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In a word, “Magical”!

October 27, 2014

My NYC trip couldn’t have been more “Perfect”! Not only was it so much fun that it has taken me this long to catch my breath, but I made so many new friends and reconnected with so many wonderful old friends (some I hadn’t seen in 25 years!), that I would have to say it was a huge success!

We started out with drinks on the rooftop of the Peninsula Hotel, followed by a fabulous cocktail party given by Architectural Digest Editor Margaret Russell who is incredibly gracious (Marc Charbonnet made a big point of introducing me to both Margaret and Jacqueline Terrebonne, Design Projects Editor, who is originally from New Orleans). I had to laugh when I saw the online article about the party because the first photo in the slideshow has my friends in it!

AD Party Pic

In foreground L to R: Owen Kemp (woman with short hair), top of my head, David Parker, Keith Koppens and architect Jim Dart. With us but not pictured were Marc Charbonnet and NYC photographer Alec Harrison.

Afterwards, we all met Hunt Slonem for dinner at Bryant Park Grill and spent most of the next day at his amazing 30,000 square foot studio and Mario Batali’s Eataly where we dined on the roof. My talk at the Anichini showroom was the next morning where I was so excited to not only see old friends who worked with me at Peter Marino Architect (Annie Baumgartner, Scott Weaver & Russell Bush) back when Peter wore bow ties and pleated pants, but beyond thrilled that Newell Turner not only took the time out to come see me, but along with Marc Charbonnet, gave glowing testimonials on my paints! I mean really, how could you not be sold after listening to those two!

NYC photographer Alec Harrison & Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet at Anichini NYC.

The very talented NYC photographer Alec Harrison & Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet at Anichini NYC.

Most of us went to lunch at Victor’s Cafe’ afterwards where the party started and lasted until the wee hours (Flute Champagne Bar)! I’m embarrassed to say, we were hobbling to the plane the next day (I usually pace myself)!

Our “hostess with the mostess”, Anichini founder Susan Dollenmaier summed it up beautifully in her email to us afterwards:

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Last 5 Days of Paint Sale

October 9, 2014

If you read my latest Living Well Newsletter, you know that I am having a sale on paint through Monday, October 13th, which is the day before I leave for New York to attend the D&D Building’s Fall Market. I will be mostly unavailable next Tuesday, the 14th through Friday, the 17th, so I’m hoping folks will plan ahead and take advantage of the sale! Although both Abbey and Veronica will be here working, I like to review all paint orders before they go out, so please know, it will take longer than usual while I’m away at market. To take advantage of the sale, read my newsletter to find out what to put in the box at checkout to get the discount.

The Fall Market promises to be very exciting and starts off Tuesday evening with cocktail parties, followed by keynotes, programs and receptions on Wednesday and Thursday. I’ll be speaking at the Anichini showroom, Suite 923 on Thursday morning @ 10:00. Anichini wrote about it in their latest newsletter.

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us!

On another note, have you seen the latest issue of House Beautiful? My “Hot Pink!” was included in the article “Daring Paint Colors” with a quote from Hunt Slonem describing how he used it with red furnishings. The next issue will include photos of Hunt’s “daring” paint colors used in his homes, so stay tuned! His latest book When Art Meets Design is finally out and getting rave reviews. The publisher, Assouline, known for publishing the most gorgeous books in the world, is opening a book store in the D&D Building at market where you’ll be able to get a copy. The photographs by Italian photographer Marco Ricca are beyond fabulous!

hbx-hot-pink-accessories-de

“Hot Pink!” was also House Beautiful’s “Color Obsession of the Week”!

I’ll be sure to take lots of photos of all the new furnishings and products and report back!

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Looking Forward to Fall

September 3, 2014

Summer is almost over and my Fall schedule is pretty exciting! Since my last post, I’ve been asked to speak at the D&D Building’s Fall Market in NYC. Scheduled for October 15-16, the opportunity inspired me to create my new hand-painted color charts, and most recently what I think will be a handy tool for use in planning paint projects. The Design Folder consists of my  11″x17″ hand-painted color chart of 100 stock colors, plus my Whites & Brights color chart, as well as color therapy information, all enclosed in a folder large enough to also store your project’s 8″x11″ samples.

My handy new Design Folder shown on a rare Anichini hand-loomed throw. A gift from artist Hunt Slonem. Serendipity abounds!

