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Throwback Thursdays

May 15, 2014

I love Throwback Thursdays because I always post a photo of my daughter who has had so many different looks over the years, it’s hard to believe it’s the same person. Also, I always tag her so that it appears on her Facebook page and try and post early in the morning before she has a chance to delete it off of her page. It has become a little game we play. She did tell me that in one of her theatre classes at Loyola, that my Throwback Thursday photos of her were quite the topic of conversation with everyone, including her professor, saying how much they looked forward to seeing them.

This got me thinking that I should start recycling old color and design projects on Thursdays for my blog. This might be a good way to inspire me to post more often. So, hopefully, this will be the first of many!

I’ll start with one of my first color consultation projects. Shortly after I started my line of Full Spectrum Paints in 2001, Mercedes Whitecloud asked me to meet her at the Pitot House Museum in New Orleans because they were doing some repainting. I didn’t have nearly as many stock colors to choose from back then (now we have over 100), so what was surprising to me, was that many of my colors were actually dead ringers for the historical colors original to the circa 1799 plantation. The interior millwork was all “Edgewood Green” and three of the rooms were the equivalent of our “Wedgewood”, “Citrine” and “Ruby” which is from our Magical Gems Palette. I was floored to discover that this saturated, bright red was used back then!

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“Ruby” walls with “Edgewood Green” trim recreated from the original colors used in this bedroom. Photo from the book Creole Houses.

Today the Pitot House is home to the Louisiana Landmarks Society who saved it, moving it about two hundred feet in the mid-1960s to prevent its demolition for the construction of a school. The Landmarks Society focused its restoration during the period of 1810-19 when it was occupied by Jacques-Francois Pitot, a native of France who became the second mayor of New Orleans. Pitot previously spent time in Saint Domingue, now Haiti, hence the Creole architectural and colorful influences.

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We created our full spectrum formula for the shutters and named the color “Pitot Shutter Green”.

Although I had already created several of the colors used in the Pitot House, I was so taken with the unusual colors of the shutters and the mango-colored parlor, I later created full spectrum formulas for those colors for colorful artist Hunt Slonem, who used them at both Albania and Lakeside Plantations.

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Our version of the Pitot Parlor wall color was used in the parlor of Albania Plantation so we renamed it “Albania Mango”. “Edgewood Green” is on all millwork including the ceiling. Note how the trim is so neutral it goes with every color in the house!

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“Citrine” walls with “Edgewood Green” trim used in one of the bedrooms. Citrine is a color we use often to brighten an otherwise dark space. Works every time!

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“Wedgewood” walls with “Edgewood Green” trim used in this bedroom is probably the most subdued color in the whole house and still one of our most popular bedroom colors. To get samples of these colors, visit: Full Spectrum Paints

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What’s New?

May 8, 2014

We are still enjoying a glorious Spring like never before down here in Louisiana! For weeks, each day has been filled with blue sky days and breezy temps. I am chomping at the bit to write my Spring newsletter but am anxiously awaiting the finishing touches on two projects that I plan to feature in it. The Advocate already has first dibs on featuring one of the homes, so I must wait until after May 15th!

In the meantime, we have finally completed a little project I’ve wanted to do for years. We now have hand-painted color charts featuring paint smears of all 100 of our stock colors. Each 11″x17″ color chart shows how well each color coordinates with all of the other colors in our palette. It’s the perfect tool for putting together color palettes and before investing in larger paint samples. You can order one in our online store: Order Color Chart Here.

ImageAlthough I try to make it easy to select paint colors and put together color palettes by creating “tried and true” paint colors that work in most any environment, I am always happy to help. Just email photos to me at ellen@ellenkennon.com and we can set up a time to talk color!

 

 

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Happy Spring!

