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Category: Color, Color, Color

27 Apr

Beautiful Blue

Now that sunny skies are definitely on the radar, I thought looking at a few images of gorgeous blue finishes and techniques might do us a bit of good, too.

turquoise cabinetry

I have to say, I’m loving the new trends towards colorful cabinets (above). Below, the lacquer technique is used solely on the trim and contrasted with the same color on the walls but with a different sheen.  Totally. Digging.

blue lacquer walls

blue and gilt panels

Of course, blue and gold have always been such good friends.  I love them in the panels above and with just a little more personality to them below.

blue and gold panels with mural elements

(Below) This image is actually a few years old but this particular rich, dark blue tone slays me every time.

rich blue faux finish on walls

Unlike the room above, though, blue doesn’t always have to be The Color.  It can also be an incredible accent when paired with white.  For instance, isn’t the sea mural below dreamy?  I also like the window trimmed in blue and the furniture pieces also showcasing the color.  Imagine making a nice, healthy lunch here and having some friends come over to eat before you all head out for a great day…

sea mural on accent wall

Paired with white again — but with a completely different design route.  I love the architecture here, too.

blue and white color scheme

You might know that I love birds so this mural really would do it for me.  I also like those Porter’s chairs.  I imagine meeting my sister here for breakfast and chatting the morning away.  I’ve previously featured this pic in a Kelly Wearstler post — that link also has a vertical turquoise finish that is incredible.

kelly wearstler hue blue chinoiserie wall

Do you have a favorite?  I tried to pick one and can’t choose. Maybe the turquoise lacquer or the blue gilded panels with the mural elements. Let me know your thoughts… Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sources: House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Tommy Bahama, Hue and Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments.

25 Apr

The Deets: Chalk Paint

The Deets is a new series we’re starting that takes a product out on the market and provides fast details: What It Is, What It Does and Where to Get It. We start off with a paint that has a TON of buzz — seriously, I can’t make a left or right without hearing about it!  I have not tried it yet but have only heard good things.  It is not chalkboard paint (which I thought originally) but it can be used in such a manner if you’d like.  Without further ado, let’s get the Chalk Paint Deets.

What It Is: Chalk Paint was developed by artist and author extraordinaire, Annie Sloan. (She has written over 20 books and sold over 2 million books worldwide.)  It is a versatile paint that was created to give a limewashed feel, give walls a polished plaster look and also be applied to furniture and cabinetry.  It can also be applied to wood floors, metal, plastic or terracotta as well as used to create a chalkboard effect.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint

Pic via the Perfectly Imperfect blog

What It Does: It is specified that the paint does not need a primer as it will stick to almost anything, even varnished furniture.  It is suitable for both interior and exterior usage and is also environmentally friendly.  It was originally created to be used on furniture to give that wonderfully elegant distressed look easily.  There are 24 historical decorative colors that were inspired by 18th century European furniture.  The colors can be intermixed, used as a wash and each has a matte chalk finish.  There is also a clear wax and dark/rustic wax available to add more durability and patina to your surface.  Chalk Paint can also be topcoated.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint Color Chart

Where To Get It: There are many studios in the United States that carry both the paint and waxes.  The cost averages approximately $38.95/quart — they do say it goes a long way and there is no additional primer cost.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Image on Left from Annie Sloan and Image on Right from Maison Decor

I did find three wonderful blogs who gave an overview and shared images of their experience with Chalk Paint:  Miss Mustard SeedMaison Decor and Perfectly Imperfect.  I gathered information from them as well as the Annie Sloan website.  Annie Sloan Paint also has a Facebook Page as well as a Twitter accountHuge thanks to Michelle Delgado of Wonderfaux Studio in Texas who mailed colorations and information to me as well.  (It takes a village, dear Readers.)  She’s running some great specials on both the materials as well as a great Starter Kit.  Hope you enjoyed this information — and let me know if you’ve tried and/or plan to try Chalk Paint!

21 Apr

An Ornamental Ceiling from the Past

Chicago has been a major center for American architecture since the late 19th century. The city’s most important early architects, Louis Sullivan, and his partner, Dankmar Adler, designed the Chicago Stock Exchange, built from 1893 to 1894. When the original Stock Exchange was demolished in 1972, sections of Sullivan’s elaborate stenciled decorations, molded plaster capitals, and art glass were preserved from the Trading Room. Using these fragments, the Art Institute was able to reconstruct the Trading Room in its new Rubloff Building, constructed between 1976 and 1977.

