Posts Tagged ‘Color’

Fun Fact:  My Mom is British!  As a result, I have a lot of family across The Pond in England and in other parts of Europe; this definitely makes for a great excuse for me to travel!  So today, I wanted to share with you how amazing my Mom’s youngest sister is, Aunt Lizzie.  She lives and works in Provence, France and runs a furniture restorative business out of a charming studio that she renovated herself.  How amazing would it be to paint and restore furniture and teach Annie Sloan chalk painting classesall day long?  Sounds so dreamy.

Well, I received an article in my inbox yesterday that was written by European blog team Hannah and Denise from Layer about Aunt Lizzie (Liz) and I couldn’t resist bragging and sharing the interview with you.

Source: Layerhome.com

Source: Layerhome.com


Walking through the beautiful hilltop village of Menerbes in Provence on a scorching hot Saturday, we fell in love with the quiet streets, beautiful rustic houses and a view that seemed to stretch forever. Just when it seemed as though the day couldn’t get much better, we stumbled upon Atelier de Couleurs – a veritable treasure trove of authentic French furniture, restored and painted by British artist Liz Wyatt. Not only was the shopfront cool and perfectly styled, but the shop extended back into an airy cave-like artist’s studio where Liz does all of the restoration onsite. Liz’s natural artistic abilities mean that the painting of the pieces is done to a calibre that we have rarely ever seen before. This is French antique country furniture at its very pinnacle.

Sometimes life intervenes like this, we stumbled in and ended up talking and talking with Liz about the beautiful pieces in the shop and how she lovingly sources and restores them and it seemed that before we had even realised it, we were interviewing her!

And you want to know the very best thing about Atelier de Couleurs? She has a man with a van who frequently delivers to the UK! So if you can’t justify hopping on a plane to visit, you can still get your hands on some of her beautiful French antique furniture.

Source: Layerhome.com

Source: Layerhome.com

How did you end up working and owning a business in France?

Fate and destiny. I fell in love with Provence, renovated an old cherry barn near Bonnieux and afterwards hunted for a painting studio –  by chance the Atelier in Menerbes came on the market and after renovation became my show room and  painting studio. Apart from being stunningly beautiful Menerbes has a long artistic history – Picasso, Nicolas de Stael and Dora Marr, amongst others, have lived and worked here and today there are a number of artists and musicians who are based in the village

How did you get started trading antiques and furniture?

This area is rich in wonderful old Provencal furniture – but it’s often rather over-charged, brown and shiny! It has taken over a year to build up a network of contacts – dealers, traders and private individuals and it’s work in progress – here, as everywhere it’s contacts! Sourcing the right piece of furniture become intuitive although there are many watch points – the main thing is always buy the best you can and then take it to another level.

Are you a trained artist or are you self taught?

I was born with a paint brush in my hand – my Mother was an enthusiastic painter, my brother is an architect and family outings always included easels, palettes, oil paints and a picnic.

I took art at A level but side-tracked into fashion journalism. My inner artist developed when I discovered furniture painting 10 years ago – now it is a complete passion. Colour, shape, form, the possibility of a metamorphosis – taking a tired old armoire and transforming it into a wonderful painted piece really excites me.

Who is a typical client?

Clients range from celebrities to private individuals who want an old family piece painted. I have a great deal of clients who have second homes here or live here year-round and I am lucky to have plenty of commissions too.

How has your buying style evolved?

My buying style is something which has unconsciously evolved – you learn along the way and now I look for unusual, different pieces for my showroom. I also buy for clients and then paint to their color specification but whatever the piece I try to make it as original as possible.

Source: Layerhome.com

Source: Layerhome.com

Do you ever keep your favourite pieces for yourself?

I try very very hard not to keep special things for myself and at times have failed miserably – the guilt is terrible! I have the most beautiful Trudeau mirror which I repainted for the showroom but for some reason it has not moved from my house – yet!

What is your favourite piece for sale at the moment?

