SW - Art PRO ALoftyGoal
Originally published in STIR®
Nature-inspired colors transform a "chilly" modern house into a warm, comfy home.

A little bit of Michigan has taken up residence in Las Vegas. When Ellen Stretlien and her husband recently relocated from the Midwest to Sin City, they moved from an older, traditional house to an ultra-contemporary loft-style home with soaring ceilings, sharp angles and a floor plan as wide open as the surrounding desert.

They liked their new home's dramatic sophistication, but not its stark, white interior. "It was really cool, but a little chilly for our taste," Stretlien recalls. "It felt really uncomfortable."

The couple also intended to keep the furniture they'd brought from Michigan, an eclectic mix of antiques and reproductions, including Stickley mission style and traditional English pieces. The warm tones of cherry wood; rich brown leather; and the reds, golds and blues of their Oriental-style rugs were not going to look at home in their new setting without a radical interior color transformation.

SW - ArtPROALoftyGoalBd

Challenging Space

At a Sherwin-Williams paint store, she spotted the business card of color designer Mary-Frances Cimo. "I called her, we talked, then we spent a good three hours together," Stretlien says.

The biggest challenge Cimo faced was finding a way to introduce rich colors while still creating a harmonious palette that flowed from one room to the next. "It's so open; you see other areas of the home from almost every vantage point," she says.

In addition to complementing the Stretliens' furnishings, the colors also had to work with coppery-toned tile in the kitchen and master suite.

Using the Sherwin-Williams Concepts in ColorTM series, Cimo created a color palette inspired by water, trees and the natural environment the Stretliens were accustomed to in the Midwest.

The dominant hue in the great room is a soft, sage green (Meadow Trail, SW 7737) wall that extends up into the second floor. An accent wall that houses the fireplace is dressed up in a warm, light brown (Mesa Tan, SW 7695). For the kitchen, Stretlien knew she wanted some shade of blue. To complement the rusted-metal color of the kitchen tile, Cimo chose a deep, smoky blue-green (Still Water, SW 6223). As accents throughout the home, she added earthy shades of tans and russets. "There's not a white space left," Cimo says.

Now the couple's colorful interior definitely stands out among the other loft-style homes in their community of 22 Parkside. "Our color scheme is unusual; almost everybody else has gone in a really contemporary direction," Stretlien says.

Visitors almost always comment on the colors, she says. And what they say pleases her greatly. "People consistently say it feels homey, comfortable and warm. That's what we were after, and I'm thrilled. It's still dramatic-looking, but now it's our home."

Sherwin-Williams Colors Used

  • GREAT ROOM: Meadow Trail (SW 7737)
  • FIREPLACE WALL: Mesa Tan (SW 7695)
  • KITCHEN: Still Water (SW 6223)
  • OFFICE: Decorous Amber (SW 0007)
  • EXERCISE ROOM: Cajun Red (SW 0008)
  • FIRST FLOOR GUEST ROOM: Bunglehouse Gray (SW 2845)
  • FIRST FLOOR GUEST BATH: Artisan Tan (SW 7540)
  • FIRST FLOOR POWDER ROOM CEILING: Smoky Blue (SW 7604)
  • LOFT: Cajun Red (SW 0008), Still Water (SW 6223)
  • SECOND FLOOR GUEST BEDROOM AND BATHROOM: Downing Straw (SW 2813)
  • SECOND FLOOR HALLWAY: Meadow Trail (SW 7737)
  • MASTER BEDROOM, BATHROOM, WATER CLOSET: Smokey Topaz (SW 6117)
  • DOORS, DOOR TRIM, CEILINGS: Mesa Tan (SW 7695)
  • BASEBOARDS: Turkish Coffee (SW 6076)

To view additional images of this project on flickr ®, click here.