Posts Tagged ‘House Beautiful’

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2015 – Color(s) of the Year & House Beautiful’s “Fantasy” Issue

December 9, 2014

I usually post about the “Color of the Year” for each upcoming year long before now as believe it or not, it is by far my most popular post.  My “2010 Color of the Year” post had well over 7,000 visitors on New Year’s Eve alone. However, this year, I really dropped the ball and only just thought about it when I saw Color Consultant Amy Wax’s Facebook post where she created this collage of 2015’s top color picks:

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Color 911’s 2015 Color of the Year collage

Amy also created my favorite color app, “Color 911” which has won numerous awards. Although a great tool for designers and color consultants, it is also especially helpful for the “do-it-yourselfer” who is trying to put together a color palette. It is by far the most comprehensive and accurate app when it comes to color!

Interesting how close Pantone, AkzoNobel and Sherwin Williams are when it comes to their pick for 2015. Of course, if you follow fashion, you could have predicted something similar, no?

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These earthy reds are everywhere in fashion and according to Pantone, will be seen soon on sofas, carpets and other home furnishings.

I was asked recently what color I predict for 2015 and while I have no idea what the new trendy color is, I am focused on a color artist Hunt Slonem mentions in his new book, Where Art Meets Design. He described it as looking like “moss growing on the wall” and said the color was called “Old World European Chartreuse”. When I Googled it, I found this photo and fell in love! It reminds me of what I call “fairy moss” which grows in the woods on my property. When my daughter was a toddler, I would create little fairy houses in it. It’s the epitome of rejuvenation and the magic of nature, yet it has this old world quality about it. Although I have two similar colors, “Chartreuse” and “Jaunty Jen”, this chartreuse has that intriguing combination of gold and green which will be perfect as an accent wall in a new project I am working on with Sidney Coffee called “The Goux Roux”. The Goux Roux (Sidney’s take on “guru”) will be a sacred space that will host a variety of events. Located in an old fire station building on the grounds of Circa 1857 in Baton Rouge, the walls are all old brick except the back plaster wall where we will be installing a giant Buddha fountain.

"Goux Roux Green" will be the new name of this Full Spectrum Color.

“Goux Roux Green” will be the new name of this Full Spectrum Color.

If you haven’t seen the latest issue of House Beautiful magazine, be sure to pick up a copy. The theme is “Fantasy” and it certainly has filled my every fantasy in that it has an eight page article on Hunt’s new book which not only features me as his “color specialist” but has gorgeous photos of many of his colorful rooms painted in my Full Spectrum Paints!

House Beautiful article has an 8 page spread on "Where Art Meets Design" by Hunt Slonem

House Beautiful article has an 8 page spread on “Where Art Meets Design” by Hunt Slonem

To get you into the mood to create magic and fantasy in your sacred spaces, check out House Beautiful Editor Newell Turner’s description of the December/January issue which will be on newsstands through January.

Now, back to the 2015 Color of the Year. What’s your pick?

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“Perfect Place in Nature” Palettes, the First of Many

February 12, 2013

When I was living in New York, I found the energy of the city so stimulating that in order to fall asleep at night, I would listen to calming, self-hypnosis tapes as I would drift off. The tapes always began by having me visualize my “perfect place in nature”, so I’d visualize myself lying in a hammock looking up at tall trees, high above a babbling creek. One day, a friend invited me to a lecture given by “Sun Bear”, an Indian chief and author of several books. His talk was about the importance of nature and how we were meant to live in harmony with nature.

Several days later, some of the city’s underground steam heat pipes burst up through the sidewalks spewing boiling water and asbestos up into the air just blocks from my apartment. I took this as “a sign” and left the city soon after, returning to my native state of Louisiana.

Fond memories of Louisiana’s beautiful West Feliciana Parish and its charming town of St. Francisville beckoned. I called the first realtor listed in its yellow pages and described the type of property I was looking for: Several acres with so many trees that I would have very little yard to mow, so private that I could see company coming before they could see me, and if it were at all possible, a babbling creek.

Later that day, the realtor showed me property with all of those features. It was perfect. Several weeks later, as my home was being built, I was lying in a hammock looking up at the 100′ tall trees supporting it, about 25 feet above Alexander Creek, and it hit me! Creative visualization really does work, even unintentionally! If such things as serenity are important to you, think of the way you feel in your “perfect place in nature”.

