h1

Another Day in Paradise!

January 13, 2016

I am so incredibly lucky to live and work in rural Louisiana where I get to soak in beauty on a daily basis. Just the other day, I went to drop off some curtain rings to Aimee English who runs the workroom that sews all of my clients’ curtains and drapes. Aimee’s workroom is located in a cute little out building on Monte Vista Plantation (circa 1857) on the banks of the Mississippi River in Port Allen. From my previous visits, I knew Aimee had some pretty extensive renovations going on, and on this trip I was excited to see the finished project. Everything looked so magical, I just had to take some time out to snap a few photos to share, as Aimee has turned her home into an event venue. Yes, you can have your wedding or other fabulous party here at Monte Vista!

ARE Workroom

(Workroom for ARE Custom Works in Port Allen, Louisiana where Aimee English has a staff of seamstresses sewing custom window treatments, bedding & bed canopies, tablecloths, etc. Their work is exquisite and always perfect!)

ARE Garden

(Can you believe this garden? As you can see by the pansies, it’s Wintertime! The often used bell is original to the plantation.)

ARE Rear

(The house faces the levee and river so you drive up to the rear where she created a canopy with magical white lights.)

ARE Front

(The front of the home, verandas and parterre rose garden face the levee and Mississippi River. You can see the Huey P. Long Bridge from here.)

The workroom isn’t the only other building on the property. There are several others, each one more charming than the next:

ARE outbuilding 2

ARE Outbuilding 1

There’s also an adorable childrens’ playhouse as you drive onto the property. As you can see, Aimee has many talents and gardening is certainly one of them!

ARE Chickens

(Of course a place as charming as this has chickens!) 

ARE Levee

(The Huey P. Long Bridge crosses the Mississippi River between Port Allen and Baton Rouge.  The day I visited, several bonfires like the one on the right were set up for a Christmas Party.)

Now do you see why I consider myself so lucky to be able to live and work in such a beautiful area with such talented folks? Just another day in paradise!

For more information about Aimee English, her many talents and services, you can email her at arecustomworks@yahoo.com. For more photos, here’s a link to photographer Pearl Walker’s Blog Post featuring a wedding at Monte Vista Plantation: Pearl Walker Photography

My favorite window treatments that Aimee makes for my clients are simple lined and interlined panels with no pleats that hang from iron rods and rings. You don’t have to live in our area to have these made as I often ship them out of state. To see fabric samples and for more information, email me!

 

h1

Miss me? It’s been far too long!

December 2, 2015

I am so sorry to have not posted anything in months. It hasn’t been for lack of any news, I’ve just been busy juggling design projects and working on formulas for all 100 stock colors into the new PPG products.

I did just manage to post a newsletter today featuring Hunt Slonem’s new 30,000 square foot studio in Brooklyn, thanks to Marc Charbonnet’s photos and Jacqueline Terrebonne’s video interview for Architectural Digest.

If you need a little color therapy, check it out:

Living Well Newsletter

By the beginning of 2016 PPG will be changing out the tinting system for the Lifemaster, Diamond 350 and Fortis products to the VOC-free PPG tinting system, so if you have used these products in the past and need any additional paint, now is the time to order. To take the sting out, these products (if available–depending on your local store’s stock), I am offering a 20% discount. Just input “discontinued LM” into the discount box at checkout for Lifemaster and “discontinued D350” for Diamond 350 (formerly labeled Dulux Ultra). To order online, visit: http://www.store.ellenkennon.com.

I’m anxiously awaiting more photos from Marc Charbonnet of his latest project in Old Brookeville, NY that I’ll be featuring in my next newsletter. He is such a talent and his new “Fierce Whimsey” style is quite colorful!

This weekend, Saint Francisville puts on it’s annual Christmas in the Country weekend, complete with a home tour to benefit the Friends of the Library. Two of my projects, Harmony House and Melody House are on the tour so I’ll be there showing them off and serving Bellinis! If you’re in the area, get a ticket and come by and see me! For tickets: Christmas in the Country Home Tour Tickets

h1

New Projects – Successful New Businesses!

