Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Stone Kitchen



The house I worked in this week is under construction,
and chances are slim that I'll ever see
the totally finished room once the family moves in,
so I can't offer you any glorious before and after photos. 
But I thought you'd like to see how I spent the past few days. 

My job was to make the kitchen walls
look like dry stacked stone with a bit of creeping  ivy,
and a bumble bee or bug added as a little surprise for the eyes.  

    The first step was to give the client a rendering
 of what her wall would look like. 
She wanted a washed, painterly style with specific colors
 so it was important she knew what to expect before I started.



Here's the blank canvas.

I lightly brushed the walls
 with warm beige and brown diluted with water,
slip-slapping and fading the color in and out,
not worrying about brush marks or streaks. 

With an artist's brush dipped in umber
 the stone shapes were painted.

.

Then each stone was shaded and detailed.
   Yup, all 537 of 'em!


Stone by stone I worked around the kitchen.


The vines came next -- just enough to soften the design.


And for fun, a butterfly near the light switch.


Fellow artist, Patty Henning, asked me to do this project
 while she worked on ceiling decoration  in the foyer of this stunning home.

Happily, my feet were planted firmly on the ground,
while Patty shimmied up and down three stages of scaffolding.  

In addition to working with individual clients,
Patty is a regional representative for Caromal Colors
and teaches others how to do their own projects.
 If you've ever wanted to paint furniture,
or re-do outdated kitchen cabinets
 but didn't know how to begin,  
Caromal Colors is for you!  

 Designed for the DIY-er,
this no-nonsense line of paint eliminates the need
for stripping, priming and sanding,
while giving a professional look each and every time.
I had such fun in Patty's class trying out this product.
Read more here.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back Hall Makeover






Because the back entrance to this home is used more often than the front, this homeowner wanted to dress up her hallway. She wanted to greet her guests in style, but recognized that this room got a lot of use and abuse, so the walls needed to be pretty, but more importantly, they needed durabilty to match her busy family.


Here we go!
 We discussed lots of options before deciding on a limestone block effect. While we could have used texture to create the stone, we chose to use paint, because years down the road, it would be easier to change.



Ochre, van dyke brown, sienna, grey and cream were all used randomly to create the illusion of limestone. The rows of stone  were measured and penciled on the wall. I painted every other block in each row, so I wouldn't put my hand into wet paint as I worked across the wall.




When the walls were all done, the gout lines were painted between each stone.  A few vines were added and the back hall was ready for guests.


                   



Enjoy!








Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Little Doggie Decor





Just as we girls like a little pampering, so do our pets!   A friend recently made a big career change and is getting ready to open a Grooming Studio. 

Having a real rug in the shop isn't practical, so she asked if I would paint one for her. 

She found this whimsical dresser on CraigsList -- already painted and ready to be used.  It became our inspiration for her rug.  Isn't it too cute?


So, let's start with a littleTurquoise......

  
               
                  add some leopard .....                               



...and PINK is a must!
 



You can see that Miss Gabby approves.
(yes, dogs do care about decor!)



Painting on concrete floors isn't hard. (but it is hard on the back and knees!)
Like any successful paint job, using the right products is a must. 
  •  After the floor was swept clean,  paint with with latex concrete paint, available from any paint store, Home Depot or Lowes. 
  • Paint your design with acrylic paint. 
  • Spray the design with a sealer.   I used Krylon Clear Matte Sealer in a spray can.  This keeps the final clear coat from softening the painted design.
  •  Finish by rolling two coats of clear concrete floor sealer over the entire surface.
So don't be intimidated about giving it a try! 

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Folk Art in the Kitchen



Projects don't have to be large in order to be fun.  In fact, often its the small detail that completes a room.  

Recently I helped a client put the finishing touch on a piece of folk art for her kitchen.

The homeowners found this unique piece of art made from re-purposed architectural materials while they were on vacation.  Its a great conversation piece for her new kitchen. 

Made from old newel posts, a headboard and some skirting, it resembles a fireplace, doesn't it?


 
We agreed that it needed a little extra character, so one snowy afternoon, I added a bit of dark brown glaze. Just enough to settle in the cracks, distress the piece, and show off the profile of the wood. 


                                                

 I can think of so many ways to decorate this for each changing season, can't you?


 
 Enjoy!
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