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Throwback Thursday!

A Throwback to Our Best Tips & Helpful Hints!

We thought we would get in on the Throwback Thursday fun! Here are 3 of our favorite blast from the past blogs that we think have the best tips and helpful hints! We hope you find them as helpful as we did the first time we posted them.

1. Why Primer?  - A must read if you’re thinking of re-painting ANYTHING in the future!

2. How Do I find an Interior Designer? – This short read will give you all the ins and outs of hiring a great designer!

3. Four Time Saving Tips for Painting Projects – This one is straight from our crew to you on all their insider painting and clean up tips that will make you’re next DIY job a breeze.

Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane as much as we did, leave us a comment with your favorite throwback blog.

Janie's Signature

We Love a Good Rug!

“A good rug can change you life”

Some people say a good pair of shoes can change your life. However we like to say a good rug can change your room and your life! One our talents not too many people know about is our talent for custom, hand painted rugs. Maybe you’re not ready to change the current flooring or carpeting but still want a big change? A hand painted sisal rug can make that happen for you and your space.

We love offering this custom service. Who wants to spend hours shopping all over town or scouring the internet for the perfect rug when you can have one custom created. One of the best parts of decorative painting is offering something no one else can offer our clients…unique custom created beautiful finishes and products. And these rugs are a sublime example of our ability to make our clients space special with a one of a kind creation.

Whether your room is modern, traditional or some eclectic mix in between we have a pattern that’s perfect for you. Or maybe you’re looking for something with an even more personal touch. Many of our clients have us do their entry rug or doormat, we’ve done several monogramed mats and even large custom cut outdoor rugs for local businesses. They are fun and functional as well as inexpensive and hardy.

These rugs are perfect for any home even high traffic areas and you don’t have to sacrifice style. We love these rugs, we hope you do too!

Janie's Signature

7 Amazing Chocolate Creations for Valentines Day!

Almost too beautiful to eat!

There is no better way to celebrate Valentines Day than with some delicious chocolate! The only thing that could make it better is adding artistic flair to the mix! These lovely creations will tantalize your tastebuds and peak your artistic sensibilities, they are almost too lovely to eat. (be sure to check out #5, fabulously inventive)

1. Chocolate Planet Truffles

Who wouldn’t want a galaxy made of this wonderful sweet stuff!

Chocolate Heaven

2. Functional Lego Chocolate Bricks

Incredibly clever but who could resist this delicious goodness long enough to build anything?

Chocolate Lego Art

Chocolate Lego Art Sculptures

3. Chocolate Tools

True artistry went into creating these aged tools! This is some “faux finishing” we can really sink our teeth into.

Chocolate Art Tools

Chocolate Art Tools

4. Chocolate Pencil Set

You can write the sweetest notes with these and the pencil shavings would never go to waste!

Chocolate Art Pencil Set 

Chocolate Pencil Set Art

5. Chocolate Skulls

How fabulously creative is this little treat! These guys really do have brains the size of walnuts!!

Chocolate Sculpture Skull Art

Chocolate Skulls Art

Colorful Chocolate Skulls

6. Chocolate Paint Tubes

We could make something really beautiful with paints, like a smile on our face after tasting each one!

Chocolate Art Paint Tubes

Chocolate Art Paint Tubes

7. Chocolate Painted Bars

So lovely I might not want to eat it … all at once.

Creatively Painted Chocolate Bars

Creative Chocolate Bars Painted

We hope you celebrate Valentines Day with someone special and a beautiful, sweet treat!

We wish you hugs and chocolate kisses!

Janie's Signature

 

Marsala, the Color of the Year!

Marsala is the Color of 2015!

If you haven’t already ran smack dab into this fabulous new color of the year let us introduce you. Pantone’s pick for 2015 is Marsala. We for one are huge fans of this stunning shade of wine. We are in love with the warmth this color brings to interiors and home furnishings not to mention just about anything you wish.

Marsala is an incredibly versatile color. It’s appealing to men and women, an earthy tone thats fantastic for apparel or accessories. This fabulous hue is earthy yet sophisticated.

What we love best about Marsala is when in a matte finish it conveys its organic, hearty nature but when glossy gives a completely different feeling of luxury and glamor.

It is a beautiful color just waiting to find a place in your home or wardrobe! We can’t wait to find the perfect finish for this lovely color of 2015. Where would you use Marsala? Leave us a comment to tell us your ideas on the “it” color of 2015!


For more amazing finishes in the new hot Marsala or for any color in your home take a look at our vast portfolio and give us a call if we can help you on your next project.

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

*Photo credit to Pantone

Anything But Plain Voted Best of Houzz 2015!

Thanks for voting for us!

Award season is here and we are tickled GREEN that we’re in on the action! We have been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for the second year in a row! This time we were recognized for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz. We are honored to be chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. If you are one of those millions of users we have you to thank, along with our amazing clients and colleagues that keep us busy with such exciting projects!

