This plain en-suite bathroom received a little boost of colour by adding a stencilled border of MD40 Beads No 2 above the panelling. The beads stencil is designed to repeat in all directions so the entire wall could have been decorated if desired but it was decided that a horizontal border might add just enough colour to warm the space and to marry it with the adjoining bedroom.
The bedroom has yellow walls and accents of black and tan so those were the colours chosen for the border. I shall return in daylight to photograph the two rooms together.
Helen has mentioned this company before but as I have now had a chance to use them personally and they provided such a great and useful service, I thought I would write about the product and how it works in more depth. The company is called Rug-Maker and they make custom rugs. You can have them make a totally bespoke rug and I would imagine this would cost a fair amount. But they have another service, which is a much more cost effective way to get something totally unique. You can create your own rug using a range of styles they have: you pick your style, pick your colours (they have over 600 to choose from), then state your size and choose your quality (knot count) and material (wool or silk or a mix of both). The most cost effective option is the 60 knot count in wool. They have over 80 styles to choose from ranging from traditional to contemporary so there should be something for everyone. Their ingenious site is easy to use. Once you choose the rug, it lists the colours used within the various sections of their sample image.
You have a palette where you can choose and change any colours. It is fun to play with but I must admit a bit of a challenge only in the sense that you want to make the right choice. I am having the same problem choosing fabric for some curtains….if I am going to have something made up especially for my room and scheme, I want it to be just right.
So to my project. I wanted a new hearth rug for my living room. If you have been keeping in touch with my house projects, you will know that I am working on redoing our entire house in an art deco/1930s style. I had used an old blue and white chinoiserie rug, but as the final elements were going into the room, I felt the room was moving away from the art deco aesthetic I had envisioned.
I needed to make sure the last few bits and pieces for this room pulled it back towards the modernist look I wanted. So I thought I would use the chinoiserie hearth rug in the dining room (which I have planned to decorate in a chinoiserie/deco style) and use a more geometric deco rug here. Finding an original art deco rug is hard, finding one that is a reasonable price is very, very hard. There are some amazing rugs for sale out there (just look at the selection on 1stdibs), but they usually run to 5 figure prices (gulp!). They are rare and works of art and priced accordingly. To cut a long story short, I was having no luck whatsoever and Stephen still hadn’t won the lottery. Then Helen reminded me about Rug-Maker. I took a look at their site and was thrilled to see that in the “geometric” section they did a rug called “Joel” that is obviously an homage to the famous art deco designer Betty Joel (she designed furniture and rugs in the 1930’s and her stuff is hard to come by and covetable). I was sure something like this would still be well out of budget, but as I mentioned in a previous post, you don’t know if you don’t ask. I asked and to my delight, a custom wool rug was within my budget. They price per square metre and can do any size. My rug needed to be 0.55 mtr x 1.1 mtr so 0.61 square metres total. I was sent samples of the different knot counts and materials.
Each sample is half wool and half silk so you can see the difference. The wool is nice, but the silk is gorgeous. However, the silk is a lot more expensive than the wool (not surprisingly) so I just stuck to wool. Wool is still a quality rug product so I was more than happy. Then it came down to colours. This was the hard bit. I sat in the living room on the laptop researching art deco rugs so I could be clear on the types of colours traditionally used. I also thought about the colours in the current scheme. And hardest of all, I tried to think of colours that would also work for future schemes. I came up with two options and then stalled. The detail would be done in off white, brick red and dark inky blue. But I was undecided between a pale celadon green
or a beige biscuit colour for the background.
As the Rug-Maker has 600 colours, I knew I could be quite specific. I cut up and old paint chart and sent the paint “chips” to Julian at the Rug-Maker to match. He sent me back a batch of tufts to look at. Honestly, I couldn’t have picked better myself.
