Friday, February 28, 2014

My Living Room: Before and After

As I am sharing about my rescue house, it amazes me to see what a transformation the house has been through. The living room was one of the rooms that I was very excited about because I was inspired by the painting that we have hung above the mantle. After we found the painting, I could see the room come alive in my head and it sure has! 

Rescue house Living Room
(Looking in from the front of the house)

Looking from the back of the house to the front

The upside of the house was that the rooms downstairs were large and had floor to ceiling windows.
The ceilings are 11feet high and the floors have beautiful original wood flooring.
 In Process:
Redoing the floors
Living Room Fireplace
I wanted to simplify the fireplace without totally changing the historical look. 
I took off the top trim and just kept it very simple.
Opening up the living room doors
Living Room
There was only one double door opening to the sunroom(on the right side of the fireplace.)
We felt it was going to be good to open up the left of the fireplace to create a better flow for entertaining.
It also opened up the space considerably.


You can see where simplifying the mantle made a big difference.
We painted all of the walls and trim white.
I wanted it to have a bright and open feeling.

Completion of the other door opening
Here's where you can see how opening the wall to the left of the fireplace created a flow into the sunroom and really opened up the living room. 
Large Window at the back of the house
This console is one of the my favorite pieces. It made a nice visual anchor at the end of the room.
Windows at the front
I wanted to make sure that the room stayed monochromatic so I selected washed cotton damask for the curtains.
I loved this encaustic painting. It feels so good paired with antiquities and old fragments!

Stay tuned for a completed living room. 
Our rescued house is still a major work in progress.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Featured Retailer: La Panache Interiors

Lori Penzenik opened La Panache Interiors after noticing a lack of the “extraordinary” in the home design area. After working as an independent interior designer for the past 20 years and enjoying a career in the medical field, she realized her dream by imagining and creating La Panache – a full-service residential and boutique commercial design firm located on Edison Road in the St. Andrews Plaza.

Panache is a French word that in the 1500’s meant a plume on a hat or a helmet. It has come to mean having a certain almost undefined style or reckless courage. 

Lori’s concept is to bring flair and panache to your home-to transform it from ho-hum to amazing. Whether it is luxurious bedding or a room remodel that perfectly blends custom furniture, art, lighting, accessories and window treatments, we provide high end design with quality products and the best customer service in the area.
The Amy Howard At Home Display inside the retail location

I am excited to share that La Panache had a One Step Workshop just last week and here a few pictures that were shared from Lori.

"We had a fabulous time at our One Step Worksop!! There were 8 of us total which is the perfect size for the back room of our 1500 sq.ft. Interior Design Retail Boutique. All the ladies were engaged & excited to hear all about the "no prep" One Step! They left with a sample trim molding piece & a beautiful 5x7 picture frame that they completed. We cranked up the music and had a ball! They also left with a "can do" confidence! There was lots of talk about where to begin when they got home. Their creative juices were flowing trying to decide which special treasure to begin with first!"
The set up for the workshop
One of the customers painting with the One Step Paint in Black
Speeding up the drying process with using hair dryers!
Working away!
The group after with their painted pieces

"As an Interior designer and owner of a fabulous retail design boutique...I have had a lot of people ask if I think teaching women to refinish furniture when we sell furniture is like "shooting ourselves in the foot"  My answer is always the same... No! In fact we teach women that it is wise to invest in that quality sofa, as an example, and build upon it with cherished pieces they have inherited or simply found that they transform with Amy Howard products. We can all do "cookie cutter" but standing back and seeing the magic of special pieces combined with other staple pieces gives a home with that one of a kind look & feel. At the same time they get to stand back & know they have had a part in the creation of their space and have saved that special treasure from ending up in the landfill. Combined this equals good design!"

Lori said "We look forward to our next One Step workshop coming up on March 15 to be followed by a Lacquer workshop on March 29.

Be sure to get in touch if you are in the area!

La Panache Interiors
620 West Edison Road, Suite 128
Mishawaka, IN 46545
(574) 855-2388

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Use Mica Powder

Mica Powder is used primarily in pearlescent paints by the automotive industry. Many metallic-looking pigments are composed of a substrate of mica coated with another mineral, usually titanium dioxide. The resultant pigment produces a reflective color depending on the thickness of the coating. These products are used to produce automobile paint, shimmery plastic containers, high quality inks used in advertising and security applications. In the cosmetics industry, its reflective and refractive properties make mica an important ingredient in blusheseye linereye shadowfoundation, hair and body glitter,lipsticklip glossmascara, moisturizing lotions, and nail polish. Some brands of toothpaste include powdered white mica. This acts as a mild abrasive to aid polishing of the tooth surface, and also adds a cosmetically pleasing, glittery shimmer to the paste. Mica is added to latex balloons to provide a colored shiny surface.

