January 12, 2012

Paint it Black (part deux)

Posted in Inspiration tagged , at 10:20 am by tesoropaint

The question has been asked- Are there any particular shades of black that I recommend and/or are considering. To answer that question honestly, I have not painted a wall black in a very long time. And the last time I did, I was troweling a silver glaze over the top, so I think the exact shade of black was not so important. I do, however, have a couple of swatches in mind for “The Black Dining Room.”

Benjamin Moore's Iron Mountain
Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain (BM 2134-30) is a gray-er “almost black” instead of a traditional deep black. My thoughts behind this are: Even though the room faces west, the window doesn’t get much sunlight because of how the garage is situated. The window basically sits in shade all day. So it’s going to look like black without light, but when the lights are on I expect the color will take on some depth and interest. This one has a bit more cool blue undertones as opposed to…
Benjamin Moore's Night Horizon
Benjamin Moore’s Night Horizon
Night Horizon (BM 2134-10). This one is another almost black but the difference is that this color is slightly warmer. I like it for the same reasons I like Iron Mountain but I also do like the warmer undertone. I wonder if because the window is mostly shaded, will the warmer color balance out the blue undertones of the diffused natural light? Of course warmer colors in this hue can take on a weird purple-ish brown look in some incandescent lighting, so it will be interesting to see how the swatches look on the walls. I will post a follow-up when we get into the house and get some paint swatches up on the walls.
Which one do you prefer? Or do you know of another black I should try?

January 10, 2012

Paint it Black

Posted in Inspiration tagged , at 2:55 pm by tesoropaint

Our impending move has me dreaming of adding some drama and sophistication to our new home. I would like to begin in the formal dining room, as it is the first room you see upon entering the house.  But I am not a huge color person in my own home, probably because I look at bright colors every day in my work.  SO I thought, “Why not add drama by painting some walls black?” I know what you are thinking… “Black?! Uh…Ok.” (That’s pretty much what hubby said when I mentioned it a few weeks back.) But the right color of black, balanced with warm wood tones and lots of white molding can be a showstopper.  Here’s a few looks I am liking. I would love to know your thoughts.
  • This elegant, dramatic dining room from VanTosh and Associates is a great example of how black doesn’t have to be dark and overpowering. Notice the oversized white moldings, light fabrics and the use of crystal to balance out the heaviness of the darker walls. Stunning!
Black Dining Room from VanTosh and Associates

Black Dining Room from VanTosh and Associates

  • How about this gorgeous room by Atmosphere Interior Designs? I’m especially digging the heavy wood dining table and the Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis wallpaper. You could easily create the look with a stencil. Cutting Edge Stencils makes a similar design that I used in my old house. It just might have to make an appearance in the new house as well!
Black Dining Room from Atmosphere Interior Designs
  • Another great example from Nordby Design Studio incorporates a pop of chartreuse to keep the composition interesting. I love how the additional color and the light wood floors warm the cool tones of the blacks and grays.

Black Dining with a pop of bold color from Nordby Design Studio

So what are your thoughts on painting black walls? Dark and dreary or dramatic and elegant?

January 6, 2012

All that glitters…

Posted in Inspiration tagged at 2:03 pm by tesoropaint


Champagne pink metallic paint with gold glitter wash









How about champagne pink metallic paint and gold glitter for the little princess in your life? This would be perfect as an accent wall or on a piece of furniture with crystal pulls. I know a sweet little girl who will be begging Mom to paint this somewhere in her new bedroom!

February 4, 2010

Frugally Fabulous

Posted in Education, Inspiration at 9:39 am by tesoropaint

Every time I pass the magazine section in the grocery store I feel a stabbing pain of longing for my old friends Veranda, Traditional Home and Architectural Digest (and Metropolitan Home, House Beautiful, Elle Decor…). I gaze wantonly at their glossy covers as if their luxury furnishings and stunning photos are whispering only to me. I will just flip through, not buy it… Suddenly I break from my trance and one word in red warning letters flashes in my mind– “RECESSION”.

Darn this economy! I am so sick of this economic holding pattern we’ve been in. Consumer spending on home services is down anywhere from 15-20% (depending on which numbers you believe). Which means less people are spending (duh) and those who are are spending less (duh again). I’m so sick of frugal I want to scream!

But what if we could make frugal into truly fabulous? So, we’re spending less. We’re also going out less which means we’re sitting home dreaming of inexpensive ways to make our houses pretty. What if we could take items we already own (or really cheap items from the local thrift store) and turn them into items worthy of Veranda or Elle Decor?

