Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

As Christmas rapidly approaches,
there are always a few last minute painting projects that pop up, and I'm happy to do them
  because usually they are gifts for someone special. 
 I feel like one of Santa's helpers.

Today, I had the pleasure of personalizing
 a small toy chest that a thoughtful Grandpa
put together for his new grand daughter. 
As I began to work, the family cat joined me. 
Don't you think he fits into the pink and white decor

Before the baby arrived,
the nursery was painted in a soft palette
of taupe, pink and cream. 
The new mother wanted a room
that her daughter could grow with,
so we decided against using a theme. 
Instead, a delicate damask design was painted
at eye level forming a border around the room. 
Then for some "glam", Swarovski crystals
were glued onto the design. 
 The crystals twinkle in the sunlight,
but unfortunately, they don't photograph very well.

 Merry Christmas baby Francesca. 
 At just a few weeks of age,
you're too young to appreciate your pretty room,
but someday you'll be old enough to enjoy what your mother planned especially for you.

....and Merry Christmas to each of you, too!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Second Time Around

Here's how a cast-off twin bed 
 purchased from a resale shop for a thrifty $25
transformed into a wonderful bench. 
Thanks to my very resourceful friend, Sherry,
I've discovered the fun of re-sale. 
This bench will be part of a joint project we are working on. 
When the project is complete, I promise more photos.


The headboard became the back of the bench,
 and the footboard was cut in half to make the sides. 
Trimming another 6" from each piece
 made the sides fit perfectly.

Reinforcement was needed to make the seat sturdy. 
 A little measuring, sawing, gluing and clamping
was needed to make everything fit just right.

Once the seat was in place,
it was time for me to fill the nail holes, sand prime and paint. 
My favorite part! 
Now I need make a cushion.
  Voila! - a very wonderful, recycled bench. 


And where will this go? 
 Stay tuned. 
But I will give a hint. 
 It will share the spotlight with this little cabinet,
another recycled piece of furniture. 
 Both will soon have a new home.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Boy's & their Toys

Moms often tell me that when it comes
to painting and decorating their little boys' rooms
they feel left out. 
Oh, there are lots of pink, frilly items out there,
but the pickin's are slim if you're shopping for blue. 
That's where I can help. 
By working together, Moms and I find a way
to create a room that is special for their little ones.
Here's a nursery that was painted
while a young couple awaited their first child's arrival. 
Dad proudly serves his community as a fireman
 and asked for a fire truck motif.

With the upper walls painted chambray blue
and the lower half painted chocolate brown
it was time to the fun to begin.
The first step was in the studio. 
 After pouring over snapshots of fire trucks
and finding one that could be adapted for this room,
I enlarged my drawing onto craft paper. 
A pounce drawing is a way of transferring a design onto a wall.  Tiny pin holes are punched into the paper
along each line,
then powdered charcoal is dabbed,
or pounced, over the holes. 
When the paper is removed, the drawing remains.

Using artistic license,
we decided to add a fireman's hat, just like Dad's. 
He was pleased -
and I hope their little one will be, too.





Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Put it in Writing

This season I am seeing monograms used everywhere,
from clothing and handbags, to table linens and pillows. 
A monogram adds an elegant, classic touch to any room. 

But lettering and monograms aren't limited only to fabric. 
We can personalize our walls, too. 
 It's a great way to put a unique stamp on our homes.

The walls of this dining room
were painted first with a faded map of the Mediterranean,
including places sentimental to the client. 
Then, I lettered the names of their favorite Italian cities.
 The walls are a perfect backdrop
for the owner's European-inspired decor,
 and a reminder of the places they've visited. 
Plus, the walls get conversation started
when friends come for dinner.

Words can also inspire. 
 I often use them to decorate
the narrow space above kitchen cabinets. 

Embellished with hand-painted vines and fruit,
is a familiar verse, Galatians 5:22. 
"The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace,
 Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control."

