Studio 8 happenings: Hosting Fun!

Welcome to Artworks Spokane

We welcomed 36 Chalk Paint® stockists last week for National Training with Barb Skivington.

Ya know that after party glow? We’ve been living in it for the past week – remembering favorite moments, recounting fantastic sample board designs, and relishing the blessing of new friendships! November 6th and 7th we were honored to have Barb Skivington and 36 Chalk Paint® stockists for a National Training Seminar. If you don’t know or haven’t figured out… we LOVE throwing a party. And when Chalk Paint®, sample boards, food, and fellow artists are going to be creating together… well, we consider that a party! This week came on the coattails of our Grand Opening celebration at Artworks Coeur d’Alene the weekend prior. If you don’t know or haven’t figured out, we love a challenge as well! And can I just say, we pulled it off! Studio 8 received a major overhaul and redesign – that’s for another blog… this time I want to talk about my stockist friends and the fun we had with Barb! What a phenomenal trainer/teacher! Her infectious laugh and light spirit made everyone comfortable and at ease.

Barb Skivington teaches Chalk Paint® stocists.

Barb made the classroom portion of the training fun and interesting.

The training began with a review of our standards as stockists. We had several classroom sessions and each one was packed with technique review, product information, common challenges as stockists, and business savvy.

Class time with Barb Skivington

What a beautiful group of ladies. They came from Arizona, Calgary, AL, California, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington.

We had our work room set up to accommodate these gals.

Our classroom and custom job finishing area - all clean for the training.A

This room is THIS clean about twice a year. Don’t misunderstand – we strive for this clean, but with custom jobs and show booth construction… it just doesn’t happen. We LOVE it when it looks like this.

Neatly stacked sample boards and Chalk Paint® cans standing at attention.

Supplies were laid out and ready for use. (The cans are so clean.)

After a time in the “class room” everyone headed back to get started doing what they do best – PAINTING!! These ladies were just chomping at the bit to get started mixing color, slapping paint brushes around and trying something new!

Final instruction is given to the National Stockists before diving into the Chalk Paint®.

Final instruction is given before turning everyone loose!

paint on the plate to promote the mixing of colors.

Promoting the mixing of colors… this was FUN!

The board you see in the picture above is a Bohemian sample. Encouraged to mix new colors and hues then paint fun patterns outside “the box”, everyone was tapping their well of creativity.

Wednesday night we took all our new friends to see our NEW Coeur d’Alene store. Artworks Coeur d’Alene was buzzing with artists for a moment and then it was off to dinner. What a fun filled day!

a field trip to the Coeur d'Alene store in the Riverstone Village gave our guests some evening activities.

Barb and Peggy pause for a snapshot. Our store is decked out for fall and ready to inspire!

By day two our workshop looked a little more like normal. Check out the supply table:

Chalk Paint® cans looking more "normal" after use.

Those little cans all lined up and ready for use… They are serving the front lines of creativity right there! Those are battle wounds worn proudly! They look exhausted!

Not only was the supply table looking a bit worn, but every place that could house a drying sample board was doing just that! Everywhere you turned surfaces were being used. I was able to get some shots of those Bohemian boards – but I’ll let each stockist share their own. :)

sample boards finding a safe place to dry.

These samples are safe under a work table. There are more on the shelves, propped against the legs of tables and supply bins, and the chosen few rest atop the table in plain sight.

It was a fun-filled two days. Not a down moment for boredom. We were so thrilled to open our studio and host our fellow stockists and Barb. But what’s a get together without a family picture? Being women we understood the importance of recording this gathering…

National Stockist Training with Barb Skivington 2013 at Artworks Spokane.We also understand the importance of our work….

Bohemian style sample boards

Some are peeking through… cheaters. ;)

Thank you to all the stockists that made this meeting a priority, purchased your plane ticket, booked your hotel room, and graced us with your presence. It was a wonderful time and we hope to be able to host you all again soon.

Until then…

Please feel free to leave a comment, share our post, follow our blog, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, link to us on linkedin… We’ll continue to share what inspires us, what transpires in the Studio and on the job, and what fuels our fire!

Artworks Spokane

Now with the launch of a second location in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we thought it necessary to explain the differences between the purpose of the two locations.