So says the Art Institute of Chicago’s site on this magnificent exhibit.  The exhibit is a huge reconstructed area you walk into to see all the stenciling and magnificent ornamental work.  It’s a must-see.

chicago stock exchange trading room

The Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room

Here are some shots I took — most came out fuzzy and what came out of my mouth was not fuzzy either.  (We’re not allowed to take tripods into the museum.)  I hope you can see the patterns enough to appreciate how beautiful they are.  So sorry…

stenciling on a ceiling

ornamental patterns on ceilings

ornamental stencils on a ceiling

Here is another pic from the museum site.  It is stenciled — and I always wonder who did the actual work.  It’s accredited to a firm called Healy and Millet, stained-glass artisans who did just a little more work than that apparently.  I found just a bit on info on them.  I’ll be looking for more since they have piqued my interest.

adler and sullivan stencil pattern

Artist Sharon Leichsenring, who is familiar with architect Louis Sullivan’s work, has noted on previous posts that he regularly used no less than 16 colors in his stenciled designs.  Incredible!  If you are looking for this style of stencil for your own use, you can run a search under “Adler and Sullivan stencils”, “Prairie Arts Stencils”, “Arts & Crafts stencils” or even just “Sullivan stencils”.  That’ll take you a few sites that can guide you along.  I also found some for sale at the actual Chicago Architecture Foundation shop but they do not list them online. (I would call them — they do have them!)  Now, off to continue the day… :)

19 Apr

Fauxology Blog Archive: Metamerism

Although I’m coming up very soon to four years of blogging, it’s only been in the last year and half (ish) that Fauxology has blossomed. I’ve often thought of referencing older articles for new eyes and I’ll do so from time to time. Hence, the Fauxology Blog Archive in the title.



Image via The Keys to Color: an excellent book on color applications for our industry.

This post, written in January 2009, was all about a color effect: the one where a singular color will look like two different colors when placed on different walls — even within the same room. It’s called Metamerism. Hope you enjoy the info!

25 Mar

Portrait of an Artist: Paulin Paris

A few years ago, I spied these pics in the (now defunct) House and Garden magazine…

Oversize Stencil Mural inspired by Garden mazes

You can see why I was smitten: the work is fantastical and extraordinary. I found out the artistry was by Paulin Paris and after seeing more of his work, he has since become one of my very favorite artists ever. Paris (he indicated to call him Paris) was raised in France and, according to a recent article in the L.A. Times, he “attended the École des Beaux-Arts in the French capital and trained in faux painting at the Van Der Kelen-Logelain Institute in Brussels. He is a descendant of the early 20th century French portraitist Carolus-Duran, whose work hangs in the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.” Taking all this into account and the fact that I’m a very big fan, you can imagine my happiness at his agreeing to be profiled for our Portrait of an Artist series. Pinch me.

His company, Paulin Paris Art & Design, is dedicated to the creation of art — whether it be fine art, paintings, prints as well as murals paintings for private residences or public spaces.  The company is based in Los Angeles and the studio, named “Artlook”, is a production site, laboratory and gathering place where other artists can show their work and share ideas and research.  He also has another company site for his fine art and one for unique artistry called the New Marquetry.

The New Marquetry by Paulin Paris

The New Marquetry

Paris uses a large variety of techniques to create his artworks.  We were able to e-chat with him on these techniques and his thoughts on the future of art, technology and some of his inspirations.  Let’s dig in, shall we?

Q: Paris, how did you begin this career path?
I realized quickly after my studies at the Beaux Arts that I will have to sustain myself as an artist and the murals where the perfect answer. I was lucky enough to start working on a big project for Dino De Laurentiis in New York. I was about 26 at the time and until now I have collaborated with many great architects and designers including Adam Tihany, Robert Couturier, Jacques Grange and Jean Michel Wilmotte, trying each time to refresh the way we look.

