Enough with the white cabinets already!

Enough with the white cabinets already!

4 colorful kitchens that will bring some spice into your home.
Whats with all of the white kitchens? In my Instagram feed, in magazines, in my client's houses, I am surrounded by white! As an artist I love color, but I think it scares a lot of people.

On the Water

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I am so excited to share this project with you! Recently Christie Leu of Christie Leu Interiors called me up because she had a realization that I would be the one to solve a design dilema for her and her client.

Originally she had specified a wallpaper for a feature wall in the foyer of her client's bay front property in Ocean City, MD. But because the wall was so tall (19' to be exact) the cost to have it custom made was way over budget. Then it dawned on her that I could create a finish inspired by the wallpaper, and stay within the budget! A win-win!

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Christie sent me the sample and I went to work creating a painted version of it. I wanted to keep the grasscloth texture like the original so I decided to go with a plaster ground. Once dry, I layered glazes, wiping back and adding more, until the desired effect was achieved.

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I think the final product is a showstopper and really compliments the stunning design work in the home. The house was remodeled from top to bottom and Christie really did a beautiful job. I hope the clients have many happy years there.

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Do you have a design dilema we could help with? Contact us today!

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DC Design House

This year I am privileged to say that I contributed to the fabulous room, "Chic Retreat" by  Barbara Brown Interiors at the DC Design House.

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"The 9th annual D.C. Design House opens to the public October 1, 2016. Each year, one local home has every single room redesigned by local interior designers and architects.

Located at 2509 Foxhall Road, NW, this year's house is a whopping 11,242 square feet, and most recently served as a temporary house for the French ambassador while his real home was under construction. The home has five floors, seven bedrooms, three kitchens, eight full bathrooms, an infinity pool, a wine cellar and sauna.

All furnishings and accessories in the house are for sale -- and so is the home itself, which is listed for a cool $10.8 million, according to the Design House website.

Proceeds from this month-long event benefit Children’s National Health System. The house closes Oct. 30." -NBC4

Barbara Brown Interiors designed the "Chic Retreat" which is on the top floor.  A lady's study/retreat/reading room has been expertly curated with chinoiserie inspired accessories, custom designed and built furniture, and features soothing colors and textures, but not without the occasional surprise.  I was asked to create chinoiserie monochromatic vignettes on the walls as well as verre eglomise surfaces for both the writing desk and built in cabinet top.

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Jumping in Head First; An Art Piece Like No Other (for me at least)

When I proposed this project almost two years ago I had not a clue as to who what I was getting myself into. My client, referred to me by Wendy Appleby, has lived in this house for over 20 years and hadn't figured out what to do with the giant overmantle that loomed over the front room. She is a collector of great art and owns a few Picasso's, Chagall's, and Matisse's. She also collects glass and so when I proposed  that we do an abstract glass piece she was sold. "Great!" I thought, then "What the hell did I just say I would do??" Paper template for glass

The first thing was to figure out if the glass could be cut in the way we wanted. I went to several places but the only folks who could help me out were Sherry and Len Berkowitz from Great Panes in Old Ellicott City. They had the glass water jet cut to my template. I was stoked that they were able to help me out. Its also nice to be able to use the talents of friends.

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So on to the next task of figuring out how to go about executing what was in my brain. Enter my friend Annie Lemarie, an expert at gilding. I took a trip out to her house in Sharpsburg and spent the day playing in her studio. She lives directly across the street from the Antietam Battlefield, a beautiful setting for a fun filled day. We figured out the method of application of colors and metals, an oil based paint would suffice.

Back to the studio and my friend Ewan Tulis constructed this easel that would serve to allow me to study the front as I was working along. I had to work on the back, a technique called "reverse painting" or "reverse gilding." I was essentially flying blind with the first layers of color. It looked so awful until the leaf and mica powders were applied. Then the whole thing came to life.

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Finally, the last task was mounting it. Bill Knapp, yet another friend, who works in found object metal sculpting, built an armature that would allow the glass to be suspended from the wall as if it were floating. It was heavy and would be hung on a travertine tiled wall. We couldn't really figure out where the studs were so we hoped that when the client decided she was going to replace the wood burning fireplace with a gas insert that we were going to be able to look up inside to see where we were going to tap in. Luck was not in our favor but thankfully the way Bill made the armature, our pilot holes would be covered over.

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Finally! The day came for it to be installed. Ewan and his assistant Matt worked smoothly and professionally to place my work perfectly over the fireplace. It was such a treat to see it in its place after so much planning and work.

Ewan and Matt working on installing the final piece.

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The best compliment came from my client when she said, "That's cool as S***!" I laughed out loud. The icing on the cake was an email she sent that evening. "[My husband] walked in the door and saw the painting and his comment was "spectacular"! He sat down on the sofa, stared at the painting and said to tell Dee the painting was well done. The funniest comment he had was that it is a lot more colorful and stands out more than what we had before. I laughed and told  him I sure hope so because there was nothing on the wall before. It is truly am amazing piece of art!"

That makes me happy.

BSO Decorator Show House 2015

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I'm so excited to finally share the work I did for Paula Henry of Simply Put Interior's Dining Room at this year's BSO Decorator Show House! The house was located in the Guilford neighborhood of Baltimore City.

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Paula and I wanted to do something unexpected and so we decided on a unique watercolor design. I painted the design by hand and with the help of Jeff Salava of Archival Arts and Matt Richardson of Indigo Ink, brought the design to life. The colors were inspired by a fabric as well as the beautiful sideboard. Paula wanted a fresh and bright look to bring this room into the 21st century. The room before:

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I am excited about this new avenue and hope to offer bespoke wallcoverings in the near future! Here are some more photos. Let me know what you think in the comments!!

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