Artworks Spokane building facade

Artworks Spokane’s Studio in Spokane Valley, WA. Prepare to be Inspired

Since 1994 Artworks Spokane has been developing into a decorative arts authority here in Spokane, Washington. Nancy has been known and recognized nationally for her teaching abilities, knowledge, and technique. Along with classes in Faux, Concrete, and Plasters, Artworks Spokane specializes in custom contracting. In 2010 we opened the doors to our Marietta studio, Studio 8, with the sole purpose of having a location where finishes are displayed, clients can meet around a design table and discuss options, classes can be held with plenty of room and inspiration, and supplies can be purchased for do-it-yourself projects.

custom work by Artworks Spokane

From Left to Right: Plaster wall finish with Aspen Tree relief; Custom built wine rack buffet; Covered sun porch concrete overlay floor; Decorative Concrete overlay countertop

Artworks Spokane focuses on the Contracting side of a very creative business. “Transforming Ordinary Surfaces into Works of Art” is our tagline and it is what we pride ourselves on doing. Just about any surface that stands still long enough can be transformed into something beautiful! Walls, Floors, Countertops, Showers, Ceilings, Cabinetry, Furniture, Driveways, Patios and more, are just a few of the surfaces we specialize in transforming. We also hold classes in the studio. These classes range in skill level from beginner to the contractor seeking new certifications. The showroom has been finished with many of the techniques we offer and holds thousands of samples available by our highly qualified and trained team of artisans. We still sell Chalk Paint® and we carry many other sundries needed to get your job done, as well as the products to the classes we teach.

A few of our favorite things at the Coeur d'Alene store

CdA specializes in Chalk Paint®, hand painted furniture, pottery and glass, teas and florals.

Now, what is different about Coeur d’Alene? Artworks Coeur d’Alene is an extension of Artworks Spokane. This location is a boutique featuring hand painted furniture, home decor, and Chalk Paint®. Artworks Cd’A is a retail driven location. Both stores carry the tagline “transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art”. In our Coeur d’Alene store this is found in everything we have for purchase. The hand painted furniture has been transformed to breathe new life and begin a second phase. We only choose the highest quality pieces to invest time in. As for the home decor and gifts? Each item entering our store has gone through a rigorous examination as to whether it falls under the tagline’s standards. Hand crafted jewelry, unique candles, pottery and glass, dinnerware and teas are just a few of the beautiful, high quality items you will find in our one-of-a-kind home decor boutique.

I hope this helps you in understanding the difference between the two locations. While both carry Chalk Paint® and feature our custom work, Spokane is designed to focus on the custom contracting side, and Coeur d’Alene is designed to cater to the retail end. We love beautiful things. We are passionate about transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art. And we support those who do!

Please feel free to leave a comment and share our blog. We love our clients, customers, and friends!

Studio 8 Happenings: Our Second Location

A couple weeks ago we posted a blog about Our New Store! It’s been a busy busy month! The time has finally come! Tomorrow we have a very, very soft opening scheduled. ;) We began this final week of preparation by purging the Spokane studio of all kinds of furniture and inventory to be displayed at the Coeur d’Alene boutique. I wish I would have taken pictures of the chaos here at the studio – but I was wrapped up in it myself… I can show you what Artworks Coeur d’Alene looked like when it received all the merchandise.

all the furniture in the center of the Coeur d'Alene studio

This is most of the “big” stuff from the Spokane Studio.

Of course, it gets much worse before it gets better.

more inventory coming into the Artworks Coeur d'Alene store

A little messier this time – and everything has been moved at least 4 times EACH!

With all that beautiful inventory going to the Coeur d’Alene store our Spokane studio is getting a fresh start.

The Spokane Studio finds itself with room to breathe!

Room for more beautiful custom works of art.

Now, the front area will feature all of our Chalk Paint® line as well as other product lines for sale, like Wood Icing, Royal Design Stenciling creams and tools, books, custom art, and much much more!

The front reception area now contains the Chalk Paint® line as well as other custom painting lines.

Upon entering the front door you can purchase your paint and all the necessary items to make your paint job a success.

With all these changes taking shape, we throw caution to the wind and open the doors in our Coeur d’Alene store this Sunday, September 1st (but if you happen to be out there on Saturday, we’ll be open then too)! Our store hours will be 11:00am – 7:00pm, daily. For more information on our second location check out our website/blog. If you can stand the “in between”, come visit us! We’re so thrilled to be branching out!

Studio 8 Happenings: A NEW STORE!!

We are so excited to announce a new adventure! We’re opening a location in Coeur d’Alene, ID. At the heart of Main Street in Riverstone Village you will find Artworks Coeur d’Alene. This location is going to feature mainly Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan’s entire line of products as well as gift items, home decor, furniture, and more! We want to keep you posted as we go through this fast month of set up so here are the first shots from our new location… a blank slate if you will.

Riverstone Village

The view of Riverstone Village. Our shop is right behind the tan SUV.

