Posts Tagged ‘Paint’

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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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“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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January Paint Sale!

January 14, 2013

I’m happy to announce that we are having a sale on our VOC-free Lifemaster paint products! $5.00 off per gallon when you order online. At the end of the check out, you’ll be asked for the secret code. It’s “2013” (without the quotation marks). The link to our online store where you can take advantage of the sale:

Order Full Spectrum Paints & Samples Online

On another note, I am in the process of adding seven new colors to our palette of stock colors.

I also want to share this photo a client sent of her newly painted bedroom in “Lilac Mist”. This was one of my first custom colors created over 30 years ago! Still one of our most popular colors, I first used it in a client’s bedroom who said before we repainted, he rarely slept past 5:00 am, but in his Lilac Mist bedroom, he was sleeping weekends until 10:00! It’s actually also a manly color because it works so well with browns and grays.

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Lilac Mist is not only soothing, but very versatile.

Don’t forget, when you purchase our paints, color consultations are free.

Look for us in Dwell Magazine‘s upcoming Spring renovation issue!

www.ellenkennon.com

877-877-7628

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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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Transforming a Mountain Getaway

May 2, 2012

I just love it when I get emails and “after” photos from clients showing me their newly transformed homes! Mary, who has an art degree and specializes in oil painting, contacted me at the beginning of last year to help her with paint colors for her newly purchased home in the North Carolina mountains. When she and her husband Grady purchased the home, all of the walls were white and the trim was green, and as you can see, they also had lots of that honey-colored wood that can be so difficult to work with when selecting paint colors:In addition to the colors that were already in the palette, they had a very hard time choosing colors for this house because the elevation is above 4,000 ft. and the light in the mountains plays tricks with colors. They tried about 8 non-full spectrum paint color samples on the walls and the colors changed by the minute and most of the changes Mary didn’t like. Although she doesn’t use a designer and really enjoys decorating for herself, this weekend home was giving her fits, so she started searching the internet to see what she might come up with, and found information about full spectrum colors and then my website. She ordered samples, and then with the help of  Grady and her friend Cheryl, she picked out all of the colors, except for one of the guest rooms, because she had already chosen the fabric. After seeing her fabric samples, I suggested Edgewood Green to go with the rest of her chosen palette of Camelhair, Rust and Chestnut, with Wheat on millwork and most ceilings.

“Edgewood Green” is a great compliment to reds and golds and is such a neutral, most any fabric will work well with it.

“Camelhair” was used on the walls and millwork of the main living areas.

Kitchen Area “before”

“Camelhair” was used on everything: Walls, cabinets and trim.

Love the softness of her “Wheat” ceiling and trim with “Chestnut” walls in this Guest Bedroom!

“Edgewood Green” walls with “Wheat” ceiling and trim in this Guest Bedroom where dust ruffle is the red fabric and curtains are in the gold check.

“Camelhair” walls and millwork also used in the Dining Room.

I especially liked getting this feedback from Mary since I recently had to increase my prices again due to manufacturer Akzo Nobel increasing prices:

“I highly recommend your colors and your services. Sure you pay more for the paint, but the colors are fantastic.”

When I started this line of full spectrum paints over ten years ago, it was with the intent that I keep my pricing in line with major paint manufacturers so that it would be affordable for everyone because I truly believe (& get constant feedback) that our paints are healing, bringing joy and balance to everyone who comes into contact with them. Due to the scarcity of one of the most important ingredients in good paint, titanium; all paint manufacturers have increase their prices as many as 4 times a year over the past couple of years. However, even at our increased prices, it all comes down to only 15 cents per square foot for our most popular VOC-free “certified green” Lifemaster product. Considering that paint makes the biggest impact on any space, covering far more surface than anything else, it’s still a bargain! Here’s a link to the pricing information: Pricing and Product Data

However, I am working on creating formulas in their new VOC-free contractor grade paint which is perfect for those on a tight budget and those who like to change the color of their walls often. It will sell for around $50 per gallon.  We’re starting with our most popular colors, so stay tuned!

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Climbing Out of the Black Hole of Computer Madness!

January 25, 2012

Don’t get me wrong, I love all this new technology, but I feel like I have been dropped down the rabbit hole this past few weeks, working on one computer problem, that’s led to another, to another. Where did it all start?

I always start my new year off trying to be organized, so I spent the days at the end of last year cleaning out the accumulated clutter in my office and then continued on trying to organize myself so that when I enter a date or a contact into my iPhone, it will automatically appear on my office computer and my iPad (which I use often to hook up to my office computer remotely when I’m away from the office). Although Apple’s new iCloud is a great idea in theory, it still has quite a few kinks and come to find out, doesn’t work with Outlook 2010 or an older version of Windows, so the software upgrades began!

One of the upgrades I’m happy to report on is my new online samples shopping catalog (shown below). It was out of commission from last Thursday until Monday morning, but it all seems to be working fine and is much easier to use than the one before. You will also be able to order our larger 11″ x 17″ hand-painted samples, pint jars and free cuttings, in addition to the 8″ x 11″ hand-painted samples and 2 oz. sample jars. Best of all, you’ll be able to order paint! Here’s a link to it:  http://store.ellenkennon.com  which you can also get to from our “Full Spectrum Paints” page by clicking on “Order Samples“.

Our new shopping cart page!

On another note, I also wanted to report that Akzo Nobel has had yet another price increase. However, I do want to point out that this is the norm for all of the paint companies out there because of the scarcity of Titanium Dioxide which is a major ingredient in quality paint. Although we in turn had to  increase our prices by $4 per gallon on our eggshell and semi-gloss Lifemaster VOC-free products (i.e. from $59 to $63 per gallon), we have been able to keep the same price ($56 per gallon) on our most popular Lifemaster Flat product. When I started this paint line ten years ago, it was with the intention that everyone should be able to afford full spectrum color, so I have always tried to keep my prices competitive with the main stream top of the line products and although our prices increased, they are still better than Sherwin Williams’ Duration which is retailing for $68 a gallon and it’s not even full spectrum color!

Speaking of wanting more people to be able to experience the beauty and healing benefits of our full spectrum colors, I look forward to working with Color Cares, the organization I mentioned in my previous newsletter, so that full spectrum color will be available for their Color Cares makeovers! I’ll be talking more about that in my upcoming Living Well Newsletter (Winter 2012) that will be posted in the very near future.