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Harmony House Ready for Guests!

June 17, 2014

So much for good intentions! It’s been two weeks since I set the goal to blog about old design and color projects on Thursdays. Although it’s not a Thursday, I wanted to follow up on my previous post about Harmony House, the house I created the architectural design of  that’s now available for rent as a private B&B retreat (private meaning you get the whole house to yourself!). I was there visiting the new owners yesterday who were putting the finishing touches on it for their first guests due to arrive this Friday, so I snapped a few photos to share.

You enter both houses from a large screened in porch, which many say is their favorite part of the house. I call Harmony House “Mon Soleil on steroids” because we added five feet to the width and eight feet to the length, a much grander staircase and a bay window in the living room.

HH Porch

The spacious screened porch is comfortable year around with its ceiling fans and fireplace.

 The extra width increased the ceiling height in the Living Room from 20′ to 23′ and it includes a kitchen and dining area with a staircase leading to a loft bedroom with two built-in Dutch beds.

HH LR

The main living area is open onto a kitchen and has another huge fireplace that shares the same chimney as the porch fireplace.

HH Kitchen

The kitchen has all the modern conveniences and a huge island around the stove where everyone likes to gather at parties.

The Master Bedroom opens onto a spacious deck complete with hot tub and outdoor shower:

HH MBRMaster Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim are all painted “Edgewood Green”.

The downstairs Guest Bedroom has two twin-sized Dutch beds and with the added square footage, its size increased considerably from my little 7′ x 10′ guest bedroom, so that this one has a reading nook:

HH GBRWalls and ceiling are painted “Spring Green”. Trim throughout the house is “Edgewood Green”

The most spectacular part of Harmony House is the outdoor areas. I wish I could take credit for these but those kudos go to the previous owners. However, I supplied the willow furniture made by Fred Hunt of Broken Bow, Oklahoma who is now operating his own B&B (www.thepastureatwillowsranch.com). He also made 20 pieces for Michael J. Fox’s Sharon, Connecticut home, thanks to their designer Marc Charbonnet who put together that sale for me!

HH deck

This covered deck is one of several decks.

HH OutdoorThe screened porch leads to an outdoor fire pit and picnic area.

As you might have imagined, this wonderful little oasis is deep in the Louisiana woods and has a 60′  foot bridge with a deck in the middle spanning a 150 foot ravine that leads to another house which is currently being spruced up for guests. Photos and more on “Melody House” soon! For more information on Harmony and Melody House, email Keith Koppens at keithkoppens@aol.com, Vincent Chatelain at vincentchatelain@hotmail.com or Pam Randazza at pamran@bellsouth.net.

If you would like your own little sanctuary/retreat, that’s my specialty! I have taken these house plans and re-worked them for two other clients, so email me at ellen@ellenkennon.com.

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Throwback Thursday: Harmony House

May 22, 2014

For my second Throwback Thursday post, I thought I’d share a local project I’ve been helping with. Back in 1998, I was asked to design a house based on the design of my own home, but bigger. Part of my task was to come up with a plan to market and rent it out as a bed and breakfast.

As luck would have it, the local historical society’s annual Audubon Pilgrimage home tour was scheduled about the same time as the construction completion date, so we came up with the idea to turn “Harmony House” into a decorator showcase house as an added bonus to the tour. We named it “Harmony House” since several designers had to work together due to it’s open floor plan.

The large one-room living, dining, kitchen area has a staircase leading to a loft bedroom upstairs. The designer for downstairs wanted mustard walls and the designer for the loft upstairs wanted red brick walls, but there was no way we could use both colors together as there was nowhere to stop one color and start another. Personally, I thought both colors were too strong for the huge space. To compromise, we created “Terracotta Sand” which worked beautifully with both designers’ fabric choices. (This was before I had my line of Full Spectrum Paints.)

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“Terracotta Sand” walls & ceiling with “Edgewood Green” trim, which brings the outdoors in.

Since then, the house was bought by one of the B&B guests and recently sold back to the original owner who plans to rent it out again as a bed and breakfast. He hired local painter Mike Small to repaint everything, using the same colors, but this time the colors have my full spectrum formulas!

Today I got to see once again what a huge difference full spectrum makes in not only brightening up the place, but also in the way the energy shifted. I’ve had countless psychics, channelers and regular folks like you and me rave about the great energy radiating from our paints and this project is a perfect example. Dr. Doreen Virtue in her book, 21 Days to Improve Communicating with Your Angels, says one of the first things you can do to purify your home so that angels will want to come in, is to paint your walls!

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Since the beginning of Full Spectrum Paints, I have visualized and prayed that everyone who comes in contact with them is joyful and balanced.

Mike Small, who is doing a fabulous job painting, also gave me a couple of painting tips I’d like to share. He said when painting with an eggshell finish, it’s important to paint “wet on wet”, meaning to start rolling the walls while the paint from cutting in is still wet. This avoids lapping or flashing. He also said he adds a little bit of water to the paint when touching up. Having never used our products, he’s loving both the coverage and application of our products and is using all three finishes from the Diamond 350 and Lifemaster product lines. Locals, Mike can be reached via his cell: 225-245-1269.

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The former Harmony House owners used “Terracotta Sand” again in their new home shown here because not only did they like it, but it also happened to blend in perfectly with the already pickled cabinetry! Since the rest of the trim was white and nothing special, we minimized it by painting all walls & trim the same “Terracotta Sand” in an eggshell finish.

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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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