Our weekly Stencil Star series showcases our customer’s use of our Royal Design Studio mylar wall stencils and Modello™ masking stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more.  This week, we travel to Dallas, Texas to see the beautiful work of Amy Christensen and her studio, Faux Get About It.  Amy wields her considerable creative skills with stencil patterns in many of her decorative painting projects.

Amy Christensen


Amy Christensen has always had creative pursuits: sewing, cooking, painting, stained glass and remodeling, to name a few.  However, after working in the advertising and marketing fields for many years, she yearned to do something more creative, in the physical sense, with both her hands and mind.  In 2000, she took this to heart and launched her professional faux finishing studio.  Today, her favorite aspect is helping client’s re-imagine their spaces through stencils and finishes with great colors, patterns and textures on furniture, ceilings, and accessories.

Above, a peeled paint and ceruse treatment by Amy incorporates our classic Ornate Italian Panel stencil. This is such an incredible finish for either furniture or cabinetry!  Range and vent hoods are also a wonderful surface to transform with a stencil! Below, Amy created a faux hammered copper for the top, wood-grained the frieze. She then created a faux marquetry look with our Napoleon Panel stencil from our Modern Masters Designer Stencils Collection.

What draws you to Stenciling?

Stenciling enables me to incorporate a design element or pattern into my finish that is crisp, concise and consistent in a way that hand-painting alone doesn’t provide.  The beauty of a stencil is that I can use it with just paint, or I can give it dimension with plaster, glass beads or even joint compound. I can further embellish it with gold leaf or foil as well as crystals and hand-painted details.  It’s an excellent tool for anyone to give an otherwise run-of-the-mill finish that extra pizazz that makes it come alive.

Using individual elements from the Allover Corsini Damask wall stencil, Amy created a metallic drop-shadow technique. She then used glass beads through the stencil to add a wonderful shimmer.  The walls received a beautiful pearl color wash prior to the stenciling for an allover shimmer.

How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?

I look at the space as a whole and envision how color, pattern and texture can enhance it as well as be combined in the same space.  When I’m allowed to do pattern building and use more than one stencil and finish in a space I  get really excited about the possibilities.

Plaster, gold leaf and bead accents are a beautiful touch with our Modello Ornamental Center OrnCen162, one of our most popular ceiling designs. Modello vinyl stencils are one-time use patterns that can be very helpful when working on ceilings or when larger size options are needed.  Below, the bedroom walls and ceiling are two-color pearlized plaster. A Modello was used for both the ceiling fan medallion and the frieze design.

What would be your “dream” stencil project?

One of my favorite chateaus is Chenonceau in the Loire valley of France.  It is filled with pattern and design on everything from elaborately handcarved wood work, to bas relief in stone, as well as  beautifully stenciled and hand-painted walls and ceilings.  No detail was left out in this castle! Even the windows are beautiful examples of pattern in both stained and leaded glass.  It would be amazing to work on reproducing many of these beautiful designs and share them with the rest of the world in the form of a mylar stencil or Modello vinyl pattern.

The barrel vault ceiling above has a custom vinyl stencil from our Modello Ornamental Panels collection with an aged gold leaf treatment.  Below:  The Large Italian Medallion Border stencil helps a cabinet panel end piece (far right) pull in the overall design along while adding decided interest.

Beautiful work, Amy and thank you for sharing!  You can see more of Amy’s artistry and projects on her website, Faux Get About It.  Keep up with her decorative projects via Facebook and Twitter.

June 26th, 2012

How to Stencil Workshop

Have you ever wondered how to stencil like a pro? Did you know that I’ve been teaching stencil classes for almost 20 years? Geesh! That’s a LOT of stenciling!! It’s been quite a few of those years since I offered beginning stencil classes, but with the resurgence of interest (THANK YOU!) in stencils lately I decided to dust off my basic stencil skills and start sharing them again in a hands-on stencil class at my studio here in San Diego.

wall stencil workshop with Melanie Royals of Royal Design Studio

Now, I realize the most of you reading this quite possibly DON’T live in San Diego, but on the off chance that you do or maybe lucky enough to have someone here to visit, I thought to share….We cover basic stencil techniques as well as how to stencil emboss, stenciling with glazes, stenciling on wood with stains, fabric stenciling, and more. It’s a super fun, 5hr class that will teach you all the basics and inspire you to spread your creative wings and fly-held here at the home of Royal Design Studio stencils.

