Posts Tagged ‘Decorators’

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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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Sea & Sand – I’m ready for the lazy days of Summer!

June 5, 2013

I apologize profusely for taking so long to post. Thankfully, Full Spectrum Paints has been keeping me quite busy, in addition to some local decorating projects. I did manage to write my Spring Living Well Newsletter before the end of Spring which showcased a color consultation project for Interior Decorator Cynthia Nicholas and Karen Lewis, a certified counselor in healing with color. I’ll share with you the color palette we used, but to read more about the project and these two talented ladies, just click on this link: Spring 2013 Living Well

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The cabinets and stools are painted “75% Ashen Green” and walls are “50% Wheat”. We often use percentages of our formulas to lighten our colors.

Other colors used throughout the house were Wheat (at full strength), Buttercream, Sand, 50% Sand, Gustavian Grey and 50% H2 Ahh! with JV Cloud White ceilings and millwork. Karen wanted something very soothing and considering we used the sea and sand colors of the beach, it is indeed VERY soothing!

Feng Shui expert and coach Trisha Keel (TrishaKeel.com and TomorrowsKey.com) also recently specified our “Sand” color for one of her projects in Houston, and recently sent me this photo of our “Turquoise” color she used in a client’s office reception area where they needed to bring in the element of water.

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Turquoise, from our Magical Gems palette, promotes both a soothing and rejuvenating atmosphere, just like enjoying a day at the beach!

Be sure to visit Trisha’s websites, TrishaKeel and  Tomorrow’s Key, for a wealth of information about her varied services which range from Professional Feng Shui Practitioner Training and Consultations (including online courses!) to Tarot, I Ching & Divination Services.

And for more information about our Full Spectrum Paints, visit EllenKennon.com!

Happy Summer!

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New Orleans’ New Restaurant “Annunciation” – Heavenly!

August 8, 2012

I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Annunciation, a fabulous new restaurant in New Orleans. I mentioned it in my May 19, 2012 blog post “JV Cloud White Gets Around” and was finally able to dine there last week when I was in town. Located at 1016 Annunciation in the Warehouse District, it’s owned by the former chef of Clancy’s and the former general manager of  Tommy’s Cuisine, so not only is the food and service amazing; the decor by Karina Gentinetta is heavenly!

Karina recently used our “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs NYC showroom and liked it so much, she specified it for every painted surface in the restaurant. The building has loads of charm with old brick and plaster walls, exposed wood ceilings and beautiful arched doors and windows that she wanted to highlight, yet make the overall feeling elegant and classic. Known for being a magician when it comes to working within a tight budget, Karina kept things simple with bentwood chairs and schoolhouse pendent lighting from Home Depot. My dinner companion, Isabel Winsberg, raved the entire time about how wonderful the space felt. But that certainly wasn’t the best part! The food was incredible! As we often do, we shared everything so we could taste a number of things on the menu: Fried Oysters with melted Brie and sautéed Spinach, Eggplant Ste. Marguerite, Crabmeat salad with Creme Fraiche and Choupique Caviar, Crabmeat, Lobster and Shrimp Risotto, Cauliflower au Gratin and for dessert, Butterscotch Budino (an Italian pudding topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream sprinkled with sea salt). Every single item was amazing–a word I couldn’t quit using to describe each course. Oh, and you’d think this might have set us back a bit, but our bill (sans wine) was $83! I can hardly wait to go back and am still dreaming about that dessert!

Annunciation Restaurant on Urbanspoon (click image to the left for contact info, more reviews and menu)

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It’s a Mighty Long Way from Peter Marino Architect to St. Francisville!

June 20, 2012

Last week a video crew from NYC came to St. Francisville to interview one of our newest residents, writer Rod Dreher. Rod just landed a column with the BBC, so they came down to shoot a video of him and the St. Francisville area in conjunction with his first column. I can’t help but reflect on what a different life I am living, compared to my first year in Manhattan where I was honored to work for the great Peter Marino whose projects include some of the most opulent residences in New York.

I didn’t even know who Peter was (a friend suggested I send him my resume’) until I was sitting in his office waiting for an interview. His secretary handed me a copy of the latest House & Garden Magazine with an article about Peter’s project for Christopher Whittle in the Dakota. The first line of the article was ” ‘Peter Marino‘  Marie-Helene de Rothschild was heard to reply when asked by a dinner companion to name the most sought-after architect/interior designer on the international axis.”  The article went on to not only showcase Whittle’s apartment, but talked about all of the custom furnishings. . . upholstery made by a tapissier in Paris, the silk fabric made in Lyon, museum quality antiques. . . Needless to say, I was bowled over!