I was so bemused by the tufts, and being a bit 'Minion' mad, I really thought they ought to have names but managed to restrain myself. I took these home to look at in different lights over the weekend and see what Stephen thought. After much deliberation, we decided to go for the green background. I chose a green more celadon than jade as in my original artwork. It was really difficult. Both would look good in the room. The beige was more neutral, but in the end, the green was more interesting. Both were common colours for art deco rugs, but the green just had a bit more pizzazz. Choice made, order done, proof approved and now we wait.
It will take about 10 weeks for our rug to be handmade in Nepal. I am sure it will be well worth the wait and I shall post the results as soon as it arrives.
Custom or customised services like this are becoming very popular as we all endeavour to put our own mark on our houses or wardrobes. Full custom design work can be very expensive but a customised option on a set range is a way of getting something quite unique at a fraction of the cost of bespoke. Surface View offer great wallcoverings, blinds and lampshades made to size from a wide selection of famous artworks and photography; Spoonflower allow you to design and print your own fabric; Converse allow you to customise your own sneakers. Our "In Your Own Words" range of stencils offers you a chance to have your own quote, name or lettering made up from a choice of styles and sizes. No two people will ever order the same thing. As we have a finite range to choose from, we can offer this customisable service at a great price. It has become one of our most popular ranges. As I work on my house, I see more and more people are offering custom options which is very exciting. Who is your favourite company that offers this service?
Here is another lovely bite of Art Nouveau scrumptiouness to nibble on from the Musee Carnavalet in Paris.
Art Nouveau stencils could help to create a similar look. This link will take you to the begining of our motif section but borders and repeat pattern can be found within a couple of clicks. Once you possess the stencils, tools and imagination to create a decorated ceiling you will then require strong neck muscles. Stencil skills can be learned on our day classes and dates for Spring 2015 can be found here.
Here's to a creative new year.
I read that it is National Tree week in the UK. So 'wooden' it be nice to have some tree inspired stencil pics?
VN301-WALL Bare Trees (above)
CH12-X Pavilion Panel No. 1 (above)
Arts & Crafts DE141 Motif No. 33 (above)
DR2 Cherry blossom (above and below)
FS4-L Tree of Life (below)
LTL12 Leaves (below)
And finally, 330 Shaker Tree (without the flowers being stencilled). This one looks particularly good when made in a large size.
Want to see more stencils of trees? Use the search on our web site try using terms such as "leaves" or "trees" to find them
As requested, here are some before and after photos of the bedroom transformation.
This is the house when we went to view it. It hadn't been lived in for a while:
This is the bedroom when we'd stripped it of all the woodchip paper (well I say "we" stripped it, actually my hardworking husband stripped it). You can see the original dark ochre stepped panels painted on a lighter ochre wall:
And here is the final transformation:
It started as a midtone colour, at some point it went to white and now it has gone all the way back to the other end of the colour spectrum and is dark and moody.
To see the full story, click HERE.
all photos Stephen Egglestone
As promised, here is the story behind the art deco scheme in our master bedroom with more photos.
So where did the idea spring from? Our house was built in 1935 and we are trying to stay true to the era in different ways. Inspiration can spring from anywhere and in this case it started with an eiderdown.
We had been given this lovely peachy orange satin eiderdown as a present and I was keen to use it in this room. I also found that I had a 5 litre tin of Farrow & Ball's paint in Railings which is a very deep charcoal grey unused from another scheme. I like dark and seductive for bedrooms. So now I had dark grey and orange on the brain. I then started to think of magenta and shortly after that aqua so then I had my colour palette. I knew I would be doing something with an art deco vibe, but less of the geometric, angular or ethnic inspired deco and more of a curvy french art deco style. I wanted to do something floral but was mindful that this was Stephen's room too so knew it couldn't be too girly. I think I was also influenced by the vintage spanish shawls I like to collect. I had visions of smoky belle epoque boudoirs of 1920's Paris and then the whole thing just started to come together in my head. I wanted a stylised art deco stencil that could be made big and randomly scattered about over the walls. I chose an art deco motif, code number DE336, but it wasn't quite right.
