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Category: Reference Sites

19 Dec

Holiday Sponsor Love: Royal Design Studio!

Royal Design Studio has been a long-time supporter of Fauxology — and goodness knows I love their stencils, techniques and products! Their president, Melanie Royals, continues to dream up ever-so-wonderful ways to make decorative painting and finishing easier, not to mention the application of beautiful patterns to a myriad of surfaces.  They have so many good things to share and I thought I’d pay it forward!


Imagine learning amazing finishes and techniques in the comfort of your own home, wearing your favorite pajamas with a nice cup of hot chocolate at your side — all at your own pace, without travel and lodging costs. That’s the beauty of Virtual Workshops.  There are four classes available: SkimStone & Modello® Stencils, Antique Mirror & Glass, Metallic Foils and Stencil Impressions. Each class comes with video lessons and a complete, illustrated manual. If you see each of the class descriptions, they come with informative videos and module lessons.  As the classes are ongoing, you can start a class as soon as you register!

Special Pricing on Virtual Workshops through December 31st!


Stencil Cremes are a fantastic stencil paint with opaque coverage and creamy, dreamy application. Eight new colors were introduced just last week and they have special pricing through the end of the year!  In addition, a few new stencil patterns were added to the Royal Design Studio collection — you can always see the latest additions in the New Stencil Designs area of their website.


For ten days until Christmas Eve, Royal Design Studio will feature one selected stencil per day at 50% off!  They are on Day 6 and have a few stencils to go — will your favorite be among them?  Be sure to use the code given for your half off savings!

The daily selected stencils will be showcase on their Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest boards.  Do be sure to follow and “like” them for plenty of inspiration, too!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more the latest and greatest with Royal Design Studio!  They also have the Design Amour and Stencil Ideas blog with creative artists and fab projects showcased regularly — great reads!  A nice, big lush Thank You! goes out to Royal Design for the Fauxology support!

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12 Apr

Finding the Original Source of an Image on Pinterest

Straight from Regina’s Laptop. Word!

I don’t know if you know this about me, gorgeous ones, but I really enjoy Pinning.  I do know, though, that I’m not alone.  Most of us also enjoy sharing proper credit and give a virtual high-five to our fellow creatives — but then you click on an image’s link and find yourself at a site where there is no information whatsoever.  What to do?

I thought that today I’d give a short tutorial on two ways to find the original source of an image and/or credit, especially for a site such as Pinterest.


The first way is super quick and easy.  I must give a huge round of thanks to Lynne Rutter for clue-ing me into this in her recent post about wonderful blog policies to keep in mind.  She mentioned a “reverse image look-up tool called Source Image” — and that opened a whole new world to me.  Src Img is a free tool that does the image research for you.

Simply go the site, drag the link to your Bookmarks tab and Voila!  The next time you come upon an image where you would like to know the original source, click on the Src Img link in your Bookmarks tab while the picture is open on your browser.

(above) I’ve used one our studio’s Venetian Plaster projects as an example.  The bookmarklet will bring up multiple white squares with questions marks within them.  As you hover over them, they will individually turn black (like so) and once it does that while you’re over the image you want to research, click on it.

(above) It will then bring up the best guesses for that image via Google Images.  As you can see, it includes Pages and Visually Similar Images.

Sometimes, it will bring up the true original source, other times it will bring up a blog or website that featured it and provides accurate information for you.  The pages it brought up for this image — my Home Workshop guest blog post Venetian Plaster Demystified and my Pinterest page — both lead back to my studio, Garay Artisans.


Let’s say you have an image on your hard drive and you’d like to know the source or you don’t want to install the bookmark.  For this, you can go directly to Google Images itself.  Here, I’ve used an image I had for the post on the book, Living in Cuba.

(above) I paned the Windows side by side, clicked on the image and “dragged” the photo onto the Images bar.

(above) It’ll look like this…

Google Images then gives you it’s best results for that image.  Please note that both those pages come back to Fauxology, where I would definitely have provided proper credit.

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Sometimes it takes just a few more clicks into the pages given to find the right source, but I think it’s worth the extra few seconds if only to provide the proper information and credit.  I always think “What if it could lead to a project for them?”.  I like that thought. :)   Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything else I should cover.  Have a great day, lovelies!

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14 Mar

The Fifth Wall – Fabulous Ceilings

From the keypad of Peggy Pardo…

Let’s see…there’s The Fifth Dimension, The Fifth Element, pleading The Fifth,  being a fifth wheel, Fifth Avenue (the actual avenue or the candy bar, whichever you like)…but today I’m talking about the fifth wall – The Ceiling!

This wonderful piece of “real estate” is often the biggest uninteruppted expanse in the room and the one that most often gets overlooked when working on a room’s design. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to do something awesome with all that space!

