Sunday, March 27, 2011

From Sweet to Sassy

Years ago I painted whimsical flowers
 in a young girl's bedroom. 
The colors were delicate ---
 a whisper of pink and pale
spring green.

But time marches on.
That little girl is now a lovely seventeen year-old
 who is eager for a more artsy, sophisticated room. 

She decided on these colors--  

Benjamin Moore - Costal Paradise, Mocha Brown & Springtime Bloom

So we said good-bye to the little girl room
and began to welcome the new.

The main walls in the bedroom were painted turquoise.
In each corner, this creative teen wanted
wide pink panels with brown stripes.

I added the funky flowers to pull the scheme together.
Those same flowers were used
 in the bright pink hallway leading to her bath.

Here's a concept board
representing her room when its finished.
Classic white furniture and retro accents
make a stylish room this teen!

I'll share this room on Anne's 
Monday Design Challenge at Bird/Like.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Thinking of Paris

  The space above the fireplace in those high-ceiling rooms
can be a challenge to decorate. 
A large mirror or a flat-screen TV are the usual solutions.
But one client had a more personal idea.

The family vacationed in Paris, and like many others, 
they fell in love with the city. 
They wanted the Eiffel Tower on their wall
 to remind them of their travels. 
We looked at photos from their travels
and made a few selections.  

From these, I painted a mock-up of the mural
 so they could see what their idea would look like. 
It's taped to the fireplace, here.

Once the concept and the colors were approved,
a local sign shop photographically
reproduced my painting so it fit the 5'x11' space.
Printed on adhesive backed canvas,
 it could be installed like wallpaper.

But wait!

There was an electical outlet in the middle of the wall.
How did I miss that? 
 A little paint camouflaged the outlet cover
so that its barely noticable.

And Voila!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

For the Birds - A Linky Party

Nature provides us with the most perfect inspiration
--it's colors are always in harmony.

Today, just for fun, I'm joining Anne from BIRDLIKE
 for another design party. 
 This time, Anne has challenged her party-goers to design a room
using the colors of the Spotted Owl.
Here goes:
Have you tried playing with Olioboard yet?
It's fun, er, addicting....
so now I'm off to paint.
There's work to be done.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Detour into the Kitchen: St-Patrick's Day

Happy St-Patricks Day to all! 

I'm painting a client's home today,
(and will share photos later)
 but have planned a simple dinner of Irish Stew
and Soda Bread
to celebrate the day.

I'll use the slow-cooker, so the house will smell yummy
when I come home -- a nice welcome.
Let me share my Soda Bread recipe with you.
There's still time to make some!

Some would call this "Spotted Dog" - not Soda Bread -
because it contains raisins and seed. 
Others will say its a cake - not bread-
because it contains sugar.
I won't quibble.
(a rose by any other name is just as sweet)
  It's delicious, especially with a hot cuppa.

photo by smitten
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt (I omit)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup raisins
1 Tbsp caraway seed
1 large egg
1-1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream

Cut butter into dry ingredients.  Stir in raisins and seeds.
Mix egg, buttermilk and sour cream.  Add to flour mixture.  Stir to mix.
Place in 9" round pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 50 -55 minutes.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Powder Room Details

Powder rooms are alway a topic of interest,
so here are a few ideas to think about for your own home.

Does your powder room have an exhaust fan in the ceiling? 
They're not very attractive, are they? 
Is there any way to disguise it?

Here's what one client and her willing electrician
did to change the bathroom fan and light
from dull to deluxe.  
She wanted to hang a small chandelier in place of the fan.
The electrician suspended a medallion from the ceiling. 
 Not only did it hide the fan,
but allowed enough air to circulate
so the fan could still be used.   
He hooked the new chandelier
 into the light portion of the fan assembly
 making everything so much prettier.

The ceiling and medallion were painted the same olive color. 
 A brush of bronze on the medallion
brought out the details and linked it
 to the  color of the chandelier.
Problem solved, most beautifully!

This powder room sink has a lovely profile. 
The curved edge is so nice and compliments
the feminine style of the room. 
 With ceramic paint, available at your art-craft store,
 I dressed up the sink
 with soft vines and hydrangeas....
and did the top of the toilet to match.

Ceilings offer another opportunity to dress up a powder room.  
Here, a simple picture frame molding
allows two colors of paint to be used on the ceiling. 
There's that dreaded exhaust fan again!
YES, a pretty crystal chandelier would be perfect here.
Someone call the electrician!

  These walls are dark brown-green,
but they're not dull;
they shimmer with a metalic fresco
 and a subtle fern design.  
 Using the client's art print as inspiration,
I sprinkled white roses on the ceiling. 

Powder rooms are fun to work with. 
There's no major furniture to buy,
 so you can focus on the little things
 that make your room unique.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For the Birds - a Design Detour

Usually I post only once a week, but I thought I'd share this with you now, so you'd have time to join the fun.

If you enjoy playing with color and design this might be for you.

Anne, from BirdLike, is hosting her first Linky Party on Monday.  She is a landscape designer who loves nature,  
and writes about home decor and fashion featuring birds.
Anne has cleverly combined both her passions,
 and wants to draw her readers into to mix.
Here's how.

  Each week she shares a photo of a bird. 
Then Anne challenges her readers to use the colors that Mother Nature provides to create a color scheme for a room design!

This week's bird is the Satin Bower Bird. 
Can you see his brilliant blue eye?
And what sort of room might his colors inspire?

Where and how to begin? 
Anne suggests an entertaining site that allows us to build our own story board:

This site is filled with every design element you can imagine to build a beautiful room -- perfect for testing out colors and combinations before starting your own project
...or playing with Anne.

On Monday,
Anne will have more details of the Party on her site, so watch for them.
Meanwhile, you might like to begin tinkering with your ideas.

I've started mine -- but you know there'll be changes!

playing around with photoshop

And my final result is this:   

 I went bold - with three walls painted bird-green
 and a feature wall in paper.
The large peacock art print is available at
and the royal blue sofa is from whiteroseproductions.
What fun!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mural: show your school spirit

 This young family was passionate about their alma mater, Michigan State.  They wanted a mural that would show support for their team and be fun for their friends.  

 Their entertainment area was designed to look like a pub.  With seven TV screens (including one in the bathroom!), not a moment of any game would be missed.  

Could I paint Sparty, the school's mascot, standing before a stadium crowd? 
...And include fraternity brothers in the crowd?

Armed with a stack of photos and snapshots of each fraternity brother's face, I spent some time at the computer creating a collage of images.

Once all the boys and Sparty were organized, I used the posterize feature of Photoshop. 
This nifty feature turns images into illustrations. 

Like this:

For this project I used an overhead projector to put the image onto the wall. 

Let the painting begin:
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Because Sparty is over 6' tall, I was concerned that the couple's two-year old son might be frightened of it.  But no, he ran into the room and tried to hug the picture!
....another Spartan Fan growing up!


Related Posts with Thumbnails