So I asked Chips the designer to remove the stamen, but in doing so it no longer held together as a single layer stencil. Bridging the design took it farther away from the stylised deco flowers I was looking for.
So Chips and I turned it into a multi-layer design.
To get this look I had to stencil the orange, then on a second layer put the gray wall colour back in, then Old Brass , then another layer to put the gray back in then finally the magenta with the pewter on the leaves. Five layers in all.
I like using metallic colours because the light changes them all the time. There is no reason why you cannot use a combination of metallic and non-metallic colours on the same stencil.
I thought it would take a long time to stencil because of all the layers, but in actual fact, it was quite quick, probably because it was a random placement rather than anything that had to be meticulously planned and measured out. I wanted to keep the motifs quite sparse. Although I had no furniture for this room yet, I knew that wardrobes would probably fill the alcoves either side of the chimney breast so there was no point stencilling flowers in areas that couldn't be seen. The same for the lower half of the wall where the bed would be. Because this layout was quite informal, I stencilled the whole room easily within a day. I decided that I wanted to do something different on the chimney breast. As the flowers were quite round, a geometric spiky contrast was needed.
I chose a border from out very first stencil collection in 1988. It is code number 21 Art Deco. I intended to stencil bands across the chimney breast from top to bottom. Then at work one day, I played around with some cutouts and realised they slotted together quite nicely so decided to do two sets of three borders.
From my cutouts you can see I was toying with the idea of using different colours, but in the end thought it was best to use the Old Brass paint alone. This is a lovely colour if you don't want something too bright.
It looks like a metallic brown in most lights but when the sun hits it, it looks like a lovely warm tarnished gold.
The sun hitting the wall in this photo really makes the Old Brass paint sing, but the walls look blue for some reason. And that completed the stencilling.
I convinced Stephen we needed a magenta carpet and managed to find one at our local "Carpet Right" branch.
We found the two dark wood wardrobes in a house clearance furniture shop (The Kasbah in North Shields). The carved floral detail echos the floral stencilling. When we bought them, we didn't realise they were solid oak and had quite a time getting them up the stairs as they weighed a ton. No matter how we might redecorate in the future, I think these wardrobes are staying upstairs! We inherited the display cabinet from Stephen's mother. It was handmade by his grandfather. The chest of drawers also came from a house clearance shop. We found the bedside tables on ebay. They were originally bits of a dressing table that had been salvaged. They are perfect because they are narrow and also have carved floral decoration on them which looks exactly like the wardrobes. It was all going swimmingly. We were sleeping on a mattress on the floor because we didn't have a bed. It was a new mattress so wasn't remotely uncomfortable, just a bit difficult to get in and out of if you had had a serious gardening session and all your muscles and joints were protesting. It is super kingsize which is 6 feet wide (bliss). So we needed a wide, dark wood art deco bed. To cut a long story short, it took us 20 months to find one. We had absolutely hit a brick wall, but we persevered and eventually we got there. Ebay came up trumps again (eventually). We think it is French art deco so is appropriate for the scheme as well. It does dominate the room as it is large, but not so much that the space looks crammed. Despite all the furniture being found bit by bit, it all seems to work together quite nicely. It pays to be patient although that still is not my strongest point.
The main accessories of the room are the collection of 1920's/30's portraits I have been amassing and the cushions on the bed. The paintings I collect from ebay (I use ebay UK, US, France and Belgium), shops, fairs...wherever I see them. They have to be of a certain style, vintage and original. I wrote a post about arranging them last year. My most recent aquisition is Bette which we bought on our recent trip to Brussels.
