Friday, May 22, 2009

HGTV showed some of our work again

It was fun to see some of our work show up on HGTV last week again!

Here is a little black powder room that we did, with its chipped plaster exposing the gilded ceiling underneath.

The wood trim on the staircase was painted to match the Brazilian cherry floors and stairs. The walls and columns were hand plastered to create the look of cut travertine stone.

Designer Marie Dunn wanted to create a look that was cutting edge yet still keeping the old prominent look of this grand house.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Venetian Plaster Walls FAQ

Plaster walls are something that are often over looked by homeowners and designers. These two different rooms both have one thing in common and that is the feeling of warmth! Sure the walls are plastered but they have depth and history, something flat wall paint could never achieve.
Some of the oldest traces of plaster walls reach back 9,000 years found in Anatolia and Syria. Some 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians used plaster on the blocks of the Great Pyramid Cheops. It wasn't until the 1550's that the Venetians re-invented it and mastered it giving it more possibilities.
We put together a list of the most often asked questions on Venetian Plaster.
Q: What is Venetian Plaster?
A: It is an interior finish used mostly on walls and ceilings first made popular in the 1550's in Venice, Italy. In recent years it has become one of the most sought after wall finishes.

Q: What are the ingredients?
A: Aged slaked lime, marble dust and pigment.
Q: How durable is the Venetian Plaster?
A: Very. More so than paint. It is dent and scratch resistant. It has some flex to it so it tends to resist cracks that would otherwise mar a wall.
Q: Can I wash it?
A: Yes, after the sealer is applied. Jeremy uses a sealer that doesn’t change the beautiful look of the Venetian Plaster, matte or polished.
click on pictures to enlarge

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done

One evening Jeremy received a phone call from one of his favorite designers around 6pm. "I need a favor!" "Sure" says Jeremy "what can I do for you?" "I need a medallion painted but I don't have time to bring it to you, it's at the client's house." "No problem I'll just pick it up first thing in the morning before I go to my next job!" "Well that's the other part of the favor I need to ask you, it's being installed first thing tomorrow morning by the electrician's at 8:00 am can you do it for me please!!!" "What do you want it to look like?" asked Jeremy. "Oh I don't know for sure make it look like the chandelier if you can." Jeremy drove across town pick up the medallion and a piece of the chandelier and brought it home and worked on it in his studio until 1:00 in the morning mixing paints and holding a blow dryer over it to speed dry each layer.

Click on pictures to enlarge

Friday, May 15, 2009

Southern Living Show House 08 with Dillard Jones Builders

Last December Jeremy was asked to once again work with Dillard Jones Builders on the Southern Living show house here in Greenville. He did a 5 layer Tuscan Plaster treatment for the wine cellar pictured here.
He used Sherwin-Williams paint in ginger with a dark brown glaze to achieve the rustic patina shown.

Please Click on pictures to enlarge.

This is a view into the powder room the finish is lusterstone
in brown suede. It's decor was executed by Brian Brighman.

This shot is the Master bath. Once again Brian Brigham is the designer. Jeremy did a faux bois treatment on the cabinets. He has no idea what combination of colors he used to achieve this look he was given a small sample and asked if he could recreate it and so he did!

Next is the master bedroom which unfortunately we only have shots of the piece itself so you do not get the view of the room. This was an old
1970 stereo cabinet which was not painted. His challenge was to take this piece and make it compatible with the tremeau above it. What cha think? We think he did okay.
To see the more of the house click here

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A faux leather study that's sure to work!

Click picture to enlarge

Homeowner Judi Carney and designer Christy Johnson with Fowler Interiors got together to discuss that special something she wanted for her husband's home office. Christy came up with a palette of colors that were soft and comfortable not stuffy but masculine..

Christy and I where on the same wave link when we saw the room and said "Leather, it's got to be leather!"

I used a tissue paper to get the leather texture and Sherwin-Williams Rosemary as our base coat and Army Green as our glaze.
Now that the room is finished they love the feeling of calm that prevades the space that is their home office.

