Green Kitchen Makeover

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 by twodudespaintingco

ImageRita Penrod’s kitchen was at the end of its shelf life. The appliances were starting to break down, and the finish materials were getting a little stale. “It needed a fresher look,” she says.

Penrod, a graphic designer, wanted the new kitchen and adjacent dining area to reflect her personal style aesthetic, which is clean-lined and contemporary. “I wanted a very sleek look, with flat lines,” she said.

And as a green-minded professional who often counsels her clients on sustainable design, she also wanted to make sure her remodeling project was as low-impact as possible. So she brought in Joshua Foss of Thrive Design Studio, whose mission is demonstrating that green design can be both attractive and affordable.

It creates a very atmospheric quality, like the reflection of the sky in water.

“The space hadn’t been touched since the 80s,” Foss says. “But functionally, the layout was pretty great. All it needed was a cosmetic update.”

Natural wonder

And the space had a special ingredient: A spectacular view overlooking a nature preserve in Golden Valley, Minn. Penrod and her husband are both outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy canoeing and biking, and have a deep appreciation for the beauty of Mother Nature. “We wanted to bring the natural world in,” she says.

All images taken by and used with the permission of Aaron Holmberg of Holmberg Studios, Minneapolis, Minn.

So she and Foss chose eco-friendly materials that evoked the natural landscape. They kept the original cabinets to ensure they stayed out of the landfill, but refaced them in Plyboo, a formaldehyde-free plywood product made from sustainably harvested bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource. The finish color they selected, Neopolitan, has a highly textured mix of light and dark bamboo, which echoes the wooded preserve outdoors. “We decided to install it on its side, so the grain runs horizontally,” Penrod says. “It gives it a different look and helps elongate the cabinets visually.” To complement the Plyboo, the cabinet interiors were repainted with Sherwin-Williams Pro IndustrialTM Zero-VOC Acrylic in Cobble Brown (SW 6082).Image

The new stainless-steel appliances (ENERGY STAR-compliant, of course) evoke rocks and minerals, while the walls look skyward with zero-VOC Sherwin-Williams Harmony® in a pale blue-gray hue, Misty (SW 6232). “It creates a very atmospheric quality, like the reflection of the sky in water,” Penrod says.

For the countertops, Penrod and Foss chose ECO by Cosentino, a material made from 75 percent recycled materials, including glass and porcelain, set in industrial furnace residuals. They chose a dark color: black with chocolate, studded with shiny flecks from crushed mirrors. “It looks similar to quartz,” Foss says. “And the bits of mirror give it a beautiful reflective value.”

New energy-efficient lighting and a new custom-made table — built and resourced locally using harvested ash — complete the look of the streamlined new kitchen and dining area.

Penrod loves her new space. “I just like the feel of it, the sleekness,” she says. And she’s discovered an unexpected side benefit: “Because it’s so sleek, I want to keep it very clean!”

KIM PALMER- Sherwin WIlliams


2012 Color of the year Argyle

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2012 by twodudespaintingco

Are you PINTERESTed?

Posted in Home Improvement, Paint on February 7, 2012 by twodudespaintingco

I don’t get it?

Is it worth checking out?

When you hear about anything as much as you hear about these questions naturally follow. Why are so many hours logged on this new Social Media craze?  Truthfully The Dudes were dragging our boots to see what it is all about, but here is what we’ve found.

The concept behind Pinterest is an online pin board. You can create your own categories and “pin” photos of ideas you want to remember. We used to do this by cutting out magazine clippings and tossing them in a folder or putting them on our refrigerator.

While The Dudes are not as excited about bridesmaids dresses and the over-the-knee boot craze, we have found an angle of this site we can really get behind….Home Decor.

One of the biggest hurdles we walk through with our clients is being able to visualize the end goal of their project. Some  clients will come in with a color “I want a to try a splash of yellow in my house- how will that look?”

Others come in with a problem needing to be solved “We spend so much time in our living room, but the space is dark and dreary”

Pinterest helps us SEE what we want.  If you have a great photo of your room’s concept, The Dudes can do their most professional hand-holding to get you the perfect color match. Do you get inspired for your interior spaces when you are in the great outdoors? Pinterest can help you translate natural influences into paint swatches.


