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Magnolia

August 2, 2019

“Magnolia” is a deep blue-green that is sure to cool off any room in the Summer yet doesn’t create a cold environment in the Winter. I know this to be personally true because the bedroom you’ll see in the first photo below was my bedroom for many years. When I first designed my home, I was single and had just moved from Manhattan to build my cabin in the woods just five miles outside the town of St. Francisville. I had a limited amount of money to spend, so I designed the home myself and kept the square footage to only 1160 square feet. My bedroom in New York was only 10′ x 11′ so I figured I’d keep the bedrooms small (one is only 7′ x 10′ with two built-in Dutch Beds) so that I’d have plenty of square footage for my living areas since I like to entertain. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that I added a large bedroom (12′ x 25′) for her which has since become my bedroom, making the “Magnolia” bedroom now my guest bedroom. Because I had these beautiful views of wooded ravines, I put as many windows and French doors into this little house I could. When it came time to painting my bedroom, because it has a wall of closet doors, French doors leading onto a deck and two large windows, I felt it would be too claustrophobic if the trim was painted the same “Ashen Green” as the rest of the house. I wanted this tiny bedroom to feel connected to the outdoors where I had a view of a huge magnolia tree and live oak so I created the color “Magnolia” inspired by the dark blue-green leaves of the magnolia tree. It’s always incredibly cool in the Summer yet very cozy and warm in the winter and although I have this nice big bedroom now (painted “Alexandra Blue”), I still enjoy spending time in my guest bedroom.

If this bedroom weren’t on the ground floor, you’d think you were in a tree house. There’s also an outdoor shower on the deck just outside the French Doors. I painted everything “Magnolia” to keep the space from feeling closed in and although the ceiling height in this room is 9′, I painted the ceiling the same color because it visually raises the ceiling height and creates a more soothing atmosphere. Less contrast = soothing & calming!
Lori Sawaya of landofcolor.com sent this photo many years ago where she used “Magnolia” in this client’s sitting room.
Barbara Drake sent the above photo to show me how she used “Magnolia” on her kitchen cabinets with “Berry Red” window trim.
Last but certainly not least, here’s “Magnolia” on the walls of this beautiful staircase landing in Pittsburgh. Above the chair rail was a custom blue that has now become “Christine’s Cloud”. Owner Katina Kefalos rents her beautiful apartments on Airbnb should you visit Pittsburgh. Click on the link and you’ll see more of my Full Spectrum Paint colors!

If you’d like to see a free hand-painted sample of “Magnolia”, visit my Online Store where you can also order a variety of larger samples and sample jars as well as paint. Nothing is more convenient than ordering your paint from me beforehand and then picking it up from your nearest PPG Paints store without having to wait! I handle all the details letting you know when it will be ready so that all you have to do is drop by so they can put the paint in your car. Most stores will deliver at no charge depending on the size of the order and distance from the store. And don’t forget, I’m always available to help with selecting paint colors and putting together color palettes at no charge. This service is included in the price.

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-877-7628
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Ashen Green

July 29, 2019

“Ashen Green” was one of the very first colors I ever created. I used it on all of the trim and millwork throughout my own home that I designed and built 20 years ago and I wouldn’t change the color for anything. As I said in my previous post about the color green and it’s healing properties, every room could use at least a little bit of green and because it falls in the middle of the color spectrum, it’s a neutral that is balancing. “Ashen Green” will work in most any historical setting as it was used as early as the mid 1700’s on interior millwork and exterior shutters. Just yesterday, I visited two beautifully restored Creole homes, Maison Chenal and LaCour House where a variety of neutral greens were used in the interiors. For more information on Creole architecture which is prevalent down here in Louisiana, visit “deConstructing Creole Architectural Color“.

One of the reasons this color was probably used so often is because it not only connects us to the views of nature outdoors, it’s also a very cooling color in that it is a blue-gray-green. As you’ll see in the photos below, “Ashen Green” also makes a great wall color.