April 15, 2014

So nice to finally have some beautiful blue sky days! It’s been a while since my last post because I’ve been following my own advice from my Winter Living Well Newsletter which was to take advantage of the season to “go within“. We have had such a long winter and with all of the arctic storms we’ve all endured, being home bound has certainly had its advantages. We created six new paint colors! Ash, Dove, Smoke, Spanish Moss, Thunder Cloud and Pomegranate. All except Pomegranate are various shades of gray.

In the same newsletter, I also shared tips I’ve used to create the healing energy you feel when spending time in my little sanctuary in the woods. Besides finally being able to open our windows and breathe in some negative ions (i.e. negative ions are invisible molecules that, when we inhale them, produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of seratonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our energy), you can also use quartz crystals and Himalayan sea salt crystals for ionizing and purifying your environment.

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Although raised Episcopalian, I love all kinds of religious artifacts: Evil Eyes, Angels, Christian crosses, Buddha heads and a collection of Quan Yin statues can be found in little altars all over the house, both indoors and out.

I have little altars everywhere, and you’ll see quite a few Quan Yin figurines and statues. The first time I ever heard the name “Quan Yin”, was from a healer in Mt. Ida, Arkansas. This woman is absolutely amazing! While you lie on a massage table, she pulls negative energy that has been stored in your body from emotional traumas. As she does this, she also tells you what she “sees” which can range from visits from loved ones who have passed on, descriptions of the emotional trauma that caused the body ailment, and in my case, she also relayed advice from Quan Yin. At the time, neither the healer nor I even knew about Quan Yin, who as it turns out is the most revered Goddess of Asia. Known as the equivalent of our Mother Nature and the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, Quan Yin told me I was always giving, but it was important for me to learn how to receive because she said to receive was to “experience”. I didn’t think much about it until a week later, I received a demo CD, “The Tao of Healing” for our shop. On both the front and back covers, were images and descriptions of Quan Yin! Once I saw the spelling (there are several spellings since she is popular in both Buddhist and Taoist countries), I Googled her and discovered much more about her and realized that the beautiful three foot tall porcelain figurine in my favorite local restaurant was Quan Yin.  After telling the restaurant chef & owner, Philip Plaisance, what I had discovered about Quan Yin, he gave me the beautiful white porcelain figurine of her (in the photo above) as a house warming gift. (As it turned out, he had quite a collection of  Quan Yins but didn’t know why he was so drawn to her.) Since then, I have stumbled upon various Quan Yin statues in my travels and she now plays an important part in creating the healing energy of my home. 

Mantle at Mon Soleil

This photo taken by Anna Addison for an article in Houzz.com shows my most powerful altar which has three Quan Yin statues, in addition to Hunt Slonem’s Archangel Sandalphon painting, amethyst and clear quartz crystal clusters and a Himalayan Sea Salt crystal bowl/light.

Recently, Philip sold my favorite restaurant (The Oxbow) and gave me the wonderful porcelain Quan Yin (seen on the mantle) that I admired every time I dined there. I am so grateful for such an amazing gift!

Speaking of Hunt Slonem, his latest book, Bunnies, is now available on Amazon.com. It certainly deserves all 25 five-star ratings received as of this post.  It is a gorgeous book filled with beautiful images of Hunt’s bunny paintings and a forward by John Berendt (author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) which is a fascinating description of how Hunt paints a dozen or so bunnies every day as his warm up before creating his larger paintings. Although there are book signings all over the U.S., the book is discounted considerably on Amazon and makes a stunning Easter gift.

Hunt Slonem Bunnies

Some of Hunt Slonem’s bunny paintings featured on our “Coral” wall color that was featured in New York Magazine.

Hunt Slonem Bunny Paintings-Ogden Museum

More Slonem bunny paintings on our “Monteverde” color that was featured in the Ogden Museum Exhibit & CBS Sunday Morning.

If you’d like samples of our new colors, just email us and we’d be delighted to send them out to you: ellen@ellenkennon.com

Happy Spring, Happy Easter & Happy Passover! May all the seeds you planted this past Winter blossom into your fondest dreams!

