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Energize your next daylighting design with Spectra-Grid™

Energize your next daylighting design with Spectra-Grid™

Looking for a unique way to incorporate school colors into an education facility, or perhaps you’re in need of high thermal performance but want the look of stained glass? Energize your next daylighting design with Spectra-Grid™.

Spectra-Grid™ is an eye-catching color option for our translucent panel systems. Colored insulation allows for bright, vibrant hues to illuminate when light shines through. You can even light the panel from behind during nighttime hours to announce a building’s entryway, or mix in company logo colors in a lobby skylight – the options are nearly endless. If you are looking to create a certain mood or colorful visual effect for your building, Spectra-Grid™, with its limitless color options, offers a cost-effective solution.

No matter what the function – from retail space to athletic facilities – let Spectra-Grid™ bring the power of color to your next design. Call 888-759-2678 or email for more details.

Company: Major Industries Inc.

Tags: Color | Glass | Windows


Sherwin-Williams converts digital color into fresh coats of paint for a good cause

Calling all color enthusiasts! Starting today, Sherwin-Williams is issuing a challenge to easily and temporarily remove color from social media photos, web browsers and personal websites.

It is all part of an effort to showcase the impact color has in our lives and to get DIYers ready for National Painting Week later this month. But wait, there’s more: Sherwin-Williams will turn all digital color “donations” into fresh coats of paint for deserving community organizations during National Painting Week, May 19-29 and throughout the year.

“Sometimes, we don’t appreciate something until it’s gone, and that applies to color as well,” said Ellen Moreau, senior vice president, marketing communications at Sherwin-Williams. “For several years now, Sherwin-Williams has been celebrating the benefit of a fresh coat of paint with National Painting Week. This year, we’re inviting our fans to get involved in a new way, and for a good cause, as we illustrate the role color plays in our communities, homes and everyday lives.”

Sherwin-Williams converts digital color into fresh coats of paint for a good cause

How it works

Visitors to will have three options for donating: giving the color from a photo that can be easily shared on their social media channels; searching the internet in black and white with a Chrome browser extension; or, turning a personal website into black and white with an easy-to-use application. Depending on the option a user chooses, Sherwin-Williams will donate between 500 and 5,000 square feet of paint.

Participants who donate will be in good company, joining DIY influencers Vintage Revivals, Curbly, City Farmhouse and Thistlewood Farms, plus Apartment Therapy, Brit+Co and many others who are donating their color from website home pages, social media sites and more.

In addition, as part of National Painting Week, an annual celebration of protecting and beautifying the things and places we love, Sherwin-Williams employees will volunteer their time and expertise to revitalize spaces throughout the U.S. and Canada. Sherwin-Williams will also be sharing findings from proprietary research on color preferences, expert advice from Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing Sue Wadden, and key insights from color psychologist, Dr. Sally Augustin.

To get involved or for more information on how to donate your color, visit For more information on Sherwin-Williams products and services, or National Painting Week, visit:

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company


Tags: Color | Design


Striking the Right Color Balance in ALR Screens

When looking for an ambient light rejecting projection screen, don't forget to consider color accuracy as well as ALR properties
When looking for an ambient light rejecting projection screen, don't forget to consider color accuracy as well as ALR properties

Color balance plays a vital role throughout the world around us. So don’t sacrifice color accuracy when it comes to ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens.

The majority of ALR projection screens on the market today play with color balance in order to reject as much light as possible away from the eyes of the viewer. In doing so, this creates an image that doesn’t look quite right, although it’s hard to say why—at least, until you do a side-by-side comparison with an ALR screen that is reflecting colors accurately. Then you notice how blue the typical ALR screen image is.

We depend on the correct colors not only to visualize, but also to understand our world. It’s believed that our ability to see in color evolved, so we can sense emotion or health on the skin of others. Getting the wrong color signal could lead to misreading an enemy’s intentions or being exposed to illness. Color balance can even mean the difference between right or wrong diagnoses using a microscope in the lab.

In nature, showing off the correct brilliant color warns possible predators that a South American arrow poison frog isn’t a good idea for dinner. Being the right color to blend in with tree branches gets the mantis its insect meals. If a male peacock’s tail feathers are bright and colorful then females know he’s healthy.

So why is this need for proper color accuracy sacrificed when choosing an ALR projection screen?

Draper was the first screen manufacturer to make ALR screens that are certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for color accuracy. All of our ALR screens have this certification, which means they are proven to have no impact on the image color.

When used in conjunction with an ISF-certified (or correctly calibrated) projector, the colors you see are as they are meant to be, so you can have confidence that no matter how mission-critical the situation, there won’t be any mistakes due to bad color balance.

To find out more about our 8K-ready, ISF-certified TecVision screen viewing surfaces, including our ALR solutions, click here.

Company: Draper, Inc.

Of: Terry Coffey


Tags: Audio Visual | Color | Design


New Design Tools to Meet Green Guidelines

New Design Tools to Meet Green Guidelines

A recent ASID study identified health and well-being and sustainability as two macro-trends defining the industry. To support your evolving design practice in these areas, Sherwin-Williams is not only developing innovative coatings that meet the most stringent environmental guidelines, we’re also creating tools and joint partnerships that make it easier for you to meet program guidelines and provide transparency for your projects.

Here are the latest tools and partnerships that will help you meet green guidelines:

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) new Product Lens™ Program

What does it do? Sherwin-Williams announced that it is the first paint manufacturer to be certified in the new Product Lens™ program from UL. The Product Lens report is an ingredient disclosure tool that provides hazard information across the entire lifecycle of a product and also considers risk and exposure, fulfilling industry demands for transparency.
How will it help your practice? The Product Lens program was designed specifically with LEED v4 in mind and targets the Material Ingredients disclosure credit within the Building Product Design and Optimization grouping. Product Lens reports are third-party certified by UL Environment, which means that the materials have been independently evaluated for transparency and disclosure — making it easier for you to understand if the products you spec are meeting green guidelines. Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex Paint is the first product to be certified by the program.