June 22nd, 2012

Stencil Star: David Hsueh

Our weekly series on Stencil Stars™ showcases our customer’s use of our Royal Design Studio mylar wall stencils and Modello™ masking stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more.  This week, we go international to feature David Hsueh  of Bella Vista Studio. David’s company is based in Shanghai, China and he and his team showcase classic design and wonderful artistry in their application of stenciled patterns in many of their decorative painting projects.

David Hsueh


In 1987, David created Buildtec International Taiwan to start a decorative materials business. The major products he worked with were monocouche renders, a French product for facade decoration from Saint Gobain Weber.  This business led him, in 2006, to lead a team for over a year that would see the completion of the faux finishing projects for both The Venetian Casino Resort and Ponte 16 Sofitel Resort in Macau.  He started his faux and decorative finishing business from there by setting up Bella Vista Studio in Shanghai in 2007, which now focuses on high-end residential projects. He combined his experience and faux finishing classes from IDAL to create his unique business model and training programs for the China market.  “I treat this business [like] a fashion business and use the restaurant model to extend it,” David explains.

Above David used the Scrollallover stencil from our Allover Modern Collection in elegant tones for a formal living room. The wood beams in the circular ceiling below were stenciled with the Nintoh Border stencil.

David imports and distributes his preferred decorative finishing lines in China, and predominantly used Faux Effects decorative finishing mediums, metallic paints from Modern Masters and stencils from our line, Royal Design Studio.

David used a highly reflective, metallic plaster called Lusterstone and the Florentine Damask stencil to create the beautiful walls above.

Elevators are a perfect surface for ornamentation!  By using our Arabesque Ceiling Stencil Set on the doors instead of a ceiling, David created an unexpected and wonderful impact. Stencils are so versatile — and just a little can go a long way, as seen below.  Using metallic gold through our Kyoto Allover from the Allover Japanese Stencil Collection helped complete the design of an entertainment center.

David explains, “To use a stencil is an easy and fast way to get perfect decorative effects”.  He determines his patterns by the design style, the size of the stencil and how attractive the pattern is.

Neutral and yet so stunning — that’s our Moroccan Geometry stencil from the Moroccan Stencil series above.  The striking blue and champagne focal wall below features our large-scale Grand Damask stencil as a dramatic feature in a hotel meeting room. The use of pattern and color here really helps to soften and define the space with style.

The bulk of David’s business comes from inspiration by a traditional standard. “My major business is hand-painted wallpaper effects. The use of stencils help us make perfect wallpaper effects in custom color and finishes, and also gives us successful results.”

A stunning focal with the Chez Sheik stencil from our Allover Moroccan Stencil Collection.

Beauty needs no translation as we can see from David’s artistry!  He is one of China’s most respected decorative artisans and it is a pleasure to see the Royal Design Studio patterns and designs brought to life in his capable hands.  As a VERY appreciative admirer of the amazing range of incredible historical Chinese ornament I feel very humbled by the use of our classically-inspired stencil designs in this pattern rich culture. I personally have never had the opportunity to visit China, but find it very interesting that while we look East for exotic and historic inspiration, they seem to crave our Western design interpretations. It really is becoming a global village-at least as far as design is concerned! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing David Hsueh’s wonderful artistry and stencil work,and are inspired to create more of your own.  Please be sure to visit his website, Bella Vista Studio, or say hello to him on Facebook.


June 12th, 2012

How to Stencil in a SNAP!

DIY stencil projects and how-to stencil tutorials  are sprouting up all over the web, which we LOVE to see. In fact, we love to see them so much we decided to create a blogging contest to encourage MORE! Our trip to the SNAP! Conference last April provided the perfect opportunity. We handed out an assortment of Royal Design Studio stencils to scores of creative bloggers and invited them to submit stencil projects for a fun and inspiring contest we are calling….

stencil giveaway contest

We had 9 crafty bloggers beat the deadline, and each has created a special stencil tutorial post that we have pinned to a special Stencil Star Blog Contest Pinterest Board for your viewing and voting pleasure. You can find complete details on our website, but the most imp0rtant thing is that viewer get to pick the $250 stencil shopping spree winner through the number of likes, pins, and comments and one of those “winning commenters” will be randomly chosen to win a second $250 stencil shopping spree. How fun and easy is THAT?! The voting is all done on Pinterest, but there is a nice recap in this post below…..