To get your creative juices flowing and inspire you, I’ve found a few fabulous ceilings for you to take a look at.

I’ll start things off with the bathroom ceiling of Om Home creator, textile designer Oorbee Roy. His textile designs were used on the ceiling and vanity. I LOVE this ceiling; what a fantastic color. Note how the design extends down the wall…

Ceiling Orbee Roy powder room

Source: Apartment Therapy

Salvaged beadboard was used  to create this unique ceiling. The mix of colors really adds to the charm…

Reclaimed wood ceiling

Source: Country Living

Interior Designer Annsley McAleer used the ceiling to bring added interest and pattern to this home office space. You can can get the same effect using a stencil. (I found one that is very similar at Royal Design Studio)…

Annsley Interiors ceiling

Designer: Annsley McAleer

Bold stripes liven up the ceiling in the Avalon Hotel. Having the rows alternate makes it even more interesting…

Avalon Hotel ceiling

Designer: Kelly Wearstler

In India, tiles are often used to decorate the ceiling. Royal Design Studio has many stencils available that allow you to achieve the same type of look as does The Stencil Library

Tile ceiling India

Source: Apartment Therapy
Original Image: Mountain Label

NCF Studio created this fabulous metallic plaster ceiling…

Metallic Plaster ceiling

Source: NCF Studio

This is a floor’s eye view of a gold leafed ceiling done by Garay Artisans

Garay Artisans Gold Leaf ceiling

Source: Garay Artisans

Ceilings are just as much a part of the room as the walls and floors. They shouldn’t be overlooked when decorating a space. The right color or finish can often be just what a room needs to make it look complete.

Take a look around your home. Are there any ceilings where you can try something different?

Cheers to all,

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13 Feb

Welcome, Royal Design Studio!

Circling Allover Stencil

We’d like to say a warm Thank You! to sponsor Royal Design Studio.

Royal Design Studio is one of the industry leaders in designer quality decorative stencils, stenciling and decorative painting tools and techniques for professional decorative painters, interior designers and home decorators.  The company’s president and creative director, Melanie Royals , is a self-taught artist and entrepreneur who re-discovered and updated decorative arts stenciling beginning in 1984.  She has since led her company to product innovations such as “free-form” stenciling, Extraordinary Stenciled Effects (combining stenciling with decorative finishes) and Modello Designs, one-time use vinyl stencils which helped change the way patterns and designs were added to many surfaces.  She has also been written and been featured in books, magazines and catalogs such as Pier 1.


An added bonus for Fauxology readers?  Use the code FAUX10 when purchasing online and receive an additional 10% discount.



You can find Royal Design Studio engaging with their fans on Facebook, sharing cool links on Twitter and showcasing beautiful images on Pinterest.  Melanie also writes a fantastic blog, Design Amour — and House Beautiful certainly agrees, even asking for color advice.  Welcome, Royal Design Studio — we thank you for the support!

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23 Dec

You Say Modern, I Say Contemporary

As I surf online and go on consults, I see and hear the words Modern and Contemporary thrown around quite a bit.  I wondered, “Is there a difference between the styles or were they both a part of the same pot?”  I sought out the incredible Connecticut-based interior designer Sharon McCormick to help answer the question.  I’m so glad I did, because now I not only know that there is indeed a difference but can also identify the correct style innately while having a design-related conversation.  Interested in knowing more?  Let’s let Sharon take it away…

Sharon McCormick, Allied ASID

Sharon McCormick:  When I begin working with a new client, I of course ask them what style they have in mind.  Often a client will say they want their interiors to be “modern”.  Experience has taught me that my idea of modern and theirs are two entirely different things!  As they begin describing their ideal modern living room, I translate it to “contemporary”.  To designers, modern is mid-century modern.  I don’t know why, but The Dick Van Dyke Show living room always pops into my head, the low-slung divans and chairs with exposed legs in particular.  But I digress.

The easiest way for me to get the difference across is to describe Modern as 40’s and 50’s retro.  In the alternate, rather than a defined period of time, Contemporary is just of the moment.

My New England clients have been slow to warm to the idea of mid-century modern, while my metropolitan clients have been excited about it for several years. I’ve also found age to be a determining factor in my clientele. Those who lived through the mid-century era generally have little interest in recreating it, while the younger crowd perceives the modern look as having a very cool vibe. (The exact same is true for shag rugs, in case you were wondering.)

In design school, I took a class called 1000 Chairs. It wasn’t until recently that the well-known, iconic pieces and designers of the 1940’s and 1950’s became a part of my daily design lexicon.  I love it when  things that didn’t seem useful at the time suddenly become entirely relevant!