“By partnering with UL on its innovative Product Lens program, we can provide credible information to architects, specifiers and other purchasers in a format that is easy to understand and act upon,” said Steve Revnew, senior vice president of product innovation at Sherwin-Williams. “We felt strongly about partnering with UL on Product Lens because its approach is both rigorous and relevant to the coatings industry.”

Need to satisfy LEED v4 requirements?
Check out these products.

Green Program Specifications

What does it do? These specification guides — which include Sherwin-Williams products — are written in CSI format and can be included in their entirety, or selectively, in a master specification for a variety of credit cateogries.
How will it help your practice? Meeting criteria for credit categories can be a complicated process, but these specification guides help make it easier. Simply go to the Green Program Specification page to download the PDF that matches the criteria your project needs to meet. Also visit the Green Program and VOC Regulation Tools page (see below for more information on this page) to learn about exceeding the toughest VOC regulations. As with any standard specifications, they should be reviewed by the specifier and edited to suit the particular needs of a given project and its respective location.

VOC Regulation Tools

What does it do? We’ve found innovative ways to make coatings that are compliant in the most stringent regulatory requirements, and a wide selection of our products meet VOC guidelines for industrial and architectural applications. These green program guides and VOC regulation tools, including our popular Green Programs and VOC Coatings Reference Guide, help you navigate through a number of “green specification” possibilities.
How will it help your practice? Whether you’re specifying wood finishing, painting, a waterproofing system, interior and exterior finishes, or stains, these tools and guides will help you find the products you need quickly and accurately, while meeting and exceeding standards, as well as the toughest VOC regulations.

Did you know?

We offer an array of other tools and resources, including:

Guide specifications. If you need “off the shelf” guide specifications created for a particular type of commercial facility, simply go to

Hands-on consulting. We have more architectural account representatives than any other North American paint manufacturer — all trained to help you spec. You can locate your rep at or email Our reps offer product consultations, specification reviews, compliance and standards questions, and competitive crossovers.

Color specification. Our color specification tools, services and Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® — our integrated color selection system — are available at

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company

Of: Molly Burke


Tags: Color | Finishes | Interior Design


Choosing the right finish for coastal projects

Seaside and coastal areas are beautiful locations for commercial and residential buildings, but also pose the greatest challenges in protecting exterior-facing architectural aluminum products from corrosion. Without proper precautions and finishes, corrosion to these aluminum components can damage the building envelope's structural integrity, leading to systemic failure.

One of the most aggressive outdoor environments for aluminum is the seacoast. Of the seacoasts, Florida's coastal regions represent the most corrosive in the continental United States, with Cape Canaveral cited as the most corrosive atmospheric environment.

Corrosion rates vary from place to place and during different times at the same location. Such wide variability makes definitive conclusions difficult.

The primary variables affecting corrosion rates near the coast are the salt content in the air, the time of wetness of the metal surface, the temperature and the level of other atmospheric pollutants. Several environmental factors control these variables, including distance to the ocean, elevation, wind direction, wave action, rainfall, humidity, the degree of shelter and the level of industrial air pollution.

Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral (courtesy of Valspar. Photo by Rip Noel, Noel Studios Inc.)
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral (courtesy of Valspar. Photo by Rip Noel, Noel Studios Inc.)

Durable Finishes

Painted coatings and anodized finishes are among the most durable finishes for exterior-facing architectural aluminum products.

As a prominent part of the building's exterior, the coated aluminum adds color and design to the project. This coating also protects the building from unsympathetic surroundings. When selecting a coating to withstand harsh corrosive environments, one should specify either:

  • the highest-performing organic paint coating that meets AAMA 2605-13, Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Superior Performing Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels; or
  • a Class I anodize coating that meets AAMA 611-14, Voluntary Specification for Anodized Architectural Aluminum.

These two options continue to set the highest standard for architectural coatings, especially in a coastal or highly corrosive environment.


High-performance 70 percent PVDF coatings offer the capability to select nearly any conceivable color or combination of colors, while shielding the building against weathering, pollution and aging.

The carbon-fluorine bond used in 70 percent PVDF coating is one of the strongest kn own. These paint coatings can withstand enduring and intense UV radiation, which supports their long-term color- and gloss-retention, and chalk-resistance.

The first, and one of the most important, defenses against a paint failure is proper pretreatment of the aluminum. Without proper pretreatment, premature failure of the finish is almost guaranteed. Paint systems are designed to be applied over clean metal that has been properly pretreated.

Pretreatment of the aluminum building components to be used in severely corrosive or coastal environments is crucial.

The most time-tested, proven pretreatment system for architectural aluminum products is a chrome phosphate conversion coating. This process conforms to Type B, Method 5 of ASTM D1730-09 (Reapproved 2014), Standard Practices for Preparation of Aluminum and Aluminum-Alloy Surfaces for Painting, as required by AAMA 2605-13.

Offering the longest lifecycle and true sustainability, chrome phosphate conversion coatings continue to be recognized by the world-class coating manufacturers, Akzo-Nobel, PPG, and Valspar, as the most effective, robust pretreatments for aluminum. As a result, products installed along the seacoast and in other harsh industrial environments may not be warranted-or the warranty length and coverage could be compromised-when a chrome pretreatment system is not employed.

These highest-performing 70 percent PVDF are required to perform to rigorous testing performance standards, including more than 4,000 hours of salt spray, and heat- and humidity-resistance to meet the AAMA 2605-13 specification.

