Tuesday, March 29, 2011

House Tour


"Our love is like a ship on the ocean and we've been sailing with a cargo full of love and devotion"

Meet Sandra and Jeff Lassley.  This husband and wife team have been wowing clients in Omaha, Nebraska and beyond for decades with their faux finishing and design talents. Their residential and commercial work has been featured in numerous local and national publications. Sandra, affectionately known as Sass, is a recognized mentor, moderator, and member of several decorative painting associations and organizations. When you meet people like the Lassleys, you feel right away that you are old friends.  And you are left wondering...

"I wonder what their home is like?"

"When a man’s home is born out of his heart and developed through his labor and perfected through his sense of beauty, it is the very cornerstone of life." ~ Gustav Stickley

This is a home about the details. All of the elements from the finishes, to the lighting, and the fabric choices
are brought together in rooms that feel very rich and warm.  I've worked in many homes where the decor is beautiful but you felt the designer's presence more then the homeowners.  That is not the case in this home.  There are elements of exotic travels, a little whimsy, sophistication but never stuffy, and overall comfort. And throughout the rooms are pictures of family and friends that make the Lassley house a home.  Let's start the tour...

When Ashley and I pulled up we knew we had arrived at the right home. Look at that front door!  Bomar pieces and studs make a simple glazed door appear like metal-details!

Then entry and living room feature a "frottage" technique but again there is a twist.  More then the expected stone blocking or smushed paper, this has a nice irregular movement that is still a soothing back drop for collections.  I was obsessed with this finish all weekend.
The entry light fixture.

Here is the dining room.  You will notice that many ceilings in the home are also finished. I can not imagine how much their necks hurt completing all these but the detail completes the space and provides a foil for the lighting.   Did I say that I have popcorn ceilings?

The dining room finish closeup. 

This cabinet has a dense crackle done in deep burgundy and black giving the surface a leather appearance.

Love the fixture.  It manages to look both retro, old world, and modern at the same time.  The compass rose is a nice classic way to emphasize this light.  The room below is the main level powder bath with a green glazed mirror.

Another fun light fixture with the same technique on the ceiling. 

The lower level has a slightly different tone. The look is more lodge but ties together with the same earthy palette used throughout the home. These walls are a crackled and glazed plaster.

Close-up of lower level walls.

This office was a total surprise.  I have seen activated glazed finishes but never done in geometric patterns with it continuing on the ceiling. The glazed doors and woodwork are a warmer counterpoint to the vibrant walls then white.

The lower level bath in cherry glazed plaster.  Again the details. Here we have bears, deers, and moose (es?) carved in the finish.

Jeff built these wooden cubes with a skin finish.

The upstairs office has soothing smooth plaster walls with a Cayenne ceiling.

These tissue walls are a taupy gold like the shantung drapes.

You need to keep looking up.  The corner designs have the same gold, silver, and bronzes found in the fabric.

This bedroom has many good ideas.  The walls resemble a burl showing that a wood finish is appropriate for a wall. The ceiling is red leather.  The art work is plaster with a stencil and Bomar. Can't find the right piece? Just make your own.  And by using just one panel pulled to the side on the window, the treatment looks finished without looking heavy.

We both love this bathroom with it low texture.  The stencil is a newer Royal Design called Corsini that Sass fell in love with. Rather then apply as a continuous pattern, she has placed it randomly around the room.

Here is a close-up of the finish and the stencil. The low texture walls have a warm sage and slight amber glaze.

A adjoining sink area to the bath.  It is done in a polish plaster with the colors in reverse.  Here the amber is the base with a pale sage and gold pulled over the plaster.  And the mirror feels like something found in an open air market.

The same finish is in the bedroom.  Notice all the window treatments with cornice boards in lovely shapes and fabrics.  I am lucky to hang a curtain rod!  There is even a white noise machine in here-just like a spa retreat.

Thanks to Jeff and Sass for welcoming us into their home and allowing me to photograph the interiors. I hope you find it inspiring.  I've been contemplating since my return what I am going to do to my own home to unleash more creativity-starting with those popcorn ceilings!  Jeff and Sass-how about a trip to KC?

Boy ain't that the truth!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Candy Coated Finish

Hope We don't get stuck on Molasses Swamp!

Our friend and fellow finisher, Kevin Anderson, asked for some help last week-and no it did not involve "Minnow" Shots! His client wants a very bright wall finish to go in a colorful powder bath.

This is the glass selected for the bath next to a more muted nuetral floor tile that has a slight yellow cast. The wall finish may have no brown shades in it. And did I say that the vessel sink is fushia!

Here is our sample.  Randomly painted Wunda Size followed by Bright Copper Foil.  Crimson Lusterstone tight troweled over  the foil. When this is dry, Palette Deco Gold in spotted in and tight troweled down. The whole thing is sealed with C-500 Gloss.

Here is the wall sample with the tile and the vessel.  The client decided this was "too formal" and selected a sample from a 1980's wallpaper book with a sponged finish and circles.

Who thinks that is crazy? Can I get a show of hands?  Looks like we all agree!

But don't worry Kevin, at least I can get that Minnow shot thing right!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Golden Leaves

I saw this designer wallpaper in a magazine a few years ago and loved it. I've always liked a warm buttery gold next to a cool silver.  This paper uses real gold leaf flakes and fabric skeleton leaves over a silver foiled paper and runs about $250 a roll. Because of the wrinkles in this paper, I thought it would be a good way to  update an existing tissue paper finish. Our front store counter has a leather version of tissue and provided a good spot to try out a faux finished interpretation.

The counter front with a glazed tissue to look like leather.

I needed my background to be silver and I could choose between Silver Faux Metal, Silver Setcoat, Silver Metal Glow, or Silver Foil. Silver Setcoat and Metal Glow would look like silver paint and Silver Faux Metal is more of a solid low luster metallic.  Bright Silver Foil is the best choice. I rolled a coat of Wunda Size using a black foam roller and let it tack up (about 30 minutes).  I rolled a second coat of size because I wanted to get 100% coverage with the foil.  Let the last coat of size set up at least 1 hour and the foil will off-load better (especially if the room is cold). We are using foils for decorative finishing purposes which is outside of the intended use (hot stamping).  For this reason, although rare, the foil does not pull cleanly from the backing. Use a piece of clear tape (Scotch Tape) and rub it on the back (dull) side of the foil.  Pull it off. If the foil is good, the backing should peel off with the tape.

The shattered appearance of the gold made me think of the RS Low Viscosity Glaze.  I love this weird stuff because you can really manipulate it and the glaze conforms to the sub-surface. When the RS Low Viscosity Glaze dries, it lays very flat and fine. For this project, I mixed it with gold metallic color and gold mica powders.  I brushed the whole surface without it drying-it takes a looong time to dry.

Next, I am flicking RS Activator into the wet glaze.  This is a retarder and will allow me to pull out pieces of the Low Viscosity glaze and manipulate it across the surface.  It works better if you let your RS Activator "cook" on the finish 10-15 minutes and then use cheesecloth to remove areas of glaze.

As the RS Activator dries, I pulled a rubber trowel across the gold to spider web the material. When this layer I dry, it needs to be sealed with Aquaguard.

You could use Skeleton Leaves for this finish but I was too lazy to go to the craft store. Instead I opted to use Palette Deco Gold and a Falling Leaves Stencil from Royal Designs.  The design is placed randomly over the counter.

I used some Stain & Seal to glaze over the entire finish.

A nice dark tea stain over the finish.

Sealed with C 500 Gloss and ready for business.