stencils on custom gift wrap project

How to stencil wrapping paper pin from Hello, New Day blog. Catherine cleverly used repurposed packing paper and stamping inks to create this fun, colorful paper with our Hollywood Squares furniture-sized stencil.

stenciling for a boy's room toy box

How to stencil a toy shelf pin from Sugar Bee Crafts blog. Mandy used our Hollywood Squares furniture-sized stencil here in her guest room, so when she has company this versatile piece can accommodate luggage instead of her toddler’s toys!

stencils on wood to create a sign

How to stencil a Summer welcome sign pin from Happy Looks Good on You blog. Megan stenciled a canvas with our new Beehive allover stencil for furniture, and then dressed it up with a fanciful garland and vinyl lettering stencils. So cute!

stencils on furniture to create planter boxes

How to stencil furniture drawers to create adorable planter boxes pin by Queen B and Me blog. Andrea rescued some dresser drawers that were set to be thrown out, decorated them with our lacy Indian Paisley wall stencil, and filled them with sweet flowers. I LOVE this upcycling idea so much!

number stencils on a house signHere is another cute planter box idea from Michelle.  How to stencil house numbers on a planter box pin from The Scrap ‘Shoppe blog. Michelle used our French Numbers Stencil on an old tote box, then filled it with burlap and flowering pots.

stencil project for kids
How to stencil Bee garden markers pin from the Danish Mama blog. This looks like a super fun project to do with your kids and is designed to teach them about planting and growing….and hopefully picking the fruits of your labor! Kathy used the sweet Bee from our The Buzz  furniture stencil.

flower stencil on a sign

Summer from Summer Scraps blog crafted a custom sign, which would be perfect for a house warming gift using one of the flower stencils from our Japanese Garden stencil set. You can find the How to stencil a sign pin here.

how to stencil a cute frame

We have many stencils that are perfectly sized for small craft project, such as our For this how to stencil a frame pin Lina of Fancy Frugal Life used the Endless Moorish Circles furniture-sized stencil to frame a family photo with a fresh, colorful accent.

stenciling on a floor mat

And finally, how about creating a custom stenciled door mat? Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl blog did just that with our popular Chez Sheik Moroccan stencil.

Please show some love and support for these fabulous ladies and their amazing stencil project. Visit our Blogging Stencil Star PinBoard on Pinterest and like, repin and comment on the projects that inspire you! If one of the project you comment on ends up being our winner, your comment on that pin enters YOU in the running to win a $250 Royal Design Studio stencil shopping spree along with the lucky blogger!!

Full details on our Snap! Stencil Star Blogging contest here.

Our weekly series on Stencil Stars™ showcases our customer’s use of our Royal Design Studio mylar wall stencils and Modello™ masking stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more.  This week, we feature Texas-based Cindy Howard and Dana DeBuck of Decorative & Faux Finishes, a super talented team of ladies who take the application of stenciled pattern to new heights in each and every one of their decorative painting projects.

Dana DeBuck and Cindy Howard


Decorative & Faux Finishes, the decorative arts team of Cindy Howard and Dana DeBuck, has been in business since 1998.  They create custom decorative finishes and murals for homeowners, designers, businesses and contractors in the greater Houston, Texas area and beyond.  Both Dana and Cindy, along with their crew, exhibit incredible creativity and talent with a wonderful attention to detail. Today, we talk to them a bit about their wonderful attention to detail and get them to share their top stenciling tips.

Gorgeous ceiling created with our vinyl Modello Center stencil OrnCen162b.

How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?

We listen to our customers.  Our clientele represent all regions of the world and the designs chosen for each project must reflect their style, personality and culture.  Royal Design Studio has the range of artistic work and the hi-tech ability to offer endless possibilities.  If, for some reason, our job requires a stencil pattern other than the hundreds offered, we send a sketch and it becomes reality.

Pictured above is an entry foyer that was a double layer bird’s nest ceiling.  It was stenciled with a Modello Ornamental Border (OrnBor172), metallic plaster and hand-painted drop shadows.  Below, is our Modello Eastern Center stencil (EasCen107) nicely framing the light fixture with a coordinating border from our collection.

Please share your top Stenciling tip with us.

Read the directions first.  Obvious advice, but so important!  (Hint: When they say to use Gardz and burnish both sides of a Modello stencil, they mean it!)

