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Category: Designers & Decorators

06 Feb

Discovering MetallFX

Hello Everyone!

In last Thursday’s post on Chinoiserie, I included several pictures of the Grand Ballroom at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The metal Chinoiserie artwork was created by a company called Metall-FX, Creative Metal Solutions. When I found their website, I knew that I had to share their remarkable work with Fauxology’s readers beyond just that one post.

At Metall-FX, inventor Brian Eatwell has developed an extraordinary process for applying a metal finish to just about any surface imaginable. When the coating is applied to the surface of an object, it gives it the look and feel of solid metal. With dozens of pure metals and alloys from which to choose along with different textures, colors and finishes, an artist or designer is only limited by their imagination.

I’ve selected a few of my favorites from their gallery. Prepare yourself for a wonderful ride!

A fireplace in Paris is home to this elegant work…

Paris Fireplace

Metall-FX shows you their interpretation of two great oceans…

Oceans

Take a journey with their skilled artisans…

Land of Mystery and Compass

Art imitates life, animal life that is…

Giraffe and Snake Skin

Would you like to see something in red…

Red River and Aztec

Mother Nature would love this…

Autumn Leaves and Pink Blush

Trojan Battle Scene Frieze
The Metall-FX team created this Trojan Battle Scene Frieze for a client of James Livingstone of Lourenco & Co. It is over forty-four feet in length!

Trojan Battle Frieze

Here is a brief glimpse of the process that creates this incredible work of art….

Trojan Battle Frieze Process

One last picture…

Brian Eatwell

This company is definitely going on my Favorites List! I only wish they were on this side of the pond. I hope you enjoyed seeing their work as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their work. Check out their website to see a gallery of their finishes and projects. You will love it!

Cheers to all,
Peggy

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02 Feb

The Mona Lisa Room

Hello Everyone!

If you open your mind wide enough, you can find inspiration in just about anything. For me artwork is one of my favorite sources for creative spark. Last week I used a photograph of a Hamilton Ontario side street taken by M. Christine Duncan as the inspiration for a room’s design. Today, to create a formal living area, I am going to draw on a great masterpiece that is said to be the most famous painting in the world – the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci .

For my first step, I always decide on my color pallette. As I looked at the painting I new right away that I wanted to go with warm earthy tones and chose a pallette that would work well with that. The four colors I selected are from Sherwin-Williams. Each would be beautiful as they are or used as the base for a decorative finish. My color pallette…

Mona Lisa Room paint color selections

Next I chose my upholstered pieces…

Mona Lisa Room upholstered furnishing selections

Source: Golden Settee, Darra Brown Floral Chair, Olive Velvet Club Chair  – Horchow

Then came hard furnishings, lighting, drapery, rugs and accessories…

Mona Lisa Room accessories, lighting & furniture selections

Source: Schonbek Bagatelle Collection Crystal Pendant Chandelier – Lamps Plus
Flocked Velvet Damask Brown Pillow & Dupioni Silk Cream Envelope Pillow – Pillow Decor
Paramount Curtains – Horchow, McDermott Jar with Lid – Home Decorators
Fable Chest, Felicie Oval Mirror, Margaux Accent Table  – Horchow
Constantine Rug – Home Decorators, Carved Two-Tone Brown Table Lamp – Lamps Plus
Elaine Table Runner – Home Decorators

The beautiful finishes on the wood furniture and upholstered pieces can be recreated by many talented decorative artists. There are also artists that specialize in antique mirror finishes. Personally, I think the mirror that I selected would work even better if it had one of those lovely finishes!

Even though I saw this room with warm dark wood and earthy tones, I still saw it as very feminine. A place that was grand but inviting; a place where you could spend an entire afternoon just enjoying the view. Have you ever used one of the great masterpieces or a more recent work of art as your muse? Where do you draw inspiration?

Cheers to all,
Peggy

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31 Jan

Lovely Chinoiserie

Classic design never goes out of style and always adds a note of sophistication to any room. One of those classics that has been around for centuries is Chinoiserie.  Now you know I’m a stickler for correct pronunciation, so here it is: “shēn-ˈwäz-rē”. That’s “shēn” like in “Martin Sheen“, “wäz” like in “out the wazoo” and “rē” like in “repeat this word 10 times and you own it”. Then put it all together!

Chinoiserie is a French term that refers to a European artistic style that began in the 17th century in which objects and decoration are inspired by Chinese design. Chinese motifs are reflected in furnishings, fabrics, accessories and other decoration.

