Dining room mini makeover, before and after with paint and fabric

I have been planning on painting the legs of my dining table ever since we moved to our new house (ah.. hum) 8 years ago. Our previous house was a country cape in the suburbs and now we actually live in the country but in a much more contemporary style home. Well this past weekend after yet another snow storm kept me house bound, I decided …today is the day for a mini dining room make over. Luckily I happened to have a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the basement. I had originally planned on painting the legs black but Graphite is a dark charcoal and that is the color I had on hand.

Here is a before of the table with the country white washed legs. FYI.. In case you are wondering, I wasn’t going for a “puddled look” with the drapes…I  think I had just hung them and they weren’t hemmed yet. Also, there is no rug because at that point we were having “elder dog issues”.

dining room before

dining room before

As always, the reason why I like using the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is because I just open the can and start painting…no prep what so ever.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite

It took less that 30 minutes to apply the first coat, and then another 30 minutes for the second. A project that I have been thinking about for 8 years done in an hour.

Here is the After. I am so happy with how it turned out (still no rug because now we have puppy chewing issues).

dining table after

dining table after

I also reupholstered the seat cushions of the chairs with a beautiful wool fabric in a diamond pattern from Alessandra Branca.  That actually took longer than the painting but was totally worth the work as I think it looks much better.

reupholster seat cushions

Alessandra Branca for Schumacher Sofia Diamond

Now, this is where I would love your opinion. I fell in love with another print from Alessandra Branca but it is a bit too pricey to use for new window panels ($140+ /yard). I want to use it though to tie everything together. Here is the print.

Alessandra Branca

Alessandra Branca Elizabeth from Schumacher

There are two (more affordable) ways I can use the fabric. The first is to have faux roman shades made to hang between the current drapes. Here it is hanging up to give you an idea of what I mean.

SAMSUNG CSC

The second way I can use the fabric is to buy a couple yards and make a table cloth. Here is a what it might look like with a place setting.

tablesample

Soooo…. please help me make a decision…roman shades or a table cloth?  Which do you like better?

If you would like help with a mini makeover in your own home, give me a call!

My Olioboard Guest Bedroom Comes to Life

One of my favorite design tools that I use for both myself and for my clients is Olioboard. In case you haven’t heard of it, Olioboard is an online design program where you can create 2D or 3D  inspiration or design boards simply by clicking and dragging an almost endless library of real life products. It is super easy to learn and so much fun to create a  fantasy room or try out how an actual room would look with your chosen furnishings.

olioboard purple bedroom

Linda Holt Interiors

 Being a photographer I love the fact that Olioboard is actual photographs. It really helps my clients visual the entire completed room. It also makes me look so professional even though Olioboard really does all the magic.

Recently I created an Olioboard for a very small guest bedroom I was decorating. My client already had the bed, asked that it be very simply furnished and preferred Red and Cream as his colors of choice. I put together this board below as inspiration and much to my surprise he said he loved it all and to go ahead and decorate the room exactly like the board; rug, fabric, storage bench, art work, bedding…everything! (click on photo to enlarge)

designing a bed room with Olioboard

Now that the room is finished I thought it would be fun to show the Olioboard come to life. (click on photo to enlarge)

small guest bedroom

I made just a few small changes at the client’s request such as one big statement pillow rather than a bed full.

I also decided to have my friend Susan Siefer paint the two side tables with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to add a pop of blue and also to make the room a little more custom.

Susan custom mixed the Blue to match the Blue in the fabric shade and the Red accent stripe is Annie Sloan Emperors Silk.

Even though it is a very small room it was still fun to put it all together on Olioboard and also easier for my client to visualize how it would look once finished.

How about you? Do you use Olioboard?

If you would like help decorating or help with Color, give me a call.

My 15 Seconds of Fame in House Beautiful Magazine

When I received a call from an editor at House Beautiful Magazine back in November I was driving home from an appointment and only answered my phone because I thought I must have left something at my client’s house. When the caller, Christine Pittel, said she wanted to interview me about painting my first nanosecond thought was  “oh, she must be looking for the OTHER Linda Holt“.  There actually is one and she lives just a few towns away from me and is a well known Artist. Although we have never met we have been confused for one another for the past 20 years. In the next nanosecond I heard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painting furniture and it was at this point I pulled off the road to try and collect myself and calm down my rapidly beating heart…OMG…House Beautiful, OMG…House Beautiful! House-Beautiful-Feb13-cover Many of you already know that I am a huge Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fan. My good friend Susan Siefer of MadPatter Art Design actually was the one who turned me on to it a couple years back. She was likely one of the very first around to check out and start using the paint. Now of course it seems like EVERYONE is using it.

