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Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

You may want to whisper this little trick to your friends who admire your always perfect pillow “still life” and wonder how you manage to keep them so neat and consistent.  This is a trick I’ve used for years when working in clients’ homes and want to leave the room just as I found it. For your own use I recommend the following:

1. Take a picture

2. Print it out and store it nearby for reference.

3. Use the bed or sofa without fear of disturbing your masterpiece

I recently arranged a client’s bedding after handpainting the nearby lamp and Pier 1 Headboard when she quietly admitted that she was afraid to actually use the bed for fear of not being able to replicate the assemblage of pillows and bedding.  I quickly emailed her a photo of the bed fully arranged which she now keeps in a drawer while finally enjoying her newly updated room.

Technology at its finest! Shhhhhhh…

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Pillow Arrangement

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Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Add a tromp l’oeil headboard to your bedroom with no shopping, no expense and guaranteed to match your decor!  We cleverly integrated the existing chair rail molding right into our headboard in an afternoon.  With a little faux trim and a linen weave decorative paint, sweet dreams await this bedroom occupant!

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Tromp L'oeil Headboard

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Assurance by Insurance

Assurance by Insurance

As we make our way through this thing called life we learn valuable lessons, unfortunately sometimes as a result of a mistake.  Being a well seasoned professional in the painting industry I’ve seen a re-occurring mistake made by the consumer directly as a result of the current economic situation and I am here to put fact into action to keep YOU from making this same mistake!

I think we will all agree that a renovation project planned for your home or business should never result in frustration, preventable unaccounted expenses or lack of completion by the contractor.

When selecting your contractor (of any profession), keep your eyes opened and be aware of how this person conducts them self.  A contractor should arrive prepared with references (if you have not, in fact, gleaned this contractor from someone you already know), arrive in a timely fashion, be tidy in vehicle and person, be well spoken in the language of your country AND HAVE PROOF OF INSURANCE, as well as a certificate of authority to collect state sales tax.  Think of it this way: If the company is not valued enough by either an insurance company for liability insurance, or by your state for workman’s comp and sales tax then I urge you with every ounce of my energy to RUN–DO NOT HIRE such an individual or company!

Too many times I have seen the consumer hire such an individual because their price came in more reasonable than other quotes and like most people today, a budget is a budget and must be adhered to.  I can’t stress enough the reason that an insured contractor’s pricing will be higher than that of a non-insured contractor.  Can we say that this is truly a case in point of “you get what you pay for”?  A true professional outlays large amounts of money each year to cover the various insurances, as well as expensive trade updates, proper tool maintenance and a host of additional business expenses which are all required for them to provide you the very best possible experience as a consumer.

Too many times I have been called in to repair the work of another “professional”…so did they really end up saving money in the end?  And what about the price of aggravation—avoidable aggravation? And for those of you who believe that nothing will happen on such a small job…I have witnessed the tales of expensive lawsuits by uninsured contractors sustaining an injury on the homeowner’s property.  Without your contractor providing proof of insurance, you and you alone will be held liable in a court of law for not only damage to your own property by the contractor, but medical and liability for your contractor’s injury!

An experienced professional brings with them the talent along with

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Proof of Insurance

knowledge, dedication to the trade, AND INSURANCE which ASSURES you that this contractor will do what you have contracted them to do.

So, put together a REALISTIC, fair market budget for your project and REST ASSURED that it will come out fabulous!

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“Just Faux Fun” – A Wonderful Article

"Just Faux Fun" - A Wonderful Article

A few weeks back Julia had the pleasure of being interviewed for an article that would appear on guidemehome2westchester.com. We wanted to share the article with you. Feel free to share the article with your friends and family and even post to Facebook! Thank you all for your support.

Go here to read the article!

 

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You CAN Teach an old dog new tricks!

You CAN Teach an old dog new tricks!
Molten Metal Faux Paint

Molten Metal Faux Paint

This old Baker Furniture chair, although sturdy and still valuable, was boring in black satin….no more!  Its neutral mix of silvers, golds and bronze awash in an embedded caramel glaze brought this fabulous set of 10 party chairs into the current century.

Look outside of that doghouse you live in and breath new light into your existing furnishings!!  My client describes them as “Eye Candy” now.  And yet they are still neutral to stand the test of time.  With two coats of clear lacquer they will also stand the test of wear!

When refinishing an item such as this, I encourage proper preparation to ensure the new finish will adhere firmly.  Although not as much fun as the artistic finishing, proper prep is mandatory for the stability of your new finish.  These chairs underwent a sanding with a 220 grained sander, or finer, followed by a thorough wiping with an appropriate cleaner after determining what finish you are dealing with (and if any furniture wax residue is present).  Dependent upon the existing finish, the correct primer coat is essential.  This is the bonding coat and you MUST keep in mind that the finished paint technique will only be as strong as the weakest coat of paint!!  This is typically the layer at which most finishes fail and I cannot stress enough that you must do your research to determine what product will give you the correct bond.  After this you are home free to paint to your heart’s desire so GO FAUX IT and teach that old dog a new trick or two!

Woof!!

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Its Faux Real

Its Faux Real
Decorative Paint

Faux Denim

Most people have to touch these walls to believe its only paint!   Complete with french seaming, these walls are as durable as the real thing, only alot easier to keep clean.  Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser is no challenge to the stability of this glaze!!  I actually had a client demonstrate how she scrubbed these walls with her Eraser to remove her son’s newly appointed illustrations…five years of doing this and these walls were as great as day one.