P.S. About the healer I mentioned. I not only felt light as a feather afterwards, she was able to rid me of a pain I had in my hip for years. It has now been over a year and the pain has never returned! She is very private, but if you are interested in seeing her, email me for her contact info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2014 Color(s) of the Year

December 5, 2013

I have been putting together information for this post for weeks now but have been uninspired to write about the colors predicted as the “2014 Color of the Year”. But now that all of the predictions are in, I thought I’d share them and see if it is just me that doesn’t find much appealing about any of them.

If I had to pick one, I’d have to say my favorite came from Benjamin Moore who chose their color “Breath of Fresh Air”. Although it is beautiful in their photograph, it is quite bright and cold in person. I love most airy blues because they are so soothing and calming and use them often in bedrooms.

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I always enjoy seeing the beautiful Colour Futures book from the color team of the manufacturer of our paints. I even have created full spectrum versions of pretty much every color they have predicted for over the past ten years. However, this year, they chose a muted Teal:

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Again, a very pretty color in the photo and in this instance, the actual color is more subdued and doesn’t have the life to it I would have expected. In their Colour Futures book, they describe Teal as “Somewhere between blue and green it has come to symbolise balance, but should be combined with neutral tones and shades of wood so as not to overwhelm a space.” 

PPG, the new manufacturer of our paints (they bought out Akzo Nobel last Spring), picked pale yellow for 2014. The example they use from their color deck is Turning Oakleaf:

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PPG expects the color to have a prominent role in home decor in the coming year as part of their forecast for use of brighter, more optimistic colors among homeowners. I have to say, my Buttercream which was the first full spectrum color I ever created is still one of my top sellers and the color I have in my own home which can be seen in a recently published Houzz.com article:

My Houzz: Cottage Comforts in the Louisiana Woods

Color guru and good friend Kate Smith of Sensational Color was interviewed in the Washington Post and gave this prediction: 

“Gray is the new beige. Though dont call it greige, like its some cutesy neutral du jour. As color expert Kate Smith explains, over the past decade or so, the design industry and the public have grown to love complex colors, colors that are hard to describe such as the manifold shades of gray. And, she says, once you start to appreciate and understand these complex colors, theres no going back.

I have to say, from personal experience, I have to agree with Kate in that my most popular colors are my complex neutrals (Mushroom, Silt, Stone, Bark, Rainbow Fog, Merlin’s Mist, Avalon Mist, Gustavian Grey, to name a few). 

Finally, the source everyone gets the most excited about is Pantone’s Leatrice Eismann and up until a couple of days ago, many thought her pick would be “Dazzling Blue” which she selected last Spring as a color to watch. Even Vanity Fair magazine posted an article on their website about it and later made a comical retraction of sorts: 

Update: “Dazzling Blue” Not the Color of the Year, Just Some Random Dumb Color You Can Continue Ignoring

And as they feared, Leatrice selected a totally different “2014 Color of the Year”!

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Once again, the photo does the color more justice than it deserves. Aren’t you glad you’re not so trendy that you feel you absolutely must use one of these in your homes?

 

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IMPORTANT INFO: Sampling & Touching Up Paint

September 22, 2013

Over the years, I have discovered that most folks don’t know that much about paint. Heck, I didn’t know much at all until I started creating paint colors and selling paint. Now that paint has gotten so expensive and there have been so many changes to paint products over the years, I felt it important to share some of the things I have learned that I feel are critical, so that you will be informed enough to make wise decisions.

One of the reasons paint prices from all manufacturers have gone up is due to a global shortage of titanium dioxide, one of the key ingredients in paint. Also, the biggest environmental issue facing the paint industry today is that of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and the effect that the solvents contained in paints have on the air we breathe, so most companies have been making changes to the actual paint products, lowering and omitting the VOCs. This not only can change the product itself, but also affects the color formulas, hence the reason I had to reformulate many of my colors several years ago.