My handy new Design Folder shown on a rare Anichini hand-loomed throw. A gift from artist Hunt Slonem. Serendipity abounds!

My talk on the powerful energy of color, its effect on human emotion, and how to use it to create healing spaces will be held on Thursday, October 16th at 10:00 am in the Anichini showroom. I have been a big fan of Anichini textiles and linens for years and only recently met Susan Dollenmaier, its founder, when she stayed at Shadetree Inn here in St. Francisville. Susan is about to open her newest venture, the Anichini Company Store, in Quechee, Vermont next month where you’ll be able to purchase my paints and see nine of my full spectrum paint colors gracing the walls. Stay tuned for photos coming soon! I will also report back with the D&D Building’s schedule of other speakers for the two-day event. 

It’s been a while since I’ve visited New York, so I was thrilled when my two good friends Owen Kemp and Keith Koppens offered to go with me. At the very least, I’ll have a couple of audience members and a damn good time! 

We’re also looking forward to visiting artist Hunt Slonem‘s new 30,000 square foot studio. Hunt threw me a small party in his old studio during my last visit and was kind enough to include me in his newest book “When Art Meets Design” due out September 9. Do I have wonderful friends, or what?

When Art Meets Design by Hunt Slonem is available for pre-order on Amazon.com

When Art Meets Design by Hunt Slonem is available for pre-order on Amazon.com

HS Book Quote

I’m thrilled to be mentioned several times in Hunt’s book and can’t wait to see the photos. This photo showcases “Turquoise” from my Magical Gems Palette.

If you are in the area, I hope you’ll plan to visit the market and join us for what promises to be both interesting and fun!

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TBT – Revisiting Old Design Projects

July 17, 2014

It’s another Throwback Thursday so I thought I’d share one of my most successful design projects, Shadetree Inn in St. Francisville, LA. I say it’s successful because my daughter’s Dad and former husband Kenwood Kennon no longer has to practice law for a living. He tells everyone he’s in “the romance business”. It also happens to be ranked #1 with 5 stars on Trip Advisor.

It all started back in 1993, shortly after our daughter Alexandra was born, when we decided to turn the upstairs of Shadetree Antiques where Kenwood lived before we were married, into our first B&B suite, The Loft. Within the first year, it was written up in Southern Living Magazine in their article “Eden in Louisiana“.

The Loft already had Adirondack charm with its Louisiana red heart cypress walls & ceiling, so we just added a wet-bar and an outdoor stair & balcony entrance and furnished it with rustic willow furniture.

The Loft already had Adirondack-style charm with its Louisiana red heart cypress walls & ceiling, so we just added a wet-bar and an outdoor stair & balcony entrance and furnished it with rustic willow furniture.

The Loft was booked every weekend, so we decided to turn an unfinished building on the property into what is now the Gardener’s Cottage.

GCExterior

The Gardener’s Cottage is nestled between a wonderful old cypress tree and the Shadetree Garden.

While we were building the Gardener’s Cottage, a friend said “you should turn the whole place into a B&B!” so with a little thought, we realized that to create another suite, all we had to do was close off a couple of doors to the shop, add a wall and wet-bar to close off part of the glassed-in front porch, and voila–The Sun Porch was born! I’m most proud to report that thanks to having a shop filled with furnishings and accessories, we were able to build, renovate, and completely furnish each suite for very little money. The Loft for $5,500, The Gardener’s Cottage, which included new construction of a living room, bathroom and porch, for $25,000 and The Sun Porch for $10,000.

ST SP Bath Web

The Sun Porch bathroom is the original shop bathroom. We just added a jacuzzi for two and had artist Nancy Buras Rothschild paint the walls to feel like you’re outdoors.

At the time, I had recently moved back down to Louisiana from Manhattan and was disillusioned with the field of interior design. I felt it was materialism at its worst (back in the eighties in NYC, mind you). After spending so much time in nature and immersing myself in new age books on color and healing, I focused my energy on creating spaces at Shadetree that would enhance their connection to nature and nurture the energy of love. After all, love is what life is all about, right? The Guest Journals were so profuse with glowing comments about how wonderful the spaces made them feel, that I began to look at being an interior designer with new eyes. I realized that it wasn’t at all about material things, it was all about the energy that you create in a space. “Magical” and “healing”, words used so often in the guests’ comments that my design career was reborn and I created a new brochure for myself with a collage of guest comments on the cover:

"Magical" and "healing" were the two words used throughout the Guest Journals.

