Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Paint Night Party / Cocktails & Canvases

Since the spring Bella Terra Designs has added paint night parties to their services called, "Cocktails & Canvases."  "Paint Nite" or "Paint Night" parties are all the rage and understandably so ... you get together with your friends at a local bar, enjoy a "cocktail" or two, and create a work of art.  What could be more fun?!

"Cocktails & Canvases" is a step above the typical paint nite party because the experience occurs in either your home or a friend's home.  The host provides the cocktails and we provide the rest for a relaxed, fun evening.  We use quality paints and brushes, provide smocks and canvases.  Instruction and demonstration of the chosen painting is given and the instructor walks around the room assisting individuals with guidance as needed.  There is no rush to finish the painting as is sometimes the case at a bar.  Everyone goes home with a completed painting at the end of 2-3 hours.

Below are some pictures of past "Cocktails & Canvases" events.

An outside evening paint party.

An outside afternoon paint party.

Indoors having fun!

Just one of the autumn paintings to choose.

Check out my website for other autumn paintings to select from and to get more information for hosting an event.  
Hope to see you soon for a great evening!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hand-painted Floor

In the decorative/faux finish line of work we get to see some amazing properties and stately old mansions on Long Island.

With this project we were in an adorable, original Chauffer's Cottage on one of the largest privately owned properties on Long Island. Truly a Gold Coast gem, its a neighbor of the Old Westbury Gardens. The Chauffer's Cottage is just full of charm, and all original floors and walls. This made finding anything straight very hard. Painting the floor pattern, with its two inch wide border was a challenge! Nothing is perfect and it fits right in with this charming home.

Bella Terra Designs, Inc.'s photo.  

For more photographs of completed hand-painted floor projects check out my website:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Autumn 2015

Can't believe that I haven't posted anything in a long time but life does get in the way ... 

There is so much to write about - our updated website, our newest addition to the services we offer  called, "Cocktails and Canvases," and some terrific projects (personal and professional).  Before I tell you all that has been happening I first want to share two photographs from one of our most recent completed projects at Bella Terra Designs.

This is from a terrace outside a master bedroom in Brooklyn.  

Isn't is amazing how a hand-painted rug can make an ordinary floor look great?

See more floors on my website.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stars & Stripes

I should just come right out and say it, I am not a good blogger. 

I love blogs, love to read them, wish I could maintain one with daily posts.

But I just must accept the fact that for now, my posts will be every few weeks.
Who am I kidding?? Bi-monthly? Lol! 

I recently acquired two wooden pieces from a client who was parting with old furniture.
I knew immediately that they could be great painted pieces specifically for a boys room.
And if I couldn't sell them, I knew they would someday be in Kyle and Logan's room.

I loved the mid-century modern legs, the straight lines in the drawers, and the simple clean boxy look.

Just cleaned up and waiting to be painted!

I knew right away that the dresser was going to be the distressed version of the American Flag.
For months I have been wanting to paint it, and just waiting for the right shape to come along.
After a good thorough cleaning, I mixed up a custom color using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This paint covered so well, that it only needed 1 and a half coats. 
I purposely left bits of the wood color coming through, and further sanded down the edges. I also 
beat it up pretty good with lots of tools. The fun part! I knew I wanted it to be an old 13 star flag, and got to taping off my stripes, which were also done sort of messy. I had tape for guidelines, but it didn't matter if that paint didn't touch the tape everywhere.
Besides my lack of blogging skills, I apparently forgot to take pictures for the in-between stages. But you can see above how distressed I made the stripes, I sanded down after they were all painted in.
Stars were next, and lucky for me, we had a few stars laying around that I could sort of trace the shape and then hand paint them in more pointy.

Close up of the stars, very distressed, and waxed with Antique Wax.

After everything was sanded and aged, I put one coat of ASCP clear wax, and then waited till the second day to do the second coat of Antique wax.  The dresser was just done in the coordinating blue.

And you know what, the dresser sold within 3 days, so I am thinking I may need to add some hand painting to the desk as well. Something different.  The thinking wheel is turning!!

Here are a few more shots of the dresser all done.

Besides a boys room, I think this would be very cool in a living room as an accent piece.
I wonder where it is in its new home!?

Horrible lighting on this view. Oh well!

Found this super cool metal stool at a garage sale, though it would be perfect match!

Thanks for reading about my Stars & Stripes dresser, see you in a few weeks, hopefully!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kitchen Island Goes Grey

Love the finished piece!
In case you haven't noticed, grey is the new beige and its everywhere.  I have a wonderful young client with 3 young kids, and a newly purchased home. We started off in her home a year ago and did bold pink and white stripes in her girls bedroom above the chair rail and a metallic grey brushed plaster below. The master bedroom has a focal wall of horizontal grey and silver combed strie. And this spring we were called back to check out her kitchen island.   The island is about 5 years old, perfect condition, and stained cherry. It just wasn't what she wanted, and once she got her GORGEOUS table from Restoration Hardware, she knew it had to change.