Mica can be used for several different processes. I love using it to mix and make a custom metallic wax, I also use it when I do eglomise antique mirror. You can also mix it with linseed oil, shellacs, oil glazes, etc. and paint with it.

How To Use Mica Powder with the Amy Howard At Home Clear Wax:
You can take a small amount of Amy Howard At Home Clear Wax and mix it with your favorite mica color. Today we are using the Mica powder in our clear wax. It is important to use 1 part Mica powders to 1 part clear wax. 

Here I'm using graphite to add a little color/age and depth to my gold leaf frames.
Mica powder using Clear Wax
Using a pallet knife you can mix the mica powders with the mica until
your wax becomes a beautiful iridescent wax
My piece is finished and I am adding the mica wax mixture as an
accent. Just here and there on my piece as an accent, with the edges, sides, etc about 25%.
After Mica Wax application
I love using it on one of the lighter One Step paint colors especially 
where they have been gilded with either silver or gold leaf. 
Here I am applying the Mica Meteor Mix to accent my gold frame
You can see what accent is added for that extra bit of age and depth.

I encourage you to experiment with micas in your waxing process, on and in your venetian plasters, and even painting with them when you don't want to gild with gold leaf.... experiment and have a happy mistake and discover a new way of using this amazing product.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lacquer Projects

Who knew you could rescue a piece of furniture and completely transform it as a lacquered piece? The Amy Howard At Home High Performance Lacquer allows you to rescue, restore, and redecorate a piece of furniture, lamp, or accessory. The lacquers are great because once applied, you get a beautiful smooth, high gloss finish. 

Today, I wanted to share with you a few projects that our retailers and customers have completed. I love to be inspired by others and to see how creative people are with their projects!

Orchid Frame
Seaside Wreath
Belgium Blue Desk
Kumquat Chair
Begonia Tables
Easton Green Frame
All lacquer colors are available on or at one of your local retailers!

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Kitchen Redo

When we purchased our rescue house, I was most worried about the kitchen. First of all it was very small. We knew that we would have to totally tear out everything out. 
There was not light in the ceiling and just 3 bulbs on a track light. 
Here you can see the shot that we took when the first toured the house.
It would scare most people... 
Before: Kitchen
In Process
This is the kitchen in process. 
Wow.... just imagine the dust and tear out. The walls are plaster and all had to be torn out, because the water pipes were running up and down the walls, where we wanted to install windows and other appliances. 
There was a hall area that lead to the basement. 
We decided to tear out all of the cabinets and create a butlers pantry for storage 
and Gene's built in cappuccino maker. 

I knew that I wanted to use Calcutta gold marble. 
I love the large veining and clean white color contrast with the darker cabinets.
I took the marble all the way up the walls to add a 
beautiful detail to a very simple kitchen.  
We painted the cabinets the same color as the trim 
and architectural paneling in the dining room. 
We had to put in new floors to match the dining room 
since these two rooms are now one large room. 
I love fresh flowers and architectural accents and non-kitchen items to decorate with. 

We use this adorable little silver cache pot to hold our dog treats! 
The crusty 18th century architectural fragment is great against the clean Calcutta marble backdrop. 

I simmer spices almost all year room. 
I love how the smell permeates the entire house and welcomes our guests. 
I knew that we needed a special fridge for the kitchen. 
You have to have things that are special and set a room apart. 
The  36"sub zero glass refrigerator fit the bill! 
As soon as we moved in, I hung these black and white photos of our precious children. 
The cabinet is huge in size with 2 interior spice racks. 
This is the faucet at the sink on the island
The laser faucets detect your hands and come on! Love that. 
It is always a great idea to put a garbage disposal button on top of your counter. 
We can also not live without a hot water dispenser, I am a Teavana addict. 
Our acrylic benches are filled with sweet grandchildren on the weekends 
making waffle and pancake requests to Gene for his famous breakfasts. 
I love the texture of the cream hides and acrylic legs!
This is our butler's pantry
I am so glad that we took the marble as the backsplash to the butlers pantry.
I collect antique china and love mixing them when we entertain. 
I love adding antique mirror in the kitchen doors to give depth, 
light reflection and texture.
Entire Kitchen and Dining Room
This allows you to see the wall taken down between the original kitchen and dining room. 
It's easy visit with friends and family while preparing dinner.