Thursday, April 26, 2012

Annie does it again!

If you have not heard about Annie Sloan and her wonderful books and line of paints, waxes and lacquer.  Her paints hit the US market in July of 2010 and it is quite the rage amongst professional and DIY painters.  Everything that "they" say is true.  You don't have to prime before you use it.  It looks like real French(laden with lead) lime paint although it is completely green and low VOC, miraculous!  And the colors are perrr-fect.

For most people here the French look that Annie has made famous and attainable never gets tired.  New Orleans is a city FULL of Francophiles.  This chalky painted look works well with the architecture and the few pieces of furniture that you have inherited or acquired from your Mother In Law.  I would say about 80% of my clients come to me to get new furniture or built in cabinets to look old, flaky and crusty.  Needless to say since I found this paint last summer I have been using it way more than visiting my friends at Helm.  

Another wonderful little bit about the paint is that it is distributed through out Northern America from New Orleans by Jolie Designs

I have used this paint quite a bit since I have discovered it and have been guilty of NOT posting my before/after photos.

The most recent time that I used it was to make some improvements for a young family in a craftsman cottage.  They have outgrown their digs but they are making it work until they bust out of it completely.  The last project at their home to tackle was this fireplace, mantle and built in bookshelves around it.



Annie saved the day once again!  

If you have taken a look at Annie's colors the backs of the bookcases are painted "Paris Grey."  This color just might be the world's most perfect grey, not to drab or industrial and perfect at any time of day.  The mantle, columns, cabinets and shelves are "Old White" with a little glaze faux dirt and some of Annie's signature Soft Wax(don't get me started on this stuff,  I could do a whole post on paste wax alone, an obsession sickness of mine).  

I even painted and marbled(with Annie's paint and some raw pigments) the ceramic tile surround and hearth surrounding the fireplace.  I wanted to offer the client a low-cost way to "live" with that tile since they spend a lot of time in this room and the hunter green ceramic tile wasn't cutting it.

I promise to be better about taking before/after pictures!  The power of paint is endless, I am confident that I can show you that!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paws on Parade

The Louisiana SPCA is spear heading a public art and fundraiser called "Paws on Parade."  This project is a local spin on the Cows on Parade project that began in Chicago back in 1999. 

Instead of fiberglass cows, the subject of the public art project is a Mardi Gras Bead Dog.  If you did not grow up with mardi gras beads as a staple in your arts and crafts closet at home, here is the definition from the LASPCA's website: 

What is a Mardi Gras Bead Dog®?

A tradition among generations of New Orleanians, children create Bead Dogs from discarded Mardi Gras throws. A few twists and turns transform a necklace of beads into a fun trinket to enjoy. Haydel’s Bakery adopted the Mardi Gras Bead Dog® as their mascot and has graciously donated the sculpture’s mold to promote the LA/SPCA’s mission.

There are 100 Paws on Parade sculptures that are about 5' long x 4' tall x 3' wide and will be parading around New Orleans(once they are painted/decorated) from Mardi Gras throughout the summer.

My friends over at Woodward asked me to decorate their bead dog that will live right outside their new office.  It was really an honor that they asked me to do this as it will be my very first public art project!

Here are my sketches:
Woody Woodward all dressed for work.

Woody's tool belt is filled with his tools and blue prints.

My nephew, Cole Perrilliat riding the blank canvas and helping me get inspired! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Failing miserably

Monday was my first full day back at work since the birth of my daughter.  The job was to add to some stenciling I had done on a four poster bed when I was about 7 months pregnant.  I only agreed to take on this job in my state because the client's home was actually closer to the hospital where I would soon deliver my hot tamale of a little girl than my own home!  

This is a great little job for the blog: a vintage Herendon four poster, black lacquered bed that my client did not want to replace but was purchased when it was en vogue to have suits of furniture that all matched.  Slowly but surely she is painting and replacing pieces to modernize the look of her home.  I am using Annie Sloan Chalk Paints for the job as well as stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils, so indeed a very different look than her previous Herendon Asian-inspired theme.  The client is very happy because we have been able to achieve a very feminine "Marie Antoinette" look without her bedroom feeling heavy and overly "done".  Thanks to the simple lines of the once Asian-styled bed, some chalk paints and light, tone on tone stencils have done the trick.  This has been one of the best before and afters I have done thus far while living in New Orleans, can't wait to post!

I have to admit that it is February(and almost Mardi Gras for New Orleanians) and already I am failing miserable at my resolutions to write to you followers more often.