We’re ordering a sign, painting everything we can find, dreaming dreams, and drafting plans! The floor and walls will be painted with Chalk Paint® as well as the vast majority of furniture and displays. Here’s a shot of the bare-bones beginning. The floor has been prepped for painting.

bare bones beginning

Just waiting for all that cool decor and inventory!

The new store’s logo will have the same look and feel as our current “mother ship” in Spokane Valley.

Artworks Coeur d'Alene sign

“New” logo

Stay tuned for more as we spend LOTS of time there in the next couple weeks. You can also check our facebook page for updates on how things are going.

Custom Fun: A mish mash of stuff…

OK – ya know what? We’re just like most of you. Sometimes we forget to take “Before” pictures… or we forget to send them to me – the blogger/graphic designer. But, it’s ok. Today, I’m going to show you a mish mash of stuff we’ve been up to. All of these projects have been completed by our muralist and faux finisher, Peggy Best. She’s awesome! Take a look at what she’s been up to the past three weeks.

Remember the restoration project we blogged about a few weeks ago (the one with all the smoke damage and Peggy on the high, high, high scaffold)? This is a photo of one of the bathroom vanities she glazed. Isn’t the architecture GORGEOUS?!

Custom bathroom vanitiesThis mural was done in one of the bedrooms in an adult group home.

mural of flowers in bedroomThis client wanted a faux niche above this fine furniture. I love how the bricks fade out… she’s talented I tell you!

faux niche That same client wanted Peggy to transform this beautiful armoire. Love the unexpected color inside.

chalk paint® armoireHere we had a painted fire place surround. The clients wanted it a bit softer. She glazed each brick – looks totally natural!

colored rock fireplaceThis is a custom painting. The “before” of this picture can be seen in any art store that carries blank canvases. ;)

custom paintingAnd this is what it looks like above her mantle! AMAZING!

custom painting installedAnd finally, she helped these homeowners make their surround “blemish free”… can you find the speakers?

hidden speakersHow’s that for a mish mash?

How To: 5 Affordable Ways to Update Your Kitchen

It happens… eventually. We can’t help it. Most kitchens will need updating at some point or another. Just the mention of updating your kitchen can bring dollar signs to your mind and a rapid heartbeat to your chest. Unless “unlimited funds” is something you can claim, most of us find ourselves looking for an affordable way to keep our homes up-to-date.  Whether you are wanting to stay on top of the trends or get your home ready for resale, there are affordable ways to keep it current. Realtors say the two areas people look at first are kitchens and bathrooms. Sounds like the best place to start!

We want to share five affordable ways to update your kitchen, the hub of the home.

ONE: Refinish Your Cabinets

Oak cabinets with a Graphite blend

Oak cabinets with a facelift of a custom Graphite blend.

Repainting your cabinets may seem like a huge undertaking, but you save 1/2 – 2/3 what you would spend on replacing your cabinets! Older cabinets are also generally made with real wood and not pressed board. As long as your cabinets are in good shape, a facelift will often suffice for an update. Not to mention, painted cabinets are the “hot” trend right now. When Artworks does a custom kitchen finish we use only the highest quality paints for durability. These products are specifically designed for cabinets and furniture as opposed to general wall paint, therefore they are light-fast and non-fading.

The finishes available to you are almost limitless. Between color, technique, and cabinet style – no two jobs are alike! We have transformed golden oak cabinets to cherry with water based stains that do not require sanding. We have added texture to create dimension and detail, transforming ordinary, plain cabinets into unique pieces of art. We can transfer images (even your own photographs) onto the surface, then stain or glaze to truly customize your cabinet doors.  There are options that include metallic foils, paints, glazes, waxes, and plasters. From french country to ultra modern, there is a solution that is just right for you. Your cabinets can be the focal point to a perfectly stunning kitchen for a fraction of the cost of new cabinetry.

Our studio is full of cabinet and furniture finish samples. Let us help you figure out the product best suited for your desired finish.

Old White and Provence kitchen cabinets

These cabinets got some extra love! Old White covers the Golden Oak and Provence was used to embellish the detail of the doors. The PERFECT hardware was found and installed to complete the look. Although you can’t see it – the island was done in contrasting fashion. The base is Provence.

awesome glass hardware for updated cabinets

I told you! This hardware was practically MADE for these cabinets. Sometimes the perfect find seems almost custom!

