Waterlogue, the hot new photo app

Have you seen the HOT new photo app for iphones and ipads called Waterlogue? It is hugely popular and is sweeping through the design community.  In fact, while cruising through Instagram yesterday two out of every three postings were Waterlogue pictures.

You can take a photo with the Waterlogue app or upload any random photo and then turn it into a water color painting.  It’s like Instagram on steroids in that it can turn even the most mediocre photo into a work  of art.

Here are a few images I made yesterday while watching (killing time) during the Super Bowl.

This is a photo as it appeared originally. Not a great photo as it was taken with my camera phone during the install and the lighting was not great.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

and here it is after the Waterlogue app…pretty cool right?

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Here is another mediocre “before”

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

and the Waterlogue “after”.

sunroom

Linda Holt Photo

Seriously, doesn’t it look like I paid several hundred dollars to have this professionally rendered? I know my clients would LOVE to have an image like this of their room.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

The image below was transformed by the waterlogue “It’s Technical” filter.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

As was this one was transformed in the “Bold” filter.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I totally understand the craze and addiction…everything looks fabulous in Waterlogue… Even a sink full of soaking dishes.

LInda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Have you tried it yet???  If not, are you going to join in on the fun?

 

 

Coastal Inspired Family Room Make Over

I recently worked with a wonderful client who’s family room that was in some serious need of updating.  She had originality decorated it in the 1990′s and everything was right on trend back then; the sponge painted walls, the elaborate (and very expensive) custom window treatments, and the 90′s color pallet. Since her BEFORE and AFTER photos were so dramatic she was gracious enough to give me permission to share her family room transformation with my readers.

This is how her family room looked when I first arrived to give her some help. (Click photo to enlarge)

Family Room Before

Her goal for her new room was to have a very light and bright, coastal inspired family room. Following that vision she had recently purchased two White and Navy checked chairs and a neutral colored sofa as her foundation pieces for the room.

Two new checked chairs

sponge painted walls dated family room

new sofa

One of the biggest design challenges of the room is that it has peaked angled walls and a very tall slanted ceiling. The current way it was painted with dark walls and a bright white ceiling accented the rooms irregular shape and gave the appearance of a chopped up room. It was certainly not the calm and restful space my client envisioned.

tall angled ceiling

When you have a room like this with slanted ceilings and angled walls there are several ways to paint it as I wrote about HERE.  Since my client’s number one goal was to “lighten and brighten” up her space, we wrapped the entire room (walls and ceiling) in the same soft neutral.

By painting the whole room in one light color the room now feels more calming and connected. I also had her flip the furniture so that the sofa was now in the bay window facing the new wall mounted TV and the 2 chairs were at the other end of the room for reading and conversation.

The room now feels like one continuous space and the many angles become much less noticeable. Being in the room is now much more calming and restful.

 My client is still working on accessorizing and plans to purchase art work but we are both so happy with how it turned out.

Photographers trick. I pulled the two club chairs up for the photo 

Pretty dramatic transformation don’t you agree?

If you would like help choosing color or updating a room in your home, 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!

 

 

Sneak Peak of My Room Makeover for NECN

Recently I was challenged by producer Leslie Gaydos of NECN (New England Cable News) to do a room makeover on a budget for her weekly segment called Money Saving Mondays. Well I love a challenge and I had all sorts of ideas for the room. The room was dark and cluttered and in desperate need of help for the wonderful young family who lives there. We taped the “before” segment a few weeks ago and the “after” segment is being filmed today. I will post a link to the segment on this blog once it airs.

I can’t give too much away until the show airs but I can give you a little sneak peak of one of the things I did.

bookcase before

bookcase before

Above is the dark, and over stocked bookcase before and below if the “after”.

The finished room looks amazing…now I just hope I am a little less nervous today filming the “after” than I was when filming the “before”.

Don’t you just love room makeovers?

If you would like help with your own room makeover 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Before and After Photos and Lessons Learned From My First Show House

This past Saturday I participated in decorating a kitchen, Great Room, and Mud Room for a FALL Holiday Home Tour. Although exhausting, it was a great experience and I learned so much about the whole process. This tour was challenging because as I wrote about here, the homes on the tour were all occupied by families who only vacated minutes before the tour started. Two valuable lessons I learned were:

#1. No matter how small the decorating job seems, it will take WAY LONGER than anticipated. It took over 7 hours to set up, even though I thought it would take only a couple of hours.

#2. Things will not go as planned. We assumed our occupied home would be empty the few hours before the tour started but when we arrived with fresh flowers and last minute details to do, the Mom was cooking breakfast, Dad was vacuming and 3 young kids were under foot asking all sorts of questions. I had also planed to take good quality “After” photos but there was absolutely no time so the photos that follow are quick snap shots from my point and shoot camera.

 

Kitchen Before

 

 

Kitchen After

 

My color inspiration was a Lavender, Blue and Orange Pashmina used as a table runner. Three pieces of original art work by my friend  Susan Siefer of MadPatter Art Design  were hung above the table with the same colors.

Here are a few more views of the table.

Table Setting

 

I made the flowered pumpkins from a photo I had seen on Pinterest (it took 6 Mum plants to cover the two pumpkins). I found the bird’s nest in my back yard, and all the colorful vegetable dishes I own. (My challenge to myself was to spend under $100  on this  project). Although you can’t really see in the photo, the “eggs” in the bird’s nest are tiny pumpkins. I also painted some pumpkins in the same colors as the art work and you can just see a peak of  two of them on the window sill.

 

 

I also added a few natural elements to the chandelier.

Purple, and Orange Seed Pods with Bittersweat

 

The kitchen also had a bar area that needed a little something.

Bar Area Before

 

 

I added a pumpkin ice bucket…an idea I saw in Country Home and some more decorative plates and napkins.

Bar Area After

 

The Great Room Before.

 

Great Room Before

 

The home owners asked that I not touch the book shelves or candles on the mantel which are actually electric and wired in. I placed  a wicker tray and a few gourds and books on the Ottoman and used more of  Susan’s art work above the mantle and added a tall vase of fresh pumpkin flowers. I also added some sprigs of Red leaves in test tube vases under the TV.

Family Room After

 

During the tour there was a fire burning in the fireplace but of course I didn’t get a photo of that but the room really did feel cozy.

 

Change of View Art Work

The 4  paintings by  Susan are from her Change of View series. The paintings themselves peal right off the  canvases and can be changed out with any number of different colors or designs. I think it is brilliant and you should check out her Etsy Store if you want to see more.

The tour visitors exited through the Mud Room and this was the room that took the most time and work. Susan and I have started a side business of  hand painting furniture using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Our business is called Chalk It Up! and the mud room is where we displayed some of our pieces.

(We are in the process of setting up a Face Book Business page where we will be offering items for sale.)

Here is how the mud room looked before.

Mud Room

 

And this is how we styled it up for the tour.

Chalk It Up! hand Painted Pieces

 

 

Now that it is all over I have a whole new appreciation for how much work and time goes into organizing and participating in a show house.  I would love to hear your comments and feed back.

 

 

If you would like help with choosing Color, Staging or Interior decorating, please give me a call.

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