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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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“Perfect Place in Nature” Palettes, the First of Many

February 12, 2013

When I was living in New York, I found the energy of the city so stimulating that in order to fall asleep at night, I would listen to calming, self-hypnosis tapes as I would drift off. The tapes always began by having me visualize my “perfect place in nature”, so I’d visualize myself lying in a hammock looking up at tall trees, high above a babbling creek. One day, a friend invited me to a lecture given by “Sun Bear”, an Indian chief and author of several books. His talk was about the importance of nature and how we were meant to live in harmony with nature.

Several days later, some of the city’s underground steam heat pipes burst up through the sidewalks spewing boiling water and asbestos up into the air just blocks from my apartment. I took this as “a sign” and left the city soon after, returning to my native state of Louisiana.

Fond memories of Louisiana’s beautiful West Feliciana Parish and its charming town of St. Francisville beckoned. I called the first realtor listed in its yellow pages and described the type of property I was looking for: Several acres with so many trees that I would have very little yard to mow, so private that I could see company coming before they could see me, and if it were at all possible, a babbling creek.

Later that day, the realtor showed me property with all of those features. It was perfect. Several weeks later, as my home was being built, I was lying in a hammock looking up at the 100′ tall trees supporting it, about 25 feet above Alexander Creek, and it hit me! Creative visualization really does work, even unintentionally! If such things as serenity are important to you, think of the way you feel in your “perfect place in nature”.

Your home should be emotionally comforting. If it doesn’t lift your spirits at the end of a hectic day, it’s not living up to its obligations as a place of refuge and retreat. According to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui (which means wind and water), the design of your interior spaces should echo nature, balancing the five elements of earth, water, fire, metal and wood, with earth being the central element. These elements contain all matter and together create “chi”, the vital energy that connects man to earth and beyond. When all of these elements combine in a space, as they do in nature, they create a greater whole that becomes the space’s aura. Their interaction promotes a direct connection between your own breath of life and the spaces you occupy.

Based on this theory, I  created my line of Full Spectrum Paints and will be posting “Perfect Place in Nature” palettes to help inspire you to create your own sanctuary. Today, I’ll start with my own palette (Buttercream, Ashen Green, Magnolia, Azure, Alexandra Blue & Light Terracotta).

The main living area wall color “Buttercream” was chosen because this soft, creamy yellow creates an atmosphere that promotes hopefulness and communication, stimulates creativity and the intellect. It has been featured in more than one issue of House Beautiful Magazine and two of their books. In the House Beautiful iPad App, Buttercream is one of only two colors that is touted as both “calming & happy”!

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“Buttercream” walls & ceilings with “Ashen Green” trim. Photo by the late Sandy Johnson.

I used “Ashen Green” trim on all millwork since my small cabin is in the woods surrounded by lots of lush greenery. Although this is a gray-green with blue undertones, it also works well with the browner, mossy greens, which are in both of my sofas. The Master Bedroom is painted “Magnolia” and because it is small and there are so many windows and doors, I painted the trim in this room the same color. Although Magnolia is a dark color, it embraces the coziness of the small room and connects you to the outdoors–like being on a porch! Also, the color green is THE most healing color and like all cool colors, it is very soothing and restful.

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“Magnolia” used on walls, ceiling, trim and even the fan blades! Photo by Kerri McCaffety.

The Guest Room is painted “Azure”, a sunny pale sky blue that studies have shown to induce sleep and reduce inflammation–known as the “Florence Nightingale” color.

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Walls & ceilings are “Azure” with “Ashen Green” used on trim and chest. Dutch beds on each side are upholstered in blue cotton fabric. Photo by the late Sandy Johnson.

You’ll note from the photos that all walls and ceilings are painted the same color which softens the space and cloaks it in color. I especially do this for cathedral ceilings and low-ceiling rooms with no crown molding because it visually raises the ceiling height. My daughter Alexandra’s room is painted “Alexandra Blue”, the color of the sky at twilight. This color is so relaxing, I often hang out in her room when she’s away at school. The periwinkle undertone makes the color so misty, you want to put your hand out to touch the walls as they seem cloud like.

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“Alexandra Blue” walls & ceiling, “Ashen Green” trim. Hallway is also “Ashen Green” with “Buttercream” in great room beyond.

The Master Bathroom was originally painted “Light Terracotta” which is both cheerful and flattering to skin tones. The Euro Guest Bath walls are handmade tiles in the same color with a “Mykonos Blue” ceiling. I had artist Sally Conklin paint over the Master Bath walls and ceiling telling her “I want to feel like I am outdoors in a Monet painting”, so she came through in a big way incorporating the original color.

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Eurobath has custom-made tiles to match our “Light Terracotta” color. Ceiling is “Mykonos Blue”. Tiles by artist Mary Kay Davis & photo by Kerri McCaffety.

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Master Bath walls painted over “Light Terracotta” by artist Sally Conklin, owner of Circa 1857 in Baton Rouge. Photo by Kerri McCaffety.

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Left to Right: Ashen Green, Buttercream, Azure, Magnolia, Alexandra Blue & Light Terracotta Full Spectrum Paints

If you’d like samples of these colors, we have many different types, including free hand-painted samples that can be ordered at our online store on our website, ellenkennon.com.

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Our Best-selling Colors for 2012

January 22, 2013

This time every year, I run a report to see what colors were most popular over the past year. 2012 was quite a departure from previous years! Our “Buttercream” that has outsold all other colors three to one for years, has been eclipsed by “JV Cloud White”, a beautiful white, but not a color in the true sense of the word. This white was followed by White Opal (our purist white), Classic Cream, Mushroom, Gustavian Grey and Snow as our top sellers.

Could JV Cloud White on this book cover be the reason?

Could “JV Cloud White” on this book cover be the reason?

Wheat, Classic Marc, H2 Ahh!, Edgewood Green, Lichen and Chartreuse (last two were featured in House Beautiful) and weren’t far behind. Interesting how these more colorful colors are still quite neutral.

"Wheat" (on walls above) has quickly replaced Buttercream as the popular yellow.

“Wheat” (on walls above) has quickly replaced Buttercream as the popular yellow.

Last but not least, other popular colors include Honeysuckle, Sage, Bark, Pumice, Putty, Oasis, Sand, Citrine and Christine’s Cloud (the new popular ceiling color). I find the best place to try and envision any of these colors in your home is on our four Photos & Reviews pages that have hundreds of photos of completed projects sent to us by our clients.

If you didn’t see our last blog post, be sure to check it out to find out how to get in on our January Paint Sale!

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