Contemporary is the style my clients use most frequently. Contemporary design is free-wheeling, and can incorporate antiques, mid-century pieces as well as the latest designs. Color schemes and materials are au courant, so rooms don’t look like museums, but there are no rules at all.  Clients often refer to their taste as “eclectic”, because they want so many styles to be incorporated into their homes, but feel comfort in giving their style a name.



In modern design, the walls are painted a neutral, generally white. The main pieces of furniture therefore stand out, especially if they one of a few pieces selected for their pop of primary color.  Shades of neutrals reign, in the upholstery fabrics, draperies, rugs, floors and wood furniture. While this certainly doesn’t make a room feel warm and cozy, there is often a sense of control and orderliness that people find comfortable. The lines in modern design are simple, whether they are straight or curved. There are no flourishes. The mix of materials used in pieces from this era is truly remarkable.  Lucite, plastic, chrome and molded plywood are its hallmarks. Think the plywood and leather Eames chair and ottoman or the leather and chrome Le Corbusier chairs which grace the lobbies of so many public spaces.

One of my favorite places to shop for mid century modern furnishings is Irwin Feld Design in Stamford, CT. It is THE place to shop in Fairfield County, and is often tapped by top NY designers.  Here are some of my favorite pieces:

Lucite Barrel Chairs upholstered in metallic faux leather, made by Hill Manufacturing. Fabulous start to a stunning living room.

Biomorphic End Tables made of materials which define the era: teak, glass & nickel.

So now that you know how a designer defines modern and contemporary, what is your style?

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post!  Sharon has graciously provided a list of books and websites she recommends in order to keep learning about both modern and contemporary design; do see them below.  Sharon has a fantastic Facebook fan page where she shares links and images she comes across, please do become a fan — in fact, give her a shout-out if you liked the article!  She also has a great website you can look through as well as her frequently updated eponymous design blogThank you, Sharon, for the wonderful tutorial!  Have a wonderful day, dear Readers!

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Sharon's Recommendations for Modern Design
BOOKS: Sourcebook of Modern Furniture,Mid-Century Modern

Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Details

WEBSITES: Design within Reach, BoConcept and Room & Board

Sharon's Recommendations for Contemporary Design
BOOKS: Barry Dixon Inspirations, Michael S. Smith Kitchens & Baths
and The Language of Interior Design

WEBSITES: Z Gallerie, GILT and 1st Dibs

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19 Aug

Inspired by Wallpaper

I happen to think our industry has a yin yang relationship with wallpaper.  They are technically our competition, yes, but I feel that each industry frequently helps inspire the other creatively.  I came upon the Wall & Decò line via a post on Decor8 and they are so hip and creative — the images do get the creative juices stirring.

Black and White, always striking.  Love how these two (top, bottom) work so well.  It’s nice how the design within the giraffe is less spotty, more unique.


I like the unique pattern underneath, the overall stencil on top with the pattern ending unexpectedly. Gorgeous dress, too.


Love this large "fuzzy" graphic and the almost-sepia tone it has.

(Above) What a versatile graphic pattern. Nice color variation on the right.

Effortlessly chic.

Oh, I know this is not for everyone but look at the elements. Overall, neutral distressed pattern in the background and a colorful and unusual work of art adding an enjoyable moment.  I think it’s perfect for the right boutique hotel or restaurant.  Would LOVE to tackle something like this. You?

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So there you have it. The line runs quite a few styles but it’s absolutely unique.  Inspiring, no?  Especially when you want to get out of that Same-O, Same-O rut and you have a fabulous designer and/or client to do so with.  Let me know your thoughts on these – I’m very curious.  Have a wonderful weekend!

11 Jul

World’s Best Texture Site

Well, at least that’s the goal CG Textures professes it’s going for. I discovered this site a few years ago and have been coming back to it ever since.  Yes, there are definitely great image resources around the web, including Flickr, Pinterest and even the ever-popular Google Images, but there is something I enjoy about this organized, no-fuss site.  It’s primarily for 3D artists but muralists and finishers can use it to find a reference for everything from skies to rust to ornamental arches to bricks to animals and metal.

CG Textures Panoramic Skies

Panoramic Skies

My favorite area is located under “Ornaments”.  It includes such sub-categories as arches, murals and panels to name a few.

CG Textures Murals

Subcategories: Murals (above) and Panels (below)

CG Textures Panels CG Textures Panels

You can not only browse the categories and sub-categories but search the site as well.  Please note that they have color names embedded so if you are searching for a particular color, please do enter it.

Originally, I believe they took image submissions for CG Textures but now I see the site owner provides his own images as well as those of a few chosen photographers.  They add fresh content to this day.  I hope you enjoy this wonderful reference site.  Until tomorrow!


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