January 24th, 2011


What do your favorite colors say about you?


Me? My ”go to” colors are black and shades of blue (bluebell, pool, and night). Do your favorite colors reflect YOUR personality?

Click here to access a large, readable version from the Paper Source blog.

January 18th, 2011

Here and There

Being the busy little bee that I am, I thought I would just point you in some inspiring directions around the web today to some fabulous blog posts that have special meanings to me. 


Debbie Hayes has a beautiful eye and a beautiful blog, FauxPlusDesign, where she shares her decorative art, photography, travels, and interesting musings about all of the above. This post features some super juicy photos of the private tour of the Palazzo Corsini in Florence, Italy that was arranged on our decorative painting adventure last October. We were honored that the lovely Contessa Corsini herself led us through the palace, sharing her family history and great taste in art and architecture! Debbie’s photos truly capture the splendor of this amazing place on the bank of the Arno river.


Regina Garay has a fabulous design and decorating blog, Fauxology, where she shares daily inspiration on design and color trends, decorative painting, and a whole host of other visual goodies. It’s a “must read” for professional creatives and design devotees. All this week, she is featuring groin ceilings, and TODAY’S feature just happens to be on using our Modello Masking Stencil Patterns for artful decoration of this architectural asset.

Stencils-Hearst Castle

A great new blog discovery for me this past weekend (thanks Anna Sadler!) is ArchitectDesign. Stefan Murray has recently been featuring a series of posts and extensive photo essays on Hearst Castle. Now, as you may recall, Modello Designs and Royal Design Studio have recently been selected to become licensees for the Hearst Castle Collection, and I am currently in the process of developing stencil patterns based on the endless array of decorative painting and design details that are contained in this national treasure. If you haven’t been to Hearst Castle, you can travel through Stefan’s blog posts. Enjoy the tour!

January 13th, 2011

Corsini Damask Stencil Art

One of the more recent additions to the Royal Design Studio stencil collection is the Corsini Damask Stencil. This stencil pattern was developed especially for the Italy painting trip that I hosted last October with my good buds Gary Lord and Alison Wooley. It was a special trip, filled with lots of fun and good painting friends. The Corsini Damask Stencil gets it’s name from the Corsini family-a blessed and noble Italian family with a long and rich history who also happen to own villas, palazzos, and castles througout Italy, including the Castello di Casigliano where we were fortunate to work, stay, and play for a second time in the last three years.


For my class project, I decided to give the students a limited range of stencils, Modello Masking Stencil Patterns, some interesting paint techniques, a limited color palette, and a large piece of canvas. Basically, I turned them loose to exercise their creativity and the results were fantabulous!


Each canvas became a unique work of art and it was so inspiring to see how each person interpreted the patterns and colors in a special way.


Applying stencil patterns as canvas art frees you to really explore color, texture, shape, and scale in a different way from wall stenciling. You can be bolder and more creative with your color combinations, and easily introduce mediums other than paint, such as gilding, plasters, and waxes. Basically, anything goes!


This canvas art was done on Roclon, an amazing material that is actually canvas laminated to both sides of a thin plastic core. It is very flexible, wrinkle resistant, doesn’t shrink, and comes ready to apply  paint, plaster, metallics, or whatever medium you want to work in. Alternatively, you can do stenciled canvas art on stretched canvas that will be ready to hang. The type of canvas art shown here is ideal for hanging from a decorative curtain rod, as you would a tapestry. Artwork done on the Roclon cloth can also be permanently affixed to a wall with wallpaper paste. My fabulous artist friends shown here are (top to bottom) Lauren Gaines, Nancy Jones, Debbie Hayes, and Barb Skivington. Of course, you can use the Corsini Damask Stencil very nicely on a wall too!


This room above was done by Sass Lassly, another great addition to our Italy painting adventure, in her own bathroom. Note the random application of the stenciling. This is a great way to add pattern quickly and artistically.

I hope this post inspired you! Hint: Stenciled canvas art is also a great way to use up those little bits of paint and plaster you have lying around, as well as maybe revisiting some stencil patterns you may not have used in awhile. The 3074 Corsini Damask Stencil is available in both a large and small version. The small version is shown in all photos above.

