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.


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.



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.





Chalk it Up Baby! Before and After

There is a new furniture paint bursting onto the design scene called Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It truly is an amazing paint because it goes over anything and there is absolutely no prep work involved. No stripping, no sanding, nada! All you have to do is paint and then seal the chalk paint with your choice of either a light or dark wax (also sold by Annie Sloan).The paint covers like magic and since painted furniture is a huge trend, it is super easy to paint your own piece and give it an updated new look. Super easy that is…except getting your hands on the paint. The paint is from England and there are currently only a limited number of US distributors that sell the paint. I have to believe this will change soon as more people hear about and want to try out the paint.

I first heard about the paint through my good friend  Susan Siefer who is a super talented decorative painter and the owner of  Mad Patter Art Design.  Susan originally drove to Rhode Island to bring home samples of the paint to experiment with. She raved about it and then together we drove out to the Brimfield Antique Show to buy even more. Not only did we buy the paint but we saw a lot of chalk painted furniture. We have since collaborated on a few pieces and I want to show you a few before and after’s.

The first piece we painted was a very sad small console table that I had bought for $1.00 at an auction. It had been painted multiple times and the top was covered with contact paper. Here is the table before:

$1.00 table before


Here is a close up of the top with multiple layers of paint and contact paper.


many layers of paint


This is the table after one coat of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Paris Gray is on the top and Paris Gray mixed with Original (white) is on the bottom.



We then waxed it and could have declared it finished, as it looked great.

light colored wax to seal the paint


BUT….Remember I said Susan is a super talented decorative painter… so this was just our starting point. We painted the top again with the Duck Egg Blue, distressed a little by lightly sanding so a little of the gray would show through, rewaxed with the light wax and then set up a stencil design for the top.


Annie Sloan Deck Egg Blue with stencil


We used Arles (yellow) for the stencil


Arles (yellow) for the stencil


We distressed the top again with a little more light sanding and then decided to paint the legs Arles and distress them as well. We finished the entire piece with a good covering of the dark wax.

Here is the finished piece.  (The photo was taken just before dark so the color is a little off but you get the idea).

console table AFTER



We were now hooked; both on the paint and on how much fun and how easy it was to turn trash to treasure. We started gathering as many pieces of furniture as we could and went to work turning them into little masterpieces. Here are a few more we did the same week.


A little side table painted Duck Egg Blue and Paris Gray with a silver stencil design.


Duck Egg Blue and Paris Gray


A stool painted in Emperor’s Silk Red and then covered in vintage red silk fabric (that was originally curtains) that Susan found at the Habitat For Humanity Restore.


Emperor's Silk Red



Most exciting is that the owner of  the store  Soiree,  saw one of our pieces on Susan’s iphone and asked if she could put them in her store……well…YEEESS!!!

Here are the painted pieces together when we dropped them off.  I don’t have a photo of the gray and silver stenciled one in the back but the owner put that one  in the store window (how incredibly exciting!)



We have since collected 3-4 more pieces to paint plus an old mirror and a vintage lamp. Now we just need to make another road trip down to Rhode Island or pay for shipping to get more paint.

I would love to hear feed back, and if you have used the paint, I would love to hear about that as well.

Give me a call if you would like to incorporate an Annie Sloan custom painted piece in your home.
















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