“Magical” and “healing” were the two words used throughout the Guest Journals.

So here we are 21 years later and Shadetree not only books weekends in advance, but weekdays are also heavily booked. (To reserve, call Kenwood at 225-635-6116 or email shadetreeinn@aol.com. We do get cancellations, so follow Shadetree on Facebook for the latest on cancellations.)

I am finishing up another project that will also be available for rent here in West Feliciana Parish within a few weeks. Named “The Bridge”, I have to say, it, too, will be quite magical! I’ll post photos very soon!

In the meantime, if I can help you create some magic in your spaces, email me!

 

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Summer Sale!

June 24, 2014

I finally posted a Spring 2014 newsletter that announces that we are having a sale on all paint products through July 4th. 10% off on all paint ordered online. Simply use the code “summer” in the coupon box at checkout and it will give you the discount. Also, if you’re not a Louisiana resident, there’s no sales tax, so that’s another 8-10% in discounts!

By the way, did you know that our paints cover far more square footage than most other paint brands? Most brands only cover 300-350 square feet per gallon, but our Lifemaster eggshell covers 450-475 square feet per gallon which is only 13 cents per square foot! Considering what a difference paint makes in the overall project, it is by far the best deal around.

We also have a couple of new types of paint samples! One is an 11″x17″ color chart poster of all 100 of our stock colors, as well as a smaller 8″x11″ color chart of our 10 whites and 20 magical gems and brights. Especially helpful when putting together color palettes,  the 11″x17″ chart features 100 fail-safe colors that compliment each other flawlessly in any setting, be it an ultra modern office or a historic plantation home. These nature-inspired colors have proven themselves consistently beautiful and therapeutic no matter how they are paired or lit, so seasoned designers and amateur homemakers alike can benefit from using this simple yet broad and effective palette.

100Colors

Hand-painted 11″x17″ Color Charts feature all 100 stock colors.

 Our 8″x11″ Whites & Brights Color Charts feature 10 Ethereal Whites and 20 Magical Gems and Summer Brights, the colors featured in House Beautiful Magazine as “Colors from the Deep South”. The whites include several new ones that we recreated full spectrum formulas for of some of  Benjamin Moore’s most popular whites: “Barry’s White” is our version of “Dove White”, “Pottery White” is our version of “China White”, “Nautical White” is our version of “Maritime White” and “Designer White” is our version of “Decorator White”. Did you know that our “White Opal” is whiter than Ben Moore’s “Super White”? What makes our whites so much better? No black and seven pigments in each one makes a huge difference!

WhitesBrights

Ethereal Whites, Magical Gems & Brights

Many clients use the more saturated colors to create jewel box spaces out of closets, bookcase and cabinet interiors, powder rooms and other spaces where you want to add pops of therapeutic color. Artist Hunt Slonem, who inspired many of our brights, often uses these colors for his plantation homes which surprisingly can easily handle these more saturated colors.

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“Albania Mango” walls in the Parlor at Albania Plantation

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Harmony House Ready for Guests!

June 17, 2014

So much for good intentions! It’s been two weeks since I set the goal to blog about old design and color projects on Thursdays. Although it’s not a Thursday, I wanted to follow up on my previous post about Harmony House, the house I created the architectural design of  that’s now available for rent as a private B&B retreat (private meaning you get the whole house to yourself!). I was there visiting the new owners yesterday who were putting the finishing touches on it for their first guests due to arrive this Friday, so I snapped a few photos to share.

You enter both houses from a large screened in porch, which many say is their favorite part of the house. I call Harmony House “Mon Soleil on steroids” because we added five feet to the width and eight feet to the length, a much grander staircase and a bay window in the living room.

HH Porch

The spacious screened porch is comfortable year around with its ceiling fans and fireplace.

 The extra width increased the ceiling height in the Living Room from 20′ to 23′ and it includes a kitchen and dining area with a staircase leading to a loft bedroom with two built-in Dutch beds.

HH LR

The main living area is open onto a kitchen and has another huge fireplace that shares the same chimney as the porch fireplace.

HH Kitchen

The kitchen has all the modern conveniences and a huge island around the stove where everyone likes to gather at parties.