June 19, 2015

As an interior designer with over thirty years’ experience, from the very beginning of my career, color and light were my favorite tools to use in creating ambiance in an environment. I even put on a color and light seminar in my first client’s newly restored courtroom in Criminal District Court in New Orleans. The very first colors I ever created were for this project. Because of the 32 foot high ceilings, lighting was especially important as many of the trials held there went on into the night.

I created several values of a warm grey to enhance the inlaid wood. To ensure the space was lit bright enough at night, metal halide fixtures were mounted on the side walls and to give the judge drama, up lights were mounted behind his podium.

I created several values of a warm grey to enhance the inlaid wood. To ensure the space was lit bright enough at night, metal halide fixtures were mounted on the side walls. To give the judge more dramatic authority, up lights were mounted behind his podium. The brass art deco pendant lights were refinished by prisoners from Orleans Parish Prison. They also refinished the millwork which was originally an ugly yellow oak.

Although most of my business is residential and I love helping folks select colors that make them feel good in their homes, I especially love it when I get to help a new business because it is so rewarding to watch their success. My last Living Well newsletter was all about The Guru in Baton Rouge which has become a huge success as a sacred space that is now a popular event venue for a wide variety of events.

A former mechanics garage turned event venue. I was asked to help create a sacred space that was multifunctional enough to hold events ranging from yoga retreats to wedding receptions. To see more photos and read about this project, click on the Living Well link above.

A former mechanics garage turned event venue. I was asked to help create a sacred space that was multifunctional enough to hold events ranging from yoga retreats to wedding receptions. To see more photos and read about this project, click on the Living Well link above.

Most recently, my paint client Dr. Donna Ricci, who has used my paints in two homes as well as her office, contacted me about a new venture she started, Archers Artemis. For over 20 years Donna, as a clinical psychologist, has worked primarily with people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is an advocate of healing through the mind body connection and trained in the Ki-Hara Method of Resistance Flexibility, is a Reiki master and has studied sound healing techniques under John Beaulieu, author of Human Tuning. If all these talents weren’t enough, Donna is also a professional classical guitarist with the Boston Guitar Orchestra!

When Donna received the bronze medal in bare bow archery at the USA Archery Nationals in 2012 she became aware of how few women were competing and decided she needed to become an instructor and then a coach in order to introduce more girls and women to archery. Donna realized that archery, with its emphasis on form development, upper body strength, hand eye coordination and mindfulness can help mitigate symptoms of ADHD, PTSD and other disorders as well as empower women. Located in Georgetown, Massachusetts, the 4000 square foot space needed to feel both soothing and exciting, so we went with “Lichen” as the main color and my magical gem “Ruby” for accent walls. I must admit, I was nervous for Donna when she initially called me about this venture, but am so glad it has become such a huge success!

Red (Ruby) and green (Lichen) are perfect complements. The human eye actively seeks a warm color after viewing a cool color.

Red (Ruby) and green (Lichen) are perfect complements. The human eye actively seeks a warm color after viewing a cool color.

“Ruby” makes a powerful accent and logo color. Although it can take up to 5 coats, even the painters were raving and took photos for their portfolio!
arrows

I am so lucky to be able to meet such talented and interesting people from all over the country while enjoying life in my little cabin in the Louisiana woods! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

h1

Online ordering just got easier!

April 24, 2015

I have been busy updating my online store where you can purchase paint samples and paint. I do a lot of this work myself, so I’m afraid it’s not as professional as I’d like, but I love not having to depend on anyone else to do it. I have streamlined the products so that every color we have ever created is listed in the drop down menu for each of our individual samples and each paint product has the finish options, along with the colors available in that particular product. Every week we’ll be adding more colors available in the Pure Performance VOC-free product. Since we have very few of our colors reformulated in the Manor Hall product, there is now a box where you can type in the color. Just know to plan ahead because we most likely will have to create a formula for whatever color you order. I recently used the Manor Hall for a Master Bedroom Suite addition I just finished and featured it in my last newsletter. The color we used is called “Redwood Rose” and is our full spectrum formula of an old A. Hayes Town color used in the conference room in the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie in Baton Rouge.