I have a lot of repeat customers and have recently come across a few who are trying to touch up previous paint jobs, but like most folks, they tossed the cans of leftover paint in Read the rest of this entry »

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NEWS: “What’s Next in Color?” and a Paint Sale!

August 28, 2013

Have you seen the September House Beautiful?  It’s a great color issue with a “What’s Next in Color” article where they interviewed the color marketing directors from eleven major paint companies.

For starters, several pointed out that “feel-good” yellows are trending, from “pale, luminous yellow” like our Buttercream and Classic Marc to brighter more vibrant orangey yellows like our Del Sol and Tuscan Sun.

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Classic Marc, originally created for designer Marc Charbonnet, on walls above are both classic and now “trending”. Gustavian Grey, in the foyer beyond, is a perfect example of a complex gray with warm undertones.

Gray is still the most popular neutral, but now grays are predicted to be much more complex, with both warm and cool undertones. I pulled out our palette of timeless, tried and true colors and found matches for every color described in the article. For complex grays described as “warm & toasty”, our Stone, Silt and JV Violet are perfect examples. Putty and Pumice (in addition to the Gustavian Grey in the photo above) are also easy to live with grays, but with warm, green undertones. The best thing about all of these grays is that they work especially well with wood tones.

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Walls above painted JV Deep Taupe, created for designer Jon Vaccari, are a perfect example of the “warm and toasty” grays with undertones that give this color the grounding and nurturing qualities of a “cozy and safe” brown.

When it comes to color, grayed-down pastels are also forecasted as coming into the foreground, with nature’s predominant blues and greens still very popular, especially the watery blues ranging from turquoise to deep indigo. Pantone color guru Leatrice Eiseman chose a very warm “Linden Green” (see our Spring Green, Peridot, Chartreuse & Jaunty Jen) as the color to watch for, so will this be Pantone’s 2014 color of the year choice to replace Emerald? I’ll report back as soon as I find out!

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All color enthusiasts anxiously await Color Guru Leatrice Eiseman’s Color of the Year, so it will be interesting to see if Linden Green will be it for 2014! 

In the meantime, we’re having an end of the Summer Sale on our best-selling VOC-free no smell Lifemaster Eggshell product. $7 off per gallon through Friday, September 6th!

Order online via our online store:  Order Lifemaster Eggshell on Sale!

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Sea & Sand – I’m ready for the lazy days of Summer!

June 5, 2013

I apologize profusely for taking so long to post. Thankfully, Full Spectrum Paints has been keeping me quite busy, in addition to some local decorating projects. I did manage to write my Spring Living Well Newsletter before the end of Spring which showcased a color consultation project for Interior Decorator Cynthia Nicholas and Karen Lewis, a certified counselor in healing with color. I’ll share with you the color palette we used, but to read more about the project and these two talented ladies, just click on this link: Spring 2013 Living Well

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The cabinets and stools are painted “75% Ashen Green” and walls are “50% Wheat”. We often use percentages of our formulas to lighten our colors.

Other colors used throughout the house were Wheat (at full strength), Buttercream, Sand, 50% Sand, Gustavian Grey and 50% H2 Ahh! with JV Cloud White ceilings and millwork. Karen wanted something very soothing and considering we used the sea and sand colors of the beach, it is indeed VERY soothing!

Feng Shui expert and coach Trisha Keel (TrishaKeel.com and TomorrowsKey.com) also recently specified our “Sand” color for one of her projects in Houston, and recently sent me this photo of our “Turquoise” color she used in a client’s office reception area where they needed to bring in the element of water.

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Turquoise, from our Magical Gems palette, promotes both a soothing and rejuvenating atmosphere, just like enjoying a day at the beach!

Be sure to visit Trisha’s websites, TrishaKeel and  Tomorrow’s Key, for a wealth of information about her varied services which range from Professional Feng Shui Practitioner Training and Consultations (including online courses!) to Tarot, I Ching & Divination Services.

And for more information about our Full Spectrum Paints, visit EllenKennon.com!

Happy Summer!

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