TWO: Resurface Your Countertops

There are so many options for your countertop. You may find yourself overwhelmed with all the choices, lingo, and cost comparisons. Laminate, Granite, Tile, Silestone, Corian, Marble, Man-Made Composite countertops, Concrete – each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s purpose and attraction. We have done our research to guarantee we know the benefits and limitations of each one. Our specialty is with concrete overlays. We offer the following concrete options:

SkimStone™ – a hybridized Portland cement that is troweled directly onto your surface. This product is very thin and can go over old or new substrates when properly prepared.

SkimStone countertops

SkimStone Countertops: This product goes over tile, laminate, concrete, corian, new substrate, etc.

DesignerTops™ – highly engineered concrete overlays for incredible bonding to both existing and newly fabricated countertop and vanity surfaces.

Granicrete Countertops

DesignerTops countertops have options other overlays cannot provide – glass pieces, stone, mica flecks, etc. embedded into the surface.

Formed Concrete – Using concrete specifically designed for “poured in place” fabrication, these countertops are constructed on-site, making for a seamless countertop.

Poured in place concrete countertops

“Poured in place” concrete countertops offer a contemporary look with seamless installation.

In order to keep from writing a novel about the differences of each surface (including the surfaces you are more familiar with) I will compare just one aspect of each of these surface options: color/artistic freedoms – the ability to control/manipulate color.

Granite: No – color and grain can differ from sample, it is best to choose at the stone yard.

Ceramic Tile: Sort of – it comes in many colors and patterns. As for artistic pattern – many things can be embellished and customized. There is also the possibility of mosaic.

Solid Surfacing: Sort of – it also comes in many colors and styles, including those that mimic concrete and stone. Stone finishes can look more uniform than natural.

Laminate: Sort of – this also comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Now for the products we specialize in:

SkimStone™: Yes – this product can mimic venetian plaster and stone looks, endless patterns, textures, stenciled or hand-painted designs – the possibilities are endless. With 90 standard color and shade options we can create custom colors by layering colors and tints.

DesignerTops™: Yes – the design possibilities are unlimited! Unlike Granite your color options are endless enabling you to customize your countertop to the surrounding room – not the other way around! You can also have more depth, texture, and movement with the addition of glass pieces, rocks, mineral flakes, etc. Achieve a very high end look without the cost!

Formed Concrete: Sort of – The artistic limitations with this are bound by forms, stamps and product base color. There is a white mix and a grey mix, both of which can be dyed or textured.

With a concrete overlay you can go right over your existing countertop, as long as your countertops are secure and not falling apart. Decorative Concrete Overlays are a very affordable solution to updating your counter. The options can look like concrete, granite, marble, stone, etc. The formed concrete countertops require more prep in removing the existing counter and building a form onsite. For more information on each of the products listed above, download our comparison sheet.

And as with the cabinet samples, we have hundreds of concrete countertop samples to view in our studio. We also pride ourselves on custom sample boards before we begin your job.

Don’t be overwhelmed or settle for what you think are your only options. We are happy to walk you through the design process and give you a countertop you’ll cherish (or be proud to put on the market).

THREE: Restore Your Floor

epoxy floor done by Artworks Spokane

Imagination is the only limitation when it comes to your kitchen floor.

Your floor is another surface that can make or break your room. There are limitless possibilities for restoring your floor: tile, hard wood, linoleum, laminate… we offer several options that are quite affordable AND unique: concrete overlays, acid finishing, marquetry staining, concrete polishing, epoxy coatings, and paint.

Concrete Overlays: These floors are seamless, custom, and quite contemporary. The product can go over radiant heat and many existing floors. We use two products when finishing a floor with concrete – SkimStone™ and Elitecrete™. The color and stenciling options for SkimStone™ are limitless. Elitecrete offers more texture and a different approach for coloring.

Concrete Overlay Floors by Artworks Spokane

Concrete overlays can be neutral or focal – they can cause the floor to “disappear” or POP.

Acid Finishing: This technique is done to an existing concrete floor or over a new concrete overlay. The concrete can be troweled with texture or smoothly to give you the look you are going for.

Acid Floors done by Artworks Spokane

Acid stained floors have subtle movement and are one of a kind.

Marquetry Staining: Marquetry: (n) Inlaid work made from small pieces of variously colored wood or other materials.

This technique is a great way to take a new or existing hard wood floor and make it a focal point. With stencils and wood stains this process can make your hard wood floor look as though it has marquetry patterns and embellishments at a fraction of the cost!

Marquetry staining done by Artworks Spokane

Marquetry can be done on wood and cork.

Concrete Polishing and/or Dye Stains: This is another option for existing concrete floors. Most people don’t realize when concrete is polished it brings out the beauty of the aggregate and the unique features in each pour. The finished product is honed and compacted to such a high degree it is virtually stain resistant and maintenance free. The look is modern and clean.