Your home should be emotionally comforting. If it doesn’t lift your spirits at the end of a hectic day, it’s not living up to its obligations as a place of refuge and retreat. According to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui (which means wind and water), the design of your interior spaces should echo nature, balancing the five elements of earth, water, fire, metal and wood, with earth being the central element. These elements contain all matter and together create “chi”, the vital energy that connects man to earth and beyond. When all of these elements combine in a space, as they do in nature, they create a greater whole that becomes the space’s aura. Their interaction promotes a direct connection between your own breath of life and the spaces you occupy.

Based on this theory, I  created my line of Full Spectrum Paints and will be posting “Perfect Place in Nature” palettes to help inspire you to create your own sanctuary. Today, I’ll start with my own palette (Buttercream, Ashen Green, Magnolia, Azure, Alexandra Blue & Light Terracotta).

The main living area wall color “Buttercream” was chosen because this soft, creamy yellow creates an atmosphere that promotes hopefulness and communication, stimulates creativity and the intellect. It has been featured in more than one issue of House Beautiful Magazine and two of their books. In the House Beautiful iPad App, Buttercream is one of only two colors that is touted as both “calming & happy”!

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“Buttercream” walls & ceilings with “Ashen Green” trim. Photo by the late Sandy Johnson.

I used “Ashen Green” trim on all millwork since my small cabin is in the woods surrounded by lots of lush greenery. Although this is a gray-green with blue undertones, it also works well with the browner, mossy greens, which are in both of my sofas. The Master Bedroom is painted “Magnolia” and because it is small and there are so many windows and doors, I painted the trim in this room the same color. Although Magnolia is a dark color, it embraces the coziness of the small room and connects you to the outdoors–like being on a porch! Also, the color green is THE most healing color and like all cool colors, it is very soothing and restful.

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“Magnolia” used on walls, ceiling, trim and even the fan blades! Photo by Kerri McCaffety.

The Guest Room is painted “Azure”, a sunny pale sky blue that studies have shown to induce sleep and reduce inflammation–known as the “Florence Nightingale” color.

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Walls & ceilings are “Azure” with “Ashen Green” used on trim and chest. Dutch beds on each side are upholstered in blue cotton fabric. Photo by the late Sandy Johnson.

You’ll note from the photos that all walls and ceilings are painted the same color which softens the space and cloaks it in color. I especially do this for cathedral ceilings and low-ceiling rooms with no crown molding because it visually raises the ceiling height. My daughter Alexandra’s room is painted “Alexandra Blue”, the color of the sky at twilight. This color is so relaxing, I often hang out in her room when she’s away at school. The periwinkle undertone makes the color so misty, you want to put your hand out to touch the walls as they seem cloud like.

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“Alexandra Blue” walls & ceiling, “Ashen Green” trim. Hallway is also “Ashen Green” with “Buttercream” in great room beyond.

The Master Bathroom was originally painted “Light Terracotta” which is both cheerful and flattering to skin tones. The Euro Guest Bath walls are handmade tiles in the same color with a “Mykonos Blue” ceiling. I had artist Sally Conklin paint over the Master Bath walls and ceiling telling her “I want to feel like I am outdoors in a Monet painting”, so she came through in a big way incorporating the original color.

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Eurobath has custom-made tiles to match our “Light Terracotta” color. Ceiling is “Mykonos Blue”. Tiles by artist Mary Kay Davis & photo by Kerri McCaffety.

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Master Bath walls painted over “Light Terracotta” by artist Sally Conklin, owner of Circa 1857 in Baton Rouge. Photo by Kerri McCaffety.

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Left to Right: Ashen Green, Buttercream, Azure, Magnolia, Alexandra Blue & Light Terracotta Full Spectrum Paints

If you’d like samples of these colors, we have many different types, including free hand-painted samples that can be ordered at our online store on our website, ellenkennon.com.

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House Beautiful Spring Color Issue

February 14, 2012

Once again, the folks at House Beautiful have outdone themselves with their newest color issue (March 2012) “All About Green”. I use green in almost every design project because green is the most healing color of all. It falls in the middle of the spectrum, therefore it brings balance. It soothes and promotes mental endeavors. It’s the color of most of nature and rejuvenates like no other color. As in nature, there’s a wealth of greens to choose from and they all harmonize with each other. Although green is a color, it acts as a neutral as all other colors go with it. Green also brings out the luster in wood tones, which is why many antiques stores use it as a wall color. I often use it on wood work as it pulls your eye out towards the view, creating a space that feels as if it’s part of nature. Whenever I work with small rooms with a lot of windows, I paint both walls and trim the same shade of green which seems to expand the space and creates a “tree house” feeling. I used “Magnolia” on everything  in my own small bedroom to expand the space because it’s mostly windows, French doors and closet doors.