We think you can! We are pleased to introduce Frugally Fabulous by the Tesoro Decorative Paint Source. In this class series we take high-end designer rooms straight from the pages of popular interior design magazines and show you how to recreate the look using simple paint techniques. Yeah, the economy stinks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live with Frugally Fabulous style!

If you’re in the Dallas area come have fun with us! And if you can’t join us, visit Thrifty Decor Chick for some great ideas on how do decorate your home for less.

February 2, 2010

Selecting Paint Colors- Color with Confidence

Posted in Education, Inspiration, Products and Tools tagged , , , , , , , at 9:53 am by tesoropaint

I am obsessive about selecting appropriate paint colors. I see colors very distinctly, so a color that it just a hint of a shade off will scream at me. I remember one of my instructors told me years ago that (and please forgive my paraphrasing, I’ve given birth since then and my memory just ain’t what it used to be…) a mediocre finish done in great colors is passable, but a fabulous finish done in the wrong colors will never work. At the time I thought “Duh!” but as I established myself in my career, I realized that a) most people struggle with color and b) everyone perceives color slightly differently.

As an answer to the constant question of “Help! I don’t know what color to use in my house!” I offer you our newest seminar on February 10, 2010: “Choosing Color with Confidence” presented by award-winning Dallas designer Elaine Williamson, in cooperation with Frisco Paint.  Elaine’s expert eye will guide you through the complexities of choosing appropriate colors to create harmony and balance within your space. Your $30 course fee includes:
* Complete Color with Confidence course packet
* Coupons for substantial discounts at Frisco Paint and Tesoro Decorative Paint Source
* Full-sized color fan deck
* Fabulous door prizes

Elaine Williamson Designs

One of Elaine Williamson's fabulous rooms

Refreshments will be served. Space is limited so please register early. Visit our website at www.tesorodesigns.com for more information and to register online.

Could I teach this class myself? Sure. Would I be as good as Elaine? No way! This woman is amazing! By the way, I had to bribe her with lots of free finishes in her own home to get her to teach this one-of-a-kind class, so you definitely don’t want to miss out. (Alright, I didn’t bribe her. She’s way too nice to accept bribes…) So if you are in the Dallas area put February 10th on your calendar. If you aren’t local, sorry. You’re completely missing out!

February 1, 2010

A few of my (new) favorite things

Posted in Products and Tools at 11:33 pm by tesoropaint

On the job today, one of my finishers and I were having a discussion about our addictions to buying new finishing products- Specifically, my habit of running out and getting the newest “must have” product or that great new tool that promises to do everything but fix my post-work cocktail. And it occurred to me, suddenly, that my spending has been actually quite practical in the last year. I haven’t been scouting out the latest products for a hot new finish or dropping mad money on fun new tools. The crummy economy has proved a painful rehab for this product junky. And I so badly want to relapse!

So lets pretend that we are actually coming out on the other side of this recession, that more people are spending money on luxuries (like my custom finishes) again and that the artists of Tesoro Designs can afford a nice product binge. How would we spend our easy cash?

Apollo HVLP Turbine

Apollo 1200 HVLP turbine. This can be used with an HVLP gun to spray virtually any product. The MSRP of $2599 might be a little out of my current budget. But my post-recession dream budget says “bring it on!”

Grammercy Tools Oxhair Brushes

Grammercy Tools Oxhair Brushes

Ox-hair brushes from Grammercy Tools. Fine, professional quality brushes that leave almost no brush marks. The way I go through brushes, we had better be raking in the moolah, because these puppies retail for about $100 for the set of three.

Method Antique Fireplace

Method Finishing Old World Fireplace

A subscription to Method Finishing. I usually don’t see a need to learn other people’s finishes- I prefer to create my own. But the guys behind this site are so phenomenal, I would make an exception this once.

Plaster Hawk

Plaster Hawk

So, I realize that at a price of less than $20, a plaster hawk isn’t exactly an indulgence. But it sort of falls under the category of “duh, why didn’t I think of that sooner?” After nearly 10 years of digging my trowel straight into messy buckets of plaster, isn’t it about time I did it right? Put a little plaster on the top and hold it in my left hand while I trowel with the right. Imagine how much time (not to mention mess) I would save!

So there you have it- Our “post economic meltdown” wish-list. Since we’re dreaming, how about a shirtless hunk to schlep our scaffolding…?

January 31, 2010

Happy Belated New Year!

