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.

 

 

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.

Holiday Home Tour sneak peak

This coming Saturday I will be participating in my very first Designer House Tour. Ten beautiful homes in my town will open their doors to the public for the day in order to raise money for the schools. Since most  (if not all) of the homes on the tour, have already been professional decorated the participating designers were simply asked to add a layer of holiday entertaining decor. The Tour is called “Entertaining in Style” and each designer was assigned a room (or two) and asked to decorate in either a Fall, Thanksgiving or Christmas theme.

The challenge in decorating for this Holiday Tour is that all the homes are occupied. The home I was asked to decorate is home to a very active family with 3 young kids and a dog. The designers were asked to go in early Saturday morning, set up everything and then be done by 11am when the tour starts…..okay, this made me a little nervous. I kept imagining the tour organizer standing outside with a big bull horn yelling “designers you have 15 minutes…5 minutes…1 minute…designers…STOP decorating. Lucky for me, my homeowner has graciously offered to let us come in on Friday to drop things off.

So, back to my rooms.  I  decided to do a little twist on the traditional Red, Yellow, and Orange  Fall color scheme and instead I am using Lavender, Blue and Orange. I took my color inspiration from a beautiful Pashmina that was a gift from a friend who’s brother brought it back after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Here is a photo of it.

 

Lavender, Blue and Orange Pashmina

 

And here is a sneak peak of some of the things I will be using to decorate the kitchen table.

 

See all that color?  I know it looks like a huge mess right now but this is just the initial stage as I pull things together and decide what works and what doesn’t.

Lucky for me, I also talked my Artist friend Susan of Mad Patter Art Design into  doing the art work  for both the kitchen and great room. Here is a photo of 3 of Susan’s pieces that will be in the kitchen. They are almost a perfect match to the colors in the Pashmina.

 

Susan's Art work

 

Lastly, Susan and I have been painting up some furniture in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that will also be showcased in the home. I know my husband will be very glad when the House Tour is over because our dinning room is a mess but the hallway is even worse. Here is how it looked yesterday while we were finishing up painting the final pieces.

 

A few of the Chalk Painted furniture pieces

 

If you live in the area I hope you’ll  stop by and say hello.  If not, I’ll post photos from the house next week.

 

If you would like help with choosing the perfect color, Staging or Design, give me a call.

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