Time Magazine says “Perusing other folks’ boards… is as enjoyable as building your own.”  So for those of us who struggle to get the creative juices flowing, we can get inspiration from millions of others.

After you are happy with your Pin Board, give The Dudes a call and let’s make these rooms happen!


The Dudes Marriage with The VW Bus.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2012 by twodudespaintingco

The Dudes orange VW bus logo is recognized around town.

We have loved many a bus in our day…and maybe just maybe shed a manly tear as we said goodbye to a fallen bus.

But what is the story? How did it all begin with The Dudes marriage to the VW bus? Two Dudes which started at just that, Brian and Pete….didn’t last for long at just two.

As the seasons passed and the Dudes began to multiply… Tapping into roommates in search of rent, brothers and cousins in search of summer work, the Dudes started to form their family. With a full staff of painters and equipment to haul, Pete’s VW Bug and Brian’s station wagon were no longer cutting it. When choosing a company vehicle, the Dudes made the most important purchase in their history to date! They bought a ’79 orange VW Micro Bus. The orange bus has become the Dudes version of the Batmobile and is the mark by
which they are known today. The beauty of the Volkswagen was not only the spacious interior it provided, but armed with a “Volkswagen for Dummies” manual and cold beverage, you fix just about anything that broke down on the vehicle. Not to mention when you needed the right vehicle to attend a concert or two, nothing matched the ride in a VW bus.

In 2011 we had a Bride & Groom choose to use a Dudes bus as there getaway car!

Long live the bus.


Living Style: Bringing Clients Over to the Dark Side

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27, 2011 by twodudespaintingco
Blog below shared by Kelly Porter from our friends at Sherwn-Williams
Click To Enlarge

As a design professional, you know there are often elements of a project that require careful persuasion to get a client’s approval. While it may be a challenge to convince a client to purchase a quirky lighting fixture or agree to an unconventional seating arrangement, it can be even more difficult to sell a particular color, especially one a client thinks is “too dark.”

I learned this firsthand when I began offering color consultations. As someone who prefers deeper hues, it was natural for me to specify these colors. However, I found that many of my clients were placing these selections in the “dark” category. I started to think that perhaps I should suggest dark colors only if a client requested them. But that didn’t work either because, it turns out, the word “dark” is very subjective. The colors I deemed light or mid-tone were considered dark by some clients. Not only did I have to re-evaluate my perception, but I also had to understand my clients’ color fears and ultimately help them overcome their beliefs (often misconceptions) about deeper hues.

Those liberating words gave me the confidence to explore people’s resistance to darker colors, and then offer a different narrative.

I found support for my position in a video produced by Sherwin-Williams that I used to teach color workshops. In one segment, designer Donald Bingham Schmitt says:

“There are people who will say you should never paint a room a dark color because it will make it feel small. You should never paint the ceiling a dark color; it will bring the ceiling down. There are rules and regulations like that, but they’re not valid because if you use color advisedly, you can do anything.”

Schmitt continues, “In my home, I have a black library and no one has ever walked in and said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t breathe! This room is so claustrophobic!’ In fact, it’s the opposite. They think they’re in a really large room when actually, it’s quite small.”


Click on the image to open and view a larger image.

Those liberating words gave me the confidence to explore people’s resistance to darker colors, and then offer a different narrative. Here are three ways I’ve helped clients look at dark colors in a positive way:

Client Concern: Dark colors will make the room look smaller and feel closed in.

Positive Perspective: If you paint a 12′ x 12′ room black, the room will still measure 12′ ’x 12′. Often it’s not the color of a room that makes it appear smaller, but the amount of contrast and furnishings (for example, too many accessories; over-scaled draperies; large, bulky sofas). A dark wall color can help a space feel cozier and provide a greater sense of comfort, which is especially important in larger rooms or spaces with very high ceilings.

Client Concern: A dark color will make the room feel dreary.

Positive Perspective: Think of a dark room as you would a dark evening gown (or a little black dress). Then you can begin to see it as elegant, sophisticated, exotic. Take, for example, the Modern Glamour design style. The works of Kelly Wearstler and Mary McDonald exemplify the use of darker hues in this luxurious style. These interior designers are famous for using colors such as charcoal gray, emerald, indigo and black to create chic, unforgettable spaces that are far from dreary.

