Monday, November 30, 2009

Revive a room with Repurposed Style

I'm just back from the preview party at the Make a Wish Home Show and I have a new love. His name is Branan White, and he is an interior designer. Have you ever walked into a home and felt like it perfectly represented your design personality? Branan was able to crawl into my decor dreams and make them come true without ever having laid eyes on me. A master of fusion design, he is known for pairing 18th and 19th Century French and English antiques with repurposed and upcycled industrial pieces. I would like to highlight some of my favorites from the MAW Show and let him inspire you to practice "upcycling" in your own home. Please excuse the picture quality. Although I can't live without my iphone, it does have it's limits.

Holiday Wreath from the 1950's made from the pages of a Christmas Book.
Close up shot

I absolutely adore these chairs.
They combine several of my favorite things, burlap, french design and flair and an aged glazed finish.

Check out this stove hood.
It is made of old tin ceiling tiles and a salvaged beam. While you're at it check out the brick back splash with the oozing mortar. It pulls the look together.

How about this for a pantry door?
It's an old barn door put on sliding rail tracks. Great for a style statement and a good space saver. I'd love to try this look in my master bath. Our door opens in and leaves no room at all.

How about snuggling up for a snooze in this bed?
Let's take a closer look at this headboard.
It's upcycled tin tiles and antique balusters.

Here's a stylish living room vignette. I love the square Louis Vuitton ottoman with the red coral and the animal prints mixed with the vintage tapestry pillows. That ottoman is for sale for $2500. That's a steal for Louis Vuitton.

Don't think I'm not going to put a fringe skirt like this on every chair I own.

This is a bar area complete with vintage seltzer bottles.
Simply stunning the way the green globes pick up the green of the weathered cabinet.

Aerial view of the study.
Again, the use of animal prints mixed with the vintage furniture and original artwork.

Lest you think I have gone off the deep end with my ode to Branan White, I am not alone in my admiration of his style. He was voted, "Best Interior Designer" for the Make a Wish Holiday Home Show. Here he is holding a guitar that will be auctioned for Make a Wish signed by Julianne Hough.

There is a store in Nashville called Preservation Station, it is a great place to look for the architectural pieces. If you know of a good place to shop for these pieces, leave me a comment. I am on a mission to incorporate some Branan White style into my own home.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

IdeaPaint Project

I first learned about IdeaPaint from a post on Twitter. Twitter is a great place to stay on top of the latest trends in the painting industry. I follow lots of other faux artists, interior designers, design publications and industry related products. You can follow me on Twitter here. Take a look at who I am following and start following them. They should start following you back and before you know it you will have your own little community of inspiration and information. I am a painting and design junkie, so whenever I can read an article or blog about something new and innovative I am all over it. Such is the case with IdeaPaint. I saw a post with this video of IdeaPaint being used at the Dwell on Design convention and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to try this out, but it would have to be for the right project. We found just the right project with the Make a Wish Holiday Home Show.

We were asked to help design a room that would be a tribute to a child's Make a Wish. Chase Donnell was a local boy who made the news for giving away his Wish. He realized it wouldn't do him much good to take a shopping spree and he was too sick for a trip. He asked Make a Wish to give the gym at his school a complete makeover including new sports equipment and fresh paint. The media caught word of his selfless wish and Chase's story was broadcast on several local news stations. Here is a story News Channel 5 did on Chase.

Chase was a huge Nashville Predator's Fan. While undergoing treatment at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital for Burkitt's Lymphoma he had an opportunity to meet and develop friendships with many of the Predator's players. Chase believed that "Too Too power" (from player, Jordin TooToo) would help give him the strength to fight his cancer. Chase passed away in March 2008 before he was able to see another of his wishes come true. He had hoped to sit on the Predator's bench during a home game. The Predator's paid tribute to Chase during a home game last year by placing an honorary jersey on the bench.

Our Make a Wish room has a mural on canvas Brooks created that places Chase on the Predator's bench in between his favorite players. Chase's association with the Predators lives on by giving back to the Make a Wish organization. The Predator's donate frequent flier miles to Make a Wish so that they can continue to fill the wishes of the sick children of our community.We have the News Channel 5 story playing on a loop to tell Chase's story to everyone who tours the house. We used the IdeaPaint to paint a horizontal stripe around the room. Brooks wrote key "Chase phrases" around the room to help better convey his story to the show house visitors. Our design for Chase's room won "Best Make a Wish Room" and "Best Children's Room". Here is Brooks accepting his award along with builder, Bob Sloan and designer, Donna Henninger.The next buyer of the house will be able to use it for a child's or teen bedroom with a big 24" stripe of dry erase board that goes all the way around the room. Who wouldn't love that?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Faux Limestone Fireplace

I wish I had a dime for every house I have been in that has the same builder grade white painted fireplace. BORING. With just a little bit of glaze and a few embellishments tacked on you can create a smoking fireplace with or without a fire. This is an easy do it yourself project. I've written before about it here.

Another way to add some heat to your fireplace is by applying a plaster or concrete micro topping. I would suggest you leave this to a professional faux finisher. We use a product called E-crete. Here is a fireplace that we just finished that was fauxed to look like limestone. It started out as just a shell built from HardieBacker board. You can also put this over top of just about any surface or substrate including tile and wood. Brooks put on the E-crete and then aged it to look like limestone. For more information on E-crete talk to our friend Dirk at Finish FX. So the next time you are ready to add a little dazzle to your home, think about a fireplace makeover.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Inspiration around the Web

I am addicted to faux painting and design blogs. I could disappear in them for hours. They are a great source of escape and inspiration for me. One of my new favorites is The Magic Brush. This is faux artisan, Jennifer Allwood's blog. She is very talented not only at painting, but also in expressing herself in her blog in a way that makes you feel like one of her girlfriends. I am in LOVE with lots of her work, but was particularly inspired by this cheetah print ceiling. Jennifer, is also willing to share her secrets. She posts step by step instructions for many of her projects. When I emailed her with questions about the cheetah ceiling she was more than willing to share her recipe and sources. Brooks just finished putting the finishing touches on his own cheetah ceiling thanks to the help and inspiration from Jennifer.

Another one of my favorite faux painting blogs is Fauxology by artisan, Regina Garay. Regina is a pioneer in the cyber world of faux painting. We have been friends on twitter for about a year now and I've got to tell you that Regina is the best cheerleader. She is always promoting other artists and bringing attention and recognition to their work. She is also very knowledgeable and helpful and always answers all my questions on blogging and painting. This is my favorite project by Garay Artisans. I want this on the stair well in my house.

A few of my favorite design inspiration sites are The Lettered Cottage Southern Hospitality Verdigris Vie and Cote de Texas. Drop a line and let me know some of your favorite blogs. I always have time to browse a few more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Make Your Own Canvas

Brooks is creating a mural on canvas for our Make a Wish room at the Make a Wish Holiday Home Show that is coming up in Arrington, TN. It is a very large canvas, 4ft x 6ft. Have you ever priced one of these things? Well, let me tell you they don't sell them anywhere locally. And to order one online and have it shipped is a fortune. So, for less than $100 Brooks built one from scratch. First I ordered about twice as much fabric as we needed from Indiana Coated Fabrics. Then, Brooks went to Lowe's and picked up some poplar 1x4's and some L brackets. He cut the wood to size and attached the corners with L brackets. Here you see him in our state of the art workshop, (aka our garage). Then he rolled out the fabric. Laid the frame over the fabric and fastened the fabric to the frame with staples.
Voila, a beautiful canvas just waiting for it's subject matter.
Here is the master at work. This is a particularly nice shot of our art studio (aka the upstairs landing).