I have just sold my favorite armoire of all time! I painted it from scratch, it was a very tired 18th Century Norman marriage armoire – battered and bruised and in a bit of a mess. I hope I have restored it to its former glory!

What do you do when you’re not working?

When I am not working I am painting and furniture hunting – the pleasure is endless and I don’t think of what I do as a job! But it is easy to enjoy the wonderful things to do here in Provence – ice cold rosé, fab food, breathtaking views and good long walks – music, film and of course friends.

What is your own home style like?

My home style is eclectic – a mix of of classic pieces with contemporary moments but if I am honest I am strangely classic!

What’s the most rewarding thing about running your own business?

The best and most joyful thing about running my own business is there are no constraints – I feel free to do my own thing.

Liz works with natural ocre pigment and Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. She runs furniture painting courses with her business associate,  Monique Le Coq, at the studio.
Contact: Atelier de Couleurs, Rue Maupas, Menerbes, Provence. 84560.
Telephone:  0033 (0) 490 72 45 59 Mobile: 0033(0) 647 57 08 59

Please visit Layer’s website and check out the original post at layerhome.com, there many more interesting interviews and articles on design to read!

Source: Atelier de Couleurs.  English pine console table with fine brass handles

Source: Atelier de Couleurs. English pine console table with fine brass handles

Source: Atelier de Couleurs.      Base detail of repro 1980's table, gilded and painted for a neo classical look.

Source: Atelier de Couleurs. Base detail of repro 1980’s table, gilded and painted for a neo classical look.

I also borrowed some pictures of Liz’s work from Atelier de Couleurs’s website.

Source: Atelier de Couleurs.     Studio

Source: Atelier de Couleurs. Studio

Source: Atelier de Couleurs.   1890's carved oak mirror

Source: Atelier de Couleurs. 1890’s carved oak mirror

Source: Atelier de Couleurs.     Aged terracotta garden pot with three painted side tables.

Source: Atelier de Couleurs. Aged terracotta garden pot with three painted side tables.

I think after reading this, I might just pack up my bags and move to Menerbes to work with Lizzie!  But realistically, I have not been to France yet to visit but I would love to within the next year or so.

If you could paint and redesign your favorite piece of furniture, what would it be and what would it look it?  Share your thoughts with us!


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Lately I have become completely obsessed with Thom Filicia and his gorgeous textiles!  So I thought I would share…

Thom is a very talented Interior Designer based out of NY, with quite an impressive clientele (such as J.Lo, Tina Fey, and many sports and fashion icons).  He is known for his modern and innovative designs, which his new pillow and trow line for Easter Accents is just that!

Here are just some of my favorite fabrics from his collection.

These colors are just so perfect for Fall!

For more information and to see all of his line, check out his website here!

If you need help with your own design project, contact me!

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Who was Dorothy Draper??  Well, in 1923, she was the first person to actually establish an interior design company, thus making it a true profession!  How cool?

Source: dorothydraper.com

As a true “Interior Designer”, she made huge strides in the field and broke through what was considered safe and common at the time.  She was known to pair uncommon colors and print together, her motto? “If it looks right, it is right”.  (dorothydraper.com)

Source: dorothydraper.com -Greenbrier

Source: .dorothydraper.com- Greenroom

I love her use of bold contrast in color and prints!

Just a few of her largest and most well know project include the restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, nicknamed “The Dorotheum”, the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, and the Camellia House, Drake Hotel in Chicago.

Source: dorothydraper.com -Greenbrier

Benjamin Moore even came up with a Dorothy Draper color palette and several famous designers such as Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler have done design projects in ode to her as well.

Spurce: hayancafe.blogspot.com -Kelly Wearstler

Source: hayancafe.blogspot.com- Jonathan Adler

Source: hayancafe.blogspot.com

I wonder, what would the design world be like without Dorothy Draper?  Would we be living in boring little tone-on-tone boxes?

If you need help designing your own Dorothy Draper inspired room, contact me!