The before shot. Of course I didn't save my original shot!

Originally my client was thinking to paint it like the rest of kitchen, cream with a brown glaze. I decided I had to show her some more options. I always feel like, if you are going to change it, then make a big change! I gave her a few samples to look at, a black base with layered greys and distressed edges, a simple grey glaze over charcoal base, and a very cool grey driftwood type of faux wood grain. And guess what she chose?? The very cool grey wood grain!!! I was ecstatic, something fun, different, and beautiful.

Becuase of our hectic schedule we finally got in to do the work two weeks ago. She was so patient in waiting for us to get there.  For this project, we began by degreasing the cabinet with TSP, and used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint as our base.  It's a great product and I knew it would bond well with the cabinetry. After two coats, we were ready to start. We began by taping off corners on a mitered angle, just like you would see in real wood finishes. I made a custom glaze of black and white tint, and brushed it on. I used a regular chip brush to pull through the glaze to create the graining.  By holding the brush and pressing down on its bristles in uneven pressure, you are able to get a variety of different types of effects.
First coat of ASCP

Mitered edges, and the grey brushed grain.

See the board leaning on wall, that is my sample door.

Once a section is dried overnight, we tape off the opposite angles and glaze the same way. After this is all dry, we adding a toning layer of dark brown glaze, this warmed up the grey, and added more depth.
On the right side, how the brown over glaze warms up the color.

Two coats of poly were brushed on, and hardware reassembled.  We happened to do this right before Columbus Day, so we were able to let it dry and cure a few days before putting the cabinet back.
The finished shot!

Close up, love the varying lines in graining.

I was so thrilled with how this came out, but more importantly my client loves it!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Time is Flying By

My last post was on May 20th, and its already the end of July. 

Wow. In my head I had a few posts that I wanted to do along the way, but have been completely 
swamped with work. Not too mention it is also summer, so any free time I have is spent in the pool with my boys, and gardening, and bbqing! 

So i figured I would keep this post short, and sweet, and more related to home life. 

Taken ay my clients house, not altered one bit. Can you see the itty bitty spider on upper right side of petals? 

One of my favorite things to do is garden, and take pictures of flowers. As some of you know me well, I have very shaky hands, and it doesn't allow for great photos lately.  But my iPhone has completely changed that.  It must have some built in anti-shake or something, because I can do no wrong! It also captures really great detail in moving shots, like my boys splashing in the pool.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and are enjoying the summer as well!
Kyle and Logan having a splashing great time!
I love Logan's expression in the back.
Following in Mom's footsteps and watering my plants.

My favorite flowers are Dahlias, any kind.
More pretty!
Cosmos flower
Morning Glory opens up early am...
Morning glory in middle of the day, closed up tight.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Simple Can of Paint

In home renovation, painting is one of the easiest ways to get the most wow for the dollar. Or at least I think so.  But then again I also paint for a anything with a brush I am biased for. For $50 and some manual labor you can easily change your wall color, creating a whole different feel in a room.  It also happens to be a great way to change your kitchen cabinetry for the fraction of the cost of a full kitchen renovation.

A lot of my clients want to update their kitchen look without breaking the bank, and lets face it, the cost of new cabinets is a lot, add on a contractor to install them, someone to demo the old cabinets, and chances are you would need new countertops and maybe even new backsplash.

And before....

In comes paint!  We were recommended to our client by Amanda from Suite Pieces, and Susan and I were introduced.  Before I get into Susan's kitchen project, let me tell you about Susan.  She is a an artist and a huge DIY'er.  She has a wonderful blog Homeroad, and sells a lot of her goodies on Etsy.  When we first met, I could barely concentrate on what we were talking eyes kept drifting to look around at all of her projects.  Her home is what I envision my home to be one day when there aren't little boys running around to break things.  Every where I looked was something so simple, yet stunning and effective, and done without costing a fortune.

The After!

Who wouldn't want to open their beverage this way? How cool!

Add caption

Susan gave me a door to try a sample on, she had done her cabinet in grey, and wanted the remaining in a white.  We mixed up a blend of two whites, and came up with a creamy color.  After seeing the sample, Susan loved the color, but wanted to bring the grey into the rest of the kitchen. So the above cabinetry was painted a cream, the lower grey, and a beautiful soft satin varnish applied. The edges were distressed slightly to give an old worn look.  The cabinets were not in the best condition, over 20 years old, but had good bones.  Some TLC gave them a new lease on life.  It was an absolute pleasure working with Susan on her kitchen and I am so excited I was able to help her "blend" her kitchen into the rest of her home.
Up close detail of the simple sanded edges.
The best part about painting the cabinets was seeing Susan's reaction when she came home to a completely finished kitchen.  We painted the doors in the studio, so we wouldn't wreak havoc on her busy home, and then installed them at the very end. She was thrilled! So for your next project, try giving the bathroom vanity, or kitchen cabinets a paint face lift.  Instant gratification!