November 30th, 2011


Allow me to introduce you to Sylvie Bilger and Metamorfaux.


I had the great pleasure of meeting Sylvie this past October when she attended my last painting trip to Marrakech as one of our very special Peacock Painters. Originally from France, Sylvie has a joie de vivre that is both infectious and endearing. She also happens to be a classically trained decorative artist with an impressive resume.  Sylvie learned her craft first during 4 years in the Ecole National des Arts Appliques et des Metiers d’ Art. She followed that with a year at the Institute de peinture Van Der Kelen in Brussels where she perfected her decorative painting skills in trompe l’oeil, wood graining, marbleizing and lettering. Impressed yet? Well, to top that off she then proceeded to work for two years doing restoration at the Palace of Versailles. Yeah. Cool. For the last 25 years she has lived and worked in NYC, and established her decorative painting company, Metamorfaux with her artist/husband Joe Bilger.







Right before we left for our Morocco trip, she contacted me regarding the opportunity to sponsor the decoration of  a space in the annual Holiday House NYC-an annual showcase and fundraiser for the Susan G Komen foundation for breast cancer research. Of course I said yes! The space was of the sort normally given to decorative painters-a hallway. Hallways are actually fabulous, because they are generally lacking the need for furniture and you can be left to let the paint treatment be the star. Sylvie was inspired by the stenciling that I had designed the year before for a dining tent in Morocco, and this became the basis for the hallway decoration at Holiday House. Of course, she reinterpreted the idea unique and special way. Let’s see, shall we?






Sylvie used a combination of Royal Design Studio stencils and Modello masking patterns. I suggested the Modello patterns for the ceiling, because they can be so much easier than trying to maneuver a large stencil around, and we were able to cut the design to fit the space exactly. Above, she is removing the transfer tape to begin the painting process with metallic paints from Modern Masters.






We also provided Modello patterns for the the arches and medallion. Again, the Modellos are much easier to apply and decorate an otherwise difficult space like these arches!






Cut to a week later, and…..voila! Sylvie used our new large Peacock Feather stencil on the walls. I love how she has them trailing randomly from the ceiling line,






and added just a little extra touch on the window treatment.





More of our Moroccan  stencils were used in the small hallway, including Moroccan Lace, the Fez Corner, and the Fez Floral Border.






A final touch of magic happened when the light fixture was installed. Along with a warm, reflective glow, it adds a whole other dreamy layer of geometric pattern to an already beautifully designed space.






Here is a shot of Sylvie and our mutual Moroccan traveler and friend, artist Tom Henman-her lucky date to the opening night Gala! If you happen to be in the NYC area you can check out Sylvie’s work along with many other beautifully designed and decorated rooms at Holiday House NYC through December 11!


November 15th, 2011

Look Ma! Another Cover!

I received a pretty little gift in the mail the other day…a copy of the newest Do it Yourself magazine from Better Homes and Gardens. My first thought: Gee, that’s a very bright, happy cover. Second thought: Gee, the pattern on that wall looks very familiar. Third thought: (lightbulb moment) Awesome! That’s our very own Berry Romantic Wall stencil.

Royal Design Stencil-Do it Yourself

We had sent the stencil out by request from a project editor sometime last spring, which, of course, I completely forgot about so it was a great surprise! You may remember this post about our Moroccan stencils making the cover of Better Homes and Gardens-equally thrilling!

Floral Damask Wall Stencil

I noticed one cool feature where they had sent old, ratty furniture pieces out to various DIY bloggers for some rehab, including one of my favs-the cute couple from Young House Love, John and Sherry.

That, in turn, reminded me that I should mention the fabulous wall stencil project they did with our Large Feathered Damask stencil. It looks super elegant in cream and yellow on soft gray. Just a LITTLE more understated than the cover above. That’s the awesomeness of stencils-you can have it your way!

Anyhoo, The whole Do it Yourself  magazine is full of fun projects-with tons and tons of patterns thrown in, so check it out in the check out line! Their website is pretty cool too!

November 11th, 2011

FB Fan Appreciation Day

One of my favorite things about designing stencils to share with the world is getting to see how our customers use them in their homes and creative projects.  All this internet interconnection makes it even easier to enjoy these rewards-and to share them with others. I truly love and appreciate it when people “share” their stencil art on our Facebook Page. It’s like instant gratification on steroids! This past week there were some particularly NICE photos posted, so just in case you missed them, here’s a visual recap…

Wall stencil nursery design

Nichole Blackburn of Celadon Style recently completed a large commission at Bel Bambini, a high-end baby boutique in Newport Beach, CA.  Nichole completed 20 different original and creative murals and decorative schemes throughout the store to coordinate with different nursery collections. Here, she used our Grand Damask stencil in a stripe pattern to create a romantic graphic look.