Special Considerations

The shape and machining of the architectural aluminum products also may facilitate or deter corrosion. As examples:

  • Machined holes and cut ends of factory-finished aluminum components are protected by thin, naturally forming aluminum oxide. This oxide, while tenacious in its bond to the underlying aluminum substrate, may be susceptible to attack from strong cleaners or heavy salt deposits.
  • Hems and seams on aluminum components may be formed in a way that will collect sand. With movement, over time, this sand can erode away the painted coating or anodized finish.
  • Components may be shaped with areas that are left holding pooling or ponding water. This often can become a major issue for corrosion.
  • Specific to curtainwall and window systems' aluminum framing, ensure the weeps are large enough to avoid becoming plugged by salt deposits.


When extreme hardness is required for the aluminum building components, such as in high-traffic areas like entranceways and railings, an anodized aluminum finish should be specified to meet AAMA 611-14. The hardness of anodized aluminum rivals that of the diamond. (On the Moh scale of hardness, a diamond is 10 and anodized aluminum is 9.)

Architectural anodize is specified for its natural beauty, but also for its long life and low maintenance. It provides excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance in most environments. It resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping.

Anodized aluminum should meet the strict guidelines of Class I specifications of AAMA 611-14, including a minimum oxide coating thickness of 0.018 mm (0.7 mil); minimum of 10 years color retention on the South Florida on-fence testing site; and 3,000 hours corrosion resistance.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Studies have shown increasing levels of atmospheric pollution can have a negative effect on finish longevity in the absence of periodic maintenance. Runoff from adjacent site materials must be considered in a corrosion prevention plan. For example, mortar, cement and even gypsum dust can accumulate as alkaline deposits on aluminum surfaces and must be promptly rinsed. This is especially true of mill finish or anodized surfaces. While somewhat more resistant to alkaline attack than anodized surfaces, high-performance paint finishes can be managed by rough attempts to remove such buildup.

AAMA 609 and 610-15, Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for Architecturally Finished Aluminum, and AAMA CW 10-15, Care and Handling of Architectural Aluminum from Shop to Site, are general guides for these precautions and cleaning activities.

Corrosion of architectural aluminum materials is a fact that must be recognized; proper steps must be taken to minimize the potential for its occurrence. With these building considerations and preventive measures in place, finished architectural aluminum retains its intended look and long life, while providing the desired performance in the harshest environments, including the highly-corrosive seacoast. These qualities reduce the need to replace materials and components, conserve resources, optimize labor and save money.

Company: Linetec

Product: Anodizing


Tags: Aluminum | Building | Coating | Color | Design


Flexible bollards guide traffic while avoiding costly collision damage and repairs

Flexible bollards are more than just traffic pylons. Rigid on their own, flexible bollards are designed to bend under vehicles—flexing up to 90 degrees—repeatedly, without losing their shape or form.

  • Flexible plastic minimizes damage
    Prevent collision damage to vehicles, bollards and road surfaces
  • Save time and money
    No need for upkeep or replacement—even after multiple impacts
  • Removable hardware available
    View compatible bollards and hardware

Flexible bollards guide traffic while avoiding costly collision damage and repairs

Flexible bollards

Flexible bollards indicate traffic boundaries and off-limit areas, while minimizing vehicle damage in case of collision. Install flexible bollards with inground mountings—fixed or removable—to avoid tampering or theft.

Flexible plastic bollards provide strong visual indicators, standing at an ideal height for drivers. While standard traffic cones are easily damaged or kicked out of place, quality bollards withstand heavy use in high-traffic environments for extended periods of time. Use flexible posts with other traffic-calming infrastructure such as medians, extended sidewalks and crosswalks.

Versatile installation

Flexible bollards can be installed with fixed or removable mounting hardware. For fixed installations, embed bollards in new concrete or bolt down into existing concrete surfaces. Removable hardware can be embedded into concrete to allow quick installation and removal. See individual item pages for installation options, or view all flexible bollards with removable features.

Durable plastic materials

Flexible bollards are made from durable polyurethane plastic to ensure lasting performance—tested to withstand full 90-degree flexion up to 50 impacts and partial 45-degree flexion up to 500 impacts. Coloring permeates throughout internal structures, so any scratches, scrapes or dents from extended use or impacts will show minimal markings. All bollards feature UV protection to minimize maintenance and prevent fading in sunlight.

High visibility

Flexible bollards ship in standard black to complement any contemporary or traditional architectural and landscape design. A selection of alternative colors are available—see individual item pages for details. All flexible bollards feature optional reflector strips in 1 of 4 colors.

Company: Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd.

Product: Flexible Bollards


Tags: Color | Design | Safety


Introducing the 2017 Color of the Year

Introducing the 2017 Color of the Year

2017 Color of the Year

Sherwin-Williams doesn’t usually like to play color favorites, but in this case we can’t resist. The color we anticipate defining 2017 is Poised Taupe SW 6039. Here’s why: This timeless neutral is modern, classic and a beautiful balance of warm and cool.

The 2016 industry shows revealed a surprising transition from grey to taupe. Both contract and consumer color and products have been focused on grey as the key neutral — although grey is still important, we have seen a significant shift in materials and finish color to warmer expressions of neutral.

Using the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer, you can explore the Color of the Year, and with the swipe of a finger see it on any wall.

Tag your Poised Taupe Twitter and Instagram posts with #SWCOLORLOVE or upload a photo.

2017 Key color combinations featuring Poised Taupe…

In addition to the “warming up” of neutrals in general, 2017 will see several key colors emerge in combination with taupe.

Cornflower Hues

Faded indigo and lighter cornflower hues pair with modern white and Poised Taupe for a charming palette, reminiscent of the French countryside.

Organic Re-imagined

Vegetal green, citrus green, weathered bronze and mustard yellow pair with Poised Taupe to create a contemporary organic palette — re-imagined for the modern world.

Vintage Pastels

Pastels take on a vintage vibe with dusty ink, amber, Poised Taupe, sage and oxidized yellow.

Wine & Taupe

Deep wine, purple and Poised Taupe bring warmth to the dark tones favored in 2017. Silvery grey and intense teal provide balance and drama to this rich, mysterious palette.