Since we’ve been in business for 14 years, trial and error has been a constant teacher.   Also, none of us know everything in this industry.  With all the constant change in products, we should never feel too proud to ask for advice.  In return, we strive to never be too competitive and to share ideas and the “What Not To-do’s” with other decorative artists to make all our lives easier.

Inspiring ideas for unique spaces! The focal arch above had a slightly customized Modello Ornamental Panel stencil (OrnPan162) while the ceiling below has a customized border stencil turned into a perfect matched circle by our design team.

What are your favorite surfaces to work on and design for?

Okay, we’re crazy, but our favorite surface to work on is the ceiling.  Pain in the neck, measuring dilemmas, leveling challenges; but oh, so beautiful!  The fifth wall calls to us, and we answer.

Ceilings with wonderful architectural details are perfect to incorporating a pattern!  Above is our Modello Ornamental Center stencil (OrnCen170) in light colors, and below are customized borders atop a perfect metallic background.  See the completed version here.

Their work is incredible with a perfectly finished quality to it that screams “professional”!!   We so appreciate the opportunity to share their inspiring work with our stencils and products — thank you, Cindy and Dana!  The beautiful executed and photographed images shared here are just a sampling of  what this talented duo have to offer. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook fan page to keep in touch with them and regularly see more of their jaw-dropping projects.

Can’t wait for next week’s Stencil Stars?? We preview a little sampling of each weeks featured artists during Stencil Star Saturdays on our own Royal Design Studio Stencils/Modello Designs Facebook Page. Please stop by and say Hi and cheer our STARS on!

May 31st, 2012

Cerro Paint

Our weekly series on Stencil Stars™ showcases our customer’s use of our mylar wall stencils and Modello™ masking stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more. We  are so happy to be able show off our talented customers and inspire you with creative ideas for using stenciled pattern in your painting projects!  This week, we feature Denise Cerro of San Diego’s own Cerro Paint.

Denise Cerro


Denise Cerro has been a decorative artist in San Diego for over 20 years.  She started out with painted furniture, moved into faux finishes and stencils, and finally took on murals and hand-painted techniques at a client’s request. She has painted in many designer showcase homes and enhanced her portfolio with numerous decorative painting workshops.  Although still taking on wall commissions, she seems to have come full circle back to my her first love of painted furniture by doing custom furniture pieces for clients as well as furniture and canvas pieces for her retail space at Leaping Lotus in Solana Beach, CA. Today we have a chance to delve into the inside details of her creative work.

Stunning ceiling with a custom Modello Designs stencil pattern.

What draws you to Stenciling?
I tend to like very clean, graphic lines in both walls and furniture. For me, the stencils I am drawn to add a sense of fluidity, curve and sometimes whimsy to a piece. They really are the eye candy where just a touch will make a piece pop. On walls, my favorite is allover stencils with clean crisp moldings surrounding them…graphic and soft all at the same time.

The Scrollallover Furniture stencil is perfectly sized for furniture as seen on the front surface above and on the sides of drawers below.  It is also available in a larger size for walls and ceilings.  In the image above, you can also spy our Kimono Allover from our Allover Japanese Pattern stencils on the flooring.

How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?
My project patterns are determined in two ways. If I’m working with a client, I listen carefully to what their needs and goals are and then give
them all the materials, information and advice they need to make a decision on the design. I always say I don’t have to sit with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and look at the finished product every day, they do. I  lead them in the direction of their desired results.
If it’s a piece for me or my shop, it’s a different story. I’m very intuitive and may not know what I want to do until my hands are on the piece of furniture or the wall.  It’s very tactile and I throw myself into it. When I’m cleaning or sanding a piece, ideas for color start to seep in and once I have to color, I use the stencil pattern that works best with the piece. Sometimes I find a stencil I have to have and will find a furniture piece or wall to paint it on!

The Flourish Allover stencil from our Allover Damask line makes a striking impression in metallic gold over a rich red.  Here is a close-up.

How does Stenciling enhance your creative business?
There is such a huge selection of stencils out there though I always shop first and find what I need at Royal Design Studio.  I love that for me, it’s local! I enjoy playing with color and then, by adding a stencil pattern, I can change the project’s look and style.  It adds so much versatility to my painting arsenal. Not to mention customers LOVE a stencil pattern! I attribute many of my pieces selling because of the painted stencil pattern.