I’ve put together some decorative items for you that represent this style…

Samples of ChinoiserieTop Row: Silk Pillow, Porcelain Lamp with Silk Shade
Bottom Row: Mother of Pearl Motif Porcelain Vase,
Chinoiserie Bombay Chest, Terracotta Tang Dancer
Source: China Furniture Online

Chinoiserie murals are a popular way to bring this style to a space in a way that has major impact. Talented San Fransisco mural artist, Lynne Rutter draws inspiration from her world travels to create the most beautiful Chinoiserie imagery. This post wouldn’t be complete without including a few samples of her magnificent work. Here are three for you to enjoy…

Lynne Rutter Modern Classic Chinoiserie

Above: This modern interpretation of classic Chinoiserie wallpaper murals was specially designed for this room in one of San Francisco’s period mansions.
Photography: David Duncan Livingston

Lynne Rutter Red Chinoiserie

Above: This formal powder room features a hand-painted chinoiserie room mural, faux marble console and baseboards. It was designed by Lynne for the 2002 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

Lynne Rutter Art Deco Chinoiserie

Above: Three layers of silver leafed moulding and hand-painted chinoiserie panels were used to add architectural balance and subtle color accents to this glamorous Art Deco-inspired bedroom.
Interior Design:  Paula McChesney
Photography: David Duncan Livingston

Note: I especially love the marriage of Chinoiserie and Art Deco in that last photo! If you’ve read my previous post on Art Deco, you can easily recognize the Art Deco influences in this space.

If you’re not blessed with an artist’s hand, there are myriad stencils available to help you create this look. Here are a few samples for you…

Chinoiserie wall panel stencils

Modern Chinoiserie Stencils

Source: The Stencil Library, Made in England

While gathering photos, I came upon the most FABULOUS installation of Chinoiserie that I just had to share with you! This amazing artwork was done by the talented Metall-FX. They were commissioned by interior designers Alex Kravetz Design to create this outstanding series of Chinoiserie doors and panels in the Grand Ballroom of the Dorchester Hotel in London. Prepare to be amazed…

Dorchester Hotel in London’s Mayfair by Metall-FX and Alex Kravetz Design

Elevator Doors by Metall-FX

Closer view of Elevator Doors by Metall-FX

Here’s a close-up view so you can see the detail of their work…

Close up of detail work on Elevator Doors by Metall-FX

Sort of takes your breath away, doesn’t it? (Next week I’ll be bringing you more of their remarkable artwork and share with you how they create it.)

Chinoiserie is such a versatile style that plays well with others. It can be classic, modern or a little of both. If you’d like to learn more about this fanciful style, Lynne Rutter did a wonderful indepth post that you really must read!

Have you used this style in a space or done any work with it?

Cheers to all!
Peggy

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27 Jan

From a Photo Comes a Room!

I was going through the archives here at Fauxology when I came upon a post Regina had written about color.  It contained a photograph taken by M. Christine Duncan that really grabbed my attention.  It’s a side street in Hamilton, Ontario with the most vivid teals, coppers and burnt orange. The finish on the building looks similar to crushed velvet. As I took in all it had to offer – color, texture, mood – a room started to emerge in my mind. The week started with me showing you how I found inspiration from a fashion magazine. Now I’ll end the week sharing how I used this photograph as the catalyst for a room’s design.

I’ll start with color since that is what first caught my eye. There were many variations of wonderful color, but I narrowed it down to four. Using Sherwin-Williams paint selections, I pulled out the colors that I wanted to work with in this room. Here is the photo along with my color choices.

Color inspiration board: "Ohhh the Color"

Now onto mood. For me the vibe that the photograph gives off is masculine, urban and industrial yet with old world flair. Setting the tone helps give me direction when selecting my furnishings. Here are a few examples of furnishings and accessories that I feel help to create this mood.

Design Board Soft Furnishings

Kensington Leather Sofa: Restortion Hardware,
Teal Madeline Chair: Urban Outfitters,
Maggie Club Chair: Anthropologie

Design Board Furniture

Steel Redsmith Armchair: Anthropologie,
18th C. French Tilt-Top Brasserie Side Table: Restoration Hardware,
Pinebrook Rectangular Rolling Coffee Table: Lamps Plus;
Traveler Chest: Anthropologie, Choe Console: Horchow

Design Board Art and Accessories

Industrial Gears Table Lamp: Lamps Plus,
A Cosmic Incident (art top right) – Urban Outfitters,
Art Agave (middle left): ZGallerie,
Rugs: Rug Stop,
Art Oxide: (bottom right) – ZGallerie

