Thursday, October 18, 2012

Embracing Gray

It seems like about once a year a new client comes into my life who says to me "Just do whatever YOU think is best..." and then they give me a whole bunch of projects and I do whatever I think is best. These kinds of projects are when I just LOVE my job and I feel like the most blessed person on the planet.

This year, it is J and M   who have given me carte blanche all over their beautiful new home. Most of the projects I have done for them, have been in their black/gray/chrome and MODERN lower level. I have been DYING to do some gray projects after nearly 15 years of beige.... so I was so happy and excited the first time I saw their swanky lower level with it's gray floor tiles and incredible bar area with the chrome pressed tin ceiling!

Here are some of the  gray based projects I have completed. 

In the above shown bar area, I created a finish I call 'Rough Linen' to flank either side of the bar. This finish had to coordinate with the modern lighting, as well as the unusual chrome ceiling. I wanted the walls to whisper, not shout, so I created a silver/gray textured finish that was topped off with rough cut Mica flakes. This is a great transitional finish that would work with just about any style of decor. It's a great mix of rough and tumble and sparkle.

Across the room, in the Poker area...I transformed a 'preppy' cherry wood poker table set complete with leather and studded library style chairs.  Ta Da! 

Using animal skin textures, I created a modern finish for the table top, which was overglazed with silver. The entire set was painted black and the studs were changed from bronze to hologram silver using foils. I am really proud of this finished result and the clients loved it too.  All they need to do is change the casters from brass to chrome and the transformation will be complete! (yes, they plan to do that).

I painted the pool table to match! And added zebra feet for a little extra punch and sizzle.

***While we are on the topic of painting furniture, I just wanted to let potential clients know that I sand and prime and topcoat everything for a very durable finish. I shudder when I remember an article about a home I worked in, in which I was 'quoted'  as saying that I applied my textures with drywall mud! SHOCK AND HORROR!  I use only high quality proprietary products for the most durable and long lasting finishes. I promise. ***

The walls in this area needed to have some 'oomph'  but also needed to be a background for the main focus of this room, which is having fun!  I designed an overlapping squares application of Venetian Plaster. I tinted the plaster to a pale gray shade and trowelled in on in overlapping squares, leaving a raised ridge on one edge of each square. Once the plaster was dry, I burnished it heavily to put a sheen and carbon stain on the raised ridges. 

I love the type of finish that people can't figure out how it was created! The shiny edges and the cool stone feel of these walls really have people baffled.  Love that!

Funny how some projects clients  asked to 'do something' about a bad color choice in the exercise room. What I ended up doing became quite the production and granted it would have been 100 times easier to just repaint the room, but my clients trusted me to come up with something really exciting for this large, utilitarian room. And they didn't 'hate' the color, there was just too much of it.

While I like to say 'there are no bad colors'  and I do really love this Tiffany Blue  (the original basecoat) ...but 4 walls of it was pretty eye-ball frying and needed toned done considerably. 

After talking with the clients, we came up with this overlapping squares and rectangles idea. I started this project by painting huge squares of a sheer Pearl finish. Working my way from lightest to darkest, I created smaller and smaller rectangles and squares of metallic colors. This took a very long time and miles of tape, but everyone is happy with the end results.  (the trim has now been painted black).  While in the photograph the squares read brown, they are actually varying shades of a warm silver, metallic taupe, pearl and black metallic.

My final 'gray' project in this home is in their daughter's bedroom. I had applied this finish in their prior home, and the daughter requested that I duplicate it.
This is one of my most popular finishes, I call it the Gum Wrapper Finish.
It's layers of silver foil over crushed tissue paper. Yummy!

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