On my first day, Peter sent another new employee and I to see the Whittle project which was even more stunning in person.

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Whittle’s Edwardian Apartment in the Dakota

I learned more in that one year from this incredibly talented and brilliant man (he was often on the phone speaking Italian, German, French. . . ) than I’ve learned about design in my entire 30 year career. What a surprise it has been to see his personal transformation from this somewhat thin man wearing bow ties, button-down collar shirts and pleated pants, to this muscular black leather-clad powerhouse!

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From Bow-ties to Black Leather, Peter Marino today.

 Here’s a link to the article on Peter that goes with the above photo that appeared in last January’s issue of Architectural Digest that’s now online:  AD: Peter Marino’s Edgy Style

Needless to say, I was exposed to some of the finest interiors in New York and my first project for him was completing the punch list for the new (back in the eighties, mind you) Barney’s women’s store. I spent the first two weeks drooling with mouth agape most of the time. However, as the year went on, I found myself constantly saying how much nicer my clients were down South than the ones I had to work with in Manhattan. So that brings me back to the video that was shot just last week on Rod Dreher and St. Francisville. The opening photo is of the front of Shadetree Inn where we paint samples, pour jars and handle all things related to paint samples and shipping. Kenwood (my former husband, daughter’s Dad and still family) and our dog Rosie are also featured. Be sure to read Rod’s interesting article on the War of 1812!     

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Link to video & article: BBC News: West Florida Republic: The birth of US Imperialism

On another note, my office (where I handle the business part of my company) was featured again on Houzz.com in this article on Dutch beds: houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/26699/Loft-Home-Office-Guest-Bedroom-eclectic-home-office-new-orleans

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Chartreuse, Spice and All Things Nice!

May 29, 2012

I’m thrilled to report that Interior Designer Barry Johnson (of “Barry’s Babylon” color fame) was quoted in the June House Beautiful Magazine, naming our “Chartreuse” as his favorite healing color in the article where designers shared their favorite “life-changing colors” (color #5). Here’s Barry’s quote in HB:

“This color is about birth, growth and nature. It’s the color of new leaves. Chartreuse can be very acid but this is more of a soft yellow-green, Easy to work with. I see it in a Master Bedroom with creamy linens and a touch of coral. It would bring in some life.”

I created my full spectrum version of Akzo Nobel’s “Color of the Year” for 2007 and named it “Chartreuse” because it is the perfect balance between yellow and green. It is actually more traditional than the name suggests and I’ve used it recently on a couple of projects down here to brighten up spaces that had lots of dark wood (floors, beams, etc.).

I recently recommended it to Courtenay Dunk, author of the wildly popular SpiceLines.com Blog, when she sent me this photo of her office, saying that she was having trouble selecting a new wall color because all the samples she tried tended to have a greenish cast. In addition to her divine red & white chaise longue and rug, the only other major color in the space was her turquoise desk chair.

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Courtney’s “before” photo of her office.

As soon as she said “turquoise”, Chartreuse immediately came to mind. I also figured if the light in the room tended towards green, why not enhance it and go with a green.

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All photos are courtesy of Courtenay Dunk, SpiceLines.com.

The turquoise in the recesses of her bookshelves needed some special attention since the shadows affected how the colors we tried (Turquoise, Tiffany Turquoise and Eco Hues’ Peacock Blue) looked. We ended up going with 75% of the Peacock Blue formula, which turned out to be a gorgeous color and perfect with the Chartreuse.

When I first heard from Courtenay, I was immediately intrigued by her website, SpiceLines.com, in her email signature, so I visited it to discover a treasure trove of information about spices, cooking, exotic places and more! Courtenay describes herself as “obsessive cook, style fanatic, avid traveler, reluctant writer, food photographer when the light is right”, and as you can see by her photos, she’s quite the talented photographer!

When we finally talked over the phone, I asked her more about her office. She explained that this is where she writes her spice blog and her grandmother’s chaise longue is where she has tea most afternoons (and sometimes a nap). Books on the shelves are about spices, herbs and cooking. Objects have been collected on her travels.

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All photos courtesy of Courtenay Dunk of SpiceLines.com

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On top of the Tibetan chests there are jars of rare Indian peppercorns Courtenay picked up in Paris. “This is ‘le sniffing bar,’ where I try to keep my sense of smell honed by inhaling the scent of different spices everyday. Right now I’m trying to distinguish between varieties of peppercorns grown in different regions without looking at the labels.” 