Even more amazing is how easily this technique can be achieved using some fairly basic tools including my favorite “chip” brush which will set you back about $1.50 at the hardware store!  Although this particular wall was completed with a Check Roller (which imparts that worn, textural, fabric-y appearance) you can get pretty darn close to this with just your chip brush.  After rolling on a fairly transparent glaze over a wall which has been recently painted in a satin or semigloss paint to reduce porosity, drag the chip brush horizontally through the glaze beginning at the top of your wall and continuing until the entire panel is completed.  Follow this by dragging the brush vertically through the entire panel.  I recommend taping out panels in widths no larger than a standard fabric width of 56″ and don’t forget to overlap the panels by approximately 1/8″ where your stitching will eventually live…and that’s all that’s required for a truly realistic denim wall!

I laugh when my teenaged daughters pay top dollar for aged, torn jeans and my usual reply is that I could do that to their jeans for a lot less money!!  They’ve gotten tired of that comment by now and I’m glad to report that this season’s jeans are “newer” and darker anyway.

Denim is such an important fabric in our lives so why not include it in your decorating?  Its really an ageless and timeless wall fashion and Its Faux Real!!

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Just Faux Fun

Just Faux Fun
Decorative Paint

Decorative Paint

Who would want a boring powder room after experiencing the interactive movement of this lustrous colourwash?  Keeping your guests dazzled in this room will be the talk of the party…

Like watching clouds gently roll by in the sky, the glazes on this wall seem to be ever-changing as you tilt your head.  Soft yet strong, subtle yet powerful, this powder room transformed from a cookie cutter builder’s standard issue room into a dazzling and exotic must-see space.

Artwork will leap from these walls, although they will certainly hold their own.  A scented candle, a soft towel and this room is DONE!

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Go With The Faux

Go With The Faux

No actual trees were harmed in this process!  If your existing doors, trim, or even furniture, are not the  prized wood species you desire then GO WITH THE FAUX and turn them into any exotic wood species your heart desires without harming any more trees.

Known in the industry as the french term Faux Bois, the painting process can vary from a simple one-coat glaze all the way to a five, six, or more layered glaze process with every level of detail  in between.  I mention this because pricing out this process can be very tricky.  The artist and client, together, must determine what price point will be satisfactory and what level of detail they have expectations for.  A saying that I continually relay to my apprentices is, “Time is Money”, which certainly holds true for the faux bois process.  On a project like this, if I get in, get done and get out in one day, the price point will be lower as well as the level of detail then a project for which I must return five consecutive days with multiple layers, colors and detailing.  Consider these facts when embarking upon your faux bois project in order to have realistic expectations of detail and cost.

As a reference point, this faux black walnut door was a three layer process plus a watertight sealer…of course all supplies used were waterbased and extremely low VOC.  Please note that this door had flat panels before the depth of trompe l’oeil detail was added.

Faux Black Walnut

My Interior Creations, llc

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Raise the Roof!

Raise the Roof!

Well, not really.  But it will sure FEEL like it if you add a more saturated color to your ceiling…and at a fraction of the cost of physically lifting your roof!

Throughout  my career it’s probably been the number one hesitation by my clients to lose their chalky white ceilings in favor of a more complimentary shade.  Because I feel so passionately about this subject, it has become my mission to “raise the roof” of everyone I know…one beautiful ceiling at a time!

Think about this-your ceiling is the single largest surface in your home, office or retail space.  Now think about the characteristics of white: it is harsh, cold, lifeless and it “pops” out at you.  That’s all well and good for some dynamite decorative trim.  But, if you are standing under an eight foot high ceiling, the last thing I want to feel is that ceiling visually pressing down on me.  I’d like it to recede, or fall away in shadow thereby creating the illusion of a higher, warmer surface!  Accomplish this by choosing a ceiling color a few shades lighter than your walls.  For example, if your walls are a magnificent shade of blue such as Benjamin Moore’s historic Van Courtland Blue HC-145, then paint the ceiling Benjamin Moore Yarmouth Blue HC-150.  Another example would be if your walls were a calming, spa-like Yarmouth Blue, then paint the ceiling Yarmouth Blue mixed at 25% by your local paint store (only 25% of the tint is used) and is a very popular ceiling solution for me!  And speaking of percentages, 100% of my clients have come to appreciate and understand the importance of adding color to the ceiling!

Of course, I am not opposed to painting the ceiling as the darkest tint in the room…but let’s take one color step at a time!

For those who have the magnificence of higher ceilings – empower them to soar with the grandeur of a color!  Now you will notice how that crown molding becomes the focal point instead of blending with its neighboring tones.

Once you’ve become a ceiling color convert, and I guarantee you WILL be one, you are ready for the next step in ceiling color which is decorative ceiling paint.  Imagine your beautiful dining room chandelier light dancing off the lustre of a metallic stipple

decorative paint

Dining Room Ceiling

…how grand to give your captive dining audience so much eye candy to enjoy along with their meal!  What a gracious host you are!!

Oh, the ceiling treatments are endless!  Rejoice in your new found freedom from that old chalky white…and I say Raise the Roof!

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Don’t Faint, Its Only Paint!

Don't Faint, Its Only Paint!

Where else in one’s life can we make such a huge statement without making a huge commitment?  If you buy that Lime Green car which caught your eye, you had better still love it in a few years…and good luck selling it.  But if you paint a wall lime green and your life’s journey takes you down a new color path-well, then just repaint!

I encourage you to pursue the strongest accent colors you love and put them on your walls as its only a can of paint away from remission.  But I’m willing to bet that the new found boldness on your walls, ceilings or furniture may just add that bit of “zing” to your life you’ve been seeking!  And I’ll also bet that the boldness will trickle down through your life in ways you could never expect…

Who knew happiness and a new outlook on life was only a paintbrush away?  Go ahead-ring in the New Year with New Color.  You have this painter’s permission to kick it up to the next level of color!

Interior Creations

Don't Faint, Its Only Paint

 

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