"Redwood Rose" on walls & ceiling with "Edgewood Green" trim.

   “Redwood Rose” on walls & ceiling with “Edgewood Green” trim.

The Manor Hall is an excellent product, just a little more expensive than our other products. My new pup Winston likes the label as much as I do!

Winston loves the Manor Hall product. Just remember to order at least a week in advance so we have time to create a formula!

Winston loves the Manor Hall product. Just remember to order at least a week in advance so we have time to create a formula!

So check out the new online store! Order Full Spectrum Samples & Paint  Look for my next Living Well newsletter featuring more on the above project and a new event venue in Baton Rouge, “The Guru” next week!

h1

Ready for Spring!

February 9, 2015

It looks and feels like Spring here in Louisiana, yet I hear it’s snowing up East and pouring rain out West. In any event, I’m able to sit outdoors in the sunshine today as I write this blog post. I’m so thankful for the sunny days we’ve had as I have been busy reformulating all of my colors into PPG’s Pure Performance product and it helps to have good light. In my last Living Well newsletter, I mentioned that Pittsburgh Paints bought out the company who has been manufacturing the paint products I use, and are replacing the Lifemaster product with their Pure Performance product (both VOC-Free). They tell me it’s an even better product than the Lifemaster which has been my best seller. I especially like that the PPG pigments are also VOC-free and there are so many more of them! Here are the new labels that we’ll soon be seeing:

New Labels: Manor Hall is available in  both interior and exterior products. Diamond 350 is the exact same top of the line product we have been selling for 15 years (formerly called "Dulux Ultra"). All new pigments are VOC-free!

New Labels: Manor Hall is available in both interior and exterior products. Diamond 350 is the exact same top of the line product we have been selling for 15 years (formerly called “Dulux Ultra”). All new pigments are VOC-free!

I have been using the Manor Hall product on some local projects. Although a little more expensive, it has a primer & stain repellent in the paint, so the price evens out. I’m slowly adding the colors that are available on our online shopping page.

Did you know I also sell the Hunt Slonem fabrics and wallpapers that just came out? I’m especially crazy about the wallpaper and just used it in a local project featured in my newsletter:

HutchWeb

“Hutch” wallpaper in the color “Pink” is taken from artist Hunt Slonem’s famous bunny paintings. There are many other background colors to choose from. It is made by Groundworks for Lee Jofa and arrived just a few days after we ordered it!

All patterns come in a wide variety of colors and at $496 for a double roll (5 yards x 24″ wide per roll), the cost for a bathroom is far less than a bunny painting! Here are the other two patterns:

"Bunny Wall" on left and "Finches" on the right

“Bunny Wall” on left and “Finches” on the right.

By the way, did you see the December/January House Beautiful magazine? I’m thrilled to be featured in an 8-page article as Hunt Slonem’s “color specialist”!

I finished a couple of decorating projects just in time for Christmas. One was a kitchen remodel for Ashley and James Fox-Smith of Country Roads Magazine who live in a wonderful old farmhouse. I previously helped them renovate & decorate their living and dining rooms, featured in my Spring 2012 newsletter, and most recently, their very outdated kitchen. When I first moved to St. Francisville 25 years ago, the kitchen was part of Country Roads Magazine’s office!

FS Kit Live Oak

The sink window was centered to overlook the huge live oak. The rest of the kitchen was as dark as the ceiling, pretty much the only surface that we kept. Cabinets & millwork were painted “Snow” with “Sky” inside of cabinets.

FS Kit overview

Walls were painted “Classic Cream”. Wainscoating and millwork is “Snow”.

FS Kit Sink wall

The island was painted in custom color “Fox-Smith Blue” to coordinate with the backsplash tiles (Walker Zanger “Blue Danube”). Countertops are soapstone.

