She Said the F-Word!

Get the soap out, she said the "F" word! Okay, so the dreaded "F" word may not be what you think! We're talking about Faux... The "F" word that has wreaked havoc on our industry - it brings to mind the 90's do-it-yourself spongers, glazers, and heavy textures! These finishes were made popular by DIY TV programs and carried out by the the masses to their detriment. Most of the time the end result was not a lovely finish but an art project gone bad, and called "old world" or "tuscan", tarnishing the the word "faux" as a whole.  

Today, if you were to ask your client if they wanted a faux finish, you would never sell it, because it has such a negative connotation in the industry and the name itself sounds dated. The truth of the matter is, that there are so many more opportunities with faux finishing (decorative, specialty and artistic finishes) than you could ever imagine!

Here at Anything But Plain, we are artists.  We develop unique techniques and processes that create one-of-a-kind finishes for designers who want to stand apart from the rest.  We pour our heart and soul into our work and take great pride in what we do. In today's design world, we are asked to create many clean-modern finishes, utilizing our custom, hand-mixed products and metallics. We also create a soft ambience with elegant European plasters and hand painted details. The truth of the matter is, after 26 years in the business, there isn't much we CAN'T do... We love creating something special and helping the designer cultivate a warm and inviting home for her clients to enjoy for years to come.

Take a look at some of our newest one of a kind "decorative" finishes.

It's Award Season!

And We Won!

Award season is upon us! You may be thinking Emmys, Oscars and Golden Globes but we're talking about the ASID Ruby Awards.  This past Saturday night were delighted to accept an ASID Ruby Award Win for Industry Partner Best Wall Treatment and an Industry Partner Honorable Mention for Best Design Implementation. Both of these awards were projects of Slovack-Bass Design. We are so grateful to work with such talented and innovative designers.

We weren’t the only ones recognized for hard work and inspired design. Slovack-Bass Design, Marie Flanigan Interiors, Jane-Page Design Group, and Pamela Hope Designs were also big winners. Best of all...Some of the spaces they won or received honorable mentions for had our finishes on the walls and ceilings! How cool is that?!

We are so grateful to these designers that give us an opportunity to create unique finishes in these beautiful homes. It’s always a pleasure to work with a pro!

Here are a few photos from our winning designs: 

We also want to congratulate Marie Flanigan and her design team on their honorable mention for 2015 JOHN STAUB AWARDS. 

River Oaks Guest Quarters
Residential Interiors



Fashion Meets Finishes

Fashion Meets Finishes

The 2015 Spring Couture collections are gorgeous! As we looked at the top players in the fashion world, we noticed some pretty significant correlations between our finishes and what’s hot right now in fashion, so we thought we should share!

Chanel has done it again!  What an iconic brand and an iconic woman.  If you haven’t seen the movie “Coco Before Chanel”, you should.  Grab some girlfriends and have a wine and movie night.  You won’t be disappointed.  The Spring-Summer 2015 Collection is unbelievable.  The way Chanel keeps it’s classic, defining style yet pushes the envelope with new ways of utilizing color and design is astonishing.  Just like Chanel is pushing the envelope, so are we, with our new, surprising luxe contemporary finishes, definitely not to be missed.  Our clients are in love with these unexpected designs that bring fine art to the wall.

This Chloe’ blouse and skirt from the Spring/Summer 2015 Collection is breathtaking.  It’s soft detail, fluid fabric, and muted tones bring forth an ethereal eminence.  This reminded us of the wall finish we completed this stunning residence with the extremely gifted designers of Slovack Bass Design Build. Pearl Fresco with a soft all over tone-on-tone pattern gave the room the soft detail and airiness just as the dress has done.

Glass beading is a great way to bring elegance, sophistication, and glamour to a gown.  The same rings true with walls!  This Monique Lhuiller Spring Collection 2015 gown is a showstopper.  The way that this designer chose to structure the dress and layer shades of the intricate beadwork is exquisite.  This gown reminded us of our cherry blossom glass bead installation that we completed in 2014 in collaboration with one of our talented decorators.

This Louis Vuitton handbag has made its debut! The use of unexpected texture and color has made this handbag a piece to be coveted. Pictured next to it is one of our wall finishes featured in our showroom. You can envelop your walls in couture, something one of a kind and fabulous. Finishing walls in a room brings so much more to the space than can ever be achieved with flat paint or wallpaper. The dimension is uncomparable. We had a blast on our hunt for this season’s top picks! Hopefully, you enjoyed this as much as we did! Come check us out and see what other unexpected finishes we may be hiding in our showroom.

Happy Spring!

We're Green with Envy on St. Patricks Day!

We’re Green with Envy - Happy St. Patrick’s Day

While everyone is swilling green beer and pinching their friends, we are celebrating with our favorite vibrantly verdant creations! A few of these photos are our very own works of art, while others are just something we found share-worthy. We hope you enjoy these photos and your St. Patty’s Day!

Emerald Jewel Box

This bedroom is one of our very favorite creations. We loved the opportunity to use such vivid colors and fun designs.

Peter Pan Decal

What a clever way to paint a kids room, and we love it in green!


Although this isn’t exactly green we’re going to count it because its one our absolute favorite colors and projects. Who wouldn’t get the most out of the work day with a vibrantly glazed cabinets like these!

Dining Green

This room is gorgeous with the different shades of blue and green! We love it.

Limey! It’s gorgeous!

These vibrant lime green walls shimmer with metallic plaster and Fortuny design.

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Janie's Signature

We're Hooked on a Ceiling!

The song says, "Were hooked on a feeling" but we're definitely Hooked on a Ceiling! Over the years, we have been pleased as punch to create ceiling designs from beautifully understated to over the top opulent.. There are many types of ceilings and ways to make them the centerpiece of the room or just tie into the design around them. Its a fabulous way to draw attention to the architectural detail in your home and draw the eye upward. Crafting a design for your ceiling is like the cherry on top of the cake, it really can take a room from lovely to outstanding. Let’s take a look at our favorite ceiling projects from over the years.

Luxe Linen

This ceiling is one of our new favorites. It is a faux linen texture in beautiful in neutral grays is absolutely stunning. The faux linen creates a wonderful contrast against the rich wood paneling.


Elegantly Subtle

Who said subtle is boring? We get so many compliments on this lovely entry hall! The tone on tone all over pattern matched with a hand painted design really brings this space to a new level of exquisiteness and draws attention to the length of the space.

Wine & Dine

Looking for a way to WOW guests in your home when you entertain? Metallic plaster with a hand-painted design on the barrel ceiling adds the perfect finishing touch to this gorgeous wine room!

Color & Class

An amazing two story groin in this master bath needed something both beautiful and colorful. Adorning this ceiling with a hand-painted medallion over diamond plaster.delighted both the client and designer.

Dining in Style

This dining room is a perfect example of how a little detail can go a long way. This ceiling is an inlaid wood cutout, hand painted and accentuated with gold detailing to reveal the stunning design.

Beautiful Border

This is a perfect example of how a blend of subtle design in an all over pattern mixed with a bold border can really work. We hope our artwork inspires you to find the perfect design for your ceiling! Check back later this month as we take a look at what creative masterpieces your dome can become.

We hope our artwork inspires you to find the perfect design for your ceiling! Check back later this month as we take a look at what creative masterpieces your dome can become.

Janie's Signature

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

*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