The last projects include two “Artscapes” for the Mansion at the MGM Vegas. They are paintings on canvas that covers one wall of the room. Without having to paint the all room it creates a new space.  It can be easily removed and reused in another location.

Artscapes Murals for Mansion at MGM Grand

Working on the Artscapes

Artscapes Murals for Mansion at MGM Grand

Artscapes - Mansion at MGM Grand

Artscapes Murals for Mansion at MGM Grand

Artscapes - Mansion at MGM Grand

Q: What subject do you most appreciate in art?
I have started recently working on portraits and I found it fascinating, it’s a very mysterious process and still a discovery for me.

Q: Where do you see our industry heading in the future?
My feeling is that technology is reshaping the all art industry. The possibility of creating art through computer assisted technology combined with incredible printing techniques (2D and 3D) opens new dimensions. Even if the hand will keep a part in the process, I see technology as becoming even more predominant.

Q: What inventions make your work easier?
My creative process goes into different directions, from the drawing to the scanner, the camera, the computer, the projector – all incredible tools. And I’m impatient to try the 3D copier.

Q: Professionally, who are some of your inspirations?
David Hicks, Fornasetti, Tony Duquette, Emilio Terry and David Hockney to mention only a few.

Q: Are there any books that you would recommend for us to read or music to listen to while working?
I like very much David Hockney’s books, like That’s The Way I See It or Secret Knowledge.  As to music, right now I listening to a great singer Elizaveta, it’s a mix of classical music with lyrics.

Paulin Paris at Bakery Bouchon (NY)

Paulin Paris at Bakery Bouchon

A recent project was eight large-size paintings for the new Bakery Bouchon opened by chef Thomas Keller at the Rockefeller Center in New York.  Paris called it “an honor and a pleasure to work on that project”.  He explains, “The inspiration is very surrealist with a combination of images and words.  The pictures are 8 1/2 ‘ x 8 1/2′ and they were painted in the studio and installed on site inside a frame molding”.  Below are two close-ups.

Please click to enlarge.

Bouchon Bakery Murals by Paulin Paris Bouchon Bakery Murals by Paulin Paris

Q: Do you have a personal artisan philosophy?
My philosophy is called “Artwareness” the combination of art & awareness. I think that art is a process of self transformation, either for the artist or for the viewer. Through art we can transform the way we think and open our self to new dimensions. I’m currently working on a website to present and develop those ideas. I’m also preparing now a lecture about the subject that I hope to present soon to college students in LA.

~ ~ ~

Isn’t his artistry incredible?  I’d also very much enjoy taking his Artwareness class.  Please do take a further look into his company website (be sure to check out the galleries and press area), fine art website and New Marquetry site.  If you’d like to see his Venice cottage in CA, here is a photo gallery.  I just adore his work and hope to see many more of his installations in the future.  Much appreciation to Paulin Paris for sharing his thoughts and artistry with us — I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did putting it together for your, dear Readers.  Have a wonderful weekend!

18 Mar

Powder Room Week: Kaveri Singh

A Powder Room averages only 4′ x 5′ but yet could be the most valuable room in the house by the amount of traffic it receives per square foot.  Although small, it can make a big statement about you and your home.  By designing it to your style, you can ensure creating a room that not only speaks to your style, but also delights your guests.  We end our week with a space that does just that.  The client decided to bring her love of gardens inside — and artist Kaveri Singh and designer Joanne Poitier did just that for her.  Kaveri Singh takes us through her extraordinary commission.

For several years now, I have been working with Southern California Interior Designer Joanna Poitier.  Joanna approached me about creating wall murals at a Beverly Hills estate.  The house and gardens are classically inspired within the French tradition and contain great stylistic detail.

garden mural

The client loves her garden and wished that the murals inside reflect the garden beyond the doors and windows.  My husband and business partner, Tj, and I spent time walking the gardens and photographing the details for reference. Prior to the Powder Room, we spent weeks painting a quiet garden scene in the home’s octagonal-shaped kitchen.  Joanna and the client were so pleased with the kitchen that they asked for a concept for the multi-walled powder room.  This time we came up with the idea of using direct elements from her garden, including a beautiful balustrade and fountain.  The gardener brought me samples of blooming flowers every day that I could paint direct from nature.