Red and coral are vibrant and ore rich when combined with Poised Taupe and dusky rose. There is a natural feel to this palette, reminiscent of silt, clay and red stained bedrock.

Yellow POP

Yellow takes bold direction when paired with black, white, Poised Taupe and deep teal for a super graphic look.

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company


Tags: Coating | Color | Finishes | Interior Design


Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe® Paint Colors

Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe® Paint Colors

Now homeowners have the freedom to choose the color they really want for painting their vinyl siding. Thanks to its strength, durability, versatility and ease of maintenance, vinyl siding is the No. 1 choice of exterior covering for homes across the country. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, twice as many homeowners side their homes with vinyl than with any other material.

However, vinyl siding colors traditionally range from white to sandstone, with maybe a Wedgewood blue thrown in for variety. In the past, if a homeowner wanted to change the color of his or her vinyl siding by painting, color choice was limited to the same range as or lighter than the existing color. Why? Because darker colors absorb more heat, causing the plastic vinyl to warp, buckle and distort.

But thanks to Sherwin-Williams new VinylSafe® colors, which ensures that darker colors don’t absorb heat, this is no longer the case. Innovative VinylSafe® paint colors solve that problem by allowing you the freedom to choose from 100 colors options, including darks such as Ground Hog and Green Mountain, and brights named Frilly and Nikko Blue formulated to resist warping or buckling when applied to sound, stable vinyl siding. Plus, they can get custom matches by using Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Precision, our exclusive technology for ensuring exceptional color accuracy and consistency. Each vinyl siding color is available in Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint® Exterior and Duration® Home Exterior product lines. With the new VinylSafe® color palette, you can offer your customers both an economical way to achieve fresh curb appeal and a world of color choices.

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company

Product: Exterior Paints


Tags: Coating | Color | Exterior Design | Finishes


The Benefits of Water-Based Concrete Stains

Water-based Stain, Acid Stain
Water-based Stain, Acid Stain

Concrete stains are a quick, easy and cost effective way to transform a dull slab. While most decorative concrete contractors opt for water-based stains (and for good reason), acid stains still have their place in the market. Water-based stains offer numerous advantages from environmental, aesthetic and functional standpoints.

Environmental Benefits

Simply put, water-based stains are better for environment. Acid stains contain potentially hazardous materials and require additional containment cleanup in regulated areas such as California where there is extra attention paid to storm water runoff. Water-based stains are environmentally safe and do not require special handling during application, nor do they carry disposal concerns.

Aesthetic Outcomes

Water-based stains typically have a larger color palette and offer versatility to the applicator with the ability to blend or dilute colors. Vibrancy can be achieved with water-based stains, while acid stains are typically in the natural, earth tone range. Water-based stains allow the applicator to decide how solid or opaque the color will become based on the amount of water used. With an acid stain, you really are at the mercy of the reaction that occurs. To achieve deeper tones with acid stain, multiple applications may be required, or you may need to bring in other products.


Water-based stains possess additional functional benefits that are attractive to both the applicator and end-user. For instance, they do not discolor or fade over time, or radically change color due to UV rays. When applied to properly prepared concrete substrates, water-based stains will not exhibit cracking, crazing, spalling, delamination, softening or other deteriorating effects.

Since acids chemically react with concrete, and because no two concretes are the same, an acid stain reaction yields a different look or color on different batches of concrete. Contractors who are familiar with acid stains are comfortable explaining to their clients that they may not exactly get the intended appearance when using an acid stain. Various shades will be produced based on the concrete matrix, it’s age, it’s porosity or density, chemicals it has been exposed to, etc. The anticipated variation can be exciting to some. While to others, it can be disastrous. For those looking for something totally unique and custom, acid stain may be the solution. For those conservative folks who prefer a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of outcome, water-based stains are the way to go.

Acid stains require the extra steps of cleaning and neutralizing after 24 hours, then additional time for the concrete to dry prior to sealing. Water-based stains don’t require neutralizing or cleaning after the stain has been applied, so sealers may be installed the following day.

When Acid Stains Make Sense

  • Acid stains are predominantly used out of habit these days. The exception would be that water-based stains cannot be used in conjunction with polished concrete. Acid stains can.
  • Acid stains do become a permanent part of the concrete, and therefore will not fade, peel or crack over time.
  • Both types of topical stains can be applied to interior and exterior surfaces, as they are ultraviolet light stable. As with all stains, acid and water-based stains are translucent in appearance and therefore the concrete slab’s surface textures and variations are visible.
  • Some installers actually prefer to use a blend of both materials. Often, acid stains are used as a base color and a water-based stain is then used to antique or create additional mottling.
  • Regardless which type of stain, always remember the importance of sealing these products with a protective sealer that will endure the chemicals, UV and traffic that a decorative stained surface is exposed to.

Of: Tracey Lackovich & Paul Scheidmantel


Tags: Color | Concrete | Design | Finishes | Floor


Don’t Make Color Decisions at Sunset

Don’t Make Color Decisions at Sunset

Color perception changes throughout the day. Here’s what you need to know about the sun’s changing influence.

Is that wall yellow, beige or tan?

Depending on the time of day, it could be any of the three.

As the angle and intensity of the sun shift, the wavelengths reflected from the objects around us shift along with them. In order for design professionals to accurately account for these subtle but constant changes, it helps to understand what our eyes and brains are doing when they process color.

Human beings are what’s called “diurnal,” which means our eyes have evolved to see better during the day than night. Over the course of a day, your brain spends a lot of time sorting through light waves, assessing so-called “chromatic bias” to figure out what color you’re really observing.

According to Bevil Conway, associate professor of neuroscience at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, “Every natural light source has a chromatic bias, and the brain is surprisingly good at removing this bias to determine color.” Much better than a camera, for instance.

Morning and evening have an orange bias, while midday light under a clear sky has a blue bias. As the quality and angle of light changes, the brain automatically adjusts for these shifts by subtracting the prevailing bias — orange or blue in natural light — to maintain accurate color perception.

