October 30th, 2012
In sunny Tampa, Florida, we come upon a studio giving a new, inspired second life to furniture pieces. Stiltskin Studios combine creative decorative paint techniques with lively ornamental patterns and stencil designs. We’re so happy to feature their work for our Stencil Star™ series, which seeks to showcase creative artists and their inspired work.
ABOUT STILTSKIN STUDIOS
Michele and Kenny Hiley of Stiltskin Studios are a husband and wife design team who have both made creativity a priority in their lives. They re-imagined many items for their homes and once their friends laid eyes on the possibilities, a business (along with an Etsy shop) was born! Although they offer a full-service design studio, their passion is to take vintage and antique furniture and transform them to fit into a more modern home. Their name was inspired by the fairy tale Rumplestiltskin because he turned a seemingly worthless object, straw, into Gold. They like to do the same with cast-aside furniture and uninspired interiors!
How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?
So many things influence our decision on which stencil to use…sometimes, it’s as simple as using a stencil as a fun accent, such as the Cherry Blossoms we used on a dresser face…other times, it’s to add interest to something that is mundane, like the leaves on a dining table. Often times, we will have a theme in mind…a general direction, such as a Parisian Apartment or a French Chateau feel, that helps guide our decision; other times, we utilize stencils to do something completely unexpected, like a Moroccan inspired tabletop on a French Provincial table.
Frequently, we’ll be painting a piece when out of nowhere, inspiration strikes and suddenly, we decide to incorporate a stencil that was not in the initial design plan. Painting, for us, is a very organic experience. We enjoy the process and stencils are another bespoke element to make each piece truly special.
This lovely and artistic dining room set was painted with Chalk Paint™ and our Small Ribbon Damask stencil on the leaves. We love this inspired idea and so we featured it here on our Stencil Ideas blog.
Please share your top Stenciling tip with us.
A very wise and charming faux painting artist taught me to make sure all the excess paint was removed from my brush before I applied it to the stencil. That seemingly small tip brought us both over from not being huge stencil fans to wanting to stencil everything!
Additionally, there is no substitute for proper tools. They make the job go so much smoother and help ensure perfect results. Cheap tools typically beget cheap looking results!
What would be your “dream” stencil project?
Right now, I’m dreaming about stenciling my kitchen cabinets! We completed the upper cabinets last year (removing the doors to create open shelving) but the lowers are still hideous 1970’s brown laminate. I’m quite excited to have the option to stencil them…we feel the project will be very much representative of us and our style.
How does stenciling enhance your creative business?
My husband and partner, Kenny, has an art degree and is a skilled fine artist; I, on the other hand, can barely paint a straight line. I have much more imagination than skill when it comes to the details of hand painting. Stencils really allow me to create what I’ve imagined. I’m also slightly lazy, so I’ll not make the effort to put a design on the projector, sketch it on the piece, and then hand-paint the intricate design. Stencils alleviate all that work for me. Royal Design Studio stencils really are simple to use, the results are consistent, and I look like a creative genius when it’s all done! Because they are so durable, we can mix it up with different colors and looks using the same stencil. They’ve enabled me to bring my creative vision to life!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the beautiful fairy-tale stylings of Stiltskin Studios. Do be sure to check their Facebook page and their wonderful blog, too! Please feel free to pin these pics to keep sharing the creative love of pattern and paint! You can always follow our Pinterest account as well for design and pattern inspiration and keep up with us on Facebook and Instagram, too!
August 2nd, 2012
Another fabulolus Stencil Stars™ showcase. Every other week, we are sharing our customer’s use of our Royal Design Studio mylar wall stencils and Modello™ masking stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more. This week’s super STAR is Pennsylvania-based Tom Henman of Tom Henman Decorative Painting, a super talented artisan who applies stenciled patterns in innovative and unique ways in his decorative painting projects.
ABOUT TOM HENMAN DECORATIVE PAINTING
Prior to starting his decorative painting business, Tom was an Art Director for a direct mail company until 2005, when he lost his job. A few years prior, Tom had attended a decorative painting demonstration given by artist Carol Kemery. He had dabbled in some faux painting in his home after her presentation, but then decided to seek formal instruction due to his job loss. Within weeks, he was signed up for an introductory course and knew instantly that decorative painting was going to be his new career.
Since 2006, Tom Henman has been the sole proprietor of Tom Henman Decorative Painting based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has attended some of the top decorative painting schools in the country, including a painting trip to Morocco with Royal Design Studio as one of our amazing and intrepid Peacock Painters. Tom continues to explore his new found passion and expand his clientele, which incidentally, includes his last boss. Sometimes it takes one door to close before a better one opens.
