September 17th, 2012
We travel to Houston, Texas to meet with Leslie Sinclair of Segreto Finishes. She heads a large studio team that tackles beautiful decorative paint finishes combined with lovely ornamental patterns and stencil designs. We’re proud to feature her for our Stencil Star™ series, which seeks to showcase creative artists and feature their inspired work using our Royal Design Studio mylar stencils and Modello Decorative Masking Stencils.
ABOUT SEGRETO FINISHES
The world of decorative painting is limitless, ever-changing and richly complex. Finishes for walls, ceilings, floors and cabinetry are crucial to the embodiment of a home’s character. Leslie lives by the philosophy that upon entering a room, your eyes should not draw a distinction to one element or finish but should see the surroundings as a whole. By developing a palette that complements a home’s architecture and design, surroundings are given a new perspective.
Graduating from the University of Texas with a business degree, Leslie left her corporate job in 1995 to start Segreto Finishes, naming the company after her husband’s family. Segreto, which means secret in Italian, rolls up all of Leslie’s passions — architecture, interior design, art, people and business– into her idea of the perfect job. Leslie’s talent for color, bringing innovative products to Houston, hiring and training a quality staff and working with people on their individual needs, built Segreto’ s reputation.
With a staff of 25 artisans, the company has become a premier finish design firm with work featured in numerous publications including Veranda, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Country French, Elegant Homes, Beautiful Homes and Beautiful Baths, to name a few. Leslie also regularly contributes to Antique Shops and Designers magazine.
Inspired by all aspects of artistic painting, she owns an art gallery, Segreto Studios, and writes a blog, Secrets of Segreto, about interiors, art and finishes. She also wrote her first book Segreto: The Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, a wonderful reference book for anyone interested in home design.
What draws you to Stenciling?
Stenciling is a great way to give a uniform pattern for a wallpaper look while being able to customize colors to the clients decor.
Here is our Fortuny stencil graces the walls in an allover pattern to create a custom wallppaper effect. Such a lovely fabric finish!
How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?
The scale of the room, the fabrics, rug, and the clients personal style dictate which patterns I feel will work best in the room.
Our Moorish Trellis stencil adds just the right amount of pattern and interest to an elegant, neutral design.
Please share your top Stenciling tip with us.
I typically mix Floetrol in the paint when the client wants a more inconsistent look to the pattern.
How does stenciling enhance your creative business?
It allows me to cost effectively give a multitude of different all over wallpaper looks or ceiling treatments to clients that are custom in color and embellishment to their room. Wallpaper has exact color ways and each run is exactly the same. With stenciling, no two rooms will ever be just alike giving each client a one of a kind look.
An inspired take on our Kyoto Allover stencil from our Allover Japanese Stencils Collection finds hand-painted elements over the design pattern. The result is a whimsical, artistic finish for a lovely space.
Leslie and her team do extraordinary work but as you can see, they also do neutral very well! Please do check out the Segreto website to see more of of their projects as well as their Facebook page. They frequently share their fantastic projects via their Secrets of Segreto blog, too.
Don’t forget to pin these pics and keep sharing the creative love! Do see more visual inspiration and other creative projects, you can always follow our Pinterest account as well as keep up with us on Facebook and NOW you can also follow Royal Design Studio stencils on Instagram!
September 6th, 2012
The love of patterns and stencil designs coupled with beautiful decorative paint treatments have led us to discover many creative artists worldwide. Our Stencil Star™ series seeks to showcase these artists and feature their beautiful work. This week we travel to Pennsylvania to see and learn about a few lovely spaces created by Bernadette Forese of The Faux Pro.
ABOUT THE FAUX PRO
Bernadette Forese is the owner and founder of The Faux Pro, LLC and Philadelphia Gilding, both based in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She has a BS degree in Business Management and received professional faux and decorative arts training from international master artists in studios around the world. Her work has been showcased in design homes and in national design magazines. Bernadette opened her business in 2002 and she recognized early on the importance of incorporating pattern and style in to the design. She relies heavily on her ability to understand the spatial relationship between form, function and purpose of each space. Bernadette primarily works on entire homes, large-scale commercial and church projects and brings in her talented crew to assist with them. Although her business is based in Pennsylvania, she travels the country to her client’s homes and businesses.
Bernadette was at an Art of Living event where Barb Skivington and I taught a reverse gilded glass finish. Here, she uses the technique on a gorgeous tabletop with a Modello™ Designs Ornamental Border vinyl stencil (OrnBor147). The how-to for this verre eglomise techniqueis available in the Art of Living book.