As a designer, it’s important to note that many decorative artists offer custom canvas artworks and rustic chic finishes, such as the distressed metal, for furniture and other surfaces.  I used a variety of items to illustrate how I’ve drawn design inspiration from the photograph and the look can be achieved many different ways. This isn’t a complete room nor would all these items necessarily be used in one room; it’s all about creating a jumping off point.  Next time you look at a picture that you really love, look a little closer; maybe there is a room hidden in there!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers to all,
Peggy
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24 Jan

New Orleans Style

Whenever I think of New Orleans style, I always think of it as the Rebel marrying the Debutante — a bit of rule-breaking going hand in hand with refinement.  While you can easily walk the various districts, you rarely (if ever) get a peek into the interiors.  It’s why I always enjoy coming upon books which lushly feature the homes and their design.

I found Big, Easy Style by Bryan Batt while walking the French Quarter. It was nestled within an independent bookstore in Pirate’s Alley called Faulkner House Books.  They only had one copy left (MINE!) and while visiting my favorite independent bookstore in the Garden District, Garden District Book Shop, I snagged a few more.

Bryan Batt Big, Easy StyleThe author and the book, Big Easy Style.

What I absolutely love about the book is that Mr. Batt, both a succesful actor and designer, features the work of several designers and artisans, not just his own work.  I think that brings a greater overview and understanding of the interiors of New Orleans.  He also lists his favorite wall colors by several paint manufacturers.  Please note that the spaces were photographed by Kerri McCaffety, Erik Johnson and David Ash.  The book is published by Clarkson Potter.

lacquer walls fabulous color

Peacock Blue Lacquer Walls

A wall of small colorful canvases and a close-up of the drawer itself.

Painted and Gilded Panels – please do click to enlarge!

distressed plaster wall

Distressed Plaster Wall

The book is a fantastic read as well — there are sections entitled “Love Your Booty!”, “All in the Family Room…” and “Guy Walks into a Bar” to name a few.  Normally, I just look at the beautiful photographs but he injects his vibrant personality into the writing and in doing so, makes it easy and fun to fully absorb his take on design and the soulful city which is his muse.

faux finish on yellow walls mardi gras flowers on wall design

Gorgeous yellow walls with a glazed finish (left) and the fun of Mardi Gras float decorations on the walls (right).  Here’s a float with similar flowers!

hand marbled gilt ceiling

Bryan Batt calls this a "hand-marbled gilt ceiling". I call it fabulous!

Mr. Batt opened Hazelnut New Orleans, a popular home furnishings boutique, with his partner Tom Cianfichi.  It is located uptown on Magazine Street and “combines the old-world charm of New Orleans with a chic metropolitan twist”.  Please check out Hazelnut’s website as well as the one for Big, Easy Style itself.

 stenciled wood floorsArtist Gretchen Weller Howard stenciled these gray-washed wood floors. 

Unique decorative elements...

A fantastic artist in New Orleans, E. Lee Jahnke, recently wrote about Mr. Batt’s book as well in her cool blog Inspired. Paint. Repeat.  She advised that the designers, shops and artists he references would all be in her insider’s guide to NOLA.  Great to know — and I hope you enjoy the book recommendation.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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23 Jan

UnCOVERing Inspiration

Hello Everyone! Happy Monday to you; I hope you all had a great weekend.

A client once asked me where I found inspiration when beginning a design project. The answer to that question was easy – EVERYWHERE and then some!

One fun place I find color inspiration is on magazine covers. And I don’t just mean decorating and design magazines. Fashion magazines are a great place to get color ideas for a room, too. Professional stylists are at work choosing just the right color combinations for the clothing, accessories, and make-up. They also have pros working on choosing the background and font colors so that everything works together. Half of the job has been done for you. Now all you have to do is pull out the colors that you like and voila! You have the start of something beautiful.

I’ve put together a bedroom for you that was inspired by a popular fashion magazine.  I hope you like it.

Here’s the cover that was my inspiration along with the paint colors that I pulled from it:

Victoria Beckham on the cover of British Vogue, April 2008 and coordinating Sherwin Williams paint colors

Cover: British Vogue, April 2008 with Victoria Beckham   Paint: Sherwin Williams

Now, here’s the room I put together:

Design board inspired by Vogue magazine cover

Sources: 1 - Dresser with linen finish: Horchow,  2 - Art: Art.com,
3 - Silver leaf bed: French Style Chairs,  4 - Ivory Pillow: Etsy – Pink Pillow: Etsy,
5 - Tea Lights: ZGallerie, 6 - Rug: The Rug Company,
7 - Decorative Finish: “Shabby Chic” by Faux Design Studio, 8 - Chandelier: Crystorama

And here they are side-by-side:


The design goes beyond just the color selection. The cover is soft, romantic and very feminine; so is the room.  The sparkle of her jewelry is reflected in the selection of the crystals of the chandelier, the tea lights and the silver leaf bed. The curved lines of the embossing in the wall finish are echoed in the lines of the chandelier and the bed, too. Finally, the rug beautifully ties it all together.