AnnieSloanChalkPaint

Since I am basically lazy when it comes to painting furniture, I love the fact that you don’t have to sand or prep a piece before starting to paint. It’s instant gratification and you can have a fresh updated piece in a day…love that! Painted furniture is so “on trend” right now and I usually try and incorporate at least one painted piece into each of my projects.  My client’s love to have something unique and custom without spending a huge amount of money. As I recently shared in a previous post, I just painted two chairs with Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange for one of my clients.

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Anyway, I digress… Pittel asked me to name my favorite Annie Sloan paint color and to talk about a piece I used it on and why.  My pick?  Florence: one of Annie’s newest colors.

Annie Sloan Florence

Annie Sloan Florence

How funny that I picked this color even before I knew that Pantone’s Color of the Year was to be Emerald Green. Below is my actual  quote in the February House Beautiful feature on Color Painted Furniture. (click on photo to enlarge) HB quoteand here is the piece in mention; done with my painting partner Susan.

 If you would like to see other pieces Susan and I have painted that are currently for sale check out my Pinterest board here.

If you had told me 5 years ago when I was still working full time as a photographer and only dreaming of being an interior decorator that one day I would be quoted in House Beautiful  I would have said you were crazy. It’s been an exciting  journey and I have to give credit to a few teachers and mentors who made my quote possible: namely Maria Killam for her True Color Expert training Leatrice Eiseman for her Color Expert training classKate Smith for her friendship and advice, Susan Siefer, close friend and painting partner and most recently Tobi Fairley, my teacher and business mentor. They have all educated me, inspired me, and fueled my passion and love of Color and Design.  I thank you and love you all.

If you would like a custom painted piece of furniture in your home or decorating help, give me a call.

 

 

NECN Room Makeover: How We Transformed The Room (part 1)

My NECN room makeover segment aired this morning so now I can show you all the behind the scenes and the process as it unfolded. This is what the room looked like on my first visit. (click on any photo to enlarge it)

room before

room before

Besides the clutter, the major problem with the room was that it was really dark, the furniture placement wasn’t working and the room did not reflect the personality of the awesome young family that lives there which is made up of Mom and Dad, 3 young kids, 2 big dogs and 2 cats!

My design plan for the room was challenging given we only had a budget of  $500.00:  Rearrange the furniture to get a better floor plan (free), lighten up the room with paint, get some art work up on the bare walls and replace the Taupe and Brown colored window treatments that were not working with the decor. I also needed to find seating to replace the over sized checked chair and ottoman that were the only 2 things not staying in the room.

The homeowners biggest complaint was that the room was too dark. The two windows in the room face into dark green trees so almost no natural light enters the room. The dark and dated brick wall flanked by the dark stained bookcases made the room even darker. I suggested we paint the brick a soft white as well as the dark stained built in book cases to lighten up that end of the room.

before

By pure chance, the husband is a carpenter so he chose to box out the brick with wood but painting it White would have the same “lightening” effect. Look at the difference in the after photo of this same wall.

bookcase wall after

bookcase wall after

After the book cases were painted I “shopped” the homeowner’s house to find accessories, collectibles and photos that I then used to style the bookcases (no more over stuffed and sagging shelves). We added inexpensive baskets from Homegoods to store Legos and small toys out of view.

The walls were originally painted White but as I blogged about in an earlier post that you can read HERE, the color White only comes to life in a room with lot’s of natural light. Since this room receives almost no light, the White only made the walls look gray and dingy. Instead, I chose an on trend soft neutral that added some depth and color and really livened up the room.

Since the Red sofa was staying, as was the Red, Brown and Orange area rug.  I chose to use Red as our accent color throughout the room. I  painted an old dresser that was being used as a TV stand Red to match the sofa.

Here is a photo of the dresser before:

 TV stand before

TV stand before

and here it is after after a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint…much happier don’t you think?

TV stand after

TV stand after

The walls were completely bare of art work so to add more color and a little personality I enlisted the homeowners children to create colorful art for an art wall. Each child now proudly points out their contribution to the room. The frames (originally Brown)were found at a yard sale for $4.00 and I painted them the same color Red as the dresser.

Here is a photo of that side of the room before:

before

before

and here is the wall after:

art wall after

What turned out to be another focal point of the room was the homeowners wedding quilt.It had been rolled up in a bag for over 10 years and it was especially emotional for them to finally see it displayed. She made the quilt herself and all the guests signed it. Here is the wall we hung the quilt on before:

before

Before

and here it is after. As you can see I put the sofa on this wall so that it is now directly across from the TV. The wedding quilt hangs prominently between the windows.