"Magnolia" used on walls, ceiling, wood work and even fan blades.

I have more  greens in my palette of full spectrum paints than any other color. I just can’t say enough about the color green, so when I saw all the beautiful greens featured in the latest issue of House Beautiful, I was in heaven! There are gorgeous rooms by top designers (“10 Rooms That Make Us Green with Envy”), 10 “Sensuous Greens” ranging from “Margarita” to “Deep Pool”, and I am happy to share that I am included as one of the designers in “Favorite Greens – Twelve major players in design tell us the shade they love the most”! They even used the iPhone photo I took of lichen growing on a live oak  in St. Francisville’s Grace Church Cemetery.

"Lichen" was originally created for the walls of the Sullivan Dental Center here in St. Francisville because they wanted something soothing yet earthy to coordinate with their views of wooded ravines. Their website video shows the many shades of this chameleon-like color.

Here’s a photo of  “Lichen” one of my clients posted on GardenWeb’s decorating forum:

"Lichen" works well in any room where you want to create a feeling of calm.

I am anxiously awaiting photographs of the Sullivan’s home which will be featured in my Winter 2012 Living Well Newsletter. We used lots of greens, inside and out and you’ll see some very creative design ideas and craftsmanship by Ken Tibbils of Kenneth August Design, so stay-tuned!

On another note, what color from Mother Nature compliments green?

When I saw this on designer Cathleen Davidson's Facebook page this morning, I just had to share it! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

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October Paint Sale!

October 6, 2011

I just posted my Autumn Living Well Newsletter which goes into more detail about the 2012 Color of the Year and Color Trends and also mentions that we are having a sale on our Lifemaster products. Through the rest of October, we will be offering $7 off per gallon on the VOC-free Lifemaster line in all finishes (flat, eggshell and semi-gloss). The only requirements are that the paints must be tinted at a Glidden Professional store (the independent stores do not participate in the sales) and that you either “like us” on Facebook and/or subscribe to this blog where you will always hear about a sale as soon as it happens!

To read the latest issue of Living Well: Autumn 2011 Newsletter

Look for my new “color palettes” features coming soon in this blog. Each post will contain color palette ideas that take the guesswork out of creating a harmonious color palette.

More soon so come back!

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Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

September 2, 2011

I lived in New Orleans from the late seventies through the mid-eighties and although country living is more my style these days; I love having New Orleans so nearby that I can easily drive down to attend a party or visit my daughter who just started her first year at Loyola.

Last Friday, I accompanied artist Hunt Slonem to a fabulous dinner party given by the author of my new favorite book, Stealing Magnolias (Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard). Debra Shriver’s book showcases this magical city like no other–and there have been plenty of books written about New Orleans!

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Besides being a gorgeous coffee table book filled with beautiful photos of her French Quarter home; it also includes original works by more than twenty photographers and artists from her private art collection.

The preface of the book was written by blue dog artist George Rodrigue who was also at the party with his wife Wendy, who was telling us all about the George Rodrigue Foundation they formed in 2009 as a non-profit organization to provide financial assistance and expose children to education in the visual arts, hoping to inspire in others an early and on-going creative passion similar to his own. (George mentioned that he knew he wanted to be an artist at age 4.)

But back to the book! If you were ever curious about New Orleans and have never been to visit, this is the perfect book to get you into the mood. It also includes several of her favorite recipes, my favorite being the “Cheddar Biscuits with Gulf Shrimp and Creole Meuniere Sauce” from her favorite caterer Joel Dondis, who not only catered the dinner party, but was also a guest. (Joel’s mother lives right down the street from my mother in Lake Charles, Louisiana and he also owns Sucre, where we go for an afternoon treat every time we visit the city.)

I am dying to meet Debra’s decorator Hal Williamson, who created some of the most exquisite colors for her home–very organic-looking shades of pinks and purples. I heard from another guest that he was out-of-town, but has an antiques shop on Magazine. I will definitely pay a visit on my next trip!

The front parlor's tone-on-tone Creole pink and purple looks more organic and subtle in person.

Mimi Read wrote a great article about the Shriver home for House Beautiful which is now online: A Fabulous Feminine New Orleans Home

I can hardly wait for another excuse to go visit!