Above, Tom creates a wonderful, well-rounded ambience with a lustery plaster on the ceiling and a Modello Ornamental Center stencil (OrnCen128) encompassing the room’s color scheme. Below, a beautiful finish walls set off the three Modello Eastern Panel stencils (EasPan105) along the staircase walls.
What draws you to Stenciling?
I love the idea of adding color and pattern to a wall or piece of furniture to personalize it. Wallpaper has not been a friend of mine, ever since I had to remove it from my house. Often it’s difficult to find a correct wallpaper colors and patterns that coordinate with the room’s color scheme, and it may be discontinued. That is where I find that being able to design a custom finish with coordinating stencil colors is a win-win situation. Plus there are no seams that can peel!
Acid etching is a specialty of Tom’s studio, after being introduced to the technique in a class here in our San Diego Studio. Using the Chippendale Molding stencil in vinyl form, he etches the design onto a Statuary Marble backsplash. The Carrara Marble below has been acid etched with a custom Modello® vinyl stencil with the center area gilded.
Below you will see two bathroom vanities which have been transformed with a two-layer, two-color distressed custom finish. The Spring Time in Paris Stencil Set is then stenciled in with our Royal Stencil Cremes. Beautiful and unexpected!
What are your favorite surfaces to work on and design for?
I know that this may sound crazy, but I love to work on ceilings! Clients often forget about adding a splash of color and design to the ceiling. It’s funny how we install huge chandeliers in rooms, but the light bezel is only 6” wide… it just looks out of place. When I can show a client how their room can look with a Modello Design on the ceiling that is proportional to the light fixture, they wondered why they waited as long as they did. One of my favorite references for clients are Modello by Design Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Melanie Royals.
The dining room ceiling above has an Eastern Motif stencil (EasMot125) in gold and silver leaf while the walls have a modified Modello Eastern Panel Wall stencil (EasPan114). Modello vinyl stencils are fantastic for areas with unusual architectural features, like the dining room below. For the ceiling, a Hampton Corner stencil was used with a nice lined design joining the patterns while a custom Modello® stencil was created it to match it for the back wall.
Please share your top Stenciling tip with us.
The obvious answer is that I love Royal Stencil Cremes and Gardz. They are a must-have for any mylar stencil or Modello® vinyl stencil project. My real secret, however, is my MacBook Pro and Nikon D90 camera. I love to take before pictures of a wall and show the client how their room can look with a stencil pattern and finish. Sometimes clients just can’t envision the final result. This usually seals the deal or shows us that we need to tweak the scale and design a bit more before the job starts.
A gorgeous plaster finish in a powder room creates a great background for the two ornamental border stencils (Top: OrnBor157 and Bottom: OrnBor163) that were gilded in gold and silver. The kitchen below has a beautiful ceiling which is set off nicely with a glaze finish and our Modello Ancient Worlds Center stencil (AncCen103) nicely capping off the beautiful light fixtures.
BIG thank you to Tom for sharing is stencil work and artistic inspiration with us. Seriously, we can’t wait to see more! If you can’t wait either, please be sure to see more of his projects on both his studio website and Facebook fan page!
April 9th, 2012
I pin. You pin. We all pin for a stencil win! I know that many of you are already BIG Pinterest fans (like me!), as well as Royal Design Studio stencil fans. SO…..we are so pleased to announce our first Pinterest pinning contest, Stencil Amour. This is your chance to pin all those stencils you’ve been coveting in one place and possibly WIN a $250 Shopping Spree.
We’ve set up the contest rules and commenting to enter on our new Stencil Ideas Blog on our stencil website. Go to the post there to see the easy rules for entry and start pinning your fav Royal Design Studio stencils to your own Royal Design Stencils Love Pinterest board. Then, keep your fingers crossed that you will be the lucky winner of a super $250 stencil shopping spree. Don’t forget to enter the contest by commenting on the post on Royal Design Studio. Good luck to all you pin-happy people!!
March 28th, 2012
It’s HERE! After months, years really, we have our new Royal Design Studio stencil website to unveil. Actually, it’s a Royal Design Studio stencil website 2.0, because we’ve taken the leap to putting multiple sites within a site. There is still a lot of work to do and much to add (isn’t there always???) but we have started off with our stencil site, seen below, and a new site called Paint and Create (more on that later)!
Leading off is Royal Design Studio-the original stencil business I founded in 1994. It still looks pretty fresh, doesn’t it? Kind of like me. *cough*. The primary feature of this site is our stencil collection, of course, and we have done some fluffing up by adding cool, new graphics and reorganizing our stencils into new, more logical categories.
For instance, we broken down our Allover Damask Stencils into subcategories like Allover Floral Stencils, Allover Moroccan Stencils, Allover Modern Stencils, etc. so it’s easier to pinpoint that perfect stencil for your feature wall!