I walked into a shop and there she was and I bought her a couple of minutes later. The shop owner had only just hung her and hadn't even had a chance to investigate whether this was some major work of art. It doesn't matter to me, I just loved her and my feeling about art is that you just know if something is right instantly and you should only ever buy what you like. She is nearly a metre square and I had no thought as to how I was going to get her back from Brussels. I don't let such practicalities get in the way of a vision. Stephen is very patient with me. He had gone off to take photos whilst I was shopping with a friend. All he saw upon our return was me walking up the street hidden behind this huge painting. I asked he if he was angry with me (as I had broken the rule of only buying things that would fit in the suitcase - it could be anything as long as it fit in the suitcase). He only smiled and said he was surprised I hadn't bought something bigge (I nearly had...there was this rather splendid art deco dressing table....). Anyway, she is home (thank you UPS) and in pride of place.
My other favourite thing in this room is the cushions.
I had bought a book by Sera Hersham-Loftus called "Seductive Interiors". Sera is an interior decorator. I had known of Sera's work for several years and was pleased to see she had a book out. She is well known for glamorous, eclectic, vintage interiors with a touch of rock and roll and has a list of famous clientele. Within this book I spied one of her "house jewels", the fan cushion, and knew I had to have a couple for the bed. I knew they would be the real statement piece and finishing touch for the whole room. To be honest, I never thought I would be able to get any. It just goes to show, you never know if you don't ask. I sent an email to Sera's company and Sera herself answered. Yes, they were available. Fantastic. We discussed colours as I knew exactly what colours they should be for this room and 3 months later a large box arrived with my room jewels. They are my pride and joy. I am very protective of them and Stephen teases me mercilessly about my attachment to and obsession with them. If he wants to wind me up, he'll make the bed and arrange them in some bizarre fashion knowing I will immediately have to rearrange them the way I like them.
So that is the end of the tour of this room. We are getting our loft floored out for storage soon so it will be onwards and upwards with the spare bedroom or dining room next. I shall finish with this photo. The arrangement is entirely unintentional, but it is rather cool how it worked out.
All photos by Stephen Egglestone
There are many fine examples of Art Nouveau decoration that remain in Paris, this is one of them. The room is housed in the Musee Carnivalet. I was told that this interior was once a pharmacy and maybe an informed reader could confirm or deny whether is is true.
Look at the moldings, the peacock, the carving, the painting and that gorgeous mosaic floor.
There is a mass of scope for using stencils when decorating in the style of Art Nouveau.
There are peacock motifs, water lilies and masses of flower stencils within our collections;
As well as motifs we make border and repeat pattern stencils too. This stencil of a peacock is OTT53 and can be ordered from our Ottoman Range but most of the suitable designs are in our section of Art Nouveau stencils. Decorative stenciled borders are a fairly essential component when recreating the look of Art Nouveau wall decoration and here are two examples.
and Border DE202
However, a water fountain is not essential. The Musee Carnavalet is situated on 16 rue des Francs-Bourgeois and I recommend it highly. A previous post from my visit there showed Art Deco Exoticsism with a chunck of Chinoiserie thrown in. How could you resist?
This is just a bit of a teaser. At last my art deco/belle epoque bedroom has been classed as finished (well, as much as anything is ever truly finished in our house).
To be honest, it was pretty much done a long time ago, but Stephen wouldn't let me have it photographed and blogged as we didn't have a bed (just a mattress on the floor). It took a long time to hunt down a large, dark wood, art deco bed, but we finally found one and after delivery of a divan base yesterday, could put the bed together. Hurrah. Of course, we got the worst night's sleep ever....I put it down to the air being thinner being higher up than we have been used to. I am sure we will get used to it though.
So watch this space, more detailed photos and the story to follow soon.
photo: Stephen Egglestone
Fancy surrounding yourself with geometric pattern? Well,this morning I spotted 'Link' from the Neo Collection at Fardis Wallpaper.
and here is ours.
MD31 Turtle from The Stencil Library is a geometric stencil pattern to grace walls, floors, furniture and fabrics with ease and style. It is one of a large collection repeating stencils of geometric designs and is available in many sizes, if you do not see the size that you want talk to us...we may be able to make it for you. One of the advantages of decorating with a stencil is that the colour of the pattern is determined by the paint applied through it.... and there are thousands of colours to choose from.