May 30th, 2007

Signature Finishes

I ALWAYS enjoy getting photos that show how customers have used our stencil and masking designs, but one of my alltime faves has to be Patti Halstead. She just seems to have a way of turning the design drama-meter up a few notches-plus she gets GREAT photos of her work.

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In most businesses, but especially this one, it’s all about making a strong, visual statement. Patti has been able to set herself apart with her unique style, sophisticated marketing and desire to be different. You can see more of her work at her online gallery.


She has recently moved her business direction to a more commercial focus, which includes designing and executing exciting public spaces for several upcoming resort projects, and is offering the opportunity for some Signature Training. You will have the opportunity to live on the beach for a week, while learning and executing advanced-level architectural finishes in a project team environment.

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It provides a great way to enhance your portfolio, broaden your design horizons and gain experience working in the resort design business. Modello Designs is a sponsor of this event and I can’t wait to see what Patti comes up with!

May 22nd, 2007

Moreys Muse

Don’t have a bag to match your shoes? No problem, just get out your brushes! Morey Dunbar just may be one of the most creative people I know! She shared these projects with me that she did recently with some assorted Modello patterns and metallic and reactive paints and I thought it might inspire you to dig some old purses out of the back of your closet, wipe the dust bunnies off and have at it!


Morey shared a little of her process

I like taking unusual products and utilizing them on unconventional surfaces to see if they work. I’m always playing with something. The purses were all treated with MM metal effect reactive paints to see what would happen. They are copper, bronze and iron. The accents on the copper and bronze are micromarbles. The pattern on the oxidized iron is lusterstone and iron paint mixed and slightly oxidized. The wine satin shoes where done in oxidized iron to match. The detailed were enchanced on them to show up better.

You can see more of Morey’s work at

May 20th, 2007

Ta Da!

The final finish coats are on an it’s officially d.o.n.e! A few days worth of thigh strengthening  work went into this, but I am really excited to be walking (actually skating with socks) around on my new hardwood floor.

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Now I am busy looking through all my design books for more patterns that would be appropriate for our new Modello Marquetry Masking System ™, coming soon to a website near you!

and worker-type men, drywall, scaffolding, hammers and more. Yes, finally, construction has begun on the big buildout of my soon to be new business home.

New Modello office buildout

Now I can begin to think about things like floor finishes, window treatments and basically how to make everything look like a million dollars for next to nothing (which is about what my budget is after paying for all the worker-type men). Yeah!!!!!!

May 17th, 2007

Award Winning Finish

One of our Royal Design Studio customers, Sheryl Barlow, recently contributed some decorative finishes in a builder’s Parade of Homes in York County, Virginia.


There were 9 houses total, and awards were given out in various categories. Sheryl’s “Wax Resist” ceiling treatment, which is featured as a FREE recipe on our website, won the prize for Most Creative and Original Design. Congratulations Sheryl! The home tour continues through May 20th, so check it out if you are around those parts.

May 15th, 2007

Fromental-SO Gorgeous

There was also a booth that featured wall coverings from UK-based Fromental. It was such a thrill to get to see these papers up close. They offer a line of beautiful handpainted papers, but their embroidery line is just over-the-top gorgeous.

Fromental Collage

Go to their website and checkout Embroidered/Chinoiserie. Do it now! It will brighten your day.

May 14th, 2007

HD Expo

It’s a quick 1-hour flight from San Diego to Vegas Baby so I hopped on a plane to walk the HD Expo one day last week. This is a trade show for “the trade” who are specifying for the hospitality industry. Heavy focus on the latest fabrics, wall coverings, formed and patterned panels, custom rugs, tiles and architectural glass, as well as fluffy bathrobes and nice smelling “amenities” lines. I would have to say that the “theme” that I came away with was rich, saturated colors and fabrics and wall coverings with a decidedly sculptural quality. I also noticed a lot of things that seemed laser cut and with a very “stencil-y” look to them. I’m liking that!


These photos are from some awesome print material that Panaz had laid out and feature their upcoming new fabric releases. Can you imagine how nice this sofa would feel to lay on?


I am noticing that the photo on the left/above is pretty close to the color scheme I want to do in my new office. (See In a Colorful Mood). AND it just so happens that we have some really nice big flower stencils in the Royal Design Studio line. Add a nice, stylized vine and viola!

May 11th, 2007

Mirror, Mirror!

Mirrored Wall.jpg

I am so excited about a class I just scheduled here in our studio with Tim Poe, the creator of the Antique Mirror Patina Solutions System. I began experimenting with this product and Modellos to create decorative effects that combine mirror patination with gilding, mica powders and metallic paints and there are some amazingly beautiful things that can be achieved.


It’s not difficult, but there is definitely a process and a learning curve. Tim will be covering all the basics as well as how to approach multi-tile mirror installations, panels and applying mirror to furniture. I know that there will be a lot of interest in this, so check out this link to download a PDF flyer on the class and register soon if you are interested! I can’t wait!!

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If you’d like to read about some more options, here is a link to a recent article I wrote for the Faux Finisher Magazine, Elegant Reflections.

May 9th, 2007

Marquetry Mayhem

I have written previously on the Marquetry Masking Pattern ™ technique I’ve developed using Modellos in the Wood You, Could You post. With my new bedroom maple floor going down tomorrow and the house in complete disarray, Lauren and I have been frantically working on getting the design down so I can have it cut and ready for my “weekend with wood”. I found this design in a book of historical patterns. The source listed is floor tiles from Poland. I am always drawn to the rythm of interlacing circle designs. Once the design is vectored, it’s easy to start playing around with coloration options. Here’s the process.


You can see the subtle difference between the left and the right. The additional contrast of the alternating darker rings adds a more interesting dynamic to the design. I thought this was the winner, until….


Bingo! More contrast and variety and I am ready go! Each circle will be 18″ diameter. If it doesn’t look as fabulous as I think it will, well, that’s what they make area rugs for.

May 8th, 2007

More Mongiardino


I promised you some more photos from Roomscapes. My favorite thing in the book are all the little, detailed photos of the maquettes he created as he was forming his vision for his client’s rooms, many in just 1:50 scale. I think that this tent effect could be just the thing I will need to cover up some somewhat ugly exposed ceiling spaces in the new studio!


These maquettes were/are used to develop correct color relationships and explore pattern, scale and placement. They remind me of little make-believe houses I would like to just crawl into and play in-probably with crayons and coloring books.


My favorite room photo is this one below as it features an interplay of a theme of patterns that compliiment and contrast with each. This is similar to what I plan to do in my Kimono collage office. I HAVE ordered the paper for that BTW!! I am going to do the design work in my studio and have it trimmed and installed on site. I’m considering doing of line of handpainted papers, so this will be a good chance to experiment!