Furniture painting is uber-hot right now. Actually, it’s been popular 4ever and we’ve always had a wide range of stencil patterns for furniture painting. Difference is-now they are easy to find all in one place.
Want to create a global vibe with wall stencils? In addition to our popular moroccan stencils, we have categories for Japanese Stencils, African Stencils, Indian Stencils and more.
Another new category on the site is Children’s and Nursery Stencils. My very first attempt at stenciling was back in 1984 when I stenciled my son’s nursery with a border of my own design of ducks, hearts, and rocking horses. Alas, you won’t find THAT design here, but there are lots of cute floral stencils and lots more fun designs in the works.
Your notice that there are now tabs at the top of the site that lead to different areas. Some of these are still in progress, but we have finished up our new decorative painting site Paint and Create. This is where you will find all the cool tools and decorative painting products that you can use alone or combine with our stencil and Modello Designs masking patterns.
Of course, we are super happy to be carrying the full line of the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This is the ORIGINAL Chalk Paint™, developed by Annie Sloan 20 years ago in England as the ultimate furniture paint.
Almost from the beginning of my stencil career, I have used stencils in combination with decorative and faux finishes. I find it so much more interesting to combine pattern with glazes, crackles, metallics and textures and you can look for lots of information on how you can too now and in the future in our Paint How-tos and Tips area.
Speaking of metallics, we have a whole section devoted just to Metallic Paint, Metal Leaf and Metallic Foil. Here’s a way to indulge in all of your gilty pleasures without an ounce of guilt! Who doesn’t want and need a little more sparkle in their life?
OK, that’s just a little peek into the new site. It’s still a bit of a work in progress and I will be sharing more in the coming days, but please check it out and browse around for yourself and let me know what you think and what more you’d like to see!
September 14th, 2011
Well, the writing is on the wall….and the mirror…and the chest….and the floor! Our unique new French poetry typography stencil is showing up everywhere these days and it’s thrilling to see it used in so many creative ways. First, the wall…
Michele has a beautiful blog called Hello Lovely Inc. where she mixes lovely imagery with poetic writing. She was smitten with the Springtime in Paris stencil as she is a writer herself and has studied French. A perfect fit! She not only stenciled her bathroom wall…
…but cleverly transformed a mirror she was thinking of throwing out by stenciling directly over the front with acrylic paint.
Stenciling on mirror is always fun because the mirror will reflect your artwork (as well as your feet!), providing an interesting dimensional effect.
Note that you will need to take care cleaning a mirror like this because the paint will not bond super good to the glass. The upside to that is that you can always remove it later if you wish. Michele also has an Etsy shop where she sells lovely vintage jewerly and clever collage art interspersed with her OWN poetry.
The ever talented Miss Mustard Seed, aka Marian, also did a fabulous post this week featuring the Springtime in Paris stencil on a rehabbed vintage chest. Marian’s specialty (well, one of them) is transforming furniture that she sells in her shop in Virginia.
She used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (of course!) to quickly change the base color from drab green to soft Cream and then stenciled the typography across the from with (appropriately) Paris Gray. I have no doubt this piece will be finding a special home soon!
And now, to the floor! My dear friend Barb Skivington has a fabulous decorative painting and design studio in High Point, NC called Faux Works. Barb is also an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint distributor and certified national teacher for the line. You are probably seeing ASCP ALL over the blog world used on furniture but the paint can also be applied directly over concrete-to beautiful effect!
We actually did a similar treatment on one of the Marrakech Painting trips, and I absolutely love the layering of words and images for a floor application, don’t you?? Decorative typography can be so inspiring…
I hope this inspires YOU.
March 25th, 2011
I have a little mini-obsession going with artistic typography. I think it started with the typography floor I designed for one of our project in Marrakech. It continued on with the It’s Just Your Type collection we released through Modello Designs. Lately, I’ve been focusing on stencil designing and have been exploring ideas for a collection of typography stencils for Royal Design Studio.
The first few stencils for the collection are now ready and I’m really excited to share them. Here we show the whole Springtime in Paris Typography stencil set. Each of these stencils is sold separately, but I actually envisioned them all working together as a layered treatment.
The first layer of this look is a repeating wallpaper stencil of a French poem about Spring! How’s that for timing? You can read the interpretation of the poem on the website.
Of course you can create a sweet focal point by just using the sweet Paris Postage Stamp stencil by itself.
Here is another version of the whole stencil set that is a sample on a subtly distressed plaster finish that I created for a uncoming stencil workshop I will be teaching in May at my friend Gary Lord’s Prismatic Painting Studio. I am really interested to know what you think of these, as I have so many possible ideas swimming around in my head! If you think I’m on the right track with these, just say the word!