One of the many greens used in this circa 1790’s Creole home is very similar to my “Ashen Green”
“Ashen Green” bookcase and cabinetry with “Mushroom” walls in this new addition.
“Ashen Green” walls with “White Opal” trim and wainscoting.
“Ashen Green” millwork and hallway color with “Buttercream” walls and ceiling in the Great Room of my own home in the photos above and below.

If you’d like a free hand-painted sample of “Ashen Green” or any of my Full Spectrum Paint colors, visit my Online Store. What makes my paints so special and why are they called “Full Spectrum”? It’s because each and every single color is created from a minimum of seven pigments and we never use black or gray pigments because they absorb light. When you have all of the colors from the color spectrum in one paint color, it’s like seeing colors outdoors in nature. The colors are more luminious, they have more depth and they never clash with the colors around them. That’s a big reason why they’re so popular with interior designers and architects!

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-877-7628

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Lichen and the Color Green

July 25, 2019

“Lichen” was initially created for the Sullivan Dental Center here in St. Francisville. However, some folks say they not only have cutting-edge dentistry, but their place should also be called a spa and I can’t help but think the color “Lichen” has a lot to do with that. My clients asked me to create a color that was very soothing and clean, yet earthy and organic. So I immediately thought of the plant we call lichen and later, when I was asked by House Beautiful Magazine to be one of “Twelve Major Players in Design” to share our favorite color green in their March 2012 issue “All About Green”, I picked “Lichen”. House Beautiful even included this photo I snapped of lichen growing on a live oak in the article!

I was flattered when House Beautiful asked me if I could get approval from the photographer to use it. They laughed when I told them I took it with my iPhone, but hey, iPhone cameras are amazing!

Lichen starts my blog posts on the color green, known as the color of nature. I use green in almost every room because it is the most healing color. Healing colors influence mood, calm the nervous system and create peaceful environments. Since green is often used to represent health, many pharmaceutical and nutritional companies use green in their logos and marketing materials. It falls in the middle of the color spectrum, so it is balancing and acts as a neutral. My full spectrum “Lichen” paint color is what I call a complex neutral in that it is very chameleon-like as you’ll see in the photos below.

“Lichen” walls in the Sullivan Dental Center with “Putty” trim and painted brick. I can’t tell you how often I get calls from their patients about this color. Candice and Frank Sullivan tell me it constantly changes with the light. You’ll see this in the photos of it below.
“Lichen” walls create an oasis of calm in this Guest Bedroom.
You can see Lichen’s neutral qualities in this photo where it’s used in the two-story foyer shown above and below.

If you’d like to see a free hand-painted sample of “Lichen” visit my Online Store where we also have a variety of other samples to choose from.

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-877-7628
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Sacre Bleu

July 24, 2019

This deep rich teal was created for the Hunt Slonem Antebellum Pop exhibit at the LSU Museum of Art shortly after their Toulouse Lautrec exhibit where the wall color was a deep teal that was dull and obviously not a full spectrum color. So when I was asked to help with the Slonem exhibit, I was inspired to create a better version of it for one of the rooms. I named it “Sacre Bleu” in honor of Toulouse Lautrec who was featured in Christopher Moore’s novel, Sacre Bleu: A Comedy D’Art. It was also a stereotypical and very old fashioned French curse. It literally means “sacred blue”, but it comes from “sacre Dieu” or “sacred God” but “bleu” replaced “Dieu” to avoid the blasphemy of using the name of God. Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot used it often.

In the Slonem exhibit we recreated five rooms to evoke Hunt Slonem’s decorating style. This room painted “Sacre Bleu” served as a ladies dressing room off of the bedroom.
“Sacre Bleu” is a great color to turn a small Powder Room into a little jewel box!
Another tiny room, an Butler’s Pantry, where “Sacre Bleu” turns it into a jewel box
“Sacre Bleu” makes a great door color and I created a formula for it in PPG’s new BreakThrough product that is an interior/exterior product we also used on the porch floor because it dries within 20 minutes and is so durable it can be painted on anything, even concrete and vinyl!
Lastly, a close up of “Sacre Bleu” from the exhibit. As you can see from the photos, it looks a little different in each setting. This closeup shows it quite accurately.