The Kimono Allover is used on furniture (above top) along with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints-her favorite new paint medium.  On the above bottom is our Villa Classic from our Classic Panels along the top with decorative papers decoupaged on the drawer fronts (such a clever use of mixed media!).  Below you will find the Allover Modern line’s Springtime in Paris stencil on the desktop and the Kimono Allover stencil again-but this time stenciled on the concrete floor (love!).

It’s so nice to see someone who so obviously enjoys their “work” and is able to create a life worth painting. Thanks Denise for sharing your talents with us!  Please do visit her website to see more of her work.  You can also keep up with Denise’s painting adventures via her blog, Cerro Home, and Facebook page.

May 21st, 2012

Artisan Studio Design

Today begins a new weekly series on Stencil Stars™ where we showcase our customer’s use of our mylar wall stencils and Modello™ masking stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more. Each week we will feature a different decorative artist (or decorative studio!) whose work with our stencils excites and inspires us, with the hope that YOU will be inspired too! Look forward to interesting pattern combos and color palettes, pro painting tips and ideas, and even the stories behind the stenciling. I’ll be co-writing this series with a BIG assist from my friend Regina Garay of Fauxology and SociaComm fame. Regina is officially helping us with our creative outreach to artists and bloggers and is a great asset and ambassador!

Our inagural Stencil Stars are…. paint buds and business partners Brooke Johnson and Jann Krone of Artisan Studio Design

Brooke Johnson and Jann Krone

A Bit about Artisan Studio Design

A true passion for beautiful spaces led Texas-based Brooke  and Jann out of *yawn* jobs in the corporate world into a creative one where both could fulfill their dreams and passion. They met at a seminar and became fast friends, then business partners, finding that by combining their respective talents they are able to offer their clients a much more comprehensive portfolio to choose from. Each has been extensively trained by Texturline of Canada, Safra from Italy, Faux Effects products, Modello Designs Stencils and Tattoowall, to name a few.  Their passion, dreams and creativity can be seen in private residences, commercial buildings, corporate offices, design showcase events and numerous parade/dream homes. Collectively they have won various awards and have been interviewed both for radio, newspaper, magazines and books.  Today we have a chance to delve into the details of their work and get some insights on their creative process.

The stunning, dramatic black & white bath above is created by using Modello Transitional Border Stencil 110

Brooke and Jann are accomplished using traditional stencils, like those we sell through Royal Design Studio. Most of the work featured here, however, focuses on their use of Modello Decorative Masking Stencils. These are one-time-use, adhesive backed vinyl stencils that allow for easy custom design and intricate, large-scale patterns. They have become the “go-to tool” for professional decorative finishers when pattern becomes a priority. Masking stencils offer many advantages. One of which is that the pattern can be worked using either the positive or negative image. We have capitalized on this by creating a collection of Transitional Border patterns, that allow you to “transition” from one color to another with the help of the pattern itself. Here are three prime examples of these in use by Artisan Studio Design.

Ceiling stenciling with Modello stencil

An alternate use of this same Modello™ stencil pattern where Brooke and Jann provided perfect measurements so that our custom design department could fit the pattern to a tee by manipulating the design elements slightly so that each corner is beautifully finished.

Wall stenciling with Modello Stencil

A different Transitional border stencil, 113, was used to create a two-tone stencil effect in a bathroom higher up on the wall.

The beautiful groin ceiling above was done with a Royal Design Studio custom stencil to Artisan Studio Design’s specifications. It really enhances and accentuates the area while balancing out the color scheme.

Now, some questions for Artisan Design Studio…..

What draws you to Stenciling?

The ability to create without limitations.  Using traditional mylar stencils and Modello custom masking stencils allow us the ability to enhance ANY surface.  We have used them on concrete floors, walls, furniture, niches, cabinets, crown moldings, ceilings and mirrors.  Our mediums have included paint, plaster, glass beads and concrete. The impact even using a small stencil image can make the difference between a nice finish and an extraordinary finish.

A patio floor is transformed from blah to wow! using a well-designed pattern and warm colors.

How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?

We love this question!  One of our requirements in designing for any client is that we must visit the space where we will be creating a design.  We feel the areas that we create should evoke a feeling of well-being and reflect our client’s personality and wishes.   To achieve that goal we spend time with our clients, asking questions, reviewing the architecture and discussing the purpose of the space so we have a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished.  To do that, you have to come to know your client well.   Every client is different, so we approach every project with an open mind taking into account the clients requests and desires.

