Niche Magazine Article: Fall 2011





From Niche Magazine: Fall 2011

Article by Karen Silvar

Changing the look of your walls is practically as easy as changing your mind thanks to new age wall- papers, paints and murals. The only limit is your imagination, but an interior designer can help you unlock your dreams.

When you think of wallpaper, do you envision your grandmoth- er’s petite floral coverings in washed out colours? Well, think again. “Wallpapers have their sexy back,” says Gaia Mueller, co-owner of Benjamin Moore Kelowna.

Today’s wall coverings feature modern colours and big, bold pat- terns including damask, geometric, striped, floral and tiles. Shiny metallics add an element of glamour. You can even find coverings that mimic the look of leather, linen or bamboo. Try paintable textured papers that allow you to easily change your colour scheme from year to year.

It was once fashionable to cover all four walls in a room with wall- paper but not today. Decor-savvy consumers use papers to dramatic effect on a single wall. With the array of colours and styles available, “anybody can find a wallpaper to suit their taste,” says Mueller. And because they are made of vinyl, many of them are scrubbable.

She also says that at Benjamin Moore, they can match the colour of your paint to the colour of your wallpaper. Even better, you can paint and move back into your room all in the same day thanks to low- and zero-VOC paints.

Motivated by environmental regulations the paint industry is shifting towards water-based paints with zero volatile organic com- pounds (VOC). VOCs are considered toxic and are a source of air pol- lution. Children, seniors and those with compromised immune sys- tems are particularly vulnerable to the vapours released by paint and other chemical products.

Benjamin Moore’s Natura interior acrylic latex paint offers “zero VOC from base to colourant,” says Mueller. In contrast, competitor's products have zero- to low-VOC bases but the tinting process adds VOCs back into the mix. It must be noted that zero-VOC paint is a misnomer as the paint is allowed to contain trace amounts, less than five grams of VOCs per litre.

“They say you can't mix oil and water, but they've found a way,” says Mueller. Waterborne oil paints offer the durability and lacquer finish of oil with the cleanability of soap and water. These paints are typically applied to baseboards, doors, bookshelves and tables. The low-VOC formula means you can comfortably paint indoors during the dead of winter.

Technology is changing the face of paints. Benjamin Moore even offers a scrubbable matte finish. You can now wipe to your heart’s content without fear of leaving behind those shiny spots.

Speaking of technology, add a bit of novelty to your walls with peel and stick reusable murals. You can choose from hundreds of images or upload your own image to create a unique look. We’re not talking lakes and sunsets, more like giant red hot chili peppers, abstract art, black and white photos and more. Check out Eazywallz online and be wowed.

June 2011: What Your House's Exterior Says About You

The outside of your house can say as much about you as those silhouettes on your wall.  As we emerge (hopefully soon) from all this overcast weather and Kelowna’s long 2011 winter, the sun will start to punish what it touches.   Longer, brighter days mean more degradation of colour and product – from decks, to fences, to the exterior of our house. 


Actually, painting exterior surfaces isn’t just for looks – paints and stains are the best protection of your home. What’s more, quality paints and stains from Benjamin Moore will be better for your home than inferior brands. 


You might think you’re saving a bit of money by buying paint at a box store but the lack of protection will end up costing you way more money in the future!  Applying the right product to your exterior surfaces helps prevent damage caused by both the rain and the sun.  

How long does an outside coat last?


Three basic factors play a role in answering this question:


1.    The quality and type of paint or stain – low-VOC Aura beats others as an exterior paint and our new Arborcoat will outperform other stains and comes in hundreds of shades and colours


2.    The quality of preparation – should we buy a professional sander you can rent?  Let us know!!


3. The quality of the application

We can help with this!  At Benjamin Moore Kelowna, we can help you select the right exterior products and answer your questions about preparation and application.  


A new coat of quality paint will not only protect your home, it will aesthetically transform your home. 

Are You a Colourful Personality?  What Colour Should you Paint your Home?


How do you choose what colour to paint your home?  Our colour consultants can help you here, but there are five basic cues for hues:

1. The architecture – look for homes like your that you admire.  Do you want to keep historically accurate or blend into a more planned community?

2. The “givens” (roof, driveway chimney) – you’ll want to be in balance with the other elements, ex. If stone facades are a part of your home, why not pull a colour out of the stone so you harmonize with it?

3. The landscaping – if you love to be surrounded by brilliant flowers, choose colours that complement them

4. Your interior décor – if your house uses historical colours inside, historical colours outside will likely balance nicely. Also consider shutter and blind colour.

5. A colour scheme – Consider painting your house in a compatible (which isn’t to say identical) colour to those around it – you can build a feeling of neighborhood and community through colour.