But the system isn’t perfect. Where the brain must work hardest, Conway says, is during transition periods from dawn to early morning, and from twilight and dusk to dark, when the timing of the light changes is the most rapid.

“One of the reasons our brains find sunsets so thrilling is that we can see the color biases changing,” Conway says. But if you are assessing colors in a room, these are also the times of day when the brain’s perception of color are constantly in flux and, hence, the worst times to make color decisions.

Experience does matter, though. According to Conway, the brain not only uses the immediate color data coming through the eye at any given moment, it also compares that information to a vast database of prior experience to arrive at its best color guess. Though the brain can be fooled, Conway says, its previous experience guides it toward more accurate perceptions of color in the future.

Tips to Improve Your Color Confidence

  • The only way to be absolutely sure what a color will look like under different lighting conditions is to observe it firsthand. The sun’s angle and direction, as well as the amount and quality of artificial light, can have dramatic impact on color perception. Northern-facing rooms tend to skew blue during the day, and western-facing windows are affected most by the orange shift at sunset.
  • Colors appear truest in the middle of the day under indirect natural sunlight. Too much sunlight can wash them out, however, while too little (morning and evening) tends to darken them. Oranges and reds can intensify later in the day, and as the light dims, darker colors become duller and harder to distinguish.
  • What we perceive as “colors” are really surfaces reflecting and absorbing various wavelengths of light. Everything in a room can affect color perception — furniture, carpet, drapes, bookshelves — which is why a blank wall in an empty room can look dramatically different when that same room is furnished.
  • Use window blinds to control the amount of direct light entering a room. While opening and closing them, pay careful attention to subtle shifts in color. This will help you anticipate other color shifts as the light changes throughout the day.
  • Like natural light, artificial light has its own color biases. Incandescent bulbs have a warm orange shift. Fluorescent bulbs provide a cool blue light. LED light is whiter and more neutral but can also be programmed for different wavelengths and intensities, making it an increasingly popular indoor lighting option.
  • Most pigments aren’t 100 percent light-stable. This means that they actually break down with prolonged light exposure, especially under UV light. So, if you have a richly colored object or painting, keep it out of direct sunlight, or put it under UV-conservation glass.

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company

Of: Tad Simons


Tags: Coating | Color | Design


Roman Brick: for architects and homeowners aspiring for a unique look

Project: The Martin House
Project: The Martin House

Roman Brick is ideal for creating a distinct and different look to any structure. It characteristically has longer and more linear dimensions than those of standard modern brick. Belden Roman Brick was used on the restoration of the Famous Frank Lloyd Wright “Martin House Complex” in Buffalo, New York. The dimensions of Belden Roman Face Brick are 3-5/8” x 1-5/8” x 11-5/8”.

Belden offers Roman face brick in a wide variety of colors and textures

Company: Belden Brick Co.

Product: Roman Brick


Tags: Building | Color | Design


5 Crazy Modern Glass Wall Partition Ideas for a Loft Apartment

Urban loft spaces in trendy areas like Victorian Village in Columbus or Little Italy in Cleveland can be cool but not if they are dark and have closed in spaces. One challenge of loft apartment housing is how to create a light open space while creating visual separations between rooms. Once excellent way to do this is through the use of distinctive modern glass block wall partitions.

Glass blocks have moved on from its traditional roots to now incorporated fun and vibrant colors and eye-popping textured looks which stand out in your modern home. Check out these 5 cool ideas to move light through the inside of your loft while providing privacy and an interesting look which can be as unique as you are.

5 Crazy Modern Glass Wall Partition Ideas for a Loft Apartment

Idea #1 – Adding shape and texture to your glass privacy walls

If you go to sleek modern hotels like “The W” you’ll see ample use of textured walls. I am now seeing this trend in textured ceramic wall tiles in bathrooms and kitchens. But one application which is just now getting known is the use of textured glass partition walls to separate rooms. These walls are fun because they not only move the light between spaces – but they literally extend into a room to create a sense of texture and excitement. There are patterns with horizontal flutes and even a pyramid type of look which juts out into the space. Very fun!

Idea #2 – The glass brick partition wall

When you think of bricks I bet the image which comes to your mind is the traditional red brick building more associated with life in the suburbs or old industrial buildings. While there is nothing wrong with the suburban red brick look (and some exposed red brick walls can look cool in an urban contemporary space) a ceramic brick cannot move light through walls. This is where the glass brick partition comes in. This hip, upscale material comes in clear, bronze, black or an aqua blue colors and beautifully (and colorfully) moves light while creating a steady and attractive wall partition.

Idea #3 – Illumination in unexpected places   

What makes loft apartment housing more difficult is you rarely find windows on more than two sides (note: this is because overall plan layout tends to be vertically oriented with one apartment next to another with interior walls separating spaces). This makes the need to be creative with your illumination strategies critical. While natural lighting is always tops on the list – finding other ways to transmit light also needs to be incorporated into your plan. Check out this lofted apartment space which added lighting under the raised section for an alternative lighting approach. It’s creative and unique.

Idea #4 – Fun colors in small spaces

Let’s face it, part of the reason you’re moving to the city is to have more fun. Being able to jump out of your apartment and take in an Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns or Columbus Blue Jackets game on a whim. The urban lifestyle enables you to enjoy the vibrancy of the city without the hassle of cutting a lawn – every again (yes!). That’s the nice part about city life. The tougher part is you don’t have the sprawling inside space you once enjoyed. Tighter loft spaces require more thoughtful design – both with respect to lighting and the use of color. Smaller urban spaces beg for more personality than what you had in the ‘burbs. Whether you’re working with an interior designer or using your own creative inspiration think about adding some eye-popping color to your design. Now is the time to dump the boring beige tones you were captive to in the ‘burbs! 