In getting to know our client, we have found that certain personalities such as accountants, architects, doctors and professional athletes tend to go for a more of a grid format, whether they realize it or not.  Professions that aren’t as structured tend to prefer a looser, more free-flowing pattern such as more random placement and more eclectic.  It is the ability to read people and their spaces that has given us an advantage in picking patterns and how they are laid out and the client isn’t any wiser.  They just like the fact that it “works” and is perfect for them.

Jann and Brooke at work on a very large ceiling stencil project that required some serious custom designing to fit the “boat” shaped recessed area.  The end result (below) showcases the finished customized Modello Chateau Carpet Panel — which translates beautifully to ceilings as well as floors!

Please share your top stenciling tips with us.

When working on a light or white background, we use the low-tack gray Modello™ masking material.  This is especially useful when you are hand-painting your design.   When using Modello™ stencil patterns or mylar stencils, you can never measure too many times, especially on groin vaults.  We have found that there is NO such thing as a perfectly straight or square room and no two sides are ever exactly the same measurement.  Measure, measure and measure again.

We had a situation in a powder bath that had an arched wall that separated the sink from the toilet area. The pattern the designer requested was a trellis pattern.  The challenge for us was to have the pattern on the forward wall of the arch MATCH the pattern on the back wall when you walked in, so there was no break in the visual effect.  This was a prime example of measuring the area and matching it to the size of the stencil we needed.

Another tip is to always buy more then one stencil or purchase a small stencil that matches the production size stencil.   We have found these extra stencils come in handy especially if you have to cut them up to make your design work.   Last, we always have a large pad of newsprint when we are stenciling.   It is an inexpensive pad from any hobby store that we can quickly wipe down, clean our stencils on and throw away the used paper.   The newsprint also comes in handy when we need to spray adhesive on the stencils.  We always keep a spray bottle of Simple Green with us to wipe down the stencils, too.

Architectural elements such as inset niches and ceilings can become wonderful focal points. This ceiling features Modello Ornamental Center 128.

We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the work of our first Stencil Stars! We’re so happy that Brooke and Jann have found the perfect partnership in each other and incorporating pattern into their many projects. We have SO MANY fabulously talented customers, you can rest assured that we have many more posts on the way. Special note: You can see a preview of each week’s Stencil Star each Saturday on our Royal Design Studio/Modello Designs Facebook Page. You can find more of Brooke and Jann’s work on their website, Artisan Design Studio and their Facebook page.

May 8th, 2012

Marrakesh by Design

It’s been a long and colorful journey for my friend Maryam and her husband Chris to realize their vision for their “built from the ground up” boutique hotel, Peacock Pavilions, in an olive grove just outside of Marrakesh.

Maryam and Chris at Peacock Pavilions

A journey that has been well-told and documented on Maryam’s award winning blog, My Marrakesh. After meeting online, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Chris and Maryam on multiple painting projects at Peacock Pavilions that have turned into leading American artisans on almost annual painting adventures to this lovely place. It’s been such a joy to see the transformation of PP from a muddy construction site to a beautiful oasis, and also to see Maryam’s transformation from a budding blogger with a dream to an accomplished photographer, international design star, Moroccan decorating expert, and now published author!

Art deco mural at Peacock Pavilions

Just last month, the family home at Peacock Pavilions was featured in none other than Elle Decor! What a thrill to see the Art Deco mural I had designed for a guest room featured in all its full-page spendor!

stencl on concrete floor

Not to mention, the master bedroom floor stenciled with lovely Skylar’s Lace!

Moroccan decorating book by Maryam Montague

Now just this week, Marrakesh by Design, is hitting the bookstores and Maryam is on her official American Book Tour, which just so happens to be making a special stop at our San Diego Studio this coming Saturday May 12th!! If you are in the Southern California area you won’t want to miss this Moroccan Decorating Event and book signing opportunity. Besides a design talk, we have some special treats planned, including a Peacock Feather stencil to take home, a Moroccan themed stencil project, a henna tattoo artist and other goodies. Please do check it out as we are looking forward to bringing a touch of Morocco-and Maryam- to San Diego!


April 27th, 2012

SNAP! Wrap

It’s time for a semi-quick SNAP! wrapup.