Client Concern: Dark colors are bland and dull.

Positive Perspective: Many dark colors look richer than their lighter counterparts. For example, chocolate brown appears more sumptuous than taupe. The same is true for claret, which looks more opulent than rose. Emerald looks ritzier than celery green. Paler colors can sometimes appear washed out, whereas many deeper hues are vibrant and can add energy and personality to a space, especially with a high-gloss finish.

With any dark color, clients should be aware additional steps may be necessary. The walls could require two or three coats of paint, and the room’s lighting may need to be adjusted or upgraded. With these extra considerations in mind — and the dose of client courage it may take — enhancing a space with a darker color palette can make a striking statement and set a dramatic mood. And these are two of the greatest benefits of color.

What are your experiences and suggestions for using dark colors?

Post your reply below.

Wishing you a Wonderful Holiday Season from Two Dudes

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2011 by twodudespaintingco

December is upon us, and the holiday season is in full swing. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle we wanted to take a moment to say to YOU, our friends and family, we wish you a Happy Happy Holiday Season and all the Best in the New Year.

The Mad Men Influence

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2011 by twodudespaintingco

Interior designers share their tips for pulling off the midcentury modern look.

The Mad Men Influence
by our friend from Sherwin-Williams HOLLY O’DELL

When Mad Men debuted in 2007, the critically acclaimed TV show exuded the essence of midcentury modern style through its fashion and interior design. “There have always been a group of people, typically more designers and architects, who’ve been more interested in midcentury modern design than the average consumer,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “But when you start to see things in the public eye like Mad Men, people notice the details of the furniture and accessories and seek them out.”

Indeed, the trend is going mainstream. Banana Republic has jumped on the growing interest in the genre with its Mad Men® line of clothing, while other retail chains continue to stock their shelves with 1950s- and ’60s-inspired furnishings, beddings and accessories. In fact, midcentury modern design is more accessible than ever, notes designer Robert Northington of Valparaiso, Ind. “There is so much product available at antique malls and resale shops,” he says. “You can create the look affordably, which is great in this economic climate.”

Don’t be afraid to take your inspiration from the past. The traditional colors and finishes can be easily updated.

The era appeals to consumers because it’s a throwback to a period representative of a brighter future, says interior designer Darlene Molnar. “This time in history was about touches of luxury, but nothing over-the-top or in-your-face,” she says, “and that’s the way the market is going today. People are looking for the sultry interiors shown in Mad Men.”

One of Molnar’s clients specifically requested a “Mad Men” look for his small one-bedroom condo in Washington, D.C. The homeowner’s collection of antique telephones and radios served as the catalyst for the masculine design. In the bedroom, a black-and-white-striped wall operates as a backdrop for a black Barcelona chair and a walnut bed showcasing simple lines, tapered legs and neutral linens with colorful accents. “On Mad Men, you see very subtle backdrops with little pops of avocado green, burnt orange, cherry red, sage or copper,” Molnar notes.

 Images used with the permission of Darlene Molnar and Robert Northington.

Meanwhile, the open dining room/kitchen/living room showcases walls painted in a smoke gray that reflects hints of blue and green depending on the light. A “Brno” chair by Mies Van Der Rohe reupholstered in an oversize plaid fabric, along with a tweed sofa modeled after the one in I Love Lucy, channels the midcentury modern vibe. Decanters filled with brandy, scotch and whiskey add a clever and appropriate color element.

For a small summer cottage on Lake Michigan, Northington joined forces with a client who was a midcentury modern aficionado. “That whole era was about entertaining,” Northington says.

As such, he incorporated the homeowner’s collection of 1950s-style bar sets and martini carts into a bar/kitchenette area outfitted with a Formica countertop in boomerang turquoise, linoleum flooring, stainless steel backsplash tile, and maple doors suspended from hooks to creatively cover up the existing cinderblock. Northington used Collonade Gray (SW 7641) and Pavestone (SW 7642) on the walls and continued the midcentury modern influence into the sleeping area and bathroom.

The key to pulling off a midcentury modern look is to carefully integrate elements from the period without making the space seem dated. “Don’t be afraid to take your inspiration from the past,” Northington advises. “The traditional colors and finishes can be easily updated.”