If you haven’t tried Houzz for yourself be sure to Click here to see what all the buzz is about!

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Won’t You Meet My Neighbor!

We Have Great Neighbors

There are a multitude of things we like about our business. Great clients, interesting projects and not least of all, fabulous neighbors. We are so lucky to have such fantastic neighboring businesses at the Houston Design Center. Not only are they an integral part of our industry, but also an asset to our clients. This year we hope to bring the spotlight to a few of these incredible businesses. First in the spot light is our neighbor Mirabella Doors.

Mirabella Doors has the greatest tagline. ” You only get one chance to make a first impression.” When you think about it, the front door of your house it is the first thing that everyone see. These wrought iron doors are pretty sensational. When I think of iron doors I think of tradition designs but to my surprise they have some very slick contemporary ones as well. I get to walk by them everyday. It’s a nice treat.

Pam Miller is the face behind the beautiful doors.She has been in the custom door business for over 10 years and always provides excellent service to her clients. We just love seeing the unique custom creations she comes up with for entry ways as well as interior doors and wine rooms.

Pam Miller, OwnerContemporary Entryway Beautiful Door at Dusk

Beautiful detail on wine gateArched Entry WayCustom Wrought Iron Door
Modern Door with Clear ClassFlemish Glass DoorCustom Designed Wine Gate
If you are building a new home or desiring a new look in your entry or wine room don’t hesitate to call Pam. You can find more of her fabulous designs, as well as, photos of finished doors on her website. Keep an eye out this year for more spotlights on Designers and Industry Partners. We love showcasing they’re amazing talents and hope you remember them for all your design needs.

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

3 Myths of Cabinet Finishes Revealed!

Distressed, Glazed, Worn-Thru … Oh My!

Have you noticed how every industry has their own special “buzz words”? Notice how those words get over used, lose their meaning, and completely complicate things? Much of the confusion creates myths about terms or processes. Never fear, we’re doing our very best “myth busting” today.

In our industry a lot of the confusion about certain terms revolve around furniture and/or cabinet finishes. So, let’s take a look at some of our favorite hard surface finishes and breakdown the terms and processes and what the buzzwords of glaze, texture, and distressing really look like.

Myth 1 – Glaze

Glaze is probably one of the most misunderstood terms in use.  It’s the cornerstone of basic decorative painting and faux finishing techniques. Glazed is used in many applications and on many different surfaces. People think it is a magic wand we wave to completely change the color, texture and design of a surface. While we wish that wand existed, its just not that easy.  Glaze is a semitransparent medium, it can be oil based or water based. It looks a little like thick milky paint but you can see through it. It is tinted with colorants. If we put dark umber colorant into the glaze it would look like thick dirty water or if we used yellow it would look like bad lemonade. Any color can be used to get whatever end result you want. We use Glaze to create an antique look on cabinets and walls or over texture to give added depth. Used alone in a single process, it can be a less expensive option for walls and cabinetry finishes. It is also used in combination with other product to create over the top opulent results. Glaze can be applied on walls, cabinets, furniture, and molding. Glaze adds soft color,warmth, a sense of dimension. It can help create a faintly aged “caught in the corners” look so many desire.  It’s a great technique in our bag of “tricks”.


Myth 2 – Distressed/Antiqued/Worn-Thru

 

Those three little words can cover a wide range of effects. They have become the “catchall” phrase to explain all finishes that aren’t flat paint. As a decorative painter, there is a world of difference in each technique, as well as a large price difference. An antiqued finish is usually created with glaze, directly over paint, to give it an aged quality. Distressing can be created by beating up the painted surface and then glazing to show the marks and imperfections. A worn-thru finish is a mutli-colored and multi-layered process. Texture is built up on the surface and than abraded to show the colors below. A coat of glaze is applied to give dimension for added character. We like to seal or topcoat all of our cabinet finishes for “wearability” and to give them a “furniture quality” look. The difference in technique is reflected in the difference of price. It’s always best to set a budget first. Your decorative painter needs this as a guide to get the finish you want at a price within your budget. Here a few examples of slightly aged and glazed, worn-thru and a multi-layered finishes.


Myth 3 – Everything in Between

This is less of a specific myth and more of a misconception. Some clients think that what we do on cabinets as decorative painters is limited. Its’ the very opposite! We’re you looking for an alligator bar for the man cave? Or maybe you want your vanity cabinetry to sparkle and shine with glass beads? Or how about hand painted designs to personalize your cabinets? Maybe a raised design to create the look of hand carved designs strikes your fancy?  And of course for the solid wood paneling in your library or bar, a little gold detailing is always a hit. This and so much more is available to you! Take a look at these over the top finishes and rooms and you’ll see why the sky is the limit when it comes to cabinet and hard surface finishes.