Snap Conference 2012

What is SNAP! you say? So glad that you asked! SNAP! is the brainchild of a group of amazingly talented, creative and design-savvy bloggers. It will hopefully become an annual event held in Salt Lake City. Judging from the attendance (325), and happiness all around, I imagine it will!

Royal Design Studio stencils at Snap Conference

Royal Design Studio was THA-Rilled to be a sponsor of this awesome event, and I personally was honored to be asked to present a Saturday stencil class there-Get Your Stencil ON!

Wall stencils from Royal Design Studio

As official sponsors, we had an official table in the official sponsor room. We thought that the best way to introduce these lovely ladies to our stencils was to GIVE them one. Not wanting to give out hundreds of the exact same stencil (boring!), I decided to take a range of designs. Then the dilemma: how to choose who got what? Inspiration finally hit on the day that we arrived, so we were off to Target to look for dice. We laid out six different designs on the tables and attendees rolled to see what number came up.

DIY bloggers with wall stencils from Royal Design Studio

Winners! It was amazing how many times people rolled and got the exact design they wanted. I was really stressing about this, so it was nice to see VERY few pretty pouty faces!

New wall stencils from Royal Design Studio

The day (yes, that IS how I roll) before I left for the conference I stenciled up some new canvas samples to share in the booth and in my stencil class. We just happen to have some new stencils coming online very soon, so it was a perfect opportunity to put them to the test. With almost 30 years of stencil life behind me, it was SUPER hard to try to figure out how much info and inspiration I could cram into a fast 1 1/2 hour stencil class/demo.

how to stencil class at Snap

In the end, I decided to stick to “stencil basics” but wanted to introduce some great options besides “roller stenciling” and get them to start thinking of stencils as more creative/less mechanical-and you can see from this pic that I had PLENTY to say! I think I succeeded because I got some fabulous feedback. There were audible gasps (of delight!) in the room when I showed them how to quickly stencil with a stencil brush and our Stencil Cremes and pulled the stencil away to reveal-ta da! no bleed-unders!

How to create vignettes with Beth Hunter Home Stories A to Z

Super fun for me, was that I not only got to teach, I got to learn too! They had an awesome schedule put together, with many popular classes running concurrently, so it was hard to choose. I think I chose well….I studied photography with Emilie Ralph of Photo by Emelie, Photo editing with Amanda Padgett from Everyday Elements, and attended a design panel that included Beth Hunter from Home Stories A to Z sharing the basic steps to creating an amazing vignette. This included some audience participation where a workshop attendee, Traci of Beneath my Heart, and Mandi of Vintage Revivals played the roles of accent piece, mirror, and plant respectively. I actually had some good AHA moments in these classes so glad I went!

What rounds out a great weekend of learning and sharing? Shopping!!! They had a Queen Bee Market on sight that was just a visual delight and an overwhelming temptation. The last thing I need to buy is more jewelry. So, what did I buy? Yes….I did……lots.

One beautiful piece of jewelry that I DIDN’T buy, was one that was graciously given to each and every attendee. The theme of the conference was to “Just be You” and to be authentic as a blogger. Great advice for bloggers and “normal” people alike! And now, I will leave you with some pretty pictures of tulip beds from the site of the conference, Thanksgiving Point, Utah that I was inspired to take after my photography classes……

blooming tulips at snap conference

Last thought…I want to give a very sincere thank you and shout out to the lovely, talented and oh, so helpful Shelley Smith of House of Smith’s who, not surprisingly, wrote a WAY better SNAP! wrapup than me! :)


I pin. You pin. We all pin for a stencil win! I know that many of you are already BIG Pinterest fans (like me!), as well as Royal Design Studio stencil fans. SO…..we are so pleased to announce our first Pinterest pinning contest, Stencil Amour. This is your chance to pin all those stencils you’ve been coveting in one place and possibly WIN a $250 Shopping Spree.

Wall stencil Pinterest Contest

We’ve set up the contest rules  and commenting to enter on our new Stencil Ideas Blog on our stencil website. Go to the post there to see the easy rules for entry and start pinning your fav Royal Design Studio stencils to your own Royal Design Stencils Love  Pinterest board. Then, keep your fingers crossed that you will be the lucky winner of a super $250 stencil shopping spree. Don’t forget to enter the contest by commenting on the post on Royal Design Studio. Good luck to all you pin-happy people!!