In the narrow water closet, I used one point perspective for a dramatic effect as one opens the door.

garden mural

Using images of hedges and plinths with jardinières we recreated the outdoor scenes of the grounds using different focal points along the horizon as a landscape designer does.  I was greatly inspired by the great landscape designer Harold Peto who created beautiful formal Edwardian gardens.  The walls were soon filled with hydrangea, roses, cypress, nasturtiums, a variety of trees and blooming accent plants.

A closeup of the inner watercloset.

painted lilacs painted roses

Quite timely and for my birthday,  I was given a book on Impressionist landscapes: In the Gardens of Impressionism.  The paintings in the book were dappled with beautiful touches of light – dashes of warm color dotting the canvas  the impression of sunlight as it falls through leaves creating contrast and depth.  I used this effect to capture the quality of light and let it spill on the cobblestones and onto the crushed granite gravel.  With photos from our local Descanso Gardens and from the direct view, the balustrades took their place on the walls.  With Tj’s great sense of perspective and my washes of color we created her garden – which she loves.

~ ~ ~

Clearly, a project we would all hold dear in our hearts.  I think it was executed magnificently.  Kaveri Singh has a beautiful website with more of her artworks and a new blog entitled The Canvas Diaries.  Please be sure to check both out.  Interior Designer Joann Poitier also has a website, The Florio Collection, which includes a peek at her rich embroideries.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this final profile and found the entirety of Powder Room Week! inspiring. I’ll be announcing the next week-long series soon enough and I hope you, dear Readers, enter your artistry for a possible profile.  Thank you to all the artists who did submit their works for this week — I wish I could have profiled you all!  Have a wonderful weekend. :)

~ ~ ~

Day 1 -  Powder Room Week: Lynne Rutter
Day 2 -  Powder Room Week: Sass Lassley
Day 3 -  Powder Room Week: E. Lee Jahncke
Day 4 -  Powder Room Week: Celia Block
Day 5 -  Current Post

15 Mar

Powder Room Week: Sass Lassley

Normally, Powder Rooms are found separate from the public areas of the home.  Most are found on the lower or first levels of a home, have no windows and are generally the smallest interior room in a home.  Today’s room, finished by Nebraska artisan Sass Lassley of Fe Fi Faux Studios, takes one such small space and turns it into a unique gem of a Powder Room.

Donna Phelps New Gate Unique Venetian Plaster Finish

This was a lower level Powder Room for a favorite client.  We did a unique graphic Venetian Plaster finish called Newgate.  It is taught by Donna Phelps at her studio, Sarasota School of Faux and Architectural Finishing, and if you check her schedule, you can see she teaches at other Faux Effects studios across the country.

This home is the sixth one for this client over the course of 20 years.  She’s a wonderful, contemporary and one-of-a kind person — for instance, her guest room has a round bed!  She doesn’t allow us to use anything twice or repeat from home to home.  We’ve created about 24 custom and unique finishes for her throughout the years — she is one of our favorite and long standing clients.  She went bonkers when she saw this board!

Here are some close-ups…

The client was afraid the pattern might make the bath too busy if installed on the ceiling as well.  We ended up troweling and layering the same products on the ceiling but left out the pattern.  Parts of six days were spent by the three of us executing this finish and she is delighted with it!

She is such a favorite client that her kids’ Christmas pics adorn my fridge every Winter.  As of this writing, a new finish is being designed for her master suite!

~ ~ ~

I’ve always loved Donna Phelps’ talent at creating gorgeous finishes and her studio is one of my favorites.  It’s fantastic to see how Sass took that finish and created a unique showstopper for her client’s guests.  Taking a class at a studio definitely pays off when a client looks to you for something new and fresh.  Please do visit Sass Lassley’s website, Fe Fi Faux Studios, to see more of her incredible work.  Tomorrow we hit the Big Easy to visit with an artist new to the Fauxology blog.  She and her designer collaborated on a faux onyx masterpiece.  See you tomorrow!

~ ~ ~

Day 1 -  Powder Room Week: Lynne Rutter
Day 2 -  Current Post
Day 3 -  Powder Room Week: E. Lee Jahncke
Day 4 -  Powder Room Week: Celia Block
Day 5 -  Powder Room Week: Kaveri Singh

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