Polished concrete done by Artworks Spokane

Polished concrete has a beautiful sheen – adds the feel of quality. The color from the dye stains in this yogurt shop gives character and charm.

Epoxy Coatings: This technique is pictured in the beginning of the kitchen section (the checkerboard floor). Epoxy coatings are extremely durable, seamless, and have a myriad of design options! There are additives that can be added to the epoxy to give it shimmer and texture. Colors are swirled together or solid. Patterns can be implemented as well as designs, typically done underneath the layer of epoxy. The end result is a smooth glossy finish.

Collage of Epoxy Coating floors done by Artworks Spokane

Epoxy Coatings bring interest and depth.

Chalk Paint®: This option for flooring has gotten a bad rap. If done improperly it can be devastating to have it wear off so quickly however, when done correctly and with the proper sealers the result is fantastic and it doesn’t get much more affordable. If your floor is in good shape, you just want a change, you can paint a new design. Chalk Paint®, Annie Sloan’s paint adheres to most surfaces without priming or sanding! Imagine your favorite image as one large graphic on your kitchen floor, or a border with solid colors. This option opens endless possibilities.

Chalk Paint® floor cloth done by Artworks Spokane.

A floor painted with Chalk Paint®. Sealed with three coats of Lacquer for durability. This floor cloth has weathered three Home Shows.

FOUR: How to Select Quality Products and Training

“I’ll just run to Home Depot/Lowe’s/Ace and get myself some stuff to do this.” Avoid the temptation! The products we use are specifically designed for superb performance and quality finishing. Run to Artworks. We can educate you on the products. We also offer workshops to train you how to finish most all of these surfaces. With so many products available to you it is easy to become confused and overwhelmed. We often have customers that come to us after something has gone wrong – discoloration, delamination, failure to cure, undesirable end color or result. We listen intently and guide each one in a direction that will provide them the results they desire! Sometimes we are handed the job to correct, but often our clients love doing it themselves and simply need some direction and knowledge. If you are getting ready to start a project and want to make sure your techniques and products are best for the desired end result, feel free to stop in. One of our artisans will be happy to hear your game plan and make any suggestions as for product.

FIVE: Why use Artworks Spokane

Why should you hire Artworks to complete the job? There are so many reasons! Let me count the ways!

1) We are artists first, contractors second.

2) We love color and design.

3) We notice texture, fashion, trends, and color theory.

4) We pay attention to details, balance, and flow.

5) We think outside the box.

6) We love a challenge.

7) We thrive on transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art.

8) And finally, we crave this work. It is our passion and drive to make your vision a reality.

Most of us don’t want to take the time to invest in an update ourselves. And when we do tackle something of this nature we definitely don’t want to waste our time doing it over or repairing mistakes. The time it takes me to chop an onion is much greater than a trained chef (and it isn’t uniform – how do they do that so quickly AND keep all their fingers in tact, anyway?). The same goes for anything, really. When you are trained and practiced at your craft or passion, it comes quickly, efficiently, and with ease. Will it cost you more to have someone come and do the work for you (any work)? Probably, yes… most of the time, yes. Will you be thrilled with the end result? We guarantee it! We know what we’re doing and do it quickly, correctly, and beautifully.

What is your return on investment? Your time. Your peace of mind. Your satisfaction. We understand the chemistry of our products – what to mix and what to avoid mixing. When you hire Artworks Spokane you can be sure we will take the time to make your vision a reality. Leave it to the pros. You won’t be sorry.

Artworks Artisans

Artworks Team of Artisans will make your vision a reality.

Custom Fun: Cabinet Updates

Cabinets… the most popular interior custom job we have right now. Currently we have five on the leader board and more in the works!

Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint is allowing people to see the cost advantage to updating your existing cabinets rather than tearing them out and replacing with new. In most cases our clients spend a quarter of what it would cost to start over! That’s significant in this economy. It is good stewardship, green, and opens limitless possibilities for design and color options.

We thought it would be fun to share some before and after photos of our kitchen projects.

paris grey - old white combo kitchen

These cabinets received a custom color – a combination of Paris Grey and Old White. They also have clear wax followed by dark wax for that subtle antique effect.

kitchen upgrade - painted cabinets, new concrete countertops, updated hardware

You can see the awesome transformation in this kitchen. A pass through was created. The island has a new poured and polished concrete countertop. The cabinets got crown molding and a coat of Old White. Updated hardware gives the modern feel the homeowners were after. We also did a concrete overlay on the outlying countertops with a coordinating concrete overlay back splash.

detail of Old White kitchen

A close up of the Old White cabinets, hardware upgrade, concrete countertop (overlay), and back splash.

new red cabinets

Yep… She went RED!! A total update with Emperor’s Silk and minimal distressing. The hardware simply received a coat of paint.

close up of red cabinets

A close up of the red cabinets.