If you’d like a free hand-painted sample, visit my Online Store where you’ll find all manner of samples ranging from larger hand-painted samples and sample jars. Next, I’ll be writing about the color green starting with the color “Lichen”.

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-877-7628
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Oasis

July 22, 2019

One hot Summer day in New Orleans, I walked into designer Jon Vaccari’s Magazine Street showroom and immediately felt cool and refreshed. I knew it had everything to do with the wall color. Within a week, I recreated a full spectrum version of the color, calling it “Oasis”. Like both “Gustavian Grey” and “H2 Ahh!” in my two previous posts, it’s a blue-green, a color that has both the properties of being soothing (from the blue) and refreshing (from the green). What makes it different from “Gustavian Grey” and “H2 Ahh!” is that it’s a clearer color, not as organic and subtle. It’s still very chameleon-like in that with the light, it shifts back and forth from blue to green. Many have described it as a “robin’s egg blue”. It’s not only great on walls, it also makes a wonderful ceiling color both inside and out as you’ll see in the photos below.

A close-up of “Oasis” above from the walls of the bedroom it graces below.
We used “Oasis” on the ceiling of this California home with “Tiffany Turquoise” on the door.
Talented Interior Designer Regina Kraft used “Oasis” on the ceiling of this colorful newly constructed Bedford, NY home.

If you’d like to see a free hand-painted sample, visit my Online Store where you can not only order free samples (called cuttings), but also larger hand-painted samples and sample jars.

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-877-7628
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H2 Ahh!

July 16, 2019

Internationally renowned color expert Kate Smith of Sensational Color named this color that I created especially for her. I included it in a special Designer Palette many years ago and it has become one of my most popular colors. I describe it as a complex neutral in that like Gustavian Grey in my previous post, it shifts from blue to green and although darker than Gustavian Grey, the color is so subtle, it’s very organic and quite neutral.

“H2 Ahh!” walls with “Gustavian Grey” ceiling in this California home. What I especially like about this color is that it’s very organic and works well with views of nature.
A current project where we painted “H2 Ahh!” on the walls with “Barry’s White” ceiling and trim. It works beautifully with the cabinet doors and tile, no?
“H2 Ahh!” walls and ceiling envelop this bath in color that is both soothing and refreshing.

To read what Kate Smith had to say about her newly painted office in her signature “H2 Ahh!”, visit this link: Sensational Color. If you’d like to see a free hand-painted sample, visit my Online Store.

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-877-7628
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Gustavian Grey

July 10, 2019

“Gustavian Grey” is what I call a complex neutral. It is very chameleon-like in that sometimes it can look blue, sometimes green, and more gray, depending on the light and the space it’s in. If I had to put it into a color category, it is definitely a blue-green–it’s just subtle. What I love about blue-green is that it combines the soothing, calming qualities of blue with the rejuvenating, healing qualities of green. So it both soothes and refreshes!

“Gustavian Grey” is one of my most popular colors. It’s especially popular in bedrooms and bathrooms. However, I use it often on ceilings. One client painted the entire interior of her waterfront home in Seattle. It makes a great beach house color, especially when your window views look out onto water, so I often describe it as a “water color”. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what it looks like in different settings.

This photo is on the Gallery Page of my website because this setting really shows off “Gustavian Grey’s” many hues. It’s on all ceilings and walls in the private quarters of the St. Francisville Inn.
Here “Gustavian Grey” used on the ceiling of this space with “Classic Cream” walls and “Rainbow Fog” trim looks more blue and on ceilings it usually does look blue.
“Gustavian Grey” walls with “Snow” trim and ceiling in this bathroom.
The “Gustavian Grey” walls look more blue in this bedroom setting with “Sage” trim.
We used “Gustavian Grey” on both bedroom and bathroom walls and ceilings. My client finds the color so soothing, she doesn’t want to hang any artwork!

If you’d like to see a free hand-painted sample of “Gustavian Grey”, visit my Online Store where you can also order larger hand-painted samples and sample jars.

ellenkennon.com
ellen@ellenkennon.com
877-766-7628