June 18th, 2007

D Hooper Design Works

More great customer work with Modello decorative masking patterns! These are from a talented long-time customer, Dorothy Hooper of D Hooper Design Works. Dorothy’s stencil and faux work is featured quite extensively in our customer Showcase and it’s always great to get more photos!

Modello Foyer in Progress

It makes me a little nervous just imagining being THAT high!

Modello Foyer Final

Dorothy used plaster and glazes to create this custom look.

Modello Foyer detail

Her customer wanted the look of a faded Persian carpet. Great job, Dorothy!

June 14th, 2007

Ode to Evelyn

I was going through some old, old porfolios the other day that have photos of work that I did when I first started “my business” in the mid-80′s. Really dating myself here! I thought it might be fun to share some things that I did with one of my first and definitely my most influential client: Evely Tasch.

Stencils Evelyn 4

Evelyn and her husband had just retired to San Diego from Connecticut. She had been a highly popular and well-known ID in the 60′s and 70′s, working quite a bit designing showrooms on  Madison Ave. and for people with last names like Rockefellor. She was a quite a character. You know the type, clipping coupons in her old bathrobe in a room filled with priceless antiques and heirlooms.

Stencils Evelyn 3

What a design style though! I have never met anyone that loved to layer patterns and motifs more than Evelyn. Were it not for meeting her, I might have stuck with boring stenciling applications forever.

Stencils Evelyn 2

In her second house I worked in she painted the real adobe walls out in white and upholstered pink gingham fabric with embroidered trim between the green painted beams on the 25′ high ceiling. Of course I had to stencil gingham everywhere and she was really not happy with the place until every surface had some amazing and fanciful decoration applied to it.


Stencils Evelyn 1

It was the kind of house you just had to “be” in to appreciate the full effect, which I loved! I think if you are going to commit to pattern you need to go no holds barred. Evelyn WAS committed. I so appreciate the opportunity to have experienced that.

June 12th, 2007

Anthropologie Envy

Speaking of new websites. Anthropologie’s is all freshly hatched and, as usual, a feast for the eyes. I love that every page is different yet equally stylish, features beautiful photography and colors, and the watercolor look with decorative pattern is giving me some great decorative finish ideas!


Did you know that they employ a team of artists at each location who get to brainstorm on those unique and fabulous surface finishes and “sets” that they are famous for? Who wouldn’t want that dream job??


I have a wedding to go to this weekend so will be heading over to my local store for some fancy duds and more design inspiration.

June 11th, 2007

Royal Redesign

Stencils Royal Design

In the ever changing world of web design, last year’s site are already looking a little “retro”. So you can imagine how far behind the times we are with our current Royal Design Studio site that is coming up on birthday number 6! Our product drop down lists don’t even function with IE7 (thanks Microsoft!) so the question now is not “if”, but “how soon?!” We are still working diligently on it, and hope to be re-launching in about a month, but thought I would share the initial page comps. We are working with a really good company based here in San Diego called Digaworks.


You can’t see the nice flash that will be going on, but can get the idea of the direction we are going in. Selling stencils has always been kind of an uphill battle for artistic legitimacy and you are constantly fighting the “ducks and geese” stereotypes that are tenaciously hanging on from the 80′s. My goal is to reintroduce stenciling in a way that is fresh and sexy (as in the marketing term), much like Amy Butler has done for sewing. Wish me luck!



Pantone has recently released a beautious little inspiration book and set of swatches called Pantone View: Inspiration for interiors 2008.


I just devour beautiful colors like I do good food or wine and even seem to think of it in gastronomic terms. For instance, these new colors to me are highly fresh and tasty….


…deliciously satisfying….yummy, rich and filling. My compliments to the chef!


May 30th, 2007

Signature Finishes

I ALWAYS enjoy getting photos that show how customers have used our stencil and masking designs, but one of my alltime faves has to be Patti Halstead. She just seems to have a way of turning the design drama-meter up a few notches-plus she gets GREAT photos of her work.

Patti 2.jpg

In most businesses, but especially this one, it’s all about making a strong, visual statement. Patti has been able to set herself apart with her unique style, sophisticated marketing and desire to be different. You can see more of her work at her online gallery.


She has recently moved her business direction to a more commercial focus, which includes designing and executing exciting public spaces for several upcoming resort projects, and is offering the opportunity for some Signature Training. You will have the opportunity to live on the beach for a week, while learning and executing advanced-level architectural finishes in a project team environment.

Patti 1.jpg

It provides a great way to enhance your portfolio, broaden your design horizons and gain experience working in the resort design business. Modello Designs is a sponsor of this event and I can’t wait to see what Patti comes up with!

May 22nd, 2007

Moreys Muse

Don’t have a bag to match your shoes? No problem, just get out your brushes! Morey Dunbar just may be one of the most creative people I know! She shared these projects with me that she did recently with some assorted Modello patterns and metallic and reactive paints and I thought it might inspire you to dig some old purses out of the back of your closet, wipe the dust bunnies off and have at it!


Morey shared a little of her process

I like taking unusual products and utilizing them on unconventional surfaces to see if they work. I’m always playing with something. The purses were all treated with MM metal effect reactive paints to see what would happen. They are copper, bronze and iron. The accents on the copper and bronze are micromarbles. The pattern on the oxidized iron is lusterstone and iron paint mixed and slightly oxidized. The wine satin shoes where done in oxidized iron to match. The detailed were enchanced on them to show up better.

You can see more of Morey’s work at www.paintedonline.com.

May 20th, 2007

Ta Da!

The final finish coats are on an it’s officially d.o.n.e! A few days worth of thigh strengthening  work went into this, but I am really excited to be walking (actually skating with socks) around on my new hardwood floor.

Modello Marquetry Floor.jpg

Now I am busy looking through all my design books for more patterns that would be appropriate for our new Modello Marquetry Masking System ™, coming soon to a website near you!

and worker-type men, drywall, scaffolding, hammers and more. Yes, finally, construction has begun on the big buildout of my soon to be new business home.

New Modello office buildout  

Now I can begin to think about things like floor finishes, window treatments and basically how to make everything look like a million dollars for next to nothing (which is about what my budget is after paying for all the worker-type men). Yeah!!!!!!

May 17th, 2007

Award Winning Finish

One of our Royal Design Studio customers, Sheryl Barlow, recently contributed some decorative finishes in a builder’s Parade of Homes in York County, Virginia.


There were 9 houses total, and awards were given out in various categories. Sheryl’s “Wax Resist” ceiling treatment, which is featured as a FREE recipe on our website, won the prize for Most Creative and Original Design. Congratulations Sheryl! The home tour continues through May 20th, so check it out if you are around those parts.