After

Lastly, since I posted all these “before” and “after” photos, I thought it only fitting to show a “during” image….just a small hint of how much work went into this $500.00 makeover.

“During”

In my next post I will share a few more low cost tricks we used in this makeover.

Would love to hear what you think? Do you like the transformation?

If you would like a makeover of your room give me a call!

 

 

Before and After…and After… With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Remember this table? This was the very the first piece of furniture my painting partner Susan Siefer of  Mad Patter Art Design and I painted using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

console table before

console table before

The top was covered with dirty contact paper that was hiding at least two previous paint jobs: notice the yellow that was painted over the blue that was painted over the original wood.

console table before

contact paper over paint

Since we had heard there was no striping, sanding or prepping needed with the Annie Sloan paint we wanted to try it on really rough piece. You can read my blog here about all the steps we did with the paint, stencil and wax to transform it into this.

console table after

console table after

Well after looking at it for a few months in the studio we weren’t feeling the love anymore. In fact there were several of our earliest pieces that we got the urge to give a make over. Luckily, one of the best things about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that if you decide you want a change …just repaint it…again, no sanding, prepping or striping.

Then last week while visiting the Brimfield Antique show we saw this fabulous Union Jack dresser painted by Nancy Chace of Sea Rose Cottage.

Union Jack Dresser

Photo by Nancy Chace of Sea Rose Cottage

Seeing Nancy’s chest inspired us to give our console table a little British flair.

console table after, after

console table after and after

We used nail heads around the edge for a little added bling.

We also gave a makeover to this Antibes Green stenciled table.

green stenciled table before

green stenciled table before

It now has a new life painted Emperor’s  Silk Red.

Table after

Table after

Here is a close up of the top which we lacquered with images of graffiti that I photographed while vacationing in Barcelona.

barcelona table detail

We gave this red stool with silk fabric a makeover to go into a little girl’s room.

stool before

stool before

and is now painted with Antoinette pink and gold leaf trim and recovered with a bright paisley print.

stool after

stool after

Even this orange and blue table got a little tweek

with the addition of a pompom accent trim.

Since we have recently acquired some large and unique pieces to paint, as well as a few commissioned pieces, we need to clear out and make some room. We are putting all our pieces for sale on Etsy. Click HERE to see what is for sale as well as some of Susan’s paintings. You can also see our painted furniture by following my board on Pinterest . We will be adding new pieces as we paint.

So what do you think of our makeovers?  Have you used the Annie Sloan paint yet?

If you have a piece of furniture you would like transformed or if you need help choosing the perfect color, or decorating give me a call at 617-965-3342.

 

Inspiration With Annie Sloan in Boston

Yesterday I had such an inspirational day shared with 100+ other woman in Boston at the final stop of Annie Sloan’s US tour. Just in case you haven’t heard, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has revolutionized painting furniture. There is no stripping, sanding, or prepping. Simply paint, wax and your done.  Annie spent the morning telling us the background on her now famous Chalk Paint … NOT to be confused with chalk board paint… and showing us all the many uses of the paint (not just for furniture) and ideas for fabulous color combinations.

Annie Sloan in Boston

Annie Sloan in Boston

Annie also shared some wonderful stories about the names of her colors; like her newest color Pink called Antoinette. She named this color after Marie Antoinette whom Annie refereed to as the world’s very first Interior Decorator. Marie Antoinette was responsible for introducing lots of fabrics into interiors and softening up the look of all that hard and cold wood of the time.

Although here in the States the paint seems so new and revolutionary, the fact is, Annie invented the paint over 20 years ago and Europeans have been using the paint for years. I first heard about the paint from my friend Susan of Mad Patter Art Design about a year ago. At that time the paint was very difficult to find and she was driving several hours to buy it. Things are changing quickly though due to the huge popularity of the paint and new distributors are opening all over. There will soon be 3 shops all within 20 minutes drive time from my house…yeah!

The afternoon break out sessions were hands on painting and I had the good fortune to get Celeste Blumenauer as my instructor. Celeste is the owner of Catfish Creative Furnishings in Pennsylvania and has been painting furniture since she was 8 years old. She was a fun and engaging instructor and our group learned 4 different paint Techniques.

Annie Sloan paint brush technique

Annie Sloan paint brush technique

In this photo Celeste is demonstrating a Rustic Finish brush technique. We also learned color layering and distressing, soft gilded finishing and how to get a very smooth glass-like Modern Finish.

