January 17th, 2008

Feeling Blue?

Lest you think we do nothing but floors around here I offer up this wall finish we completed one of our Operation Decoration classes. This was a modification of one of the finishes I designed for our Italy trip. It is, typically, hard to get a decent shot of the finished wall, but….


This uses the Oikos product called Kreos, which is quite nice for embossing and texures. Even rolling it over a texured background we had very little material creep under the stencil. Here is Christine to demonstrate.


Tired stencils resting after a hard days work.


Sweet smelling bees wax is tinted with mica powder and rolled on. Easy breezy and so fast, it’s blurry.


And it looks like this when it dries. This is our romantic, shabby chic, boho modern (a term I stole from decor8) lobby for Royal Design Studio, which features stencils such as the Grand Damask and our new Florentine Damask which, she says coyly, will be unveiled at a later date. 

September 7th, 2007

In Love with Lime

Wow! I have been SO busy in the studio. I have so much to share and so little time! I was just reworking some of the samples for our Italy trip and feeling very happy with the results so I want to share! One of the finishes we will do is meant to replicate some of the gorgeousl woven silk fabrics found at Antico Setificio Fiorentino.

Royal Design Silk Damask

This one is done with Oikos’ Kreos material, which is much like a really thick, somewhat gritty paint. It’s fabulous for creating highly textured looks. For this I troweled on the lighter color and then stria’d it with their Corduroy tool (which resembles really cheap Astroturf). It works better than anything I’ve tried before for creating a slightly irregular stria with lots of nice “nubs”. Once dry I used a stencil and was actually able to roll on the darker color through the stencil and stria through it with a brush without pushing the product under the stencil-even over a textured surface. You really can’t see it well in the photo, but the finishing touch is using two different colors of mica-tinted Bee’s Wax (from Kathy Carroll) and manipulating them a bit.

Modello Sgraffito

I wanted to rework the Sgraffito finish done earlier for another room and found that the combination of using a 10mil Modello for the main pattern and just a bit of “scratching” with a sharp tool for the vein details makes it look like I was scratching and carving all day-not! I LOVE the Oikos Travertino texture on the background on this one.

Melanie Royals Lime Wash

Most of the finishes we will be doing in Alison’s studio need to be kept fairly simple and neutral, as they will serve as backdrops for her own beautiful handpainted and gilded furniture pieces. This Oikos Lime Wash (actually it’s called Pittura Calce Verona) with some handpainted accents will hopefully fill that bill. All of these products can be ordered through Kathy’s site here.

Modello Cartouche

This one uses Safra lime plasters from the School of Italian Plasters and is a sample to test the technique for some cartouche designs what will go around a door and as a frame for artwork. It is a Marmorino base with Calcenova Arredo through the Modello. I have not done much personally with lime plasters in the past, but after the last week, I think I am hooked! Now, to tackle some real walls…..

July 30th, 2007

Kathy Carroll Shoutout

I just spent the weekend in the Chicago area at my friend Kathy Carroll’s studio, The Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes. Kathy was so kind to invite me there to help familiarize me with the Oikos product line and allow me to make samples for our upcoming Italy trip using those products. You see, we’ve decided to use Italian plasters, available in Florence, for our projects there and Oikos is one of the largest decorative coatings manufacturers there in Italy.

Not only did she provide me with her space and product knowledge, Kathy even blessed me with her two EXTREMELY good assistants Jennifer and Jenna, who were kept busy custom tinting quarts of Travertino, Marmorino and Veltura alla Calce for me to test out techniques and color palettes. They are shipping the samples back to me this week, so I will photo and post them later this week. Meanwhile, here are some photos from Kathy’s studio.

Melanie Royals and Kathy Carroll

Me playing/working and me and Kathy trying to get a good photo of the both of us before I rushed off to catch a plane. We gave up after 5 tries!

Oikos Plaster samples
Oikos Samples

Some of Kathy’s cool Oikos plaster samples I found around her studio. Kathy carries a wide range of products and teaches classes on all of them! www.fauxbykathy.com.