January 11th, 2011

Damask Stencil Desire

Have you noticed? There is a pattern renaissance going on. Damask stencil patterns, an enduring  classic design staple in decorative art are hot, hot, HOT! Now, for me, damask stencils have always been at the top of MY list for creating elegant, allover wall treatments with paint and plaster. Damask allover stencil patterns allow you to wrap a room up with customized pattern in the colors and style of your own choosing. You can use high contrast colors to create drama, OR choose a tone-on-tone color palette, or stencil with glazes  for a softer, more textural treatment. If you wish, you can use damask stencil patterns to simply create a stunning focal point on an accent wall, or limit the pattern (and save time!) by just stenciling them in panels, under chairrails, as headboards, or simply on a large canvas to hang as wall art or a tapestry.


About 10 years ago, Royal Design Studio first introduced the concept of Allover Production Stencils: larger stencils containing multiple repeats for faster stencil application. They have been a consistent hit with professional decorative artisans and DIY decorators ever since. Recently, we’ve been able to renegotiate better pricing with our vendors and bring more of our stencil cutting “in house”, allowing us to reevaluate our pricing on this stencil collection. AND, ta da! We have just LOWERED the prices on these stencil classics CONSIDERABLY, from 20% all the way up to 45% on some of our most popular Allover Production Stencils.

Soooooo….I thought this might be a good time to revisit some old “friends”!


 Fortuny Stencil Beige

The Fortuny stencil has always been a personal favorite of mine. In fact, I have this stencil on my own living room walls and I never get tired of it!


Moorish stencil in black

The Moorish Trellis Stencil is well-loved for it’s simplicity and graphic quality. This stencil pattern is like a chameleon, in that it blends in well with many types of decor including classic, ethnic, and contemporary interiors.


The Allover Flourish Stencil never seems to go out of style. This elegant, curvilinear pattern is also used quite often on ceilings as its soft curves don’t have a specific top or bottom, and it flows effortlessly across the surface.


Damask stencil in peach

The Fabric Damask stencil is easily our most popular stencil pattern EVER. This stencil pattern seems to just “connect” with people, and the great thing about the Fabric Damask stencil is that you can repeat it as shown to create an allover pattern or simply this design as a stand alone “motif” that you can repeat randomly, and quickly.

Looking for more inspiration and a little direction on how you can incorporate these ”now more affordable”  beautiful allover stencils? We have tons of additional stencil inspiration here, and free stencil tips and how-tos here! Now, let’s get painting…..

January 6th, 2011

Things Organized Neatly

Reorganizing your studio or creative space for 2011? Serious OCD?!?!? Things Organized Neatly is a nifty tumblr blog with a lot of super cool photos of…..things organized neatly!!


Paint Brushes


colored pencils

Paint Chips

Hint: Click on “Archive” to view all the past photos.

January 2nd, 2011

Decade(s) of Design

Welcome to the new decade! I know many people who are eager to put 2010 behind them and I certainly count myself among them. I’ll cop to having been in a major funk the last couple of months, i.e. loss of interest, loss of creative spirit,  loss of clear direction, loss of confidence. Basically, a serious loss of MOJO! After some major mental mind mapping , I feel like I’ve cleared out some major cobwebs and cast off the self-inflicted chains that I was tying my brain and body up with. Now…..I’m BAAAACK with a clear focus and the creative juices are flowing again. I’m looking forward to redesigning my businesses, websites, this BLOG, and more-by revisiting my “roots’ of  designing timeless stencils and educating and inspiring a broad range of customers with innovative ways to use them! After 26 years of stenciling and decorative painting I’m feeling like I’ve come full circle and am ready to introduce a whole new generation of creative decorators to the art of stenciling. Man! that makes my sound old, doesn’t it?? I guess if you hang around in the water  long enough you get to catch the next big wave!!


Anyway, after clearing out the Christmas decorations I began poking around in some piles of design magazines that I’ve stashed here and there and came across several old issues from a decade ago. 


What strikes me is that all of the design featured on these covers is timeless and classic  in its own way.


While design “fashion” comes and goes, good, classic design is always relevant, always appreciated, always in style. Here’s to “classics”, a better year, and another decade of great design!!