Idea #5 – Shape can be your friend

Who ever said all the walls had to be straight and rectangular? They must have been designing those cookie-cutter McMansions in the suburbs in the late 1990’s. Whether you’re looking at drywall or glass walls why not add some curvature or even a fun serpentine design. The glass block wall below used an S- shaped serpentine designs with one of a kind glass tile block accents. It’s certainly not going to be confused for boring!  


To my way of thinking I see cool, contemporary glass and the downtown urban loft apartment vibe as natural partners of one another. What do you think about the use of glass (or glass block or bricks) textured or colored walls to add some fun, light and interest to your space? If you have any questions feel free to call the numbers or comment below.

For assistance with modern glass or glass block or brick partition walls (which can be prefabricated to your specifications) call Innovate Building Solutions on a nationwide basis 877-668-5888. For a local installation or supply project Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363) or Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888) can help.

Company: Innovate Building Solutions

Of: Mike Foti


Tags: Color | Glass | Interior Design | Lighting | Wall Panels


Color Rendering Index: Why It’s important in Outdoor Lighting

Color Rendering Index: Why It’s important in Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to design, the Color Rendering Index (CRI) is an important aspect of any lighting consideration. Different light bulbs emit different colors of light – ranging from cool tones to warm. The CRI of a bulb is determined by comparing the appearance of a colored object under an artificial light source to its appearance under natural light. The higher the CRI, the truer the color presentation.

Why is CRI important in outdoor lighting?

When you select lighting options with high CRI, colors will pop, textures will stand out, and finishes have depth and luster. As such, many architects refer to lighting as the fourth element of good design.

Selecting a high CRI is important when designing outdoor spaces, too, because it allows us to create the desired ambiance – whether it be warm and inviting for entertainment or a tranquil niche for relaxing after a long day. With the onset of the vast capabilities of LEDs, outdoor features within a space can be accented by focusing the position of the light, as pictured here with post accent lights – and it all starts with the right bulb that shines a natural (high-CRI) light.

Great outdoor lighting design, however, is more than just varying the warmth of color coming from a bulb. A high CRI allows designers to create layers and textures of light. Outdoor LEDs can be used to create complex layers of light throughout your garden. Some of the more popular lighting techniques include spotlighting, highlighting, silhouetting, shadowing and grazing (with lights mounted at or above the ceiling). Using light to designate what’s most important intuitively draws attention to specific spaces. For instance, a home may be lit on the outside, but good lighting design will incorporate layers of light to clearly denote the pathway to the entrance.

The right lighting can turn a potential hazard, such as steps and walkways, into areas that are more easily navigated after dark. This is especially important for businesses that provide services for older individuals who have poor eyesight. In fact, more and more thought is being given to the type of lighting used in parking lots, parking garages and pedestrian walkways. Facilities that install high-CRI lighting feel more secure to pedestrians and drivers, and as more institutions, such as educational, medical and commercial, run operations after dark, this is an important consideration to creating a secure and welcoming environment. 

As lighting technology continues to advance, we expect awareness to grow and the importance of the Color Rendering Index to continue to be a key element in outdoor lighting design. 

Company: Feeney, Inc


Tags: Color | Design | Lighting | Railing System


Delray LED Circles: Uno • Dos • Cylindro I/II/III

Delray LED Circles: Uno • Dos • Cylindro I/II/III

A variety of sizes and mount styles make Delray Circles a versatile, flexible choice for all applications and architetural styles. All feature the latest, best quality LEDs by Nichia, which employs a rigorous quality- controlled binning process to ensure consistent color temperature match across multiple fixtures. Delray’s LED boards are built to operate well below the maximum current for which they’re designed, increasing product life beyond the even the highest expectations.


Uno circles feature a minimalist 1-inch extruded aluminum housing profile, with a proprietary acrylic lens that provides broad, even illumination. Available in four sizes, with surface or remote, central or separate, driver mount options. Uno is offered with single-color red or blue LEDs, RGB with DMX512 interface, or with white 90 CRI Nichia LED chips, which are available in 3000º, 3500º, and 4000º Kelvin color temperatures.


Dos utilizes the same width extrusion as Uno, but with a higher 2-inch profile, to accommodate both downlight and uplight components. Dos circles are offered with white 90 CRI Nichia LED chips, available in 3000º, 3500º, and 4000º Kelvin color temperatures. They may also be ordered with single-color red or blue LEDs or RGB with DMX512 interface for the uplight or downlight. The uplight may be switched and/or dimmed independantly from the downlight. Like Uno, Dos is also available in four sizes, with surface or remote, central or separate, driver mount options.

Cylindro I

With a diameter of 24 inches, Cylindro 650’s smooth, round anodized aluminum outer shell provides contrast for the inner opal acrylic diffuser, which produces soft, even up and down light. This Cylindro is available with single-color red or blue LEDs, RGB with DMX512 interface, or with white 90 CRI Nichia LED chips, which are available in 3000º, 3500º, and 4000º Kelvin color temperatures.

Cylindro II

Cylindro II circles feature an extruded aluminum outer housing, with an inner acrylic lens that provides broad, even illumination. Fixtures are available in three sizes, with surface or remote, central or separate, driver mount options. Cylindro II is available with single-color red or blue LEDs, RGB with DMX512 interface, or with white 90 CRI Nichia LED chips, which are available in 3000º, 3500º, and 4000º Kelvin color temperatures.

Cylindro III

Cylindro III circles feature an extruded aluminum inner housing, with an outer acrylic lens that provides broad, even illumination. Fixtures are available in three sizes, with surface or remote, central or separate, driver mount options. Cylindro III is available with single-color red or blue LEDs, RGB with DMX512 interface, or with white 90 CRI Nichia LED chips, which are available in 3000º, 3500º, and 4000º Kelvin color temperatures.