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House Beautiful’s September Color Issue

August 4, 2011

I just received the September issue of House Beautiful today and this special color issue is gorgeous! Love the new cover logo and of course, the colors (shades of pink and chocolate) are divine!

Artist Hunt Slonem is quoted in the “Color for Artwork” article about our Berry Red color which he’s used both in one of his homes and in his NYC studio:

“I’m a big fan of red in general and this red in particular. It has that crusty historic look that I adore. And it sings. It’s not a silent color. If you hang a painting against a white wall, your eye goes to the edge. If you hang it on a colored wall, your eye goes straight to the center.”         – Hunt Slonem

“Berry Red” Sings!

I knew they had interviewed Hunt about Berry Red, but it wasn’t until I turned to the Editor’s page that I discovered the “Colors of the Deep South” mention! I especially liked seeing the little “Expect a Miracle” card with my sun logo peeking out from the green elastic band on his journal. I insert those cards randomly in my sets of samples in the hopes it inspires others to expect miracles.  

 

Our Magical Gems & Summer Brights

Best-selling Author John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) comes to St. Francisville! 

This Saturday, at Grandmother’s Buttons (corner of Royal and Prosperity) from 4:30 until 6:30, John will be signing copies of his new children’s book, My Baby Blue Jays. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about it:

“. . . the simple, homey storey is so appealing, and the prose so carefully and sweetly pitched to young readers, that even adults will be transported to a state of childlike wonder.”

Dolly Parton purchased 150,000 for her Imagination Library!

 If you can’t make it to the Book Party, you can order one on Amazon.  

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Paint Finishes & Touch-up Tips 101

June 24, 2011

It seems I’m not the only one sprucing up my house this Summer. I have been getting quite a few calls from clients who are re-painting and from some who are ordering paint to touch up after a several years’ wear and tear. I always suggest taking your left over paint and pouring it into an air-tight jar and storing it indoors where it is climate controlled. Unfortunately, most people store the cans outdoors in a garage in the original can. Not only do the cans rust over time, but the extreme temperatures can cause the paint to clump and/or harden. Also, once those metal can lids have been hammered shut a few times, they no longer fit snugly.

I just touched up my ceiling with paint that is over ten years old that has been stored in a jar in a closet and although it needed to be shaken and stirred quite a bit, once the consistency was back to normal, it matched beautifully and you couldn’t even tell it had been touched up. Of course, that is the reason I love flat paint so much! It almost always touches up beautifully, whereas eggshell finishes, although more durable and washable, are a bit more difficult because of the slight sheen.

One of the best sources for the “Do It Yourself” painter I’ve found on the internet says that as a general rule, only flat paint can be retouched without “flashing”, which is a term used by professionals to describe the obvious difference in finish that will occur when retouching old or shiny paints. Flashing is most obvious when viewing a surface from the side. If you’ve hired a professional painter, it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on and have an understanding of what’s involved in a good paint job. I am sorry to say that I’ve come across a few so-called “professional painters” who have painted latex over oil without using the proper primer that’s an interface between the two and some who consider only “one coat” of paint a “professional paint job”.

Another element to consider is the application of the paint. While spraying walls may be more economical labor-wise, it does not create a durable, washable finish like rolling does.

When cleaning latex walls, be sure to use a very soft cloth dampened with water and if you use a cleaner, make sure it doesn’t have alcohol in it. Use something non-abrasive like Ivory Liquid or Murphy’s Oil Soap. Alcohol is what painters use to determine if a previously painted surface is painted in latex or oil. Latex will rub off onto an alcohol soaked cloth, whereas oil will not.

For more details and tips, visit: www.do-it-yourself-help.com

On another note, I received the photo below from client Erica Grivas, the writer of the “Passion for Paint” article that appeared in the Winter 2006 Home Living Connecticut. Erica has since moved to Seattle and has been painting her lovely new bungalow with our paints (I am honored that she chose us since Devine Paints are well-known in the Pacific Northwest–of course, they’re not “full spectrum”). We chose “Buttercream” for her living and dining rooms which according to House Beautiful‘s new iPad App, is a color that is both “calming” and “happy”!

Our Paints Contain All the Colors in the Rainbow!

Looking for what House Beautiful calls a “colorful neutral”? Email us and we’ll send you a sample of our “Buttercream”: ellen@ellenkennon.com.

www.ellenkennon.com