I would like to confess that I have seen Bryan Batt twice this week!  The first time in the bank on Monday on the way to my job, and the second was tonight!  I was in Whole Foods checking out, I wasn't going to tell him in stalker fashion how much I loved his book but I was thinking it and I did have Alice with me in her baby sling and he commented on how cute she was and then I had to tell him how his book made my year and visual archives.  Confessing this to you my dear readers keeps me on my toes.  

I wish a great weekend to all!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting back into the game in Big Easy Style!

This year I resolved to get back into the game on more fronts than just one.  As I ease back into work post-baby I decided to review some of my favorite books that I got as gifts from Santa this year.

I am a painter by training and trade but those who know me well know that books, interior design, New Orleans and watching Mad Men are among my favorite hobbies.  Lucky me that I received big, easy STYLE: Creating Rooms You Love to Live In by Bryan Batt, all four favs rolled into one book!  I own lots and lots of books directly and indirectly related to painting, surfaces, interior design, architecture...the list goes on and this book is in my top ten favorite books and I'll tell you why!

Bryan Batt is not only an actor and the author and creative mind behind this beauty but he is also the owner of the New Orleans store Hazelnut.  This store is known not only for it's famous owners(Batt and partner Tom Cianfichi) and charming gifts but also for it's custom made New Orleans toile(in the form of fabric by the yard and gift items) designed by Bryan Batt and Sonia O'Mara.  The toile features beautiful drawings of the St. Louis Cathedral, a street car driving by St. Charles Avenue, a French Quarter balcony, a river boat floating down the Mississippi River and a peek into a French Quarter courtyard.  This toile is the endpaper and makes a great first impression to a book stuffed full of beautiful and unexpected details.

Not only does Batt point out to the reader all of the unique resources and designers New Orleans has to offer but his main purpose for writing the book is taking risks and acquiring confidence in "feathering" your own nest.  He says, " How we decorate the spaces we live in is an opportunity for us to express our individuality, and when there is synergy between a home's great style and it's owner's personal flair, it is nothing short of divine."

As an aesthetic person my favorite points in the book were not to be afraid of color, the creative process of design, creating your own personal collections, mixology, and making space for real functional living.  On every single page Batt offers how New Orleans and his experiences growing up here and visiting various homes has shaped  and inspired his tastes. I must say I feel the same way, New Orleans has everything to do with my interest and love of anything painted.

This book is really a must for those who enjoy these types of books.  New Orleans is known for its grand mansions of a very specific and very formal style and it is also known for its secret french quarter hideaways.  This book shows a completely different side of the city's interiors.  Most of the interiors shown reflect the personal style of some of the New Orleans' great creatives.  It is really fun to flip through and get a not so serious view of the insides of some of these quirky, old buildings that we love down here.  I have included a few of my favorite pictures from the book.

This is the home of Sally and Richard Edrington, interior design: MMR Interiors.  If you follow Melissa's work, this home has been all over the blog-osphere, and for good reason!  In a land where "greige" is the norm this home is completely saturated in color and pattern, very true to the client's personality and indicative of Melissa's work.

This is the home of Gretchen Howard, fellow decorative painter and local artist.  This hue is amazing, and completely unexpected.  I also love the mix of objects on top of this dresser as well as the wonderful "nest" by Khaki Foley.

 I love the sun bleached tortoise shell and gilded Klismos chair, a nice surprise before you head into what seems to be a very formal dining room.

This is Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi's New Orleans home.  Wonderful colors and textures: old, new, shiny, matte, natural and man made..all in one room and working very well together.  The thing I like most of about these two rooms is that they don't take themselves too seriously.

Bryan and Tom's home. Again, brave use of color, very functional and not too serious.

Whatever their style is, I feel like all of my clients love "crust"!  I love the color of the crust on both this desk and chair.  The collection on the walls is reverse gilded art glass made by Laurel Wilder available at Hazelnut.

Wonderful painted piece!  I included this because it is a great idea for an otherwise mundane piece of furniture.  This style of furniture seems to pop up often in resale shops and could be saved with a fun tortoise finish.

Love the colors and finishes here.

How clever?  This panel came from Karla Katz's shop and was repurposed into a mantle.

This is the mural from Bryan Batt's childhood home.  Painted by Elizabeth Hadden.

All photos by Kerri McCaffety and then scanned by me, I know they are not perfect, sorry.  The book is available through Crown Publishing, go run and and get it today!