For more amazing finishes for any style home take a look at our vast portfolio and give us a call if we can help you on your next project.

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Do You Dare to be a DIVA?

Kristi Becomes a DIVA!

When you hear the term Design DIVAS, giving back  may not be the first thought that comes to mind. However, that’s exactly what the Houston Furniture Bank Design DIVAS are all about. They describe a DIVA on their website this way:

D.I.V.A.S.

/n. pl. / DEE-vahz:

  • Very successful performers,
usually extremely talented and highly respected;
  • Persons who are committed to achieving their goals,
doing so with flair and finesse;
  • “Decorating Interiors – Volunteers At your Service”,
D.I.V.A.S.: a group of Houston Furniture Bank volunteers dedicated to
“making empty houses homes” for families in need who have been nominated
by their caseworkers. These caring volunteers create home-makeovers from
house-hold furnishings which have been donated to Houston Furniture Bank.

On September 14th, Kristi was introduced to this lovely group of people at an event  benefiting the Houston Furniture Bank and Design DIVAS at James Craig Furnishings.  At this gathering, the founder of the Houston Furniture Bank and now the Executive Director of this independent 501C3 non-profit organization Oli Mohammed told the beautiful story of the history of the Furniture Bank and the Design DIVAS.  He spoke about all the family’s lives they have been able to change by giving them a beautiful place to live after experiencing various tragedies that have left them struggling financially.  Oli went on to explain that the Furniture Bank offers these families necessities that they cannot provide for themselves.  The Design DIVAS spend countless hours volunteering to help give them a fabulously designed place to call home that they cannot believe is actually theirs.

The DIVAS explained that designing for these families is like the ABC show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  Ann Cummins, the founder and visionary of the DIVAS told Kristi that this is truly one of the most rewarding things she has ever done in her life.  It inspired Kristi to join the DIVAS and help give these families a beautiful space to live in.  We encourage you to take a look at the Houston Furniture Bank and the Design DIVAS wonderful work and see if these programs tug on your heartstrings like they did Kristi’s.  If you would like to get involved, The Furniture Bank accepts donations for gently used furniture, decorations, and kitchenware.  You can help out struggling Houston families this holiday season by giving back in a wonderful way, directly benefitting the residents of the city we live in and call home.

Modern Now and Wow!

Can Decorative Painting be Modern? Absolutely!

If you’ve picked up any home magazine this year, you’ll find the words “sleek”, “modern” and “clean” on almost every page. We hear these words over and over again. Most people translate that to mean flat white or light gray wall paint, or maybe a simple wallpaper pattern. These are not the only answers. Decorative painting and faux finishing does not mean “Old World” or “Sponging (ugh!)”. It is an illusion painted on, or a texture applied to walls, ceilings, furniture, or just about any surface in your home. It can be “Old World”, but can also be modern, sleek, clean, and contemporary. We want to set the record straight and show you a few FABULOUS contemporary finishes that we hope will peak your curiosity and change your mind about decorative finishes.

The best part about decorative finishes is it’s flexibility in style and uniqueness of the finish. A custom finish is created for your particular space in whatever color and design you desire. It is exclusive to you! Texture adds dimension to a room as well as warmth to a surface. Metallics and micas can give a subtle glow to a space without competing with the décor. Design elements, whether hand painted or stenciled, can give a neutral room a focal point. You will love that your finish will be a one-of-a-kind work of art versus just another wallpaper catalog order number. Best of all there are no seams! When you are ready to redecorate you can just paint over it, and not have to worry about scraping it off inch by inch. Let’s take a look at these 5 “little teasers” of our current favorite modern finishes.

Here are our fav 5 Contemporary Finishes…

Water Color Whimsy

This fanciful design is created to mimic beautiful watercolor flowers. The deep greens and teals make a striking statement that would be just perfect for a powder room or any space you want a contemporary punch of color.


Ombre’, Ombre’, Ombre’

 

With Ombre’ all the rage why not wash your walls in your favorite color combos?! We are in love with this vibrant Ombre’ finish in pinks and purples! I can just imagine a room bathed in this finish bright or subtle, it’s definitely a showstopper.


Subtle Design

Subtle design

 

Subtle doesn’t have to be boring. With this Metallic Venetian Plaster finish you get high shine with a subtle design that is stunning with understated elegance.


Shimmer, Shimmer

 

Are you interested in shimmer without the over the top glitz? This finish is for you! Metallic plaster like in this finish can give warmth, depth and a subtle shimmer that’s perfect for any modern home.


Metallic Foils

Foils are not only some of our most fun finishes but they can be some of the most modern and elegant as well. This design in foil would make a jaw dropping statement in any room of your home.


For more amazing finishes for any style home take a look at our vast portfolio and give us a call if we can help you on your next project.

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from all the Goblins and Ghouls at Anything But Plain!