Ebony wood library shelves, white upholstery, colors from books and accessories. Varying textures to reflect and absorb light.

Color must be an integral part of room design and never an after-thought.  Colors that you choose are dependent on the adjacent colors. All colors have three parts, hue, intensity and tonal value.

Hue identifies the color, intensity is the brilliance of a hue, tonal value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.

Light colors reflect light, dark color absorb light. Color is never experienced independently, but in combination with one of several textures, in different material types. For example, a glossy satin will have luster and light, while rough textures with its shadows will appear darker. Textured fabrics appear darker than smooth fabrics in similar colors (hues). Smooth surfaces that have a glaze or sheen reflect maximum light causing colors to appear lighter than fabrics with a dull finish.

Most rooms have natural and artificial light. Natural light is white, but in comparison to artificial light, it has a bluish appearance. Today artificial light comes in many choices, from encapsulated incandescent and fluorescent (white to warm tones if dimmed) and LEDs (white).

Mark Hampton sunny space with upholstery and draperies that reflect and absorb light.

The amount of natural light in a room depends upon window placement, the size of the windows, and the window coverings. Rooms with sunny exposure will be warmer than those with no sun, as in a northern exposure. In a room where natural light is not plentiful, the colors for walls and ceiling should be light in tonal value, on a scale from 1 (darkest) to 10 (lightest), use an 8 or 9 value. Upholstery and color accents may be slightly darker and brighter in intensity.

Mark Hampton dark walls, tall windows, natural light

Darker tones on the walls (value 4 or less), depending on the character of the room, can be painted in a semi-gloss or satin finish for light bounce. Paint in a semi-gloss gives light reflections that help to maintain the luminosity.

What do you think? Did this color talk arouse your curiosity, would you like more. How do you think artificial light affects color?



Author RC Bonitz,, author of terrific romance stories is my guest partner today. RC, we call him Bob of course, is a colleague. We are members of the prestigious organization, Romance Writers of America. The acronym for the local chapter here in Connecticut is CTRWA. I love Bob’s writing, and thought you would too. It is my pleasure to give up my usual slot in my blogging roster to make room for Bob.

Thank you for hosting me today, Gail. I have a little bit of a twist to present today – two men on the subject of Romance novels.

It’s not often you find two guys who admit to liking romance novels. It’s even more unusual when they know what they’re talking about. I’m RC Bonitz, author of A BLANKET FOR HER HEART, A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL, and soon to be released A LITTLE BIT OF BABY. All of my books are old-fashioned sweet love stories, though A BLANKET FOR HER HEART isn’t your typical romance novel.  Here’s a brief excerpt from the book:

She had a knot in her stomach as she started breakfast. Nerves and excitement, no doubt about that. Paul was coming again and he’d be there with her in a couple of hours, without his daughter, and no Molly either.

Her friend had offered to come, “to smooth things out.” Molly had made her promise to call when he was coming, but she hadn’t.

She did buy a new jumper, yellow, and was wearing it without a blouse or tee shirt. She tried a bra without the straps, and then abandoned that idea, convinced it wouldn’t stay in place. An ordinary bra wouldn’t do; the straps would show. Then again, the arm would best be hidden in long sleeves. Bravado, courage, whatever the reason, bra and sleeves were forsaken in favor of the jumper alone.

Normally, her clothing was chosen for comfort. Not this time. The jumper had turned out to be a pinch small, but she studied it in the mirror fifteen ways from Sunday and decided it would be fine.

She couldn’t believe she was doing this. A man she did not need, but here she was, acting like a schoolgirl. Sure, he was a very nice man and she liked him, but that seemed a poor reason to fuss when you’d lived alone so many years.

As the knot in her stomach twisted tighter reality hit. She was all dressed up to seduce him!

Okay, back to the blog. I hope you liked that little excerpt. I got into a discussion a while ago with Paul, the guy who runs The Book Swap, a used book store on Route 1 in Guilford, CT. Paul and his wife bought the store seven years ago. He can be found most days offering commentary on books and authors, or kidding with his customers about any topic in the air at the moment. If you walk in on him when the shop is quiet you’ll probably find him beside the register reading a book. I asked him about romance novels the first time I met him.

“We got ’em. Half the store is romance novels,” he said. “What are you looking for?” At that point I didn’t have a favorite author, so I said, “Who do you recommend?”

He groaned. That’s one thing about Paul- he lets you know what he’s thinking. “You want comedy? Suspense? Mystery? Category? We’ve got Janet Evanovitch, Suzanne Brockman, Jennifer Crusie, Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr. Those are just some of the big names.”

