Posts Tagged ‘Interior design’

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Touching Base

July 22, 2016

Once again, it has been a while since I posted on my blog. However, I recently posted a lengthy newsletter that includes a recent interior design project that I especially enjoyed working on since it was new construction for some color clients I’ve had for over a decade. Now that they both retired and all of their children are grown, they down-sized into a lovely town home in a private development in Baton Rouge. The Living Room shown below opens into both the Dining Area and Kitchen. To see more photos, check out my latest Living Well Newsletter. This project is towards the end.

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It’s now been a couple of years since we’ve been using the new PPG Paints products and I can’t tell you how pleased with the feedback I’m getting. Both the Pure Performance and Manor Hall are premium products. The Pure Performance is VOC-free and covers exceptionally well. However, I’m thrilled to report that we’re now reformulating our really saturated Bright and Magical Gem colors into the Manor Hall product for these usually hard to cover colors. The “Hot Pink!” for instance, almost covers in one coat (in the old Lifemaster, it took 3-4 coats!). Now, we’re talking two coats, tops!

I’m also creating new colors almost weekly and there are some great ones so be sure to check the drop down color lists and if there are colors you don’t recognize that aren’t in your sets, please don’t hesitate to email me to find out more about them. Also, I usually post photos of the samples on my Facebook page. Two new ones you might like are full spectrum versions of Farrow & Ball colors I was asked to make: “Middleton Pink” (we kept the same name for now) and our “Verdant” is their discontinued “Chappell Green”. Both photos of the same sample below show how much the color shifts from green to blue.

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The same “Verdant” sample above and below shifts with the light.

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The samples below are of two new colors. The top one is “Kelly Green” and the bottom two are the same exact color sample (“Castle Piano Rm Green”) but with different lighting. These colors were created for artist Hunt Slonem’s 102,000 sq.ft. Castle in Scranton.

New Greens

Although these colors were initially created for special clients, these paint colors may be ordered by anyone and we’re having one of our “Blog Sales” so be sure to input the word “blog” in the discount box at checkout when you order online.  While you’re there, check out the fabrics and wallpaper that can now be ordered online. There are always discounts, but you need to email me with the quantity so I can give you the secret discount code!

I hope you’re having a swell (not sweltering) Summer!

smEllensig

 

 

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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.

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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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The Last Word on the 2013 Color of the Year (& other news)

December 6, 2012

In my Autumn Living Well Newsletter on the 2013 Color of the Year & Color Trends, I reported on predictions of next year’s color of the year by pretty much everyone but Pantone. Although it was looking like “Monaco Blue” would be Pantone’s pick, they just announced that “Emerald” was their pick for 2013.

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(“Emerald” in the center is Pantone’s pick for 2013’s Color of the Year)

Interesting that it is very close to Pratt & Lambert’s “Tidal Pool” which was their pick for the 2013 color to watch, a dead ringer for our Full Spectrum “Albania Teal”, that appeared in the October issue of House Beautiful. Here’s a photo of Albania Teal in artist Hunt Slonem‘s NYC studio featured in Russia’s Architectural Digest Magazine (I didn’t even know they had an Architectural Digest!). “Albania Teal” was named after one of his plantation’s in Louisiana. The great thing about this color is that it is both soothing and rejuvenating at the same time.Image

I have to say, I’m still selling a lot more whites and complex neutrals, than the saturated colors predicted. We mostly use the more neutral, easy to live with colors, in main areas and save the jewel tones for jewel box spaces like powder rooms, closets, inside of cabinets and bookcases.

Speaking of whites, one of my biggest “JV Cloud White” (JV for Designer Jon Vaccari & created for his New Orleans showroom) fans, Karina Gentinetta, has been making quite a name for herself on the national scene and will appear on More Magazine‘s television special about women who reinvent themselves (Karina was an attorney for 13 years before becoming an antiques dealer, artist and interior decorator). After seeing this video of her segment, I’m thinking she needs to have her own TV show! (Karina used “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs Showroom and Annunciation Restaurant in New Orleans which you’ll see in the video.)

(Click here to watch Karina’s More Magazine segment

I’m currently working on my Winter Living Well Newsletter featuring one of Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet‘s latest projects, where he had another designer friend of mine (Ken Tibbils of St. Francisville) make this table:

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(I have featured Marc’s projects often over the years. and this latest project showcases his amazing design versatility. Wait until you see the rest of the photos!)

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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!