Allover stencil on a ceiling

ceiling stencil detail with border

Former textile artist turned decorative painter and muralist extraordinaire, Carmen Benoit,  is always to nice to comment on our Facebook pages and posts, so I’m thrilled to share some of her lovely work on a grand ceiling. Carmen used our Delicate Floral Damask all over this tray ceiling and finished it off beautifully with the Oriental Brocade Frieze border pattern. This looks like SO much work, but what a STUNNING effect!

moroccan stencil on a ceiling

Moroccan stencils on a wall

Sylvie Bilger of Metamorfaux (top photo) is an amazing person and artistic talent who I met recently on our last Moroccan painting adventure to Peacock Pavilions. She was such a joy to be with and I am thrilled to be sponsoring Sylvie’s space at the upcoming Holiday House NYC event to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer research. Sylvie is very modest, so she probably won’t tell you that she trained at an important decorative finishing academy in Europe and her first job had her working at the Palace of Versailles, but I think that deserves a major SHOUT OUT! Sylvie is currently completing two amazing hall spaces in the showcase house with a combination of stencils and Modello patterns pulled from our Moroccan stencil collection.

stencil on furniture with stain

On a much smaller scale, artist Kathryn Donatelli shared a table top that she enhanced with wood stains and one of the designs from our Architectural Scroll Set.

furniture stencil with chalk paint

Another fellow Moroccan traveler, Cindi Rowley of Cindy Rowley Designs recently shared a cabinet furniture finish using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and our Ornate Italian Panel stencil. Cindi embossed the pattern for a raised effect which is highlighted by the lovely antiqued wax finish.

chalk paint furniture stencil

Another Chalk Paint furniture stencil project was posted by Kristin at Chi Chi Studio Designs. This is a super pretty blog by a darling  Mississippi girl and this dresser stenciled with Paris Gray and Pure White and our Small Chez Sheik Moroccan stencil totally rocks, IMHO! Oh, and by the way, Royal Design Studio is now officially the stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in San Diego County, but I haven’t officially announced it yet, as I am trying to get all my ASCP ducks brushes in a row.

large moroccan wall stencil

Moroccan stencil on wall

And now for the BIG finish!! It’s the Chez Sheik Moroccan stencil again-this time in the larger version.  When I saw these pictures posted on our Facebook Page wall today by Haneen Matt, I thought they were the work of a pro decorative painter. I was already SUPER impressed by the color choice and stylish props, but then I found out that she is a very talented homeowner and I was super, DUPER impressed. How about you??

So-there you have the week in review, and now you know how much I LOVE it when peeps share their stencil photos…….so…….I’m just suggesting……and letting you know that our Facebook page is right here. Have a lovely, creative weekend!


November 7th, 2011

Stencils Just Floor Me!

So, I’ve been doing this stencil thing for a long time now.  A. really. long. time. You would think I would be bored with it by now. I mean really, how could a person continue to be excited about a simple piece of plastic with some pretty shapes cut into it?! Well the answer is, silly, it’s NOT about the tool, it’s about the results: the pushing of boundaries, the new twists, the endless creative ways to use the dang things! For instance-just today two new super stencil projects came my way that offer all of those things-and they both just happened to be floor projects that are original, inspiring and oh so cool!

Large houndstooth stencil on a sisal floor mat

Mandi from Vintage Revivals is a good friend to Royal Design Studio stencils, and we “love her guts”-and her amazing eye and ingenious projects. So much so, that when she asked us for a custom, super-sized houndstooth pattern stencil for a floor project she was doing we said “how big?”

how to stencil a floor or rug

Of course, Mandi didn’t just stencil it. She stenciled it with an ombre effect, with colors gradating from light to dark to light again. How cool is that!? Mandi dishes on all the rug stencil details here!

Houndstooth wall stencil-large graphic stencil

So, thanks to Mandi, you can now houndstooth (is that a verb?) your own floor-or wall with this new large graphic stencil from Royal Design Studio.

how to stencil on a tile floor

To make matters even better, I have ANOTHER cool floor idea for you courtesy of Tara at  Dump Your Frump (how fun is THAT thought?) Tara had the awesome idea to stencil on a plain stone tile floor with our Allover Moroccan Arches pattern. Yes, you can do this-you just need to make sure that the surface is clean and “toothy” (meaning it will allow the paint to bond) and that you finish it off with an appropriate topcoat.

Moroccan wall stencil in a floor

I have stenciled before on “unsealed” stone, like travertine, and its a great look. Well I don’t need to tell you because you can SEE it here. If you use a more translucent paint medium, like a gel stain or fluid acrylic, the color will penetrate and you can still see the texture of the stone. I love the bold color choice here though. The frump had definitely been dumped from THIS powder bath.

Thanks for the floor show, Mandi and Tara!

November 5th, 2011

Stencil Giveaway Winner

It was so much fun doing a stencil giveaway this week with the help of The Nester!

the nesting place giveaway

Thank you all so, so much for all the comments, stencil feedback, facebooking and tweeting.

I wish you all could have won, but only picks one number and that number was 14.

Wall stencil giveaway

So, congratulations to Beth-the winner of our $75 Royal Design Studio stencil shopping spree. For the rest of you wonderful peeps who took the time to “window shop” for stencils, look for an email from me very soon with a special offer. xo