One busy Mom told me she wanted to look up
 from her seat at the table
 and see the word "Patience" every day,
because with three very active pre-schoolers,
she needed a reminder!

And sometimes, a simple single monogram
can be very effective. 
As I painted this in a teenager's elegant, girly-girl room,
 I wondered if she'd ever want leave home
 for life for a dorm-room. 
Would you?

As you look around your home,
you'll see places here lettering could be used. 
 Finding a spot in your home for the words won't be difficult,
but often deciding what to say is.
  Should your message be whimsical? 
 Thought provoking?
Only you can decide.

If your imagination needs a jumpstart,
there are websites that offer hundreds of suggestions. 
You might like to begin with http://www.quoteland.com/.

Then the question becomes how to geet the writing on the wall.  Here are two suggestions. 
Both involve having your quote cut from vinyl material
that will adhere to the wall. 
Both are easy. 
 Both are perfect for folks who feel "painting impaired."

In one instance, vinyl letters are applied directly to the wall. 
Check out http://www.walldecor.com/  for this. 
Or, discard the letters and use the cut-out vinyl as a stencil. 
You simply paint inside the cut-out. 
Look at the Say What section of their site.

So go ahead.....don't be shy.  Express yourself.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Every room starts with an inspiration
whether it's a piece of art,
a rug, or a swatch of drapery fabric. 

 In this case it was a chandelier.

This unique beauty is new, but looks old,
--and it inspired the vintage look
we wanted to bring to this Guest Room.

Though the room wan't furnished yet,
the soft sage walls and shell-pink ceiling
suggested a muted, romatic palette. 
An aged wallpaper effect would be a perfect for this room: 
 a pale pink strie over the green walls
 with a subtle pattern on top. 
The trim would be painted antique gold
 to mimic the chandelier.

Here's how the project developed:

Wide panels were marked off on the wall,
then painted with a sheer pink glaze.

A large damask design was painted on top,  
using pearl white paint.
No need to worry about perfect coverage,
we wanted a faded effect.   
This was the fun part!

And because every room needs a little surprise,
a mouse was painted just outside the closet door. 

A Romantic Mood  is especially nice in a bedroom because it is inviting and peaceful.  Use colors that are soft and mellow without a lot of contrast between them.  Not sure what colors to use?  Take your cue from Nature --think about the colors of hydrangeas as they fade from summer into autumn.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a Buffet of Change

For those of us who like immediate gratification,
a paint brush is like a magic wand. 
 In an instant (well almost!) walls and furniture
 can be changed into something unique....
something that fits our decor...
something that makes us smile every day.

Let me share with you a recent project
that shows the power of paint.

This small buffet had been in my client's family for years. 
 In fact, it had been painted once upon a time.
 But now it didn't fit into the sleek dining room
being designed for a young, eneergetic family. 

So, a change was needed.

The walls were painted light beige
and the ceiling - dark taupe. 
The focal point of this room was a huge round table
 and the stylish chocolate brown
 drum-shade chandelier hanging above it.

The buffet would be a bright accent
in this neutral, but certainly not boring, room. 
Four dining chairs had apple green velvet seats,
 and the other four were black and white. 

 We settled on painting the buffet apple green.

Here's the progress.

Remove doors and hardware. 
 Strip the old wallpaper lining the glass cabinet. 
Clean away any grease
and lightly sand --
but be careful
 because this piece likely was painted with lead paint.

And painted with Ben-Moore Jalapeno Green. 

Yikes -the color looked like 1960! 

But a soft mist
of Modern Masters Sage Green Metallic paint
made things more interesting!

The client asked for whimsy,
 so it begins with a few black polka dots.

......and ends with harlequins and squiggles. 

Large glass knobs from Anthropologie
 were added to the small drawers,
but the original brass pulls
were kept on the large one. 

Paint a companion mirror
and the project soon was ready for delivery.


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