Oak cabinets with a Graphite blend

Another set of Oak cabinets with a facelift of a custom Graphite blend.

Graphite blend cabinets

Close up detail of the custom Graphite blend – with light distressing.

Old White and Provence kitchen cabinets

These cabinets got some extra love! Old White covers the Golden Oak and Provence was used to embellish the detail of the doors. The PERFECT hardware was found and installed to complete the look. Although you can’t see it – the island was done in the contrasting fashion. The base is Provence.

awesome glass hardware for updated cabinets

I told you! This hardware was practically MADE for these cabinets. Sometimes the perfect find seems almost custom!

Here’s a “peek” at some of the upcoming kitchens we have in the works:

  • Burgundy base cabinets with Grey uppers
  • Black door and drawer fronts with a combination French Linen and Pure White base
  • Custom Green base with Color Wash uppers

Some fun stuff coming up! We’ll be sure to feature our future kitchens as well! Until then… what could you do in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room?

White Room Challenge

Every year we participate in three Home Shows. This year the Premier Home Improvement Show, put on by the Spokane Home Builders Association, held a White Room Challenge. When they asked us to participate, we were all in! How fun to showcase our design abilities and finishes!!

There were three of us on board: Gregg Johnson with LGD Designs, Melissa Helvey with Gina’s Design Center, and Nancy Jones (me!) with Artworks Spokane. The project was to design a kitchen in a 10×12 space – floor to “ceiling”. There weren’t any stipulations. The timeframe: 4 days from framing to completion. BRING ON THE CHALLENGE!

Our theme was French Country.

kitchen storyboard

The storyboard shows our color theme and design feel.

We started by designing custom cabinets. Since we weren’t ordering these from a cabinet manufacturer but rather finishing them ourselves we had to work on them before the “white room challenge” timeframe. These were built and delivered to our studio. Once that overhead door was closed we hit the ground running! There was quite a bit of finishing to accomplish in a little over a week. Peggy, Carol, Annette, Mary, Robin, Kim, and myself worked on these cabinets!

cabinets before

Robin and Annette get busy prepping the cabinets for paint and stain.

We gained access to the space on Wednesday before the show. Kim went in to stain the beams of our faux ceiling and finish the walls with an acrylic plaster called SandStone. This plaster has ground up pecan shells that reveal a beautiful texture and movement when troweled back. This gave us the old world feel we wanted. John and Dave put the floor in at this time as well.

Thursday morning the cabinets were delivered and installed (ok, this took more than the morning). :) Once those were done we could begin decorating! Along with the cabinets we finished a bench with Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan fabrics. Throw in some pillows and table linens… and voila! Our french country kitchen is complete!

cabinets and bench

Our bench was created from the backs of two dining room chairs. Annie Sloan fabric pillows and cushion adorn the seat. The cabinets were a custom yellow/gold color for the uppers and a custom green mix for the lowers. Both mixes were made from 100% Chalk Paint® colors.

window mural french country landscape scene

Our muralist – Peggy, finished this beautiful countryside garden mural to hang outside our window. We used a shop light behind the display to backlight the art, giving it depth.

left_side of the kitchen

Our corner cabinet had built in space for a wine refrigerator and microwave.

hutch-table duo

No country kitchen is complete without a china hutch. ;) Our table slides under the countertop for optimum space management.

Artworks White Room Kitchen

And here is our finished product!

We had so much fun competing in this challenge! When show-goers voted for their favorite kitchen design they were also entered into a drawing for $4,000.00 worth of kitchen appliances donated by Fred’s Appliance. You can imagine our delight when the winners were a couple just getting ready to move into their first home!

fred's appliance winners

Sheena and her husband won the drawing for $4,000.00 worth of appliances from Fred’s Appliance. So happy for them!

And finally, this is Gregg Johnson, of LGD Design. He built this kitchen design. (He won the contest… by something like 25 votes.)

Gregg Johnson kitchen design

Modern-Eclectic-Awesomeness. Each kitchen had a completely different feel.

And Melissa of Gina’s Design Center brought this clean, sleek design to the contest.

Gina's Design Center Kitchen design for the White Room Challenge

Ultra clean with a combination of modern elements and traditional architecture. We loved the illuminated cabinets and under lower cabinet lighting.