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Bubble Necklaces!

Okay, Okay, I know that this is an INTERIOR design blog but sometimes I just have to post about fashion too!  … Its still in the design realm, right?  Of course it is!

So I am sure that most of you have seen the J.Crew Bubble Necklaces, right?  We I am totally obsessed, thanks to one of my design coworkers.  Bad news, these little gems run about $150.  So anyway, we found a knockoff for about $15!  Now, all the girls I work with are buying them in difference colors, mine is in the dark navy blue… or it will be when I get it delivered…

Source: Amazon.com

What can I wear with it??

Here are some other fun colors and great outfits!







Had to share!  What color would you get?

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Source: Houzz

One large source of social controversy all around the world is graffiti.  Traveling from city to city you see it everywhere.  It is accepted as an urban artistic expression but viewed as property vandalism and is completely condemned.

Source: Elle Decor

But what happens when graffiti is taken off the streets and applied to interiors and thus, used in a totally different application?  Here are some highly creative ways graffiti can be applied in a more “accepted” way.

Source: artist Reyes

Source: artist Reyes

Source: Ethan Allen

Source: hotel au vieux panier by Tilt

These artists truly are very talented.  I love the vibrant and modern feel the freeform art brings to a room!  And how cool is this furniture below?

Source: designers Burke and Hazelden

Source: Luis Alicandu

Source: Luis Alicandu

I wil add some fun pictures I took of a skate park in London this summer….

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Source: Real Simple

Ahh I love fall time!  There is just something about the crisp morning air and the warm colors on the trees that just gets me, and I know I’m not alone here.  The leaves changing start to bring about the feeling of coziness that has been missing all summer.

Fall inspired color schemes are really starting to pop up everywhere!  Some colors with that “fall vibe” are coppery reds, pumpkins, burnt yellows, forest greens, and chocolaty browns.  If selecting a paint or accent color from these, be aware of the feeling you are trying to create…

Source: Design Seeds

Design Seeds

Red can be a strong color that evokes energy, but with such a wide range of tones (from cherry, to crimson, to wine) there are lots of options to incorporate the color into any space.   There are tones that you can even be comfortable with year-round.

Source: nedesignbuildcom

A burnt Orange can be warming but a more vibrant shade can be super modern and lively.

Source: BHG

Forest Green is a great way to create an outdoorsy feeling and if accented with other warm fall color will create a “homey” feel as well.

Design by Lauren Racowsky

If a more neutral color is desired for a main color, warm or rich brown will evoke a natural feel of wood or stone.

Source: creamylife.com

A strong note I will make is, do not feel obligated to use all these wonderful fall colors in only one space; Doing this will actually feel very chaotic.  There is a 3 color max rule for interior design and yes, this includes your neutral!

Source: Country Living

A way to incorporate these colors is to use them throughout the whole house or floor , and to add hints of the color in accents to create a smooth transition between rooms.  Adding pillows on the sofa and candles on the fireplace mantle, and then artwork on the dining room wall, and a rug in another room is how to create flow in color.

Source: BHG

I hope this guide helps you to create the feeling of whichever aspect of fall you are trying to evoke in your home, whether it be the falling leaves, a forest stroll, or a harvest celebration.


So what is your favorite time of year?  Does it inspire your color palette?

If you need help defining the color scheme in your own home, contact me!

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The Brant Chair made by Ethan Allen is one of the most versatile chairs I can find right now! The detailed carved repeating ball frame and fluted apron (taken from a 17th century design) can fall towards traditional or lean towards modern styling… it just depends on the fabric its upholstered in!

Here are some fun fabric-to-frames I came up with to help you visualize Brant’s potential!

By the way, Ethan Allen offers OVER 1000  fabrics AND 25 wood finishes for the frames- talk about custom!

Here is the link to Ethan Allen’s website where you can check out the chair for yourself.

If you need help creating this look or starting any other design project, feel free to contact me!

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