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The Buddhist Lohan is a beneficent figure whose presence bestows good fortune. 

Courtenay’s blog is far more than an interesting read. She also helped a coffee grower she met in Veracruz who was about to go out of business, turn his business around! You can read about it in her post, “The Butterfly Effect“.

Here’s what she says about her new Chartreuse office:

“I love your Chartreuse so much that I haven’t hung a single picture on the walls. It’s soft and lively at the same time.  When I’m working in my office, I feel as if I’m bathed in a gorgeous light that relaxes and recharges the spirit.  The modified Tiffany blue is like a little glimpse of the Caribbean.  It’s a more electric hue which really makes the inside of the bookcases pop.  The two colors are fantastic together, especially with the red in the upholstery and the Moroccan rug.”

If you’d like a hand-painted sample of Chartreuse, email me at ellen@ellenkennon.com with your address and we’ll get one right out to you!

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The Schoolmarm, the Mountain Man, and the Bridge

July 29, 2010

A little over a year ago, in my April 6, 2009 blog post,  I blogged about my friends’ two houses separated by a foot bridge (to me the perfect living arrangement for a couple!).  Well I just didn’t do the story justice. There’s a new article out, “Harmony House: The Schoolmarm, the Mountain Man, and the Bridge between them”,  by the uber-talented Anna Macedo, Art Director of  Country Roads Magazine since its inception over 25 years ago.  I first met Anna when I moved to town back in 1989 at publisher Dorcas Brown’s kitchen table where this popular magazine first started.  Anna was the person I went to for both metaphysical color classes and the graphic design and marketing materials for my Full Spectrum Paints.  I’m still hoping to see the beautiful paint can labels she designed on store shelves!

Anna Macedo's design for Full Spectrum Paints

In any event, Anna’s article on Janie Simmons (the schoolmarm) and Randy Hunter (the mountain man) is a most interesting read, much like the prose she is known for!

Don’t forget to click on the photos when you click here to read the article:

Harmony House: The Schoolmarm, the Mountain Man, and the Bridge between them

One of the many outdoor areas features willow furniture by Fred Hunt

Note:  I was hired to create the architectural design of  Harmony House after I designed and built my home, Mon Soleil.  Harmony House is 5′ wider and 6′ longer, so it’s 1952 square feet as opposed to my initial 1160 square foot house and features the same features (outdoor shower, euro shower, huge adjoining fireplaces on porch and great room walls, dutch beds and windows galore).  The paint colors in Harmony House’s great room (Terracotta Sand with Edgewood Green trim) were created on the spot and have since become two of Full Spectrum Paints‘ most popular colors. Shortly after Janie saw the “Cornflower Blue” I used on my daughter’s deck fencing & windows, she used it for the furniture on “The Bridge to Terabitchia” as Janie likes to call it.

"Cornflower Blue" furniture on the bridge's tree-top seating area

Variations on these house plans are available. To inquire, visit my website:

www.ellenkennon.com

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Many Shades of White

May 19, 2010

I can’t begin to tell you how many calls I’ve had from people who have been to designer Jon Vaccari’s new St. Charles Avenue showroom in New Orleans raving about his colors!  Dare I say colors? Perhaps not, since everything is painted in the same white–a new custom white I created especially for Jon (aptly named “JV White”).  Here are a few photos. You can see more by visiting his newly revamped website, www.jonvaccaridesign.com!

"JV White" shows off Jon's fabulous furnishings which can be yours!

Yes, that's "JV White" on EVERYthing!

Soft as a cloud, "JV White" can be yours, too!

If you are in the New Orleans area, be sure to stop by and check out Jon’s exquisite furnishings, and say hello to both Jon and designer Dean Coe (creator of  our “Dean’s Dream” color). They are located at 1912 St. Charles Avenue. You can also get on  their newsletter mailing list to receive photos of the latest shipments of furnishings by emailing them at info@jonvaccaridesign.com.

To order a sample of  “JV White”, email me at ellen@ellenkennon.com

P.S. This color reminds me of the divine angel food cake Stephanie Lewis made. I asked her for her recipe and she said she uses Duncan Hines but used ICE water and whisks it (as opposed to using a mixer). I can’t begin to tell you what a difference this makes!

www.ellenkennon.com

877-877-7628