I think that about sums it up. We received a really cool time-lapse movie for participating. We have uploaded it to our YouTube channelfacebook page, and soon on our website. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Until next time, we’ll keep transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art!

A Design Story: Show Booth 2013

It’s time to reveal our Show Booth for 2013! This has been a fun process! We’ve recorded photos each day as our booth comes together and posted them to our facebook page but saved the debut “all-in-one” overview for our blog! Taking the surfaces from last year’s booth we have transformed them from an eclectic combination of rooms to a “Modern Vintage” unified “home”.

Here is what we started out with…

Kitchen and Patio from our 2012 booth

Bath and Foyer of our 2012 booth

We try to balance our booth design with what’s trending and what will impress our clients.  So this year we chose a Modern Vintage theme. Refurbishing old pieces and thrift store shopping has become very popular in this economy. We are also seeing a turn in the trends toward glitz, shine and luxurious surfaces and textiles (while this trend has been around awhile all over the rest of the country… we think Spokane is finally ready for it). So we combined the two! We’ve taken old pieces and given them new life with paint, accessories, and bling. We chose a modern color scheme of White/Pearl, Silver, Black/Graphite, Red, and Mustard.

We will begin with our patio…

show booth patio

The exterior wall remained the same. It was such a hit last year and the finish is perfect for the Northwest. The “patio” floor has been refinished in grey tones. There are four different textures. The island consists of vertical concrete carved to mimic stones and a poured concrete countertop. The outdoor fireplace also has vertical concrete carved stones as well as a stamped concrete “log” mantel. That baby is HEAVY!

And now on to the Master Bedroom (formerly the kitchen)…

show booth master bedroom

All the furniture in this space received some kind of new finish. The bed frame was painted black. The armoire was finished with a combination of foils, Chalk Paint®, and crackle size, and the silver shelf above the bed started out as a wooden box. Decorative molding was added to the outside edges to create the frame and the entire piece painted in metallic paint. The bedding consists of Annie Sloan decorator fabrics and various other textiles for variation and depth. The bench at the foot of the bed was a $10.00 yard sale find – with nasty mustard velour. Naturally we couldn’t have that! So, out came more of the Charcoal Pastorale Toile. We recovered that bad boy and used black buttons… painted the frame black and PRESTO – the perfect piece for our “bedroom”. The floor was finished with SkimStone Decorative concrete to mimic marble tiles and a decorative border was added to define the space.

show booth master walls

Our bedroom has a ceiling so we could display options for a surface most people don’t consider. We embellished it with a stencil design to enhance the chandelier – a $12.00 thrift store find, which was painted and gussied up with pearls and jewels. The walls are finished with Lusterstone, an acrylic plaster. There is a linen plaster finish in silver on two walls and black and red Lusterstone on the fireplace wall. The red Lusterstone around the fireplace also received a stencil design to mimic “flames” done with Silver gilding wax.

On to the Master Bath (formerly the bath and foyer)…

show booth master bath

To start we covered the existing floor with an epoxy reflector topcoat. The color was made with a combination of gunmetal and titanium. Then sparkles were added to bring in the bling! The bathroom features etched glass on the shower “door”, poured vertical concrete walls with an embedded finish to give the appearance of 1″ tiles. The “tiles” are actually grooves going different directions that catch the light and give the appearance of different sheens. So the two back walls of the shower are seamless poured concrete. The fittings for the AWESOME shower fixture were measured before the pour.

show booth master bath walls

The walls bring their own dimension to the room. The red wall is simply paint with flowers in silver leaf. The “pearl” wall at the end of the vanity is an acrylic plaster with metallic waxes for added depth. And finally, the black wall is the same finish as the master bedroom, black Lusterstone. The vanity was an old buffet that we painted with Chalk Paint® and then waxed using the silver gilding wax. And the top… OH PLEASE!! The top was just a plain ol’ buffet top made of wood… that wasn’t good enough for our vanity – so we used a decorative concrete overlay and made it look like Carrera marble.