Posted in Inspiration tagged , at 10:46 pm by tesoropaint

In typical Jen fashion, my resolution to post more regularly lasted about as long as last year’s resolution to lose 20lbs. It’s not that I don’t have fabulous things to share about the world of decorative finishing, or don’t have time, even. I’m just awfully certain as I get older that I suffer from creative ADD (or as my DH says, some inexplicable incapability to finish any personal project I start). It’s a good thing I’m better about finishing stuff for clients!

So as I ponder where the first month of 2010 has gone and what exactly I have finished in said month, I think I will amend my previous resolution. I instead resolve to finish at least half of the projects I start this year, possibly a few I started last year, and trash anything leftover from 2008 or earlier (and there are many, if the state of my  studio is any indication). In that spirit I point you to one of my favorite blogs, written by a talented and thrifty gal who seems to ALWAYS finish what she starts. Read Centsational Girl’s recap of her completed projects in 2009 and be inspired to pick up some paint and get to decorating! I’ll be cleaning out the studio…

DIY Paint Project from Centsational Girl

Centsational Girl's Draper Dresser

June 17, 2009

Panache at Home

Posted in Inspiration at 11:55 pm by tesoropaint

Panache at Home

Panache at Home, located in the Shops at Starwood in Frisco

Once in a while I visit a truly special place that inspires me to run home and start rearranging my furniture. Panache at Home in Frisco, TX is one of those stores. I have actually known the owner, Nancy Pierson, for many years and used to shop at her store’s previous location. When I learned she was moving I offered to paint some feature walls in her new location. Mary and I worked with her designer, Elaine Williamson of Architextures Interior Design (amazingly talented and lovely to work with), to create some unique finishes that would backdrop the stunning furnishings that has made Panache THE go-to spot for home accessories in Frisco.

Cherry Blossoms with crystals

Cherry Blossoms with crystals

This finish features a custom shimmered suede background, textured plaster branches and hand-painted cherry blossoms, encrusted with Swarovski crystals. The result is breathtaking (if I do say so myself)!

Panache has so much to offer the decorating enthusiast. The new store is just beautiful– full of unusual, high quality accessories and furniture that you will be dying to find space for in your home. A visitor to the store will find Nancy to be a refreshingly friendly and accomodating owner who truly loves her work and wants to assist you in any way possible. Please do yourself a favor and stop by Panache at Home if you are in the area. Heck, make a special trip for it! I know you will love this store as much as I do.

June 4, 2009

Decorative Painting, Swedish Style

Posted in Inspiration tagged , , , at 2:34 pm by tesoropaint

This time of year always finds me “homesick” and dreaming of Midsommar in Sweden. How can one be homesick for a place that she lived less than a year? When you see first-hand the beauty of a place like Stockholm (and Sweden as a country), it’s easier to understand.

The Treasurer of the Realm's writing room

The Treasurer of the Realm's writing room

These photos are taken from the book “The Soul of Stockholm,” which I received as a gift from the lovely girls who worked at The Grand Hotel in Saltsjobaden. My husband and I lived in that hotel for nearly two months while we waited for an apartment in Stockholm, and whenever I find myself missing Sweden I get out this book and revisit the beauty and architecture of the city I briefly called home. Why is this significant to you?

In our work we often come across people (some of them even Interior Designers) who tell us that faux finishes and decorative painting are a fad, something that’s been done before and therefore, passe. We have to respectfully disagree for this main reason– These are pictures of the Treasurer of the Realm’s writing room in the Bonde Palace, which was built in Stockholm in 1666-67. Note the decorative stucco (by Giovanni Carove).bondecloseup
The close up is of the hand-painted window niches (assumed to have been done by Henrik de la Valee, brother of the architect, Jean de Valee). These designs are still relevant today! We are asked to do exactly these types of finishes on newly constructed European-styled homes all of the time.

This room was constructed and decorated over 300 years ago, but the complementary color scheme of the decorative painting and the soft, varied color on the walls would look perfectly natural in any modern home. (And what a lucky home-owner you’d be to have such a beautiful room!)

June 3, 2009

We’re up and running!

Posted in Products and Tools tagged , , , , , at 12:38 pm by tesoropaint

Many months, tears and margaritas have passed but we finally did it! Tesoro Decorative Paint Source lives! Is it pretty? Maybe not. But can you get some of the best darn faux finishing supplies around delivered right to your front door? Heck yeah! Enjoy! We’re going for drinks…

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