Leather and Great Barrington Green (Benjamin Moore).

"It is a wonderful highlight of the bicentennial to have Thoreau’s journal back in Concord for the first time in more than a century. I am one of the many who believe that the place to find the real historical Thoreau is in his journal, and this exhibition is the first ever to successfully view it in that light."

-David Wood, Concord Museum Curator

The Fairytale House of Rosebud, Texas

One of my homeowners lives in Rosebud, a small country town that has lovely old homes, some well maintained but several are in poor repair or showing their age. Sara wanted her 1907 Victorian home to be inspiring and hopeful. She loved the color on the This Old House® Belmont house, which was Ben Moore’s Bryant Gold. So we started with that. The house needed work and some of the windows had to be replaced. After 110 years, they were falling apart.

Sara has finally embarked on painting her “fairy tale” house. At right is a view in which you see the "before" and the "in progress". Below, the gold colors are being applied with a lively contrasting accent. I would say it is looking VERY hopeful and 100% happier already. They have named the house "The Golden Rose". I can't wait to see the finished paint job!

Fairy Tale House, "The Golden Rose," in process.

Concord, MA

My Concord client disliked the existing violet color on her 1876, 2nd Empire French Victorian home. Instead, she wanted an elegant rich neutral green as a backdrop for her colorful landscape. The paint colors had to be approved by the Concord Historic commission as it is located almost directly across the street from Concord's own Old Manse, former home to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Getting that approval took time.

She loved Sherwin Williams' Cushing Green for the house and Privilege Green for her pool house. We both thought that an inky green, in this case Ben Moore's Essex Green would be an interesting foil for some of the wooden elements on the house such as the windows, trim and garage doors.

My client is happy that the color feels appropriate for her home's style and setting. Below photos show the rich, grounded, strong, handsome green that my client envisioned.

after, green

after, green

Here is a violet/mauve "before" photo:

before, violet color

The client tested some paint colors before contacting me.
This gave me insight into what she was trying to achieve:

The final green on the carriage house:

after, green

Need help choosing your colors this year?

Give us a holler, We're happy to help.

Best Wishes,


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Header photo by Ray Hennessey