Annie Sloan paint techniques

Annie Sloan paint techniques

The photo above are my 4 finished techniques. I was especially excited to learn how to get a really smooth finish. Although I like the shabby chic look, I prefer a more finished look for my own home. The Blue (Provence) side was so incredibly smooth when it was done it almost looked and felt as if it had been sprayed. The secrete to a smooth finish is to apply several very light coats of paint and use a 600 grit sand paper between coats. Then, apply the wax and buff, buff, buff!

Although it is difficult to tell by the photo, the Orange side (Barcelona) has a very rustic and aged look. This was achieved bu applying the paint very thick and then distressing once dried.

The proper way to use the wax  seemed to generate the most questions. The key is to use a very light touch with the wax (I have been using way too much). Also, when using the dark wax you must first apply the clear wax otherwise the dark wax can discolor your paint. We also learned you can apply the wax as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. No need to let the paint “cure” before waxing. Annie is all about painting and finishing a piece in a day…another huge advantage of the paint.

There were many new connections made yesterday with fellow designers and bloggers. I was especially glad to meet Nancy Chace of of Sea Rose Cottage. Nancy was the generous donor of  an Annie Sloan fan deck give away sponsored by my blogging friend Kelly Bernier of Restyling Home By Kelly. I won the deck so I was happy to be able to thank her in person.

I also bought Annie’s new book and like everyone else, posed for a photo with this inspiring, creative and dynamic woman.

Annie Sloan and me

Annie Sloan and me

I am ready to start painting and I have so many ideas. I will be sure to post before and after photos as I go.

Have you used the paint?  If so, what do you think?

If you would like help with color, decorating or home staging please give me a call.

 

 

My Front Entrance: A Little Inspiration and “After” Photo

I live in an upside down house. You see, our house is built on a hill; the front entrance is the ground or basement level, the main living area is one floor above and the bedrooms are on the third floor. Since our driveway stops closer to the back of our house we rarely, if ever, come in through the front door. So needless to say, our front entrance was somewhat neglected style wise.

I do not have a “before” picture since the space was often treated like a basement and was usually cluttered with misc. junk and recycling bins on their way out to the adjoining garage. I would often scramble last minute to tidy up if I knew guests were arriving that would be using the front door.

The biggest problem with the space is that it is very dark since the only natural light is through the narrow windows on either side of the front door. I really needed to brighten it up with some color and when I saw this image I decided this was the look I wanted to create.

Front entrance design inspiration

Front entrance design inspiration

Funny but I just noticed that the title of the article is Style Inspiration. (I believe the image is from Elle Decor but I have had the image for awhile so not exactly sure of the original source)

What I liked most was the color pallet. The gray patterned wall with the yellow chest and that cool vintage  lamp. My wall is small and oddly shaped so  I didn’t want wallpaper. Instead, I asked my decorative painter friend Susan Siefer of Mad Patter Art Design to create a stenciled patterned wall. I chose one of the new Benjamin Moore Color Stories colors called Through The Looking Glass for the wall color. Through The Looking Glass is light gray with a purple undertone and it was good match to the purple gray background of my existing area rug.

Company C Mandarin Pewter Rug

Company C Mandarin Pewter Rug

Susan stenciled a Moroccan pattern in silver leaf over the gray.

Susan painting with stencil

Susan painting with stencil

Once the walls were done I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Arles (yellow) to paint a black chest I had purchased at a barn sale. Although Annie Sloan paint is amazing at coverage, in hind site, I should have primed the chest first because I ended up having to give it three coats to completely hide the black.

You can see what it looked like after just one coat as I applied the second coat.

Annie Sloan Arles paint second coat

Annie Sloan Arles paint second coat

Once the chest was painted I used the Annie Sloan dark wax to give the same aged look that the chest had in my inspiration photo and also added some gray detailing with Annie Sloan Graphite Gray mixed with Old White.

dark wax and gray detail

dark wax and gray detail

So here is my inspiration photo once again

inspiration for entrance

inspiration for entrance

and here is my front entrance now.

Linda Holt Interiors

Linda Holt Interiors

I am planning to swap out the  lamp to something closer to my inspiration photo but in the mean time I might paint this existing one with Annie Sloan paint. I am also looking for just the right piece of art work for above the chest.

I can’t say we are now using the front entrance but at least today when the UPS guy arrived to deliver a package he entered a bright and happy foyer.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my front entrance “after” photo.

If you would like help with color, decorating or staging, give me a call at 617-965-3342.

 

 

 

 

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