Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

h1

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!)

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

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

h1

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!

h1

41st Audubon Pilgrimage is This Weekend!

March 15, 2012

For 41 years now, dedicated citizens of Saint Francisville have dressed up in period costumes like the ones shown below to host our annual Audubon Pilgrimage, celebrating the time when John James Audubon came here from France to tutor Eliza Pirrie at Oakley Plantation.  I have never had the courage to don one of those not so flattering costumes, so when I was asked to write an article about one of the homes on tour this year; I felt it was the least I could do to contribute. A few days later, I received an invitation from one of the country’s best-selling authors to accompany him to the Angola Rodeo here in town on the same weekend as my interview.  Considering I had never written an article for a magazine before, I took it as “a sign” to bring him along, figuring he could certainly show me some pointers! Thanks to him (read the article to find out who!) and Country Roads Magazine editor James Fox-Smith, it turned out quite well: Tales Tall but True of Woodland Plantation

Being a gal who only wears tailored clothes, I guess I have to claim vanity when it comes to wearing one of these outfits--especially the hats!

This year’s Pilgrimage features three days of festivities including historic home and garden tours, an antiques show and sale, a wine & cheese reception on Friday night and on Saturday night, a “Light up the Night” Soiree with dinner al fresco, street dancing to live music and a wine-tasting. For the schedule of events and more information visit: AudubonPilgrimage.info

In conjunction with Pilgrimage this year, the Historical Society Museum on main street features a traveling Smithsonian exhibit, Journey Stories. The West Feliciana Historical Museum produced a short video that chronicles the journeys in West Feliciana Parish from the time of the Tunica Indians and the French traders to the beginning of the 20th Century. David Norwood (of Woodland Plantation’s story mentioned above) and Janie Simmons (www.1-800-jane-eyre.com) wrote the script, and the video was produced by Sarah Powell. CDs are available for those wishing to take a driving tour of the areas mentioned in Journey Stories.

Hemingbough Antiques across from the Post Office will be open during Pilgrimage and has fine Audubon prints on sale.

If you are in our area, you really should come for the festivities. The weather promises to be fabulous and the azaleas are all in full bloom. Don’t miss Afton Villa Gardens which is spectacular as always! Hope to see you there!