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Touching Base

July 22, 2016

Once again, it has been a while since I posted on my blog. However, I recently posted a lengthy newsletter that includes a recent interior design project that I especially enjoyed working on since it was new construction for some color clients I’ve had for over a decade. Now that they both retired and all of their children are grown, they down-sized into a lovely town home in a private development in Baton Rouge. The Living Room shown below opens into both the Dining Area and Kitchen. To see more photos, check out my latest Living Well Newsletter. This project is towards the end.

P2

It’s now been a couple of years since we’ve been using the new PPG Paints products and I can’t tell you how pleased with the feedback I’m getting. Both the Pure Performance and Manor Hall are premium products. The Pure Performance is VOC-free and covers exceptionally well. However, I’m thrilled to report that we’re now reformulating our really saturated Bright and Magical Gem colors into the Manor Hall product for these usually hard to cover colors. The “Hot Pink!” for instance, almost covers in one coat (in the old Lifemaster, it took 3-4 coats!). Now, we’re talking two coats, tops!

I’m also creating new colors almost weekly and there are some great ones so be sure to check the drop down color lists and if there are colors you don’t recognize that aren’t in your sets, please don’t hesitate to email me to find out more about them. Also, I usually post photos of the samples on my Facebook page. Two new ones you might like are full spectrum versions of Farrow & Ball colors I was asked to make: “Middleton Pink” (we kept the same name for now) and our “Verdant” is their discontinued “Chappell Green”. Both photos of the same sample below show how much the color shifts from green to blue.

Verdant1

The same “Verdant” sample above and below shifts with the light.

Verdant2

The samples below are of two new colors. The top one is “Kelly Green” and the bottom two are the same exact color sample (“Castle Piano Rm Green”) but with different lighting. These colors were created for artist Hunt Slonem’s 102,000 sq.ft. Castle in Scranton.

New Greens

Although these colors were initially created for special clients, these paint colors may be ordered by anyone and we’re having one of our “Blog Sales” so be sure to input the word “blog” in the discount box at checkout when you order online.  While you’re there, check out the fabrics and wallpaper that can now be ordered online. There are always discounts, but you need to email me with the quantity so I can give you the secret discount code!

I hope you’re having a swell (not sweltering) Summer!

smEllensig

 

 

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Well Priced But Not Cheap!

June 16, 2016

Let’s talk money. Not something I like to talk about unless I’m sharing “a good deal”.  And actually, that’s just what I’m going to do. The other day I was in Helm Paint in New Orleans working on a custom color for a client whose painter would only use Fine Paints of Europe’s Brilliant Gloss, which by the way, is going for $148 a gallon. But what was enlightening, was Helm Paint’s big price menu posted behind the counter: Ben Moore’s Aura @ $72.95 a gallon & Satin Impervo @ $69.95 a gallon. I’m often asked by designers to make full spectrum formulas of Farrow & Ball colors that sell for $95 a gallon – not because they love the product or because my paint is less expensive and easier to get, but because they want the full spectrum color without the black pigment.

When I started my line of Full Spectrum Paints back in June 2001, my original intent was to provide local customers with affordable, beautiful full spectrum color. At the time, there was only access to Donald Kaufman paints which were not only over $100 a gallon but also very hard to get down here in Louisiana. Since then, the company who manufactures my paints has been bought out twice, most recently by PPG Paints. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with PPG Paints’ products and customer service. The price of my paints range from $58 – $69 a gallon and with the new formulas, contain up to 12 voc-free pigments. I’ve also created a few custom colors in PPG’s 7-Line Interior/Exterior Industrial Gloss which is every bit as beautiful as Fine Paints’ Brilliant Gloss. When I compared the samples we painted of each product, you could not tell the difference in finish and considering PPG Paints claims you can use 7-Line on floors and machinery, I’d say it’s just as durable, if not more durable!

For over a year now, we’ve been using Pure Performance ($58-63/gal.) interior and Manor Hall ($67-69/gal.) interior and exterior products and have been getting great reviews from customers AND their painters. Both have built in primers and the Manor Hall also has a stain repellent.

Since the Hunt Slonem Antebellum Pop exhibit opened, I’ve had a flurry of inquiries about his fabrics and wallpapers, so everything in his collection is now available for ordering on my online store in addition to some of my favorite fabrics that I often use in my decorating projects. I plan to continue adding more fabrics, wallpapers and eventually, upholstered furniture. I offer discounts on all fabrics and wallpaper, ranging from 10 – 20%, depending on quantity. Here’s the link:  Ellen’s Favorite Fabrics & Wallpaper

Navy Hutch tablescape

My favorite Hunt Slonem fabric is the “Hutch” linen which also comes in orange, pink, black, red & turquoise. Here the Navy is shown in this tablescape by David Duncan Antiques photographed by Marco Ricca, the photographer who photographed Hunt’s latest book, When Art Meets Design.

My favorite wallpaper?  The “Bunny Wall” that we used in the LSUMOA Hunt Slonem Antebellum Pop exhibit which is up through August 5th. I’ll be giving a Gallery Talk and Tour on Sunday, July 10th @ 2:00. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us!

Bunny Wall_edited

The “Bunny Wall” wallpaper comes in two sizes. This size is 54″ wide and comes in ivory or black backgrounds. There is a “Small Bunny Wall” for smaller spaces that is the normal 27″ wide paper and also comes in blue and and orange/red. (We hung bunny paintings on the bunny paper so it’s not 3-D!)