For more inspiration please see the pdf brochure or visit

Company: Delray Lighting


Tags: Color | Energy | Interior Design | Lighting


Red, traditional brick color for traditional architecture

Red, traditional brick color for traditional architecture

Timeless, classic red bricks. Red is the most traditional color of brick and is ideal for traditional architecture such as colonial style homes. Red brick is extremely versatile too, and can be used on towering city office buildings and sports stadiums. Belden Brick offers a very wide variety of red brick, from smooth to rough texture, from single-colored bricks to blends.

Face Brick

Brick makes any building look beautiful, of course, but face brick isn't just for an added touch of beauty. Face brick is the term used for brick that isn't needed just for the structure, but also for look, energy efficiency and value.

You've likely seen face brick on homes, commercial buildings, fire places, backsplashes, entry walls/gates, multifamily developments, retail developments and schools/universities. It comes in a wide selection of color, texture and size options for a customized look and feel.

Specifically purposed for long-term application, face brick requires little maintenance and allows your home to require less heating and cooling. Belden Brick offers pre-blended face brick to avoid color concentrations and have less scrap at the job site.

Belden Brick has been a trusted source for brick manufacturing with a solid reputation built on years of customer satisfaction. From the selection of the brick to the delivery of the product, Belden Brick provides premium customer service and quality.

Keep in mind that monitor color varies, and that to get a 100% accurate picture of our products, you need to look at a sample in person before you make any decisions. If you would like to see a sample, or have any other questions, please Contact Us.

Company: Belden Brick Co.


Tags: Building | Color | Design


4 Reasons you should choose a resurfaced concrete floor

4 Reasons you should choose a resurfaced concrete floor


From polished concrete floors to matte, satin and gloss finishes, the sky’s the limit for modern design options with concrete resurfacing products from Düraamen.
Our colorfast integral color is available in 34 individual colors. 68 hues can be realized depending on your choice of either a gray or white basecoat. Aesthetically stunning classic, modern, and contemporary designs can be achieved with thoughtful color selection.


A tough, modern resurfaced concrete floor adds dollars to your property.
New flooring using concrete resurfacing is one of the best investments you can make to your home or commercial property. This is particularly true in the case of decorative, resurfaced concrete flooring. Unlike carpeting or hardwood, resurfaced concrete will stay looking new for years to come and its appearance and durability adds value to any home or commercial property.


Concrete resurfacing provides protection against spills, soil, scrapes & abrasions.
A resurfaced concrete floor is the most impact, scratch and abrasion resistant when compared to other types of residential flooring. Mud, dirt and spills clean up easily on a decorative concrete floor. The only maintenance required is occasional dust and conventional mopping.


Concrete resurfacing is less expensive than replacing concrete.
Resurfaced concrete flooring is far less expensive than concrete replacement, comparably priced to carpeting and a better value than hardwood flooring. It may be applied over existing concrete, tile or plywood. When you consider it’s durability and ease of maintenance it is by far the best value available in residential and commercial flooring options.

Company: Duraamen Engineered Products Inc.


Tags: Coating | Color | Concrete | Floor


Designer John Gidding on Finding Color Inspiration

Designer John Gidding on Finding Color Inspiration

STIR® sits down with Curb Appeal’s John Gidding for a look into what drives his designs and color choices.

You may know him as the brain behind stunning front-home makeovers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal or as one of the expert judges on Fox’s Home Free. However you recognize John Gidding, it’s clear he’s a design talent with a keen eye for color — and a very busy man. Between his many projects, STIR was able to sit down with John and get a look into his color theory and design inspirations, plus what’s coming up next.

STIR: Hi, John! You’ve been a designer in the public eye for a long time now. Before HGTV and your other prominent design ventures, when did you first realize you were destined to be an architect and a designer?
John Gidding (JG): It happened when I was very young. I was good at art and math and someone told me I should be an architect. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy — whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be afterward I always said “architect.” I got into college and I took an architecture course and sure enough, I enjoyed it.

STIR: Many may view design and architecture as strictly creative fields. Where do you see your strengths in math come into play?
JG: The world of architecture is built on constraints. Understanding those constraints means being able to have a conversation with the professional in the field — that’s where math comes in. The capacity to be able to speak to structural engineers about a thoughtful project is important, so over the years [math] has really helped.

STIR: Where do you go to find color inspiration for your designs?
JG: Fashion is always a first resource — [fashion designers] are always at the cutting, bleeding edge of trends and where color trends are going to go.

STIR: You’ve lived in many different cities — from Istanbul, Turkey, where you were born, to New York City and San Francisco. How have each of these places influenced your personal design aesthetic?
JG: One of the more influential cities for me was Atlanta — I moved there to shoot Curb Appeal. The residents certainly know and love that city and their architecture. Especially when it comes to residential architecture, which is what I was working on at the time. Atlanta is highly livable, there’s a lot of money being spent into the infrastructure — suddenly it’s becoming more of a pedestrian city.

STIR: Where are you seeing color palettes headed in both the residential and commercial design marketplaces today?
JG: [Design] is an on-off-on-off cycle. So because we’ve been seeing very saturated colors lately, I’m predicting we’ll move to warmer, softer tones in the blues, purples and pinks.

STIR: Which color trend are you loving at the moment?
JG: I often love the milkier grayish and grayed-out shades. I always use them. We have a joke in my firm, we call it “Gidding gray.” Any grayed-out version of a color I’ll probably be excited about.

STIR: How do you use color differently in your landscape design compared to interior design? Does your use of color in one inform your use of color in the other?
JG: For exterior projects, there are no trends that are of importance. I instead look at the fabric of the community, flora and fauna of the microclimate, and that’s what decides colors for me. Certain architecture doesn’t go well with certain colors, so I like basing my colors on architectural precedent as well.

Interior design is much more about the homeowners and the lifestyle they want to create. Also, room by room, I tend to choose colors based on the interior room function.

STIR: What’s your favorite color rule to break?
JG: Values, when they are close together (same tints and hues), tend to give a calmer appearance. Values that are pure hues and bright saturations with lots of contrast tend to create energy — and this is what I like to break — I try to create a calm environment while still using pops of contrasting color.