We all have special ways to get our creative juices flowing. I love to hear how and where other designers and artists find their inspiration. Where do you find yours?

Cheers to all,
Peggy
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28 Dec

Faux-cus on the Pros: Designer and Radio Host Carrie Chavez Hansen

Faux-cus on the Pros is the series where we talk to different professionals in the design world. I met Interior Designer Carrie Chavez Hansen at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles. We hit it off right away: we gabbed, we texted each other during the conference, we drank a lot of coffee together — she’s a fun person, let me tell you.  In addition to her design practice in Colorado, she is also the host of the Design Talk Radio program, airing every Wednesday at 2PM, EST.  The show recently launched their Winter season and I am so glad to have had a chance to catch up with her. 

Carrie Chavez

Carrie Chavez Hansen is extremely passionate about all things interior design and love the creative process. Armed with a degree in Interior Design, she has sought to gain as many varied experiences as she could over the last 16 years: furniture and design showroom retail, window displays, contract work for a kitchen and bath company, designed and consulted special events and work alongside brilliant designers while honing her skill set for Studio C Interior Design.

Her company has since taken on beautiful residential and commercial contracts.  She is currently in the final stages of a huge design project (18,600 sf) for the Colorado Springs Conservatory, a performing arts school.

Private voice studio at the Colorado Springs Conservatory.The instructor is an opera singer, so she wallpapered one wall in her studio with covers from Opera News magazine from the early 1960′s through the current decade.

She launched her online radio show, aptly named Design Talk Radio. The focus of the show is to provide interior solutions and lifestyle inspiration through interviews with various artists, other designers, authors, and anyone she finds fascinating.  Time to turn the tables and interview her!

Where do you see interior design heading in the future?

I see interior spaces and the attention they are given becoming even more relevant in the future. Aside from the desire to live in beautiful spaces, I find it more important to live in a space that feels good and feels right for you and is appropriate for your lifestyle.

What are some of the coolest materials you’ve come across? 

I say this with complete honesty and without any prodding from Regina. One of the coolest materials is your patina mirrors. I love that you are experimenting with materials and colors to produce something unique and custom. I am a huge fan of both color and texture. While the mirror is a sleek surface, there is a certain visual texture that is created with the pattern and colors of the mirror. Very k-o-o-l indeed.

What are some of the best Design Talk Radio podcast moments you’ve had?

My favorite moments have been those where a guest and I have really gotten passionate about a topic, shared some good belly laughs, and delved into personal stories of their life journeys. Everyone has a story and I really dig learning things about people and then sharing that story with listeners. It’s a privilege for me to share time with really cool people and educate people about design at the same time.

Carrie interviewing David Easton in New York at Blogfest 2011.  She says of the celebrated Mr. Easton, “He is an amazing designer and a hoot to chat with!”  Here is the archived link of that chat.

What sound would you miss if suddenly unable to hear it?

My favorite sound in the entire universe is that of water in a stream or river. The sound of water moving about whether in a stream, a waterfall, or the vast ocean creates its own rhythm, its own voice. It becomes a sort of dance unto itself while at the same time being the very music of that dance. It is a sound that speaks to my soul and I would dearly miss it.

Do you prefer quiet or vivid artworks?

While there are certainly places for quiet art, I have found myself really drawn to more vivid pieces lately. They can be simple, dramatic or whimsical; the key element for me is color and the way the pieces make me feel.

If you were paid to write a new book on any subject you wished, what would it be about?

I am actually in the process of writing a design and lifestyle book. The vision for my book is the connection between the space we live/work in and its connection to our soul. I believe a true awareness of this connection can make an enormous difference in our lives. I plan to finish the book in early 2012 and launch it in the Spring.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I hope you enjoyed the interview!  To keep up with Carrie, do check out her Facebook fan page as well as her Design Talk blog.  She also has a list of archived interviews for Design Talk Radio, including one with Melanie Royals and yours truly.  I look forward to her upcoming book, too.  Have a great day!

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