Two decorative painters share their secrets for filling their home and studios with fresh color. Country Home's photographer was Reed Davis.
They covered the walls of the living room in a creamy yellow as a backdrop to white linen slipcovered club chairs. They used antique but sturdy linen bed sheets for slipcover and upholstery fabric. The sheer white shades came from Pottery Barn diffusing the light while letting the walls and white painted wood floors glow.
In one of their studios they apply gold leaf to a French-style chair. In the entry of their home, two American farmhouse chairs flank a Swedish-style armoire and framed woodcuts balance the grouping. They store their beloved Red Wing crocks on top.
On either side of the windows, they made panels by using quarter-round strips of molding, hanging wallpaper inside. Other options are stenciling inside the panels or hanging groups of prints inside the panels.
They used butcherblock counters from IKEA with custom-made green cabinets. They used left over pieces from the counters to make the open shelf that acts as a substitute for upper cabinets. Stainless steel appliances were chosen for their sleek look.
For daily color inspiration they lined the shelves of their utility room with lime-washed terra-cotta pots and jars of pigment. The countertop is made from galvanized metal. They stitched an under-counter skirt from old French dish towels.
Extra clothes storage was built into unused space beside the dormer. In true-blue Swedish style, they painted a thin line around each drawer for definition.
They didn't have to paint the weathered drop-leaf table.
The wall color started out as sky-blue and they added black and brown until they reached a subtle shade. They added drawers under the window seat for extra storage.
5 Paint Tips From the Pros
Lined with gold. Give wood furniture the royal treatment by outlining its edges in gold paint.
Freshen floors. Add a coat of clear paint and a clear water-based varnish when floors show their age.
Keep it subtle. For an easy tone-on-tone stenciled effect, first paint the wall. Then lighten the wall color with 25 percent white and use that for the stencil.
Beaded Beauty. White painted beaded board, now available in strips or sheets adds architecture at a fraction of the cost of tile or custom paneling.
Mess around. Buy a sample or a quart of paint to play with color before you commit.