STIR: Any tips for designers and architects looking to push their color boundaries in their projects?
JG: The biggest challenge is to saturate without making [the room] look too graphic or too trendy — and bringing in color when possible and appropriate without making the project dated or rubbing people the wrong way. The solution to this problem is contrasting colors with natural materials — that pairing neutralizes the space so people feel at home.

STIR: What is your favorite Sherwin-Williams color?
JG: Porpoise! Can you tell how quickly I answered the question? It’s always been my favorite Sherwin-Williams color. I use it in facades, kitchens, interiors and exteriors. It’s the perfect taupey gray. You can follow John’s latest design adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and at Plus, catch him this summer on his show, The Secret Guide to Fabulous on LogoTV.

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company


Tags: Coating | Color | Interior Design


Fleur de Sel (SW 7666) invites comfort and luxury into contemporary Atlanta home

Fleur de Sel (SW 7666) invites comfort and luxury into contemporary Atlanta home

Luxury chalet reminiscent of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Smokecreek Chalet is tucked away in a quiet cul-de-sac boasting 5 bedrooms and over 5,550 square feet. Fleur de Sel (SW 7666) invites comfort and luxury into this contemporary Atlanta home, designed by Her Cave Atlanta.

Jessica Murphy Owner/Designer Her Cave Atlanta :

My love of construction comes from dreaming about what it would look like to breathe new life into the dying downtown strip and old antebellum homes of Main Street – small town, USA where I grew up.  At the University of Colorado at Boulder while studying Architectural Engineering my dreams began to take shape.

Style is a reflection of life experiences and as such my personal style is eclectic – contemporary, slightly industrial, with a touch of modern fascination and a pinch of classic elegance. I like it all. An interior designer once described it as 'old world traveler'".

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company


Tags: Coating | Color | Interior Design


High Performance Coatings

High Performance Coatings

High performance floor coatings have evolved tremendously since the material was first developed more than 75 years ago. From early discoveries of urethanes and aromatic isocyanates that helped to launch coating technologies, to the two-component waterborne polyurethane coatings of today that are long-lasting and stain resistant, optimized high performance floor coatings have much to offer the flooring industry.

The proven performance, resilience, flexibility, and ease of use of polyurethane-based coatings have transformed the flooring industry. Once widely considered a durable topcoat, today’s high performance floor coatings are now the top choice for use on industrial and concrete floors. And as more companies employ sustainable building practices, polyurethane-based coatings are particularly beneficial when companies decide to use existing concrete flooring as a decorative feature of the structure.

So rather than repair or replace an industrial or concrete floor, resourceful contractors like Düraamen will choose high performance floor coatings to breathe new life and a new look into a facility or space. These coatings are good options for concrete floors in storage garages, heavy-duty kitchens, chemical and production plants, retail stores, hospitals, restaurants, business complexes, hotels, and more.

Additionally, high performance floor coatings are super durable—stain, water, and abrasion resistant, and can be decorative in appearance. Stamped concrete, diamond polishing, and decorative stains and stencils are among the aesthetic ways one can use high performance coatings to transform the look of a new or renovated concrete floor. Installers can apply these coatings at higher wet firm thickness—rather than multiple coats—which can reduce the overall cost of a project.

The long-term success of any high performance coating will largely depend on the application process. Be sure to consult a Düraamen representative, who not only can advise about the best coating to use but also has the expertise to do a quality job.

Company: Duraamen Engineered Products Inc.


Tags: Color | Floor | Interior Design


Masonry stains can make historic restoration easier

The house in 2010 and 1899: Courtesy Margaret Mitchell House
The house in 2010 and 1899: Courtesy Margaret Mitchell House

Being a lover of old houses, a history buff and a die-hard reader, I had to take a look at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta. The author of Gone with the Wind lived in the grand place when it was a boarding house, and that’s where she wrote the majority of her famous novel. She affectionately referred to her small apartment as “the Dump,” a quaint name that is no longer fitting after the extensive renovation the house has seen.

One of the most interesting things about the renovation project was the brick facade. The owners of the home wanted the house to look just as it had when Margaret Mitchell lived there. However, after years of deterioration and two fires, much of the brick had to be replaced. This left the project in a quandry, because as any old house enthusiast knows, the look of new brick is definitely not even close to the look of old brick.

Masonry staining was the answer. Masonry staining makes a lot of sense for renovation, both in terms of materials and the bottom line. Since many structures simply need a section rebuilt, that gives owners a difficult decision. If they simply add new brick to the area that needs it, the new brick and old brick will be mismatched. In order to match it precisely, replacing the old with new is a way to ensure that — but that means demolishing even more of the historical character of the structure.

In addition, Nawkaw Corporation — the company that handled the masonry work on the Margaret Mitchell House — points out that staining new masonry to match the old can cost only about 15% of the price of decladding and rebricking. That’s a big chunk of change, especially when the project is on a tight budget and the money is needed to preserve other historical features.

The stain is not a temporary fix. Most companies today offer a 25-year warranty on the work. Colors can be blended to match the original, or a historical look can be reproduced for an entirely new building. A complete change of brick color is also available through staining, though this is not often the goal of historic preservationists. Staining also works well to remove graffiti, which could allow owners to avoid the use of harsh chemicals that can sometimes eat away at the old, delicate masonry.

Today, the Margaret Mitchell House has a perfect facade that looks like brick from the early 1900s. But that hides the true history of the house, which includes serious disrepair and two devastating fires. Even with the difficulties the house has faced, many architectural details still remain, like the leaded glass window that Margaret Mitchell often gazed out of as she was writing her book. Besides the historical value, the 1899 beauty is an excellent example of Tudor Revival architecture. But it’s the new that is worth seeing: the renovation on this place is just astounding.

Company: Nawkaw Corporation

Of: Shannon Lee


Tags: Building | Color


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