Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

April 9, 2009


I know you. You love color. Dark, rich, and sophisticated colors. But deep inside the idea of painting a room a deep, dark hue creates terrifying anxiety! What if it makes the room shrink? What if I feel like I'm in a cave? What if I decide I hate it, and can't live with it?

What if I gave you 3 reasonable arguments to squelch those 3 most common fears about saturated color? Well, that's just the kind of guy I am...

**2 shots of my Master bedroom design for the 2006 Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse.
Note that ceiling isn't white. We'll get to that in another installment....

With age and time people grow taller, then smaller, but a room can't shrink. The most important thing to remember when painting ANY room a saturated color is LIGHT. Dark colors absorb light, so ask yourself; How much natural light does the room get during the day? How much "added" light do I have in evening hours? You can paint a room BLACK if you want to, it simply needs to be adequately lit. Trust me the room will feel more dramatic, but not smaller. I'll talk more than old wives tales, I'll talk the LAW!

Caves are for bats and prehistoric artifacts. Yes, a dark room can feel oppressive, but that has more to do with psychology than even the amount of light in play. VERY IMPORTANT[!]: Warm colors advance, cool colors recede. Not actually, but psychologically they do. If you have a tendency towards claustrophobia, then a red room will NEVER be your friend. Conversely a dark, blue-green room may not bother you at all. You can add or subtract all the light you want to create the perfect ambiance, but if you got head issues, it's better to stick with lighter & cooler.

I save the most obvious for last. What IF you took the risk and it didn't pay off?
I LOVE pushing my clients. Not into places they don't want to go, but into places their afraid to go. I always do a saturation test with a new client to see where their comfort level is. They most often point to the palest, Miami Vice shade at the top of the paint strip. While I never expect them to go all the way down to the darkest value, I usually convince them to meet me in the middle. Not to satisfy my needs, but because I know that in the end, they aren't going to be happy with that shade of sherbet they picked. That's why you hire me. To steer you right!

Sometimes I get the call when the painter is halfway. "Oh my God Michael, I don't think I can do this"! Or, " You better get over here cause I'm SURE this can't be the right color"! But when it's finished, I always get a huge thank you. "Thank you for pushing me". On just a few occasions I've had to say calm down, live with it for 2 weeks, then we'll talk. This usually works too, because sometimes people just aren't used to living with so much color. In the end, after all these years, only TWICE have I had to re-select a lighter color. [ My friend Tiina with 2 i's excluded. Re-selecting paint colors with her is a competitive sport....]
I hope this has cleared up any myths about saturated color, and maybe even put a new patch of bravery on your breast. On the next installment of COLOR ME MICHAEL, I'll be talking about what tints, tones, and shades REALLY are...

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Buzz Out!