December 21st, 2010

Decoration Inspiration

So, it’s just a few days before Christmas and the extent of my holiday decorating so far has been to buy 3 poinsettia plants and string lights (just lights, mind you) on the tree. In trying to get myself more in the holiday decorating  mood (before New Years, at least), I decided to do some design blog surfing. Stopping for a bit at Bloesem I came across this series of posts that feature reader’s own homes, and there is some very sweet stuff scattered throughout including a


black and white take on the holiday


a vintage ornament chandelier (Love this!)


some fluffy felt pom poms (A-dorable)


and handmade felt ornaments. The decoration styles reflected throughout represent a very international and eclectic vibe and there is some very nice photo styling to enjoy. Hmmm, I think that if I “spin” this whole Xmas decorating idea to myself as “styling cool things for my house” rather than “dusting off the old nutcrackers” I might just get this done today! (and on a different front, I DO have my shopping done, at least!)

December 17th, 2010

Three Faiths

In the spirit of the season I have a tip to share: On a November trip to New York City, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a uniquely beautiful and educational exhibit at the New York Public Library called Three Faiths. It is running through February 27th and I highly recommend it if you are in the neighborhood. That neighborhood would be midtown Manhattan-5th Ave.



From a review in the New York Times.

Out of many, one. That could well be the motto of this ambitious exhibition. It focuses on “the three Abrahamic religions” — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — each of which takes as a forebear an “itinerant herdsman” of the Middle East, Abraham, who affirmed belief in a single God. As the show puts it, Abraham rejected “the religions of antiquity with their plethora of gods, each imbued with a particular attribute, purpose and power,” replacing the many with the one.

The Abrahamic religions share other characteristics as well. Each believes that God has made himself known to his prophets through acts of revelation. And such revelations shape groups of believers by being incorporated in canonical written texts: the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Gospels, the Islamic Koran.



Personally, I found it very moving and enlightening, and the level of artistic skill and craftsmanship in the creation of the ancient religious texts is incomparable. The NYC Library itself is an architectural gem with its elaborately carved coffer ceilings, marble walls,  and ceiling murals in the reading rooms. It’s worth a visit just to wander the halls, but if you can catch this free exhibit, even better!

December 10th, 2010

Petra Voegtle

When someone shines a nice, bright light on your business in a blog post, such as Petra Voegtle did for me here, it is good form to return the favor. Now, this is neither a chore or a difficult obligation considering the scope and artistic skills represented in her beautiful work.

Petra Voegtle art 5

Petra began her artistic journey with wood carving, which led to explorations in painting and art photography. Her current medium of focus in painting on fabric, mostly silk, and going back to her “roots” her recent work features highly textural treatments with the fabric which she calls “silk carving”.

Petra Voegtle art 4

She is particularly inspired by the overwhelming ornament found in temples and other places of workshiop in Southeast Asia.

Petra Voegtle art 3

You can find the portal to Petra’s work through here main art website, Vyala Arts.

Petra Voegtle art 1

I especially love this portion of her artist’s statement.

Our whole life is surrounded by magic and this is what I want to make the viewer see. Ancient cultures inherit magic. Sometimes we fail to interpret ancient pictograms and images but we feel a certain affinity and similarity in modern symbols. This is pure emotion that speaks to our secret wishes and hopes. There is magic in all living creatures but seldom enough we care to see it. And there is magic in each and every landscape on this planet – sometimes quite obvious and sometimes only after a second look.

Petra Voegtle art 2

The two paintings above feature imagery created with stencils and wood block printing. Besides her art website, Petra has multiple blogs including Art and Interior and a fabulous photography and color blog,  but I think that the best way to view her original and beautiful artworks (the silk painting are to die for!) is on her Etsy site.

December 9th, 2010

Yolo Colorhouse

I can’t keep from going back to the webstie of Yolo Colorhouse lately. I love their paint colors, their vibe, the design of their website-as well as their environmental approach to paint.


I always appreciate seeing new color trends, and am particularly attracted to Yolo Boho above.


And I love their section on “people in their spaces“. How often do you see interior shots with actual beings in them? It makes it so much more personal, I think.

They also have a super inspirational blog that shows their paint colors matched up to beautiful photography of things like— The Color of Figs. How yummy is that?!