And finally – this year we expanded our booth by 10′ x 20′ on the back side. This is to accommodate the popularity of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. Here is the kitchen…

show booth kitchen layout

This area is where we will be giving hands on demonstrations with Chalk Paint®. That AWESOME cerused oak table top (that my daughters thought looked like zebra) is where the demos will take place. All of our cabinets are the 80′s golden oak refinished with Chalk Paint! The countertop on the Arles cabinets is a SkimStone decorative concrete overlay in Industrial Gray as is the countertop on the Graphite and Arles cabinet island – that one in Butterscotch. The hardware was spray painted – some in silver and some in oiled bronze. Talk about TRANSFORMATION!!!

show booth kitchen cabinets

chalk paint floor

And how could I forget the floor?!!? This floor is a remnant piece of linoleum turned over and painted with Chalk Paint®. The border has stripes of all the colors and each color name is painted with it’s color… does that make sense? So much fun! It was sealed with Annie Sloan Lacquer and has held up in our retail space as well as our fall show in 2012.

What a JOB! We’ve been hustling around here for the past four weeks finishing this booth. I’m sure it will pay off. The finished product is spectacular. But don’t take our word for it… come see us at the show or before hand in our studio. This week is open house week and our booth won’t be set up in studio again this year! So don’t delay!! We want as many people to see this as possible! Come get a sneak peek!!

How To… Studio 8 happenings

For the past year we have been hosting free demo days the first Saturday of the month. These have been wildly successful. People are all-to-happy to gather some information for free. These need to be well planned as we have limited time with each crowd. We thought you might enjoy a peak into the brain of our most recent demo presenter – our very own Carol Herrmann. This lady is very talented when it comes to discovering new ways to use old products… she calls herself a creative problem solver, and that is just what she did with a couple of clear glass plates from the dollar store, some webbing spray, and metallic leaf.

Well, my friends, you missed a fabulous, FREE demo last Saturday (December 1, 2012). Fun was had by all! But in order to have fun I had to get my creative self organized. Here are 4 steps to a successful demonstration:

  1. Pick an exciting topic: OK, we did that – Painting on Glass. Now… what to demonstrate on? Since I have several demo times I need to have several of the same item. After some shopping around and brain storming I settled on the perfect item. Glass plates from the dollar store! It’s not the theme window designs at the local market, although those are lovely, these Libby glass plates are transformed! When complete they will be festive and full of sparkle, glam, gold, silver, and/or copper. They could make a great gift, especially if they are accompanied with frosted sugar cookies.
  2. Of course in order for this to be a true success I need to market the event ahead of time. As part of our marketing ploy, and to encourage early registration, we offered a door prize drawing from the names of those pre-registered. Our prize? One of the plates I finish during the demos! Two birds with one stone!
  3. Time Management: I did some of my steps in advance. Nobody wants to watch paint dry – besides, I don’t know that many jokes. So, I had plates finished at each stage of the design. This allowed me to demonstrate and keep moving forward.

    glass display

    Some examples for viewing and products being used during the demonstration are displayed and ready to sell.

  4. Know your products: I have so many amazing products on my studio shelves. Let me see… where can I use this glow-in-the-dark iridescent powder? If I can’t use it on this project, I’m fairly certain I can use it on the next!… Perhaps I could use my glass plate as a night light….?
  5. demonstrating Chalk Paint™ on glassAudience Participation: This step makes for an interesting demo and gives the “students” more of an interactive experience rather than a lecture. I know I need to make color decisions, but sometimes I just can’t do it and need to take some suggestions from my co-workers. They always have great ideas too! So, during the demo when I couldn’t decide between Annie’s Napoleonic Blue or Old Violet, I polled the audience. (It is important to give them the illusion of involvement.) ;) Some liked the royal blue that Napoleonic portrays and others liked the grayed down purple of Old Violet. After a vote, (of which I participated in… and carried more weight than any other voter from the audience… ha ha ha) – Old Violet won! (And may I say, it looked smashing with the silver metallic snow flake in the middle of that glass plate! It doesn’t hurt that Old Violet is one of my favorites in the library of Chalk Paint™ colors!)
finished plate and teacher

Fabulous!! Thank you, Old Violet and silver leaf and webbing, for your generous contribution to this once “plain Jane” glass plate.

The four finished plates are lovely. The techniques and products demonstrated are too numerous to mention. Clear glass is abundant! And, 3/16″ tempered glass with sanded edges in a rectangle cut would make a fantastic center piece for a table. You can also use it for candles or cheese and crackers or a fruit tray… the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

As promised, we held our drawing on the following Monday. Our lucky winner was Kathy Dompier! She came down to the studio and chose one of the 4 plates we had finished during the three demos. She chose my favorite! The Florence/Napoleonic Blue plate with gold leaf embellishments.

door prize winnerThat’s it, in a nutshell. We enjoy our demo days and appreciate all the people who come to learn. Look for more demos in 2013. We’re busy planning one for every first Saturday! Check out our website for the calendar (after January 1) of upcoming demos and watch our facebook page for specific announcements.