Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Create an Elegant Home with the Right Inspiration

If you haven't noticed by now, I'm a "Traditional Elegant" lover. I decorate my home in Traditional style, I crave it, I live it, I breathe it. You can see that style in my stencil designs, in the photos of how I've decorated my own home, in how I do stenciling or faux finishing projects and in the types of things I speak of in this blog.

Traditional decorating is timeless. It never, ever goes out of style. It's "high end" looking (even if it doesn't come with the high end price tag). It's the "appearance" I'm looking for. Not being able to say I paid a gazillion dollars for it. In fact, it's much more fun (and shocking to those listening to me) to say I did it myself!

My favorite program used to be "America's Castles". I taped every episode and have watched them over and over. But the program went off the air (much to my disappointment) quite some time ago.

But alas! I've found a replacement! It's HGTV's "Beautiful Homes". This program features high end homes and mansions with my style of decorating. From the furnishings to the wall finishes, I am entranced at each episode.

I view each room and my mind instantly goes in to a mode of how I could create those finishes, that room arrangement, that furniture by doing more inexpensive make-overs of what I might already own (beg, borrow or steal...teasing of course!).

That's what this blog is all about. Taking the most modest home and turning it in to something beautifully elegant, serene and comfortable. Doing it yourself with little tips and tricks, a staple or two, a few yards of higher end upholstery material, some faux finishing and thrift store finds. Yes, some stenciling in there to make the job a little easier.

So visit the site, get some ideas, watch the show.....see what I'm talking about and then follow me and let me give you some ideas of "how to do it".

Visit the website for elegant stencils, plaster molds for high end ceilings and walls and more inspiration than you thought possible.

Life is short; Live elegantly

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Stainless Steel Paint Turns Give Any Appliance an Upgrade

I really love it (especially in this down economy) when companies come out with products that give us a less expensive alternative to upgrade the appearance of our homes.

Liquid Stainless Steel is a product that allows you to upgrade the look of any appliance by giving it a new stainless steel painted finish. Check out their website~ Very cool!

Visit the for oodles of stencils, plaster molds and ideas to help you turn your own home in to an elegant place to live.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exciting Faux Finish Products Websites

The sometimes the disappointing thing in the Faux Finish industry is that many product manufacturers require training and even certification to use their products.

Oh, how I've drooled over their sites....those luscious counter top products that when applied, look like real marble, the specialty concretes and sealants and floor products! Then only to find out that I have to sign up for a $900.00 class in order to even purchase and try them! I drop my head and leave the site.

Of course, there are products that you would be absolutely FOOLISH not to learn to use the right way. Especially if you are in the service end of the Faux Finish business. They are so specialized that if you don't know what you are doing, you're setting yourself up for failure.

For me, I'm a busy manufacturer and designer who doesn't have time to take every course on the planet to try their products (and boy, they are sometimes expensive as well!). So whenever possible, I feature companies that let we novices, we non-pro faux finishers, we DIYers try and use professional products without training.

Two such sites are and

Rose Wilde at the Wood Icing Company created a product that gives you the ability to create strong, durable surfaces with a product that is not only easy to use, but one we LOVE with our Raised Plaster Stencils for furniture and cabinetry. You don't need a class or certification to try and use this wonderful medium to create stunning textured surfaces. is a fun site that will whet your whistle when it comes to a smorgasbord of faux finish products. From specialty counter top products, Pro paints and art supplies such as Bas Relief Clays, this site has much to offer! I've got my eye on the Design Crete line of products. Yeah, I have faux finished every counter top in all of my bathrooms, but I'm now wanting to try my hand at something brand new and exciting!

So kudos to those of you who offer the rest of us products that we can play with, create dreams with, learn with. You Rock!

If you know of other companies that you would like to mention, please post in the comments section. We'd love to hear!

Visit the website for beautiful stencils, ornamental plaster molds, and ideas to dream upon~

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Stencil Raised Designs on Furniture: The Finished Table

For heaven's sake! Just as I get a moment to breathe and finish my table project, I'm once again bombarded with scads of orders and new project invitations and again it got put on hold. But finally, it's finished! Varnish and all.

As I showed in my last post on this stenciling project, I had added the raised designs to the round sides of the table with our Raised Plaster Tremont Borders Stencil Set and then had fun adding a bit more to the design using a cake decorating bag to create additional dots and curved lines.

I then painted the entire table, designs and all, jet black. I LOVE black furniture! It's regal, seems mysterious somehow and shows off a design in a spectacular way. I use black as the accent color in my living room in rugs, pillows and occasional tables. It looks very high end as the anchor color to the soft golds I use in everything else. 

Because the designs from the Raised Plaster Stencil protruded from the surface, it was super easy to paint just the design with an artist brush and metallic paint. In fact, it's totally fun!

I decided that the top of the table needed something spectacular, so I added our Alana Medallion Raised Plaster Stencil design with multi colors of paint. Soft brown, pale green a hint of pink and the same gold I used for the raised design created a lovely addition to my table design.

I finished off the table by doing just some of the trim in the same gold paint color that I used for the raised design. It's easy to go just a bit "nuts" when adding more gold trim so it's important to keep balance and simplicity in mind when ultimately designing your piece. For instance, I could have painted the entire table leg in gold paint. But the result would have taken this project from "elegant" to "gaudy". 

The final table project thrills the bajeebaz out of me since I now have an occasional table for my love seat in my living room (and I'm giving a party in two weeks so it will come in quite handy!)

Visit the website for elegant stencils, ornamental plaster molds and oodles of ideas and inspiration!