How do you determine what patterns will work for a project?
Sometimes there are so many pattern options that the choices can be overwhelming. When determining what pattern will look great in a space, I take many things in to consideration. What is the function of the space? Formal entertainment, casual elegance, etc. What is the natural light in the space and when does it hit? How tall are the ceilings? Is this a commercial space or residential space? And, most importantly, what is the design dilemma that we’re trying to solve? For example, if there are two chandeliers over one large kitchen island, then unifying them with a pattern on the ceiling brings the whole space together. I look through many magazines to get inspiration for pattern but, to be honest, I rely on following Melanie Royals’ blog and her other social media sites for inspiration. I look at the scale of my project and project what different patterns would look like.
A spectacular kitchen with the design dilemma of unifying double chandeliers in one space. Bernadette used two Modello™ Design Ornamental Center vinyl stencil patterns (OrnCen187) to connect and bring the space together! Composite gold and aluminum leaf were used to stencil in the patterns.
Please share your top Stenciling tip with us.
Spray Adhesive or water in a spray bottle! If I’m stenciling with paints, many times I won’t use any spray adhesive; just tape to keep the stencil in place and an off-loaded foam roller. However, sometimes if I’m getting bleed through I’ll grab my water bottle and spray the back of the stencil (just a mist) and the stencil will stay put on the wall! If I’m doing a texture through the stencil, however, I’ll use spray adhesive (3M Super 77) every time. And then Simple Green is one of my best friends; it removes everything that gets stuck to the stencil!
(above) The Pear and Plum Botanical Fruit stencil used in elegant, traditional setting. You can see the close-up of the stencil on the right hand side. This was another project that Bernie worked on with us at the Art of Living event. (below) The interior designer on the project, June Shea of Shea Studio Interiors, chose the Elegancia Allover wall stencil in a 2-story residential entryway gracing all the walls perfectly. Composition gold Schabin leaf was used to stencil the design and then waxed to seal it with the blue wall color coming through the broken leaf.
What are your favorite surfaces to work on and design for?
I actually love working on floors and ceilings. Of course walls are fantastic, too! However, applying stenciled pattern to the floor is creative and fun and, when done properly in conjunction with a flooring company, has the longevity and durability of any hardwood floor because the pattern and paints are nestled under the layers of protective topcoat from the flooring company. Ceilings, too, are great spaces! They’re perfect, in my opinion, because they don’t have the traditional interruptions (door frames, window frames, etc) that normal walls have so the pattern can flow uninterrupted.
Custom Modello™ Designs vinyl stencils were used to create the illusion of a rug on the flooring in a residence (above) and incorporate a client’s logo in a commercial lobby (below).
We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the lovely stencil work of Bernadette Forese and I want to second those tips on using spray adhesive and Simple Green to clean your stencils! Be sure to visit both her websites, The Faux Pro, LLC and Philadelphia Gilding, to see many more of her projects. She also has a Facebook page where she shares the work of both her studios.
Do be sure to follow us on Facebook to see our fresh and daily stencil and creative inspirations as well as follow us on Pinterest to preview all our fave images incorporating pattern, design and color. We would LOVE for you keep the inspiration flowing and to pin or share these pics with your friends and followers!
September 4th, 2012
Last year, the fabulously talented Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals invited Royal Design Studio Stencils to be part of an inspiring project called the Epic Room Makeover 2011. Haven’t heard of it yet? The Epic Room Makeover concept invites bloggers to submit a very “needy” room in their home with the hope (and hope includes all manner of creative begging and pleading) that they will be in the running to win the prize of a very merry whirlwind Mandi makeover.
Last year’s winner received an amazing makeover filled with clever projects, including this wall stenciling with our Endless Moorish Circles Stencil.
And guess what? The contest is back and continuing to raise the design-blogging bar. Royal Design Studio and our designer stencils are in wonderful company again, THIS time with Lowe’s, HomeGoods, 3M, and Krylon in sponsoring this makeover that will be given away to one lucky reader with a room in major need of a facelift.
Do you have a room that could use a Cinderella treatment? There’s still time to enter. Head over to the Epic Room Makeover Giveaway Contest 2012 page to read all the deets and submit your entry. Deadline for submissions is September 6! Even if you don’t enter, you can still have fun perusing the room entries with titles such as “Master Disaster” and “Not Smitten with My Kitchen“. Then follow along with the contest to vote for the finalists and see the results of Mandi’s Magic! We can’t wait to see what this year’s EPIC-ness entails!