The quick story is that Annie Sloan is a decorative painter who is also an author that helped elevate and popularize many beautiful techniques. The long story is that she has been in the industry for over 40 years, her books have sold in the millions, they are available in eleven languages, she creates phenomenal products and oh, sparked a painted furniture revolution.
We’ve written about one of her books before as well as her popular Chalk Paint line. Today, we spend time with the fun-loving woman behind the business. “I was in art school for 7 years and then in a band for 2 and then I was a journalist for a year before deciding I wanted to paint paint paint. The band was pretty exciting and we did a lot of very cool things – we made a film in Berlin and performed with Roxy Music among others. David Bowie used to love us and Mick Jagger came to see us perform. But this is all a LONG time ago. My youngest Hugo is a singer and will be touring with his solo project, Chad Valley, this summer in the States.” Intrigued? Let’s learn more…
What are some of the best designed spaces you’ve seen in your travels?
I like organic growth very much so I do love the randomness of an English village or a Mediterranean town, with higgledy piggledy lanes and big and large houses pushed together on top of each other. We also visited Seville a few years back and went to the Alcázar, the Moorish eleventh century palace. That is one of the most relaxing and stunning places I’ve ever seen with a mix of Muslim and Christian design that is both breathtaking and inspiring. It was great to see a culture that allowed both to flourish.
Where do you see decorative painting heading in the future?
I think it will become more integrated into the rest of interior decoration – there will be more interior decoration shops, vintage shops, more recycling, upcycling and repurposing. Modern Country will be a new look – colours will be lighter and brighter and the French look will continue to be popular. There will also be a lot more DIY.
Who are some of your inspirations?
Duncan Grant and the rest of the Bloomsbury group at the Charleston farmhouse in Sussex in the south of England – a stroke of genius I think! David Hicks, English decorator who was big in the 1960/70s – the ‘haute couleur’ of home décor! Coco Chanel, too – simple classic sensitive style. No fuss chateau chic!
List five (5) hobbies that sound fun.
Gardening, orienteering, singing, canoeing and playing a musical instrument.
What one existing book or movie title describes your life?
Eyes Wide Shut. Not the film itself, just love the title as it sort of describes how we go through life thinking we know what’s going on but…. Also, Sense and Sensibility would be how I hope I have lived my life…ha!
One of the sensibly beautiful techniques she teaches in her books.
Which artist would you like to commission to create a work of art for your home?
O goodness what a delight! It would have to be David Hockney.
Any books on the design or art industry that you recommend for us to read?
Probably Charleston – a Bloomsbury House and Garden by Quentin Bell and Virginia Nicholson. It is something well-known to British readers but not so well known to the US.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you have received?
There are enough things against you in life so make certain you stay friends with everyone in the industry. We need to work together not against each other.
What photo or picture really moves you?
So many pieces but the last piece I really was inspired by deeply was in the Picasso Museum in Paris – he worked with pink and browns yellow and purples – difficult weird colours and made them look splendid. He apparently found colour very difficult so it is inspiring how he worked first with neutrals then he worked through his blue and pink periods then with a mix of colours. I love his JOY of expression, too.
* * * * * * *
I think Annie has a definite joy in expression as well — and you know I love the advice to work together, not against each other. Please do take a moment to check out her informative website to learn more about her company, product and books. She also has a Facebook page and a Twitter stream. Did you find out something new about this industry icon? I think her five chosen hobbies sounded pretty cool and I loved her suggestions… Have a great weekend, dear Readers!