The other project I mentioned finishing before Christmas was featured in my last newsletter and features an addition to an original A. Hayes Town house built in 1963: Living Well Autumn/Winter 2015.

Last but not least, here’s a new project I’ve been working on that should be ready to open this March in Baton Rouge at Circa 1857. It’s an old mechanic’s shop that I was asked to help turn into a “sacred space” for America’s Wetlands advisor Sidney Coffee. Not an easy task but we’re getting there!

Guru

The Guru (note the name change since my last post) will be an event venue available for rent starting March 1st in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

fountain

The first thing you see when you enter is this huge Buddha fountain which is already helping the place feel very Zen!

Speaking of Zen, I wrote about Sidney’s Zen House in my March 23, 2011 blog post “Spring Full Moon at Sidney’s Zen House”.

If you’ve stayed with me through this long post and are ready to order paint, you’re in luck! I’m having a sale! Enter “blog sale” in the coupon box at check out and you’ll receive a 10% discount: Order paint on Sale

h1

2015 – Color(s) of the Year & House Beautiful’s “Fantasy” Issue

December 9, 2014

I usually post about the “Color of the Year” for each upcoming year long before now as believe it or not, it is by far my most popular post.  My “2010 Color of the Year” post had well over 7,000 visitors on New Year’s Eve alone. However, this year, I really dropped the ball and only just thought about it when I saw Color Consultant Amy Wax’s Facebook post where she created this collage of 2015’s top color picks:

2015

Color 911’s 2015 Color of the Year collage

Amy also created my favorite color app, “Color 911” which has won numerous awards. Although a great tool for designers and color consultants, it is also especially helpful for the “do-it-yourselfer” who is trying to put together a color palette. It is by far the most comprehensive and accurate app when it comes to color!

Interesting how close Pantone, AkzoNobel and Sherwin Williams are when it comes to their pick for 2015. Of course, if you follow fashion, you could have predicted something similar, no?

Fashion

These earthy reds are everywhere in fashion and according to Pantone, will be seen soon on sofas, carpets and other home furnishings.

I was asked recently what color I predict for 2015 and while I have no idea what the new trendy color is, I am focused on a color artist Hunt Slonem mentions in his new book, Where Art Meets Design. He described it as looking like “moss growing on the wall” and said the color was called “Old World European Chartreuse”. When I Googled it, I found this photo and fell in love! It reminds me of what I call “fairy moss” which grows in the woods on my property. When my daughter was a toddler, I would create little fairy houses in it. It’s the epitome of rejuvenation and the magic of nature, yet it has this old world quality about it. Although I have two similar colors, “Chartreuse” and “Jaunty Jen”, this chartreuse has that intriguing combination of gold and green which will be perfect as an accent wall in a new project I am working on with Sidney Coffee called “The Goux Roux”. The Goux Roux (Sidney’s take on “guru”) will be a sacred space that will host a variety of events. Located in an old fire station building on the grounds of Circa 1857 in Baton Rouge, the walls are all old brick except the back plaster wall where we will be installing a giant Buddha fountain.

"Goux Roux Green" will be the new name of this Full Spectrum Color.

“Goux Roux Green” will be the new name of this Full Spectrum Color.

If you haven’t seen the latest issue of House Beautiful magazine, be sure to pick up a copy. The theme is “Fantasy” and it certainly has filled my every fantasy in that it has an eight page article on Hunt’s new book which not only features me as his “color specialist” but has gorgeous photos of many of his colorful rooms painted in my Full Spectrum Paints!

House Beautiful article has an 8 page spread on "Where Art Meets Design" by Hunt Slonem

House Beautiful article has an 8 page spread on “Where Art Meets Design” by Hunt Slonem

To get you into the mood to create magic and fantasy in your sacred spaces, check out House Beautiful Editor Newell Turner’s description of the December/January issue which will be on newsstands through January.

Now, back to the 2015 Color of the Year. What’s your pick?

h1

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:

Email

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,542 other followers