Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Friday, February 11, 2011

If you could do anything in your home...

One of the best things about my job, besides great clients who feed me, give me cool cast-off furniture they don't want anymore, loan me their children, and pay me to splash paint on every conceivable surface of their homes, is the opportunity to try ideas that might never make it into the mix in my own home.  Sarah and Randy called me in last fall, to see if I could paint their builder oak cabinets, and do something fun to the back splash.   We did something fun to nearly every surface in their house!
"Black Ember" hand rubbed finish on cabinets,
 vintage silver s&p knobs,
 and "bolted barn metal" back splash.

Sarah had seen the creamy white MacKenzie finish on a friend's cabinets, and wondered if we could go a little darker in her kitchen.  Turns out, she had wanted black cabinets, but was afraid to even mention it, for fear it would be too dark.  Luckily, I had a black-rub-over-red sample with me, so it didn't take long to discover she was keeping secrets from me.  Never keep secrets from your interior designer.  It gives her headaches, and gives you far less fabulous results than you deserve, if it goes undetected.

"Rusty Barn Metal" bolted onto the back splash...
or maybe that's just painted on
Sarah loves to mix bling and rustic, modern and baroque.  Once I realized that I could throw in baroque with her very contemporary furniture and accessories, we were off and running. 

Vintage salt and pepper shakers were drilled, filled,
 and bolted onto the doors for FUNky  knobs.
They asked if I could find interesting mismatched knobs in a decent price-point.  If I had actually charged for hitting every antique store in a 30 mile radius, I'd have seriously blown the budget.  As it is, I found some cool stuff for my own home, and met some really interesting shopkeepers, all while pretending to be at work.

Ya gotta have access to the right tools for some jobs.
Even I, Tool Girl, do not have my dream shop,
nor can I justify buying things I'll only use on occasion.
Everyone knows one guy with a great shop,
and if you can bake cookies, you can borrow his tools.
I happen to bake REALLY good cookies!

Black Ember cabinets, with vintage salt & pepper pulls
are the base of a very cool breakfast bar.
They had already decided to have a spray on surface done by another contractor to refurbish their Formica counters, but they wondered if I could do something really unique on their breakfast bar... 

Who says art has to hang on the walls? 
Counter tops are paintable, though this one is covered in canvas,
then painted, so it can move with them,
if ever they decide to head back to warmer climates.
Once I hung around the family for a few days, it became obvious that these are seriously fun people who love each other,  love good food, and at least one of them loves rock and roll.  If he wasn't busy in the medical field, he would have had to become a rock star.  If she didn't hit the gym several times a week, she couldn't indulge her not-so-secret passion for chips in all their infinite variety.  So, after looking at the art in other parts of their house, I came up with "When the party starts rockin', let the chips fall where they may."  An album of this title is flying from it's sleeve (of course we're talkin' vinyl, here!), to party with the spiraling martini glasses and dancing chips.  
"When the Party Starts Rockin',
Let the Chips Fall Where They May"
custom painted counter top.
Remember, you can click on the photos to enlarge, click again for details.
Once the kitchen was done, the adjoining spaces needed color and texture.  This wall finish is trowelled on paint, usually done to mimic plaster without adding so much texture.  Done in this color palette to accentuate their framed prints, it makes the whole wall an art installation. 

Trowelled paint in five colors was done on this
and a half-wall in the dining area.
With all the added color and restyling, the standard issue oak railings were really out of place, but the budget, which had to leave room for two bathrooms to be remodeled by other contractors, was really low.  When Sarah came home with a very ornate black crystal (ahem, plastic, but I swear you can't tell the difference!) chandelier to hang over her contemporary dining table, I knew we could actually use the classical styling of the railings to our advantage, and doing a distressed finish like this saves time and money on boring stuff like primer and perfect drip-free pint jobs.  The perfect solution at the perfect price.

Distressed black enamel over basic builder oak
gives a whole new look.
I like Benjamin Moore's Ironwood enamel...
whatever they've recently renamed it.

This armoire sports a new streaky teal and brown paint finish.

And custom knobs.

I went back to this job this week to touch up nicks, splatters, and other boo-boos from the contractors who came in behind me, and to get photos with the rooms all put back together, which I don't always get to do.  Of course, Sarah and I came up with two more projects, and I'm working on ideas for a cool paint treatment downstairs in the TV room, since that fresh pearly gray paint is just a little too tame...Hey Randy, I'll be back in a few weeks, in case you want to make me more of that fabulous guacamole!

1 comment:

Kristie Duyckinck said...

You continue to amaze, Dawn-Marie. I love the way you integrate your clients' personalities and ideas with your own creativity and skills. So when's the book coming out???