My friend Kristan Higgins’ first book had been out about six months, so I asked about her.  “Not her, not yet,” he said. “You still gotta buy her new. Give it about three or four months and we’ll have some of her books.” (He has them now!)

I picked up a Debbie Macomber book. “She writes lots of little stories in one story,” Paul said. “Do you read them?” I asked. “Romances? Yeah, thousands of them.” “Why?” “Customers want recommendations. I gotta know my stock.”

“Do you like them?” I asked. He grinned. “Do you?”

“I write them.”

“No kidding. Got any books out?”

At that point I hadn’t been published yet, so I told him that.

“Hey, when you get there bring me some copies. If I like your book I’ll sell some for you,” he said.

A BLANKET FOR HER HEART and A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL are now on his shelves and selling.

“Who’s your favorite author?” I asked.

“Robyn Carr.”


“I like her stories. She writes pretty clean too.”


“I don’t go for that erotic stuff. I like the ones with good stories behind them.”

“Oh, me too. That’s what I write.”

“Good, cause I don’t sell the graphic stuff.”

“Do you read paranormals?”

“You mean the sci-fi kind? Some. I’m not into vampires and such though. I like the good old-fashioned sci-fi kinds of stories. Tolkien, you know?”

“That’s not romance.”

“I know. I read all kinds of books.”

“So, give me this again – why do you like romance?”

Paul grinned. “I like those happy endings.”

I’ve become one of his regulars now, dropping in to shoot the breeze and see what’s going on. It’s always a pleasure. I like contemporary romance and romantic comedies, but he always has a new author to tell me about.

“Bob, that was fun. Thank you for visiting.”

“Thanks for hosting me today, Gail. I had a ball.”

Visit his website:

Reading the excerpt, were you stymied when it ended? Did you want it to tell more? Are you curious about his atypical book?

You can buy Bob’s books at AMAZON and Barnes&Noble.


* Beautiful Blogger Award *

* Beautiful Blogger Award *

Yay! Its Thursday and I have some good news to share.

Beautiful Blogger Award

Marian Lanouette, writer, has passed The Beautiful Blogger Award to me. I am pleased, honored and grateful. Thank you for poking me Marian! Marian writes mysteries with romantic elements. Her first novel and the first in the series, If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery, will be released in September 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing. Marian is from Brooklyn like me. Yay Brooklyn. Check out Marian at

And another thank you to Casey Wyatt, whom I think awarded it to me a few months ago.  But I wasn’t ready to accept such a distinguished standing. She publishes two posts every Friday. If you have a chance check out her blog at and Secrets of 7 Scribes blog, you’ll be glad you did.

Life is busy for me, always; great and grinding, I seem to find it easy to dig my own grave. Digging out is difficult, but not when you are creating and sharing like when I am doing this blog.

And here are the rules for the award, which I’m not going to follow to the letter. I like to create my own rules now and then.

Rule 1 – Share seven things about me.  I’ll do six.

1. The first is above. I like to tailor the rules from time-to-time.

2. I am bionic. Pins hold me together at the hip and my tennis-serving arm.

3. But I maintain my membership in the professional tennis teaching United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). I taught tennis for twenty years. The painting below is in the USPTA Houston headquarters.

USPTA Watercolor by Gail Ingis Claus

4. We own three cars, but there are only two of us.

5. I failed history in High School, but I founded a school of interior design and had to teach it!

6. My favorite book is “Gone with the Wind.” And I am writing an Historic Romance.

Gone With the Wind image from the movie

Rule 2 – The next rule is to pass the award to seven bloggers. I am passing it on to five.

The award is passed to:

1. Katy Lee, Katy is a published writer and hard working dedicated home-school teacher. See more here:

2. Kate Rothwell, Kate is a multi-talented published author. She has worked as a service manager/parts runner in a Saab garage, and much, much more. See more here:

3.Thea Devine,Thea is the author whose books defined erotic historical romance.  Romantic Times calls her “The Queen of Erotic Romance,” Affaire de Coeur: “… the divine mistress of sensual writing …”

4. Julianne Stirling, ASID, (American Society of Interior Designers). Julianne is an interior designer extraordinaire, President of her own company. You can find her blog in her website links.

5. David Dunlop, David is an amazing artist, lecturer and teacher. He shares his knowledge and artistic skills with his students. His students follow him here in the USA and across the seas.

Do you have a favorite most beautiful blog?

This was fun and a change of blog direction. Last week was the start of color, come back next week for more.


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