Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Belated year in review: Before and Afters of 2013

I am excited for this new year and the challenging and exciting projects that I have planned but I am very thankful for the clients and designers that I have met and the projects I have had the opportunity to do in 2013.  It has been a year of growth as a creative and I am very lucky to hardly ever do the same project twice!

Here is a round up of some of my favorites from 2013 that I haven't shown you already:

Before: Plywood top, antique gilded base

After: Painted fantasy faux marble top

Another detail shot of the top

Glazed and stenciled plaster dome.  This was my first time to use a Modello, loved it!

Deeply glazed silver leaf ceiling with dark background.

Before: Floating wooden sink base and backsplash

After: Floating base and splash painted to match sink basin

Before: Inherited wooden pieces of a great size and shape

After: Creamy paint, custom stencil and feet tipped in silver leaf
Before: Wooden telephone table

After: Painted in Fine Paints of Europe "Tulip Red"

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kathy Slater Table Collection

I have been working with Kathy Slater for a few years now.  She is an interior designer known for her collection of tables designed and produced locally here in New Orleans.  Her designs are in both iron and wood and I paint a variety of finishes on them.  Here are a few of my favorites below:

St. Charles in Cool Turquoise

Upperline in warm bronze

Esplanade in aged gold

St. Charles in aged black laquer

Round Audubon side table in aged gold

These tables can be viewed in person via her Gallery on Magazine Street or via her website.

In this season of giving please remember to shop locally wherever you live!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nifty Gifty

This project took me by surprise.  I ran into some old friends who are sisters and also McGehee  Alumnae at our annual December 26 happy hour.  They approached me about a gift for their mother.  They wanted to do something nice for her to remind her of a recent trip taken together to Capri, Italy. There was a door in one of the hotel rooms in which they stayed that all three loved and they wanted to recreate a similar door in their mother's condo in New Orleans.

After a few emails we came up with a plan and budget and here is the end result:

Door in a hotel in Capri, Italy: Initial inspiration

Mother's closet door in her condo: Before

Mother's condo door: After

Detail of door: center portion

Detail of door: upper portion

Unlike the Capri door this one has panels so I highlighted them with red and gold.  The elements were all hand painted and the shapes were inspired by Fortuny dress and fabric patterns.  

I really like the way this bottom element came out

Detail of the center element and aging.  I used a few coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint and glaze to put some age  on the door.

The thing that made this project wonderful is that it was a gift.  It is blog-worthy because everyone has a similar door in their home.  It was not custom made and it is not solid wood but after it's Renaissance it became a focus and an interesting element to the client's art filled condo.

With the holidays approaching get your creative juices thinking about giving a gift of a service.  Think about making something ordinary, extraordinary.  There are many ways to breathe new life into a vintage or hand-me-down piece of furniture or drab corner of your home.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Punchy Powder Room

I am very lucky that my job requires me to work in some of the country's finest homes that are loaded with history.  Aside from being able to hold a paint brush every day this might be my favorite part of my job.

This is a powder room that I recently completed in a home located here in New Orleans in the Garden District.  The original space had the same footprint(4 feet by 4 feet) but the ceiling height  was about 7 or 8 feet.  I wish I had before pictures to show you but alas, I did not take any.  The contractor was able to raise the ceiling to 12 feet and add all of this beautiful crown moulding shown below.  He also built a new door to match the ones in the rest of the home.

This little room has a lot of punch.  I am really pleased with the end result!

Walls and trim are glazed, walls are stenciled.  Ceiling and crown are gilded in dutch metal leaf. Chandelier was custom made and gilded for the space, stunning.

New custom door.

Custom cabinet, glazed to match trim.

Floor is laid out in squares and marblized.

Detail of stenciled wall

This was a fun project.  I was sad to see it end.  Until next time!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I saw this picture in House Beautiful while pregnant with my daughter:

I am a huge Miles Redd fan but being a painter of course I noticed this table, love.  Miles is great at directing a finish in a beautiful but unexpected way.  I love that of course we know a table made entirely of tortoise could never exist in nature but the quality of the painting is excellent and so unexpected.

Well, my parents had this table hanging around and they gave me the go ahead to take it over.

At the time I thought I would paint this for Alice's room but I had her 2 weeks early and here we are.  After seeing the Miles table I became obsessive about tortoise shell and scoured the internet and various books for pictures of antique boxes.  The ones that I liked best I found on 1st Dibs in the shop of none other than Karla Katz who is a local antiques dealer and neighbor.

So these pictures have been pinned up in my studio ever since and when time/insomnia presents itself I would work on said table.

And here we are 2 and a half years later.  Tortoise table in it's finished form.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

water color-y finishes

These walls have been my most recent obsession.  Thank you pinterest!  They are the work of Black Crow Studios and all of these pictures are via their blog.  Black Crow Studios is the brain child of Tracy Hiner.  I learned on her website that she has a classic art school background with a particular interest in textiles, which shows.  As a painter, when I look at interior photographs with interesting finishes the first thing I ask myself is what materials were used and how were they applied to the walls.  To me look like watercolor paintings painted directly on the walls(brilliant!). Of course I know(using watercolors on paper) given the scale of these walls would not be an easy task.  It turns out that Tracy makes a painting and either turns the original into a giclee print on canvas which are available for purchase here or ready to be applied like wallpaper.  She also does a lot of custom work which is probably the case for the above pictures.

Might be the freshest approach to a wall treatment that I have seen in a while.  These walls have consumed my mind so much that I am playing with some samples right now.  These are  some things in my life that are bringing me some inspiration:

My junky malachite papered lamp and Bridge House frame

End papers of Mary McDonald's book

Most recent Bridge House purchase

On the wall at The Shops at 2011

On my desk right now

Friday, January 11, 2013

Haskell Harris-The New Southern

It is a new year and there are not a whole lot more things more inspiring than that to me.  This blog gets left in the dust when life and work keep me on my toes.  There it is, I said it and it makes me sad.  

I have recently begun following the blog Magpie by Haskell Harris.  I like it for many reasons.    The first of which is that is is very original and direct.  She clearly highlights a design-related thought or two which is a great way to start the day. 

So, in the vein of Haskell this is what I am going to attempt to do via this blog in the new year, however more directed towards decorative painting and the projects that I am working on here in New Orleans. 

Secondly, I love that she shows you what it really means to be Southern.  As a Southerner we know what this means.  We all get very upset about the way we(especially women) are portrayed in movies by actresses with terrible accents.  Southerners take pride in relationships, heritage and history to name a few.  Of the 10+ years I lived away from New Orleans I will never forget comments like the following: "What is up with the Portraits?" in reference to the now retired Southern Accents magazine or "Why are you so polite?" while trying to deal with serious matters in meetings in college.  Haskell has a way of defining the real south and cutting out the stereo type; the way we actually live our lives and the way we enjoy our inherited items from the past by making them fit into our modern lives.  

So check her out.  I am a fan.