March 29th, 2012
There is nothing more inspiring to me than to see finished projects that our customers have done with our wall and furniture stencils! One of the things I am most excited about is that our new stencil website give us the ability to SHARE these projects with others on a weekly basis on our Stencil Ideas Blog-right from within the site! I want to encourage you all to share YOUR projects with us, because we really want to show you off!!
Here is one of our first features showing stylish stenciled bathrooms. Bathrooms can be super fun to stencil because they are little rooms unto themselves and you can be a bit bolder with your choice of color, pattern, and scale-if you want! These three stenciled bathrooms show a nice range of ideas.
The first photo from Michelle Lopez of Sparkle Faux Designs features an allover stencil pattern treatment with our Lisboa Tile stencil. Stenciling an allover pattern in a bathroom can be a bit of a challenge because you generally will have more obstacles and areas there you have to “cut in” with the design: corners, fixtures, tile, and molding. The end effect is super stunning, though, as this photo shows. Believe it or not, allover pattern treatments actually help to visually “push out the walls” and can make small rooms seem bigger!
The second photo by Karen Jorgenson of KJ Decorative Finishes offers a brilliant alternative treatment for an allover pattern stencil. Here, Karen took a modern allover stencil Hip to B Square stencil and turned it into a graphic border. You can achieve this by using tape to mask off and paint a “frame” of pinstripes and simply stencil the allover pattern within them. I think that this amount of pattern and color is just the right compliment to the dark painted walls that offset the bright white paint and fixtures. VERY punchy!
The third photo shows another way to create the look of an allover design without stenciling every square foot of wall space. This works particularly well for a feature wall. Here, Rina Krumholz using our Grand Damask stencil and stenciled it randomly around the room in two different colors. By layering the designs here and there and turning them upside down occasionally, you can quickly stencil a unique custom look that fits your space-something you could NEVER get with wallpaper!
So-how about you? Do you have some stencil tricks and special projects up your sleeve that you’d like to share? We’d love to see them and possibly share them on our website. Please send pics of your projects using Royal Design Studio stencils to [email protected] and let’s keep the inspiration flowing!
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.
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!
March 16th, 2012
The Annie Sloan North American Tour is ON! I’ve just returned from an exciting week in New Orleans, where Annie has kicked off her North American Tour by presenting an inspiring class to those of us who are privileged to stock and sell her incomparable and original Chalk Paint. In just the last year, the number of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockists in the U.S. has grown from a handful to 191 nationwide, and it’s a lovely family of dedicated, inspired, and creative people who are now sharing the beauty and versatility of “The Best Paint in the World” for repainting and repurposing furniture, cabinetry, and decorative accessories with this amazing product.
Royal Design Studio is sponsoring the tour with a free French Damask stencil, exclusive to all tour participants, that was designed by Annie herself.
In the Stockist’s workshop Annie shared with us an easy stencil technique that is a wonderful way to add layers of color and the expression of age and time with Chalk Paint.
We were also introduced to Craqueleur, a two step clear crackle varnish that is ideal for adding the effects of age to furniture and can be used over stenciling and decoupage work as well.
Most inspiring of all was the lecture Annie gave us on color theory using her Chalk Paints. She has prepared a series of boards that she will also share on the tour that shows how easily colors can be combined and neutralized, as well as gorgeous color combinations to represent French, Scandinavian, Boho Vintage, Neutral, and Modern design themes. If you are unable to make it to a class on the tour, Annie also shares
color colour advice regularly on her Paint & Colour blog.
In addition to playing with paint, we also got to “just play.” Here is a photo of Lisa Richert getting ready to lead the 2nd line dance at the fabulous party that they threw for us in one of the beautiful mansions of the New Orleans Garden District. Lisa also leads Annie Sloan in North America (and soon in Australia, mate!) as Annie Sloan Unfolded. What has impressed me the most (and always has) is Lisa’s passion for this paint, her commitment to Annie Sloan both as a person and a brand, and the complete professionalism and dedication of her whole inspiring team.
Annie herself is a true “original”, a consummate and accomplished artist without ego-full of as much grace and humility as talent and creativity. She leads by example and everything related to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint flows beautifully from her. It’s an honor to be an ambassador for her and her brand.
Is Annie Sloan coming to a city near you? Find out here. The tour has begun but there is still time to register for upcoming workshops in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Leesburg, and Boston!
March 4th, 2012
I have a rather large book case wall unit in my living room. It’s…OK. Just OK. It’s functional. It’s “there”. I often look at it and think a) needs dusting AGAIN!, b) I need to give some of those books to Goodwill, and c) It would be so cool to paint it, stencil the back, and rid it of some clutter while upping it’s “cool” quotient.
I have a very simple but VERY gorgeous furniture stencil project by blogger Sarah Gunn to share, which is a perfect illustration of my thought process. It was recently featured on the Canadian blog Yummy Mummy Club.
Bookcase Before: nice, functional, stores stuff adequately but no great shakes.
Bookcase After: it’s like someone blew a breath of fresh air into the room! Sarah used one of my fav stencil patterns from Royal Design Studio-the Small Eastern Lattice. The green color is so, so pretty with the blue walls and it makes the white and silver accessories just pop. Instead of blending into the background, this simple furniture piece now has “presence”.
Stenciling on the back of a bookcase or wall unit is actually pretty easy as you can generally just pop that thin piece of wood off the back, paint it, and then reinstall it with finishing nails of a staple gun. How about you? Do you have a similar stencil project calling your name?
PS Sarah also shared some stenciling tips on a recent airing of City Line, a fun morning show out of Canada. AND, besides writing for the Yummy Mummy Club and TV appearances, Sarah also has her own business, Polka Dot Grove, which offers adorable custom canvas art for children’s rooms!