DIY, Inspiration

Painting Stripes

I have these little wooden stools dotted all over my house  – very handy for reaching things or as a little shelf – I bought them years ago for peanuts and they have been painted many colours over the years. I have been doing a lot of redecorating lately. I am so in love with intelligent matt emulsion from Little Greene – it goes on beautifully to walls or woodwork leaving a gorgeous chalky finish that is quite hardy, so while I have the brushes out I start grabbing things about the house and painting them.

I repainted these stools and then decided to add a casual ticking stripe inspired by one of my favourite Rachel Barker mugs…..

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So I used an old plastic ruler as my guide and let the paint brush do its thing.

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Its ok to have the odd blob as it is the imperfections that make it I think!

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Stripey feathers from the beach on stripes..

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you could apply this to any piece of wooden furniture – if it is used a lot  – a coat of matt varnish on top might help

now why I can paint next………*scans room………

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Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Stickman

Yesterday on a rainy Sunday afternoon I popped up to see my friend James Carroll to talk wood & woodlands.

James is a craftsman, designer and lover of wood in all its forms. For me, as an interiors stylist, he is an invaluable person for me to be able to call on, as wood for me is a very important component in any interior and indeed, exterior. I think it keeps us grounded, who we are and where we come from. If you think about it, it has always been used in interiors right from our beginnings. I love that in hand made pieces of furniture there is a patina and a provenance even if the piece is newly made. A few years ago, James made me this beautiful wide bench, very characteristic of his own style with the bark kept on the legs. This currently divides my dining area from a seating area housing lots of books and a big sturdy lamp. It is also often carried out to the garden when there is a load of us gathering around the garden table. Every house should have a bench!

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I have designed a rustic dining room for my stand at the Ideal Home Show later this week. I have spent weeks planning every detail as I want to illustrate to people how effective decorative display can be when it is coupled with carefully chosen paint colours. I woke up one morning last week with a vision in my head of place mats which I will be needing for the table when its laid out. I didn’t want bog standard place mats, I envisaged slices of wood that would sit perfectly with the rough linens and antique cutlery I have already selected. So I gave James a call and described what I had in my head, and hey presto, he made them for me.

They are made from sequoia wood – a redwood tree that I had never heard of – you learn something new everyday! – and they have a beautiful dual tone to them.

So yesterday I visited James in his workshop in the Wicklow Mountains to collect them. They are perfick.

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James in his workshop

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The proud craftsman

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and here they are doing their job …..

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The next project is to create a large rectory table with benches, something special that would be the absolute heart of a home, where people perhaps sit working at one end and gather around the other.

James’s website is http://stickman.ie

Have a look.

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Art, Interior Style

Painted Rows of Houses

I have been working on some new rows of houses over the last couple of weeks. As in my printmaking and paintings I have a thing for bockety houses and  I can’t resist using lots of colours just as houses in rural irish villages & towns are painted to this day.

They are carved from offcuts from the local shed builder  – he gives me firewood but I am always on the lookout for pieces of wood that could make good miniature buildings.

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After marking out on the pieces of wood what could go where, they are carved and the chimneys are added.

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Then I paint them, each house individually with three coats with tones of terracotta for the chimneys.

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and finally the details are painted – the doors and every single window pane

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There are a few available at the moment:

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this row of three houses: measuring approx 12cm in length and 4cm in height, cost £50 + p&p

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this row of eight #2: measuring approx 29cm in length and 5cm in height, cost £125 + p&p

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row of five: measuring approx 18cm in length and 5cm in height, cost £75 + p&p

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this row of eight #1: measuring approx 29cm in length and 5cm in height, cost £125 + p&p

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detail of row of eight #2

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Think of them as 3D original paintings, that can sit on shelves or ledges or door surrounds or they are so light they can be just blu-tacked to the wall or even put in a box frame.

 

some new ones…..

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