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Hunt Slonem: Antebellum Pop! @ LSUMOA

April 26, 2016

Last Thursday was the Opening Reception for the Antebellum Pop! exhibition at the LSU Museum of Art which is up through August 5th. If you’re a Hunt Slonem fan, this is a must see collection of his paintings spanning over 30 years. It also includes over $2 million in antiques from M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans in addition to some of Hunt’s own antiques, fabrics and wallpaper as well as antiques from the museum’s permanent collection. Curator Sarah Clunis, an art historian and professor at Xavier University, led an impressive exhibition crew. I had the great pleasure of working closely with Sarah and preparator Brian Morfitt placing fabulous furnishings and artwork. I was able to snap these photos just prior to the opening:


Paperhanger Clay Fairbanks hung Hunt’s “Bunny Wall” wallpaper in the soaring 16′ high entry. Brian took Hunt’s suggestion and hung bunny paintings on the left wall. 


“Antebellum Violet”  was created especially for the entry. Purple velvet pouf and Gothic bench found at Renaissance Antiques are on loan from Hunt. Top hats are from his collection. 


The chandelier and mirrors are from M.S. Rau Antiques. The 12′ wide painting is of Valentino and Gloria Swanson on loan from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.


The dining room curtain & chair fabric is Hunt’s “Star of India” by Groundworks @ Lee Jofa. “Hutch” wallpaper accent wall and “Watermelon Red” full spectrum painted walls. The chandelier, table, chairs and  sideboard are on loan from M.S. Rau Antiques.Mirrors are on loan from M.S. Rau. Girondolles are from the museum’s collection. All fabrics and wallpapers are from the Hunt Slonem Collection by Groundworks @ Lee Jofa.


The Parlor furniture is covered in Hunt’s “Bayou Casino” and “Fritillery” fabrics. The rug, on loan from Dr. Donna Tesi, is taken from one of Hunt’s bird paintings. 


Parlor set is upholstered in Hunt’s “Fritillary” fabric. All paintings are by Hunt except the antique portraits which are on loan from the museum. The “Lakeside Napoleon” full spectrum wall color was originally created for the Napoleon Room at Lakeside Plantation and also used as the main gallery hallway color in his new Brooklyn studio.


The rear of the settee is upholstered in Hunt’s “Guardians” velvet and the other parlor set pieces are upholstered in his “Bayou Casino” and “Fritillary” linen fabrics. “Countess” portrait on loan from Martine Chaisson Gallery.

“Juliet’s Potion” wall color is the natural “POP” color complement to Hunt’s “Monsterra”, color – red/green fabric used for the curtain, bed canopy and back of the settee & chair with “Monsterra” color – spring on the front. Bed linens are by Jane Scott Hodges of Leontine Linens. 


Behind the painted canvas curtain is the unsightly freight elevator door. Aimee English of ARE’ Customworks worked with Preparator Brian Morfitt on the elevator curtain and created all other curtains and the bed canopy. Bed is on loan from Arlin Dease as were many of the paintings. The bench at the foot of the bed, the chandelier and mirrors are from Rau. Tea table and antique portraits are from the museum’s collection.

The chest and desk are from the museum’s collection. Fabric is “Monsterra”, color – spring. 


The chaise, on loan from Hunt, is upholstered in his “Guardians” cut velvet, color – Cobalt.  The rest of the antiques and chandelier are from Rau. Wall color is “Sacre Bleu” full spectrum paint.


I’m honored to be included on the donor wall along with PPG Paints, who donated all of the paint. Working as design consultant on this project has been one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences I’ve had. This exhibition would not have happened without the generous support of these donors. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Antebellum Pop!

April 4, 2016

I’ve been having such a good time working with curator Dr. Sarah Clunis and the team at the LSU Museum of Art on the upcoming Hunt Slonem exhibit I just realized I haven’t posted in months! If you live in the area, you won’t want to miss this unique exhibit that’s already started getting quite the buzz. Here’s a link to a blurb in last Saturday’s Page Six of the NY Post:

http://pagesix.com/2016/04/01/louisiana-pop-show-features-hunt-slonem-work

The exhibit opens Thursday, April 21st with a talk by Hunt Slonem at 6:00 followed by a reception from 7:00 until 8:30. As you’ll note from a copy of the invitation below, you do not have to be a museum member to attend. In addition to the opening reception, there are several other programs and lectures over the course of the exhibit, including a Gallery Talk with me on July 10th.

POP Invite

Antebellum Pop! will intermix his paintings from the 1980s to the present with decorative art and furniture chosen by Slonem from the LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection, M.S. Rau Antiques, and his two Louisiana Plantation homes. This exhibit will bring together his work in painting with his work in architecture, interior decor and decoration. Here’s a sneak peak:

Bunny Wall

“Bunny Wall” in foreground and “Hutch” wallpaper in what will become a dining room behind it. Images taken from Slonem’s paintings are now available in wallpaper and fabrics by Groundworks for Lee Jofa. Photo taken by paperhanger Clay Fairbanks.

eAntebellum Violet

“Antebellum Violet” in the foreground was created especially for the exhibit. “Watermelon Red”, “Lakeside Napoleon” & “Juliet’s Potion” (L>R) are from my Full Spectrum Paints Brights Palette. Many thanks go to PPG Paints who donated all of the paint for the exhibit!

Juliet's Potion

“Juliet’s Potion” in the foreground with my new “Sacre Blue” teal in the background.

Hutch Gold

Slonem’s “Hutch” wallpaper in what will be transformed into a dining room with that 30′ $448,500 dining table mentioned in the Page Six article! Photo taken by paperhanger Clay Fairbanks.

The exhibit stays up until August 5th. A trip to the LSU Museum of Art with its newly installed permanent collection is well worth a trip, no matter how far away!

The Hunt Slonem wallpaper, fabrics and rugs are available through Ellen Kennon Design, Furnishings & Full Spectrum Paints. Please email me directly for more information. ellen@ellenkennon.com.

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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!

 

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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

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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!
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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!

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