Judi was a blast to work with and a very busy lady as she is a Creative Consultant for Creative Memories. Check her out at

Designer Christy Johnson can be found at

Click on picture for close-up

Kitchen Oven Hoods

Click to enlarge

This faux limestone oven hood was so well executed it even fooled the general contactor. He knew she wanted the real limestone but due to budget constraints it just wasn't a option. So the homeowner brought us in and showed the photograph of what she was looking for. We delivered a stunning likeness using plywood, trim and MDF corbels.

We used Aqua Stone for texture, went to Sherwin Williams and color matched a piece of slate found on the property. Sealed the stone and glazed it and then sealed it again.

Homeowner thinks its priceless. What's in your kitchen?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Turning ordinary sheetrock into stone

Before MacGregor
& Inspiration Fireplace

Brian with the Galleries of Brian Brigham in Greenville, SC gave us the challenge of turning ordinary sheet rock into stone. So we looked for a fireplace that gave us the inspiration. We found it in a cabin in Cashier in NC. It took less than a week to complete.

The homeowners house was being renovated upstairs, we were working downstairs. The lady of the house and I were standing there admiring the finished piece, when the general contractor walked in and says "Wow that's beautiful" he knocks on it with his knuckles, "where did you get the stone imported from!" She and I looked at each other. Smiling I said, "I guess it passes the real looking test then."

After MacGregor

Please click on picture to enlarge

Modello designs

It is amazing as to what a litte paint and glaze can do for a ceiling. Our clients Brent and Emily, who have now become great friends, found this cool design at Modello Designs that Jeremy told them about.
Before Picture

Modello makes all sort of decorative masking patterns designed for all types of surfaces. Modello made this one custom for us. Using it like a stencil to paint, emboss, etch, inlay. We found the possibilities endless.

So for the ceiling Jeremy took a leather sample to Sherwin Williams and they helped us choose the topcoat glaze to go with Emily's Nomadic Desert base coat.

Jeremy then used a Aqua Bond french red paint for the ceiling medallion with a black glaze to give it depth an added drama.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Giant faux stone fireplace

Check out this mantle. Not only looks but feels like real stone as well. Wenger Custom Home Builders commissioned us to turn this wooden fire place into an old world limestone fire place. Many of the pieces of lumber were left over scraps from the homes construction.

Wenger is really big into saving his clients money and the enviroment.
Please check out his website at

Painted Faux Bois Cabinets

These kitchen cabinets were painted white. Designer Sandy Terry with SMT Insights, felt that the kitchen had to many white cabinets and that they needed some additional weight to this side of the room. So she commissioned us to paint them to look like wood that matched the kitchen island and blend with the fireplace in the keeping room at the opposite end of the room.

Here is a fireplace mantle made of MDF. With the help of Suburban Paint, we painted it to look like a deep dark rich wood to give some weight to this room.

Farm house fireplace

Jeremy has been asked to do more and more fireplaces recently. Here is a picture of one that was found in a salvage yard by a home owner. Parts of this fire place mantle are over 2oo years old. Other parts were just added and modified by a carpenter to make it fit. Jeremy was asked to give it an old farm house feel. I think it works. The worn wood you see coming thru in the pictures is faux. He has painted the wood grain and put several colors of glaze on the green paint to give it an aged and distressed feel.

Victoria's fireplace mantle

This is a before picture of our home. The mantle was small and sad. So we thought to turn this ugly little eye sore into an asset. By building it up to the ceiling we were able to draw the eyes upward creating a sense of drama with a bit of history. I had seen a fire place in Scotland that I liked drew it out for my husband Jeremy who is my faux artisan. The walls are faux limestone. They give the room another texture for the senses. Jeremy is always saying life is to short for flat paint.

Monday, May 4, 2009

This is the after picture of our little fireplace mantle. I love to sit by it in the winter drinking tea or coco, while planning next years garden.
Last winter when the ice storm knock out the power for a week. Jeremy and I cooked over our working fire place he cooked steaks, hot dogs, chili, and I made smores and drank hot apple cider.