The Master Bedroom opens onto a spacious deck complete with hot tub and outdoor shower:

HH MBRMaster Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim are all painted “Edgewood Green”.

The downstairs Guest Bedroom has two twin-sized Dutch beds and with the added square footage, its size increased considerably from my little 7′ x 10′ guest bedroom, so that this one has a reading nook:

HH GBRWalls and ceiling are painted “Spring Green”. Trim throughout the house is “Edgewood Green”

The most spectacular part of Harmony House is the outdoor areas. I wish I could take credit for these but those kudos go to the previous owners. However, I supplied the willow furniture made by Fred Hunt of Broken Bow, Oklahoma who is now operating his own B&B (www.thepastureatwillowsranch.com). He also made 20 pieces for Michael J. Fox’s Sharon, Connecticut home, thanks to their designer Marc Charbonnet who put together that sale for me!

HH deck

This covered deck is one of several decks.

HH OutdoorThe screened porch leads to an outdoor fire pit and picnic area.

As you might have imagined, this wonderful little oasis is deep in the Louisiana woods and has a 60′  foot bridge with a deck in the middle spanning a 150 foot ravine that leads to another house which is currently being spruced up for guests. Photos and more on “Melody House” soon! For more information on Harmony and Melody House, email Keith Koppens at keithkoppens@aol.com, Vincent Chatelain at vincentchatelain@hotmail.com or Pam Randazza at pamran@bellsouth.net.

If you would like your own little sanctuary/retreat, that’s my specialty! I have taken these house plans and re-worked them for two other clients, so email me at ellen@ellenkennon.com.

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Throwback Thursday: Harmony House

May 22, 2014

For my second Throwback Thursday post, I thought I’d share a local project I’ve been helping with. Back in 1998, I was asked to design a house based on the design of my own home, but bigger. Part of my task was to come up with a plan to market and rent it out as a bed and breakfast.

As luck would have it, the local historical society’s annual Audubon Pilgrimage home tour was scheduled about the same time as the construction completion date, so we came up with the idea to turn “Harmony House” into a decorator showcase house as an added bonus to the tour. We named it “Harmony House” since several designers had to work together due to it’s open floor plan.

The large one-room living, dining, kitchen area has a staircase leading to a loft bedroom upstairs. The designer for downstairs wanted mustard walls and the designer for the loft upstairs wanted red brick walls, but there was no way we could use both colors together as there was nowhere to stop one color and start another. Personally, I thought both colors were too strong for the huge space. To compromise, we created “Terracotta Sand” which worked beautifully with both designers’ fabric choices. (This was before I had my line of Full Spectrum Paints.)

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“Terracotta Sand” walls & ceiling with “Edgewood Green” trim, which brings the outdoors in.

Since then, the house was bought by one of the B&B guests and recently sold back to the original owner who plans to rent it out again as a bed and breakfast. He hired local painter Mike Small to repaint everything, using the same colors, but this time the colors have my full spectrum formulas!

Today I got to see once again what a huge difference full spectrum makes in not only brightening up the place, but also in the way the energy shifted. I’ve had countless psychics, channelers and regular folks like you and me rave about the great energy radiating from our paints and this project is a perfect example. Dr. Doreen Virtue in her book, 21 Days to Improve Communicating with Your Angels, says one of the first things you can do to purify your home so that angels will want to come in, is to paint your walls!

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Since the beginning of Full Spectrum Paints, I have visualized and prayed that everyone who comes in contact with them is joyful and balanced.

Mike Small, who is doing a fabulous job painting, also gave me a couple of painting tips I’d like to share. He said when painting with an eggshell finish, it’s important to paint “wet on wet”, meaning to start rolling the walls while the paint from cutting in is still wet. This avoids lapping or flashing. He also said he adds a little bit of water to the paint when touching up. Having never used our products, he’s loving both the coverage and application of our products and is using all three finishes from the Diamond 350 and Lifemaster product lines. Locals, Mike can be reached via his cell: 225-245-1269.

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The former Harmony House owners used “Terracotta Sand” again in their new home shown here because not only did they like it, but it also happened to blend in perfectly with the already pickled cabinetry! Since the rest of the trim was white and nothing special, we minimized it by painting all walls & trim the same “Terracotta Sand” in an eggshell finish.

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